Thought I'd throw this warstory out there, 'cause this was one hell of a match... Setting: Fall VGC 2011/2012, Long Beach, CA If memory serves, it was the second-to-last match of the day. This was my first really competitive tournament, and I’d already had a couple good wins; I managed to wipe one guy’s team out in a mere four attacks, and at some point I actually came up against the exact same team, shinies, nicknames and all, and while I lost to it the first time, I learned from my mistakes and beat it cleanly the second time around. But that’s not what you want to hear about. This was the first time I’d ever been able to sic my Skill Swap-Slaking combo on real, unsuspecting players, and near the end of the day, this match happened. My (Skrah’s) team: Opponent’s (Lyon’s) Team: TURN 1 Skrah sent out Slaking and Claydol! Lyon sent out Reuniclus and Regigigas! Regigigas can’t get it going because of its Slow Start! Now this was back when I still used a mediocre Claydol as my Skill Swapper, and the team’s gone through a massive overhaul since then. When he saw the team preview, my opponent actually raised an eyebrow at me and said he was pretty sure we were using the same strategy. After another moment’s thought, he added “A levitating Slaking?” in a somewhat worried tone. That was my first indication that things were about to get . . . Very interesting. Slaking used Return on Regigigas! Took the beastie down to red health. I tell you, I still think about putting the Choice Band back on my Slaking in place of his current Life Orb, he hits like a semi-truck going 80 miles an hour. My opponent, at that point, actually asked me if Slaking was Banded; this guy knew his stuff. Regigigas used Substitute! It was too weak to make a Substitute! Claydol used Skill Swap on Slaking! Reuniclus used Skill Swap on Regigigas! Reuniclus can’t get it going because of its Slow Start! Well, I’m definitely glad I prevented that Sub from going up or Regigigas likely would have steamrolled through my entire team. So let’s recap what the field looks like: (Levitate)- 100% (Truant)- 100% vs. (Slow Start)- 100% (Magic Guard)- basically mostly dead I knew I had to get rid of the Regigigas fast now that it was at full power. I didn’t give a damn about Claydol, he had Psychic and Earth Power but it’s not like he was going to actually kill anything. He’d done his job anyway, or so I believed. TURN 2 Slaking used Return on Regigigas! Regigigas fainted! Score: 4-3 Claydol is loafing around! Reuniclus used Skill Swap on Slaking! Wait, what? Slaking can’t get it going because of its Slow Start! Oh, hell. I honestly didn’t see that one coming, even though I should have because I chuck the offending Truant onto my opponent as I please all the time. I had to spend the next several moments thinking things over very carefully while my opponent just grinned at my utter confusion. It was too early to let Slaking die; I needed that Slow Start off of him and fast. Unfortunately, that would mean putting Truant back onto him after taking the effort of removing it, but between Truant and Slow Start, I decided that the former was the lesser of the two evils. TURN 3 Lyon sent out Landorus! Landorus used Earthquake! It doesn’t affect Reuniclus . . . Well, luckily Slaking has monstrous HP and solid physical defense, so he brushed off the EQ with about 75% or so of his HP remaining. Claydol took it well too, but I wasn’t worried about Claydol. Reuniclus used Acid Armor! Reuniclus’s defense rose sharply! I pretty much ignored this, which came back to bite me later. Anyway. Claydol used Skill Swap on Slaking! Claydol can’t get it going because of its Slow Start! Slaking used return on Landorus! Landorus fainted! Score: 4-2 Har har har, well at least Slaking got in a solid second kill and neutralized the Landorus without breaking a sweat. Granted he’s back to being Truanted and there’s not much I can do about it, but things are still going well. I’m feeling alright at this point. TURN 4 Lyon sent out Hydreigon! Oh great, he brought the demon-spawn lizard. Knowing Slaking’s low special defense, this wasn’t going to end well. Slaking is loafing around! Hydreigon used Dark Pulse on Claydol! It’s super effective! Claydol fainted! Score: 3-2 Or he could go straight for the kill on Claydol and make sure I can’t get Truant off of Slaking. That works too. Reuniclus used Psychic on Slaking! Luckily, Slaking survived . . . just barely, but he survived. With Hydreigon on the field, I decided it was time to sent in my own lizard and cross my fingers that I could outspeed and destroy it with Dragon Rush. TURN 5 Skrah sent out Salamence! Salamence’s Intimidate cut’s Reuniclus’s and Hydreigon’s attack! Salamence used Dragon Rush on Hydreigon! Alright, my dragon is faster than your dragon! Salamence’s attack missed! Well, shit. Slaking used Return on Hydreigon! Hydreigon fainted! Score: 3-1 Luckily, Slaking’s no slouch. I’m gonna have to assume this was a Modest Hydreigon, because my Timid one easily outspeeds Slaking. Reuniclus used Psychic on Slaking! Slaking fainted! Score: 2-1 Saw that coming, but Slaking wrecked three members of the opposition before going down, so I can’t really complain. Now I’ve only got one fella sitting in the back, but it’s two on one so I should be fine, right? Right? TURN 6 Skrah sent out Golurk! I really miss having this guy on my team; I wish I could fit him back in. He’s actually a SubPunch variant, not that I ever got a chance to Sub up during VGC. Salamence used Dragon Rush on Reuniclus! Salamence’s attack missed! Oh for Pete’s sake, Salamence. Golurk used Shadow Punch on Reuniclus! It’s Super Effective! Well, at least Golurk did some solid damage, about 25-30% I’d say, despite the Acid Armor from earlier. Reuniclus used Trick Room! It twisted the dimensions! Today just isn’t your day, is it Salamence? TURN 7 Reuniclus used Acid Armor! It’s defense rose sharply! Oh great, now the thing’s at +4 defense and I’ve got two physical attackers left. Oh well, I’m sure I can wear it down eventually, my guys are still both at full health after all. Golurk used Shadow Punch on Reuniclus! It’s Super Effective! Salamence used Dragon Rush on Reuniclus! Salamence’s attack missed! Dammit Salamence either get some glasses or get off the team, you have not done a damn thing this whole match. TURN 8 Reuniclus used Psychic on Golurk! Golurk’s special defense fell! Unfortunately for me, that special defense drop mattered. The first Psychic left me at just barely over half health, so I knew I couldn’t take the inevitable second one next turn. Golurk used Shadow Punch on Reuniclus! It’s super effective! Salamence used Dragon Rush on Reuniclus! Oh, you FINALLY decided to land a hit, did you Salamence? Things were getting tense now. Reuniclus didn’t know Recover (if memory serves, he did have leftovers), but I was about four Psychics away from being down and out and I was only doing so much damage each turn. We both knew this was going to come right down to the wire. TURN 9 Reuniclus used Psychic on Golurk! Golurk fainted! Score: 1-1 Salamence used Dragon Rush on Reuniclus! Two hits in a row, Salamence is on a roll! The godforsaken blob of gelatin still isn’t dead yet, but progress is progress! TURN 10 I was crossing my fingers at this point that Salamence could take at least a couple shots of Psychic, and I knew Trick Room would be wearing off soon. If I played my cards right, I could take this thing down with one more shot . . . Reuniclus used Psychic! Good, no special defense drop and more than half my HP left. I can take a second one and live. All’s going according to plan . . . Salamence used Dragon Dance! Salamence’s Attack rose! Salamence’s Speed rose! Speed didn’t matter in my favor one way or the other, but that attack boost could be just the ticket. One more Dragon Rush and that Reuniclus is going down. The twisted dimensions returned to normal! TURN 11 Salamence used Dragon Rush! Yep, this should be it. One Dragon Rush and this blob of psychic gelatin is dead, this match is about to end with one last- Salamence’s attack missed! Oh for fuck’s sake Salamence, that’s it you’re off the team I am replacing you with a Hydreigon, I know the move only 75% accurate but that’s no excuse to miss FOUR TIMES in eleven turns, Focus Blast hits more often than that! Reuniclus used Trick Room! And now that’s back up. Brilliant. TURN 12 Alright, so this could still go my way, after all I’m at +1 attack and I can take another Psychic, so one more Dragon Rush should- Reuniclus used Skill Swap! Wait, wha- Reuniclus’s Intimidate cut’s Salamence’s attack! Well then. At that point in the battle, I did a literal headdesk and busted up laughing. That was just too inane. He made my Dragon Dance completely useless and managed to put Skill Swap to use even after Regigigas was long dead. Also, he gave Salamence Levitate, which is completely redundant and useless. As I sat there trying to control my laughter while resting my face on the table, my brother (who was watching from a ways away) thought that I had actually lost at that point. No, no, it’s not over yet . . . I can still pull this out . . . Salamence used Dragon Rush! Okay, he landed the hit. Good. If I can just survive for one more turn . . . TURN 13 Reuniclus used Psychic! Yes, yes. Good. Salamence took the Psychic, just like I’d planned; he only had 7 HP left afterward, but he still took the hit. It all came down to the next move. If Salamence hit with Dragon Rush, Reuniclus would be dead. If Salamence missed, he was going to get a Psychic raping on the next turn. Considering my track record so far, I was understandably fidgeting with more than a little bit of anxiety. Then again, so was my opponent, because I could practically hear him silently chanting ‘miss, miss, miss, miss!’ Salamence used Dragon Rush! A critical hit! . . . Of course it’s a critical hit. Reuniclus fainted! Score: 1-0 Lyon was defeated! Okay so ignoring how much I needed that crit earlier, Salamence pulled through for me! I swear I’m never relying on Dragon Rush again. This match was intense, and needless to say I wouldn’t have felt bad if I had lost because this was a match to remember. Best win I had all day by far. Props: My opponent, for giving an awesome match and opening my eyes to the possibilities of pestering your opponent by stealing their abilities and using them against him/her. Slaking, for taking out 75% of the opposition in a mere four hits. Reuniclus, for Intimidating my Salamence and fighting back ‘til the bitter end. Slops: Salamence, for missing with Dragon Rush four times. Regigigas, for doing jack-shit and getting mauled by a fat sloth.