The Delta Articles
Written By TheQuantumJumper, Legyro and Phlygone
The Metagame: Status Conditions
Yo, champ in the making! In light of recent hax this issue of The Metagame is especially appropriate. This will be your crash course in the world of status conditions! Knowing which to use and when is critical in controlling the flow of the game, and avoiding unnecessary losses, especially since many of the more useful conditions do not stack.
Sick burn bro! Getting hit by this halves your attack stat, which can completely shut down many physical opponents. Additionally, it’ll do ⅛ of the afflicted Pokémon’s hp in damage at the end of each turn. Gnarly. Many fire moves can apply this, but most commonly this will be applied by Will-o-Wisp or Scald. Also beware abilities like Flame Body, which can apply this as well. Pokémon with Guts don’t have their damage reduced by this either
This stunning status condition reduces the afflicted Pokémon’s speed to ¼. Additionally, there is a 1 in 4 chance of the Pokémon becoming fully paralyzed, leaving it unable to take any action during its turn. However, electric type Pokémon are immune to this condition, and many moves that inflict this condition do not affect ground types. Abilities like Effect Spore and Static can cause this, as well as common moves like Body Slam and Thunder Wave, with many electric moves also having a chance to inflict this. Not many Pokémon want this condition as the occurrence of being fully paralyzed can become shockingly frequent. Look to apply this to pretty much anyone who doesn’t have a status condition that wouldn’t be hurt more by another condition, but especially Pokémon that rely on speed to do their job, such as Crobat. This is one of the 6 unstackable status conditions.
Why are we covering this before basic poisoning? We’ll get to that in the next section, don’t worry. For now, observe how badly poisoned Pokémon start by taking 1/16 of their hp at the end of the turn. What’s that? Wimpy compared to burn? Well, not once it starts to do an additional 1/16 each turn after. After four turns the afflicted Pokémon will take ¼ its maximum hp in damage, and if it manages to stay in for 16 turns it will lose 100% of its hp. This rarely happens, but is impressive none the less. Toxic is the most common way of applying this, followed by Toxic Spikes when stacked to two layers. Toxic is a move learned by many, but only has 85% accuracy, except when used by Poison-type Pokémon. It also doesn’t affect Steel or Poison-types. Poison Heal and Immunity prevent this damage. This condition puts a timer on the afflicted Pokémon, as it must switch out or begin to take a significant amount of damage. Some Guts Pokémon will use a Toxic Orb and take the bad poisoning over the burn if they don’t plan on staying in very long to take less damage. One of the 6 non-stacking status.
Badly Poisoned’s less talented older brother. Does ⅛ max health each turn, and can’t affect Poison or Steel-types. For the most part, you won’t use this. It’s just not worth it. There’s better status conditions out there. The exception to this is the single layer use of Toxic Spikes, which can pressure hyper offense teams by dealing reasonable damage. Several abilities can cause this as well, but I’m not going to go into much detail as it is pretty mediocre.
One of the most commonly self applied status, sleep prevents all action until it wakes up. Sleep lasts 1-3 turns, and does not reset when switched out. Sleep induced by Rest always last 2 turns. This powerful status is most commonly self induced or applied by Spore. Notably, it cannot be applied to multiple Pokémon on the same team. This status can shut down a Pokémon, since 1-3 turns is the lifespan of most Pokémon in competitive play. Sleep Talk is probably the best way to get around this, especially if the cause of the sleep is Rest.
Winter is here. The rarest and coolest status condition, freeze has a 20% of being cured, but until that happens no action can be taken. Luckily, there is no reliable way of inflicting this: most ice moves have a 10% chance of inflicting. Additionally, it cannot occur in the sun, and can be thawed by the moves Flame Wheel, Sacred Fire, Flare Blitz, Fusion Flare, Scald, and Steam Eruption while frozen. This is also the last of the unstackable status conditions. Beware the hax.
Playing Against Status Conditions:
So what do you do to counteract these plagues descending upon your team? Well, one way is to abuse the fact that they don’t stack by letting a Pokémon be affected by a status that doesn’t hurt them. Also look to abuse Pokémon that are immune to the condition, as they can often get a free switch in and snag some momentum. Utilizing a cleric is also a viable option, as Heal Bell and Aromatherapy can cure your entire team in one go. Various berries can offer a cure as well, though they should be rarely used as there is typically a better item for a Pokémon to hold. Also look for Pokémon with the ability Natural Cure, as they will lost their status upon switching out. Related to the above are Volatile Status Conditions, but that’s a story for another day.
So you decided that you want to beat all your friends in Pokémon now or maybe you are getting tired of losing to the other friends who wanted to beat all their friends. Either way you are now going to enter the competitive scene. You know what Pokémon are good and how to effectively use them but which ones do you chose. Well if you recall back to the long long time ago when you first went to trainer school you found out that fire is super effective against grass and that grass is super effective against water and that water is super effective against fire. Now if you reverse this circle you find that every move will be not very effective against its respective type. If you kept this information in mind then you might have learned that through the 17 18 types of moves that you might of might not have used that this pattern of super effective and not very effective moves continued beyond the trio of fire water and grass. So when you are building a team keep this information in mind and think how you are going to be able to deal with every typing using 24 moves divided amongst 6 Pokémon.
Ok so the first thing you are going to want to look into is a core for your team, two or three Pokémon that have good synergy with each other. An example of this might be Mega Scizor and Keldo. They each handle each other’s checks (Pokémon that would be sent in to take a hit from and then deal with the Pokémon currently in) and provide strong offensive pressure on both sides. Scizor will either deal a huge amount of damage to or even outright kill Fairies, Grasses, and Psychics that Keldeo is very weak to. On the flip side you have Keldeo smacking around stuff like like Heatran, Volcarona, Landorus-T, or Garchomp, all of which Scizor has a hard time dealing with. There are dozens upon dozens of cores that you can use, here are some that other people have put together: link.
So now that you have a core you need to think about roles and Pokémon that synergize further with your core. There are about five major playstyles/team formats in the current OU metagame and they are Hyper Offense, Bulky Offense, Balance, Stall, Semi-Stall. Other archetypes include VoltTurn Offense, Rain & Trick Room but we will not go into detail into these in this article.
Hyper Offense (HO) is characterized by its numerous set-up sweepers, its systematic sacking, and its broad use and effectiveness in the metagame. Generally in HO, checked Pokémon are sacked rather than having the player switch out, and the reason for that is because absolute constant pressure is necessary for the playstyle to work.
Bulky Offense (BO) is the polar opposite to HO, specifically in the way it plays. It does not signify that all the Pokémon are literally slow, bulky attackers like Azumaril. Rather, it implies that Pokémon are switched out rather than sacked, as the team packs checks to the metagame that can sponge a resisted hit, and counter in return.
Balance is a playstyle focused around defensive synergy, momentum, and overall pivoting. It consists of a mix of offensive and defensive Pokémon, but exactly how stally the team is can be decided upon by the teambuilder.
Stall is the playstyle with the objective of inhibiting the opponent’s strategy. That is a euphemism for using bulky walls, passive damage, and recovery moves to break down the opponent over time.
Semi-Stall contains numerous walls similar to Stall, but also one or two offensive Pokémon to reduce passivity. In other words, the opponent cannot set up or do whatever they want to like they can versus a full stall team because of the offensive presence of the sweeper or breaker, which then threatens to check or revenge kill the opposing Pokémon. This causes semi-stall to be less matchup based than full stall because of its ability to play around strategies, but less consistent versus a good matchup (but still more consistent than any more offensive team). Also, semi-stall teams generally have a couple of set-up Pokémon to help finish the match.
If you'd like to learn more about the types of teams (or archetypes) mentioned here, TheQuantumJumper is going over these on the Team Archetype The Metagame, which are in the process of being released in previous Delta Articles Issues.
Link to Balance
Link to Hyper Offensive
[Others are in progress]
Now that we have an understanding of the types of teams there are and we have a core, we can get started. First look at the core you have chosen and evaluate what type of Pokémon you have. In the above example we have a very tanky (while still being able to dish out a major (bullet) punch) Mega Scizor and a very hard hitting Keldeo. These two combined will either fit into a Bulky Offensive or Balance team. Let’s go for a Bulky Offensive team. We already have a sweeper and one breaker so let’s get a Stealth Rock setter, a hazard remover, and two more breakers. Heatran is one of the best Stealth Rockers and covers some of Keldeo’s weaknesses. Latios is another hard hitter that can take a hit and there are not many Pokémon that want to take a Life Orb Draco Meteor. Weavile is an excellent revenge killer and provides some more coverage. Lastly we need hazard removal. We could use Scizor's Defog but it is better suited as a hard hitter here. Skarmory and Excadrill are not good picks because we would be too weak to fire and Starmie is out because we already have a water and psychic coverage. So let’s go with Zapdos as our defogger. The team would look something like this:
Scizor @ Scizorite
EVs: 248 HP / 44 Atk / 16 Def / 200 SpD
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
Keldeo @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Secret Sword
- Hydro Pump
- Icy Wind
Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 192 SpD / 68 Spe
- Lava Plume
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
Latios @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Weavile @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Knock Off
- Icicle Crash
- Ice Shard
- Low Kick
Zapdos @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 176 Def / 68 SpA / 16 Spe
- Heat Wave
Pokemon Spotlight: Victini
For the past two “100s” Pokémon that I’ve gone over so far, we’ve run into the issue of those Pokémon having somewhat of a power issue. Despite not being weak, they were not getting any solid OHKOs very often either. However, Victini doesn’t have this issue, after all, it is the Victory Pokémon. Now, you must be confused; “How can a Pokémon with the exact same stats be so much more powerful?” Well, the answer lies within its move pool. Victini’s signature move, V-create, is an extremely powerful move that, along with the STAB bonus, makes for a very hard hit. The only problem is, V-create lowers your Def, SpD, and Speed by one stage every time you use it, therefore giving the opponent the opportunity to outspeed and kill you. Therefore, always make sure to keep an eye on the opposing Pokémon’s Speed stat and Victini’s HP if you want to come out on top. On top of a powerful move like V-create, Victini gets a bunch of other very powerful moves in its arsenal to dish out tons of damage to all who stand in its way. So, let’s go through some set that will bring you Victory!
These sets are the norm, what you will normally see throughout your laddering career on Pokémon Showdown, as well as in-game PvP. They work really well with most standard laddering teams and are what make this Pokémon so viable in its tier.
Victini @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Blue Flare
- Bolt Strike
Let’s begin with the standard, run-of-the-mill CS moveset. Seems nice and normal, right? But it’s actually pretty powerful. Blue Flare is a strong special attacking move that packs one heck of a punch against anything it hits. Thanks to Victory Star, its accuracy gets boosted to 93% (originally 85%), which is always nice, especially with the way that moves like to miss in this game. I chose to run Bolt Strike over a special-attacking electric move just for power purposes. If you want, Thunder or Thunderbolt are decent options here. I run Psyshock here for some nice STAB Psychic-type damage that hits things like Toxicroak and Chansey hard. Finally, rounding off the set, we have U-turn for pivotal means, and momentum. This set is fast and effective, and can catch your opponent off guard if you play it right.
Victini @ Choice Band
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Bolt Strike
- Zen Headbutt
This set is the reason that Victini is feared as a powerful Pokémon. For starters, a banded V-create, with all the power boosts from STAB and items, has a power of 405 neutrally (810-1620 super effective, 101-203 not very effective). In other words, it’s a very strong move that does tons of damage to pretty much everything it hits. We have Bolt Strike to hit Water-types that think they can come in on us and take the V-create. Zen Headbutt is here for the obligatory Psychic STAB, and U-turn is here for momentum. This set is, by far, the most famous set for showing off Victini’s strength, and will leave your enemies quaking in their boots. Just be wary of Heatrans and Garchomps as they wall this set pretty well.
These sets are not meant to be serious, however, they can still work with the right play style and teammates. I would suggest not using these to raise your ELO, but rather just to mess around and have fun with. Enjoy!
Victini @ Leftovers
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 248 HP / 132 Atk / 68 Def / 60 Spe
- Bolt Strike
A rather unorthodox set that has come before me. Usually, when we see a Victini set, it’s usually an all out attacker that does tons of damage (like Phreak). However, this set doesn’t aim to do that. Instead, this set works as an excellent wallbreaker that counters most walls that enjoy switching in on Victini, namely Garchomp and Tyranitar. With Heatran also kind of being an issue, you can run Hidden Power Ground on this set instead of Bolt Strike. Otherwise, this set works like any other wallbreaker/stallbreaker set.
Victini @ Expert Belt
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Blue Flare
- Focus Blast
This set is pretty cool. It takes four very strong moves that Victini can learn and puts them to the test. Thunder hits things like Manaphy, which is really nice. Glaciate is there because Dragons are a pain in the rear end. If Skyrim has taught me anything, it’s to kill dragons on sight. So, in light of this fact, we give Victini the Ice version of the Fus-Ro-Dah, mostly for Garchomp, who loves switching in on our little fiery friend. And, to finish off the set, we have Focus Blast for Tyranitar and Heatran, both of whom usually switch into Victini pretty comfortably. It’s nice to note that, due to Victory Star, both Thunder and Focus Blast get an accuracy boost to 77% (originally 70%). While it might not seem like much, and the moves will probably still miss a lot anyway, it’s still better than what it originally was.
Victini @ Assault Vest
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 SpA / 40 Def / 216 Spe
- Blue Flare
- Grass Knot
Ok guys, I think I may have officially gone insane. I can tell you that coming up with this set was cringe worthy in its own right, but after trying it out for a couple of battles and seeing it actually put in work, I decided to let you guys see it for yourselves. You can run a physical version of this set to fit your team if you want to, but for this set, I just ran it special. Grass Knot hits things like Mega Swampert and Gastrodon really hard on the switch (yes, I know they are lower tiered Pokémon, but they both show up quite often in OU). Thunder is good for things like Azumarill and Manaphy, who are both very prominent threats in OU. Blue Flare and Psyshock are put in for STAB. Now, what makes this set unique is its ability to make Victini a lot tankier on the special side. You can now switch into Charizard-Y for days and not care. I put enough Speed EVs in to outspeed Adamant Excadrill and almost all of the standard and/or bulky Kyurem-Black (KB) sets, bar Choice Scarf. I put the rest of the EVs into Defense for extra bulk, but you can put them into HP if you want.
There are a few different ways to deal with Victini, some of which are more situational than others. There is no doubt that Victini is a powerful Pokemon, but it is not unstoppable, and it would be a mistake to think so. Tankchomp (Garchomp) is probably the best Pokemon for the job, as it resists and/or easily takes 90% of what Victini can throw at it, and also deal recoil damage with Rough Skin and Rocky Helmet, should it make contact. Just be aware of the possibility that Victini is carrying Glaciate, as that will easily OHKO any Garchomp that isn't Sashed (Focus Sash). Heatran is another great counter to Victini, for the same reasons as Garchomp, with the exception that it may not be able to do too much back to Victini either. The only way to really hurt Victini with Heatran is if you run Earth Power/Ancient Power/Stone Edge, otherwise you might find yourself with a few useless turns of PP wasting between the two of you. Tyranitar is yet another great switch-in vs Victini, as it resists V-create/Blue Flare and is not affected by Psyshock/Psychic/Zen Headbutt. Not only that, but it then can Pursuit trap Victini and kill it, or just go for an Earthquake/Stone Edge. Just be wary of the occasional Focus Blast, and U-turn might not be fun to take either.
Chansey is a great switch in to Victini IF AND ONLY IF you have discerned that it is a Specially Attacking variant. Even a Max Def, Max HP Chansey will not appreciate switching into a V-create from this monster. Now, Ferrothorn and Skarmory are both very strong physical walls, but for obvious reasons, are not the greatest choices for switching into a Victini. However, it IS possible for them to be useful against the Pokemon of Victory, but some predictions are going to be necessary in order to truly make this work. This works best on a Victini that you know is choiced in some way (this means that it's locked into one move). So, if you see where I’m going with this, the only way to get these guys in on Victini is if you predict a non-Fire-type move to be used as you switch in (ie. U-turn). Do keep in mind that this is still a very risky play to make, so it's ok if you feel that it isn’t worth it to make that play. However, pulling it off can result it getting some nice Rocky Helmet/Iron Barbs damage off on this threat of a Pokemon. Lastly, while I wouldn’t really call it a “switch-in,” per se, if you manage to get Bisharp in safely (see how Tyranitar comes in) vs Victini, it can potentially put in a ton of work against Victini. This is accomplished with Sucker Punch and/or Pursuit (of course, you will need to play around with predicting what the opponent might do, switch vs attack).
Annnnnnnnnnnnd we’re done! Yay! That made my hands hurt typing all that out. Well, I hope you learned just how powerful Victini is. Now that you are well educated and well verse in the ways of Victini, it’s time to get out there and show them what’s good, and bring yourself Victory. Happy New Year everyone, and good luck on your laddering!
Battle Arcade: Delibird Delivery Service
Written by Phlygone
Hello trainers, Phlygone is back with Battle Arcade after the short hiatus! Unfortunately we don’t have submissions from last issue, so sorry due to my finals schedule I just didn’t have time. but I hope you had a nice Holiday Season. That’s why, in the true spirit of the season, I’ll introduce my next Battle Arcade: Delibird Delivery Service!
- Specific Rules: You have to follow the following Battle Arcade Specific Rules explicitly. Any violation will not merit a feature.
- You must use 6 Ice Type Pokémon.
- You must use a Delibird.
- You may play in any ladder!
- You have to win!
- General Rules: You have to play on the ladder in the selected tier. You do not have to be on your main account, I just request that the person you are playing against is a total stranger. Also avoid toxicity in chat/Pokémon names. Any excessive toxicity will not merit a feature. REMEMBER: 3 submission maximum!
- Again, this issue’s Battle Arcade will again been in any queue.
- No issues last time: keep it up!
- Bonus Points: Follow these “extra rules” to get yourself some bonus points in my eyes! Remember, not every week will have bonus points.
- Use the move Present.
- Use the move Hail.
- Adherence to rules: How closely they followed the Battle Arcade rules.
- Number of submissions: I will only take a maximum of 3 submissions per person.
- The quality of the users team: How well constructed your team is.
- REMEMBER: This time we are requesting that you submit your team with your replays! Therefore more weight will be placed on your team’s synergy with weather and each other
- The quality of the opponent's team: How well constructed their team is.
- The strength of play from both players: How well both players played. You get rewarded by going against good opponents who you outplayed.
- Bonus Points: Get these by following Bonus Criteria
Anyways let’s open those Presents! Post your submissions here.
Phlygone Winter League Breakdown
The latter was fittingly with NuclearTogekiss as he faced off against YongPali in the first matchup of the week, using his signature Togekiss set to flinch his way to a 6-1 victory in the first game. YongPali was able to rally with a close 6-5 victory in game two only to be shut out in the last game after missing multiple high jump kicks and being frozen by an ice beam. In our next series PSL Finalist Young Codex put out the kind of performance we’d expect from such a veteran, taking the match 6-0 6-3 over newcomer Mitten.
Next up was MagicRiceMan vs GusBusElRey, where RiceMan’s Mega Ampharos came in a great deal of handy up against Gus’ team, allowing him to go 6-4 6-1 in the matchup. Unfortunately the second game ended due to an unintentional disconnect, however Gus admitted that the outcome of the game was unaffected. Perhaps the week’s most exciting series took place between ShadowTagPorygon and Bakuzan, players looking to take an early lead in their particularly difficult-to-call division. This series was as close as they come, ending in a crazy double-knockout that gave the 6-6 game three to ShadowTagPorygon, his first ever victory in a Phlygone tournament. Both players took down 17 Pokémon over the course of the match.
This leaves the standings as follows:
1. XYZard (Dawn)
2. Mmm Spaghetti/Young Codex (Iris)*
3. MagicRiceMan (Serena)
4. NuclearTogekiss (Misty)
5. Jamrock (May)
6. Mmm Spaghetti/Young Codex (Iris)*
7. PromiscuosFrog (Dawn)
8. JoyceRodgers (May)
9. JinAxel (Misty)
10. ShadowTagPorygon (Serena)
11. snow day bakuzan (Serena)
In the Hunt
12. Phlygone (Misty)
13. YongPali (Misty)
14. Ivanvaldez11 (May)
15. Jchill (May)
16. TheQuantumJumper (Dawn)
16. GusBusElRey (Serena)
18. Mitten (Iris)
18. BCGaming (Iris)
20. SassBlast (Dawn)
*Since there was a tie for the division lead, depending on who would win the coin flip, this is where they would fall.
You can find all these replays at http://deltastreamingnetwork.weebly.com/forum.html#/phlygone-winter-league/
The PokeNav: Phlygone Tourney Trivia
- Retired to Casting: Legyro won our first tourney ever, however with pressure mounting to continue his success, he decided to retire to casting. After awhile of casting Phlyone Tourneys, he partnered with TheQuantumJumper & Phlygone to put together the Delta Articles in October 2015.
- Speaking of Casting: the first ever Phlygone casters were: Phlygone, TheBeardedGamer [Now NuclearTogekiss], TheQuantumJumper, Dorraj [Since retired] & Sadcasual [Since retired]
- We ain’t that old!: The first ever Phlygone Tourney was March 1st 2015. Since then, the Phlygone Staff has hosted 6 more!
- Phlygone Sucks: While he has done well in every tournament he played in, the host Phlygone has never won any of his own tournaments.
- Maybe he ain’t half bad: Phlygone has been posting videos on YouTube for ten months and has been streaming for eight months and in that time he has acquired over 200 followers on Twitch and a whopping 28 subscribers on YouTube (wait those numbers don’t really match up)
- REST IN PIECES PSL: In the 2015 Phlygone Summer League, a whopping 1,433 faints occurred with six trainers breaking 100 knockouts each within the nine week period.(YoungCodex(106), MagicRiceMan(105), Alex55137(124), Phlygone(113), XYZard(111), and NuclearTogekiss(114))
- Domination: JinAxel acquired the highest KOFR in the PSL2015 with 1.533 going 92(knockouts) and 60(faints). He went on to win the whole thing.
- Winter is Coming: During the Phlygone Summer League ShadowTagPorygon had TheQuantumJumper on the ropes, down to only a Cryogonal, whose Freeze-Dry managed to freeze Milktank to save the game. That day had 5 other matches with similar amounts of hax, so the user GusBusElRey claimed it was they “Day of Hax - 7/19/2015”. To this day, if you type !hax into Phlygone’s Twitch chat, it reads “Never Forget the Day of Hax - 7/19/2015”. After that day, use TheQuantumJumper made the image below (left)
- The True Day of Hax: During the Ubers tourney not too long ago, everyone was experiencing the nightmare scenario. Every move that could miss did, and every additional effect occurred to a ridiculous degree. It left many with a loathing of the entire format. User ProFrog decided to make the following image to commemorating the event (right).
- That’s a lot of people!: PWL has 20 players, the largest ever Phlygone Tourney. With 11 Pokemon on each team, that means a total of 220 Pokemon are on rosters for the 2015 winter season. In comparison, only 176 Pokemon were used in PSL.
- Parity: No one has won more than one Phlygone tourney