Hello, my name is Brian Youm, but most of you probably know me as Seven_Poke. I started VGC in 2016 as a senior, and gained a renewed interest in VGC in 2018 after failing to get a Worlds invite in 2017 (as a Master). These two Regionals meant a lot to me because I was determined to show everyone that I’m not bad, and they also put me in contention for Day 2 Worlds. I’ve gotten succession more than I could ask for in 2018 and in this article I plan to show you how I piloted the team everyone called bad into the heights of the smiling sky. Now, what are we waiting for?
- Top 4 Roanoke Regional Championships
- Top 4 Madison Regional Championships
- Top 4 MSS
- Top 4 PC X 2
(Combined 312 CP)
Mattadome (Kangaskhan-Mega) @ Kangaskhanite
EVs: 36 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 116 SpD / 156 Spe
– Fake Out
– Sucker Punch
– Low Kick
Ah, Kangaskhan. It used to be one of the best Mega Pokémon and also Gamefreak’s biggest mistake of 6th gen. Then, Gamefreak came to its senses and nerfed Kangaskhan tremendously. Gen 7 saw Kangaskhan lose access to Power-up Punch, and Parental Bond get nerfed to a 1.25 multiplier, from a 1.5. VGC ’18 saw Kangaskhan get tested extensively, in part due to previous success in Battle Spot Doubles and on early Japanese ladders. Then, everyone abandoned it, feeling that the nerfs were too strong and that Kangaskhan just didn’t do too much. People were even less inclined to use it after the release of Intimidate Incineroar (why would you need a Fake Out mon if you already have Incineroar?).
However, my good friend Paul Chua(@Paul_Chua_1) opened my eyes to the bright light that is Kangaskhan. Even after the nerf, Kangaskhan is one of the only Mega Pokémon that is offensive, supportive, and defensive at the same time. Having 1 weakness and having amazing bulk is quite unique. Kang’s typing and base stats aren’t its only strength; having Fake Out pressure and almost perfect coverage is just amazing.
The spread outspeeds Modest Kommo-o, max speed Timid Smeargle, Max speed Tapu Bulu, and lets it stay as offensive as possible. I named her after my friend Matthias Loong, who goes by Mattadome; he’s been a really amazing friend and I wanted to show him some gratitude.
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 36 HP / 116 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Electric Terrain: 160-190 (86.4 – 102.7%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
- 252+ Atk Landorus-T Superpower vs. 36 HP / 4 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 162-192 (87.5 – 103.7%) — 25% chance to OHKO
Kylie Chua (Tapu Fini) @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 76 SpA / 84 SpD / 12 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Muddy Water
– Calm Mind
Tapu Fini provides critical utility for this team in removing opposing terrains. Tapus can be a big threat to this team, and neutralizing their offensive bonuses is key to winning many games. Further, Fini also acts as a bulky setup sweeper. You shouldn’t underestimate Tapu Fini because of its low SpA; its access to Calm Mind and ability to take hits and recover with a Pinch berry is just amazing. It also makes my Kommo-o matchup easier due to Misty Terrain halving the damage of Dragon-type moves, and making Kommo-o practically useless. It’s been MVP of the team for all the events I’ve taken it to so far.
I wanted to go with a Calm Mind Tapu Fini because it can set up early game and provide pressure, or set up late game after the threats are gone and just clean up with its nasty nasty attacks. It’s pretty much unstoppable if the remaining Pokémon can’t hit Fini for big damage. Having Pinch berry as the item to recover is quite a big deal, due to most mons not being able to OHKO Fini outside of strong super effective moves or Z-moves. I wanted to go with this spread because it is bulky and helps Fini be a specially defensive tank. This spread also OHKOs Kommo-o after it uses Clangorous Soulblaze, and, importantly, it takes +1 Kommo-o Flamethrower + Mega Gengar Sludge Bomb. I named it after my best friend Kylie Chua; she’s been one of the MVPs on the team and even irl.
- +1 252+ SpA Kommo-o Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 76+ SpD Tapu Fini: 24-29 (13.5 – 16.3%) — possible 7HKO
- 252 SpA Mega Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 76+ SpD Tapu Fini: 128-152 (72.3 – 85.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO
BigSlimWRLD (Landorus-Therian) @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 SpA
– Rock Slide
The Mufasa of VGC’18, here comes Landorus-T; once number 1, now pushed off a cliff and stuck as number 2. Landorus-T is still one of the most dominant Pokémon in the 2018 meta just like in 2015: it still does a huge amount of damage with Earthquake and other coverage moves. One of the things holding Landorus-T back is not having a single target Ground move, but even with a spread move, it nukes and does a lot of damage to everything. Landorus-T getting a variety of moves like U-Turn, Rock Slide, and Superpower helps it in a lot of situations, allowing it to hit anything in the metagame pretty hard.
I honestly think I had to go with this EV spread: it outspeeds Modest Scarf Nihilego, +1 Mega Blaziken, Modest Scarf Lele, +Speed nature Pheromosa, and AV bulky Ludicolo in the rain. It’s a pretty standard Landorus-T moveset: Rock Slide to cover for Flying types, U-Turn to position better, and Superpower to hit Kangaskhan, Incineroar, Stakataka, etc. without having to use Earthquake.
I named it after my best friend Abdul Barrie who goes by BigSlim_World, he’s been flinching the competition since day 1.
- 252 Atk Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Blaziken: 168-198 (108.3 – 127.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Charizard Y: 172-204 (112.4 – 133.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
Ingridients (Cresselia) @ Psychium Z
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Ally Switch
– Trick Room
There are three main reasons to run Cresselia traditionally. Cresselia is one of the bulkiest Pokémon in the metagame, it has access to most forms of speed control(Icy wind, and Trick Room), and it even has Levitate. It’s an amazing duo with Heatran and pretty much any member of my team. However, Cresselia hasn’t got much use in VGC ’18, due to its lack of offensive potential. This set aims to rectify that.
It’s pretty funny that Cresselia is one of the most offensive mons on the team. It probably got the most KOs during the 2 regionals, which isn’t . I chose this Cresselia because it improves my Kommo-o matchup and other matchups by a lot: its ability to do a lot of damage with Shattered Psyche so my other members can clean up is super clutch. But even when it has no defensive investment other than HP, it’s still a thicc wall. On a side note, I haven’t used Z-Trick Room just yet but I know it’s bound to help me out someday. I named it after one of my best friends, Ingrid Karmazinas, or Ingridients, she’s been making people frown with the unexpected KOs.
- 252+ SpA Cresselia Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. +1 4 HP / 0 SpD Kommo-o: 150-176 (99.3 – 116.5%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
- 252+ SpA Cresselia Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 144-171 (98.6 – 117.1%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
DekuVGC (Kartana) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 188 HP / 52 Atk / 4 Def / 196 SpD / 68 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
– Knock Off
OW, THE EDGE!!! Kartana is one of the most POWERFUL and the STUPIDEST Pok- no, Ultra Beasts ever created. When we saw its puny Special Defense stat, we were all memeing and laughing about it “not being a Water or a Electric resist”, but I guess the tables have turned. Assault Vest Kartana is surprisingly bulky and even without much attack investment, it can do a lot of damage due to its massive base 181 attack stat. The various coverage moves it gets (Sacred Sword, Knock Off, etc.) are really good and combine to form one of the most destructive movesets in VGC 18.
This team, apart from Kartana, is really weak to Fini and Water types in general. Kartana was added to patch this weakness, and I went Assault Vest for extra bit of initial bulk to help with Rain and Tapu Koko. The spread was extremely consistent and bulky, taking so many attacks it wouldn’t otherwise. The speed stat outspeeds Kommo-o, and underspeeds my Kangaskhan so I can attack first with Kang and weaken the target before Kart can attack, and pick up the Beast Boost. I named it after my first friend Will Wetzel who goes by DekuVGC, he’s been doing a lot of work and I’m super proud of him.
52+ Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Fini: 170-204 (96 – 115.2%) — 75% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Ludicolo Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 188 HP / 196 SpD Assault Vest Kartana in Rain: 107-126 (67.7 – 79.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Sachit99 (Heatran) (M) @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Def / 236 SpA / 12 SpD / 12 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Heat Wave
– Earth Power
The fiery battle toad, Heatran was probably the most disappointing part of using this team. Heatran really struggles with a 4 move syndrome. Heatran needs Substitute, Taunt, Roar, Flamethrower, Heat Wave, Protect, Earth Power, and HP Ice. It also struggles from the 1 item syndrome: from time to time I really wished I had Firium Z, Life Orb, Leftovers, and everything else. It’s was solid alright, but it missed too much and kept giving me heart attacks, since a ton of rounds came down to Heatran landing the Heat Wave.
Shuca Berry is probably the best item for Heatran: it needs it to take an Earthquake from a Landorus-T or a Stomping Tantrum from a Mega Metagross. I chose Taunt for my fourth move because it shuts down Trick Room mons, e.g., Gothitelle, and set up mons. It helped a lot when my opponent tried to win by setting TR up. Heatran just blocked the strategy every single game, and doing a lot of damage with Earth Power and everything else was really nice. I named Heatran after my protege and my best friend Sachit, who goes by Sachit99. I hope he can stop being blind @ NAIC.
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Heatran in Electric Terrain: 171-202 (86.8 – 102.5%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
- 236+ SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 142-168 (97.2 – 115%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
Chalk, as a core, is a team that can be built around anyone’s play-style since it can be used offensively, or defensively, or even setup focused. This version of the team is mostly built as a bulky offense team, a team that takes hits and hits back harder. Using this team might be hard for some players due to its neutralness with the matchup roulette table, but if you can pilot it right it’s one of the most dangerous teams. This team has a lot of options to lead, preserve, attack, set up, or position well. You’ll have plenty of time to figure out your end game, so make sure you don’t sack mons out of nowhere unless you HAVE to.
The team has a lot of leads and options you can use to pilot, I honestly think it’s just depended on the player on how they’re going to lead or play this team. I play this team offensively, so Kangaskhan, Cresselia and Kartana are most likely going to be the ones who clean up or start off the game.
This lead is a simple Fake Out + Calm Mind lead. It’s quite passive initially, but you can start throwing strong attacks after Turn 1. Having Fake Out and set up pressure right in Turn 1 is quite hard to stop. You can easily switch out and intimidate and position yourself for the next turn too, it’s quite a simple lead. Watch out for offensive mons like Zapdos, Gengar, and Kartana with this lead, they’re hard to deal with.
I used this lead a lot, at least 4 rounds per regional (I think). It’s basically a Fake Out + Speed control lead, but you can also shatter something with Shattered Psyche, so it can be controlling and offensive as well. Watch out for Incineroar when you lead this though; this lead is vulnerable to Incineroar coming in and absorbing the Shattered Psyche.
This lead is used against Sun teams, weatherless Perish Teams, and Lele Blimp teams, I’d advise you to not use this lead most of the time because it’s super vulnerable to Kartana, Blaziken Bisharp and a lot of other things. It’s quite a strong lead because you can lower speed and fire off strong Heat Waves and Shattered Psyche the turn after, or get speed control in your advantage right off the bat by using Trick Room or Z-Trick Room to ignore the taunt.
One of the most hyper offensive leads, the goal with this lead is to Fake Out and KOi something for the Beast Boost and just going on a full blown sweep. It’s one of the most powerful leads in the team, but it’s super weak to Fire types. I went for lead in some games that I hard-predicted my opponent in Team Preview. It’s a fun lead but I’d advise you to not go for this lead 99% of the time unless you’re ready to outpredict the living crap out of your opponent.
With this team, going for simple and obvious plays will often put you in a losing situation. This is NOT how you play this team. You need to get the full control of the field in order to gain advantages. Not only is Team Preview important for this team, you need to risk and predict a lot of things your opponent might do from you and your opponent’s perspective. Chalk is like a restraint on the player to test themselves on their ability to play this game, and if you just play casually and simple you’ll most likely end up losing. Try to find 100% wincons, but don’t be afraid to take risks.
The team is extremely bulky and can be played offensive or defensively, honestly, it’s dependent on what kind of play-style you have. Preserving win cons and slowly chipping and eliminating threats are one of the biggest keys to winning with Chalk, due to it having a neutral MU against most teams, (worst being 45/55 and best being 55/45, while it has a 50/50 vs. most teams).
Standard Rain Teams
Rain teams are most likely going to be played out with the duo of Kangaskhan and Kartana starting, and Cresselia and Tapu Fini supporting in the back. Occasionally you bring Landorus-T, since most rain teams have Pokemon that are extremely weak to Landorus-T spamming Earthquake, U-turn, you name it. If you knock out Ludicolo, the game is most likely going to be a Kartana sweep-fest or Fini spamming Muddy Water to finish everything off after Kartana and Kangaskhan do their jobs. One of the most important parts of this matchup is baiting their Vortex. It’s quite difficult to do, but the rain duo’s offensive pressure dies down as soon as your opponent wastes the Z-move.
Charizard-Y based Teams
In matchups like these, Heatran will gather its Chaos Emeralds and take advantage of the Sun and the incoming Fire moves. If it gets boosted by the Flash Fire ability and weather, even resisted Heat Waves will do a ton to everything. The matchup will be played mostly by bringing Kangaskhan, Heatran, Landorus-T or Tapu Fini and Cresselia. Taking advantage of speed control and field is the most important part of playing this matchup, since if you lose Heatran this MU will be a lot harder than you expect.
This will pretty much come down to reads, speed tiers and speed control. Against Paul’s specifically, he had Hidden Power Fire on Cresselia which helps a lot against the mirror match; in this MU, you need to get rid of Kartana first. Kartana threatens the entire team and getting rid of that will give you a lot of breathing room with switch-ins. Kangaskhan, Fini, Landorus-T, Cresselia and Kartana do a lot of work in this mu, this will most likely come down to the opponent’s 4 and your leads.
Paul and I debated a lot about this and this is one of the hardest matchups I’ve ever faced. Not only does Gothitelle make you struggle a lot with this, them cycling Intimidate and being forced to bring Heatran this matchup when there are so many things that hurt Heatran is annoying. I myself theoried the MU and it’s really hard and awkward. This is one of the most impossible matchups I’ve faced @ regionals. Very hard MU. 99% loss.
Rundown of Tournament
R1-WW, 1-0 VS. Preston Leatherman
(Metagross-M, Tapu Koko, Tapu Bulu, Politoed, Ludicolo, Incineroar)
R2-WLL, 1-1 VS. Dennis Hicks
(Tyranitar-M, Tapu Fini, Kartana, Lando-I, Hitmontop, Volcarona)
R3-LWW, 2-1 VS. Aaron Naylor
(Metagross-M, Tapu Fini, Tyranitar, Incineroar, Porygon2, Snorlax)
R4-WW, 3-1 VS. Eric Hogan
(Gardevoir-M, Tapu Fini, Incineroar, Tyranitar, Kartana, Zapdos)
R5-WW, 4-1 VS. Luis Medina
(Charizard-M-Y, Tapu Fini, Landorus-T, Amoonguss, Cresselia, Tyranitar)
R6-WW, 5-1 VS. Matthew Laughlin
(Kangaskhan-M, Tapu Fini, Kartana, Landorus-T, Incineroar, Zapdos)
R7-WW, 6-1 VS. Ritter Minnix
(Venusaur-M, Tapu Fini, Aegislash, Landorus-T, Incineroar, Zapdos)
Top 8-LWW, 7-1 VS. Jeremy Rodriguez
(Metagross-M, Tapu Lele, Landorus-T, Heatran, Amoonguss, Drifblim)
Top 4-LL, 7-2 VS. Yanqing Sun
(Mawile-M, Tapu Bulu, Politoed, Ludicolo, Gothitelle, Incineroar)
R1-WW, 1-0 VS. Lucas Falkavase
(Charizard-M-Y, Tapu Bulu, Kommo-O, Cresselia, Milotic, Landorus-T)
R2-WW, 2-0 VS. Evan Bosse
(Blastoise-M, Dusclops, Drampa, Mimikyu, Vikavolt, Mudsdale)
R3-WW, 3-0 S. Foster Hughes
(Blaziken-M, Tapu Lele, Landorus-T, Suicune, Bisharp, Venusaur-M)
R4-WW, 4-0 VS. Jake Smith
(Salamence-M, Tapu Fini, Kartana, Incineroar, Porygon2, Mudsdale)
R5-WW, 5-0 VS. Justin Frys
(Salamence-M, Tapu Fini, Togedemaru, Aegislash, Tyranitar, Braviary)
R6-LWW, 6-0 VS. Aditya Subramanian
(Tyranitar-M, Tapu Fini, Braviary, Excadrill, Incineroar, Cresselia)
R6-WW, 7-0 VS. Austin Lowery
(Metagross-M, Tapu Lele, Incineroar, Landorus-T, Zapdos, Gastrodon)
Top 8-WW, 8-0 VS. Aditya Subramanian
(Tyranitar-M, Tapu Fini, Braviary, Excadrill, Incineroar, Cresselia)
Top 4-LL, 8-1 VS. Jake Smith
(Salamence-M, Tapu Fini, Kartana, Incineroar, Porygon2, Mudsdale)
In conclusion, the team was amazing at the events and was a blast. It’s still a viable team but I feel like it needs to be newly fixed for the better. I think there’s not a lot of things to counter CHALK, other than Goth Maw rain *COUGH COUGH*, and I plan to remake it for the future events. This team has done me well and I want to give it a one last ride in the future, possibly in 2019 season.
I thank my friend Nontaro for giving me this team so I can use it, and Paul Chua for opening my eyes to the goddess that is Kangaskhan. I’d also thank everyone for rooting for me @ the events and back home, I love you all. I hope to see you guys soon in the next report. Kangaskhan forever. See you guys at NAIC, I’ll be working my hardest to get my day 2 invite!