2016 Pokémon VGC Regionals – Melbourne: Analysis and Usage Stats

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Over 300 trainers descended on the Collingwood Town Hall on Sunday May 29th for the Melbourne Regional Championships, with 185 of them being in the Masters age group. Masters played 8 best-of-one Swiss rounds, with the top cut of 8 playing best-of-three sets.

A stream was run from round 6 onwards, set up and hosted at twitch.tv/dyoshiitv by Brad J and commentated by Matthew Roe (@RoeyVGC) and Bailey Owen (@BargensVGC). We thank Brad for his help getting the stream set up, as well as Nintendo Australia for allowing us to provide commentated coverage. Top Cut coverage begins at 02:16:00 with a top 8 set. Top 4 coverage begins at 02:58:00, and the coverage of the masters final begins at 04:00:00.

Emma Williams led the charge for the female player base by going undefeated in swiss rounds. Unfortunately, she fell in the top 8 after losing a crucial speed tie. Nihal Noor took out the top cut after finishing 7-1 in Swiss, defeating James Farrugia in the Final after squeaking through a very close set against Perth boy Alex Poole in the semifinal. We were fortunate to watch game three of the other semi final on the big screen and on the stream, where an Yveltal vs Yveltal matchup went down to the wire. Nihal’s win is a reward for a very consistent season from an experienced player, while the rest of the top cut saw a good mix of veterans from previous seasons finding form, and some lesser known players having breakout performances.

In the Junior Division, Nick Kan was victorious again, sealing a perfect set of three Regional results to put him in a commanding position for another paid invitation to the World Championships. We are unsure of the senior results at the moment; anyone with information should contact PokeAus through Twitter or Facebook.

Top Cut Teams

1. Nihal Noor (@UchihaX96)
Salamence / Smeargle / Xerneas / Groudon / Thundurus-I / Kangaskhan

2. James Farrugia (@faybzplays)
Yveltal / Groudon / Talonflame / Kangaskhan / Milotic / Amoonguss

3. Aviel Lee 
Jumpluff / Groudon / Thundurus-I / Mawile / Kangaskhan / Yveltal

4. Alex Poole (@thatalexkid5)
Thundurus-I / Salamence / Groudon / Xerneas / Smeargle / Talonflame

5. Emma Williams (@CobalteVGC)
Yveltal / Groudon / Talonflame / Kangaskhan / Smeargle / Thundurus-I

6. Tim Walsh (@2Girls1Muk)
Groudon / Kyurem-W / Smeargle / Kangaskhan / Machamp / Meowstic

7. James Katsaros
Kangaskhan / Smeargle / Thundurus-I / Xerneas / Talonflame / Groudon

8. Bryan Freeman (@BryanChaos3)
Kangaskhan / Thundurus-I / Xerneas / Groudon / Smeargle / Talonflame

 

Top Cut Usage Data and Analysis

8 – Groudon

7 – Kangaskhan

6 – Thundurus-Incarnate, Smeargle

5 – Talonflame

4 – Xerneas

3 – Yveltal

2 – Salamence

1 – Jumpluff, Meowstic, Machamp, Kyurem-White, Milotic, Mawile, Amoonguss

Analysis

Despite the cold and wet weather in Victoria this week, every single top cut team featured Groudon as one of their restricted options. In general players seemed more settled around a concentrated group of five Pokémon, with 7 Kangaskhans, 6 Thundurus-I, 6 Smeargles and 5 Talonflames also featuring in top cut. While these Pokémon have been common throughout the 2016 season, these figures represent sharp increases from previous Regional Championships.

There were some other notable choices for the second restricted legendary Pokémon in Melbourne’s top cut, with Xerneas still the most common partner for Groudon. The biggest surprise was that Kyogre, which has seen solid use over the past month, was nowhere to be seen, and neither were its common partners, Dialga, and Rayquaza. In Kyogre’s place, after a number of previews mentioned its growing popularity overseas for no Regional results, it seems that Yveltal usage has caught on in Australia, with the Y shaped bird featuring on three top cut teams, including one team that reached the final. Kyurem-White was the other choice for restricted legend to pair with Groudon.

Thundurus-Incarnate has been a regular in Regional top cuts this year, and enjoyed even greater success here in Melbourne, leaping up to a massive six appearances in top cut. Although it finds going hard against Groudon without resorting to Hidden Power Water, Thundurus’ utility with its Prankster ability is clearly being appreciated more as the season progresses. Its ability to shut down opposing set ups with Taunt, and to paralyze fast offensive threats with Thunder Wave means that bringing Thundurus can help trainers perform more consistently against a variety of matchups. Trainers in top cut that brought Thundurus often used the ‘Big 5’ Groudon+Xerneas archetype, although they couldn’t settle on which unrestricted Pokémon from the ‘Big 6’ archetype to swap out for Thundurus.

With only one Regional Championship left in Australia, it will be difficult to tell whether the top cut results represent a minor blip for Kyogre, or a true pointer towards what should be expected to perform well at Nationals. Only time will tell, but Kyogre’s power should see it remain a strong option for many trainers throughout the rest of the format.

After being mentioned in the preview, Jumpluff had its time to shine in reaching the top cut, and while no Gourgeist made the top cut, we did see an Amoonguss there. Other Pokémon enjoying a rare appearance in 2016 top cuts included a Milotic and Machamp.

Huge thanks to our guys for attending the event and obtaining team information. Well done to everyone who competed, and congratulations to the finalists and winners. The next and final stop on the Regionals calendar will be Perth on Sunday 5th June, with registration starting at 9am, so stay tuned for the preview for that which is due out later this week.

About Stacey

Owner of this website, and control freak. Stacey formats PokeAus articles, and deals with back-end maintenance. Her aim this year is to collect data and write up usage stat articles for both the TCG and VGC community to enjoy.
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