VGC Guide

Started by Omicron February 24th, 2015 11:48 AM
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  • 6 replies

Omicron

the day was mine

Alternia
Seen June 22nd, 2020
Posted February 28th, 2020
4,421 posts
10.9 Years
Written by apocalypseArisen and Necrum

VGC

What is VGC?
VGC is the format used in official sanctioned tournaments run by The Pokémon Company. The ruleset and banlist changes with each season. Here's the current season's ruleset:

Standard Ruleset
  • All matches are played in the Doubles format.
  • Pokémon above Level 50 will be brought down to 50 for the match while those below 50 will stay as is.
  • Players choose 4 of their 6 registered Pokémon after team preview.
  • Pentagon Rule: All Pokémon must have the blue pentagon on their stats page indicating they were caught, bred, or received as an official gift in Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire.
  • Species Clause: No two Pokémon on your team can share the same Pokédex number.
  • Item Clause: No two Pokémon on your team can hold the same held item.
  • The following items are banned:
    • Soul Dew
  • The following moves are banned:
    • none
  • The following Pokémon are banned (all forms):
    • Mewtwo
    • Mew
    • Lugia
    • Ho-oh
    • Celebi
    • Kyogre
    • Groudon
    • Rayquaza
    • Jirachi
    • Deoxys
    • Dialga
    • Palkia
    • Giratina
    • Phione
    • Manaphy
    • Darkrai
    • Shaymin
    • Arceus
    • Victini
    • Reshiram
    • Zekrom
    • Kyurem
    • Keldeo
    • Meloetta
    • Genesect
    • Xerneas
    • Yveltal
    • Zygarde
    • Diancie
(Taken from pokemon.com)

Team Cores
If you're just starting out, it's recommended that you stick to one of the standard core types when building your team.
  • Fire/Water/Grass - If you're pretty new to battling, or just like a more basic approach, I would suggest this set, as it's fairly straight forward and gives your team good coverage.
    • Fire - Common threats here are Heatran, Talonflame, Mega Charizard Y, Rotom-H
    • Water - Common threats here are Suicune, Azumarill, Gyarados, Rotom-W
    • Grass - Common threats here are Breloom, Amoonguss, Mega Venusaur, Ferrothorn.
    • Necrum's Core - Ferrothorn, Rotom-H, Gyarados
    • Omicron's Core - Amoonguss, Heatran, Azumarill
  • Dragon/Fairy/Steel - If you have more experience with battling then this is a good option. You will hit a lot of the bigger threats pretty effectively, but you need to understand how to keep them alive, as their weaknesses are very commonly used.
    • Dragon - Common threats here are Garchomp, (Mega) Salamance, (Mega) [email protected]
    • Fairy - Common threats here are Sylveon, Gardevoir, and Mega Mawile
    • Steel - Common threats here are Bisharp, Mega Mawile, Aegislash, Ferrothorn and Heatran.
    • Necrum's Core - Bisharp, Gardevoir, Mega Latias
    • Omicron's Core - Ferrothorn, Garchomp, Gardevoir

Threats
There's Pokémon you will probably see a lot. Finding one or more checks or counters to these Pokémon are great ways to start builiding teams.
  • Landorus (Especially Landorus-T)
  • Thundurus
  • Garchomp
  • Mamoswine
  • Talonflame
  • Mega Kangaskhan
  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Terrakion
  • Gengar
  • Gardevoir
  • Sylveon
  • Cresselia

What to expect
You'll probably want to know what you can expect to see in VGC matches most oftenly, and although the best way to know is to go ahead and battle, we'll list some of the most common team types and strategies used in VGC!
  • Trick Room
Losing popularity due to the restricted list the last season, Trick Room Teams are ever so prevalent now. Sometimes accompanied my Hail thanks to Mega Abomasnow, Trick Room teams are something to be wary about. With offensive powerhouses such as Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, Mega Camerupt and Mega Abomasnow, Trick Room manages to take off balance many great teams and skilled players.
  • Fake Out
The infamous Fake Out, rarely seen in Smogon's tiers, is widely used in VGC. Capable of creating momentum for the user or disrupting strategies for the defender, expect to find Fake Out in many teams. Learn which Pokémon are the most common Fake Out users to plan your strategy accordingly if you face them.
  • Protect
You'll find Pokémon with Protect in every decent team. Every single one of them. Expect users to Double Protect in order to figure out your Pokémon's moveset and trying to find any strategy you might be using. Protect is something you should also seriously consider when building your Pokémon's moveset, especially if you're using moves like Surf or Earthquake. Because of the presence of wide range moves, protect variations such as Mat Block and wide Guard are also used.
  • Weather Teams
Rain teams and Sand teams are very common as well, sun is rarer and hail even more so. Having check or Pokémon thay might benefit from the weather are good ways to check this teams. You sould always make sure your team isn't destroyed by weather users. Seeing a Tyranitar does not mean the opponent is running a Sand Team, so be aware of the entire opposing team.
  • Wide Range Moves
It probably goes without saying that moves like Earthquake, Surf and Rock Slide are very popular, but even moves like Discharge, Heat Wave, and Dazzling Gleam which you probably would never expect as a Singles player are extremely threateneing in VGC because of the doubles format. If you would feel safer being able to block such moves, try a Wide Guard user like Conkeldurr, Carracosta, or Mega Gallade
  • Mega Evolution
Almost everyone carries at least one Mega on their team, and I would reccommend that you do the same. Since VGC limits the Pokémon per battle to 4, many people carry more than one Mega Evolution, and choose the one that has a better match-up. for the best results, think of all the Pokémon capable of Mega Evolving in the other team as mega evolutions, so you won't get game costing surprises from your opponent.
  • Field Control
Tailwind has become a very common move on Pokemon like Talonflame and Suicune, but emerging more recently are such moves as Icy Wind and Snarl, which can adversly affect both opponents, giving you a degree of control over the course of battle. Some of these moves can be prevented with Taunt, but the two I just mentioned are much harder to avoid, or even predict depending on your opponent's set.
  • Prediction
Prediction is a double-edged sword. In one hand, predicting is key in order to make the best possible moves every turn. But overpredicting can cost you the match. As an enexperiences player it might be hard to corretly predict what your opponent might do. As with all, practice makes perfect. It is important to make an estimation on your opponents experiene level and skill battling to correctly predict as well.

  • Losing and Luck
Chances are, you're gonna lose a lot. But don't let it discourage you, even if you get locked into an impossible situation. Don't just surrender as soon as you think it's over. Pay attention to what you did wrong, and where you can improve, both as a player and in your team structure. This is probably the best way to improve as a battler and develop the natural instinct that is important to success as a battler. If you find yourself in an impossible situation, think about how you can take one more mon with you. If you can successfully KO one last Pokemon, you will likely feel much better about the loss than if you were to just throw in the towel. And you never know when you might get lucky. I've turned whole matches around on a dime when I thought all hope was lost. That's not to say you should rely on luck, but keep in mind that it is a f [ctor in the game.
  • Other ways of learning
There's many ways of learning how to correctly play VGC. The most important one is obviously battling. The current format matches Battle Spot's Ranked Doubles right now, so go crazy testing teams there, or on Showdown, before battling at any VGC events.
But it is not the only one, videos are a great way to learn too, for example. Cybertron's videos are very good and you can learn more than one thing by watching them. This is a link to his channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CybertronProductions .


Final Advice

Necrum - Be unpredictable! Now I'm not saying go out and pick every Pokemon no one uses, but try an unconventional move set, or a Pokemon that works surprisingly well in your team and no where else. Little things can throw off your opponent's groove and give you an edge at least for a little bit, which is important if you want to gain momentum.

Omicron - Practice makes perfect! Battle a lot, you'll learn tons of things. You'll be better prepared to fight anything that comes towards you. Once you get the hang of things chances are you'll enjoy the format more with every battle.You'll also be better at predicting movesets and calculating speeds. Don't get discouraged, even the best lose. A lot. The rapid nature of the matches means you'll probably be playing more in less time than OU. Don't be too shy to ask questions either! Ask anyone you think might be able to help. Fresh perspectives might bring attention to issues you may not have seen.Or viceversa! One can learn as much from new players as they can learn from veterans. But most importantly, have fun!

and i will love to see that day
that day is mine
when she will marry me outside with the willow trees

skyburial

Orca Hype

Age 30
Male
Colorado
Seen April 17th, 2017
Posted March 15th, 2017
892 posts
6.3 Years
Let me just say that I am deeply appreciative of this guide as I've been working on regimenting my Doubles fu and getting my ass handed to me several times a week in the process.
The Prism League is opening for its second season and looking for new members! 6v6 Multiformat battles on cartridge are the name of the game. We implore you to join if you enjoy competitive battling in any format.

VGC Poketuber. My Channel

Paired with Polar Dash, the hippest hoofton this side o' Kalos
FC: 0061-2185-6938
IGN: skyburialVGC

Omicron

the day was mine

Alternia
Seen June 22nd, 2020
Posted February 28th, 2020
4,421 posts
10.9 Years
Let me just say that I am deeply appreciative of this guide as I've been working on regimenting my Doubles fu and getting my ass handed to me several times a week in the process.
We're glad you liked it! If you need any more help or want to practice with someone, don't hesitate to contact either Necrum or me. :)

and i will love to see that day
that day is mine
when she will marry me outside with the willow trees

Polar Spectrum

I'm still here; watching. Waiting.

Non-binary
[Birthplace banned for centralizing childhood]
Seen May 29th, 2017
Posted March 21st, 2017
1,663 posts
6.6 Years
Glad someone did a VGC resource - pretty well too.

Heads up though, as of usage statistics on GTS and tourneys right now, you may wanna add mega Gardevoir and Sylveon to the OP's 'threats' section, purely for the Pixellate Hyper Voice bit, which is all too common especially now that we're in ORAS, and there's move tutors. Specs sylveon and Mega Gardevoir do that waaaay too often and it's quite potent.

Also your spread moves section mentions surf and rock slide, but probably not the number 1 contender, earthquake. Mayyyybe because it goes without saying? But anyone at an introductory level should reeeeally be warned imo - Earthquake is 100 base, lowered to about 80 I think - but it still hits hard, hits a lot of types hard, and hits all mons. Plus earthquake users, again goes without saying, are usually heavy in attack, and a lot like Diggersby tho and Swampert are gonna have STAB to moooore than make up for the spread damage drop from doubles. It's worth mentioning to be sure to have at least one flying or levitate switch in for an obvious earthquake.

I loooove Necrum's advice at the end. Following a copy paste mold for your whole damn team, and making the number one most obvious move every time will lose you more matches than win. Seriously, don't let yourself be obvious. In singles it's often more than easy to see an obvious switch, and there's only one target TO attack, and if you can't get out of that mindset - you'll play right into your opponent's hands in VGC. Y'know. If you're playing someone who doesn't suck.


Oh yeah; prankster supports should probably get a mention I think? Since VGC is doubles, it's not uncommon to have a full prankster abuse set since it still has a teammate to dish out attacks while harassing an enemy team.


Great resource though :D Hopefully it sees a lot of use.
The Prism League is BACK BABY - we're operating in Sun / Moon now - come join up!

We're looking for Gym Leaders and Elite 4 members!

Paired with SkyBerries; the berries in the sky.

skyburial

Orca Hype

Age 30
Male
Colorado
Seen April 17th, 2017
Posted March 15th, 2017
892 posts
6.3 Years
Yeah Mental Herb Prankster sets are very much in vogue at the moment, making Thundurus, Klefki, Meowstic, and Whimsicott all ubiquitous. Each of them has their own support pressure they put on too, and it's typical that they're the mon you will have to play around.

Lately my favorite defensive core has been Breloom/Starmie/Mega Sableye, with Taunt support from either Thundurus or Heatran.
The Prism League is opening for its second season and looking for new members! 6v6 Multiformat battles on cartridge are the name of the game. We implore you to join if you enjoy competitive battling in any format.

VGC Poketuber. My Channel

Paired with Polar Dash, the hippest hoofton this side o' Kalos
FC: 0061-2185-6938
IGN: skyburialVGC

Necrum

I AM THE REAL SONIC

Male
Portland, OR
Seen August 20th, 2019
Posted July 13th, 2017
5,081 posts
8.5 Years
Glad someone did a VGC resource - pretty well too.

Heads up though, as of usage statistics on GTS and tourneys right now, you may wanna add mega Gardevoir and Sylveon to the OP's 'threats' section, purely for the Pixellate Hyper Voice bit, which is all too common especially now that we're in ORAS, and there's move tutors. Specs sylveon and Mega Gardevoir do that waaaay too often and it's quite potent.

Also your spread moves section mentions surf and rock slide, but probably not the number 1 contender, earthquake. Mayyyybe because it goes without saying? But anyone at an introductory level should reeeeally be warned imo - Earthquake is 100 base, lowered to about 80 I think - but it still hits hard, hits a lot of types hard, and hits all mons. Plus earthquake users, again goes without saying, are usually heavy in attack, and a lot like Diggersby tho and Swampert are gonna have STAB to moooore than make up for the spread damage drop from doubles. It's worth mentioning to be sure to have at least one flying or levitate switch in for an obvious earthquake.

I loooove Necrum's advice at the end. Following a copy paste mold for your whole damn team, and making the number one most obvious move every time will lose you more matches than win. Seriously, don't let yourself be obvious. In singles it's often more than easy to see an obvious switch, and there's only one target TO attack, and if you can't get out of that mindset - you'll play right into your opponent's hands in VGC. Y'know. If you're playing someone who doesn't suck.


Oh yeah; prankster supports should probably get a mention I think? Since VGC is doubles, it's not uncommon to have a full prankster abuse set since it still has a teammate to dish out attacks while harassing an enemy team.


Great resource though :D Hopefully it sees a lot of use.
I'm glad you liked my advice! the main reason I didn't mention EQ is because it's pretty much an every format move. EVERYONE uses it, even in Singles. We'll add it though. Thanks for the feedback.

skyburial

Orca Hype

Age 30
Male
Colorado
Seen April 17th, 2017
Posted March 15th, 2017
892 posts
6.3 Years
Hue Hue Hue

Just gonna leave this here because it's fresh, hot, and preloaded with VGC sets instead of Smogon stuff like most calculators.

http://nuggetbridge.com/damagecalc/
The Prism League is opening for its second season and looking for new members! 6v6 Multiformat battles on cartridge are the name of the game. We implore you to join if you enjoy competitive battling in any format.

VGC Poketuber. My Channel

Paired with Polar Dash, the hippest hoofton this side o' Kalos
FC: 0061-2185-6938
IGN: skyburialVGC