PokeMelbourne Grassroots | 5/02/17
1. Christopher Kan
2. Matthew Roe (@RoeyVGC)
3. Tim Leach
4. Sam Pandelis (@ZeldaVGC)
8. Luke Iuele*
8. Jay Gorman*
8. Cameron Dimond*
8. Meaghan Rattle (@AvengedWerehog)*
*positions below top 4 unavailable
PokeAdelaide Grassroots | 12/02/17
1. Ben Madigan
2. Joshua Ware (@UmbroScizCore)
3. Jason Sardinha
4. Matthew Borg (@DarkMalice_)
VGC17 GG Cannington Premier Challenge (WA) | 12/02/17
1. Alex Poole (@Triceratops5X)
2. Mitch Bray
3. Kyle Booth
4. Gabriel Voon (@WoomyVGC)
5. Blake Moretti
6. Benjamin O’Neill
7. Shaun Sewell
8. Zac Corrigan
The usage of Island Guardians has changed quite drastically over the past few weeks. In previous weeks, Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele were the most common ones in Top Cut, just shy of 40% usage across all States. Whilst Tapu Lele rose slightly, Tapu Koko experienced a huge drop in usage, halving its overall usage since the previous week. With the Arcanine, Tapu Fini and Kartana archetype (AFK) continuing to grow in usage, many players may have opted against the seemingly outdated Tapu Koko teams we have seen in previous weeks. Alongside this, Choice Scarf Garchomp has also risen in usage. With PokeMelbourne being a Best-Of-One event, Tapu Koko users may have been struck with a surprise KO on their Tapu Koko, knocking them out of contention for Top Cut.
Tapu Fini did the reverse of Tapu Koko, doubling in usage since the previous week. Tapu Fini offers Misty Terrain, giving it a solid neutral game and more often than not allows for the stronger player to win in situations which may be more RNG dependent. These include Blizzard Ninetails and Toxic Stall teams, both of which can be extremely annoying and allow for a potentially weaker player to win with the aid of RNG. This opportunity to reduce the impact of RNG is welcomed in VGC17, especially given the RNG dependence of VGC16.
One major thing to note is the increased diversity this week. Of the 34 Pokemon used across all three events, over 50% were only used once. The staple Pokemon in Arcanine, Garchomp, the Island Guardians, Muk, Porygon2 and Kartana still had high usage, however their partners varied greatly. This is definitely a welcome change for some players, as the diversity is refreshing. On the other side of the coin, players can see the task of adequately preparing for so many Pokemon as impossible. Losing to very specific match-ups is not uncommon especially when played at a higher level.
Hail is easily the most common weather, with both Ninetails and Vanilluxe seeing good usage. Ninetails has actually risen in usage recently, potentially due to Aaron Zheng’s recent successes with the Pokemon in the Melbourne Challenge. To cover Ninetails, Gigalith is an extremely solid choice. Sand Stream removes the Hail and prevents Ninetales from setting up Aurora Veil, as well as breaking Ninetails’ Focus Sash. Gigalith’s low speed also makes it strong against opposing Trick Room. Rain and Sun sit very consistently at around 5%, similar to all of the previous weeks in January.
Into the Future
Given the lack of major global events, no real major metagame changes have been present. Currently, players around the world are still experimenting with counters for AFK archetypes which will still boast a strong match-up against opposing Trick Room teams. With the Oceanic International Championship less than a month away, many players may test different teams at a Premier Challenge level for good Best of 3 practice. As of recent, many players who are continually making Top Cut at our events have been using varying team archetypes.
For these reasons, predicting what the future holds proves a challenge. What we can predict is that this diversity in Top Cut will continue until after the Oceanic International Championship for certain.
Special thanks to Matthew Roe (results), Ed Trinh (results), Gabriel Voon (results) for helping bring this article together.