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Japan's VGC2011 rules

I'm a  bit behind, but I figured I should post this anyway for those of us not in the know. The rules for next year's VGC have been revealed through the Japanese B/W game guide.

  • Only Pokemon from Isshu can be used (excluding Victini, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Keldeo, Meloetta, and Genosect).
  • Each match is a double battle, though the amount of Pokemon that can be used in a match is not mentioned. It might be "bring six Pokemon and use four" like in the past.
  • Pokemon should be Level 50. Pokemon higher than that will be lowered to Level 50. Pokemon Level 49 and below will remain at the same level.
  • You can't use duplicate Pokemon or Items.
  • You can't change your Pokemon, Items, etc. during the tournament.
So, only Isshu pokemon. Interesting, but limiting. If you have a japanese copy of B/W, then I recommend you have a visit to Smogon, where full analysis are being written on the pokemon already. I know I'll be reading more into Japanese Pokemon terms, since I know none of them and I've barely even finished Black. EV training has gotten a bit harder since there is no Pokeradar. Indeed, I would get started right now.

Good luck to everyone who plans to participate this season! Like every year, I'll be in Seattle.

What happens at Worlds?

So in my last post, I did a bit of talking about what happens outside of the stadium.  What goes on when the other trainers are duking it out? Between matches? Who will you meet?

Here I have some videos that Smogon member Kinneas has allowed me to share with you (since a lot of people watching this community likely won't have visited Smogon to watch them yet) and I think they give you a pretty good sense of what goes on. Kinneas himself was disqualified for what I believe was a mistake with EVs (he had 512 inseatd of 510 on one pokemon) and so he happily spent the rest of the weekend filming and frolicking with the rest of our friends from the competitive world of pokemon.

Without further delay, I present to you: Pokemon World Championships 2010














Do you feel the love? I feel the love.
It's just one more reason to hit up San Diego next year...

-Feathers

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Back!

After a lovely new member posted the results from Worlds, I'm now inclined to revive this community. I started it rather close (basically during) the qualifiers, and I ended up just not being able to do it all myself. But now I've got the time, and we've got a new generation on the horizon.

Worlds was truly an amazing event, complete with a traditional Hawaiian welcome along with bonding on an international level. It's really more than just playing pokemon and trying to win, it's about working together towards the same goal.

The greatest minds in Pokemon work together every year to create new and innovative teams and strategies, and we get to see only the best of the best on the big screen. No matter where you're from or what your age is, we're all one team. We learn from each other and we learn from the mistakes we make. Getting a bit dramatic for you? Go to Worlds next year.

Next year's World Finals are taking place in San Diego from the 12th-14th of August, as confirmed by the binders competitors received last weekend.

This is great, considering I can finally be there. It's a lot closer to home, that's for sure.

But will anything change? We have a new set of games coming out in March (presumably) and with them, a whole new array of abilities, pokemon, and even a brand new battle mode. Of course, I'm sure you've heard of 3vs3 battles from Serebii or Pokebeach already. Will they make the jump and use the new battle system? My guess is no. TPCI seems to have already found a stable set of rules that almost pleases everyone. I've spoken with them and I know their main concern is time (thus no singles) but I really doubt they'd cut it down even further into 3vs3 only.

What will the new generation bring? There is already an ability that can cure the status effect of your doubles partner confirmed, what else might pop up? There will really be no preparing for next year, since it's very unlikely that Smogon or Skarmbliss will have analyzed every single new pokemon before the first qualifier. I say Smogon and Skarmbliss because I think we're the ones everyone goes to, whether or not you're a member. We almost had a clean sweep of victories this year, and Smogon's very own Bluecookies (Ray) went home as the first ever American Pokemon Champion.

But enough of that and back to my question. What do you think next year will bring? Any rule changes you want to see? What do you think is most likely to happen? The lottery was fixed for this year, but are there any other improvements that almost must be made?

I'll be working on my own analysis of the next generation when I get back from Japan next month. Until then, keep battling and keep moving forward. We have less than a year until the first qualifier of 2011!

-Feathers

Aug. 18th, 2010

Oh hey, I just discovered that this community existed.

The 2010 Pokemon VGCs have ended with the World Championships taking place just last week, and it was a memorable year for the VGCs in more ways than one! Not only did they get rid of the atrocious lottery system that plagued the year before, but we also saw Ray Rizzo get crowned the new Pokemon VGC champion of the world, meaning this marks the first time a competitor representing America has won in the Senior Division. Kinneas from Smogon has uploaded Rizzo's entire final matches against Yasuki Tochigi, so I'll link them here for your viewing pleasure...

Battle 1 - Part 1
Battle 1 - Part 2
Battle 2
Battle 3

And so a big congratulations to Ray Rizzo! Smogon left a big mark on the VGCs this year, and I hope they do the same next year as well. After finding out that the 2011 World Championships are being held at San Diego, I too have already begun preparations for the upcoming year. Either as a spectator or a competitor, I'll certainly be going to Worlds next year; however, unlike this year, I actually plan to save enough money so I can go to Nationals when I win an invite next year.

So excite.

Great Job at Dallas to all who played!

Dallas was on fire yesterday as the newest VGC players came to battle it out and make it to the top. Again, Smogonites occupied most of the finalist lounge, even after last year's 12th place Worlds player, Alaka, was eliminated in round four. Not much is known about the finishing four, although some of them appeared later with Smogon accounts of their own (albeit only lurking and never posting before). The winning team was something we saw back in Seattle, the TopOgre lead followed by two backup pokemon that didn't see much use.

Arguments began about a lack of creativity involving the winning team, claiming it was just a copy of Zerowing's popular team that changed the VGC metagame at the first qualifier.

One thing they can't argue is a team that made it almost to the top that contained no ubers. The questionable team mentioned in the post below was actually a mono-rock team consisting of Solrock and Hippowdon leads backed up by Regirock and Tyranitar. I particularly like this team because of it's gimmicky leads- it depended entirely on the opponent not knowing what to do.

The basic concept was to get Trick Room off with Solrock and keep Hippowdon alive. Following that, Hippowdon (who also will always get his weather up) would use dig, while Solrock exploded. In comes Regirock, and before Hippowdon finished dig, Regirock under Trick Room with Macho Brace would throw in a second explosion. The strategy was apparently flawless most of the time, though a lot of luck would have had to be involved to survive something like Kyogre and Ludicolo with double targeting moves. So props to him for coming in with a risky team, and winning a place at nationals. I'll post videos of these battles if anyone would like to see them.

On the same day was the Birmingham qualifier, with the final four winning a direct trip to Worlds. Nothing much of note happened here that makes this qualifier stand out. A few people were dismissed for hacks, like at every other location. I think it was here that they found someone with 255 EVs in each stat, but I can't remember.

The final battle can be watched on your battle recorder:

15-28740-58253

As of now I haven't been able to find a high quality youtube video. The finalists were Kinneas from Smogon, and a fellow who goes by the name Rees (he lurks on Smogon, I assume). Yet another TopOgre combo makes it to the finals.

Pokemon usage of note include:

Hypno - very successful with it's ability.
Hitmontop - Though he is being used a lot now, he's still a unique player.
Hariyama - A great Fake Out lead that can work well in Trick Room.
Parasect - A small cluster of these appeared at both locations.
Of course, the entire mono-rock team.

So what's your opinion on the seemingly random pokemon floating about? Is it worth it to take the risk?

I'll see you next weekend with the results from Atlanta!

-Feathers

Hey!

I've only just received my laptop back, clean of any viruses. As a result of the virus, I lost a bunch of anlysis' I had typed up for you guys, so I'll be working a bit over the next few days to re-do them. I still have two weeks of VGC to catch up on, and today's Dallas Tournament is still working it's way through the finals!

I've decided to simply link you to the Smogon page with the previous two weeks of Finals videos, as I've already announced the winners.

This year's current battle videos

Interesting pokemon from the last two qualifiers include Parasect and Persian, both utilized amazingly well by Smogonites looking to shake up the game. Parasect was used on a team leading with Breloom, and both were packing Spore to abuse the lack of sleep clause and 100% accuracy. Parasect is now famous for holding his own alone against a Kyogre and Palkia. Using the remains of Trick Room, Parasect was able to Spore both opponents and finish them off with Seed Bomb, putting his trainer into the finals.

Persian was used along a Weavile lead, and was packing nothing but support moves and Fake Out to give Weavile the chance to Substitute and Swords Dance. After one Swords dance, Weavile was able to sweep most teams fairly easily. Yet another unsuspected pokemon gathering wins for Smogon.

It was recently reported on Smogon that a team of Solrock, Tyranitar, Regirock, and Nidoqueen made the top 8. As of now we don't know the movesets, or who it was, but I'll update if I find anything interesting.

So good luck to those still playing in Dallas, Texas and Birmingham, UK!

-Feathers

Late update!

I apologize for my lack of updates, but between being sick and my computer contracting a virus, it's been a bit difficult.

I'll edit this post with both this week's and last week's Regionals, both of which were swept by Smogonites! Bianca222 took San Fran, and Xerograde cleaned up today in Pheonix. Congrats to all who played! I'll be back with some videos and full stories in less than an hour.

-Feathers

News for Canadian Regionals

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, but I've been pretty sick this week. I'm behind on my new analysis, but it should be up on Monday.

Of course, the real reason for this post is regarding the email I sent to The Pokemon Company International a few days ago:

Hi, this year I attended the Seattle Regional qualifier for the Pokemon VGC. I had a wonderful time, as usual, and I thank you very much for your efforts at making the tournaments a fantastic experience.

However, since last year, I have been wondering why there have been no Regionals in Canada. I actually live in British Columbia, and have made the drive to Seattle every year for Pokemon events, usually quite frequently for downloads. I also belong to an online forum that is heavily involved in the VGC, and many of them are from Vancouver or Toronto, and end up having to drive to Seattle and Newark (this year) respectively. To me it would make sense to have at least two qualifiers in Canada, in two major cities.

But there is probably a reason why there aren't, right? So for curiosities sake, what is that reason? Is it a cost problem? Considering the amount, of Japan qualifiers, I don't believe that is the reason.

So it's just a wandering question, and I appreciate that you took the time to read it.

All the best, Feathers.


A few days later (today) I received a reply from Mike:

Sadly, what makes sense isn't always what is possible.

The Japanese events are operated by our parent company, which has significantly greater resources than we do. Their budget for their VGC events is substantially larger than ours, and the manpower available to them dwarfs what we have available to us. Comparing the Japanese VGC events to the US and European events is comparing apples to oranges.

We do have plans to expand in North America, and those plans do include Canada. Unfortunately, just not for this year.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Michael Liesik
The Pokemon Company International
333 108th Ave NE Suite 1900
Bellevue, WA 98004
www.go-pokemon.com/op


So that means good news for all you Canadian VGCers out there! I'm looking forward to next year already in hopes that they'll confirm this information indefinitely. If they have more than one stop (the one stop would most likely be a single Nationals in Toronto) then I'll be able to go to all of them. I'm thinking along the lines of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and possibly Edmonton.

On another note, if you have any team ideas or any analysis you want to share, feel free to do so! Those of us in the know will do our best to help you build your team for this year.

Good luck to those participating in San Fran this weekend! I'll see you all again on Monday with the coverage.

-Feathers

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Seattle Regional Update!

I had a great time this Saturday after driving nearly two hours from Vancouver to Seattle to battle, and I've brought you the updates on the winners, and of my own personal experience.

Visit Smogon for my personal Warstory!

Although I faced a very experienced opponent first round, I still had a fantastic time. I'm in the process of planning a trip to Indianopolis for the Nationals so I can compete in the Last Chance Qualifier and get some great coverage.

This year, Smogonites made a clean sweep and filled the top four, the winner being Zerowing, as predicted. Fish took second place after a rather interesting battle. Earlier in round three, BadIntent lost 4-0 to Fish, with partial thanks to a critical hit. During my match with BadIntent, I apparently had a group of Smogonites I had met cheering me on, and that more than makes up for my loss. Here are the first videos of the semi-finals and finals:

Senior Semi-Finals:



Senior Finals:




An interesting use of Frost Rotom!

All things considered, Frost Rotom is a great alternative to the common Groudon/Zapdos lead. It avoids EQ with Levitate, can Discharge without harming Groudon, and has the added bonus of being dually Ice typed to take care of the ever-common Dragons roaming around the VGC. Almost every single team in the finals ran Abomasnow. A new trend?

There may or may not be next-day coverage for next Saturday's Regional, as I'll be on a cruise. If you attended Seattle, or are attending San Fran next weekend, be sure to post about your experience!

-Feathers

Heyy

Hey everyone. Names Crazysnorlax and the pokemon VGC is all I do regarding pokemon. I've been playing since showdown 2k8. Got in Top 16 but lost so I didn't make it to Worlds. I've really into making new teams, and creating teams out of bits and pieces of teams I see who win a lot of matchs. I am currently making my team for the upcoming Newark, NJ tournament and still don't know who I am planning on using. I feel that mixing ideas with others is the only way to win. I hope we can be in contact about how your VGC experience was. Hope To Talk To Someone soon.