Rare Article: 3 Alternative VGC Strategies

VGC season is in full swing, as Spring Regionals approach. Perhaps the most common team to see is what has been dubbed in years passed as a "goodstuffs" team. In other words, a team that is made up of the best Pokémon in the metagame, as opposed to a team that subscribes to any particular strategy. Sure, weather is fairly common, but it seems that Zapdos, Hitmontop, Scizor, and Garchomp are on every team. 

But what if you want to do something at least a tad gimmicky, if only for the element of surprise? Well, I've got you covered. Here are three VGC strategies that won't be expected, and therefore, hopefully won't be prepared for by your opponent.

Chapter 1: Gravity, Or: Sir Isawk Newton

You're probably familiar with the move "Gravity." It's primary effect is to make Flying types and Levitators susceptible to ground type moves. However, there is one more thing that makes Gravity special. It reduces the evasion of all Pokémon on the field by 2 stages. That means that any move with 60% or higher accuracy is going to hit every time. Under Gravity, you can hit with Thunder, Blizzard, Focus Punch, and other moves that would be a bit of a gamble otherwise without having to worry about missing.

Here are some Pokémon to consider for this strategy. First, we've got Dusclops. Eviolite Dusclops has almost absurd bulk, and, with an immunity to Fake-Out, is probably your best bet to set up Gravity. (Bronzong would be another decent choice.) Dusclops also has access to Dynamic Punch, which is a lot more appealing when its 50% accuracy is boosted to 83%.

Second, we have Wash-Form Rotom, who is known for a devastating Hydro Pump, which, under Gravity will hit every time. If you put Hydro Pump, Thunder, Trick, and perhaps Hidden Power Fire on a Choice Specs Wash Rotom, you have one tough washing machine. Unfortunately, Gravity will nullify his Ground-type immunity, but that still only leaves him with two weaknesses, the other being grass.

Third, you could consider using a Hustle Durant. Hustle increases the attack stat by 50%, but decreases the accuracy of moves by 20%. Gravity will negate the negative affects of the ability, allowing you to focus on dealing huge Rock Slide damage. Unfortunately, Durant doesn't have much Special Bulk, but having only one weakness makes him not exceedingly fragile.

Full disclosure: I attempted to make a Gravity team, but it just didn't seem to come together quite right. I eventually ditched the idea, but I still think it has some legs. I'm telling you this, because I don't want you coming up to me at Nationals and yelling at me because Gravity didn't work. :)

593Jellicent-Pink.pngChapter 2: Rain Room, Or: When One Gimmick on a Team Just Isn't Enough

Rain Room, which is the utilization of both Drizzle and Trick Room, is an interesting strategy. A common lead is Politoed and Jellicent, the former for Drizzle and the latter to set up Trick Room. It takes a ton of setting up, and perhaps a straight rain team would be a better option, but at least you are doing something a little bit unexpected with Rain Room. 

Wailord is a good Pokémon to consider for Rain Room, as its Rain-boosted Water Spout can be devastating. Dry Skin Toxicroak is also worth consideration, as he can set up a sub, and then gather almost all of that health back with Dry Skin and Black Sludge.

Unfortunately there are a lot of counters to Rain Room. Cloud Nine Pokémon can stop all of the effects of rain, and there is little you can do to prevent an opposing Chandelure to Imprison you out of being able to use Trick Room.

File:006Charizard.pngChapter 3: Sun, Or: Because Pale Pokémon Players Like Myself Need a Little Bit of Sun Now and Again

Sun is the least common weather to be utilized in this year's VGC. However, it still has some usefullness.

You will want to lead with a Ninetales to set up the sunlight. A Solar-Power Charizard is a very nice addition to a Sun Team, as its Heat Wave can do a surprising amount of damage. Chlorophyll Venusaur is also a good consideration, as it gives you counters to Water types as well as a quick and powerful Solar Beam every turn. Under sunlight, the move "Growth" increases Attack and Special attack by TWO stages, so putting that on Venusaur would be a good idea.

If sun isn't unorthodox enough for you, you could run a Cherrim on your team, who's signature ability "Flower Gift", as long as it is alive, gives your entire team a 50% boost to Attack and Special Defense in sunlight. Unfortunately, you will most likely be using mostly Special attacks, with Solar Beam and Heat Wave being special, so it might not be fantastic in all situations, but something to think about.

Unfortunately, with a sun team you won't have much to combat Dragon Pokémon, which resist Fire attacks and are extremely prevalent. Dang it, Lati@s, why do you have to ruin everything?


Thanks for reading, Pokéfolk! Feel free to comment with your ideas for VGC strategies!

PS: I'm not telling you what my team will be. It's not any of the above strategies. A magician never reveals his secrets.