Chuppa Cross’s Top 8 Georgia Regionals Team Report[VGC2017]
Hi! I’m Chuppa N Cross IV(@chuppavgc). I recently placed in Top 8 at the Athens, Georgia Regionals.
Our story begins a week before the Regional. After having to sit out a local Midseason Showdown due to snow, I spent the day watching the stream of the event on twitch.tv/libertygarden. While everyone knew that the core of Arcanine/Tapu Fini/Kartana (I’ll be referring to it as AFK) was popular at Dallas and would be popular at this event, the extent of that surprised me. Most of the top cut teams featured all three of them; even the team that I’d planned to run (similar to Azazel’s winning team) was AFK.
Having missed crucial CP and experience from the MSS, I knew that I had to set to work on building a powerful team for Regionals. Since the event was only one week away, I figured that the metagame was unlikely to undergo any drastic changes and would be heavily populated by AFK teams.
After thinking about pokemon that could handle AFK, I came to an answer I was satisfied with. Standard LO Tapu Koko is able to take on most Arcanine and Tapu Fini through its speed and sheer damage output. This only leaves Kartana, whose AV set isn’t 2HKO’d by either of Koko’s staple TBolt and DGleam. However,
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Hidden Power Fire vs. 84 HP / 164 SpD Assault Vest Kartana: 161-192 (111 – 132.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
(161, 161, 166, 166, 166, 172, 172, 177, 177, 177, 182, 182, 182, 187, 187, 192)
Teching on HP Fire allows Koko to easily OHKO all AV Kartana that aren’t ridiculously specially defensive (at which point they’re so slow that your opponent probably doesn’t know how Kartana works). Now that I had found the cornerstone of the team, I had to build around it. I messaged Gavin (kingofkongs, @komvgc) and he suggested starting with Koko/Gigalith/Gyarados/Kartana/Arcanine, and we quickly added Porygon2 for Ice Beam coverage and for the option of a Gigalith TR mode.
In testing, we agreed that Gyarados was hard to bring due to the presence of Tapu Koko/ TBolt P2, and rarely essential to winning. This was disappointing, since Gyarados was one of my favorite pokemon in the early 2017 metagame, but it didn’t have anything to offer here. I initially added another water type, specs Tapu Fini, since this slot needed to handle Garchomp, and that also avoided being KO’d by Koko while Misty Terrain was up. I saw that being able to take away an opposing Koko’s terrain could extend the team’s bulk significantly. However, with the team’s three ground weaks, just being able to KO chomp wasn’t ideal-outrunning and KOing was. I switched to scarf Tapu Lele because of this and fell in love with it. Being able to snipe Garchomp was great, and the speed let Lele lead off against offensive but frail teams, or come as a lategame sweeper when the opponent’s mons were in range to be KO’d by ridiculously powerful 200 Spatk, terrain boosted Psychics.
Further testing showed that Marowak was a rough matchup. It almost always forced the team to bring its TR mode, since it could sponge attacks from 3/4 of the faster pokemon, and OHKO or heavily damage all four of them. When I was testing AFK cores a few days before this, I was amazed by how strong Groundium Garchomp is. Teams with double or even triple Ground weaks are common (including this one!), and it has an easy time preying on those. Tectonic Rage’s sheer damage output is great even against things it hits for neutral, like Tapu Lele/Fini and Gastrodon. Since P2 generally wasn’t getting used as much as the other 5 members, I replaced it with Garchomp and immediately felt the team improve, as it started coming to and winning most games.
This locked in the six pokemon that I’d end up using at the event. While Garchomp was a good add to the team, it wasn’t as good against opposing Garchomp as Porygon2 had been. Realizing that four of my pokemon had fire coverage and another had fighting, I could stand exchanging Koko’s HP Fire for HP Ice to improve that matchup. Even if I was fighting more Kartana than Garchomp and found Koko’s HP Fire useful for them, I could still beat them without it. This also meant that Koko had to become Modest to secure the KO on Garchomp, though the only real loss from this is giving up the speedtie with opposing Koko. This is a significant downside, but I feel like you want to avoid situations where those speedties matter anyway.
I’d done limited testing with Iapapa Arcanine, but had mostly been using Sitrus. While I was content with Sitrus, the Iapapa seemed stronger in theory, and with the suggestion of some friends I changed to it. Gavin ran the same team that I did, except he kept both HP Fire Koko and Sitrus Arcanine.
Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Hidden Power [Ice]
Brought to 26/26 games
Easily one of the most valuable members of the team. Tapu Koko’s speed and power make it one of the best pokemon in the format, and if you don’t have it somewhere on your Top 5 you need to rethink that. Seriously, base 130 speed backed up with this offensive potential is something that we’ve never seen outside of pokemon like Mewtwo. Whether functioning as a lead to give me early game pressure or as a late game clean up mon, Koko consistently did its job well. The team was originally built around Timid HP Fire Koko, which was used for most of testing, but…
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