VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #2: Incineroar

incineroar

Artwork by All0412.

Alola! It’s Kasoman, and I’m back with the second segment of my PokéAnalysis series! This time, we have an analysis on Incineroar, the fire starter of Alola, and a Pokémon that is overlooked and underappreciated in the VGC 2017 format.

122116_2244_VGC2017PokA2.png

“Incineroar, the Heel Pokémon. This Pokémon has a violent, selfish disposition. If it’s not in the mood to listen, it will ignore its Trainer’s orders with complete nonchalance. After hurling ferocious punches and flinging furious kicks, it finishes opponents off by spewing fire from around its navel.”


Typing and Abilities

727incineroar_dream

Type: Fire/Dark

  • Weaknesses: Water, Fighting, Ground, Rock
  • Resistances: Fire, Grass, Ice, Ghost, Dark, Steel
  • Immunity: Psychic

Abilities:

  • Blaze – When HP is below 1/3rd its maximum, power of Fire-type moves is increased by 50%.
  • Intimidate (Hidden Ability)* – Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents’ Attack are lowered. Pokémon with the Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, or White Smoke ability are unaffected.

* = Not available


Base Stat Distribution

incineroarstats


Viable Movepool

incineroarmoves


Role in the Metagame

Incineroar is often used as a utility Pokémon, thanks to the moves Fake Out, and sometimes Snarl. However, it is outclassed by Arcanine currently because Incineroar’s Hidden Ability, Intimidate, has yet to be released. With Intimidate, Incineroar can easily compete with Arcanine as a more offensive version due to its base 115 attack. Nonetheless, Incineroar is still viable in the format because of its typing, bulk, and movepool. It is one of the few Pokémon that can OHKO Marowak after being intimidated. Incineroar is also one of two Fire-type Pokémon in the format that has access to Fake Out, with the other being Salazzle.

Fun fact: Four players made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with Incineroar, one of them being 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), and another being 2016 Worlds Runner-Up Jonathan Evans (@EzraelVGC).


Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level sets, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep future sets I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.

IT’S JOHN CENA!!!

Held Item: Incinium Z
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Adamant
EV: 148 HP / 132 Atk / 28 Def / 68 SpD / 132 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Fake Out
– Protect

Set Details:
This set utilizes Incineroar’s signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault. Intimidate support is nice for this set, but not mandatory, although Incineroar can take more hits with that kind of support. The reason why I chose the Incinium Z as opposed to the Firium Z is because Incineroar can OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Alolan Marowak after an intimidate, and Malicious Moonsault’s damage output will not be reduced by rain. Have I also mentioned that Malicious Moonsault has the best animation of all the Z-Moves?

Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Lele: 177-208 (100 – 117.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • -1 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Marowak-Alola: 174-206 (104.1 – 123.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Superpower vs. 148 HP / 28 Def Incineroar: 158-188 (83.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252 SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 82-97 (43.3 – 51.3%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 55-66 (29.1 – 34.9%) — 4.6% chance to 3HKO [Spread Damage]
    • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 74-87 (39.1 – 46%) — guaranteed 3HKO [Single Target]
  • Speed creeps uninvested Tapu Bulu by 2

Trick Room Assault Vest

Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Brave
EV: 244 HP / 156 Atk / 108 SpD (0 Spe IV)
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Snarl
– Fake Out

Set Details:
With a base 60 speed, Incineroar can take advantage of its bulk with a Trick Room set. Incineroar’s bulk can be impressive while holding an Assault Vest, allowing it to take a Devastating Drake from a Salamence with ease, as well as even being able to survive a Hydro Pump from a Golduck in the rain. Snarl is the fourth move to further increase Incineroar’s longevity on the special spectrum, as Incineroar is already difficult to take down in one hit. This can also function with an adamant nature if you don’t feel the need to use Incineroar in Trick Room, although a brave nature slightly increases the damage output of Snarl. Credits to fellow Hawaiʻi player Jeremy Whipple (@KOA_Monte) for the concept! Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 79-95 (39.3 – 47.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 58-69 (28.8 – 34.3%) — 2% chance to 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Dazzling Gleam vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 36-43 (17.9 – 21.3%) — possible 5HKO
  • 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 86-104 (42.7 – 51.7%) — 5.9% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Golduck Hydro Pump vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Rain: 162-192 (80.5 – 95.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Salamence Devastating Drake vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 96-114 (47.7 – 56.7%) — 85.5% chance to 2HKO

Examples of Partners

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko can make a good partner because it’s fast, and it covers Incineroar’s weakness to Water-type Pokémon, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak. The main concern for this pair is their weakness to Ground-type moves.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele covers Incineroar’s weakness to Fighting-type Pokémon like Hariyama and Phreromosa, while Incineroar covers Tapu Lele’s weakness to Steel-type Pokémon like Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross. Both also have high offensive stats, as well as the ability to use strong Z-Moves, which provides opponents a lot of offensive pressure.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu easily deals with Water-types, especially Gastrodon. Thanks to its ability, Grassy Surge, the Grassy Terrain weakens the damage output of Earthquake, which is a move Incineroar is weak to, and is also prevalent on Garchomp. In return, Incineroar covers against Steel-types such as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.

Porygon2

Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it takes hits well, and it can also set up Trick Room to benefit Incineroar’s slow speed. In addition to that, Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Porygon2 to safely set up Trick Room. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.

Gastrodon
East Sea
Gastrodon makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it can redirect Water-type attacks away from Incineroar with its Storm Drain ability, while Incineroar deals with Grass-types like Tapu Bulu and Kartana.

Milotic

Because Incineroar is a physical attacker, Milotic makes a great partner with its Competitive ability, which boosts its special attack sharply each time a stat gets lowered. This makes it safe for Incineroar to be chosen as a lead when there’s Pokémon with the Intimidate ability on the opposing team.

Araquanid

Araquanid makes a good partner because of the offensive pressure it provides to Rock-types and Ground-types with added Wide Guard support, while Incineroar can deal with Tapu Bulu easily. Araquanid also usually carries the Waterium Z, which provides a lot of offensive pressure to the opposing side.

Gyarados

Gyarados is an excellent partner for Incineroar because it provides support with its Intimidate ability, and it can also deal with Rock-types and Ground-types. Gyarados usually carries the Waterium Z, providing immense offensive pressure towards opposing Pokémon, especially after it sets up with Dragon Dance.

Mudsdale

Mudsdale makes an interesting partner for Incineroar because it can deal a lot of damage , and it can easily switch into Rock-type moves, thanks to its bulk as well as its ability, Stamina, which boosts its defense by one stage each time it gets hit. In return, Incineroar covers for Mudsdale’s weakness to grass. Mudsdale also makes an excellent check to Trick Room.

Garchomp

Garchomp can synergize with Incineroar because it can deal with Rock-types by using Earthquake, while Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales. Both can provide a lot of offensive pressure with their high base attack stats.

Salamence

Salamence provides support with its Intimidate ability, and also has access to a very powerful Z-Move, which helps provide a lot of offensive pressure to the opponent’s side. Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales in return.

Ninetales
Alola Form
Alolan Ninetales is a fast Pokémon that can deal with Ground-types, as well as Water-types with Freeze-Dry. It can also set up a quick Aurora Veil to increase Incineroar’s longevity in battle. In return, Incineroar can deal with Marowak, as well as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.

Kartana

Kartana deals with Water-types, Rock-types, and Ground-types, which makes it an excellent partner for Incineroar. Incineroar also helps deal with Marowak, as well as opposing Kartana, which are both huge threats to Kartana.

Celesteela

Celesteela can deal with Rock-types such as Aerodactyl, Gigalith, and Nihilego with Heavy Slam, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak and Kartana. Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Celesteela to safely set up a Substitute, and Celesteela also has access to Wide Guard, which can block spread moves such as Rock Slide and Earthquake.


Threats

Water-types
East Sea
Because Incineroar is weak to water, these Pokémon are able to deal a lot of damage to Incineroar, possibly being able to OHKO it easily. Rain teams are especially threatening because their damage output is increased, allowing them to OHKO Incineroar, and it also becomes nearly impossible to outspeed Golduck outside of Trick Room. Incineroar’s damage output for Flare Blitz is also lowered by the rain. Gastrodon and Milotic are able to sponge Darkest Lariats from Incineroar while being able to heal themselves with Recover. Gyarados has Intimidate as its ability, and can provide offensive pressure with Waterfall, which has an additional 30% flinch rate. Tapu Fini is probably the worst matchup for Incineroar, as it walls Incineroar completely with its Water/Fairy typing, along with its high defenses.

Ground-types

An Earthquake from any of these Pokémon can 2HKO Incineroar, and Mudsdale can easily OHKO it with High Horsepower. Mudsdale also raises its defense with its Stamina ability, while Krookodile can lower Incineroar’s damage output with its Intimidate ability. Furthermore, Garchomp can deal extra chip damage with its Rough Skin ability since Incineroar is a physical attacker. These Pokémon also typically learn Rock Slide, which provides them a 30% chance to flinch Incineroar.

Fighting-types

Hariyama is a very bulky Fighting-type Pokémon with access to Thick Fat as one ability to lower the damage output of Flare Blitz, allowing it to wall Incineroar completely, while having the ability to pick up the OHKO with Close Combat. Haryiama also has access to Guts as an ability, which allows it to deal a lot more damage when afflicted by a status condition, making Intimidate support useless against it. Pheromosa can also pick up a OHKO on Incineroar with High Jump Kick, aside from its shaky 90% accuracy, which can allow Incineroar to pick up a KO in retaliation. Even when intimidated, Pheromosa nearly KO’s Incineroar.

Rock-types

Aerodactyl isn’t guaranteed to 2HKO Incineroar, but the 30% chance to flinch from Rock Slide, as well as the ability to disrupt with Sky Drop make up for its lower attack stat. Gigalith is terrifying to stare down in Trick Room, as it is slower than Incineroar, it 2HKO’s with Rock Slide, and it is also guaranteed to pick up a OHKO with Continental Crush if holding a Rockium Z. Nihilego may have low physical defense, but they normally carry a Focus Sash, making it safe to 2HKO Incineroar with Power Gem.


Closing Thoughts

Incineroar is an underrated Pokémon in the format, and should be considered as an option for both a Fire-type and a Dark-type. It may not have Intimidate, but it can still deal a respectable amount of damage, and it can also provide some useful support for its teammates. If you want a Fire-type with a cool Z-Move, try an Incineroar today!

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VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #1: Araquanid

Artwork created by Alexalan.

Alola! For the first time, I’ll be providing something a little different, and that’s an analysis of a Pokémon that has been recently on the rise in the VGC 2017 format, the water spider known as Araquanid.


“Araquanid, the Water Bubble Pokémon. It delivers headbutts with the water bubble on its head. Small Pokémon get sucked into the bubble where they drown. Despite what its appearance suggests, it cares for others. If it finds vulnerable, weak Pokémon, it protectively brings them into its water bubble.”


Typing and Abilities

Type: Water/Bug

  • Weaknesses: Rock, Flying, Electric
  • Resistances: Water, Ice, Fighting, Ground

Abilities:

  • Water Bubble – Takes 50% damage from Fire-type moves, doubles the power of Water-type moves before adding STAB, and cannot be burned
  • Water Absorb (Hidden Ability) – Heals up to 25% HP when hit by a Water-type move

Base Stat Distribution


Viable Movepool

movepool


Role in the Metagame

Araquanid is a very interesting Pokémon, being able to deal a lot of damage with its Water Bubble ability, as well as take hits with its respectable bulk. Araquanid can easily shut down sun teams, and it can also OHKO many things in the format such as Marowak, Arcanine, Tapu Koko, etc. It also has a great movepool for this format as well, with moves such as Liquidation, Lunge, Leech Life, and even something like Wide Guard. It can also function as a special attacker, although not seen very often due to the lack of special Bug-type moves. In general, Araquanid is used as an offensive attacker, and it can fit nicely on a lot of teams.


Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level EV spreads, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep EV spreads I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.

Standard Physical Attacker

Held Item: Waterium Z / Life Orb
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Brave / Adamant
EV: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def (0 Spe IV for Brave)
– Liquidation
– Leech Life / Lunge / Poison Jab
– Lunge / Wide Guard / Poison Jab
– Protect

Set Details:
This set has a wide movepool with many options to choose from. Obviously, Liquidation and Protect are mandatory to have, but two Bug-type moves, Wide Guard, and even Poison Jab can be difficult to decide on. The natures can be a bit of a toss up as well with Brave helping it function in Trick Room, or Adamant to outspeed something like neutral uninvested Gastrodon and minimum speed Porygon2. As far as the moveset, many people would opt to choose one Bug-type move and go with Wide Guard as the third option as Leech Life and Lunge have the same base power, although you could also go with both for a fully offensive set. Between those two moves, it comes down to personal preference of whether you want to keep Araquanid around for longer, or lower the attack of the opposing Pokémon. Poison Jab is only recommended if your team has a bad matchup against Tapu Lele and/or Mimikyu. As far as the items, Waterium Z is the more popular choice as a Hydro Vortex paired with Araquanid’s ability is very powerful. Life Orb is also a strong choice if you want to use a Z-Crystal on a different Pokémon, or simply increase the damage output of all moves as Araquanid has a mediocre base attack of 70.

Special Attacker

Held Item: Life Orb / Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Quiet / Modest
EV: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA (0 Spe IV for Quiet)
– Scald
– Ice Beam / Blizzard
– Wide Guard / Surf
– Protect

Set Details:
Not very common, but not a terrible set either. This idea was picked up from 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), who made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with a special attacking Araquanid. Scald and Surf are the only STAB moves that are special, so Araquanid will not be able to have a Bug-type move in this set. Life Orb is the preferred choice to boost the damage output of Ice Beam as its base special attack is only 50; however, Waterium Z is a strong option to consider when paired with Ninetales, as Araquanid can be threatening with two powerful spread moves, Blizzard and Surf. A Hydro Vortex based off Surf can deal a significant amount of damage, which can make up for Araquanid’s low special attack stat. It doesn’t fit well on many standard teams due to its low damage output, but the Waterium Z set is a strong choice for a team with Ninetales.

Wolfey (@WolfeyGlick)’s Assault Vest

Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Careful / Sassy
EV: 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 SpD (0 Spe IV for Sassy)
– Liquidation
– Leech Life
– Lunge
– Poison Jab

Set Details:
This set was taken from 2016 World Champion Wolfe Glick’s Competitive Araquanid Guide on YouTube, and the idea behind this set is for Araquanid to have a wide option of attacks while taking advantage of its massive base special defense of 132. With the Assault Vest, Araquanid makes a hard counter for Torkoal as Wolfey stated how much he hates Torkoal. Check out the video for more of his crazy sets involving a Wacan Berry and even a Choice Band! Here are some defensive calculations below:

  • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 97.2% chance to 3HKO
  • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 6.1% chance to 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid in Psychic Terrain: 58-69 (33.1 – 39.4%) — 99.8% chance to 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 39-46 (22.2 – 26.2%) — possible 5HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid in Sun: 27-33 (15.4 – 18.8%) — possible 6HKO
  • 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid: 18-22 (10.2 – 12.5%) — possible 8HKO

Examples of Partners

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko can make a good partner for Araquanid as it can deal with Pelipper, one of the few Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage with a high-powered special attack. Tapu Koko can also help deal with opposing Araquanid, being able to 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest. Tapu Koko can also help deal with Garchomp by using Dazzling Gleam, as that can also 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele paired with Araquanid can provide a lot of offensive pressure. You can give yourself a bit more flexibility on choosing which Z-Move to use, one being physical and one being special, or you can give one of them a Z-Crystal if you would prefer that. Many players tend to pair Tapu Lele with Araquanid because of their flexibility in item choices along with their offensive prowess.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu pairs well with Araquanid as they cover each other’s weaknesses, being fire and steel for Tapu Bulu, and electric and rock for Araquanid. The Grassy Terrain recovery is also very beneficial for Araquanid, and Tapu Bulu can also OHKO Gastrodon with ease, as it can redirect Araquanid’s Water-type attacks away.

Porygon2

Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Araquanid because of its bulk, as well as its ability to set up Trick Room, which compliments Araquanid’s slow speed. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.

Arcanine

Arcanine can cripple many physical attackers with its ability, Intimidate, as well as use Will-O-Wisp, which is extremely helpful for Araquanid’s lower base defense. Arcanine also has the ability to use Snarl, which makes Araquanid even harder to take down thanks to its massive base special defense. Araquanid can also help Arcanine by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon.

Marowak
Alola Form
Alolan Marowak is an interesting partner for Araquanid because it has the ability, Lightningrod, which redirects any Electric-type moves away from its partner. Because Araquanid is a Water-type, Lightningrod would be extremely beneficial by its side. Marowak is also a Pokémon that can hit hard thanks to its typing and its item, the Thick Club. Araquanid can also help Marowak by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon, as well as opposing Marowak.

Ground-types

Garchomp and Mudsdale are helpful for Araquanid as they are Ground-types that can deal with Tapu Koko, as well as Gigalith and Aerodactyl. Garchomp and Krookodile are fast, offensive attackers with different capabilities. Garchomp has a better movepool than Krookodile and has better bulk; however, Krookodile has Intimidate as its ability, which can be useful for many teams. Mudsdale, on the other hand, is slow and bulky, and also has the ability, Stamina, which raises its defense by one stage each time it gets hit by a physical attack, making it a very safe switch-in for any Rock-type move.

Muk
Alola Form
Muk is an interesting partner because it is one of the few Pokémon that can deal with Tapu Bulu with ease. Tapu Bulu can be a huge threat to Araquanid by dealing over 70% to it with a Wood Hammer. Muk is easily able to OHKO a Tapu Bulu with a Poison Jab, and it also has solid bulk paired up with its ability, Gluttony, along with the Figy Berry. Muk also has access to Knock Off, which can make it significantly easier for Araquanid to deal with the likes of Porygon2 and Celesteela.

Kartana

Like Tapu Bulu, Kartana is a Grass-type that can OHKO a Gastrodon with ease. Kartana is also four times weak to fire, which makes Araquanid a great partner for Kartana. Kartana also has an easier time dealing with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu as it is also a Steel-type.

Celesteela

Celesteela makes a defensive partner for Araquanid as it can wall most of the Pokémon in the format, and Araquanid can help Celesteela deal with the Fire-types out there with its Water-type moves. Celesteela can also help deal with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu, as it is a Steel-type. If you plan to use Celesteela with Araquanid, Marowak is a mandatory partner to redirect Electric-type moves away from both Celesteela and Araquanid.


Threats

Gastrodon
East Sea
Gastrodon is easily one of the biggest threats to Araquanid as it can redirect Water-type moves away thanks to its ability, Storm Drain, also giving Gastrodon a special attack boost each time it gets hit. This is especially dangerous for Araquanid, as Gastrodon can potentially waste the Hydro Vortex coming towards its side. Tapu Bulu and Kartana are the easiest answers to Gastrodon, although you can also get creative and include Grass-type moves on other Pokémon like how Gavin Michaels (@komvgc) did to win the 2017 San Jose Regional Championships with his Drampa by including Energy Ball as one of its moves.

Electric-types

They can easily 2HKO Araquanid with their super-effective attacks. Tapu Koko is especially dangerous as it summons the Electric Terrain when it enters battle with its ability, Electric Surge. Togedemaru is especially obnoxious for Araquanid to deal with as Zing Zap is a physical move, and it also has a chance to flinch its target. Togedemaru can also Encore Araquanid into Protect or Wide Guard, which can bring forth a dire situation. Marowak is the greatest answer for these threats thanks to its ability, high attack power, as well as its access to Bonemerang. Ground-types like Garchomp, Krookodile, and Mudsdale are viable answers to these Pokémon as well.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu can be a great partner for Araquanid, but it can be a great threat to Araquanid as well. Tapu Bulu is one of the few Pokémon in the format that can easily deal over 70% damage to Araquanid without a super-effective hit. With that in mind, there’s no way Araquanid can be guaranteed to survive a Choice Band boosted Wood Hammer from this Pokémon.

  • 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 129-153 (73.7 – 87.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ Atk Miracle Seed Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 156-184 (89.1 – 105.1%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
  • 108+ Atk Choice Band Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 175-207 (100 – 118.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

Gigalith

Although it doesn’t seem so, Gigalith can be terrifying for Araquanid to stare down in Trick Room, as Gigalith is much slower than Araquanid. Gigalith may not be able to OHKO with Rock Slide, but the 30% chance to flinch can be heartbreaking for Araquanid, which can result in missing the KO on Gigalith. Players also opt to use Rockium Z for a powerful Rock-type attack that doesn’t miss, and the Continental Crush can easily OHKO Araquanid.

  • 0 Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 218-258 (124.5 – 147.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • -1 124+ Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 176-210 (100.5 – 120%) — guaranteed OHKO

Aerodactyl

Aerodactyl is obnoxious for Araquanid as it carries the Focus Sash, and it can also 2HKO Araquanid with both of its STAB moves, Rock Slide and Sky Drop. Sky Drop is especially threatening for Araquanid, as Aerodactyl can prevent it from moving for a turn, and Aerodactyl can easily take advantage of this move if a Wide Guard were to be predicted. The 30% flinch rate from Rock Slide is also not a great thing for Araquanid to deal with either.

Pelipper

Although Araquanid benefits from the rain, Pelipper is one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away, which would be one of its moves, Hurricane. Hurricane will never miss in the rain, it can 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest, and it also has a 30% chance to confuse its target, which is terrifying for Araquanid to stare down. Trick Room and Electric-types can deal with Pelipper easily.

Braviary

Although rarely seen, Braviary is one of Araquanid’s worst nightmares. Recently, a Japanese player who goes by Cantona (@AuGUROSU), placed Top 4 at the Kanto Regional Championships in Japan with a Braviary, and he used it to check Pokémon with Intimidate thanks to its own ability, Defiant. This is especially bad news for Araquanid because its main means of damage to Braviary has a 20% chance to lower defense, which means a 20% chance for an attack boost on Braviary. Lunge is not a wise choice either, as Braviary will also get a free attack boost from that move while taking nearly no damage. Here are some calculations I made with the EV spread I read from his team report (Note: He did not have Facade in his set; I’m only showing how threatening Braviary can be):

  • 204+ Atk Braviary Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 222-264 (126.8 – 150.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • +1 204+ Atk Braviary Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 195-229 (111.4 – 130.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

Nihilego

Nihilego has very low defense, and can be easily OHKO’d by a Liquidation; however, many Nihilego carry a Focus Sash to make up for its low defense. Nihilego can easily 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest with Power Gem, which is bad for 1V1 situations. This makes Nihilego one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away.


Closing Thoughts

Araquanid is a strong Pokémon in the format, and should be considered when teambuilding when it comes to deciding what you want to use, or preparing how to beat Araquanid. With is respectable bulk and ability, Water Bubble, it is no surprise how threatening Araquanid can be. If you want something that can deal with Arcanine, try an Araquanid today!

Saying Aloha to Alola #3: Native Species of Alola

Aloha kākou! We are back to another segment of Saying Aloha to Alola, a blog series containing my perspective of references made to Hawaiʻi for the upcoming Sun and Moon games as a player who grew up on Maui and attending college on Oʻahu. If you haven’t read my previous segment, “Tapu Koko and Friends”, you can find it here.

In today’s segment, I will be discussing about newly revealed Pokémon such as Bounsweet, Comfey, Jangmo-o, Pyukumuku, and Crabrawler.

The Queen of Fruit

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Bounsweet has a pretty interesting design. A friend of mine once claimed this Pokémon looks like a lychee, but I didn’t think so at first. I took a look at Bounsweet’s information on Bulbapedia, and it states that this Pokémon’s design is based off a mangosteen.

Now, you’re wondering what on Earth a mangosteen is. Does it look like a mango? Does it taste like a mango? Is it even related to a mango?

Image result for mangosteen

The answer to all these questions is no. The mangosteen is best known for its luxurious taste, and it’s said to have a refreshing sweet and sour taste. I haven’t had the chance to try one for myself for a couple legitimate reasons. They are rare in Hawaiʻi, and because of that, only a few farmers on the Big Island are able to harvest this fruit. In addition to the mangosteen’s rarity, they can get expensive, and they also cannot be exported outside of Hawaiʻi. In Chinatown, mangosteens can sell for roughly $20 per pound. I honestly haven’t seen fruit so expensive, but with how delicious it tastes, it should be well worth its price. If you’d like to learn a little more about the mangosteen, you can read The Queen of Fruit, an article published in Honolulu Magazine. Speaking of queens, its final evolved form, Tsareena, is depicted as a Pokémon with the nature of a high-class nobility, and one of its abilities is known as Queenly Majesty, which both are references to this nickname of the mangosteen.

tsareena.png

A Symbol of the Alola Spirit

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It’s obvious that Comfey’s design is based off a lei, which is a major symbol of Hawaiʻi; however, a lei isn’t only constructed by flowers. It’s typically constructed by things such as leaves, seeds, shells, nuts, feathers, and even the teeth and bones of certain animals. When a lei is given to someone, it symbolizes the aloha spirit in several ways. This would include things like love, honor, and even as a way to greet someone, especially if that someone is new to the islands. In fact, it’s very common to give leis to students at graduation ceremonies in Hawaiʻi. I remember when I graduated high school, we’d walk over to a special area where you receive leis from your friends and family, and I got so much that I almost suffocated in them. It was such a fun time, and it’s exciting to know that I’ll be experiencing this for a second time after I finish college. If you’d like to know more about the tradition of the lei, you can read it here.

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Me suffocating in a bunch of leis at my high school graduation. I can’t believe it’s been over three years…

Deez Dragons Like Scrap

English translation: These dragons want to fight.

jangmo-o.png

What really stood out to me when looking at Jangmo-o’s evolution line is the suffix of their names, “mo-o”. I thought the way it’s spelled is so weird because many Hawaiian words incorporate the ʻokina, otherwise known as the reverse apostrophe-like character that produces a glottal stop in words. I soon realized that maybe Game Freak’s programs may not have been able to recognize the ʻokina as a character. Another reason could be that the ʻokina is so unusual that it’d be difficult for someone to find this character if the Hawaiian keyboard isn’t available. If they were able to use this character, Jangmo-o’s name would have originally been spelled as “Jangmoʻo”, but nonetheless, their pronunciations should be the same.

“Moʻo” means gecko in Hawaiian, in reference to the common house geckos in the homes of Hawaiʻi and many other places around the world. However, Jangmo-o and its evolution line are dragon types because moʻo can also mean dragon. There isn’t a true Hawaiian word for dragon, and as a result, moʻo is the closest in terms of meanings, which makes this definition quite ambiguous.

hakamo-o.png

Then, Jangmo-o evolves into Hakamo-o, which gains the fighting type. Before we get into more information about this Pokémon, let’s take a look at a part of its description from the official website:

“Hakamo-o dances before battle to show its strength, clanging its scales together to make them ring out. When this dance reaches climax, Hakamo-o bellows a fierce war cry to challenge its opponent.”

The prefix of its name, “haka”, is a traditional Māori dance typically performed by warriors in the olden times. During those times, the haka would be performed before battle to show intimidation to their opponents, ergo the fighting typing for Hakamo-o and Kommo-o. Nowadays, the haka is performed to welcome guests or to celebrate special occasions such as graduations, weddings, funerals, etc.

hakamo_o.png
“Wat brah, like scrap?”

There are different types of haka, so if you’d like to learn more about them, as well as other information about the haka in general, you can find it all here. Below, there are videos of the All Blacks, a famous rugby team from Aotearoa (New Zealand), performing two different types of haka. The first is the most commonly known haka, “Ka Mate”, and the other is known as “Kapa o Pango”.

Ka Mate:

Kapa o Pango:

Nobody Wants This Thing…

pyukumuku.png

“Due to their appearance and their lifestyle, Pyukumuku are considered unappealing to tourists. Part-time work chucking Pyukumuku back into the sea is available at tourist beaches. But no matter how far they’re thrown, Pyukumuku will always return to the same spot.

Once a Pyukumuku finds a place it likes, it won’t budge from it. If someone moves it away, back it comes to the same spot. If it runs out of food to eat in that spot, it’ll stay there—and starve. The people of Alola found this so pitiful that they developed a tradition of chucking Pyukumuku back into the food-rich sea whenever they come across any thin-bellied Pyukumuku.”

First off, I’m surprised Game Freak actually made a design based off a sea cucumber. It’s an oddly satisfying design because I know it looks like a sea cucumber; yet, it’s much rounder and shorter than the typical ones I usually see.

Image result for sea cucumber hawaii

Pyukumuku’s ability is Innards Out, which will be able to deal one last bit of damage to its opponent, equal to the amount of HP it had left before it received the final blow after this Pokémon faints.

Pyukumuku-innards-fist.png

This hand shaped gut coming out of its body is a reference to the defense system of sea cucumbers within the order of Aspidochirotida. This defense mechanism of theirs is usually activated when the sea cucumber is stressed, and they expel enlargements of their respiratory tree, known as cuverian tubes (named after the French zoologist Georges Cuveris), out of their anus. With this defense mechanism, they have the ability to tangle potential predators, like how Pyukumuku can damage opposing Pokémon with its ability.

Image result for sea cucumber defense mechanism

Now, you’re wondering why Pyukumuku’s insides come out of its mouth. First of all, its very likely that parents would not appreciate their children seeing things come out from the back end. Second, its name, “Pyukumuku”, is just a combination of “puke” and “mucus”. The funniest thing about its name is although it sounds Japanese and can easily be written in katakana as ピュクムク, its Japanese name is actually “Namakobushi” (ナマコブシ), a combination of “namako” (sea cucumber), and “kobushi” (fist).

As for the feature of throwing back Pyukumuku in the sea to make money, it relates to the harvesting of sea cucumbers in Hawaiʻi. In fact, in the summer of 2015, there was an emergency ban on the harvesting sea cucumbers, which are mainly prized for medicinal purposes, as sea cucumbers can be used to cure diseases like arthritis, joint pain, and even cancer. In the video below is a clip of throwing Pyukumuku back into the sea.

Dis Crab Goin’ Give You Lickins’

English translation: This crab will beat you up if you make it mad.

crabrawler.png

“Crabrawler’s favorite food is Berries. It punches the trunks of trees to give the branches a good shake and knock any ripe Berries to the ground so it can feast! Many Crabrawler may gather around a tree, but only the one that emerges victorious in battle against all the others receives the privilege of eating the ripe Berries.”

According to Bulbapedia, Crabrawler seems to be based off the coconut crab. My first thought was why Crabrawler doesn’t have water typing, even though it’s a crab. I did a bit of research, and found out that the coconut crab is a land crab that cannot swim, except when they are larvae.

Coconut crabs mainly feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees; however, they are actually omnivores. These crabs can also eat just about anything they can find. They prey on tortoise hatchlings, smaller crabs, and even go as far as eating the carcasses of dead animals, including people and other coconut crabs. Because of their wide options in their diet, they are actually illegal in Hawaiʻi because according to to Dr. Rob Toonen, Ph.D. professor of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, “they’ll raid people’s trash cans, eat native birds, eat juvenile plants, and tear up the landscape if they’re here. They grab a hold of things, can rip them open, can bust open a coconut, and the idea of that crawling around in their backyard is not going to be very pleasant to most people in Hawaiʻi.” The last time a coconut crab was seen in Hawaiʻi was in December 2014, and it went all over the media in Hawaiʻi because it’s such a big deal something so dangerous would even show up here. You can read more about it here.

“Crabrawler uses its claws to protect its face and belly while getting in close to an opponent to throw punches. Its punches are powerful enough to split tree trunks!”

In addition to how threatening coconut crabs are, they have very powerful pincers. If you ever get pinched by one of these things, they might be capable of breaking your finger. In the video below, you can see a coconut crab easily crushing a pen:

Even though Crabrawler is supposedly based off a coconut crab, the most interesting thing about it is that they punch things rather than pinch things. The only crustacean I know that punches things is the smasher mantis shrimp. The mantis shrimp’s punch is as fast as a 22-caliber bullet, which is impossible for us to see. The punch is activated with a saddle-shaped part of the exoskeleton, which acts like a spring to store and release energy. These punches can easily break a crab’s shell, and they can also probably break your hand if you’re not careful. There are mantis shrimp in Hawaiʻi, but they aren’t smashers. In fact, they are zebra mantis shrimp, a variation of the spearers. The zebra mantis shrimp roam free in the water of the Ala Wai Canal, which has the dirtiest water in Honolulu. Surprisingly enough, all that muck in the water actually benefits the zebra mantis shrimp. I even think people are crazy for canoe paddling over there, and I heard from a friend that someone swam in the water and ended up getting sick.

In the video below, you can learn more about both spearers and smashers (WARNING: NSFW):

Bonus: Spooky Owls

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To commemorate Halloween, I decided to circle back to Rowlet and its evolution line. First off, I did first think of the pueo in my first segment; however, the more I look at Rowlet and Dartrix, the more I’m convinced their designs are actually based off the invasive barn owls. Like the mongoose, the barn owl was mainly introduced to hunt for rats, but they preyed on native birds instead, which include seabirds, waterbirds, and forest birds.

Image result for barn owl hawaii

Recently, a friend gave me information that very fascinating. The final evolution of Rowlet is Decidueye, which is Grass/Ghost, rather than Grass/Flying, and this is because Decidueye is based off the genus of true owls known as Grallistrix, or stilt-owls, and looking at Decidueye’s design, it has long stilt-like legs. These owls all lived on the Hawaiian Islands, but are now extinct, which is one thing that explains the ghost typing of Decidueye. Another explanation of the ghost typing is although stilt-owls can very well fly, they stalked sleeping birds on foot and raided seabird colonies at night. Currently, there is no photographic evidence of any of these owls whether it’d be a picture of a fossil or a drawing, as they have never been seen alive by scientists.

decidueye.png

Another thing I noticed is Dartrix’s name. According to Bulbapedia, its suffix is derived from Strix, another genus of owls, which is referred to a type of owl believed to suck on the blood of infants. It could also have been derived from Grallistrix because by looking at Dartix’s design, it also has slightly long stilt-like legs. With this name derivation, it probably hinted the ghost typing of Decidueye, and it looks like Game Freak did a good job at making it hard to notice at first.

dartrix.png

Closing

First and foremost, I sincerely apologize for such a long delay. So much has been going on in my life, and I’m really trying my best to keep it together. I really appreciate your patience for this third segment, and I really hope you enjoy this one like you enjoyed the other two. Sometime this week, I’ll get another segment up for you all, and to be fair, I’ll give a preview of what’s up next. In the next segment, I’ll discuss about Oricorio, the guardian deities, and their respective islands. I’ll also write about a few of the Alolan forms that stood out to me. Much mahalos for reading! Shoots, buggahs!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains only my personal perspective on the Sun and Moon news, so some of the information cannot yet be confirmed as fact, although I did research on these topics. I’ve tried my best to make it sound as accurate as I possibly can, and I continue to do research on such topics and update whenever I spot mistakes. Mahalo for understanding.

© 2016 Kasoman’s Sea of Thoughts
Published on 10/31/2016 at 12:15 PM HST

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Saying Aloha to Alola #2: Tapu Koko and Friends

Aloha kākou! We are back to another segment of Saying Aloha to Alola, a blog series containing my perspective of references made to Hawaiʻi for the upcoming Sun and Moon games as a player who grew up on Maui and attending college on Oʻahu. If you haven’t read my first segment, Aloha from Hawaiʻi, you can find it here!

In today’s segment of Saying Aloha to Alola, I will be discussing Tapu Koko for quite a lot, Pikipek’s similarity to an invasive bird in the islands, as well as my reaction to Bruxish, one of Pokémon introduced in the trailer released on July 1, 2016.

Tapu Koko

Classified as the Land Spirit Pokémon with the typing of Electric and Fairy, Tapu Koko is clearly an interesting one to talk about because there are so many things I think of after seeing this Pokémon.

First off, let’s try to dissect the meaning of its name. Here, we have both the English name and the Japanese name:

  • ENG: Tapu Koko
  • JPN: カプ・コケコ (Kapu Kokeko)

The first part of the Japanese name says “Kapu”, and I thought of the kapu system that ruled over the Hawaiian Islands before the 1800’s. Although it usually translates to “forbidden”, it can also mean “sacred” or “holy”, and I think all of these meanings might have been used for the naming. You might be thinking “Tapu” means nothing because the Japanese name has the reference to a Hawaiian word for that part. That would be false because the Hawaiian language is actually derived from several other languages of the Pacific Ocean. “Tapu” means the same thing as “kapu”, and “tapu” is part of the Tongan and Māori languages. As a result, “kapu” has been derived from “tapu”. With that being said, I’m actually not exactly sure where “tapu” first originated from between Tonga and New Zealand. “Tapu” is a widely used word in the Pacific Islands, and the word “taboo” has in fact, been derived from “tapu” after Captain Cook’s visit to Tonga. This piece I found online has expanded information on “tapu” if you’re interested in learning more about it.

Now, things get interesting with the second part of both names. I’ll start off with the English name, which the second part says “Koko”. According to Bulbapedia, “Koko” is likely to have been derived from “kokō”, which means the sound of chickens cackling in Hawaiian, or it could also have been derived from “koko”, which means blood in Hawaiian. I think both Hawaiian words are accurate for the naming. As for the Japanese name, which says “Kokeko”, the same source says it’s derived from コケコッコー (kokekokkō), the Japanese onomatopoeia for “cock-a-doodle-do”. All this sounds pretty weird right now, but look at its description from the official Sun and Moon website, then look at its design.

 “Tapu Koko can store up electricity by enclosing itself in the shells on its arms. And it also appears to enter this form during other, special times…”

It’s very interesting how Tapu Koko looks when it closes its shell because it looks like the head of a rooster.

Notice how its hands mimic the beak of a rooster, and with this angle, you can definitely see its resemblance to a rooster.

TapuKoko.jpg

A rooster has feathers, and there is actually a god in Hawaiian mythology who wears feathers. His name is Kū, the god of war, and I mentioned that both “kokō” and “koko” are accurate for the naming of Tapu Koko because one of Kū’s main kinolau (or forms) is in fact, a rooster.

Tapu Koko is known to be the guardian deity of Melemele Island, which is shown on the map below:

alola region yellow.jpg

Melemele Island appears to be the island based off Oʻahu, and it’s a funny thing to note because “melemele” means yellow in Hawaiian, and the color that represents Oʻahu is yellow. Tapu Koko’s shell is yellow, and its electric typing also makes sense because Oʻahu is the only urban island of Hawaiʻi. Its ability, Electric Surge, just adds on to that reference of the urban setting of the island.

Theorizing About the Other Guardian Deities

So, we know that Tapu Koko is Electic/Fairy, it looks like a rooster, it’s the guardian deity of Melemele Island, and its ability is Electric Surge, which automatically sets up an Electric Terrain as it enters the battle, but would we know anything about the other deities?

There are a total of three terrain moves in existence as of now, with Electric Terrain being one of them, and the other two being Misty Terrain and Grassy Terrain. With that being said, itʻs very likely that all four of the guardian deities will have the fairy typing, and there will also be a new terrain coming up in Sun and Moon. On an additional note, two of the remaining deities will very likely have abilities that set up Misty Terrain and Grassy Terrain.

There also four major islands in the Alola Region. In fact, there are also four major akua (tiki gods) in Hawaiian mythology: Kū, Lono, Kāne, and Kanaloa.

As for their naming, since we know that “tapu” means sacred, all of the other remaining deities would theoretically have “Tapu” as part of their name. It’s also very likely there will be representation of different animal kinolau (or forms) from the shells of the remaining deities.

Here is an outline of my theory, along with a few reasons as to why I came up with these:

Tapu Koko
Type: Electric Fairy
Ability: Electric Surge – Sets up Electric Terrain as it enters battle
Island: Melemele Island (Oʻahu)
Akua:
Kinolau: Moa (Rooster)

  • Oʻahu’s official color is yellow, and melemele means yellow.
  • Oʻahu is the only urban island of Hawaiʻi.
  • Kū is known to wear feathers, and the rooster is one of his main kinolau.

Tapu ???
Type: Grass Fairy
Ability: (Unnamed) – Sets up Grassy Terrain as it enters battle
Island: Kauaʻi
Akua: Lono
Kinolau: Puaʻa (Pig)

  • The guardian deity of this island would be the one with Grassy Terrain because Kauaʻi is known as the Garden Isle.
  • This Pokémon would be based off Lono because he is the god of agriculture.
  • The pig is the only animal kinolau Lono would turn into.

Tapu ???
Type: Fairy
Ability: (Unnamed) – Sets up Misty Terrain as it enters battle
Island: Maui
Akua: Kāne
Kinolau: Pueo (Owl)

  • Kāne is the god of life, which is why I associated him with the pure fairy guardian.
  • Maui’s official color is pink.
  • The pueo is the only animal kinolau Kāne would turn into.

Tapu ???
Type: Dark Fairy
Ability: (Unnamed) – Sets up newly introduced terrain as it enters battle
Island: Big Island
Akua: Kanaloa
Kinolau: Mūheʻe (Squid) or Heʻe (Octopus)

  • Kanaloa is the god of the sea, but he’s also depicted as the god of the underworld.
  • I’m against having a water terrain because it would essentially make rain teams too powerful, so I used the depiction of Kanaloa representing evil to determine this guardian’s typing.
    • It is also said that Kanaloa is a companion of Kāne, so with this scenario, think of yin and yang.
  • I’m fine with either the squid or the octopus, although I would prefer the squid since it smells worse. Both have tentacles, which are found on those creepy creatures from science fiction movies.
  • With the new Dark/Fairy typing means there would theoretically be a dark terrain. I’m predicting the effects of the new terrain based on the effects of the other three:
    • Effects:
      • Reduces all Pokémon’s HP by 1/16 every turn (only those that touch the ground)
      • Halves the power of Psychic-type moves
    • Reasons:
      • There should be something to balance out Grassy Terrain’s effect of restoring HP.
      • Dragon doesn’t affect Fairy, and Psychic doesn’t affect Dark. In Misty Terrain, the power of Dragon-type moves are reduced by 50%, and it would make sense for this dark terrain to reduce the power of Psychic-type moves by 50%.
      • It shouldn’t boost Dark-type moves because Yveltal already does that with Dark Aura, like how Xerneas boosts Fairy-type moves with Fairy Aura, and Misty Terrain doesn’t boost Fairy-type moves.

Would these terrains have an effect in competitive play? Yes! They would basically define the metagame of the VGC 2017 season with a likely ruleset of Alola Dex only. Pairing up terrains with weather can be viable for the first time, and these terrains would help improve creativity in team building.

Is Pikipek Really That Bird?

I’ve seen many claims from other local people in Hawaiʻi saying Pikipek is based off this bird:

This bird right here is commonly seen in Hawaiʻi, and it’s known as the Red-Crested Cardinal. Although there is a slight bit of resemblance, I can confirm this claim as false.

Pikipek is classified as a woodpecker Pokémon, and there is a woodpecker that Pikipek happens to actually be based off of, called the Pileated Woodpecker.

The Region Fish?

Bruxish, a Pokémon that looks very much like a triggerfish. In fact, Hawaiʻi’s state fish happens to be a type of triggerfish, known as the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, or simply the reef triggerfish.

There was this show called Calabash Kids, and here’s a clip of them teaching how to pronounce humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa:

 

Then, we see its ability, Dazzling, which prevents priority moves from happening. Basically, it’s like an automatic Quick Guard, and it can potentially stop Pokémon with the ability of Prankster (i.e. Thundurus, Whimsicott, Liepard, etc.). For competitive play, this seems huge, but it really depends on how good Bruxish’s base stats are because Thundurus can still deal a lot of damage to it with a super-effective Thunderbolt.

Side Notes:

  • I usually don’t refer to myself as a Hawaiian as well as others, unless they are of Hawaiian ancestry. There are native Hawaiians in Hawaiʻi, and I say “Hawaiʻi resident” or “local” so I don’t offend the Hawaiians in any way.
  • There are unique symbols I’ve used, and I could only type them out by installing the Hawaiian keyboard.
    • The apostrophe looking symbol between the two I’s in Hawaiʻi is called an ʻokina, which is a letter that makes a glottal stop in between two vowels.
    • The slanted line above any vowel is called a kahakō, which makes vowels sound a bit longer than normal.

Closing

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Sun and Moon hype in the perspective of someone who grew up in Hawaiʻi. This is honestly something I haven’t seen from my friends, and I think this what we need to see in the community because of some inside jokes you might not know. I had a lot of fun researching information to come up with theories about the guardian deities, and if they appear incorrect in the end, that’s okay with me. Mahalo for reading, and we’ll find out what’s in the next segment of Saying Aloha to Alola! Shoots, buggahs!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains only my personal perspective on the Sun and Moon news, so some of the information cannot yet be confirmed as fact, although I did research on these topics. I’ve tried my best to make it sound as accurate as I possibly can, and I continue to do research on such topics and update whenever I spot mistakes. Mahalo for understanding.

© 2016 Kasoman’s Sea of Thoughts
Published on 7/7/2016 at 7:38 AM HST

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Saying Aloha to Alola #1: Aloha from Hawaiʻi

Aloha, everyone! This is the first segment of Saying Aloha to Alola, a blog series containing my perspective of references made to Hawaiʻi for the upcoming Sun and Moon games as a player who grew up on Maui and attending college on Oʻahu.

In today’s segment of Saying Aloha to Alola, I will be discussing about the naming of the region, the geography of the region, as well as the newfound diversity of people, including Professor Kukui and Hau. I will also be discussing about the meaning of the starter Pokémon.

Why is This Region’s Name “Alola”?

The first thing that would come to mind with the name Alola would be the most famous Hawaiian word, “aloha”. First things first, let’s dig into the meaning of aloha. Aloha is a common way to say hello or goodbye in Hawaiian, and it also means love, but there’s much more than just those meanings.

Aloha is by far the most complex word in the Hawaiian language when it comes to meanings. The literal meaning of aloha is the “presence of breath” or the “breath of life”. Growing up in Hawaiʻi, I learned aloha as a way of life since elementary school, and it could be that the literal meaning behind it may have a very deep connection to this lifestyle I grew up with.

Aloha is not just a greeting, and it doesn’t just mean love. Aloha is feeling of positivity and living in harmony. To me, aloha is a way to bring people together by showing we genuinely care for one another without ever expecting something in return. There is no right meaning of aloha, and the only wrong meaning of aloha would be when it’s interpreted in a negative connotation…or simply if it’s because that “meaning” somehow goes way off. There’s even a law in Hawaiʻi about the Aloha Spirit, and although you won’t get in trouble for breaking it, it’s a way to remind both residents and visitors to treat others the way they want to be treated. It’s more of a lesson actually, and you can read more about it, as well as other aspects of the word aloha here. It’s a very interesting thing to learn about, and I actually never knew about this law until after I graduated high school.

In regards to the new region in the upcoming games, the name of Alola was derived from the word aloha because Game Freak knows how much their fans love this franchise, and they also know how much positivity this game brings to many communities. Think of all the friends you have who love Pokémon, or even the ones you made simply because of Pokémon. Haven’t you ever thought of how cool that is? The name of Alola, in my opinion, is a very inviting name to think of, and it’s also a name that will become memorable as well like the other regions.

Geography of the Alola Region

Pok%C3%A9mon-Sun-and-Moon-Aloha-Region-M

The first island revealed easily made me think of Oʻahu, the most populated island of the state. I thought that was the whole region until the whole map was released. Then, things started to make sense after seeing this map.

All_Islands_map.710x509.gif

As you can see here, this is a map of the Hawaiian Islands, and if you compare this map to the map of the Alola Region, you can see the islands are arranged in a similar fashion from right to left. In the Alola Region, the four major islands, along with Niʻhau are being represented in the game. There aren’t islands based on Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe, and as someone who grew up on Maui, the reason why the three islands were not included would be because they are all a part of Maui County. In my opinion, it’d be redundant to include those three islands when all you need to do is make one island based on each respective county. Having all four islands would make the game much longer, and it would also be more difficult for the designers to come up with ideas since these three islands have low populations compared to Maui.

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This picture I found online is a comparison between Hawaiʻi and the Alola Region (credits to whoever made it), and I think it’s funny and accurate. It’s okay if you don’t get it now. I will write about them in the future, and although I would love to go into more detail about each island, it would take too long to write about them here. I would like a bit more information on each individual island before writing about them, although I can already spot some interesting references to certain places in Hawaiʻi. I would honestly expect to write about each island individually in the future because there are many different references Game Freak makes in terms of locations alone.

Ethnic Diversity

I’m actually very glad there are more dark-skinned characters like Professor Kukui and Hau being included in Sun and Moon. At least Game Freak did their research, unlike a certain movie (*cough* Aloha), and this is what local residents like me appreciate. Hawaiʻi is very well-known to be a melting pot of ethnic diversity with not only native Hawaiians, Caucasians, Latinos, and African-Americans, but also Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Tongans, Samoans, Native Americans, and so much more! In fact, it’s actually rare for someone to be full Hawaiian, so people of Hawaiian ancestry usually have a mix of several different races. I’m also glad trainer customization is making a comeback because it just adds into the diversity Sun and Moon would have, and that’s what we need for a game based on Hawaiʻi. In future games, I hope this kind of ethnic diversity continues.

Professor Kukui

Professor Kukui is the Alola region’s dependable Pokémon professor. He lives near your home and looks out for you. He’s passionate about his research into Pokémon moves and has sometimes taken direct hits from Pokémon when there was something to be learned from it. Sporting a white lab coat slung casually over his bare torso, he shows off his own unique style.

Professor Kukui is the first professor who is dark-skinned and shirtless, and like other professors, he’s named after some form of plant life. For his case, he’s been named after the kukui nut, otherwise known as the candlenut, for his dependability. How is the kukui nut dependable? Well, the kukui nut got its name because it has a high oil content, which allows it to be used as a candle. Its shells, leaves, and flowers can be used to make beautiful leis for other people to wear, its trunk can be used to make canoes, and there are several other uses from this tree. Another thing to note is as the Hawaiians often had many levels to their speech and language, the kukui was often used as a symbol of knowledge and enlightenment. Because of all of these uses, the kukui nut has been declared as Hawaiʻi’s state tree, and it also represents Molokaʻi, which is known as the “Friendly Isle”.

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His appearance is also what caught my eye. Along with his white lab coat, he seems to have a color scheme of green and black paired with it, and he’s also wearing a white cap with a rainbow on it. I immediately thought of the school I attend, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, which is a research institution, its school colors are green, black, and white, and their athletics teams are known as the “Rainbow Warriors” (or “Bows” for short). As a student of UH Mānoa, I think this reference is a very obvious one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a place similar to UH Mānoa on the island that represents Oʻahu. I would also not be surprised if there are Yungoos and/or its evolved form(s) all over that place because I actually see mongooses everywhere on the UH Mānoa campus.

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Referring to someone as “cousin” is actually a normal thing in the islands, although some of us would use “cuz” for short. It’s because Hawaiʻi has this vibe of treating someone as if they were family, and it’s very common for children to refer to their elders as “Aunty” or “Uncle”, even if they are not related. Even I still do that for family friends, and I’m 21 years old.

Hau

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Hau is a Pokémon-loving young boy with a big appetite! He’s the same age as your character. When you move to the Alola region, he makes friends with you right away. He has a real weakness for malasada, a famous treat in the Alola region, and he is always in search of malasada shops. He is a big-hearted boy who really loves Pokémon.

Let me just say I love Hau as a character, even though the games haven’t been released yet. He dresses in a similar fashion of how a local boy in Hawaiʻi would dress, and he has such a cheerful attitude.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on the meaning of his name, and I was able to find answers. If you directly translate “hau” from Hawaiian to English, the result would be “ice”, and I thought it was odd since Hau isn’t close to being a cold person at all. I then found the Hawaiian word, “hauʻoli”, which translates to “happiness”. Because of this definition, I would figure Hau’s name has been derived from the word hauʻoli, which makes a lot of sense for his cheerful personality and big heart.

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My favorite part about Hau is his dialect, which is actually a language I grew up with. I seriously got hyped up about it when I saw it on the E3 stream.

“Ho! Howzit, Sun?” = “Hey! How’s it going, Sun?”

This is Hawaiian Creole English, otherwise known as “Pidgin”, and this is one of three official languages of Hawaiʻi, with the other two being English and Hawaiian.

this_hat_gives_you_chicken_skin_by_jules

Chicken skin is another commonly used term in Hawaiʻi, which means goosebumps. What’s even more interesting is Hau’s catchphrase “Hoo-ee!” The term I think of is “chee hoo”, and people usually yell this out when they get excited for something. The way I see this catchphrase is a modified backwards version of “chee hoo”. In this link, there is a video containing a humorous way of incorporating “chee hoo” with Pokémon, and it actually went viral among many local people in Hawaiʻi.

Let’s not forget that Hau loves malasadas! If you don’t know what a malasada is, it is a Portuguese treat that is an egg-sized ball of yeast dough, deep fried in oil and coated in sugar. It’s sweet, soft, and fluffy, and I love the simplicity of malasadas. Hau’s always on the lookout for malasada shops, and there is actually a famous one in Hawaiʻi called Leonard’s Bakery.

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Leonard’s is a small local bakery located in Honolulu, and it’s actually close to UH Mānoa. Leonard’s is my favorite place to go for malasadas, and it’s only about a 10 minute bus ride away from the campus. The funny thing is that I’m actually planning to pick up some maladadas there when Sun and Moon comes out.

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Other than plain sugar, there are other flavors like chocolate, custard, and even unique Hawaiian tastes like haupia (coconut), lilikoi (passion fruit), and my favorite, li hing mui, which is the reddish colored one on the bottom left corner. Li hing mui is a red plum powder that is sweet, sour, and salty, which is very unique for the most part, so some people may like it, and some people may not like it. Li hing mui also comes in the form of actual plums, which are typically dried then topped off with the powder. Many local kids would put the powder on candy, shave ice, popcorn, and mochi crunch. Definitely try it whenever you have a trip to Hawaiʻi!

The Starter Pokémon

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Like always, we get hyped up about the starter Pokémon, and this generation shows no slouch. The grass starter, Rowlet, which looks like an owl, the fire starter, Litten, looking like a cat, and Popplio, the one that looks like a seal. I like the designs of all three of them, and as for referencing Hawaiʻi, it somehow gets better.

Let’s start with Rowlet, the grass starter. The first thing that pops up in my mind upon seeing it would be the Pueo, a sub-species of the short eared owl that is endemic to Hawaiʻi.

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The Pueo, in the Hawaiian culture, is considered to be sacred, being known as the Aumakua of Divine Guidance (Aumakua means “ancestral spirit”). According to a blog post I found, “an Aumakua was a deified ancestral guardian spirit, embodying the form of an animal to watch over their descendants. An Aumakua could manifest itself as a pueo (owl), shark, a sea turtle, an ʻio (hawk), or other animal. Aumakuas empower, guide, protect and inspire their descendants. Pueo is among the oldest of the Aumakua. She is often asked for advice in times of need. The Pueo is considered as the ‘Bringer of Good Luck’, protector and messenger.”

Sadly, because of pollution, disease, and competition among invasive species, the pueo’s population is decreasing, and it is considered an endangered species. In my opinion, the pueo is one of the most beautiful birds I’ve seen, and it would be very sad news if it ever goes extinct. There are other native birds facing similar problems as the pueo does, and believe me, these birds are beautiful, and they also make beautiful sounds.

Now, we move on to Litten, the fire starter. Before we go on to the reference to Hawaiʻi, I would just like to applaud Game Freak for their word play in naming this Pokémon. Lit and kitten does make an interesting play of words to form “Litten”. Anyway, the first thing that comes to mind for me would be the common feral cats, which are actually everywhere in the islands. The fact that Litten is also a fire type makes sense since the feral cats are contributors in the declining population of the native birds, and Rowlet is indeed, a grass type. The big irony of this is feral cats are very, very common; yet, starters are considered to be rare, so Litten really portrays the image of both endangered and invasive species in Hawaiʻi. Other than that, I really don’t have anything else to say about this starter.

Finally, there’s Popplio, the water starter. Research on this Pokémon has been the most fun for me, and I have nothing but good things to say about Popplio!

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It’s no doubt that Popplio’s name is based on the Hawaiian monk seal, or ʻIlio-holo-i-ka-uaua (dog that runs in rough water). Part of Popplio’s name, “lio”, has been derived from the Hawaiian name of this adorable creature, which is pretty awesome to find!

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Then, I got more information from this picture, which is Popplio “snorting out a balloon made out of water from its nose.” Baby seals are known as pups, and balloons can pop in the end, which means “Popp” is derived from both the words “pop” and “pup”. Thus, this is how Popplio got its name!

As far as the Hawaiian monk seal’s rarity goes, yes, it is also an endangered species, and it is also protected by law. It is illegal to capture, kill, harass, or even touch the seal. This would be classified as a Class C felony, and the penalty is up to five years in prison along with even a $50,000 fine, so don’t go near a Hawaiian monk seal if it ever lies down on a beach!

Bonus: Yungoos

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I figured since Yungoos is what made me want to write this, I figured why not include Yungoos in the segment?

“Yungoos is not a Pokémon that is native to the Alola region. It was brought to the region to help deal with the explosive population of a certain other Pokémon, and now Yungoos are commonly seen around the Alola region.”

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Well, there is a similar animal that is not native to Hawaiʻi. It was brought to help deal with the explosive population of certain animals, and now they are commonly seen around in Hawaiʻi. That’s right. I immediately thought of the infamous Small Asian Mongooses that roam around Hawaiʻi. I mean, don’t you see the resemblance?

In the 1800’s, there were sugar cane plantations in the islands, and the reason why the mongooses were introduced was because there were rats that were destroying the crops. However, there was one big problem: the mongooses are crepuscular, while the rats are nocturnal. As a result, the mongooses turned to preying on the native birds and their eggs, and crops continually got damaged, which became a catastrophic mistake for Hawaiʻi.

As far as its name, “goos” is obviously derived from “mongoose”, and “Yung” took a bit of searching on Google. It turns out that “Yung” is simply a variation of “Young” in Korean, and also an unusual baby name in other Asian cultures. Because of this, it’s very likely it will have at least one evolved form.

As for its design, I like how Yungoos is so grumpy looking, yet, it still looks kinda cute like how a mongoose does. It’s quite amusing to see.

Side Notes:

  • I usually don’t refer to myself as a Hawaiian as well as others, unless they are of Hawaiian ancestry. There are native Hawaiians in Hawaiʻi, and I say “Hawaiʻi resident” or “local” so I don’t offend the Hawaiians in any way.
  • There are unique symbols I’ve used, and I could only type them out by installing the Hawaiian keyboard.
    • The apostrophe looking symbol between the two I’s in Hawaiʻi is called an ʻokina, which is a letter that makes a glottal stop in between two vowels.
    • The slanted line above the first A in Mānoa is called a kahakō, which makes vowels sound a bit longer than normal.

Closing

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Sun and Moon hype in the perspective of someone who grew up in Hawaiʻi. This is honestly something I haven’t seen from my friends, and I think this what we need to see in the community because of some inside jokes you might not know. Like the meaning of aloha, Pokémon is about bringing us together, and having newer ideas for content makes it easier for us. Mahalo for reading, and we’ll find out what’s in the next segment of Saying Aloha to Alola! Shoots, buggahs!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains only my personal perspective on the Sun and Moon news, so some of the information cannot yet be confirmed as fact, although I did research on these topics. I’ve tried my best to make it sound as accurate as I possibly can, and I continue to do research on such topics and update whenever I spot mistakes. Mahalo for understanding.

© 2016 Kasoman’s Sea of Thoughts
Published on 6/17/2016 at 7:37 AM HST
Last updated on 6/18/2016 at 3:33 PM HST

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Can 244 Be the New 252? An In-Depth Look into the 244-Tech

Hey, everyone! I decided to bring up a tech that has been widely used by many players out there, including myself. However, not many people know exactly how this tech works, or even the purpose of it in general. This article will give an in-depth look into what I call the “244-Tech”.

What is the 244-Tech?

It is a type of EV spread that is similar to the standard 252/252 spread, but provides a slight bit more bulk with the slight cost of damage output.

When is this Tech Normally Used?

It is normally used for a Pokémon with a jolly or timid nature, but in some cases, a naive or hasty nature as well.

Standard Sweeper Spread:

  • Physical: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
  • Special: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

244-Tech:

  • Physical: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Special: 4 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

How Useful is this Tech?

Although it’s not meant to guarantee a Pokémon to survive certain moves, it can lower individual damage rolls, which can be very helpful as it increases the chances of survivals by a margin. The 244-Tech works on most moves, but sometimes, it doesn’t make a difference on some moves.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly used Pokémon in VGC 2016, Groudon, and the damage rolls from a Mega Salamence’s Draco Meteor associated with each respective EV spread.

Standard 252/252 Spread:
groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Damage Calculation:

  • 252 SpA Mega Salamence Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Primal Groudon: 115-136 (65.3-77.2%)
    • Rolls: {115, 117, 118, 120, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135, 136}

Using the 244-Tech:
groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Damage Calculation:

  • 252 SpA Mega Salamence Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 114-135 (64.7-76.7%)
    • Rolls: {114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135}

Quick Note: Hyper Voice made no difference for the 244-Tech, and it’s common for certain moves to make no difference for this tech.

Comparing the Two Sets of Damage Rolls:

4 HP / 0 SpD:
{115, 117, 118, 120, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135, 136}
4 HP / 4 SpD:
{114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135}
Differences:
{1, 2, 1, 2, 0, 0, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1}

  • 2/16 damage rolls made no difference
  • 7/16 damage rolls have a difference of 1
  • 7/16 damage rolls have a difference of 2

Looking at the comparison, you’ll see two individual rolls having no difference, which is quite common when using this tech. However, you’ll also notice the rest of the damage rolls improving. Almost half have a difference of 1, and almost half have a difference of 2. It doesn’t seem like much of an improvement, but after looking at the damage rolls themselves, this is actually a very nice tech to consider. I’ve used a max speed Groudon with the 244-Tech, and it was able to hang on with a sliver of HP a few times. I can safely assume it’s all thanks to this tech. It doesn’t do as much damage as the 252/252 spread, but this slight touch of bulk might have been able to save me for a few games.

Making Improvements on this Tech

Maybe you decided to use this tech as a starting point, and you want to make adjustments to the EV spread for specific calculations in the future. Let’s take a look at a slight tweak at the 244-Tech Groudon EV spread, which was shown to us by Kyle Cole in this YouTube video.

groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Damage Calculations:

  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 75-88 (42.3 – 49.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Xerneas Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 149-176 (84.1 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Xerneas Hidden Power Ground vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 150-178 (84.7 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

As you can see here, this EV spread allows Groudon to survive two Dazzling Gleams from a timid Xerneas after a Geomancy boost. In addition to this, Groudon can also survive a +2 Grass Knot, as well as a +2 Hidden Power Ground 15/16 times. As DaWoblefet said, one point can make a difference when it comes to EV training, and this is a great example by increasing the HP stat by one.

Other Ways to Use this Tech

Pokémon with a Naive Nature

Salamence and Rayquaza are the best known Pokémon in the meta to have a naive nature. Let’s take a quick look at Jaime Boyt (MrJellyLeggs)’s Mega Rayquaza set he used to win the Wakefield Regional Championships:

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Rayquaza @ Life Orb
Naive Nature
4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 252 Spe

Notable Damage Calculations:

  • 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 140-200 (77.7 – 111.1%) — approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO
  • 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 140-200 (77.3 – 110.4%) — approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO

As silly as this sounds, Boyt said the 4 EV’s in HP significantly increases Rayquaza’s chances of surviving a 5-hit Icicle Spear from a Choice Scarf Cloyster. Because of this calculation, I honestly don’t feel safe without this particular investment whenever I would utilize a Rayquaza. Since he made this investment in HP, he was able to make slight investments in defense as well as special attack, which helps Overheat to have a slightly better damage output, as well as increasing Rayquaza’s chances of surviving a Double-Edge from an adamant Mega Kangaskhan by 7%, although that can still KO a bit over half the time.

Bulky Kangaskhan That’s Not Too Slow?

Maybe you want to use a Kangaskhan in a TailRoom team, but you don’t know where to start. Commonly, players would go with 252 HP / 252 Atk and choose one defensive stat for the remaining 4 EV’s, but if you want to use this tech, this might be a good starting point:

kangaskhan-mega
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Adamant Nature
252 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe

With this spread, you don’t have to worry about choosing between two defensive stats for those 4 EV’s because why not invest in both? In addition to this, you also have a slight investment in speed, which can help Kangaskhan outspeed any uninvested base 90’s before mega evolution, as well as any uninvested base 100’s after mega evolution. Because Kangaskhan’s speed is a bit mediocre with this spread, it can function in Trick Room, and it can also outspeed most Pokémon in the metagame under Tailwind.

When Not to Use this Tech

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to use this tech on very frail Pokémon like Weavile and Gengar, two Pokémon that commonly carry the Focus Sash. This tech would only work on Pokémon with natural bulk. I would say the stats should be at least around base 90 for defensive stats, along with a reasonable base HP (usually, most of these Pokémon would have a base HP of around 100 at the least).

Would Everyone Use this Tech?

This really depends on the player’s style. If you would want as much damage output as possible, the 252/252 spread would be your best bet, but if you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of damage output for a slight touch of bulk, this tech is the way to go. There are several top players out there who use this tech, and I was actually influenced to use this tech by Daichi Kumabe (Scar). According to Scar’s analysis of his 2015 Worlds Team, he decided to utilize the 244-Tech for his Landorus during the morning of Day 2, which helped it survive a Life Orb boosted Hidden Power Ice from a Thundurus 15/16 times while carrying an Assault Vest. As simple and last minute as it may have seemed, it was also a very effective tech for him to utilize in order for him to do so well.

Closing Thoughts

Although the 244-Tech is something not all players would use, it’s still an increasingly popular choice for those who would appreciate just a bit more bulk on their fast Pokémon, and this tech definitely makes a great starting point. I would personally recommend utilizing this tech, but there are others out there who would prefer the simpler and more offensive build. I only wrote this article because this tech has been widely used for quite a while; yet, no one has really ever went in depth into this subject. If you ever want a bit more bulk on your fast Pokémon, try the 244-Tech!

Bi-Polar Weather? Oh, That’s Normal Here: 1st Place Hawaiʻi Midseason Showdown Report

Hey, everyone! I recently won the Midseason Showdown that was sanctioned in Hawaiʻi, and I’d like to share how I was able to accomplish that. The turnout was a sad amount, being eight people, which was like the Premier Challenge that was sanctioned in January. As a result, swiss went on for three rounds, but thankfully, we played best-of-three instead of best-of-one, which is a huge step in improvement of VGC.

Team Building

For the tourney, I’ve wanted to try a dual primal team after watching Cybertron and PokéAlex do so well with this core at a regional level, and I thought maybe I can enjoy using this core myself. Dual primal can deal with the Big 6 effectively with a Bronzong in the team, and Salamence is probably my favorite mega evolution to use in the format because of its coverage and ability. I’ve been aware that dual primal is becoming a thing, so of course, I had to make my twist of things to deal with mirror matches, even though the team would end up as standard as it would be.

kyogre-primalgroudon-primalsalamence-megathundurus_xy_iconferrothorncresselia_xy_icon
I started off with this composition, which had quite a lot of color synergy. I liked it for a while, but I eventually realized my match up against the Big 6 wasn’t the greatest. I also found Ferrothorn to be quite underwhelming for me to utilize because it usually sits there doing nothing, and Groudon is practically everywhere because it is arguably the best restricted Pokémon of the format. I even tried a set with Sitrus Berry, but it still wasn’t enough for me to fully enjoy it, although I like using it more than the standard Leftovers set.

kyogre-primalgroudon-primalsalamence-megathundurus_xy_iconbronzongsmeargle
I took a liking to the dual primal core with Salamence and Thundurus, which makes a strong set of four Pokémon. To improve the Big 6 match up, I decided to swap Cresselia for Bronzong to deal with Xerneas, and have Smeargle to deal with opposing Smeargle. Pretty much similar to the team Cybertron used for the Anaheim Regionals, but with Thundurus over Mawile.

kyogre-primalgroudon-primalsalamence-megathundurus_xy_iconbronzongkangaskhan-mega
I decided to play with my first composition for a few games, then I randomly ran into LightCore on Showdown, who used this exact composition. I became interested in this composition because Kangaskhan provides Fake Out support along with good offensive pressure. I found Smeargle to be underwhelming to utilize like Ferrothorn, so, I decided to have a dual mega option in Salamence and Kangaskhan, along with the dual primal core since swiss would be best-of-three at the MSS.

kyogre-primalgroudon-primalsalamence-megathundurus_xy_iconbronzongmawile_xy_mega_icon
I never thought I would need to use Mawile, but then I eventually realized why those two had Mawile on their teams: Yveltal. Yveltal can be quite a terrible match up for dual primal teams as it can deal a lot of damage with Foul Play to most of the team, and it can also threaten any viable Trick Room setter of the format with a very powerful Knock Off, as well as a Dark Pulse, which happens to have a 10% chance to flinch the target. Yveltal could also spam Snarl, which is another annoying move it can use. Additionally, it has the strongest Sucker Punch in the game, which provides pressure in Trick Room. In practice, Mawile has been an amazing addition because not only it deals with Yveltal, it can also deal with Xerneas, it can make the RayOgre match up a bit easier, and it also has Intimidate as its ability before it mega evolves, which is a very nice thing to have. Kangaskhan is a solid fit for this core, but I actually haven’t used it very much in practice, so I’m actually very glad I swapped it for Mawile.

The Team

PKyogre ORAS

Kyogre
Held Item: Blue Orb
Ability: Primordial Sea
Nature: Modest
Base Forme: 207-94-136-193-161-111
Primal Reversion: 207-139-136-226-181-111
EV: H252 B204 C44 D4 S4
IV: 31-00-31-31-31-31
Moves: Scald / Ice Beam / Water Spout / Protect

I know this sounds crazy, but yes, I used a very physically defensive Kyogre with minimal offensive investment. I wanted Kyogre to take hits well since I could take advantage of its bulk thanks to intimidate support, as well as its typing. Although I didn’t invest much into special attack, it’s been worthwhile for me to use this spread both in practice, and during the tourney. I know many people are running physical Groudon currently, so I wanted Kyogre to be able to take at least two Precipice Blades after the opposing Groudon gets intimidated. I know people are also putting more investment in speed for their primals, which is getting a bit annoying. Since I am running Trick Room on my team, I decided to make minimal investment in speed on both of my restricted Pokémon as they outspeed many uninvested or slow variants, while still being able to underspeed many other primals out there. As for special attack, I just dumped those EV’s there since I didn’t feel the need to invest more into bulk. The reason why I chose Scald and Water Spout is because they don’t miss, and Scald can bypass Wide Guard, which is now being more commonly seen on Smeargle. Scald also has that nice 30% burn chance which did happen in one of my matches. I personally despise the accuracy of Origin Pulse as it’s a 72% chance for it to hit both targets, and I also don’t like using Thunder as I feel it’s too situational for the Kyogre mirror match. Plus, its accuracy gets reduced to 50% when the sun goes up, which really makes me not want to use it at all.

Defensive Calculations:

  • -1 A252 Mega Kangaskhan’s Double Edge is a 0.5% chance to 2HKO
  • -1 A252+ Ferrothorn’s Seed Bomb is a guaranteed 3HKO
  • A252 Primal Groudon’s Precipice Blades is a guaranteed 3HKO
    • -1 A252 Primal Groudon’s Precipice Blades becomes a miniscule chance to 3HKO in spread damage, and a guaranteed 3HKO in single target damage
  • -1 A252+ Primal Groudon’s Precipice Blades is a guaranteed 3HKO
  • -1 A252 Mega Rayquaza’s Dragon Ascent is a guaranteed 3HKO
    • A Life Orb boosted Dragon Ascent can 2HKO this spread 90% of the time at -1
  • -1 A252 Mega Salamence’s Double-Edge is a guaranteed 3HKO
  • -1 A252+ Mega Mawile’s Play Rough is a guaranteed 3HKO
  • Also survives a Choice Band boosted Explosion from A252+ Landorus-Therian

PGroudon ORAS

Groudon
Held Item: Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Nature: Adamant
Base Forme: 189-218-161-xx-130-112
Primal Reversion: 189-251-181-xx-130-112
EV: H108 A228 B4 D156 S12
IV: 31-31-31-xx-31-31
Moves: Precipice Blades / Fire Punch / Rock Slide / Protect

Groudon is my more offensively built primal as it is trained to survive only an Earth Power from timid Groudon. Otherwise, it’s a coin flip for it to survive an Earth Power from more specially offensive Groudon. I originally used a max HP spread, but I realized how not many people are using modest or quiet Groudon, and I wanted to have a bit more firepower from the team. To be completely honest, you can only do so much for Groudon’s bulk since it is already naturally defensive on the physical side, and its typing already has a crippling weakness to water. Plus, you would actually want to invest more into attack anyway since there’s intimidate support everywhere, and Precipice Blades can miss, so you want to pick up those KO’s as quickly as possible. I wish there were a better alternative to Precipice Blades, but sadly, there isn’t any. I invested 12 EV’s into speed because I wanted my Groudon to be the faster primal as it can function in rain, and I also wanted it to benefit from Trick Room as well.

Defensive Calculations:

  • Guaranteed to survive an Earth Power from C252 Primal Groudon
    • 50% chance to survive an Earth Power from C252+ Primal Groudon

MSalamence ORAS
Salamencite
Salamence 
Held Item: Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate → Aerilate
Nature: Naive
Base Forme: 171-156-101-161-90-167
Mega Evolution: 171-166-151-171-99-189
EV: H4 A4 B4 C244 S252
IV: 31-31-31-31-31-31
Moves: Hyper Voice / Double-Edge / Tailwind / Protect

I remember the time I lost a lot of momentum in Game 1 of the final round during January’s PC because I missed a Draco Meteor. I never wanted to experience that again, and I also wanted to have speed control over opposing Groudon in case I couldn’t set up Trick Room since Thundurus outright can’t touch it. As a result, I decided to use Tailwind, and I haven’t regretted this decision one bit, although I haven’t used this move a single time in the tourney. In practice, it’s been very effective to take advantage of, and I think this is a move to consider if you don’t want to use Draco Meteor anymore. My EV spread looks a little odd, but it’s because I wanted a little more bulk on Salamence. Surprisingly, Salamence ended up as my least used Pokémon throughout the whole tourney, being brought to only two games.

thundurus_xy_animated

Thundurus  (Incarnate Forme)
Held Item: Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Nature: Timid
Stats: 155-108-93-174-101-179
EV: H4 B20 C228 D4 S252
IV: 31-00-31-31-31-31
Moves: Thunderbolt / Thunder Wave / Taunt / Protect

The item of choice for Thundurus is pretty much a huge debate as of now since Thundurus is the bulkiest Prankster of the format. I think Sitrus Berry is a great item on Thundurus, but I would personally prefer Focus Sash over Sitrus Berry any day. I wanted the speed advantage for shenanigans, and I also wanted to provide offensive pressure towards the likes of opposing Kyogre, which can be an issue for dual primal teams. This particular spread is not max special attack because I wanted Thundurus to survive a Double-Edge from a Kangaskhan that is intimidated since it is easily the only Pokémon that can easily rip through the Focus Sash.

Defensive Calculations:

  • -1 A252 Mega Kangaskhan’s Double-Edge is a guaranteed 2HKO

bronzong_xy_animated_shiny   ShinyVIStar.png

Bronzong
Held Item: Mental Herb
Ability: Levitate
Nature: Sassy
Stats: 174-109-152-xx-168-34
EV: H252 B124 D132
IV: 31-31-31-xx-31-00
Moves: Gyro Ball / Skill Swap / Gravity / Trick Room

The secondary star of the team! One of my main forms of speed control, which can actually fight back against Xerneas with its Gyro Ball! I remember when Jeremy Whipple (ClassyCobra) beat me with a Bronzong and won the PC with it. Funny how I ended up winning a tourney with it. The difference between our Bronzong is he had Protect rather than Gravity, but that’s because he didn’t need Gravity. My EV spread is also different than his. In fact, I actually have no idea what his spread does to be completely honest. A Fire Punch from Groudon is the only benchmark I could think of, so I did damage calculations for that. Another difference is that mine is shiny, and his isn’t. Clearly, the difference would be obvious. Anyway, Bronzong has been doing a lot of work in the tourney, and I’ve brought it to most of the games in the MSS.

Defensive Calculations:

  • -1 A252+ Primal Groudon’s Fire Punch is a guaranteed 2HKO
  • C252+ Primal Kyogre’s Water Spout is a guaranteed 2HKO
  • C252+ Primal Kyogre’s Origin Pulse is a guaranteed 2HKO in single target damage

mawile_xy_mega_animated
Mawilite
Mawile 
Held Item: Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate → Huge Power
Nature: Brave
Base Forme: 155-130-105-xx-96-49
Mega Evolution: 155-152-145-xx-136-49
EV: H236 A108 D164
IV: 31-31-31-xx-31-00
Moves: Iron Head / Play Rough / Sucker Punch / Protect

Here she is! The real MVP of the team! Mawile’s actually the last member of the team specifically to deal with Yveltal, and she’s done a lot more work than I expected. It turned out not many of my opponents had an effective answer to Mawile, and I also happened to steamroll one of my opponents with Mawile. This Mawile is minimum speed because it wouldn’t make sense to optimize the EV spread for TailRoom, and it was just something I would start with. I haven’t had much problems in practice, so I just kept it at minimum speed. My first benchmark was for Mawile to survive two Dazzling Gleams from +2 C252 Xerneas, then I made calculations for an Origin Pulse from C252+ Primal Kyogre. Having Intimidate and Huge Power as its abilities makes Mawile something you don’t want to stare down in a Trick Room.

Defensive Calculations:

  • C252+ Primal Kyogre’s Origin Pulse is a guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 C252 Xerneas’s Dazzling Gleam is a guaranteed 3HKO
  • +2 C252 Xerneas’s Hidden Power Ground is a guaranteed 2HKO

Midseason Showdown Match Summary

Round 1: Alec Sodetani (NightsValor) – Win 2-0
groudon-primal716kangaskhan-megasalamence-mega663smeargle

Round 2: Brandon Tong (stek) – Win 2-1
kyogre-primalrayquaza_xy_mega_iconraichu_xy_iconscizor_xy_icon

Round 3: Morgan Wynne (j80) – Win 2-0
kyogre-primal717kangaskhan-megaferrothornthundurus_xy_icon6567f-488

Finals: Brandon Tong (stek) – Win 2-0
kyogre-primalrayquaza_xy_mega_iconraichu_xy_iconscizor_xy_icon

The Issue with Attendance

If there were better promotion and planning for VGC events ahead of time, as well as better prize support, maybe people would actually show up. People would also probably show up if VGC events didn’t conflict with TCG events as well. Brandon and I actually did not get prizes in the end, but we didn’t really care to be honest since VGC prize support is usually pretty ill for the most part. I’m sure some of you can relate to what I’m talking about.

A Premier Challenge back in 2015 had roughly 20 people, which is the biggest attendance I’ve heard of for any VGC event in Hawaiʻi, although I wasn’t able to attend that one. That PC was sanctioned at our anime convention, also known as Kawaii Kon. Many people did play VGC in Hawaiʻi back in the day when Worlds would be sanctioned in the islands, but then it sort of just died down. I’m still doing the best I can to improve the competitive scene in Hawaiʻi. Believe me, it’s going to be a LOT of work to pull that off, but it’s doable! I just feel like us VGC players don’t get enough appreciation in the community, and I’m trying to fix that here.

Closing Thoughts

Despite that I won the Midseason Showdown, I wasn’t expecting the turnout to be this low, and the fact most of my matches ended up as dominating wins really doesn’t sound as exciting as you think. Not to sound arrogant or anything like that, but my level of play compared to almost everyone else’s at the tourney had a huge gap, and I know there are a lot of players out there who are better than I am. It’s a shame how not many people in Hawaiʻi are interested in playing VGC. Nonetheless, I’m still very happy I won the tourney, and I’m very glad I spent a lot of time practicing for the MSS. Now, I should have 110 CP, even though there’s zero chance I’ll earn a Worlds invite.

Thanks for reading, and to close this off, this exact dual primal team I used could potentially be the new Big 6 since I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately. Be prepared to face those! Shoots, buggahs!