Wednesday, 11 January 2017

You Used Ditto and Sneasel?! A Liverpool Regionals Top 8 Team Report


Hello all, Daniel Oztekin here! Today is 14th November 2016; the VGC 2016 format is wrapping up with the last European regional coming up this weekend and twitter is rife with Pokémon Sun and Moon leaks. Instead of writing up a report on my success at the Liverpool Regional during the weekend 5th and 6th November, I have been spending far more attention absorbing information from the Sun & Moon data-mine, preparing team ideas for the European International Challenge. It's difficult to motivate myself to write up a report that at this point is completely useless to everyone, but I thought it would be a fun read, considering my wacky choices:

A Prologue Before going further, I haven't really wrote much up in terms of blogs since my UK Nationals Team Report. Instead, I've been spending too much time sh**posting on my twitter account. If you enjoy Pokémon and don't mind all the weeb trash and pictures I post of Felix, feel free to check out my twitter account at Most the time, I post Pokemon-related stuff though, and I like to keep up to date with the meta, so it could be useful to you!

Since UK Nationals, I attended The Pokémon World Championship and had the time of my life. My team if you're interested was Groudon / Xerneas / Kangaskhan / Whimsicott / Cresselia / Scrafty, with Scrafty unfortunately being dead weight for the whole tournament. Despite finishing with a result of 5-3 and getting knocked out in round 7, just being in America for my first time was incredible, especially San Francisco, one of the most gorgeous (and money guzzling) cities in the world. Meeting so many American & international players that I had spoken to online, and the amazing times I had with team UK out there, and just going around the city, seeing the sights and walking along the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman's Wharf, made the most amazing experience.

Team building Process (Scroll down to team summary if you find this stuff boring)

Going into Liverpool, in all honesty I really wanted to enjoy myself. I wasn't going to pay a €35.00 entry fee and accommodation costs just to possibly get knocked out using boring stuff, so I started experimenting and looking into cool options I had that would let me auto-pilot on the day.

Kangaskhan and Whimsicott became my favourite lead of the format after months of Giovanni Costa trying to convince me to use it with how consistent of a lead it was. Whilst I did use Kyogre in Liverpool, Groudon is my love of the format. Groudon is a terrifying to face in trick room and gravity, and can be just as scary in tailwind, so had to be the next member. And so I had my first 3 team members...

With the mindset I had going into this tournament, I did want to find something pretty cool to use, and Miahruh introduced me to Ditto! He altered his Battle Spot team for the post-worlds meta-game (You can find his pre-worlds team report here) by replacing Salamence on his team with Assault Vest Ditto. This was mainly to assist versus the Wolfe team, as it could copy Raichu and it's lighningrod, Rayquaza and Kyogre, tank hits effectively and provide bulky fake out support, whilst being useful in other matchups: Miah preferred Assault Vest, this was largely because Ditto wasn't necessary for his XernDon matchups. Most times, he would bring his Bronzong mode to that team.

Instead of Assault Vest, back in May I had concluded that Life Orb would be the best item on Ditto (Inspired by Jamie Miller) based on the fact that you can control a Geomancy Xerneas, Primal Groudon or Mega Pokemon holding a Life Orb. The damage output they have is crazy! You could Copy Primal Groudon and one shot any Groudon in return, no matter their bulk, thanks to the Life Orb bulk. Fire off Life Orb Boosted Eruptions/Water Spouts. Copy Xerneas and deal ~60-70% with Moonblast back, which in combination of Kangaskhan's -1 Double Edge dealing ~40-60% would always knock it out. Actually knock out opposing Kangaskhan with Dazzling gleam. Coming off Modest 68 SpA Dazzling gleam, this had a 75% chance to knock out 4HP Kangaskhan. Copy Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Salamence, dealing immense damage. Copy Raichu and Hitmontop, stealing their Lighting Rod and Intimidate for your own use. And the list goes on.

Each game I would always attempt to copy Groudon or Xeneas with priority over anything else, but my item choice meant I could copy almost anything. During the day I copied: Groudon, Xerneas, Kangaskhan, Salamence, Mega Gengar, Talonflame, Jumpluff, Scrafty, Cresselia, Weavile, my own Groudon and Hitmontop.

A note on how I played with Ditto: Positioning Ditto in front of Xerneas/Groudon can be extremely awkward, thanks to a 50:50 of the leads sent out. Each set, I would lead Whimsicott and Kangaskhan game 1, following this up with a Kangaskhan and Whimsicott lead game 2. This would usually get around players trying to outguess me, without me having to waste time thinking about it. A note on other items I considered:

 Assault Vest: Greatly increases Ditto's bulk but limits ability to copy support Pokemon and use of Protect.

Choice Scarf: Even more limiting than Assault Vest. Ability to win every speed tie is nice, but makes Ditto completely useless versus Trick Room.

Red Card: Personally I find this item a bit gimmicky, and makes controlling the flow of the game difficult, and limits you to mainly copying Xerneas.

Quick Claw: Is generally a sub-par item, and is accepting you will have to go for speed ties.

Focus Sash: Was good early meta during Timid Groudon's rein, but not so much anymore.

Next up, I had to improve my match up versus non-Xerneas teams with my restricted choice. And the Pokemon of choice which I am very familiar is: Having used Tailwind Yveltal to compete in UK Nationals, it gave me a restricted Pokemon that favoured my Dual Primal and RayOgre matchups that had a lot of supportive moves at it's hand, as well as a good damage output. I decided to stray for the norm and build a fast, extremely bulky set with no offence, with a focus on Tailwind and Snarl support. Foul Play gave me a respectable damage choice, especially as I wasn't running any intimidate users, and made this guy a real pain for non-Xerneas players do deal with.

From here, I was actually pretty comfortable playing with just the 5 Pokemon on my team. I fiddled around with and finalised all 5 Pokemon on my team before choosing my 6th. My game plan was always to either lead Kangaskhan + Whimsicott or Kangaskhan + Yveltal, with Groudon and Ditto in the back, and I think that I succeeded in making this team work reasonable here. My team wasn't exactly the most solid, but if worst came to worst, I could always risk the speed tie or swagger the opponent. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that, but using Swagger + the Ditto speed tie often gives me a 73% chance to win the game, so in using my frankly lazy game plan, I could still come out on top.

So I played around with stuff and decided it needed some memes: Weeks before Regionals, I faced Lee Provost who was using an unusually bulky Assault Vest Weavile that could live a -1 Power Up Punch from Kangaskhan, and that made me think, hey I can do some fun stuff with this. And so I removed all of my Weaviles attack, decided to slap Foul Play on for damage output next to Yveltal, and ran Snarl/Icy Wind/Fake out to make my team crazy-bulky on the Special Defence side, and grant me an extra form of speed control, whilst scaring Bronzong and Cresselia away from team preview (Everyone on seeing it on preview had no idea what it was for). And then I made a revelation: What if I replace Assault Vest Weavile with Eviolite Sneasel? I checked my calcs, and unfortunately Sneasel had a little less bulk that Weavile. However, Sneasel has access to Inner Focus, making it a random tech choice that probably would never be (and definitely still isn't) viable. And whilst I should have really took more time to weigh my choice, using a meme like Sneasel was way too tempting and so finalised my team.

Team members

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50 EVs: 28 HP / 180 Atk / 44 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Power-Up Punch
- Double-Edge
- Sucker Punch

My own spread for the season. It lives Low Kick from Jolly Kangaskhan 90% of the time, which I was happy with. I also optimised the attack stat in line with Parental Bond, Power Up Punch, and Intimidate. Other than that, nothing special. I kept this spread since April, and as I was so familiar with it never updated since.

Whimsicott @ Focus Sash Ability:
Prankster Level: 50 EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk
- Safeguard
- Swagger
- Tailwind
- Moonblast

The mostly standard set, the Whimsicott I brought to worlds had Encore which was very handy. However in many cases, Whimsicott would be able to emit the same pressure on team preview anyway, so I replaced it with Swagger in order to use SafeSwag. Safe Swag was VERY important to this team's success. With Kangaskhan and Whimsicott out with Ditto in the back, I needed to make sure that I had control of the game, and always be the one with board control. Turning Kangaskhan into a single target nuke forced opponents to either get swept by my Kangaskhan, or knock it out, giving my Ditto a free switch in to copy their Xerneas or Groudon. It also gave me a decent game-plan versus trick room teams when I failed to bring Yveltal and Sneasel: As the opponent was setting up Trick Room, this could give me free reign to set up Safeguard, and start swagging up in trick room, resulting in punishing the opponent with a very boosted Kang.

 I could also Swagger their Groudon in Trick Room and switch my Ditto in as they knocked out my Pokemon, giving me a 73% chance to win the game. Tailwind was necessary in the speed control war. As Xerneas sets up Geomancy, I set up Tailwind, and win on speed control. Letting Xerneas set up is very risk free due to Ditto being in the back.

Against Xerneas and Smeargle leads, Kangaskhan and Whimsicott is a pretty much guaranteed win, especially as a Power up Punch from Kangaskhan one turn can be followed up by Moonblast the next turn, making Follow Me useless versus my lead (With exception of Evasion Moody Boosts)
Moonblast was a reliable for of damage output. Very important for chipping opposing Groudon and Pokemon in KO range of my own Groudon's Precipice Blades. I also one shot 3 Salamence on the Day, thanks to the Xerneas on their side of the field boosting it with Fairy Aura.

Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Level: 50 EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe Jolly Nature
- Precipice Blades
- Fire Punch
- Rock Slide
- Protect

In order to capitalise on the nature of my team, I felt that Jolly Groudon was necessary. Moonblast chip + Precipice Blades would take out most Groudon builds. Fire Punch is necessary and Rock Slide grants coverage (mainly versus Salamence & Talonflame). At times that I did not want to risk speed ties, I could Swagger up my own Groudon and proceed to sweep, even outside of tailwind thanks to it's Jolly Nature.

Ditto @ Life Orb
Ability: Imposter
Level: 50 EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Transform

Fun fact: I didn't realise until the day, but I didn't have the correct Hidden Power on my Ditto! On the day I quickly looked around for and traded a Hidden Power Ice Ditto from my friends at the venue. Unfortunately as a result, the happiness of the Ditto was rock bottom, and despite feeding it some friendship berries and giving it a massage, I tested a copied return and it was around base 60 Return. Woops. Luckily, I scouted for Double Edge and Return Kangaskhan and it never came into play. Minimum speed is optimal to transform after an opponent intimidates Ditto. I maxed bulk for when Ditto didn't have a target to copy, which actually did come into play on the day, allowing me to transform into my own Groudon!

Yveltal @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Dark Aura
Level: 50 EVs: 180 HP / 84 Def / 4 SpA / 52 SpD / 188 Spe
Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk
- Snarl
- Foul Play
- Tailwind
- Protect

A very supportive set, with this Yveltal my goal was to focus on Snarl + Tailwind support, in effect to replace Whimsicott in the Dual Primal and RayOgre match-ups. I hit 157 speed which out-speeds the Primals and Non-Mega Kangaskhan, and just decided to balance the Defences exactly 50:50, perfectly optimising the calcs. I didn't need to use any offensive investment, as I could rely on Foul Play to chunk opponents, with Snarl doing decent chip damage to put opponents in Precipice Blades KO range.

Sneasel @ Eviolite
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50 EVs: 236 HP / 20 Def / 4 SpA / 100 SpD / 148 Spe Timid Nature
 - Fake Out
- Foul Play
- Icy Wind
- Snarl

252 Atk Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 236 HP / 20 Def Eviolite Sneasel: 135-159 (84.3 - 99.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

 -1 76+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (144 BP) vs. 236 HP / 100 SpD Eviolite Sneasel in Heavy Rain: 87-103 (54.3 - 64.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

 -2 76+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (139 BP) vs. 236 HP / 100 SpD Eviolite Sneasel in Heavy Rain: 64-76 (40 - 47.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Here's the bulky Sneasel I ran. the aim was to speed creep the Wolfe's Raichu by 1 point (Hitting 169 speed), live non-Life Orb Dragon Ascent and then shove the rest of the EV's into Special Defence to live Kyogre's attacks. As I would be leading Yveltal + Sneasel, I would be getting off many snarls, enabling it to easily eat up attacks.

The above calcs are examples showing Sneasel's Snarl's with minimum damage rolls, but it would be partnered with Yveltal which has a stronger snarl. It was very fun, and although it only came to 3 games in the end as the majority of opponents were using Xerneas, I won all 3 games I brought it to.


Hope you enjoyed my fun little team! It was so much fun to play at the last Regional of the season, and I'm glad that I finished it off with this team. In honesty, it was a really lazy team, where once I learnt how to use ditto I basically spammed the Kangaskhan/Whimsicott/Groudon/Ditto lead. But still, I'm now entering the next season with 122 out of 500 Championship Points, ready to take on the world in the European International Challenge. Also shoutouts to Jamie Boyt to completely overshadowing me by winning the regional with Cottonee, his team report can be found here!

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