Online Competition Alola Friendly [Post Your Results!]

What screwed me the most was Cloyster. The first time I was not expecting it; the second time it was Focus Sash; the third time, it was not the lead Pokemon (and had King's Rock and apparently no Shell Smash?)
Skill Link + King's Rock has a 41% chance of flinching its target so it probably did have Shell Smash, it's a cute strat. Thankfully I didn't encounter any of those variations of Cloyster ( which is, ironically enough, the one set that would outright beat me ).

It's funny that you say Porygon didn't see much use, but I'd 100% bring mine against your team haha.
and a moment where both my opponent and I used a priority move in Psychic Terrain. (At least I didn't try again on the next round like he did.)
I saw that kind of thing once while I was battling - my opponent's Mimikyu trying to use Shadow Sneak on Psychic Terrain.

I don't blame him, though - it was literally his only hope to stop my Gengar, and muscle memory may have screwed him, still thinking Gengar is not grounded (and so was I, though I was confident Shadow Sneak would not KO Gengar due to Aurora Veil).
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cant say

grumpy and stubborn
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Battle Spot Leader
alola friendly - moon.png
alola friendly - sun.png

This was pretty fun but I ran into stall teams like twice for every three games which was freaking annoying, I think this was because the lack of megas allowed the metagame to be much more bulky than normal bss. Stall teams also have that stupid new timer in their favour so you can't even time them out. I figured that if this was going to be the norm a Glalie team would be solid (Gary Qian was hyping it on twitter too) but that felt like it played even slower so I broke 1600 (sounds low but it took me a frustratingly long time with few battles) and swapped back to my moon cart. Got a bit unlucky, made some mistakes, made some actual good plays, took me 20something games to finally break 1600 with my moon team. My very last game went half an hour over the deadline for matches and it started with 15 minutes to go, his last mon was a Pyukumuku that I managed to burn and leech seed with Celesteela and then muscle through with Garchomp.

Moon team was from a Japanese bss blog that I stole and liked a lot, but it had Lucario over Buzzwole. On PS Buzzwole was beastly but on cart I wished I used Pheromosa (or Scarf on Lele), I struggled with opposing Tapu Koko. Sun team was based on a BSS team I'd been having great success with on PS until I got bopped in the BSSC lol. It's meant to be a Koko+Clef team but I used Glalie a lot more in the comp. It felt solid (even though I got the worst boosts with Glalie, I'm 90% sure Moody only boosts accuracy) but just took too long to set up, but I kinda wish I had just played this team so I could get more battles in...

onto the next one I guess!
So yeah this was my first competition. Idr where I peaked (upper 1600s-low 1700s?) as I turned off my game when I got bored with one of the matches but that doesn't matter to me. Overall, didn't have as much fun as I thought I would because of RNG and the metagame just being standard.jpeg


So I started with Salazzle as the foundation of the team, which was really antimeta. Her power is just enough to take down what I want, though I really wished I was LO sometimes to guarantee the KO on Lele with Sludge Wave and Garchomp with HP Ice - but since many of those were Scarf, Sash overall became more useful. For the last option, I initially went with Nasty Plot to circumvent the lack of power, but changed to Taunt when I lost to a few BP teams on the PS ladder. WoW could have also worked here.

Tapu Fini here sees use with Z-Haze giving me a one time recovery that allows me to hard check Cloyster with a physically inclined spread and soft check PZ, Scald being there to burn Celesteela to negate its Lefties and Bulu in case it came in. Since I had some speed creep, Taunt shut down opposing Fini as well as Toxapex and also helped me with some Minimize spammers I encountered. I did end up missing Nature's Madness and reliable recovery (Sitrus) on certain occasions unfortunately.

Dragonite was the second star of my team here with Multiscale and Flynium Z giving it a one time nuke that was an OHKO most of the time (KOing Tapu Fini is great). Outrage over Dragon Claw bc the power when I couldn't boost in a pinch was very clutch (thanks Adamant!) and Fire Punch was for Celesteela.

Originally Ghostium Z Mimikyu, Tapu Koko replaced it with a very standard set - HP Ground for opposing Marowak-A and non-Air Balloon Nihilego.

Originally Muk-A, Marowak-A also with a standard set, Brick Break was for Aurora Veil Ninetales though Salazzle usually stopped it. It only came into play twice.

I fucked up on Celesteela and changed Substitute in the last minute for Flamethrower after testing on Showdown... but this one had a Careful nature (+SpD, -SpA). This cost me a mirror match with a SpD Celesteela who I got unlucky in a roll with as it subbed in my face and won.

Overall, the team meshed really well together. Unfortunately there were a few glaring weaknesses:

1) Cloyster

Cloyster was a huge pain to face and I had to swerve around it due to having exactly 1 resist. Sash means it can set up on anything and I'm basically forced to bank on Fini for it (and Rock Blast crits cost me some matches). I faced a King's Rock one and it successfully flinched Fini before nuking the rest of my team. I was expecting a large influx of them but upper ladder played carefully with them (unlike PS ladder).

2) Porygon Line

Porygon2 was exceedingly common (as I expected), and my team does not respond well to BoltBeam at all. Many of them ran Shadow Ball for Marowak-A who even then suffers tons of recoil attacking with Flare Blitz. While my Taunt users kept it in check, it usually devolved into a 2 mon operation just to crack it - Download boosts didn't add to the answers.

Porygon-Z was far less common but Z-Conversion sets were basically unstoppable, and I knew this coming in. Marowak-A checked most in a pinch except Ghost Conversion (which I only faced one of thankfully) and Fini could Haze away PZ assuming it sets up the same turn... but this was mostly unrealistic and I lost to this Pokemon a lot. Also faced a Breakneck Blitz Hyper Beam one which was deadly in its own right.

3) Electric Spam

Marowak-A was my sole check to Tapu Koko and Xurkitree, and these were carrying answers to it in the form of HP Ground. If a team were to have at least 2 of these, I would lose very quickly to the waves of Thunderbolt that followed (which indeed happened). Magnezone further adds to the threat by trapping Celesteela and trading with any of my other members. In general, I should be prepared for these in the future.

So yeah, hoping to see other's teams and peaks! As a non-Battle Spot player, I want to learn from these as I find these special ladders interesting and fun.
No friggin' clue what my final ranking was (how long does it usually take to tally?), but I finished with 29 wins to 16 losses, which isn't half bad for my first-ever attempt at Battle Spot. Anyway, this was my team:

Marowak, Celesteela and Mimikyu: All standard sets, not much to say here that hasn't already been said.

Muk: Again, fairly standard, but with max Attack over max SpDef to work as a designated Tapu slayer. Poison Touch Knock Off was invaluable for coming out on top of the many Bone 'n' Boat mirror matches, and the unexpected Pursuit rendered annoyances like Specs Lele and Scarf Gengar useless.

Golisopod: Okay, so this one is memes as hell - right down to being shiny in a Love Ball - but he's also a real threat when used well, being a powerful revenge killer (as long as Psychic Terrain isn't up) and a surprisingly useful pivot thanks to Emergency Exit. First Impression -> Emergency Exit -> Muk -> Pursuit won me several games on its own.

Silvally: As mentioned, she was originally filler (I'd planned on using Tapu Bulu, but I ran out of both Bottle Caps and time), but she surprised the bloody hell out of me by ending the competition as the team's MVP. I can't even count how many DD Gyarados, Garchomps and Porygon-Zs switched into her only to be OHKO'd by TBolt, Ice Beam or Z-Boom. That said, for all my fawning, I'll be the first to admit that Silvally isn't a good 'Mon. Her strength was all in the surprise factor.

Weak Spots: Defensive Rocky Helmet Gyarados and SubDisable sets. Both of which could've been beaten if I had my Taunt Bulu...
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Got too busy on Sunday to finish all my games but went 22-10, peaked 1690 ended 1654. I put the team together pretty hastily so there were a few holes I didn't realize, but it was fun playing anyways.
alola friendly.png

When I saw this ruleset, the first things I thought of were Pheromosa and Cloyster. With no Aegislash around to wall them I figured they were both good picks to tear through unprepared teams. Pheromosa only ended up coming to a few games, which were split between it getting 3 KOs in a row and it missing HJK and dying. Cloyster, on the other hand, came to nearly every game and did its job extremely well.

Putting a Choice Scarf on Tapu Koko is pretty silly, but I wanted a way to easily eliminate opposing fast or boosting mons. Scarf Koko handled every variant of Pheromosa, Cloyster, and Gyarados that I encountered, and worked as a fast pivot early-game and/or a cleaner late-game. Hidden Power was Fire because I mostly play VGC and am paranoid about Kartana.

Marowak was added to delete Celesteela, since I was worried that specially bulky or Assault Vest sets could 1v1 my Koko. I ran max speed Jolly so that I could also delete opposing Marowak if I didn't want to set up Cloyster for whatever reason. Earthquake because I don't like missing, Substitute because I don't know what Marowak's 4th move is in singles and it's a good move. I did block Toxic with it a couple times and set it up on forced switches when I couldn't predict what was coming in, so that was cool.

Porygon2 was there to stall things out and take random hits. It did that pretty well, although I didn't end up using Thunderbolt at all and Shadow Ball would have been handy in some cases.

Tapu Fini with Haze+Taunt mainly stopped Evoboost and Minimize/Moody. I only played one Eevee and two Minimizers that I can remember, but having the insurance was still nice. It definitely should have been Z-Haze but when I was putting the team together I totally forgot about that and just gave it Sitrus.

I didn't play on the Showdown ladder at all and I don't play much BSS, so I missed some big weaknesses. Metagross, Tapu Bulu, Magnezone, and Mimikyu were all annoying, I think 8 of my 10 losses had one or more of those. There are probably more threats that I don't know about because I didn't face them lol. Regardless, I thought it was a fun tournament and I'm looking forward to more!
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The results were posted on the PGL website. I ended up at #349 with 1691 points. Being just shy away from 1700 in my first tourney is really inspiring.

Garchomp was #1 as pretty much anyone could expect, while Mimikyu understandably took #2 with no viable Mold Breakers.

It's quite hilarious to see that Gengar wasn't even in the Top 30 in terms of stats (and even then, only 15% ran Scarf). Also loving how its top 10 matchups were all Top 15 in terms of usage. Loved it.

Why were Vikavolt and Mudsdale Top 30 to begin with, anyways?
The results were posted on the PGL website. I ended up at #349 with 1691 points. Being just shy away from 1700 in my first tourney is really inspiring.

Garchomp was #1 as pretty much anyone could expect, while Mimikyu understandably took #2 with no viable Mold Breakers.

It's quite hilarious to see that Gengar wasn't even in the Top 30 in terms of stats (and even then, only 15% ran Scarf). Also loving how its top 10 matchups were all Top 15 in terms of usage. Loved it.

Why were Vikavolt and Mudsdale Top 30 to begin with, anyways?
lol it really is. But I think that's part of the reason why it even worked so well—not many people were expecting Gengar; let alone a Scarf on it.
And I did see one or two Mudsdale, but I never came across VikaVolt, though. Heck, I didn't get to see Kartana all that much as well, but it's #11. Weird.

Anyway, tfw results are out, you can't login 'cause the page is glitched, but you find your standing anyway because you made it into the top #100. :D

I did soooo much better in this competition than I did back in Battle of Alola where I ranked somewhere across the 1000s


#1 in my Country yay
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I improved considerably from the Battle of Alola - I was in the top 9% then, top 3% for the Alola Friendly. (I would feel better about these percentiles if I knew how many people were just throwing three matches for the BP.) I also noticed participation in this one was down by nearly 10,000 players.

I was also 61st in the USA.

re: Mudsdale, I'm surprised it's 29th too. It was the first Pokemon I bred, and I used it in the Battle of Alola, where ChestoRest did a lot of work in the depowered no-items metagame. It had just enough bulk to survive what would otherwise have been 2HKOs, and woe betide the poor bastard who didn't bring any Special Pokemon (or who had already lost them).

Looking at the usage stats, it seems most of these were Assault Vest, which is also pretty bulky with a respectable attack and, ah, functional coverage. It's not a bad Pokemon when you're limited to the Alola Pokedex, really.
#1 in my Country yay
I'd also be #1 in my country but since a lot of argentinians (me included) have set their region to US due to empty eShop, it's difficult to know. Especially since there are only 12 players with their region set to ARG.

Your case does looks believable, though.

cant say

grumpy and stubborn
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Battle Spot Leader

got both 9th and 10th in Aus lol. I'm gonna use flawed logic and say I got 1727 points which puts me 2nd :pimp:

I've definitely learnt that playing on two carts isn't worth it, i'll only ever boot the second one up if I drop well into the 1400s on my first one from now on.

edit: why are iphone screenshots so huge
Ended up with high 1500er rating, it´s okay for me cuz my team was originally designed for VGC17 so I have the hope that the International Challenge bring me better results.
Btw, are the japanese players so skilled or why are only Japanese at like the first 30 places?^^
I don't know who choked harder, the Falcons in the Super Bowl or me in the competition. I had 1851 points with three games left to play and ended with 1814. I had a legitimate chance for first in the world but I spent so long picking a switch that the move timer expired and I stayed in with Magnezone against Garchomp. The switch was literally just deciding what gave me a higher probability of winning factoring in crits and stuff but since I stayed in I just lost. Then I got a win against a 1501 opponent which gave me one rating point lmao and lost my last match due to getting outplayed. This was my second ever tournament so its actually a huge letdown. I ended one spot ahead of where I was last time with 8 less points. No improvement whatsoever.

Outside of my last three battles, I felt like I played really well overall, so I was happy with that. I spent a lot of time practicing with my team on Showdown so I knew damage calcs, win-cons, and matchups really well for this team. I didn't prepare very much for the Battle of Alola last time and I wanted to remedy that. I wasn't terribly happy with my team however. I felt like I had bad matchups in about 30% of all my games. This is in complete contrast to the Battle of Alola, where I felt like I had the advantageous matchup in 42/44 matches but still managed to lose 9, mostly due to my own misplays.

Anyways, for those that are interested: Here's the team

Vikavolt was literally useless. It was a last minute addition to the team because I realized that I just rolled over and died to Glalie (Specs Bug Buzz OHKOs after Sub+2 turns of lefties at +0) and checks a lot of the same things that the MVP (Magnezone, who the team was built around did) albeit, much, much worse. I never saw a single Glalie and only brought Vikavolt once, when it could 1v1 all 6 of my opponents mons.

Dragonite was taken because I didn't think people would expect the Extremespeed because Pokebank was just recently made legal. ESpeed wasn't even legal on Showdown. It also has incredible defensive synergy with Magnezone. However my set was really bad against Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Mimikyu. DNite was usually a free win if the opponent didnt have one of those three. If they did, however, I was forced into not bringing it.

Magnezone was soooooo good. I love AV Magnezone and it was easily able to shut down Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Cloyster, and Xurkitree with Hidden Power Ground. HP Ground was a pain to breed for but so worth it for catching all those Awak on the switch. I probably brought Magnezone in about 40/45 of my battles. It could even beat LO HP Ground Tapu Koko 1v1 most of the time.

Tapu Fini paired really well with Magnezone. Switching in on a counter such as A-wak and smacking the switch in for 75% of their total HP was clutch. P2 switched in a lot and GOA+Brine was a knockout against all but one (must have been specially defensive) I ran Moonblast over Taunt in the last spot because the team was sort of weak to Sub Gyarados

Celesteela rounded out my standard team (along with Fini and Magnezone) It was able to easily switch into Garchomp, as I often lead Magnezone this was a necessity, and could shut down Mimikyu with ease as well. Nothing more fun than Mimikyu lead vs Magnezone. Volt Switch as he sets up Swords Dance, tank the hit with Cele and OHKO back with Heavy Slam. Also nobody predicted the double leech seed to catch something on the switch, I went for it almost every time lol

Gastrodon was the final member and a clutch one. The prior three were great against every matchup that didnt have a fire and electric type. I could win those matchups with the first three but only if I predicted the lead correctly. Gastrodon eased that prediction. Counter and Mirror Coat allowed me to easily beat things such as Pheromosa and Xurkitree. Tail Glow Xurk would always attack immediantly after the Gastro switch fearing a ground move and Mirror Coat cleanly knocked it out. Sitrus Berry allows for consecutive Counters and Mirror Coat more easily and Scald punishes those who try and set up on Gastro. Its also chunks Kartana switch ins and has a chance to cripple them permanently. People rarely expected me to carry both Mirror Coat and Counter, and as such Gastrodon would often go 2 for 1, although generally trading 1 for 1 with Gastro would allow the other two pokemon to win the match. Really happy with how successful this custom set was. Most of the other sets too inspiration from either Smogon strategydex, Showdown opponents, or my own theorycrafting combined with Smogon recommendations. This set was completely mine though and I'm really proud of it.

Anyways, if you think you might have faced me (IGN:Simon) let me know!

Here's my rank. I'm satisfied I broke 1600 but only getting 19 battles in sucked. At least I improved.

My team I used, much better than my Battle of Alola team. Ninetales was a last second choice but she was valuable so I'm happy about my choice to use her! I read that Gengar was good and few people used ScarfChomp so I decided to use them. My IGN is Chas so let me know if I fought you!


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I've been putting off posting (or even checking) my ranking and writing up a team report for a while, as I'm very disappointed about my performance in the competition. I went 13-2 on day 1, 10-5 on day 2, and had a horrible day 3, with a mix of bad RNG and me just choking some games (I think I went 8-7). I peaked at 1734, but my poor performance on day 3 made me end at 1679. I think it all went wrong when, in the middle on my day 3 battles, I faced a guy using King's Rock Cloyster, who proceeded to flinch me 4 times in a row. Cloyster was his last Pokémon and any of my attacks would have finished it off. This battle really upset me and I proceeded to play very poorly in almost all of the following matches. Such ending made me want to just forget about the competition. But I had been planning a team report from the start, so I figured I should just get it over with and move on!

Despite the disappointing result, I really loved the team! I think it had potential for high 1700s if I had played better.

Tapu Koko was first made to take advantage of Porygon2 (which wasn't as popular as I had anticipated in the end) to setup and sweep. It was also a handy stallbreaker, but unlike other people's experiences, I haven't encountered a single person trying to stall me during the competition. I expected to use it a lot more, but in the end, I used it in maybe... 7 games? I think Tapu Koko helped me most by just being a psychological factor on team preview. Most people had prepared very well against Tapu Koko, whether it was with scarf Garchomp, Marowak or Muk. Having it on my team allowed me to predict with confidence that the opponent would bring their Koko counter, and helped me choose my own team better. That being said, the few times I brought Koko, it shone and won me games. Best example would be this game, which was against an opponent in the high 1700s : T9AG-WWWW-WWW4-VM88.

Tapu Fini was one of my MVPs for sure. The Fini-Marowak-Kartana core is simply amazing, these are probably the 3 I brought the most by far. I ran enough speed to outspeed max speed Celesteela in order to ensure the Taunt, everything else was physical bulk. Nature's Madness was both the clutchest of all moves, and the one thing that ruined my chances when it missed. Still, with 90%, it was worth running. The Wiki Berry I am now convinced is the better item for 3v3 on a bulky Fini. It can be frustrating if you are ever left with something like 26% HP, but most of the time, it went into the Berry range comfortably thanks to its really nice bulk. Fini was my main Garchomp killer, eating those EQs and Poison Jabs for breakfast.

Nihilego was built as a lone ranger. It doesn't synergize so well with anything else on the team, but it took many games all by itself. Acid Spray ensured nothing could ever stall it out (mostly P2 in mind) or setup on it, but it was mostly used to catch things on the switch and put myself in a good position. The greatest part was that I EVed it to get Speed boosts from Beast Boost, which ensured scarfed Lele couldn't revenge kill it. Nihilego was brought fairly often, and it was overall very good, but kind of hit and miss. It had several sweeps, but it was also useless a few times.

Marowak was meant to help me against Koko and Celesteela mainly. It wasn't standard, but rather a bulky Marowak, which could live an Earthquake from Garchomp and a Shadow Ball from Gengar (I didn't anticipate so see so few Gengar) 100% of the time, not to mention it could eat 2 EQs from most Celesteela. I also had enough speed to outspeed standard Marowak and most Muk (really useful, since Bonemerang did a ton of damage to Muk). Of course, this meant losing in attack power, but Marowak is powerful no matter what thanks to the Thick Club, so I feel that was absolutely worth it. Since Garchomp was the usual switch-in from my opponents, Will-O-Wisp was incredibly useful to have.

Stoutland was a later addition, but it won my heart. I experimented for a while for this slot on my team. I obviously needed something that could help me with scarf Garchomp. I tried many things, almost settled on Air Balloon Metagross, but then I randomly came across Stoutland in the list, and thought I'd try it for fun. I was pretty much convinced this would be a poor choice, but I did many, many damage calcs against all of my team's usual threats, and in theory, it seemed like Stoutland was an absolutely perfect fit. Ice Fang OHKOs Garchomp 100% of the time (well, 95% cause obviously, it can miss), while EQ is usually not even a 3HKO thanks to Intimidate and Stoutland's great bulk. Meanwhile, Kartana's Sacred Sword never KOs, even if it got a Beast Boost previously (thanks to Intimidate), while Fire Fang obviously KOs in return. Otherwise, Return does insane amounts to almost everything - around 80% to Garchomp, as an idea. It 2HKOs bulky Arcanine even after the Intimidate. Muk was a 2HKO even if the band gets knocked off and Muk has a 50% berry. The more I used it, the more I was convinced it was amazing for this metagame. As a matter of fact, I won almost every game I brought it to (and I used it a lot more than Koko). Not to be underestimated, the surprise factor was big, as my opponents rarely feared Stoutland or expected it to do much, which meant they stayed in for several situations where they should have switched out. I could talk for a while about Stoutland, since this competition made me love this Pokémon dearly, but I'll close with a pretty exciting battle replay where Stoutland was excellent against a 1783 rated opponent : SZ2W-WWWW-WWW4-VM5S. Huge thanks and shoutout to Doobzi for breeding and training Stoutland for me!

Kartana came to almost every game and was amazing, as long as the rest of the team took care of what threatens it. I invested quite a lot in bulk, since I was losing on almost no KOs by doing so, thanks to its sky-high attack. This meant it was actually a pretty good physical tank. SD + All Out Pummelling punished my opponents switching Celesteela in, as it KOed every Celesteela that wasn't Bold with full physical defense investment. It was also great against Scizor, but there weren't too many of these. It could setup easily on any Muk that didn't run Flamethrower (most didn't, but when possible, I tried scouting for it just in case). To my surprise, several people (3 if my memory serves me well) tried to setup Minimize on Kartana, clearly not aware of what Smart Strike does. The Garchomp matchup really depended on what the opponent was running, so I usually preferred Fini and Stoutland to go against it. Finally, Kartana was my dedicated Mimikyu check. Even after a SD, Mimikyu was not a very big threat to Kartana, let alone to the Kartana + Fini combo, both of which could tank its attacks. Not to mention Stoutland could get a free switch-in on predictable Shadow Sneaks and get a handy Intimidate in the process.

Other replays:
- Against Double-Duck : G4TG-WWWW-WWW4-SKCJ
- Got haxed out, but nail-biter ending : 4UMG-WWWW-WWW4-SKBZ
- Bulky Marowak + Kartana coming through : Z5VW-WWWW-WWW5-92RR
- How I handled standardish teams : 5L4W-WWWW-WWW5-92VN
- Facade Garchomp?! : 7TEG-WWWW-WWW5-93XN
- Fini + Wiki Berry = <3 Nice team from my opponent, though! : GK7G-WWWW-WWW5-935M

There is one loss I regret not saving. The opponent was using Dugtrio and Vikavolt (Mud Shot took me by surprise!), and he beat me fair and square, it was a really good battle!

In any case, it was a fun competition despite my terrible day 3, and I'm looking forward to the next one!
The PGL posted an analyse of the Alola Friendly!

Online Competitions featuring Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon continued in January with the Alola Friendly. This special tournament featured similar rules as the 2017 Video Game Championships, but with one major difference—the tournament took place using Single Battles instead of Double Battles. Just like in the Video Game Championships, Trainers were required to give each of their Pokémon a different item to hold and were allowed to use only Pokémon in the Alola Pokédex. Plus, they were also prohibited from using Mythical Pokémon and the most powerful Legendary Pokémon, including Solgaleo, Lunala, and Zygarde.

This tournament was a chance to find out what it would be like if the World Championships featured Single Battles instead of Double Battles. Some Trainers may have looked to the World Championships format for inspiration for their teams because the two formats permitted the same Pokémon. However, the difference in popular Pokémon between Championships Battle and this tournament highlights the differences in the types of Pokémon players prefer in Double Battles compared to Single Battles. For example, key supportive Pokémon from Championships Battle—including Arcanine, Porygon2, Pelipper, and Torkoal—were selected much less frequently in the Alola Friendly.

Trainers may have had more luck looking toward a different form of Rating Battle for inspiration—the first season of Single Battle Rating Battles. In fact, the only differences between the two formats were that Mega Stones and Pokémon captured through Island Scan were not permitted in the Alola Friendly as they were on the Battle Spot. Those battles were probably great preparation for many players, but the absence of Aegislash, Mega Gyarados, Mega Salamence, and other Mega-Evolved Pokémon gave the Alola Friendly a unique feel despite the similar formats that preceded it.

It’s All About Popular

Not everything was new in the Alola Friendly. The most frequently selected Pokémon in the Alola Friendly was Garchomp, one of the few Pokémon that has proven a popular choice in each Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon competition format so far. One reason Garchomp excelled was that Garchomp could execute different strategies depending on its held item. Trainers looking to quickly knock Garchomp out with a supereffective attack could be foiled by a Focus Sash, and those expecting to outpace it could be slowed down if it instead held a Choice Scarf. Items that increased Garchomp’s damage were less common, but we’d guess that Trainers who gave their Garchomp a Dragonium Z or Choice Band benefitted from their opponents preparing for different held items.

Trainers may have tried to get around Pokémon holding a Choice Scarf by using moves with increased priority, but the Psychic Terrain summoned by Tapu Lele’s Psychic Surge Ability stopped such tactics cold. Many Trainers chose to give their Choice Scarf to Tapu Lele, creating a speedy attacker that was tricky to stop. We also saw plenty of Trainers give Tapu Lele Choice Specs, Psychium Z, or Life Orb to hold—these Tapu Lele were more vulnerable to a surprise knockout because of their lower Speed, but they could dish out truly devastating Psychic-type attacks because of their items and the damage boost to Psychic-type attacks from Psychic Terrain.

The other Tapu that saw play on a huge number of teams was Tapu Koko. Much like Garchomp, Tapu Koko seems to excel in any format it is permitted in. The tactics we see most Trainers use with Tapu Koko are a little different in Single Battle competitions than in Double Battle competitions. Both U-turn and Volt Switch were among Tapu Koko’s four most common moves, enabling players to use a hit-and-run strategy. By slowly whittling down foes and escaping, the speedy Tapu Koko could set itself up to sweep through weakened enemy teams late in matches while helping its team to create advantageous type matchups.

Mimikyu was the second most commonly selected Pokémon in the Masters Division, ahead of even Tapu Lele and Tapu Koko. Almost all the Trainers who used Mimikyu in the Alola Friendly taught it Play Rough, Shadow Sneak, Swords Dance, and Shadow Claw. Most Pokémon are in danger of being knocked out while they increase their stats. But Mimikyu is special: it can mitigate some of the risk of using Swords Dance with its Disguise Ability, which absorbs the damage from the first attack targeted at Mimikyu. It can then dish out damage to a slower opponent with Play Rough or Shadow Claw, and using Shadow Sneak’s increased priority even allows Mimikyu to put some damage on a quicker opponent that might knock it out in a single blow.

Trainers are probably used to seeing most of the Pokémon that appeared near the top of the Pokémon Ranking for this event, but we’d like to draw special attention to Cloyster. It’s not an extremely popular Pokémon in most competitions, but it was a tricky opponent in the Alola Friendly. Most Cloyster knew Shell Smash, which greatly increases Cloyster’s Attack, Special Attack, and Speed while greatly lowering its Defense and Special Defense. Using Shell Smash can be a risky strategy, but Cloyster can dish out some horrifying damage with the move Icicle Spear boosted by its Skill Link Ability. Since Icicle Spear hits more than once, it could get around Garchomp’s Focus Sash and Mimikyu’s Disguise. And the increased Speed from Shell Smash could sometimes allow Cloyster to outpace Pokémon holding Choice Scarf, too.

Go Your Own Way

The Alola Friendly was no exception to this trend, with many of the top teams looking built to pull off specific strategies instead of focusing on general battling strength. Overall, the top-10 teams featured 33 different Pokémon between them, including some surprising choices such as Dugtrio, Misdreavus, Chansey, and a Silvally holding one of its signature items, Ground Memory.

Trainers also tried their hand at building teams around Eevee’s Extreme Evoboost Z-Move in the Video Game Championships, but it was on one of the top teams in the Alola Friendly where Eevee found greater success. Seeing Eevee use Baton Pass probably didn’t surprise many Trainers, but the Drifblim that knew Minimize, Substitute, and Baton Pass made it a team most Trainers would have preferred to avoid. Combined, the two Pokémon could Baton Pass some enormous stat boosts to their teammates when everything went right. Eevee’s Trainer was also one of the few who used Krookodile, a Pokémon that missed out on making the Pokémon ranking this time, despite appearing on two of the top-10 teams.

The Misdreavus that appeared in the top 10 spooked its opponents as part of a Ghost-type trio alongside Mimikyu and Marowak. Misdreavus itself brought back a tricky strategy from Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver competitive play by combining Mean Look and Perish Song, while Mimikyu and Marowak supported the team by lowering their foes’ Attack with burns from Will-O-Wisp. The team also included a Celesteela that knew Leech Seed and a Tapu Fini that knew Haze and Nature’s Madness, proving that Trainers could be successful even without the ability to dish out powerful attacks.

Another of the top teams featured a very defensive strategy, but stop us if you’ve heard this one already. You may remember one of the top teams in the Battle of Alola included the combination of Skarmory, Toxapex, and Blissey. In the Battle of Alola, the same Trainer once again finished near the top of the field, this time combining Skarmory, Toxapex, and Blissey’s previous evolution, Chansey. While none of these Pokémon are heavy hitters, they could slowly deal damage with Toxic, Toxic Spikes, and Stealth Rock while using Recover, Roost, and Soft-Boiled to stay healthy. These Pokémon were joined by a Tapu Bulu that knew both Leech Seed and Substitute, a tricky Pokémon to take down for opponents using similarly defensive teams.

Whether you prefer fast-paced battles full of quick knockouts or slower, defensive matches, we hope you enjoyed the Alola Friendly Online Competition. Stay tuned to the Pokémon Global Link for information on more Online Competitions and global missions, and check out for more Pokémon video game strategy and analysis.

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