Gen 8 VGC VGC / Ranked Doubles Discussion Thread

Anthrix

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Anthrix

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Well I'll kick things off - I've started playing ranked battles with a full EV trained team. Will share / post a team once I've test it more, but testing isn't going well because the people I'm facing haven't trained their teams at all.

First battle was against a Relaxed Charizard which hadn't been trained, which I one shot with my Gyarados Max Airstream. He dc'd before turn 3 when he had a full hp Tyranitar, a 1 HP hacked Dragapult, a dead Aegislash and a dead Charizard...

Second battle, the guy had a freshly caught Raid Battle Toxapex with Peck. Peck. Might be a while of climbing before I get some stiff opposition...
 

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My only VGC experience comes from using Showdown since I don't have the games themselves (nor the patience to train up a fully perfect team in-game but that's beside the point :P)

Using Trick Room doesn't seem to be as much of an auto-win this season as it has been at times in the past. Lots of naturally very slow stuff running around that's useful in other situations, like Conkeldurr, Ferrothorn, and Torkoal. I fought one guy using an Iron Ball Dhelmise, though, so that certainly wasn't something I saw coming.
 

Gokudera

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I have 0 experience in VGC, but I enjoy watching some of the tourneys that are the Pokemon YouTube channels. I love the Blunder Policy Milotics.

That Peck Toxapex, though. Brilliant.
Playing some crazy mind games.
 

Anthrix

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You've got Rental Teams as well, which makes it a lot easier to find a decent team and get laddering. That said, I've spent about 4 hours rebreeding a new team 4/6 of a team, which I don't think is too too bad considering how hard it used to be.

I've not faced any Trick Room thus far in 20 battles. Got undone what I though was going to be trick room, but was in actually fact a Beat Up Whimsicott into Justified Lucario, and couldn't get near it. Knew I should have switched in Weezing. Teams have had had obvious Trick Room elements, but nothing full Trick Room yet.

Everything seems reasonably balanced at the moment, and if you have a bad match up you've always got that crutch of Dynamax to turn a fight around. But I can see why it is suspect in even in Smogon's Ubers.
 

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On the other hand I think there is a possibility of coming to rely too much on Dynamax and its buffs. On more than one occasion I've wasted it by Dynamaxing a frail Pokemon, expecting the doubled HP to buffer anything, only for that Pokemon to be instantly KOd regardless and me lose the opportunity to Dynamax.

Another strange thing is that, in my experience battling on Showdown's VGC ladder, weather seems to be surprisingly non-prevalent. I've faced sun spearheaded by Torkoal more than anything, and even then most times it seemed to be Torkoal on a team doing its own thing. They weren't so much sun teams as a teams with a Pokemon who happened to set sun, and maybe one Chlorophyller or Fire-type to make use of it opportunistically.
 

Anthrix

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Yeah I've noticed a lack of of weather, mostly because Weakness Policy is more powerful. And Whimsicott, gotta love a Whimsicott!

I think it's because the setters are...naff? And you can choose to set the weather with the right Max Move. I mean, the setters are:

Sand
Tyranitar (most common)
Hippowdon (seen none so far)
Gigalith (seen none so far)
Sandaconda (needs to be hit to proc it)

Sun
Ninetales (needs Sash, its so frail!, typically underspend by Tyranitar so loses the weather war)
Torkoal (more popular and can hurt in Trick Room or with Follow Me support)

Hail
3 setters in Abomasnow, Alolan Ninetales and Vanniluxe, but does anyone run Hail?

Rain
Pelipper (reasonably common, somewhat underwhelming offensively compared to old Politoed, and hates Rotom Wash / all these Max Lightning so much. Super effective Max Rockfall also cancels the Rain, screwing it over twice).

In one of my teams I'm running Weezing to stop it from being set in the first place, did have Hitmontop to threaten the Tyranitar / Excadrill lead, but I've just bred a Rillaboom to replace it as it wanted a better switch in into Rain.

Chlorophyll Venusaur and Excadrill are both reasonably common, the latter though half the time has Mold Breaker.
 

Anthrix

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... Double post.

So most of my teams in the last 10 years have been based around Gyarados. However, I've only ever used Intimidate so I'm trying to make the most of a Moxie set, and wanted help him set up. Found a Chinese Dragapult with 5 Ivs in a box, so decided to train it up and use it as a lead:

Dragapult @ Light Clay
Ability: Cursed Body
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Light Screen
- Reflect
- Draco Meteor
- U-turn / Ally Switch

Amazingly, Light Clay isn't listed as an item on Pikalytics. At all. Being immune to Fake Out, too fast and offensive to want to Taunt it, and having a great defensive typing behind a Screen means it usually lasts till turn 3 and it's done its job. If a game lasts longer than 8 turns in Doubles something has gone wrong. .

Main advantage over Grimmsnarl is the surprise factor. When you see Grimsnarl, you think Prankster and support moves (although I've seen a lot weird offensive Frisk sets on the ladder...), but Dragapult has Weakness Policy, Life Orb, Choice Specs, Assault Vest, Expert Belt, Dragon Dance, Focus Sash, mixed, that weird Hex set on Smogon? A lot. Whenever it comes out you've got to be prepared for so much.

I do miss the priority Thunder Wave, but so far, liking its Speed and its reliability.

Draco Meteor for just smashing something hard before it dies, and U-turn to get something in, maybe predicting a switch? Fire Blast could cover Durant and Surf could work to proc Coalossal Steam Engine and Weakness Policy.

Not tried Jolly and physical moves, but Phantom Force could buy some time perhaps?

Frisk is a bit of an issue, and completely spoils the surprise.

UPDATE - Ally Switch has replaced U-turn, and it can buy so many turns for my other pogeys to attack. My Gigantamax Charizard, for example, beat a Dynamax Primarina, and then kept going long enough to stall out the Rain from Max Geyser.
 
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Anthrix

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Up to Great Ball 9, and I've hit the competent Trick room teams. I thought my dual screen and Curse Snorlax would win here, but nope, just got dismantled twice by Dusclops. One had Haze, the other didn't.

Might need some help! Any ideas how to beat them?
 

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Beat Up Whimsicott into Justified Lucario.
Damn...that's kinda disgusting lol. Why does Whimsicott get Beat Up? Wait...its a pillow fight.:surprisedazurill:

As for Dusclops, I still have 0 VGC experience, but having a faster Taunt user seems like the best route to take.
 

Anthrix

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Yeah it's not quite as simple as that. Most common leads I see are Dusclops + Follow Me Indeedee with Psychic Surge, preventing you from Fake Outing the Indeedee and thus taunting the Dusclops, or Dusclops + Fake Out Gothitelle.

What I had discovered is that Stalwart Duraludon can OHKO Dusclops with Max Darkness. There's a Weakness Policy set (which I knew about) which is proc'd by Gyarados Earthquake, but a Modest, Life Orb Helping Hand boosted Max Darkness also OHKOs Dusclops, and Helping Hand has higher priority that Fake Out.

Dusclops needs 252 HP / 252 SpD Sassy to survive (I think it goes down to a 6% chance to OHKO) so I'm going to breed for that. Most likely partner would be Whimsicott, which also gets Tailwind to sets it up for a sweep.
 

Anthrix

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New season, so I updated the link in the OP. Not much has changed, except everyone and anyone is running Coalossal because of the Gigantamax event.

Will post my team for some feedback, currently sat at 24 W - 12 L since coming back, which isn't too bad.
 

Anthrix

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https://www.serebii.net/swordshield/rankedbattle/series6.shtml

Couldn't find the official link, but basically, they've BANNED the 16 most used Pokemon of last season. They include:

Venusaur
Gyarados
Porygon2
Tyranitar
Torkoal
Hippowdon
Magnezone
Togekiss
Excadrill
Whimsicott
Incineroar
Mimikyu
Rillaboom
Cinderace
Indeedee
Dragapult

What are you thoughts on this approach? As far as I'm aware, it's the first time they've banned normally legitimate Pokemon. And with two months until Crown Tundra is released, will this keep the game exciting and fresh?

I personally like this approach, I feel bad for the one guy who hatched 2,000 eggs for a shiny Porygon2. End of the day, it's like they were never there, so adapt and evolve.
 

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Ugh, imagine Gigantamax Urshifu being legal. That doesn't sound like it'll be too much fun to deal with.
 

Anthrix

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Ugh, imagine Gigantamax Urshifu being legal. That doesn't sound like it'll be too much fun to deal with.
It is legal, and has been since it Isle Of Armour started :P.

He's not too bad, I've not seen many people Gigantamax him as his special bulk is lacking somewhat, and his max moves aren't too amazing.
 

MECHAMIN

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https://www.serebii.net/swordshield/rankedbattle/series6.shtml

Couldn't find the official link, but basically, they've BANNED the 16 most used Pokemon of last season. They include:

Venusaur
Gyarados
Porygon2
Tyranitar
Torkoal
Hippowdon
Magnezone
Togekiss
Excadrill
Whimsicott
Incineroar
Mimikyu
Rillaboom
Cinderace
Indeedee
Dragapult

What are you thoughts on this approach? As far as I'm aware, it's the first time they've banned normally legitimate Pokemon. And with two months until Crown Tundra is released, will this keep the game exciting and fresh?

I personally like this approach, I feel bad for the one guy who hatched 2,000 eggs for a shiny Porygon2. End of the day, it's like they were never there, so adapt and evolve.
I'm personally a very big fan of the changed. In my opinion, most of the top mons were definitely centralising the metagame. I was getting kinda tired of seeing the same old Dragapult, Tyranitar, Excadrill etc. every game. The bans make what are normally less viable mons VERY viable. That being said, I am bummed about seeing Porygon2 go, especially after they JUST released a nice competitive-ready event Porygon2 like what, 1-2 weeks ago? Well, at least the Amoonguss is usable.

In any case, I'm just glad I get to use Dracovish again :)) I loved that Pokemon on design alone, the competitive viability is just the cherry on top it needed.
 

Anthrix

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The Porygon2 thing is ridiculous. Surely they knew it was going to be banned?

But I any case, yeah, I'm glad I've got one. Did you pick up the Gastrodon as well?

Dracovish will always be good in my opinion. That STAB Fishious Rend is stupidly strong, and he's got decent bulk to boot.
 

MECHAMIN

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Oh yes, I did. Gastrodon i believe can be really good with how this format is shaping up to be, especially with stuff like Primarina and the fossils running around. I personally haven't found a place for it in my current team, but I'm thinking of making a team that can make use of its strengths. Probably one that involves Coalossal and Weavile.
 

Anthrix

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Oh snap, I'm currently building a team around Coalossal and Weavile / Sneasel. I'm trying to find a place for him, but I've got Blastoisre as my bulky Water / Aqua Jet user.

I really need a Grass type for him, but trying to find a Maractus. Maractus gets Storm Drain as well, and threatens Gastrodon back.
 
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