VenuButter and Jelli - A 3rd Place Premier Challenge Report

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     Hey guys, my name is Kolby Golliher, but you might recognize me more by my Nugget Bridge and Twitter handle Lovetrain. I first started playing Pokemon competitively in 2011 when I attended the Georgia regional and lost in Top 8 to KiwiDawg (Seniors). I bring this up because at that regional I used a really solid core of Jellicent/Ferrothorn/Hydreigon. I am still super upset that Ferrothorn does not resist Dark-type attacks anymore because I really hate Bisharp. Anyway, I think it is pretty ironic that I unknowingly used the exact same core four years later with Mega Venusaur in Ferrothorn's place.
     At the Maitland, FL premiere challenge on 3/3/15, this team was first seed going into Top Cut and led me to a 3rd place finish overall. The only games I dropped were against Nick and his stupid Minimizing Clefable, but it is okay because I love him anyway. <3
     I really regret not using this team at the Florida regional two days prior because I imagine I would have played a lot better there if I had. This is one of my favorite teams that I have ever built and I had an absolute blast using it so I hope you do too if you decide to try it out yourself!

jellyfish (Jellicent) @ Leftovers
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD
Calm Nature
- Scald
- Will-O-Wisp
- Recover
- Protect

     First and foremost: jelli is love, jelli is life. Jellicent and Venusaur were probably my most common leads throughout the whole tournament. I know this sounds a little crazy because neither of them pose much of an offensive presence, but many of the teams I faced did not have an answer to the immediate defensive pressure the duo created with Will-O-Wisp and Leech Seed and so I capitalized on this. 252/100+ allows Jellicent to survive a Dark Pulse from Modest 252 Choice Specs Hydreigon and also a Thunderbolt from Modest 252 Life Orb Zapdos. Neither of these are super popular at this point in the metagame, so in retrospect I think it would have been more efficient to invest just enough EVs to survive Life Orb Hydreigon instead of Choice Specs and move the rest to defense. In 2011 I used Water Absorb, but I switched to Cursed Body after watching Zach on stream in St. Louis and have not looked back since.

USF SUCKS (Terrakion) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Justified
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Rock Slide
- Stone Edge
- Protect

     For the most part, Terrakion was standard and did Terrakion stuff. I chose to use Stone Edge over other filler moves like Double Kick, Quick Guard, Swords Dance, or even Roar (thx ashton) because Thundurus really threatened my team if it spread enough paralysis around and I was not about to have any of that. Rock Slide is a 2HKO on most bulky Thundurus and sometimes even a 3HKO after factoring in Sitrus Berry; with Stone Edge, Terrakion is able to take out most bulky Thundurus before they cause too many problems. I think I only used it once during the tournament, but it was absolutely beautiful to watch a Thundurus faint on the very first turn without doing anything. Stone Edge was also a nice option to have against CharY teams with Wide Guard or Intimidate. Stone Edge is the best filler move on Terrakion 80% of the time and the worst filler move 20% of the time.

AT-AT walker (Heatran) @ Chople Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon
- Protect

    This is a pretty standard Heatran and it has really great defensive synergy with Jellicent and Mega Venusaur forming a bulky Grass/Fire/Water core. I think Chople Berry is the best item on Heatran because it allows it to survive attacks like a Close Combat from Terrakion and then OHKO back with Flash Cannon (or Earth Power after the special defense drop). A couple of other times that Chople Berry frequently comes in handy is against Mega Kangaskhan's Low Kick and any Conkeldurr set. I like Flash Cannon over Substitute but I think that might just be because I do not have any other Steel-type moves and I like to switch a lot.

flower (Venusaur) @ Venusaurite
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 252 HP / 124 Def / 76 SpA / 44 SpD / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
- Giga Drain
- Sludge Bomb
- Leech Seed
- Protect

     This is Aaron Zheng's Venusaur spread except with 8 EVs moved from special defense to speed so I could speed creep all of the other Mega Venusaur that were also copying Aaron's spread. It did not end up mattering at all during the PC, but I am glad I opted to do this anyway.

bird (Talonflame) @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Brave Bird
- Overheat
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect

     Huge shout-out to my good friend blutrane who gave me this infamous Dive Ball Talonflame that I have used on nearly all of my teams since last year, only changing the third move to fit the rest of my team. On my SmeargToise team I used Tailwind, on my regionals team I used Taunt, and this time I tried out Will-O-Wisp. I did not think my team benefited much from Tailwind and I was not afraid of my Trick Room match-up either so I chose Will-O-Wisp because a fast burn-spreader helped Venusaur close out games when I was not in the right situation to "just press brave bird". Talonflame gets a lot of hate for not being bulky but it does its job better than anything else and continues to be a wonderful choice in my opinion.

sock puppets (Hydreigon) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Ice]

     I am not really sure how I feel about Hydreigon in general. It has good defensive synergy with the rest of my team but I did not use it very often because I faced a lot of Trick Room teams. Scarf Hidden Power Ice is an idea I stole from 000aj that out-speeds and OHKOs non-bulky Scarf Landorus 100% of the time. The one time I used it in Swiss against Priciliano Garcia (Pirate Lion Inferno), his Landorus survived with a sliver of HP left, but Talonflame was able to pick it off later so it was not a huge issue in the end anyway. Before the tournament I wanted to change Hydreigon to something else that resists Dark-type attacks (Bisharp Knock Off in particular) and has a good match-up against Landorus. Will suggested I try Blaziken, but I kept Hydreigon because Talonflame was already holding Life Orb and I would not be able to switch Blaziken in on an Earthquake like I would with Hydreigon.

Kolby Golliher

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.