Resource VGC Metagame Discussion

I'm going ahead and making this thread so we have a place to discuss VGC trends and cores and threats and everything else that's current in VGC.

Things I've noticed to start us off:

Drop in usage of Rain teams, Mega Charizard Y and Landorus to some extent. Haven't seen Hawlucha in a long time either.

Rise in usage of Incineroar, bulky waters, Mega Charizard X. Still seeing a lot of Shadow Tag abuse as well. Not just Perish Trap but things like Fake Tears Whimsicott support with Mega Gengar. Or Trick Room Gothitelle.
 
I think people are starting to realize Hawlucha is a bad Pokemon.

I feel like every other team on showdown is Gengar/Bulu/Kommo-o or Blaziken/Bisharp/Lax. Obviously that's the flavor of the week but it makes it hard to test against the generic meta. I need to start playing more on the battle spot.
 
I've been playing the Kommo-Bulu-Incineroar-Gengar core for like a month on Battle Spot, and it is just so good. Both Kommo and Gengar rose in usage too, looking at the Global Link data. I mean, it isn't the Zapdos-Landorus-Tyranitar-Fini-Amoongus team that is kind of like the "good stuff" at the moment, but you will see it a lot.

I struggle filling the two slot left. Raichu has been doing well against Koko and Rain teams, and will try whimsicott but whatevs, I don't really know.


Weather teams I haven't seen them as much. Char-y is still there though. Rain teams are everywhere in LATAM.

Showdown is more of a testing ground, I don't know you, but I take the Global Link data more seriously.


By the way, thanks for making the thread!
 
I've been playing the Kommo-Bulu-Incineroar-Gengar core for like a month on Battle Spot, and it is just so good. Both Kommo and Gengar rose in usage too, looking at the Global Link data. I mean, it isn't the Zapdos-Landorus-Tyranitar-Fini-Amoongus team that is kind of like the "good stuff" at the moment, but you will see it a lot.

I struggle filling the two slot left. Raichu has been doing well against Koko and Rain teams, and will try whimsicott but whatevs, I don't really know.


Weather teams I haven't seen them as much. Char-y is still there though. Rain teams are everywhere in LATAM.

Showdown is more of a testing ground, I don't know you, but I take the Global Link data more seriously.


By the way, thanks for making the thread!
I've been using this core too and it is actually good. As for the last two members, I've been using a set-up sweeper that doesn't mind fairy types and a tailwinder to help against offensive teams. Lately this has consisted of either belly drum azu or lax and zapdos. Zapdos helps against the Fini matchup and the second set-up sweeper helps against teams with 2+ Fairys that would prevent clangorous soulblaze.
 
The Kommo-O/Bulu/Gengar core can really be shut down with Trick Room if you can get it up. Fake Out Incineroar can help prevent this, as can Taunt. But you can play around that if you know what you're doing.

It's an evil core though. I'm hoping it loses popularity soon!

What's the best Zapdos set atm?
 
I think it really depends on the team. Zapdos can eithe be offensive or support or mixed. Electrium Z or Seed imo are the best, but I have seen pinch/sitrus berries sets that are a little bit annoying when missing some damage output.
 
I think it really depends on the team. Zapdos can eithe be offensive or support or mixed. Electrium Z or Seed imo are the best, but I have seen pinch/sitrus berries sets that are a little bit annoying when missing some damage output.
I think it depends on the role. If you need Zapdos to get rid of Fini, then Electrium works.

Seed is good if you expect Zap to stay in for most of the game. If you have a good way to deal with Metagross + Lando then this is probably the way to go.

If you're running a team weaker to those two then Bulky Berry is the best option, IMO. Easier to switch in and out, and you can take an ice punch, TW, and recover all your health back.
 
I think it depends on the role. If you need Zapdos to get rid of Fini, then Electrium works.

Seed is good if you expect Zap to stay in for most of the game. If you have a good way to deal with Metagross + Lando then this is probably the way to go.

If you're running a team weaker to those two then Bulky Berry is the best option, IMO. Easier to switch in and out, and you can take an ice punch, TW, and recover all your health back.
I always run seed. It makes zapdos literally invincible. I've seen it take z moves and hang on by a sliver, which of course really gets those salt mines running
 
To continue talking

Overall speaking, do you think the metagame is setting or is it still volatile ?

Which Pokemon are you having trouble dealing with at the moment?

Which do you think is the Big Six of this Meta?
 
To continue talking

Overall speaking, do you think the metagame is setting or is it still volatile ?

Which Pokemon are you having trouble dealing with at the moment?

Which do you think is the Big Six of this Meta?
I do feel like it's started to settle a little bit although it still feels relatively volatile; I feel like there are a lot of things that could still pop up and work really well. As a result I don't really think there's a big 6 of this meta as no one core feels as dominating as big 6 did in 2016. I would have told you that Edu's Metagross/Fini/Lando/Zapdos/Amoonguss/Tyranitar team was closest to a 'big 6' team (and saying that is a huge stretch) earlier but Intimidate Incineroar has a favorable match up against those 6 and has affected the meta somewhat, I'm not seeing those 6 anywhere close as much as I did before Intimidate Incineroar was released.
 
Cross-posting from the Hidden Ability thread, which alternatives to Landorus we have as ground types? We have Swampert as a physical, Gastrodon as a special, with Nidoking as a bit of both.

But what other, with attention to the SpA spectrum, do we have? People have been using Scarfed Landorus-T as special
 
I've stumbled across a new core that's really been working well for me. It uses the underappreciated Hydreigon. I know it previously had use in the Tapu Lele / Mega Metagross / Hydreigon core as it checked Aegislash and Cresselia and formed the Dragon/Fairy/Steel combo. But my core is different. It's more a Dragon/Dark/Ghost/Poison/Fairy/Water core :p

I realised while playtesting for the Kalos Classic that Mega Gengar and Hydreigon are perfect partners. The combination is crazy. Hydreigon is immune to Ground and Psychic and resists Dark and Ghost. That covers literally every Gengar weakness. Then in return Gengar resists Fairy and Bug and is immune to Fighting, which covers 3 of Hydreigon's weaknesses. The only thing left to cover is the Ice and Dragon weaknesses, which is where the last part of the core comes into it.

Tapu Fini resists Ice and is immune to Dragon, and provides status protection and terrain control. Its weaknesses of Poison, Electric and Grass are all covered by Gengar and Hydreigon.

I have found the Mega Gengar, Hydreigon and Tapu Fini core really fun to use. I currently run Choice Scarf and Wiki Berry on the latter 2 respectively. Still finalizing the Hydreigon moveset because it has so many great options (Fire Blast, Heat Wave, Flash Cannon, U-Turn, Draco Meteor, Dark Pulse, Earth Power). I know Darkinium Z is the standard Hydreigon item, but I hate being outsped by things and Scarf can surprise people (though Hydreigon could benefit from Trick Room or Icy Wind support instead).

I usually run the 3 with Incineroar or another supporter like Celesteela, Hitmontop or Clefable. The core is all special attackers, so you need backup physical options on the team in case you hit a special wall or Chansey

It's worth noting that Heatran and Celesteela make great replacements for Tapu Fini in this core because they resist Ice and Dragon as well. Though Heatran would risk double Ground and Fighting weaknesses in the core which is not as desirable.
 
Ah I see. It’s basically old school VCG Aerodactyl but they’ve replaced the Focus Sash with a Mega Stone and Taunt/Wide Guard with Protect. I kinda feel like people were just not prepared for it and that’s why it did so well. It’s a fast Tailwind setter but it’s nothing ground breaking, and it’s not even the best Tailwind setter. Cool to see it used though.
 
Interesting to see on day 1 of Melbourne Regionals that Nihilego was in both the first and second placed team :)
 
Ah I see. It’s basically old school VCG Aerodactyl but they’ve replaced the Focus Sash with a Mega Stone and Taunt/Wide Guard with Protect. I kinda feel like people were just not prepared for it and that’s why it did so well. It’s a fast Tailwind setter but it’s nothing ground breaking, and it’s not even the best Tailwind setter. Cool to see it used though.
What I noticed when playing it on ladder was that having a base 150 speed firing off rock slides is super annoying for the opponent. You outspeed most of the meta game and have about a 48% chance to flinch at least one Pokémon (if you factor in the chances of Rock Slide missing, and 60% if you assume Rock Slide always hits both Pokémon) all in all, a kind of mediocre Pokémon in my opinion but it definitely serves a niche and does it well too.
 

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The new CHALK team is really picking up in popularity and success. Kang / Cress / Lando-T / Heatran / Fini / Kartana. It's strange how this is largely due to the addition of a very bulky AV Kartana.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the EV benchmarks achieve on Kang and Kartana?

Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 212 Atk / 4 Def / 236 SpD / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Return
- Low Kick
- Sucker Punch


Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 180 HP / 68 Atk / 12 Def / 244 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off
- Smart Strike
 
Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the EV benchmarks achieve on Kang and Kartana?

Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 212 Atk / 4 Def / 236 SpD / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Return
- Low Kick
- Sucker Punch


Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 180 HP / 68 Atk / 12 Def / 244 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off
- Smart Strike
Paul Chua's team report. He links to some Japanese sources where he got the team from which go into more detail about the EVs, but here's what he mentioned in his report about them:

The Speed EVs allow this Kangaskhan to outspeed Bisharp and other Pokémon in that speed tier by 1 point. Return was chosen because the recoil from Double Edge leads to Kangaskhan being easier to knock out. I believe the strongest parts about Kangaskhan are its bulk and the amount of pressure it can exert using Fake Out and Sucker Punch.

Here are two important calculations on the EV spread on what attacks it can survive.

252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 36 HP / 236 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Electric Terrain: 145-172 (78.3 - 92.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Ludicolo Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 36 HP / 236 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Rain: 163-193 (88.1 - 104.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
The Kartana's original team report doesn't have an explanation of it's evs but Brian Youm ran a similar set with slightly more speed.
 

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