Pokemon VCG Team Building 2017



  • I decided earlier that I'm still not going to post about Pokemon in the main forums, at least not for a long while, but I do want a place to log my progress, hence this blog. I'm in the process of building up my team for competitive play. I'm not sure that I'll be able to compete in 2018 because doing so will require travel but I hope to at least be in better shape by 2019. To do this I'm going to be researching and testing my teams and strategies a lot. I haven't played competitively since 2014 and the landscape of competitive play has changed a lot. A lot of Pokemon who were godly when I last played are considered weak now, and a lot of Pokemon I would usually rely on are currently banned because to use Pokemon competitively they have to have originated from a Gen 7 game. It really limits my options a lot and means I really have to learn and understand the current meta.

    Anyways here's my first team. I haven't tested it enough to know for sure what members of my team are going to stay and which ones aren't. So far I've had a few wins, a few people forfeit on me, and a few losses one at the hands (or hooves?) of a seemingly OP Mudsdale.

    Himiko (Kartana) @ Fightinium Z
    Ability: Beast Boost
    Level: 50
    EVs: 8 HP / 188 Atk / 60 SpD / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature

    • Substitute
    • Swords Dance
    • Leaf Blade
    • Sacred Sword

    Ailee (Primarina) (F) @ Choice Specs
    Ability: Torrent
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature

    • Hydro Pump
    • Moonblast
    • Psychic
    • Scald

    Denki (Magnezone) @ Assault Vest
    Ability: Magnet Pull
    Level: 50
    EVs: 136 HP / 192 SpA / 180 Spe
    Modest Nature

    • Volt Switch
    • Hidden Power
    • Thunderbolt
    • Flash Cannon

    Nana (Celesteela) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Beast Boost
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 124 SpA
    Relaxed Nature

    • Leech Seed
    • Protect
    • Heavy Slam
    • Flamethrower

    Chiyo (Gastrodon-East) (F) @ Rocky Helmet
    Ability: Storm Drain
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
    Bold Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Scald
    • Recover
    • Mud Bomb
    • Toxic

    Hades (Gengar) (M) @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Cursed Body
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Sludge Bomb
    • Shadow Ball
    • Taunt
    • Protect


  • I never competed except for casual battles with a couple friends, but I understand the intense amount of planning and work that it takes to develop a team like that. I stopped playing Moon after seeing credits, but seeing this makes me want to hop back in and at least EV train a team. I just have the problem of building a team around Pokemon I love versus what is a competitively viable combination. For someone who typically has a completed National Dex, it shames me to see 2 Pokemon names that I don't recognize!



  • @Billy Yeah it's tough not to make a team with your favorites. During Gen 5 one of my substitute Pokémon was a Chandelure just because I loved it. And she did surprisingly well, just wasn't consistent enough to make the regular team. I'm in the process of making a team with just my favorite Pokémon just for fun. As for the competitive team I actually had to replace Gastrodon recently. Gastrodon was the real star of my Gen 5 team since my team was based around rain then, but she just doesn't fit into my current strategy.



  • @michemagius I was curious about that Gastrodon. Still good for negating water-moves, but you don't seem to have an overly water-vulnerable team. Doubles is such a wonderful battle structure, since I feel that it allows for more flexibility, creativity, and unpredictability.



  • @Billy Yeah, I was just so dependent on Gastrodon the last time I played I figured I would see what it could do in a different type of team. I'm inclined to do another rain based team because it worked well for me last time, but there aren't a lot of fire, rock, or ground types being used in the current VGC or OU tiers so it wouldn't be as effective. But water does have pretty good raw power, so we'll see. The Primarina on my first test team is undoubtedly my best sweeper so I could use her on any team I think. I'm actually starting over with a new team now. I was going for speed and offensive power in my first team but that's not working as well as I thought. Even with substituting Gastrodon for Mudsdale. Mudsdale is strangely OP in the current meta so in my new team he will definitely be a key member. I'm going to build a trick room team with strong defense.



  • Ok. Here's my new trick room based team. The only Pokemon I knew I wanted to use before I got started were Mudsdale and Porygon2, the rest were just based on research in to what were most useful in the current meta and which Pokemon had the stats/moves that I wanted. Mudsdale as I previously mentioned totally wrecked me in a match in a way that I was totally unprepared for, after that I knew I had to have it on my team and once I put it on my first team it was definitely the MVP. The other given was Porygon2, I've never used a Porygon on any of my teams but I was reading about the landscape of the gen 7 meta and Smogon called Porygon2's Trick Room "Generation Meta Defining" and said that anyone who wanted a fighting chance in the competitive scene needed to have a counter to it, so naturally I put one on my team. The rest are formed around the Trick Room strategy and the effectiveness of Mudsdale's bulk. I'm kind of lacking offensively, but I'm hoping that the Pokemon's staying power will make up for that. I used a few Pokemon that I would say aren't generally recommended for competitive play but they're the only ones that are allowed in VGC 2017 and have the moves I wanted. For example Alolan Exeggutor was the only gen 7 Pokemon I could find that could use sleep powder and Blissey was like one of the only Pokemon allowed that can use actually useful healing moves. I made sure they all had high defense/HP stats and low speed so that I could fully make use of Trick Room. Here's hoping this team works out. I highly doubt the team will work so well that I build it in game, but it should at least teach me something.

    Here's The Team:

    Clint (Mudsdale) (M) @ Assault Vest
    Ability: Stamina
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 98 Atk / 102 Def / 52 SpD / 4 Spe
    Adamant Nature

    • Heavy Slam
    • High Horsepower
    • Mega Kick
    • Bulldoze

    Jihyo (Blissey) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Healer
    Level: 50
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Soft-Boiled
    • Seismic Toss
    • Toxic
    • Heal Bell

    Takemi (Toxapex) (F) @ Black Sludge
    Ability: Regenerator
    Level: 50
    EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Scald
    • Toxic
    • Recover
    • Toxic Spikes

    Mook (Exeggutor-Alola) (M) @ Rocky Helmet
    Ability: Frisk
    Level: 50
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
    Quiet Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Sleep Powder
    • Draco Meteor
    • Giga Drain
    • Flamethrower

    Ultra (Vikavolt) (M) @ Iapapa Berry
    Ability: Levitate
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 72 Def / 28 SpA / 156 SpD
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Volt Switch
    • Bug Buzz
    • String Shot
    • Protect

    Delta (Porygon2) @ Eviolite
    Ability: Download
    Level: 50
    EVs: 244 HP / 76 Def / 188 SpD
    Sassy Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe

    • Trick Room
    • Ice Beam
    • Toxic
    • Recover


  • I made two more teams, just for fun. I did a team with all of my favorite Pokemon and a Rain Team using Pokemon that are legal for Gen 7 (there isn't a lot of them). It'll be fun to see how these to teams play out online.

    Favorite Pokemon Team

    Haruki (Chandelure) (F) @ Choice Specs
    Ability: Flash Fire
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Overheat
    • Shadow Ball
    • Energy Ball
    • Flamethrower

    Gemma (Carbink) @ BrightPowder
    Ability: Clear Body
    EVs: 252 HP / 126 Def / 130 SpD
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Spe

    • Trick Room
    • Reflect
    • Gyro Ball
    • Light Screen

    Tsuyu (Lilligant) @ Lax Incense
    Ability: Chlorophyll
    EVs: 136 HP / 252 SpA / 120 SpD
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Quiver Dance
    • Sleep Powder
    • Petal Dance
    • Giga Drain

    Isamu (Samurott) (M) @ Assault Vest
    Ability: Torrent
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpA
    Rash Nature

    • Hydro Pump
    • Waterfall
    • Scald
    • Ice Beam

    Benedict (Castform) (M) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Forecast
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Hail
    • Sunny Day
    • Rain Dance
    • Weather Ball

    Jetta (Goodra) (F) @ Draco Plate
    Ability: Sap Sipper
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Dragon Pulse
    • Thunder
    • Sleep Talk
    • Rest

    Rain Team

    Marcy (Politoed) (F) @ Damp Rock
    Ability: Drizzle
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
    Bold Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Scald
    • Surf
    • Hydro Pump
    • Toxic

    Chiyo (Gastrodon-East) (F) @ Rocky Helmet
    Ability: Storm Drain
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature

    • Scald
    • Muddy Water
    • Bulldoze
    • Sludge Bomb

    Ailee (Primarina) (F) @ Sea Incense
    Ability: Torrent
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Modest Nature

    • Hydro Pump
    • Dazzling Gleam
    • Aqua Jet
    • Moonblast

    Gummi (Araquanid) (F) @ Splash Plate
    Ability: Water Bubble
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature

    • Surf
    • Scald
    • Liquidation
    • Poison Jab

    Bruce (Gyarados) (M) @ Choice Band
    Ability: Intimidate
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD
    Adamant Nature

    • Aqua Tail
    • Waterfall
    • Thunder
    • Stone Edge

    Mollie (Alomomola) (F) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Regenerator
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Light Screen
    • Hydro Pump
    • Scald
    • Heal Pulse


  • Ok. I made some updates to the rain team. I've found that playing with weather based teams is really where I feel most comfortable. I haven't had great luck my past few battles, hence the changes. I haven't swapped any Pokemon because I'm still trying to work on my set ups, trying to see who my leaders should be. Right now I've been leading with Politoed and Alomomola, so that I can set up rain and light screen, but I might have to alter that. I also think I need to work on bulk. My team I've realized is a lot of glass canons. I really thought Gastrodon and Gyrados would be able to take some hits, but a Snorlax armed with frustration OHKO'ed my entire team so clearly they aren't bulky enough.

    Anyways, here's the modified team:

    Marcy (Politoed) (F) @ Damp Rock
    Ability: Drizzle
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
    Bold Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Scald
    • Surf
    • Hydro Pump
    • Psychic

    Chiyo (Gastrodon-East) (F) @ Rocky Helmet
    Ability: Storm Drain
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature

    • Scald
    • Muddy Water
    • Bulldoze
    • Sludge Bomb

    Ailee (Primarina) (F) @ Sea Incense
    Ability: Torrent
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Modest Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Hydro Pump
    • Dazzling Gleam
    • Energy Ball
    • Moonblast

    Gummi (Araquanid) (F) @ Splash Plate
    Ability: Water Bubble
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature

    • Surf
    • X-Scissor
    • Liquidation
    • Poison Jab

    Bruce (Gyarados) (M) @ Choice Band
    Ability: Intimidate
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD
    Adamant Nature

    • Aqua Tail
    • Waterfall
    • Thunder
    • Stone Edge

    Mollie (Alomomola) (F) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Regenerator
    Level: 50
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk

    • Light Screen
    • Hydro Pump
    • Toxic
    • Heal Pulse


  • @michemagius If you weren't locked into Alola Pokemon, you could better cover your weaknesses. It's just harder to focus your team around a specific tactic like rain while your options are rather limited. You've got a lot of special bulk there, it seems. You'd probably steamroll a more special-focused team.

    You could always throw a Metagross in there. He doesn't take advantage of rain, but your teammates and the weather could help keep him safe from Fire and Ground types. Probably fast enough to Hammer Arm any Snorlax as well. Granted, I have no experience in competitive battling, so you should likely disregard anything I say ;)



  • @Billy Don't worry about your experience I really appreciate any suggestions. It's really important to hear outside ideas and opinions when building a team. You aren't playing against yourself after all. I think you're right about adding a powerhouse that isn't rain based. Alola really doesn't have a lot of water types to choose from, which is why it's not my favorite competitive era. There were just so many more Pokemon to choose from in previous gens allowing for more varied team building. I suppose the good thing about the restrictions is that it also limits the options my opponents have and I'm better able to predict what sorts of set ups I'll be up against. It just forces me to get creative. Ultimately I'm not sure if I'll take my rain to any sort of official competition but it's a good way to practice strategy. And I really did think I had enough bulk but that Snorlax just OHKO'ed my entire team, it wasn't even taking advantage of critical damage or STAB. It's really crazy how powerful it was. I'm tempted to see if I could replicate it myself but I'm not good at keeping my Pokemon's happiness low. It's one aspect of training I always forget to keep track of, so I'm not sure how well I'd be able to actually build that Snorlax in game.



  • @michemagius Doesn't Return have the same strength as Frustration when happiness is maxed?



  • @Billy Myabe, I'm not sure off the top of my head, but that's probably true.