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 Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide 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.