Rain teams are drowning out the competition in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Liverpool regional

Surprisingly, teams based on weather had become the most popular archetype of the season, allowing the teams that did this over the weekend to hit the hardest.

It’s been a little over two months since the first major release of VGC launched, and now the meta has changed course.

Long ago, after the advent of Generation IX, there were no more river-types and a few of the other teams, the effects of Scald’s shift were redirected in-game to each other. This revealed the most reliable way for a player’s hands to deal with all types of damage. This turned out to be the next best option for these critters: a hydra pump.

Hydro Pump is very powerful, even more powerful than Scald, but if you don’t run smoothly it doesn’t sound reliable. Every movement creates an anxiety attack, so they don’t have to be scared when they do it. As a result, Scald had a 30 percent chance to burn the enemy, allowing Water-type Pokémon to slash the physical attacks every time they clicked their primary Water moves.

For these reasons, the competitive VGC community considered the Rain team archetype as dead as ever, with a significant portion of the leading Rain sweepers being special attackers.

Unfortunately, the Rain team composition was the most popular composition throughout the tournament, making 22 appearances as the most popular part of this group, making 15 regional appearances. The information was provided via the Liverpool Stats section of a carefully crafted document uploaded to Twitter by the wonderful folks.

In a dominant team composition, there is one Pokémon:

  • Palafin
  • pelipper
  • amoon cast
  • Gholdengo
  • King Ambit
  • salamander
  • First things first, we must give credit to the players who have no credits. This team composition was first built and used by North American VGC talent Jeudy Azzarelli, who finished third in the San Diego Regional with this team earlier this month.

    And what is so special about this team? How to deal with the previously discussed challenges? Well, many of the overlooked issues that Rain would have had were primarily solved by one Pokemon in his team composition: Palafin.

    It’s clear that Special Attacking Rain Sweepers have returned to their great potential thanks to the Scald removal. During Generation IX, very few Physical Rain sweepers were likely used on a Rain team. Enter Palafin, the heroes Rain players didn’t deserve.

    Palafin Zero forms are really special, but the reason players use this dolphin is because of the Palafins hero form, which activates on the Zero to Hero signature ability. After the Palafin-Zero form reaches the field and turns off again, the next time it enters the field, it will enter through a superhero-like process to transform Palafin-Zero.

    In this form, Palafin quickly gains 200 base stats over his Null form and rivals Cover Legends for strength with a devastating 160 Attack stat paired with great bulk and speed.

    Palafin has his signature move, Jet Punch, 60 BP Water-type move, which always comes first because of its importance.

    Please remember how we talked about special attacking rain sweepers now making rain teams less viable? Well, if you already have a phenomenal Physical Attacking Rain Sweeper, you might be guessing that this problem no longer exists, right?

    The Palafin Heros stat combined with an above-average priority Water-type attack like Jet Punch, which further increases damage from the rain, makes Palafin a very deadly late-game sweeper.

    If you’re not making a priority move but still want something cleared from the opposing side, Palafin also gains access to Wave Crash, a 120 BP Water-like move that has 33 percent recoil, but the damage it deals to you is it worth it if you can also OHKO weak water-resistant Pokemon and bulky water-neutral Pokemon.

    Let’s not forget that you can further increase Palafins damage by delivering more stuff. A common thing of mine is Mystic Water and Choice Band. The only thing that can immediately thwart Palafin’s raw damage is Intimidate, but this ability has been slowly declining in the final Series 1 meta. Diminished, Palafin has an ever-lost need to worry.

    Another good tech move that Palafin gets that most players who guided Palafin went for was the Haze move. For all we know, Dondozo and Tatsugiri are an extremely serious and menacing duo that aren’t that many if they won the entire regional league. This must be taken into account before assembling your teams. So it’s too much for multiple answers for me.

    With the duo relying on stat boosts for the strategy to succeed so they can overwhelm teams, Haze is a very valuable rare move that many Pokemon don’t get, which counters DondoGiri very well and cleans up any stat changes to Pokemon on the battlefield present. You don’t have to make Palafin a Nazi, but also a Mon with lots of resources.

    Next, let’s look at the heart of every Rain team: its Rain Weather Setter, in this case Pelipper.

    When the new games were released and players found that Politoed wasn’t in the game, thus deciding that their only choice for a rain-setter was Pelipper, they were quite disappointed as politoed was generally the preferred rain-setter among them the two is. After being forced to manage Pelipper for Rain teams, players realized that this bird could be just the anti-meta tool they needed to take the river one step above the water.

    The Olympiad of All But One, unlike Politoed, gives Pelipper access to moving Tailwind and Wide Guard, the latter being a CGC staple for consistent speed control on most teams, and the latter morphing into a now-due Pelipper core move transformed to the propagation of moves that were now in the metagame (thanks, Gholdengo).

    Pelipper also has access to Hurricane’s Move, a powerful flying move with perfect accuracy in the rain that hits many meta-threats for super effective damage, like Amoonguss or Annihilape.

    The rest of the team consists of Amoonguss, Gholdengo, Kingambit and Salamence. All three Pokémon enjoy the Rain state because they have one thing in common: their Fire weakness. But what is Rain’s job? It halves the damage of Fire-type attacks and turns Fire-type attacks into neutral hits against these three Pokémon.

    The three Pokemon are all amazing on their own, aside from the fact that Amoonguss is a bulky, disruptive support that simply refuses to die, though Gholdengo and Kingambit both take on the role of bulky sweepers that have been cast in decent hardcover .

    Finally comes Salamence, who plays a secondary tailwind setter capable of massive damage from life-saving instruments like Hurricanes and Violent Meteors. Salamence acts as a full-flying opponent, allowing him to stay grounded – as well as socialize with the more serious Gholdengo and Kingambit, and also without giving up damage since he can produce a giant Pokemon while in full flight.

    It also has one of VGC’s best attributes, Intimidate, so there’s that too.

    Realizing that Jeudy was following the rules with a strong Rain composition and choice of reanimation, the public began directing the team themselves with their own modifications and variations.

    Some mods were more drastic than others, and players recreated entire Pokemon rather than a whole bunch of moves, items, teras, and so on.

    The most common Jeudys Rain team composition variations replaced Amoonguss for Meowscarada and Salamence for Dragonite. This team variant worked so well for Kurt Wonka, a VGC pro, that he not only earned first place in the Liverpool Regional but improved his reputation as well.

    Kurt and other players who made this adjustment likely realized that Amoonguss and Salamence aren’t the only way to play this Rain core and chose more offensive options, which was a betrayal in the long run.

    Although Team Jeudy’s Pelipper-Palafin Rain was the most popular team composition throughout the tournament, individual Pokémon didn’t lead in usage.

    Pelipper is the seventh most popular Pokémon in the world; 97 times across all 487 teams with a user rate of 1992 percent, while Palafin was the 11th most popular Pokemon in the tournament; 79 times across all teams with a user rate of 19.92 percent.

    Gholdengo, who took first place, viewed 238 times with a usage rate of 48.87 percent, and Meowscarada, who came second, viewed 233 times with a usage rate of 47.84 percent.

    Amoonguss came in third, 179 views with a usage rate of 36.76 percent, but because that Susy Baka is a GOAT.


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