Ask The Experts: The Hivemind on Underrated VGC ’15 Surprises

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Ask The Experts is a column where we interview respectable players and try to get their opinions on the basics of competitive Pokemon. Read on to hear their insight! 

This week, rather than asking one person a bunch of questions, we’re asking several reputable players one question to give readers a wider variety of responses. These players have all had a strong season so far, so their perspectives will be experienced ones. Enjoy!

Question: What pokemon is currently the most underrated pokemon of this season’s metagame? Why do you think it hasn’t been noticed much so far? 

“Mega Mawile is definitely underrated. As one of last years premier megas it hasn’t seen as much play with the addition of some of the newer megas from ORAS along with the addition of the rest of the national dex to the format. It struggles a lot with the very popular Heatran which many would argue is the better steel Pokemon to have on a Trick Room team as well as walling Mawile pretty easily. Some have even gone as far to say that Mega Scizor is better than Mega Mawile, which I think is a bit unfair. I believe the kind of team that Mawile fits on isn’t as clear as it may have been last year. The kind team I believe it flourishes on the most right now would be a hard TR team but that archetype itself isn’t having the easiest time finding it’s place in the meta either. With all the new megas from ORAS I’m not surprised that many have strayed away from Mawile for maybe the much faster Mega Metagross, but in no way is Mega Mawile bad.” – Caleb Ryor (BlitznBurst)

“I think Latios is the most underrated pokemon of this season because it’s got an amazing speed tier (outspeeding all dragons other than Jolly Salamence and notably the dog trio), and access to a versatile array of moves. It can check pokemon that its typing wouldn’t, it has support moves that you wouldn’t expect, and it has nuking moves that chunk teams (Ice Beam, Helping Hand, Tailwind, Trick, and Draco Meteor for some examples). Not only this, but predicting its set is near impossible (unless you have previous knowledge or scout in team preview). The reason I think this is underused is for the simple fact that Bisharp was heavily used at the beginning of the season (where this team chunked the whole meta), and Sucker Punch from various pokemon like Kangaskhan were really popular and they OHKOed Latios, so it was immediately dismissed on teams.” – Daniel Stein (BlazikenBurner)

“I honestly think Conkeldurr is. It’s being used a lot more now, but earlier it was non-existent. Life Orb with Iron Fist punched holes through teams (literally), and Wide Guard is an amazing move as always. There’s also Guts for baiting burns, however Assault Vest is becoming less and less of a desirable item because the lack of Wide Guard/Protect” – Jake Rosen (Sableye)

“For my most underrated Pokemon, I think it’s Mega Blastoise. Bulky water types have been really successful this format, between Rotom-Wash, Suicune, Swampert, Jellicent, Poltoed, Milotic and the occasional Gastrodon on Trick Room teams. Blastoise doesn’t really need much support either. You could go the redirection option and pair it with something like Togekiss, Amoongus, or Clefairy/Clefable, or you could go the Raichu option (which I personally prefer). Raichu provides Fake Out support, Lightning Rod support, Feint, and Electro Web for speed control. I think Raichu with some combination of Fake Out, Feint, Electro Web, Helping Hand, and Encore is perfect next to Blastoise. Helping Hand boosts allows Blastoise to easily OHKO max HP Mega Kangaskhan Kangaskhan with Aura Sphere and, with it’s bulk, Blastoise can easily take an Adamant Double-Edge. You of course can also run Water Spout, Hydro Pump, Water Pulse, Scald, Dark Pulse, Ice Beam, Aura Sphere or Fake Out, all of which depends on your team. I’ve seen some really cool trick Room teams lead with Fake Out Blastoise and a setter, which allows Trick Room to go up turn 1 and allows for immediate offensive pressure turn 2. I already mentioned Blastoise’s ability to work in Trick Room but with base 78 speed, it’s also a great candidate for a Tailwind team. Under Tailwind, you can run very little speed and a lot of bulk and still have amazing offensive pressure. Under Tailwind, Blatoise is able to outpseed and OHKO most relevant threats in the metagame, such as Landorus, Kangaskhan, Bisharp, Heatran, Terrakion and many others. And with the aforementioned Helping Hand boost, it’s able to pick up the OHKO on things such as bulky Thundurus and Aegislash. I think that most players hesitate to use Blastoise because they either forget about it or because they see it as a waste of a mega slot. It doesn’t seem to provide the immediate offensive pressure of something like Metagross, Charizard, Kangaskhan or Salamence and because of its speed, that may be true. However, I think it fits on to more teams than most people realize. I hope to see more people trying to utilize Blastoise and honestly, I expect some people to take “risks” with it come US nationals (However, I hope they’ll soon realize that Blastoise isn’t risky at all). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Blastoise was a top 5 mega by the time the season ends.” – Stephen Brown (pyromaniac720)

“Volcarona. It’s probably overlooked due to its STAB moves being resisted by Heatran, Charizard, Terrakion, Salamence. Landorus and its scarf Rock Slide also make Quiver Dance setup tricky. Not to mention the fear of being sniped by Talonflame. But there are plenty of teams that have only one or two of these elements, so it’s not that difficult for a skilled player to maneuver into a position where Volcarona can set up. I beat IamJabberwocky in losers’ finals of Apex when he didn’t bring it, but I ran into him again in the International Challenge with more or less the same team and he led Volcarona and Kangaskhan. He got one Quiver Dance in and it was curtains for me from there.” – Mike Suleski (OmegaDonut)

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About Author

Chalkey Horenstein is the Editor of Team Magma. In his spare time, he also writes for Retroware TV. When not playing pokemon, he works for a homeless shelter in Boston, and enjoys traveling, running, and eating as much food as possible.