Hibiki’s Garchomp-Vikavolt [VGC2017]
How the team was built
I wanted to use the combination of Golduck + Pelipper, as its usage plummeted after the London International and everyone moved on to different things. This was something I felt could be exploited, as people were not preparing for the matchup as much anymore.
I also really wanted to use the combination of Assault Vest Vikavolt and Choice Scarf Garchomp, as they’re able to cover a lot of the current metagame (especially the popular Tapu Fini / Kartana / Arcanine core), while Vikavolt also has access to Energy Ball to get rid of Gastrodon in case I run into any.
For the last 2 slots I added Celesteela to have better defensive synergies, as well as an option to deal with slower, bulkier teams by stalling them out – and Arcanine with Safety Goggles, because Liligant/Torkoal matchups would be almost impossible to win otherwise with the team.
Pelipper @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
This is a very standard Pelipper set and there’s not really much to talk about here. I use Scald over Hydro Pump for consistency, and a Modest nature instead of Timid for better damage output.
Golduck @ Waterium Z
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 124 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 124 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam
Golduck is the biggest offensive threat on the team and forms the infamous “double ducks” combination with Pelipper (even though Pelipper isn’t a duck!).
The set is pretty standard, but I invested some EVs in HP because I don’t feel like maximizing Speed is necessary with Swift Swim, while the additional HP are nice to have.
The moveset is fairly standard with Hydro Pump, Ice Beam and Protect. For the last moveslot I decided on Substitute, which is a bit unconventional, as most players tend to run Encore or Scald here.
I enjoyed having Substitute, as opponents would expect Golduck to carry Encore, which oftentimes meant that they would switch after using Protect, allowing me to set up Substitute freely. It also helps stall out turns where my opponent will try to focus down on Golduck, giving the partner Pokémon more time to set up or deal damage.
Vikavolt @ Assault Vest
EVs: 244 HP / 60 Def / 12 SpA / 188 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Bug Buzz
– Energy Ball
Vikavolt turned out to be my favorite Pokémon in the format, and I’m very fond of this Assault Vest set. I’ve been playing many variations for this set, using different moves on different teams, but I’ve always kept the EVs and Item almost the same.
For moves I run Thunderbolt for consistent damage, Discharge to combo with Garchomp’s Earthquake, Bug Buzz as a secondary STAB option and Energy Ball to deal with Gastrodon which would otherwise wall the team completely.
The EVs give Vikavolt some crazy survivability, allowing it to survive Hydro Vortex from Golduck in rain and take very little damage from most neutral special attacks. To put it into perspective, Choice Specs Tapu Fini Moonblast or Muddy Water are a 3HKO! The opponent would oftentimes try to focus down Vikavolt with attacks but failing to knock it out because it shakes off special attacks so well.
Pelipper’s Drizzle also ensures that Vikavolt will never be OHKO’d by Arcanine Flare Blitz, and having Golduck also means that the opponent has to think twice about bringing Arcanine to the match, despite being one of the best answers to Vikavolt.
I really recommend trying out this Vikavolt with different moves on different teams, you’ll be surprised by how incredibly useful and strong it is!
Garchomp @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 204 Atk / 4 Def / 92 SpD / 204 Spe
– Dragon Claw
– Poison Jab
– Rock Slide
I strongly believe that if you have a Vikavolt on your team, you also need to have Earthquake on your team.
I chose Choice Scarf Garchomp for my team as I have 2 Flying types and a Levitate user, so I can always lock myself into Earthquake if I want to. Scarf Garchomp handles Tapu Koko exceptionally well, which is a big threat to my Golduck/Pelipper core. It’s also very nice to be able to outspeed Ninetales, Kartana, Nihilego and many other fast Pokémon, as that means I can either trade my Garchomp effectively for one of their faster Pokémon, or outright KO them before they can touch Garchomp (in the case of Life Orb Nihilego for example), breaking through some Pokémon that would otherwise trouble the rest of my team.
In a sense this Garchomp will oftentimes sacrifice itself to remove key threats to my Pelipper/Golduck core or my Vikavolt.
The EVs are very basic for a Scarf build, using Adamant nature and decreasing the Speed down to 148 points so I outspeed Choice Scarf Modest Tapu Lele. 92 SpD EVs are used to ensure that Porygon2 will receive an Attack boost instead of a Special Attack Boost, and the rest is put into Atk.
Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 212 HP / 4 Atk / 172 Def / 4 SpA / 116 SpD
– Heavy Slam
– Leech Seed
Toxic Celesteela is something my friend Angel Miranda suggested to me after talking about the team in my group chat. At first I had Flamethrower over Toxic, but realized that if I want to effectively beat Porygon2, I would need to run Toxic.
Celesteela is used to break through bulkier teams that are able to withstand my heavy offense, spreading Toxic and Leech Seed to slowly whittle the opposing Pokémon down. Celesteela also has great synergy with the rest of the team. The rain core scares Arcanine away, while Choice Scarf Garchomp can handle Tapu Koko.
I was very satisfied with the Toxic + Leech Seed moveset, it won me games I would’ve otherwise lost easily, as I would not have been able to break my opponent’s defensive cores.
Arcanine @ Safety Goggles
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 4 SpA / 132 SpD / 20 Spe
– Extreme Speed
Probably the worst Pokémon on this team. I rarely ever used it, and I also never played against Liligant+Torkoal, so using a different Pokémon or different set would have been better.
It’s still important to ensure that you don’t lose to Liligant+Torkoal. If you’re not afraid of that matchup feel free to try different Pokémon for this slot. I can personally recommend Hariyama, as it also has a decent matchup with Liligant+Torkoal but provides Fake Out and strong Fighting type attacks for the team.
Leads and Matchups
vs. Tapu Koko + Garchomp standard
front: + /
back: / +
Choice Scarf Garchomp to deal with Tapu Koko and threaten the opposing Garchomp. Lead Pelipper if you want Tailwind early or set up Rain fast, Vikavolt is better most other times. Golduck in the back.
Oftentimes Scarf Garchomp + Vikavolt leads will break the opponent’s team on its own. It’s a very strong lead!
vs. Tapu Fini Arcanine Kartana standard
back: + /
If the team is more defensively oriented bringing Celesteela might be good. Otherwise bringing Golduck is okay.
Try to overwhelm your opponent with strong attacks. Oftentimes a turn 1 Earthquake + Discharge can win the game.
Don’t be afraid of Arcanine lead. They will either Protect or Switch, which means you can usually knock out or heavily damage the partner (oftentimes Tapu Fini), while you can get a free switch into Pelipper if they KO Garchomp. If they don’t KO Garchomp you can switch Vikavolt into Pelipper on Turn 2 to sponge Arcanine’s attack.
vs. Trick Room
back: + //
front: + //
back: + //
For Trick Room you want Celesteela. If they lead Porygon2 try to use Toxic right away. Set up your Celesteela and try to slowly whittle down your opponent’s HP.
Pelipper in the back to reduce damage from Fire type attacks. Bring any of your remaining 3 Pokémon depending on the matchup.
You can also lead Arcanine and Roar out the Trick Room user, then try to position yourself so Golduck + Pelipper can start dealing big damage. I don’t recommend this as oftentimes the opponent will expect Roar and react to it accordingly.
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