Battle Spot and You August: Pikachu Tournamentchu

By Antemortem. Art by Faxxifer.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »

Background and Rules

Pikachu Tournamentchu was a Japanese tournament held in August to commemorate the "Pikachu Outbreak" event in Japan. The tier restricted Pokémon usage to only Pokémon that can evolve but have not evolved. This resembles Middle Cup, as fully evolved Pokémon are banned but middle stages and Little Cup Pokémon were allowed and oftentimes encouraged or highly used Pokémon. Some of them even earned themselves the title of "threat" within the tier. Additionally, only Pokémon that can be found in the three Kalos dexes could be used on teams. Finally, only one of every particular item could be used, and Eviolite is banned.

Common Usage and Threats

Pikachu Tournamentchu was a rare case in which the battles were in Triples format, so a lot of the conventional tactics used in Singles weren't quite as practical. Some procedures carry over from Doubles as the concept of the two formats is similar, but there's still a different degree of planning and strategy to Triples than Doubles.

As far as Pokémon choices go, the Kalos dex restriction was a godsend for those afraid of the likes of Dusclops and Porygon2, which would otherwise be incredibly difficult threats to waste. In fact, it wrote off a good chunk of nightmarishly bulky or heavily offensive threats, including Chansey; however, some still hung on tight, such as Rhydon, Scyther, Magneton, and Doublade. These threats comprised the core of the tier and created a certain sense of centralization since most teams won't be well off without coverage for most, if not all, of them.


Rhydon was arguably one of the most dangerous threats, as it boasts the second highest BST in the tier at 485, which includes a monstrous base 130 Attack and high physically defensive bulk in 105/120. The primary ability used, Lightningrod, was also useful at redirecting Electric-type attacks, likely originating from Pikachu or Magneton, rendering them useless. Rhydon often found itself utilizing its STAB Rock Slide while in the middle spot, the place that allows Rock Slide to hit all three Pokémon on the opposite side of the field. When backed by Life Orb or Choice Band, Rhydon cleared fields in seconds. Earthquake was another popular move for Rhydon, though team support in the form of Levitate, Protect, and Air Balloon users was highly advised to prevent it from sweeping one's own team as well.


Simply put, Scyther was frightening. Its base 105 Speed granted it a quick and guaranteed setup of a Tailwind, second only to that of Gale Wings Fletchling/Fletchinder. In conjunction with Protect or Fake Out users, Scyther's team gained doubled Speed with little to no effort, and Scyther's base 110 Attack and access to Swords Dance spelled destruction for most teams. Scyther's main downside is a lack of reliable STAB moves, with its strongest being the 80 base power X-Scissor, but it does get access to Knock Off, and a +2 Knock Off from Scyther on something holding an item is more than likely an OHKO. Backed by Tailwind, nothing was safe.


Magneton was a decent threat even without Eviolite due to its base 120 Special Attack. Thankfully, its average 50/60/70 defenses doesn't leave it as a complete glass cannon thanks to its Steel typing giving it a plethora of resistances and immunities, though it is left with a glaring 4x weakness to a very common move in Triples, Earthquake. Magneton usually found itself using a Choice Scarf on teams that focus on Speed without the use of Tailwind and were wanting to sweep as quickly as possible. Alternatively, Magneton could also greatly benefit from Tailwind support, and a Life Orb would let it 2HKO, if not OHKO, essentially everything in the tier bar maybe Eviolite Porygon and Pikachu, though the latter would only survive at most a few Flash Cannons before being taken down and can do very little to react aside from Knock Off and Brick Break, and the former is only greatly effective once.


Doublade was very niche, and fortunately for it, Triples finds itself providing leeway for a commendable performance from Doublade. It gets access to a move crucial in the format known as Wide Guard, which protects allies from attacks that strike multiple opponents at once, such as Surf, Rock Slide, and Hyper Voice. On top of that, it gets boosting moves such as Swords Dance and Autotomize, both of which allow Doublade to, with proper support from allies, punch holes in teams. Offensively, it can work with priority STAB Shadow Sneak, Iron Head, Sacred Sword, and most other moves that make its evolution so terrifying in the higher tiers. On the downside, its subpar base 59 HP and base 49 Special Defense leave it susceptible to special attacking threats within the tier such as Haunter. It also lacks King's Shield as a means of strategically lowering the opponent's Attack. Thankfully, it makes up for this in its monstrous base 150 Defense.


The use of Pikachu was one of the requirements of the tier, despite not being all that great of a Pokémon. However, it does pride itself on being somewhat flexible. Most sane battlers would tack a Light Ball onto it straight away, as that's what gives Pikachu the biggest overall boost. Pikachu has access to many useful attacks at its disposal especially suited to the Triples environment. Fake Out could be used in conjunction with other Fake Out users such as Sneasel to gain momentum in the opening turns of battles. Knock Off, as always, was a crucial move that can change the tide of a game. Helping Hand, and a powerful STAB Volt Tackle, helped to rack up damage against the opposition. Pikachu also has the ability Lightningrod, enabling it to aid in sapping Electric-type attacks away from the likes of Fletchinder, Wartortle, and Marill.

There were various other threats present in the tier; anything that could reliably set up Tailwind, such as Fletchinder and Murkrow, which both have priority Tailwinds at their disposal, was very useful. They could set up as a round began, leaving their partners to simply Protect against incoming attacks. Other notable threats included Dragonair, Frogadier, and Piloswine, all of which were incredible offensive presences due to their raw power and, in the case of Dragonair, the ability to set up and recover without worry of status.

Wrapping Up

That's about all you need to know about Pikachu Tournamentchu. One wouldn't go so far as to call it a metagame, especially since its time in the limelight has come and gone. It was a Battle Spot tournament after all, of which there's a new one every month. However it was an incredibly fun and fast-paced environment, each player doing all in their power to prove their Pikachu was more electrifying than the rest.

« Previous Article Home Next Article »