(WIP) The VGC 2012 Metagame in Review

Solace

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#1
<p>For the average lurker, VGC may seem like it doesn't change much at all. A season goes by, BlueCookies wins worlds, rinse and repeat. However, there's one thing that really doesn't get much focus at all, and that's how the metagame shifts around. Just like in any tier, VGC goes through many different trends throughout the season. The two separate North American Regionals dates in November and April in the United States, European Nationals in March, and Nationals and Worlds all had their own distinct metagames. </p>

<p>Our season began in November, where we saw regionals dominated by predominantly weather-based teams. JRank's rain team is a prime example of weather teams seeing success. His team brought him to victory at the Missouri Regional. </p>

Politoed @ Wacan Berry
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
- Surf
- Psychic
- Ice Beam
- Protect

Toxicroak @ Focus Sash
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Drain Punch
- Sucker Punch
- Taunt

Ludicolo @ Absorb Bulb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Fake Out
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Grass Knot

Zapdos @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
- Thunder
- Hidden Power Ice
- Rain Dance
- Detect

Scizor @ Occa Berry
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Aerial Ace
- Protect

Togekiss @ Lum Berry
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Follow Me
- Air Slash
- Heat Wave
- Protect

While I'm not going to go too in-depth about how the team works, since that could fill an article all by itself, it's pretty easy to see that this team thrives under the rain. When the VGC season began, it became apparent that just like OU, the new auto-weather abilities would thrive and dominate the metagame. JRank designed a team that would use rain to its advantage and also take down other team types. With 4 Pokemon that can abuse rain, efficient priority in Scizor, who also benefits from the rain, and support from Togekiss, it's no surprise the team performed as well as it did.


Latios @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Tailwind
- Protect

Thundurus @ Charti Berry
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Substitute
- Taunt
- Hidden Power (Ice)

Metagross @ Occa Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 252 Atk / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Earthquake
- Meteor Mash
- Protect

Garchomp @ Yache Berry
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Rotom-W @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 20 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 232 Spe
Modest Nature
- Trick
- Hydro Pump
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power Fire

Terrakion @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Close Combat
- Protect
- Quick Guard

Showsni's team features no weather changers and no real weather abusers, but hits hard and fast. It's an excellent example of how offensively based the metagame was by March. Goodstuffs really ruled the land, which showed with Showsni placing 2nd using this team. All-out offense was the way to play, with Dragon Gem Latios being a major fixture on nearly every team. Showsni's team is a pretty accurate look at how the metagame was by March.

This led the way to the April Regionals in North America. Cybertron's regionals team is a bulkier build than Showsni's. While it's still a Goodstuffs team, it plays much differently.

Cresselia @ Chesto Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 84 SpA / 160 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunder Wave
- Psychic
- Rest
- Reflect

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Low Kick
- Protect

Hitmontop @ Fight Gem
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Sucker Punch
- Wide Guard

Volcarona @ Lum Berry
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Protect

Garchomp @ Yache Berry
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Zapdos @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 140 HP / 252 SpA / 116 Spe
Modest Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power Ice
- Tailwind

wolfey's team
Garchomp @ Haban Berry
EVs: 172 HP / 84 Atk / 12 Def / 156 SDef / 84 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Protect

Tyranitar @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Low Kick
- Rock Slide
- Dragon Dance
- Protect

Chandelure @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Overheat
- Heat Wave
- Shadow Ball
- HP Ice

Scizor @ Steel Gem
EVs: 222 HP / 252 Atk / 36 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Protect

Cresselia @ Expert Belt
EVs: 108 HP / 248 SpA / 152 Spe
- HP Fire
- Psyshock
- Icy Wind
- Helping Hand

Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 36 Def / 208 SDef / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Flying
- Protect

You may be a bit confused with Wolfey's team. Set up moves are almost always inferior in VGC, right? How can Wolfey possibly have a successful team with a Swords Dance Scizor and a Dragon Dance Tyranitar? Well, aside from showing that Wolfey is a high caliber player, these Pokemon actually can utilize set up moves very well. While running set up is a high risk strategy, being able to pull it off yields a high reward. It requires lots of prediction skill and working out perfect combos to make sure your opponent will either be forced to Protect, switch, or not target your Pokemon in order to get your set up off, which is why it generally is discouraged. It's the kind of team that a new player just can't run away with, but has the kind of surprise factor that makes it a Nationals winning team.

bluecookies' team
Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
220 HP / 108 Def / 180 SpA
Sassy Nature
-Ice Beam
-Psyshock
-Swagger
-Trick Room

Metagross @ Lum Berry
252 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 136 SpD
Adamant Nature
-Meteor Mash
-Zen Headbutt
-Earthquake
-Protect

Hydreigon @ Dragon Gem
EVs: 60 HP / 252 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
-Draco Meteor
-Dark Pulse
-Flamethrower
-Protect

Garchomp @ Haban Berry
36 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 196 SpD / 156 Spe
Jolly Nature
-Dragon Claw
-Earthquake
-Substitute
-Protect

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Adamant Nature
252 HP / 124 Atk / 36 Def / 96 SpDef
-Rock Slide
-Low Kick
-Fire Punch
-Protect

Rotom-W @ Choice Specs
228 HP / 4 Def / 12 SpA / 12 SpDef / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
-Thunderbolt
-Hydro Pump
-Hidden Power Grass
-Thunder

BlueCookies's team really is the ideal combination of many trends. While it seems like a regular team, things like Fire Punch Tyranitar catch many players off guard.

(to come:
team from an october reg
more writing
other ideas)