Team Critique - VGC 18 Mega Meta trouble.

Discussion in 'Question & Answer' started by HardChibi, Dec 15, 2017.

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  1. HardChibi

    HardChibi New Member

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    Hi, I recently made a team for VGC '18 and was hoping if someone could look at my team, give constructive criticism of it and maybe give me some suggestions and/or recommendations.
    I started playing VGC since VGC '15 (well only Showdown and Battle Spots) and after the new format was announced I immediately knew which Pokemon I wanted to focus on for my team, the Pokemon being Mega Metagross. I played quite a bit with Mega Metagross back in '15 and with the new speed mega mechanic in generation 7 I felt that Mega Metagross will be very strong. So, this was the team I came up with:



    Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
    Ability: Clear Body
    Level: 50
    EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Ice Punch
    - Iron Head
    - Zen Headbutt
    - Protect
    Metagross is a strong Pokemon with access to Tough Claws and a 178 max speed it can hit hard and fast. Both STAB Iron Head( was chosen over Meteor Mash because of the accuracy) and Zen Headbutt hit very hard, while Ice Punch was chosen instead of Bullet Punch and Stomping Terrain mainly because I wanted to KO Landorus easily (I find the ability to KO any non scarf Landorus before it fires at you very important, more important than priority or ground coverage, and if Landorus is scarfed, Metagross can easily tank one Earthquake and then fire back) and I didn't feel like I needed a ground cover move or a priority move on Metagross. Meta's natural bulk made me not go for much defensive investment and just power and speed instead. However, I do not quite exactly remember why I gave it 12HP/4Def/4Sp.Def, I do remember one of the Def or Sp.Def EVs were because the extra 4 EV won't improve his attack stat and so it went to one of those. I think it is to survive a Mega Charizard Y Heatwave without the sun.
    252 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Mega Metagross: 132-156 (84 - 99.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


    Landorus-Therian @ Choice Band
    Ability: Intimidate
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Adamant Nature
    - Earthquake
    - Rock Slide
    - Superpower
    - U-turn

    Next up is our good buddy Landorus-Therian. The face of VGC is back again and we can't have a team without him and rightfully so, he is just that strong. I went with Choice Band cause I felt that I need more power and paired with my next Pokemon, Tailwind Zapdos, Landorus and Zapdos can alone win matches with the strong attack output. Rock Slide and Earthquake are pretty obvious, U-Turn is for switching out, escape from bad matchups and shuffle Intimidates and Superpower is a nice coverage move to hit Kangaskhan, air balloon Heatran, etc. Didn't feel like Knock off would be better than those two moves.


    Zapdos @ Electrium Z
    Ability: Pressure
    Level: 50
    EVs: 76 HP / 252 SpA / 180 Spe
    Timid Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk
    - Heat Wave
    - Protect
    - Tailwind
    - Thunderbolt

    As referenced in my previous paragraph, I felt that Tailwind Zapdos will be a great asset to my team. Zapdos has great synergy with Landorus and is arguably one of the best Pokemons in the format now with access to speed control in Tailwind, nice coverage moves in Heat Wave and HP Ice and a solid STAB move in Thunderbolt. I didn't go for HP Ice as I didn't feel like Zapdos doesn't need to kill Landorus for my team as I have Metagross and my next Pokemon in the team. Furthermore, Heat Wave is a great coverage move, hitting multiple targets, can scorch the likes of Kartana and Ferrothorn and also do a decent bit to Aegislash. This set is pretty offensive with Electrium Z Thunderbolt can OHKO like all Tapu Finis and other bulky water types which can prove to be a nuisance for the team. As for the EV spread, if I recall correctly I gave it max special attack for max power output, 180 speed to reach 157 speed stat and speed tie max speed non-scarf Landorus and hopefully set up the Tailwind and the rest went into HP. Looking back on it, I don't fully get why I wanted to hit this 157 speed, the reasoning is pretty lame and I guess hitting something like 153 to outspeed neutral base 100 Pokemons will be more reasonable. Would like someone's suggestion on that.


    Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
    Ability: Misty Surge
    Level: 50
    EVs: 236 HP / 84 Def / 140 SpA / 28 SpD / 20 Spe
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk
    - Muddy Water
    - Protect
    - Moonblast
    - Calm Mind

    Next up is the Tapu slot of the team. I went with Tapu Fini because I felt that it synergizes well with Landorus and its terrain is helpful to avoid status on Metagross (I guess the terrain doesn't help half my team though but I still found it useful for Metagross). Fini is naturally the slower Tapu of the 3 main strong ones so, in a terrain battle Fini will come out as the victor most of the time. Furthermore, I felt that the team needed a bit of bulkiness and at this point of team building my team was pretty weak to Ice, Dark and Fire type moves/pokemons and Fini dealt with all of them very well. Because I wanted bulkiness I went with a more bulkier spread instead of the choice specs one but I was a bit lazy when coming up with the EVs. I copied the Bulky sitrus berry set from the VGC 17 sample sets, changed the berry to Wiki (cause 50% berries FTW) and changed the HP EVs to 236 so that I can reach 175 HP stat and have lower loss of health from leech seed, sandstorm, etc. Also, I was reaching like 26% health every game with 244 HP and then getting knocked out in the next move so with lower HP EVs I thought I could reach the 25% health threshold and proc the berry. I would definitely be very glad if someone could suggest/ recommend me a better bulky spread for this Fini. I didn't go with Icy Wind as I felt that it needs Calm Mind to get the boosted power after the bulk investment and Muddy Water and Moonblast are must-haves.


    Cresselia @ Aguav Berry
    Ability: Levitate
    Level: 50
    EVs: 236 HP / 204 Def / 68 SpD
    Relaxed Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
    - Sunny Day
    - Trick Room
    - Ice Beam
    - Psychic

    For my next Pokemon, I went with the ever-present and queen of support Cresselia. At this point I felt that my team had enough offensive power but it had two big weaknesses - it can't do anything to Trick Room and weather (rain being the most common). So I gave Cress. Sunny Day and Trick Room to help me with those matchups, basically you TR I TR, you use your weather to speed up, I use weather to slow you down. Ice beam and Psychic were coverage moves and Cress. doesn't need to run Protect. Cress is also bulky so kinda helps with the bulkiness of the team I guess. As for the EV spread, I went lazy again. I did not know what should be the best EVs to use for it and so copied the first EV spread from this: http://www.smogon.com/dex/sm/pokemon/cresselia/battle_spot_doubles/



    Infernape @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Iron Fist
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Fake Out
    - Taunt
    - Close Combat
    - Rock Tomb

    Last but not least is Infernape. Now originally Alolan Muk was in this slot to further help me with TR, Knock Off to cripple those annoying Snorlax and potentially other pokemons too. But Muk-A didn't feel as strong as it was in last year's format and my team could do nothing to Volcarona. A Quiver Dance would destroy it. I also felt like I needed a Fake Out/Taunt user. Also judging by the matchup chart from http://pokemonforever.com/teambuilder.php my team was weak to ghost, ice and dark types and so a fighting type like Infernape would come out to be pretty handy. To be honest, using Infernape is pretty fun and Rock Tomb is pretty handy. Infernape can tank a +1 252 SpA+ Volcarona Flamethrower even without the Focus Sash like a champ - +1 252+ SpA Volcarona Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Infernape: 84-100 (55.6 - 66.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    and then kill it with Rock Tomb. It also loves to face Mega Charizard Y which can outspeed my Landorus and kill two of my main offensive mons - Lando and Meta. Close Combat is also a very useful move and with people fearing a Flare Blitz from the ape, it can force mons like Metagross to switch out as well. I had a lot of fun with this Pokemon and it is probably a gem in the team.

    Finally:

    I played a handful of matches with the team and got to a maximum score of 1416 in Showdown. I didn't try it in BS because I want to use the finalized team in it (I can't change my pokemons frequently in-game like I can in Showdown). While I tried to add bulk to this team, the team is still pretty frail, if you can outspeed it somehow it is doomed, be it naturally being fast, TR, or weather. Other than Zapdos' Heat Wave and Landorus' EQ I can't reliably kill all steel types and those are spread moves so a Wide Guard can easily block them. Also, the EVs need more work as written above. To finish off, thanks for reading this huge text and I would love to hear suggestions/recommendations regarding this team in any way.
     
  2. AtTehCross

    AtTehCross Member

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    Couple of things that stand out:
    -I recommend you have Timid Zapdos at least outspeed Jolly Lando by 1 point rather than speed-tying. That way you can 100% confirm a Scarf in a lead type of situation. You can even outspeed Timid Lele by 1 point to check for Scarf.
    -If you’re using Cress to help against Rain, I suggest you make sure Cress can live the combination of Ludicolo’s Hydro Vortex and Pelipper’s Scald. If you’re worried about Brine Pelipper, then you can use Sitrus Berry to get around that. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to look into the Ludicolo Hydro Vortex boosted from Politoed’s Helping Hand calc.
    -I do recommend you try changing Ice Punch to Stomping Tantrum and Heat Wave to HP Ice on Metagross and Zapdos, respectively. See if that helps against Steel types protected by Wide Guard. Also remember you have Infernape to help against those; whether it be Taunting the Wide Guard or adding Flare Blitz/Overheat to the move set. Close Combat at least deals with Heatran.

    I hope this helps!
     
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  3. HardChibi

    HardChibi New Member

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    Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely look into those changes and also do you recommend any pokemon changes that will fit the team better? I would also like to add that I went with Ice Punch on Meta and Heat Wave on Zapdos is because Ice Punch can KO Lando all the time while a Lando can survive a Zapdos HP Ice, furthermore, the two most common steel types atm are Heatran and Aegislash. Heatran isn't much of a problem for this team however, Aegislash is and Meta loses to it anyway so didn't go with Stomping Terrain. Given this reasoning should I still think of making those two changes?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  4. AtTehCross

    AtTehCross Member

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    So my reasoning is that you also have Fini, Cress, and Landorus’ Intimidate to help deal with opposing Landorus. While you don’t really have anything to deal with Aegislash. Stomping Tantrum can actually OHKO Aegislash in Shield form if you can get the double power effect.
    If you do decide to keep Ice Punch, consider trying other fire types over Infernape, or add a fire move to Infernape. You would have to play around with this slot until you find what you want while also improving your Aegislash matchup. I think simply adding a move like Flare Blitz would be a good starting point.
    My last idea would be to try Knock Off on Lando. It’ll do quite a bit of damage to Aegislash with the Choice Band and get around Wide Guard.
    Play around with some of these ideas and see if it any of them helps without hurting other matchups. You may only need to change 1 if those things. When trying to improve 1 or 2 matchups, it’s a good idea to make small adjustments so you don’t make the team weaker to other things.
     

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