Rare Article: Double Battle Strategy and VGC 2012

First off, thanks to Tyson for suggesting this topic! The rules for VGC 2012 have been announced, and it's going to be crazy. It'll be double battles again, but this time players aren't limited to Unova Pokémon. That's right, all Pokémon from #1-#646 are usable, except for a number of banned Pokémon. Numbers 647-649 are unreleased as of now so they won't be included. I'm going to focus on a few things that I think are going to be central in this year's VGC.

For a full list of rules for VGC 2012, check out this file on the file on the Pokémon website (it also includes TCG) http://assets.pokemon.com/assets/cms/pdf/op/tournaments/2012/pokemon_official_tournament_formats.pdf

Chapter 1: General Double Battle Stuff, Or: Make Sure You Don't Zig Where You Should Zag

Double battles are a completely different game than single. In double battles, you have moves that hit both enemies, quicker KOs, and more use for certain moves, such as Protect.

Speaking of Protect, you need it. While it pretty much only has use on walls in singles, Protect can save you in a double battle. If you are able to accurately predict that both of your opponents will attack one Pokémon, a well used protect can leave you with no damage while your remaining Pokémon dishes out damage. Protect is also usefull to scout out what moves your opponent is using.

Something else to keep in mind is moves that hit both opposing Pokémon. Rock Slide, Water Spout, and Earthquake are even more useful in doubles than in singles. Sure, their base power is nerfed in doubles, but the fact that they can hit to opponents at once still makes them much more efficient than going after one Pokémon at a time. The existance of these moves makes doubles much faster than a single battle, as there are many more sources of damage.  

Chapter 2: Auto-Weather, Or: Yeah, You're Going to Have to Deal With That

One main draw to VGC 2011 was that there was no auto-weather. For the uninitiated, the term "auto-weather" refers to any ability that causes a permanent weather change when that Pokémon enters the battlefield. Bad news for many of us, auto-weather is back. Sand Stream Tyranitar, Drizzle Politoed, Draught Ninetales, and Snow-Warning Abomasnow are all legal in VGC 2012, which means that weather teams will be extremely prevalent. 

But I know that most of you are cooler than that, right? You're not going to do a weather team. Too cliché. How are you going to defend against auto-weather, then? One good way is to utilize a Pokémon with the ability "Cloud-Nine." There are only three fully evolved Pokémon with this ability, namely Golduck, Altaria, and Lickilicky. Cloud-Nine negates all weather effects as long as the Pokémon with Cloud-Nine remains in play. Unfortunately, once a Cloud-Nine Pokémon faints, weather effects return, so this is only a temporary solution. 

Another possibility would be to create a team that can benefit from any type of weather. For instance, you might have a Solar Power Charizard, a Sand Rush Excadrill, and a Swift Swim Kingdra on the same team. This way whatever weather your opponent runs will help you, if only a little. The danger with this strategy is that you never really have the upperhand, as your opponent will have more Pokémon gaining benefits from the weather than you, but at least you are not crippled by auto-weather.

Chapter 3: Misc. Restrictions, Or: Epic Smeargle Nerf

Now we are going to look at some interesting restrictions in VGC 2012. One biggy is that Dark Void is specifically banned (the only move banned besides Sky Drop) even though Darkrai is already on the ban list. This is to prevent someone from using Smeargle to sketch Dark Void and then rip through its opponents, as Dark Void can put both opponents to sleep at once.

Another interesting tidbit is that only Pokémon from #1-#646 are available, as I mentioned earlier. This means one of two things. First, it could mean that we won't see the release of Keldeo, Meloetta, and Genesect won't be released in the time before VGCs. If not that, then it must mean that if they are released they will be unusable, as with most of the other legendaries.


There it is folks. Before I sign off I have a few things to ask of you. First, check out the great work that a few members of our community are doing over at tmpodcast.webs.com . After that, read my review of Contagion over at the3rdreel.blogspot.com, and check back occasionally for my upcoming review of Drive. Then, after doing all that, feel free to add to our new Bulbapedia page over at http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/It%27s_Super_Effective . Whew. A lot of requests. Anywho, I'm out. Later.