Mindape’s Journey to the West

A Pokemon VGC Blog

Melbourne Battle Association: Weeks Nine and Ten



Week Nine vs Miami Heatmor & Week Ten vs Sydney Shuckles

Due to issues with being absent from Wifi for large tracts of the last two weeks, and the Christmas break, we have another double analysis week here today.



Vs Miami Heatmor

Their squad


These were my notes: 

Gardevoir is big threat. Will likely bring lots of water to neuter Keldeo. Keldeo can tear through if set up and Gardevoir is taken care of, as can Latias (Reflect Type can laugh at Gardevoir, but can I fit it in? Have to maintain Bisharp for Gardevoir. If I bring Arcanine, it's weak against 3 water types, can't hit Slowbro hard at all, but gives me another option against Gardevoir. Can also switch in on Entei and Wil-o-Wisp. Milotic will be competitive and bulky. Bisharp + Sticky web is good. Shuckle is also great, especially if it can get a free turn/create free turns. Who to put in 6th slot? Malamar can set up, especially with help with sticky web, but is a bit feeble and worsens my Gardevoir matchup, which Nick will know is key. Can't afford for it to set up with Calm Mind or something.

Gardevoir matchup – Snag with Shuckle, Get with Bisharp, Arcanine, can niggle with Gardevoir.

Bulky Water core – break down with Galvantula, Shuckle, a set up Keldeo. Bisharp and Arcanine can chunk if Gardevoir is neutered.

Weezing, Trevenant, etc – Keldeo can set up, Latias can chip at, Trevenant is vulnerable. Weezing less so – but Galvantula, Latias, Arcanine can put in big chunks. Shuckle is also a stand off on bulky variants, but will likely eventually lose.

No way to really clear hazards, aside Flygon's defog. Although up to three can dodge sticky web. Need to put up web to make sure Bisharp can beat Gard and Terrakion.  Rocks can beat focus sash things like Zoroark, punish switches.  Likely to run Competitive Milotic to try to make use of Sticky Web. Should try to look after Galvantula if possible, it's good.

Latias is scared of Zoroark a little, and Gardevoir

Bisharp can be really strong late game, in conjunction with sticky web.

Likely to run Rotom-W, Gardevoir, Zoroark, Milotic, Trevenant, Flygon.

Keldeo's best offensive moves are HP ice and Secret Sword then. Need to get rid of Flygon, so Web can stay up and at my advantage.  Latias afer a few CM's is really hard to beat for him.

From that, this was the team I ended up going with.

Hoenn Airlines (Latias) @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 128 SpA / 128 Spe
Bold Nature
- Calm Mind
- Recover
- Dragon Pulse
- Psyshock

Ride My Pony (Keldeo-Resolute) @ Leftovers
Ability: Justified
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
- Scald
- Secret Sword

Be Sharp (Bisharp) @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Iron Head
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off

Sub Woofer (Arcanine) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Atk / 16 Def / 104 SpD
Impish Nature
- Will-O-Wisp
- Flare Blitz
- Extreme Speed
- Morning Sun

Don't Mind Me (Shuckle) @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Contrary
EVs: 252 HP / 32 Def / 224 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shell Smash
- Infestation
- Toxic
- Rest

A Bug's Life (Galvantula) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sticky Web
- Thunder
- Thunder Wave
- Energy Ball

Now looking back at it, I feel like my actual teambuilding was uninspired given my note-taking, but I guess it is easy to keep using what one is comfortable with. I had had a busy weekend away from internet (thanks Telstra), and with a few things happening, so maybe my head wasn't in the game. Apart from running a defensive Arcanine, everything here is quite standard and doesn't need very much explanation.


Vs Sydney Shuckles

Their squad:

Meowstic - M


As I only made this team a couple of hours before my battle, unusually late by my standards, this was probably my slackest teambuilding week in terms of note-making, as I didn't actually come up with anything in my big old notebook, but I'll still run through my teambuilding thought-process post facto, as I think it's a good exercise.

Firstly, another team with a Fairy - man, they really give me trouble. Fortunately, Clefable is much slower than Gardevoir and Diancie, so Bisharp and Arcanine can more easily deal with it if they're allowed to. Sydney also seemed to be a little vulnerable to being chipped away at with Stealth Rocks, and Clefable aside, a big Dark weakness, as well as the coverage generally offered by the likes of Bisharp and Malamar. With quite a few bulky mons around, it wouldn't be very easy to make use of this weakness though - the Stealth Rocks would help, especially with only really Crobat to clear them

Metagross, Thundurus and Crobat all posed issues with their speed, and with two of them being off the ground, and the other getting Clear Body pre-Mega evolution, I was going to need something other than Sticky Web to get myself faster than them - something my recent trade Ninjask would be able to do if allowed, and that meant trying to keep opposing Stealth Rocks off the field. This strategy would give me many options depending on the time in the match and what Sydney had left, since I had the potential to run as many as four or five pokemon that could make use of Speed passing.

I felt that Keldeo might have a tough matchup, and with the previous week's experience (see replay and analysis), but without it in the squad I had to look for another option to keep up my ability to hit hard even with depleted resources in a late game - with something like Malamar, it would mean that I had a big Physical bias in my offenses, but I felt that that would be manageable given that the special bulk of Sydney was more of an issue for me.


From that, this was the team I ended up going with:

Merry Christmas (Claydol) @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD
Bold Nature
- Earth Power
- Psyshock
- Stealth Rock
- Rapid Spin

Mrs Santa (Latias) @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA
Modest Nature
- Calm Mind
- Psyshock
- Shadow Ball
- Recover

Delivery Drone (Ninjask) @ Leftovers
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
- Protect
- Substitute
- Baton Pass
- Night Slash

Present Opener (Bisharp) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head

Merry Dogmas (Arcanine) @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
- Close Combat
- Will-O-Wisp

Christmas Coal (Malamar) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Contrary
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Superpower
- Knock Off
- Taunt
- Psycho Cut

Season Team Caps: 10 - Latias, Arcanine; 9 - Keldeo, Bisharp; 7 - Galvantula; 6 - Shuckle; 3 - Aromatisse, Claydol; 1 - Togetic, Ninjask, Malamar


I gave Claydol two attacks that could be largely useful against opposing options and to allow it to do something with its life other than set up Rocks and spin them away. Latias was given Shadow Ball to hit Metagross, Musharna and Jellicent hard if need be, but was otherwise similar to usual.

Ninjask was handed a debut, and given the apparant utility of Dark attacks against Sydney, I went for Night Slash as its only attack, outside of the main plan to pass speed and substitutes to others. Given my previous experience with Thundurus being a nuisance with Thunder Waves, I gave Bisharp a Lum Berry this time, and Swords Dance to allow it to run right over teams if given a free turn. Arcanine was made offensive to help break through the opposing defenses, and it especially needed this to help grind down Clefable, with Wil-o-Wisp to help blunt physical attackers as well as potentially scout Clefable's set.

Malamar was a last minute addition to improve my firepower against non-Clefables, with great coverage outside of that. I gave it Taunt to stop opposing shenanigans from things like Jellicent or Musharna, as well as Lum Berry again to help keep Malamar away from crippling status. Although Malamar has no speed investment (it has a poor speed tier), I feel that getting passed Speed Boosts would allow it to shine after warming my bench all season.

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Battles and Replays:

Week 9: 0-3 LOSS (Replay)

Well I felt alright with how I started this battle, setting up my Sticky Web and Galvantula neutralising the opposing Terrakion. Latias was roared out, a neat tech to stop me setting up, so it was up to Keldeo to claim that KO. Rotom-W was then a pest, and it cost me paralysis on Latias to find out its set and item - I switched out being scared of a scarf set, but in hindsight maybe that wasn't such a good idea, since there were many in Miami's lineup that threatened Keldeo, and Latias was far more important to me. Unfortunately, this led to Latias going down to Gardevoir, as I was worried about him predicting a switch out and punishing me for it. Arcanine missed a Wil-o-Wisp on Rotom-W, making it a bit more difficult for me to chip away at the annoying bulky water, especially after being punished with yet another thunder wave. After Arcanine was finished off by Entei, Keldeo came in to threaten it out. 

After a short period of stalling between Trevenant and Shuckle, Entei came back to finish off Shuckle thanks to an Iron Head flinch. When Trevenant came back in to scare away my Keldeo, I eventually switched back in to Bisharp to threaten it. Unfortunately, I didn't get up a Swords Dance when I had the chance, and as a result Bisharp lacked the power to rip through the opposing lineup, which it may well have been able to at that point after forcing a switch - I guess I was scared of a Yolo burn from Trevenant from it being sacked.

As it was, I found myself at 1 - 4 down, and out of contention after Bisharp didn't quite manage to KO Rotom-W with Knock Off and was KO'd with Hydro Pump as a result - quite risky from Miami given its accuracy, but it paid off. Keldeo sitll had way too many threats to beat down, and although it finally got rid of Rotom-W, I could do nothing other than lose 0-3. I felt like I was for the most part handily outplayed this battle, and made to pay for unimaginative and lazy teambuilding. Although I can see in the replays that I again had chances to win with Bisharp, but lacked the intestinal fortitude to make the winning play with it. I apologise to Bisharp for letting it down, a +2 sweep would have been stylish, and it was easily within my reach.


Week 10:  4-0 WIN  (Replay)

I felt really happy with my teambuilding when Sam, Sydney's coach, expressed surprise at some of my picks. I know my team lineup has been fairly consistent throught the season, even if the sets and plans have varied most weeks. 

Clefable came in early to try to set up on my Claydol, and I wasn't having any of that as I needed Clefable out of the way to execute my own gameplan, so Arcanine did a job scaring it away to deal damage to Goodra, and then later again sacrificing itself to keep Clefable at an HP range that meant it was no longer threatening, after identifying it as Unaware to combat my own potential to set up Calm Minds with Latias, or with Keldeo. 

Bisharp completed the task, but then retreated against a full health Metagross, whose use of Earthquake allowed Claydol to pivot in freely to get some chip damage happening. Fortunately, Metagross didn't bring its glasses, so Claydol was able to get a cheeky KO by twice dodging Meteor Mash and landing Earth Power. I gave Malamar a run after Crobat evened up the score by revenge KO'ing my Claydol with U-Turn, but Crobat came back in to scare it away.

Ninjask took the incoming U-Turn like a champ, and in the face of a scary Thundurus-I, set up a substitute, and bravely took Hidden Power (flying?) for a few turns, waiting for Thundurus to faint from Life Orb recoil on the turn it Baton Passed x2.5 speed to Malamar, who was now in a position to sweep through the remaining three Pokemon on Sydney's side. Malamar ended up with 3 KO's on debut as I ran out 4-0 victor in this battle, which was a welcome pick up after my flat previous week, and also a nice way to finish up the year coming in to the Christmas break.


MVP Votes (Week 9)

3 - Keldeo, 2 - Bisharp, 1 - Galvantula

MVP Votes (Week 10)

2 – Malamar, Claydol; 1 - Arcanine, Ninjask


Overall MVP Tally

11 - Keldeo, Bisharp; 10 – Latias; 9 - Arcanine,  7 – Shuckle; 3 – Aromatisse, Galvantula, Claydol; 2 - Malamar; 1 - Ninjask


Golden Fist Week 9

2 - Keldeo; 1 - Bisharp

Golden Fist Week 10

3 - Malamar, 1 - Claydol, Bisharp

Overall Golden Fist

15 - Keldeo; 11 - Bisharp; 10 - Latias; 8 - Arcanine; 3 - Malamar; 2 - Aromatisse; 1 - Shuckle, Claydol




 Art from Malamar EX Promo card (TCG) - found it on this site, a TCG blog by Kyle Sabelhaus


Season Results: (8-2; +16 Differential, 2nd)

Week 10 4-0 WIN vs Sydney Shuckles (Replay)

Week 9: 0-3 LOSS vs Miami Heatmor (Replay)

Week 8: 2-0 WIN vs Richmond Raikous (Replay)

Week 7: 2-0 WIN vs Epping Eevees (Replay)

Week 6: 0-3 LOSS vs East Side Excadrill (Replay)

Week 5: 2-0 WIN vs Tottenham Espurr (Replay)

Week 4: 3-0 WIN vs Tullamarine Auras (Replay)

Week 3: 2-0 WIN vs New York Klefkis (Replay)

Week 2: 4-0 WIN vs Blackburn (Replay)

Week 1: 3-0 WIN vs Wildwood (Replay)


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Next: Week 11 vs Utah U-Turners

Utah are 8-2 this season, and so whoever wins this match is guaranteed to be in second place at the end of the round. It is quite a bulky team, so if I'm not careful it'll brush off my attacks like they're nothing, and Raikou and Tornadus offer quite an offensive threat too. I'll need to pick up my teambuilding game to come up with a good gameplan against Utah in order to beat them.


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