VGC 2012 Goodstuffs Article

#1
A Guide to Goodstuffs in VGC 2012

Written by Lucien Lachance

1.Introduction
2.Goodstuffs Basics
3.Pokémon to Consider
4.Threats to Goodstuffs
5.Types of Goodstuffs
6.Sample Teams
7.Conclusion

Introduction

In a metagame where what's commonly used changes with the flip of a coin, finding a balanced and consistent team can be a daunting task for new players looking to play VGC 2012. Goodstuffs is often viewed as one of the better strategies, due to its ability to counter opposing teams consistently, as well as being relatively easy to learn how to use correctly.

Goodstuffs Basics

- Having a Fake Out user, while not necessary, can provide you with a critical turn of reacting, or forcing the opponent into a checkmate position the next turn due to Protect being useless the next turn.
- Ice is one of the most common weaknesses in VGC, and having a strong, Ice-type Pokemon can deal with a large chunk of the metagame.
- Fighting-type Pokemon are also useful, dealing great damage to most Pokemon. Fighting-type Pokemon usually have neat niches that can be very helpful when building a team, such as Fake Out, Sucker Punch, and Wide Guard support to name a few.
- Having counters to the weather types is a must, as well as having some slower Pokemon, or even a Pokemon packing Trick Room user only to reverse Trick Room.
- Flying-type moves also hit a large portion of the metagame for Super Effective damage, as well as being useful for dealing with Ludicolo and the omnipresent Amoonguss.

Pokémon to Consider

Italics marks an unreleased ability.


Amoonguss

Type: Grass / Poison
Base Stats: 114 HP / 85 Atk / 70 Def / 85 SpA / 80 SpD / 30 Spe
Abilities: Effect Spore / Regenerator

Amoonguss shaped the entire VGC 2011 metagame, and is shaping it again. Utilizing great bulk and amazing support moves, Amoonguss is a threat all teams should prepare for. Spore is the bane of any Pokemon, due to the fast paced nature of VGC matches, the Pokemon becomes useless in most cases, often leading to the Pokemon being swiftly KOed. Rage Powder is very useful for absorbing attacks aimed at its ally, allowing it to KO the threat or put it in position where it is going to be KOed. Due to its defensive typing, Amoonguss gives Rain teams some trouble. Its low speed allows it to move first in Trick Room against the opposing team and get the Spore off, crippling the opponent.


Breloom

Type: Grass / Fighting
Base Stats: 60 HP / 130 Atk / 80 Def / 60 SpA / 60 SpD / 70 Spe
Abilities: Effect Spore / Poison Heal / Technician

Breloom serves a few functions this year in VGC 2012, namely being the fastest Spore abuser. Spore makes an opponents Pokemon useless for a few turns, giving you the upper hand to KO the opponents Pokemon. Breloom also has an interesting Fighting- Grass-typing, giving it the ability to deal Super Effective damage to a handful of the metagame. Breloom does have to worry about Flying-type moves.


Chandelure

Type: Ghost / Fire
Base Stats: 60 HP / 50 Atk / 90 Def / 145 SpA / 90 SpD / 80 Spe
Abilities: Flash Fire / Flame Body / Shadow Tag

Chandelure has a unique niche in VGC 2012. Chandelure has middling speed, allowing it to function has either a Trick Room counter with Imprison, or serve as an offensive power house. Chandelure can also use a Choice Scarf effectively, allowing it to outpace threats it normally couldn't and utilize its STAB moves to deal damage quickly. Sadly, Chandelure is weak to spread moves such as Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Surf.


Cresselia

Type: Psychic
Base Stats: 120 HP / 70 Atk / 120 Def / 75 SpA / 130 SpD / 85 Spe
Abilities: Levitate

While Cresselia is often regarded as a Trick Room setter, Cresselia has a wide support movepool which every team can utilize to their advantage. With Thunder Wave and Icy Wind, Cresselia can decrease the opponents speed. Helping Hand, Safeguard and Dual Screens are all good examples of support moves Cresselia can use effectively. Cresselia can also use Trick Room to counteract the opponents Trick Room.


Crobat

Type: Poison / Flying
Base Stats: 85 HP / 90 Atk / 80 Def / 70 SpA / 80 SpD / 130 Spe
Abilities: Inner Focus / Infiltrator

With access to Tailwind, Taunt, Acrobatics, and Super Fang, Crobat can easily find its way onto any Goodstuffs team. Crobat also has access to Inner Focus, which prevents Crobat from flinching from moves such as Fake Out and Rock Slide. Crobat can use its STAB Acrobatics to smash common Pokemon such as Hitmontop, Hariyama, and Terrakion to name a few.


Eelektross

Type: Electric
Base Stats: 85 HP / 115 Atk / 80 Def / 105 SpA / 80 SpD / 50 Spe
Abilities: Levitate

Eelektross was a star in 2011 and is ready to defend its title in 2012. While the special set is outclassed by Zapdos, and the physical set is lacking more often than not, both sets are very viable when looking for a Pokemon. The main selling point for Eelektross is that no type hits Eelektross for super effective damage. With its base 55 Speed, Eelektross makes a good counter to common Trick Room teams.


Gallade

Type: Psychic / Fighting
Base Stats: 68 HP / 125 Atk / 65 Def / 65 SpA / 115 SpD / 80 Spe
Abilities: Steadfast / Justified

Gallade serves as a very strong Fighting-type Pokemon, as well as acting as a reverse Trick Room setter. Gallade's STAB Zen Headbutt also does terrific damage to the common Hitmontop and other Fighting-types. Close Combat smashes common Pokemon such as Tyranitar, Terrakion, and Abamosnow. Gallade has some notable support moves, namely Helping Hand.


Garchomp

Type: Dragon / Ground
Base Stats: 108 HP / 130 Atk / 95 Def / 80 SpA / 85 SpD / 102 Spe
Abilities: Sand Veil / Rough Skin

Ever since Garchomp was released in DP, Garchomp has been the big man in Pokemon. Garchomp has fantastic Speed and a monstrous Attack stat allowing it to deal massive damage to a large portion of the VGC metagame. Earthquake and Dragon Claw are great STABS for Garchomp and provide neutral coverage on all Pokemon except Bronzong. With Sand Veil as an ability, Garchomp functions well in Sandstorm.


Gengar

Type: Ghost / Poison
Base Stats: 60 HP / 65 Atk / 60 Def / 130 SpA / 75 SpD / 110 Spe
Abilities: Levitate

Gengar is a very useful Pokemon in VGC 2012. Gengar's STAB moves both serve different functions to give you the winning advantage. Shadow Ball is a very useful move, dealing massive damage to Cresselia and OHKOing Latios, assuming you win the speed tie. Sludge Bomb is useful for OHKOing Ludicolo, the most common rain sweeper. Gengar receives several support options such as Disable, Confuse Ray, and Taunt to name a few. Gengar does have to worry about its flaky defenses, however.


Heatran

Type: Fire / Steel
Base Stats: 91 HP / 90 Atk / 106 Def / 130 SpA / 106 SpD / 77 Spe
Abilities: Flash Fire / Flame Body

Heatran is a monster. Boasting amazing Special Attack, great bulk, and great offensive typing, Heatran is a force to be reckoned with. With Heatan's typing and bulk, Heatran is the number one check to Sun and Hail. Sun is beneficial to Heatran, boosting its STAB Heat Wave or Eruption to unreal levels. With Heatran's base 77 Speed, Heatran can function well under both Trick Room and Tailwind, adding to its versatility. Heatran is nowhere near perfect. Heatran is weak to common moves such as Earthquake, Hydro Pump, and Close Combat.


Hitmontop

Type: Fighting
Base Stats: 50 HP / 95 Atk / 95 Def / 35 SpA / 110 SpD / 70 Spe
Abilities: Intimidate / Technician / Steadfast

Hitmontop is a fabulous Pokemon, boasting good offensive typing as well as good bulk and a nice base Attack Stat. It also has an excellent ability, Intimidate, which is very useful to turn the favor of the battle. Hitmontop receives excellent offensive moves such as Fake Out, Close Combat, and Sucker Punch. Hitmontop also receives Wide Guard, a unique move which protects Hitmontop and its teammate from double targeting moves for a turn, such as Rock Slide and Heat Wave. Hitmontop's middling speed is useful for functioning relatively well under Trick Room conditions, as well as out of Trick Room.


Hydreigon

Type: Dark / Dragon
Base Stats: 92 HP / 105 Atk / 90 Def / 125 SpA / 90 SpD / 98 Spe
Ability: Levitate

While similar in function to Latios, Hydreigon has a few things Latios does not. Hydreigon has better physical bulk, can hit Cresselia with a STAB Dark Pulse, which has a chance to flinch, and access to Fire Blast and Flamethrower. Hydreigon's great base 125 SpA lets it smash the opponent around however, it has an awkward base 98 speed which prevents it from outpacing some key threats and lets key threats outpace it. Hydreigon isn't a perfect Pokemon, but with some good team support in the form of Icy Wind, Tailwind, or Thunder Wave, Hydreigon can be a dangerous threat.


Latios

Type: Dragon / Psychic
Base Stats: 80 HP / 90 Atk / 80 Def / 130 SpA / 110 SpD / 110 Spe
Ability: Levitate

Latios has several things on the other Dragons. Latios can KO Hitmontop, has the highest base speed stat, and can KO almost anything with a Dragon Gem boosted Draco Meteor. Its typing nets Latios some key resistances such as Fire, Electric, and Fighting, giving it several chances to switch in and get a KO. Latios isn't without faults however, with relative low base Defense and a weakness to Dark-type moves, Hitmontop can deal a large amount of damage with Sucker Punch.


Ludicolo

Type: Water / Grass
Base Stats: 80 HP / 70 Atk / 70 Def / 90 SpA / 100 SpD / 70 Spe
Abilities: Rain Dish / Swift Swim / Own Tempo

While Ludicolo is regarded as a Rain sweeper, Ludicolo can be used effectively as a Rain counter. Ludicolo also receives Fake Out, which can be used to moderate success. With its nice defensive typing, Ludicolo can be difficult to take down if one is using Leech Seed however, effectively setting up Leech Seed can be difficult for newer players. Ludicolo only has a few weaknesses, one of which being Flying-type moves.


Machamp

Type: Fighting
Base Stats: 90 HP / 130 Atk / 80 Def / 65 SpA / 85 SpD / 55 Spe
Abilities: Guts / No Guard / Steadfast

Machamp boasts good bulk and a great attack stat. Fighting-type Pokemon are great additions to any team, hitting a handful of Pokemon for Super Effective damage and dealing massive damage to Pokemon that are hit with neutral damage. With its unique ability, No Guard, Machamp can use DynamicPunch to hit 100% of the time without fail. Machamp can also use its lower speed stat to act as a Trick Room counter in a pinch.


Metagross

Type: Steel / Psychic
Base Stats: 80 HP / 135 Atk / 130 Def / 95 SpA / 90 SpD / 70 Spe
Abilities: Clear Body / Light Metal

Metagross is one of the few Steel-types considered usable in the VGC metagame. Utilizing its unique Steel- Psychic-typing, Metagross can hit a portion of the VGC metagame for massive damage while shrugging off attacks from common threats. Bullet Punch is a very useful move for Metagross, allowing it to finish off weakened Pokemon with priority.


Mienshao

Type: Fighting
Base Stats: 65 HP / 125 Atk / 60 Def / 95 SpA / 60 SpD / 105 Spe
Abilities: Inner Focus / Regenerator / Reckless

Mienshao serves several niches in the VGC 2012 metagame. Mienshao is a fast, and frail Pokemon with good offensive stats on both sides of the spectrum. With access to Fake Out, Acrobatics and Wide Guard, players should be wary of Mienshao. To make matters worse, Mienshao is a Fighting-type with the ability Inner Focus, which prevents flinching.


Infernape

Type: Fire / Fighting
Base Stats: 76 HP / 104 Atk / 71 Def / 104 SpA / 71 SpD / 108 Spe
Abilities: Blaze / Iron Fist

Infernape is one of the few Pokemon who can successfully run a mixed set due to its high offensive base stats. With access to Fake Out, Infernape can put the odds in your favor from turn one. Infernape's Fire- Fighting-typing is excellent offensive typing, hitting threats such as Metagross and Tyranitar for easy OHKOs unless they invest heavily or have a type-resist berry. With it's blistering speed, Infernape outpaces a large portion of the metagame as well.


Jellicent

Type: Water / Ghost
Base Stats: 100 HP / 60 Atk / 70 Def / 85 SpA / 105 SpD / 60 Spe
Abilities: Water Absorb / Cursed Body / Damp

While not as popular as last year, Jellicent is an undervalued Water-type. Jellicent's unique typing gives it the edge to deal large damage to common Pokemon. Shadow Ball is useful for hitting common Trick Room setters while Water Spout smashes common Pokemon on Sand teams and Terrakion. With Jellicent's good bulk and middling speed, Jellicent benefits from Trick Room and Tailwind, allowing it to fit easily on most any team.


Mamoswine

Type: Ice / Ground
Base Stats: 110 HP / 130 Atk / 80 Def / 70 SpA / 60 SpD / 80 Spe
Abilities: Oblivious / Snow Cloak / Thick Fat

Mamoswine has a monster attack stat with two great STABS, Ice and Ground, as well as priority in the form of Ice Shard makes Mamoswine a useful Pokemon when considering a Pokemon for the VGC 2012 metagame. Earthquake has to be used carefully and strategically as to not KO Mamoswine's teammate. Due to the amount of Pokemon weak to Ice- and Ground-type moves, Mamoswine can often hit half of 5/6 of the opponents team for super effective damage.


Rotom-W

Type: Electric / Water
Stats: 50 HP / 65 Atk / 107 Def / 105 SpA / 107 SpD / 86 Spe
Abilities: Levitate

The Rotom forms are ready for action in VGC 2012 and Rotom-W is leading the pack. With it's unique Electric/Water-typing, shared only with Lanturn, Rotom-W resists or is hit neutrally by all attacks barring Grass-type moves, which are seldom seen. Rotom-W's defenses and Special Attack allow it to be a defensive and offensive threat. Rotom-W is a great check to weather teams due to their lack of moves to KO Rotom-W. Rotom-W's typing also allows it to resist common spread moves, such as Rock Slide, Heat Wave, and Discharge.


Scizor

Type: Steel / Bug
Base Stats: 70 HP / 130 Atk / 100 Def / 55 SpA / 80 SpD / 65 Spe
Abilities: Swarm / Technician / Light Metal

Scizor has great defensive and offensive typing, having only one weakness, fire, and hitting key important Pokemon for super effective damage, namely Latios, Cresselia, and Tyranitar to name a few. Scizor is a dangerous Pokemon on rain teams and functions well in Trick Room and against it. With Technicion, Scizor gets a boost to three important moves, Bullet Punch, Bug Bite, and Aerial Ace, sending the damage output into the OHKO range with ease.


Terrakion

Type: Rock / Fighting
Base Stats: 91 HP / 129 Atk / 90 Def / 72 SpA / 90 SpD / 108 Spe
Abilities: Justified

The star of VGC 2011 is returning to defend its title. Terrakion's Rock- Fighting-type is excellent offensive typing, but it is hit for super effective damage by a lot of types, including the omnipresent Fighting-type. Terrakions terrific STABs, Close Combat and Rock Slide, take a large chunk out of most Pokemon's hitpoints. Terrakion receives one notable support move, Quick Guard, which protects your team from priority moves for a turn.


Thundurus

Type: Electric / Fighting
Base Stats: 79 HP / 115 Atk / 70 Def / 125 SpA / 80 SpD / 111 Spe
Abilities: Prankster / Defiant

The titan of VGC 2011 is back and ready for action again this year. Thundurus boasts blistering Speed and an amazing Special Attack stat with workable bulk. ThunderBolt smacks a lot of the metagame for great damage and gladly accepts the help of an Electric Gem to get some crucial KOs. Thundurus's ability Prankster is seeing more use in VGC 2012 than before, abusing Thunder Wave to the players advantage. Thundurus greatly appreciates Rain support, making its STAB Thunder have 100% accuracy, however, ThunderBolt does just fine.


Weavile

Type: Dark / Ice
Base Stats: 70 HP / 120 Atk / 65 Def / 45 SpA / 85 SpD / 125 Spe
Abilities: Pressure / Pickpocket

Weavile is always ready to win games. With Fake Out, Ice Punch, and Night Slash, Weavile can easily find a way onto most teams. Fake Out gives the player an advantage on the opponent from turn 1, breaking Focus Sashes and forcing Protects. Ice-type moves are notorious for hitting large amounts of Pokemon for super effective damage. Night Slash is great for smacking Latios, Cresselia, and other Psychic-type Pokemon for super effective damage, often KOing unless they heavily invest in defense.


Zapdos

Type: Electric / Flying
Base Stats: 90 HP / 90 Atk / 85 Def / 125 SpA / 90 SpD / 100 Spe
Abilities: Pressure / Lightningrod

Zapdos has been in the limelight of VGC 2012 from the beginning. While Thundurus and Zapdos are often compared, Zapdos has a few things Thundurus does not, namely Tailwind and Heat Wave. Tailwind is a 3-turn effect which doubles the speed of Pokemon on the side of your field and Heat Wave is a double targeting Fire-type move with a slight chance to burn. With Heat Wave and ThunderBolt, Zapdos acts as a great weather counter with its various moves.

Threats to Goodstuffs

While Goodstuffs gives the appearance of being extremely difficult to lose with, a team that is not properly built to counter all playstyles can result in an easy defeat, as well as a poor lead match-up among other things. Trick Room would be the largest threat to Goodstuffs, due to most Goodstuff teams using Icy Wind or Thunder Wave to control speed and do not bring a Pokemon to reverse Trick Room.

Types of Goodstuffs

While most Goodstuffs teams focus on countering the opponents playstyle, some Goodstuffs teams use uncommon weather, primarily Hail, to counter the more common weather teams, Rain and Sand. While most prefer standard Goodstuffs, using weather with Goodstuffs can be very effective if played and used correctly.

Sample Teams

muffinhead said:
Cresselia (/me) ♀ @ Chesto Berry
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Special Attack / 160 Special Defense / 12 Speed
IVs: 31 / 31 / 31 / 31 / 31 / 31
Calm Nature

[Thunder Wave] [Ice Beam]
[Psychic] [Rest]

Why Cresselia?
I have always been a huge fan of Cresselia. It's one of the prettiest mons ever, but every doubles player can attest to how much they hate playing against it. It simply doesnt die. I began my search for looking for a supporting Pokemon that could also attack, but still be a little unpredictable. Cresselia was my first choice, with incredibly bulky, Psychic STAB, a huge support movepool, and immunity to Ground-type attacks. I tried out Icy Wind Cresselia, and it did work, but it put way too much strain on other Pokemon to deal damage. I was debating between changing a move to Calm Mind or going for all out offense (I was even debating Grass Knot, hahah...). Then, one day, I saw BiffsterPKMN using Cresselia with Thunder Wave along with Garchomp. I quickly changed a few moves on my Cresselia, added a 5th and 6th Pokemon, and tried it out on the ladder. It worked very well with just about anything on my team.

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Cresselia is partnered with a Pokemon dedicated to attacking. In order to support them, Thunder Wave slows down the opposing Pokemon. Thunder Wave cripples Latios, Latias, Zapdos, every weather sweeper, and every Pokemon that poses as an immediate threat to Garchomp or Volcarona. If I see a Tailwind user, Cresselia can Thunder Wave it to render it useless. I gave Cresselia Psychic to deal damage to Infernape, Hitmontop, Amoonguss, and Terrakion. This helps out Garchomp by damaging the faster threats (Infernape and Terrakion) while covering the defensive threats as well (Hitmontop with Intimidate and Amoonguss). Other Intimidate Pokemon are still pretty large threats, as well as Hidden Power Ice Thundurus. Adding 84 Special Attack EVs on to Cresselia guarantees a 2HKO on 252 / 0 Hitmontop and 4 / 0 Thundurus or Tornadus with Psychic and Ice Beam, respectively. Ice Beam hits the odd Krookodile for super effective damage as well.

I had a lot of options in the 4th moveslot. The most obvious choice would be Trick Room, to reverse other Trick Rooms. However, I really wanted Cresselia to be able to outlast anything. As I slowly typed in R-e-s-t in the Pokemon Online teambuilder, my thoughts flashed back to Ninahaza's diabolical 2010 team. I chuckled to myself, threw on a Chesto Berry, and the moveset was finally complete. I value bulk on the Special Defensive spectrum higher than physical in double battles, if only for weather teams. I decided to use a Calm nature, 252 HP EVs, and put the rest in Special Defense. With all of this bulk, Cresselia can easily hold off repeated Heat Waves in the sun, Blizzards in hail, and Surfs in rain. Rest with a Chesto Berry really makes the opponent squirm. To think that my Cresselia would be at full health after paralyzing both Pokemon and living about 3 attacks can decide the game by itself. After consideration, I added a few extra Speed EVs to outspeed non-event Suicune, bulky Rotom forms, and other Cresselia.


Garchomp (Unreality) ♂ @ Yache Berry
Trait: Sand Veil
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Attack / 252 Speed
IVs: 31 / 31 / 31 / 0 / 31 / 31
Jolly Nature

[Dragon Claw] [Earthquake]
[Substitute] [Protect]

Why Garchomp?
I needed the perfect Pokemon to take advantage of Cresselia's Thunder Wave support. Physical attackers with a spread move are generally good teammates for Cresselia. I narrowed it down to Garchomp, Tyranitar, and Terrakion. I disliked how often Tyranitar and Terrakion died to priority attacks, so Garchomp it was. Garchomp made terrific use of paralysis support from Cresselia. Latios, Latias, Weavile, Yanmega, and huge weather threats are crippled for the game. Garchomp is a relatively fast Dragon-type Pokemon, so most matchups against Hydreigon, Haxorus, and Dragonite go well. It is bulky enough to survive the most common attacks in VGC 2012, so the offensive part of the lead combo is not limited to just offense. Sometimes Garchomp acts as a lure for single target attacks, allowing Cresselia to deal the necessary damage.

The primary focus of Garchomp is to provide offensive momentum. This is accomplished two ways. Garchomp's STAB Dragon Claw and Earthquake attain amazing coverage in VGC 2012 and deal heavy damage to pretty much everything. Garchomp also provides offensive momentum by making the opponent see it as the "bigger threat." It's an idea I had been toying with for a very long time. Garchomp is the base 102 Speed, hard-hitting, dangerous looking monster. Cresselia is the pink floating space duck. The opponent usually classifies Garchomp as an attacking Pokemon and Cresselia as a supporting Pokemon. In order to make Garchomp a successful distraction, it needed a specialized moveset.

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Jolly max Speed Garchomp with a Yache Berry is hand down the best Garchomp set. It is necessary to use maximum this to fully take advantage of the above average base Speed. Dragon Claw, Earthquake, and Protect were set in stone from the very beginning. STAB Earthquake with a Levitating Cresselia is one of the most feared strategies in double battles (hi Mr. Ray Rizzo! hows that medal :D). Dragon Claw rounds out coverage against Flying-type Pokemon and other Levitaters. The most difficult decision I had to make was the last moveslot. Crunch was on the set for the longest time to hit other Cresselia harder. Rock Slide was useful for Yanmega and when facing two Ice-type Pokemon. I was going back and forth between these two moves, and I couldn't decide which one to use. I asked Human, a pro team builder known for using ridiculously bulky Pokemon to their maximum capabilities. He recommended Substitute on Garchomp. I was wary of losing a coverage move, but ended up loving it. Substitute gives Cresselia an extra turn to use a move, stops Amoonguss, sets up on double Protects, and even scouts movesets against slower Pokemon.


Volcarona (Cassie) ♂ @ Focus Sash
Trait: Flame Body
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Special Attack / 252 Speed
IVs: 31 / 15 / 31 / 30 / 30 / 31
Modest Nature

[Bug Buzz] [Heat Wave]
[Hidden Power] [Protect]

Why Volcarona?
Volcarona was one of the last Pokemon that I decided on. Looking back at my team so far, I noticed the synergy wasn't quite as good as it could be. Garchomp, Hitmontop, and Breloom resist Rock Slide. Adding a Pokemon that is incredibly weak to Rock Slide fixed my team. I actually added a Pokemon with a 4x weakness to a specific attack on purpose. Stone Edge is rarely seen in double battles, and Rock Slide is the most common way of defeating Volcarona. Volcarona is extremely similar to Garchomp in this way. It forces the opponent to use certain Pokemon to beat Volcarona. Breloom, Garchomp, and Hitmontop capitalize on turns that Pokemon such as Tyranitar are forced to use Rock Slide. On the other hand, if the opponent ignores Volcarona and does not bring a strong Rock Slide user with the rest of their team, Volcarona will become the threat (and not just fodder).

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Volcarona can really use only two items effectively: Choice Scarf and Focus Sash. Using Choice Scarf would prevent Garchomp from using Earthquake with Volcarona on the field, so Focus Sash it was. It is also a somewhat effective way of wasting a Draco Meteor from Latios or Acrobatics from Tornadus and Crobat. Timid nature is practically worthless on base 100 Speed Pokemon in VGC 2012. Most Zapdos have a neutral nature with less than 252 Speed EVs, and that is what I aim to outspeed. HP EVs are pointless on a Pokemon holding a Focus Sash. Modest Heat Wave grabs an OHKO on 252 HP Mamoswine, as well as dealing a lot more damage to Zapdos than a Timid nature would. Bug Buzz deals absolutely insane damage to Cresselia and Tyranitar. It also OHKOes Ludicolo and Abomasnow (in case I don't want to risk a Heat Wave missing). Hidden Power Ground give Volcarona a way to damage Heatran, in case Mach Punches can't KO it.


Hitmontop (makiri) ♂ @ Life Orb
Trait: Technician
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Attack / 12 Speed
31 / 31 / 31 / 9 / 31 / 31
Adamant Nature

[Fake Out] [Mach Punch]
[Sucker Punch] [Wide Guard]

Why Hitmontop?
Hitmontop is a familiar sight in the Team Preview, and for good reason. Intimidate, Fake Out, and Wide Guard can create a perfect support Pokemon. It also has access to Technician and Mach Punch, capable of dealing incredible damage to many frail Pokemon in VGC 2012. I definitely wanted Hitmontop to be more on the support side of the spectrum, but still retain some offensive capability. In my mind, Scrafty would make a more solid choice for this team because of its secondary Dark-typing. However, I did not want to give up a 'fallback' option for faster Pokemon, nor possible the best support move in doubles. Hitmontop was used for the specific combination of moves I wanted.

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Fake Out does everything and then some for my team. Cresselia can get a Rest off on a possible double Protect. Garchomp can use Substitute on a double Protect. Fake Out stops Tailwind for a turn, messes up Trick Room teams, and deals a surprising amount of damage with Technician and Life Orb. Sucker Punch threatens Latios, who was becoming an increasingly scary threat. I didn't want to deal with Close Combat defense drops, so I gave makiri a Life Orb and Mach Punch. Unfortunately, VGC 2010 Hitmontop had no access to Wide Guard. Wide Guard was the selling point for me on Hitmontop. It helps out against Abomasnow, Chandelure, Terrakion, and Tyranitar. Most of these Pokemon have a Focus Sash or type-resist berry, so Sucker Punch or Mach Punch will never be able to OHKO. Wide Guard can protect Garchomp from a Blizzard while it freely uses Earthquake. It is a handy move in case Trick Room goes up and my team needs protection from the incoming Water Spout or Heat Wave. I use 12 Speed EVs on Hitmontop to beat out other Hitmontop.


Tentacruel (Shii) ♂ @ Shuca Berry
Trait: Rain Dish
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Special Defense / 4 Speed
IVs: 31 / 13 / 31 / 31 / 31 / 31
Calm Nature

[Scald] [Ice Beam]
[Hail] [Sludge Bomb]

Why Tentacruel?
Tentacruel is my go-to Pokemon for playing against weather teams. I have searched for a very long time to find a Pokemon that does well against most weather teams. Cresselia does the Paralysis support to stop quick sweepers. Now I needed a Pokemon to force the single target attacks because of its typing. Ludicolo immediately came to mind. Rain Dish, Leech Seed, Icy Wind, good typing, and decent bulk all work together quite well. However, it only resisted Water-type moves, and so sun and hail teams eventually wore it down. I moved to Empoleon with Icy Wind, Hidden Power Fire, and Hail. Empoleon worked much better than Ludicolo, but adding Fighting- and Electric-type weaknesses (two common rain support types). Empoleon also didn't really have a solid way to deal damage to Ludicolo. About one or two weeks before my VGC regional, I tried out Rain Dish Tentacruel. It had everything that I was looking for: resistance to many common weather attacks, decent bulk, and a way to hit the common weather Pokemon.

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Scald, okay.. Ice Beam, ok... Sludge Bomb, sure... Hail, oka- WAIT WHAT
Right. Yes, you read it correctly. Tentacruel resists Heat Wave, Surf, Blizzard, Fighting-type attacks, and takes almost nothing from Giga Drain. Tentacruel has several free turns against weather teams in which neither opposing Pokemon can really do any serious damage to it. I took advantage of this by using Hail. Hail does several things for this team. If there is a backup dangerous sweeper that Cresselia could not Thunder Wave, Hail takes away the Swift Swim or Chlorophyll boost. Against sun teams, Scald's power is returned to normal base power (to deal more damage to Terrakion and company). Sludge Bomb 2HKOes Abomasnow and offensive Ludicolo. Ice Beam give Tentacruel a way to hit Zapdos and Garchomp, as neither Thunderbolt or Earthquake can OHKO (thanks to Shuca Berry). A Calm nature and maximum defensive EVs are used to ensure Tentacruel survives Thunderbolts, Surfs, Heat Waves, and Blizzards for as long as possible. Props to Shii for RNGing this. You rock.


Breloom (Jibaku) ♂ @ Toxic Orb
Trait: Poison Heal
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Attack / 252 Speed
IVs: 31 / 31 / 31 / 11 / 30 / 31
Adamant Nature

[Seed Bomb] [Mach Punch]
[Spore] [Protect]

Why Breloom?
I needed a Spore user to beat Trick Room and other Spore users. I hate Amoonguss with a passion, because most of the time people rely on the Effect Spore percent to gain an advantage. I prefer cooler Pokemon that can actually do damage after Sporing and take more than minimal skill to use (no offense 11 players). Breloom was the only Pokemon who fit the criteria I had in mind. Breloom is an interesting choice for a VGC team. It certainly has decent typing, resisting Discharge, Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Surf. The Blizzard and Heat Wave weaknesses really give it a tough time. Wide Guard and Fake Out support from Hitmontop help Breloom out a lot. Breloom has the added benefit of being one of the best sand counters in VGC 2012. To beat Breloom and Hitmontop, a sand team must have Chople Berry Excadrill with Aerial Ace or Landorus with Power Herb Fly. More information is in the team matchup threatlist.

Explanation of Moveset, item, and EVs
Breloom had to be able to beat other Spore users 100% of the time because of my paranoia of Amoonguss. Toxic Orb gives Breloom immunity against Spores, Will-O-Wisps, and Thunder Waves that can otherwise ruin its day. Protect can ensure Toxic Orb activation in case of Prankster abusers. Poison Heal really makes a difference on Breloom. It is so frail that any extra HP helps it out against sand or hail damage. Seed Bomb gets necessary coverage on Water-type Pokemon and Rhyperior. Mach Punch is useful priority to have on two Pokemon. If I need Mach Punch in a matchup but don't want to use Hitmontop, Breloom is there as an alternate option. Despite having Seed Bomb and Mach Punch, I prefer to Spore Gastrodon, Abomasnow, Jellicent, and Tyranitar before attacking. This works as insurance in case of type-resist berries or Focus Sashes. My old EV spread had heavy HP investment, but outspeeding and Sporing Cresselia, Suicune, and Rotom forms is extremely important to this team.


Threat list of common teams and combinations

Rain teams

What I use: Cresselia, Garchomp, Tentacruel, Hitmontop / Breloom / Volcarona

How I use them: The main reason for using Drizzle Politoed is to gain a Speed advantage with Ludicolo or Kingdra. I usually lead with Cresselia and Garchomp. The purpose of using Garchomp against a rain team is to give Cresselia 2 turns to use Thunder Wave against the largest threats. If Cresselia and Garchomp are up against Ludicolo and Politoed, Garchomp can use any attacking move. If Ludicolo goes for the Fake Out on Cresselia, Garchomp will attack before Politoed. Cresselia can then Thunder Wave the Ludicolo the next turn while Garchomp Protects. If Ludicolo goes for the Fake Out on Garchomp, Cresselia Thunder Waves Ludicolo and Garchomp gets a free hit in the following turn. If Ludicolo Ice Beams Garchomp right away, Yache still lets Garchomp attack at least once, and Cresselia gets a Thunder Wave off. If the opponent leads with a Pokemon that loves to spam Thunder, Garchomp has a field day with Substitute and Protect while Cresselia wears down the attacker. The important thing is paralyzing the enemy sweeper and getting a little bit of additional damage in there. I always use Tentacruel against rain teams. Tentacruel resists Water-type attacks and gets HP back from the rain. It also has a STAB move to deal with Ludicolo and incredible bulk. If Cresselia can’t get off any Thunder Waves, Tentacruel can set up Hail. After Garchomp is KOed, I have several options for my last Pokemon. Volcarona can come in and clean up paralyzed sweepers. Hitmontop gives Tentacruel an extra turn to do damage if Zapdos is on the field. Breloom is what I choose if I see Gastrodon in the Team Preview.

Sun teams

What I use: Hitmontop, Garchomp / Cresselia, Garchomp / Cresselia, Volcarona / Tentacruel

How I use them: My leads change depending on what I see in Team Preview. If Jumpluff is present, Cresselia can always paralyze it thanks to Chesto Berry. Paralyzing a Chlorophyll Pokemon is one of the most important things to do for my team, similar to Ludicolo or Kingdra against rain. If there is no Shiftry, Hitmontop will pick apart the opponent with Fake Out and Wide Guard. Garchomp resists Heat Wave and has the all-important Earthquake to deal with sun teams. Garchomp and Cresselia also work well as lead Pokemon here, with Hitmontop to help Garchomp live a couple of extra turns. The last Pokemon is a tossup between Volcarona and Tentacruel. If the opponent has Cresselia or a similar bulky support Pokemon, I pick Volcarona. Sun helps Volcarona deal that extra bit of damage, and the STAB Bug Buzz demolishes Cresselia (and most other sun support Pokemon). Tentacruel is a risky pick even though it resists Fire-type attacks and takes neutral damage from Grass-type attacks. Nevertheless, setting up Hail does several things to sun. It removes Chlorophyll, stops Heat Waves from burning through all of my Pokemon, and returns Scald's power to normal. Tentacruel is a solid choice if the opponent has Hitmontop in the team preview, but no Cresselia.

Sand teams

What I use: Cresselia, Hitmontop, Breloom, Garchomp / Volcarona

How I use them: Sand teams are the easiest and most difficult to overcome at the same time. Similar to playing against rain and sun, Cresselia is still important. Tyranitar and X-Scissor Excadrill are pretty common though, so Cresselia needs to Ice Beam the Garchomp or Landorus as soon as possible. Leading Hitmontop allows me to have a way of dealing damage to Tyranitar as well as force Protects on the Tyranitar. After either Hitmontop or Cresselia faint, I have a couple of options. If Cresselia is alive, Breloom or Garchomp are the best choices to send out. This is usually because Tyranitar has been KOed by Hitmontop and the main sweeper has around 50% health left because of a possible Yache Berry. Breloom is my biggest weapon against sand teams, resisting most main STAB attacks and having priority STAB Mach Punch to deal with Excadrill and Tyranitar. This changes the focus of the opponent's attacks to Breloom. Cresselia gets a Rest in, Hitmontop gets another Wide Guard in, and so the advantage tends to stay in my favor. The last Pokemon is the toughest to choose. Volcarona is the better pick when going against Musharna or Cresselia. Garchomp adds in another all-important Rock Slide resist. Garchomp has the added benefit of Sand Veil and Substitute. Certain Pokemon on sand teams can cause huge problems, which I talk about in the specific threatlist.

Hail teams

What I use: Cresselia, Volcarona / Garchomp, Hitmontop, Volcarona / Tentacruel

How I use them: My goal against hail teams is similar to my goal against rain and sun teams: paralyze the biggest threats, send in Volcarona or Garchomp to clean up. If I see a Fake Out user such as Hitmontop or Infernape, Volcarona or Garchomp can Protect while Cresselia Thunder Waves a possible Choice Scarf Pokemon or Infernape. My own Hitmontop disrupts Blizzards with Wide Guard and provides support with Fake Out. Garchomp is a much more viable option against a hail team if Hitmontop can stop a Blizzard two turns in a row. Mach Punch does a tremendous amount of damage against Abomasnow and Glaceon. Sucker Punch hits Jellicent and Froslass hard. Just the presence of Hitmontop on the field changes the opponent's playstyle. They primary target changes to Hitmontop, which means Cresselia or Garchomp racks up additional damage. Tentacruel works insanely well against Infernape and Abomasnow, resisting both main STAB moves and 2HKOing whichever Pokemon I choose to target. The biggest problem when facing a hail team is taking out the bulky water. Suicune, Jellicent, and Slowking all pose pretty large threats to my team. If I see these Pokemon in the team preview, I am forced to choose Breloom no matter what.

Tailwind

What I use: Cresselia / Hitmontop, Garchomp, Cresselia / Hitmontop, Volcarona

How I use them: Tailwind teams try to set up Tailwind as soon as possible. Garchomp takes advantage of this by setting up a quick Substitute. This works better with Hitmontop, who forces the double Protect. After that, it's just a matter of switching out Hitmontop to get a second use of Fake Out. Sometimes I prefer using Cresselia as a lead and Thunder Waving or Ice Beaming the Tailwind user right away. This pretty much makes Tailwind useless, as well as keeping the useless enemy Pokemon on the field to waste Tailwind. The real problem my team has when facing Tailwind teams is the individual Pokemon used by the opponent. I cover this in the specific threatlist.

Trick Room

What I use: Hitmontop, Breloom, Garchomp, Cresselia / Volcarona

How I use them: This is what I use against full-blown Trick Room teams. They usually follow a very specific blueprint. A Trick Room user is partnered with a slow Fake Out user or incredibly hard hitter. With Hitmontop and Breloom leading, Hitmontop can Fake Out their Fake Out user while Breloom Spores the Trick Room user. Hitmontop is almost always faster than Hariyama / Scrafty, and Trick Room users (Dusknoir, Cresselia) will usually have Mental Herb or Sitrus Berry. If by chance the support Pokemon is holding a Lum or Chesto Berry and Trick Room going up, it's not over. Breloom's typing discourages phsyical hard hitters such as Rhyperior from doing any serious damage. Hitmontop can Wide Guard Heat Waves or Water Spouts, as well as Sucker Punch or Mach Punch the attackers. If Trick Room is not set up when Garchomp or Volcarona come out, it's almost always game over. Backup Trick Room Pokemon let Garchomp get a Substitute up, and most of them can't take a Bug Buzz from Volcarona.
Conclusion

Goodstuffs is a commonly suggested strategy for those looking to jump into the VGC metagame due to its relative simplicity in comparison to other playstyles. Building an effective Goodstuffs team can be quite a daunting task when considering all of the usable Pokemon in VGC 2012 and the task should not be taken lightly, bearing in mind the common threats using in the metagame. Goodstuffs is a highly recommended playstyle for players looking to jump into VGC as well as experienced players.
 
#2
Does my first scan of this and Cntrl/F's Latios, but nothing.

Come on, I've seen that thing in like half of the goodstuff teams I've faced. Latios is the top-tier Special Dragon threat, able to outspeed a lot of other stuff in this metagame, even without Tailwind. Hydreigon is also seriously worth a mention, I've seen alot of it around.

Also, small grammar gripe, Ludicolo is missing its abilities :/
 
#3
I knew I would forget something. I forgot Rotom-W until Dimsun caught it. I'll add those in later.


Because I like to troll: That's not a grammar gripe, just me being stupid.