There are many ways to play competitive Pokémon, and each format has its own group of top players. These groups usually don’t cross paths, but YouTubers created an online league to remedy that. Last weekend, two elite trainers from the singles community took on their “doubles” counterparts in a clash of the titans. Joey “pokéaimMD” and “Lord Emvee” both have a respectable list of tournament wins and moments at the top of online ladders as singles players. Meanwhile, Wolfe Glick and Markus Stadter are both world-class doubles players who compete in the official tournament series, the Pokémon Video Game Championship. The former is the 2016 world champion while the latter finished third. Both pairs also happen to be best friends who joined the Multi-Battle League to stake their claim in a lesser-played competitive format. (Disclosure: I am an analyst for this league, meaning I participate in round-table discussions of the league and weekly match previews.) Unlike singles, players fight with two Pokémon on the field at a time in a multi-battle. Yet, unlike the doubles format, each side splits control of their team among two trainers. This forces players to, among other things, come to agreements on team-building and in-game…
Nick Navarre, a top competitive Pokémon player from the US, won last weekend’s Roanoke Regional Championships with a unique team that included what many consider the weakest Alolan Guardian: Tapu Bulu. Advertisement Tapu Koko is by far the most common and successful guardian in competitive Pokémon, with Tapu Lele and Tapu Fini competing for the second place. Tapu Bulu, by contrast, has struggled to find its niche in the face of popular competitive monsters, like the ever-present Arcanine. While Bulu does have some strengths, they are often overshadowed by its weaknesses, leading many players to dub it the “worst” guardian. Many have tried to make it work, but Tapu Bulu doesn’t have anywhere near the same track-record of tournament success as its fellows. Tapu Bulu wasn’t the only odd Pokémon out on Navarre’s team, though: he also packed a Salamence and Clefairy, both of which have been rare in the latest competitive season. More typical picks, like Arcanine and Snorlax, still boasted unusual movesets. Only his Kartana, which holds an item that boosts critical hit rates, felt like a standard choice. Advertisement Navarre’s team is READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Out of hundreds of potential choices, competitive Pokémon players can only bring six Alolan monsters into a battleground. Three months in, despite the uncertainty of the overall metagame, some picks are turning up more often than others. Advertisement In an effort to illuminate the current state of VGC, below are 12 of the most popular monster picks, how they’re being used, all sorted by frequency of use in top-cut (the highly competitive, single bracket phase of live events.) Garchomp Usage: 48 percent Advertisement What It Brings To The Table: With access to one of the most powerful Earthquakes in the game, great speed and solid coverage moves, this dragon can threaten a wide variety of Pokémon in the metagame. Every common set seen so far this year has been offensive, though some let it hold onto an Assault Vest for extra bulk. However, the most common item by far is Groundium-Z, which lets Garchomp use Tectonic Rage (a move more powerful and useful than Earthquake) to devastating effect. Choice Scarf has been picking up steam as well, as an option READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!