Bricks Get the Chicks: A Florida States Premier Challenge 1st Place Report

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Hey guys!  For those of you who don’t know me (which would probably be most of you), my name is Jacob Legler, or just “Legler” for those that know me personally. I have been involved with VGC since spring regionals at Florida last year, where I did horribly, but managed to fall in love with the game.  Over the course of the last year or so that I have been playing, I have top cut several Premier Challenges, placing top 4 at three, and with this weekends win, won two.  While I performed poorly at my only two regional competitions, Florida of this year and last year, I feel that my performances at Premier Challenges justify my skill for someone who has only played for a little over a year.  Though, that's enough about me, let's get on to the good stuff.

The Idea:
Inspired by both Aaron Zheng and Wolfe Glicke, I knew immediately based on their performances that I wanted to try out Mega Venusaur, and I absolutely loved it in testing.  I have always felt like relying heavily on speed control (tailwind, trick room, etc.) wasn't really my thing, and I knew the bulk of Venusaur could do with little-to-no speed control when given proper support.  This inspired the first half of my team, which was originally Venusaur, Thundurus-I (for thunder wave and taunt), and Heatran.  I also found focus sash tailwind Latios to be very interesting, especially with the rising popularity of Venusaur (which it beats), so the second half of my team was built around Latios, originally being Latios, Bisharp, and Terrakion.

The Team (Original): Venusaur, Heatran, Thundurus-I, Latios, Bisharp, Terrakion

Flaws to The Original team:
In testing, I loved Venusaur, but some of the team members just didn't seem to fit in, such as Thundurus and Terrakion. Their lack of bulk made it harder to perform the switches the team played so well with.  I figured Rotom-W would be a good call over Thundurus, as it completes the Fire-Water-Grass core, and while it sacrifices speed-control and taunt, will-o-wisp and the added bulk fit perfectly on the team. Rotom ended up being my MVP at the Premier Challenge.  As for Terrakion, I loved that it beat Kang and Charizard, two of Venusaur's biggest threats, but its lack of bulk and poor switch potential really steered me away.  Landorus-T was the perfect replacement. Access to superpower and rock slide still beat Kang and Charizard, and intimidate was amazing on this team.

The Team (Revised):  Venusaur-Mega, Heatran, Rotom-W, Latios, Bisharp, Landorus

Venusaur @ Venusaurite
Ability: Overgrow (I was too lazy to find a chlorophyll one)
EVs: 252 HP/124 Def/76 SpAtk/52 SpDef/4 Spe
Nature: Bold
-Leech Seed
-Sludge Bomb
-Giga Drain

Bread and butter Venusaur from Aaron Zheng.  The EVs allow it to survive pretty much anything that's not choice band brave bird or Mega Salamence return/double edge.  I could have looked for a chlorophyll one, but I honestly don’t think it’s too important and I’ve never seen the one turn speed boost mattering.  I absolutely loved using this Venusaur, and my strategy would normally be to cripple my opponent’s offenses and take out any threats until I could just close out the game with Venusaur.

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
Nature: Modest
-Heat Wave
-Earth Power

Not too much to say here, as this is pretty much as basic as it gets.  Heatran was simply the best available fire-type, and I have always felt that sub-leftovers Heatran was the way to go.  Flash Fire was great for absorbing will-o-wisps and opposing heat waves, and the natural bulk and offense that Heatran provides has quickly made it one of my personal favorite Pokemon in the format.

Rotom-W @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP/44 Def/52 SpAtk/156 SpDef/4 Spe
Nature: Calm
-Hydro Pump

The same Rotom-W I have been using since last year; the EVs allow it to survive Mega Mawile play rough as well as choice specs Hydreigon draco meteor 100% of the time.  This little guy was easily my MVP this weekend, hitting every will-o-wisp, and only missing one out of five hydro pumps throughout all of Swiss.  On several occasions, just landing a WoW on Kang meant GG for my opponent, as Venusaur would be virtually impossible to kill with the rest of their teams.  Not to mention the thunderbolt paralysis and double full-para on Berserk’s Mega Salamence in game 3 of the finals… this Rotom will be here to stay.

Latios @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
Nature: Timid
-Draco Meteor

Latios, more than anyone else on this team, started off as an experiment.  I saw potential because with sash it will always survive Bisharp's sucker punch at full HP, and it can survive a -1 Kangaskhan sucker punch while Landorus can earthquake next to it.  It quickly became my go-to lead Pokemon, and I ended up bringing it to every game in the tournament.  Leading with Latios was so good because of the offensive pressure that draco meteor and psychic provided along with its speed. Its ability to get an almost guaranteed fast tailwind off was great to have as well.  I would say that, overall, I think Latios is one of the most, if not the most, underrated Pokemon in the format right now (it can outspeed and OHKO Terrakion, Kangaskhan fans), and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying it.

Bisharp @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Nature: Adamant
-Sucker Punch
-Iron Head
-Knock Off

Is there really anything I have to say?  Ever since the rise in popularity of life orb Bisharp I have come to appreciate its pure strength.  Doing over 50% to Kang with sucker punch? This thing is a monster.  It’s offensive presence was amazing, and while I did not end up bringing it too often at the Premier Challenge, I still loved to use it.  Defiant was great to have, as it could scare away Lando leads while I lead with my own Landorus to gain an advantage on intimidate, and it also took care of Aegislash, which is a very scary Pokemon to go up against.

Landorus-T @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 76 HP/252 Atk/52 Def/128 Spe
Nature: Adamant
-Rock Slide
-Stone Edge

I was so close… so very close to giving my Landorus 144 EVs in speed just to outspeed max speed modest Heatran even without a choice scarf.  But then I thought “When is this going to matter, really”, and it ended up mattering... in game 3 of the finals against Berserk, where my -1 Speed Landorus was staring down a max speed modest Heatran that was about to take out my already crippled Lando with a helping hand boosted heat wave, which potentially could have cost me the game… until my Landorus skillfully avoided the heatwave and KOed back with earthquake. Needless to say RNG was on my side this weekend, and I cannot apologize enough to Nick for that game 3.  Anyway, Lando was my last addition to the team, as a replacement to terrakion.  Intimidate was great for my team, which relied so heavily on defense, and losing the fighting-type weakness Terrakion gave me and gaining a resistance was great for the team.  It was easily the most significant improvement from my original team to my revised team.

Overall, I loved the team in testing, and obviously I was very proud of its turnout this weekend. While the team did have its flaws here and there (such as a weakness to special Mega Salamence next to follow me Clefairy, as I found out against Nick), I feel like it was very solid all-around, and it is easily my favorite team I have used in 2015, and it either ties or is a close second to the team I used to win a PC in 2014.  Sunday was a ton of fun and it was great to see Kolby, Wiretap, and Nick again for the first time since regionals.  While I am far from being close in CP, this win puts me one step closer to the stipend, and I am super excited for Athens!
Thanks a lot for reading guys, I hope you enjoyed!

Jacob Legler

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.