The Kanto x Alola Regional Rumble highlighted two powerful groups of Pokémon in battle. Pokémon Sun and Moon players were permitted to use only Pokémon they could discover in the Kanto region in Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, or Pokémon Yellow, along with Pokémon from the Alola region in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon. Trainers were also prohibited from giving their Pokémon Mega Stones to hold, reducing the effectiveness of several Pokémon from the Kanto region. All Trainers who finished at least three matches during this competition are eligible to receive a Pidgeotite and a Steelixite, so don’t forget to pick up yours if you participated!
The Pokémon Ranking from the Kanto x Alola Regional Rumble is full of Pokémon familiar to veterans of recent Online Competitions. Trainers who approached this tournament like the Alola Friendly probably had the most success, but the best tactics evolve from event to event. Read on to find out more about the most popular and effective strategies in the Masters Division.
Just Kanto Get It Going
The twist that separated this competition from January’s Alola Friendly was the addition of the Pokémon originally found in the Kanto region. Paradoxically, the Trainers that prepared their teams to accommodate these Pokémon may have found themselves at a disadvantage. Despite the addition of so many Pokémon to the pool of eligible challengers, the Pokémon Ranking was largely unchanged from the Alola Friendly. Only Zapdos cracked the top 30 among Pokémon that weren’t eligible in January.
There are two main reasons for this trend. First, many of the top-performing Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, and Pokémon Yellow were already available in the Alola region. Cloyster, Dragonite, Arcanine, Gyarados, Gengar, and Snorlax all made the ranking, but each is also available in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Secondly, the relative power of many of the remaining Pokémon was reduced by another rule—the prohibition of Mega Evolution. Perhaps in a different version of this tournament Charizard and Blastoise would have been popular choices because of their Mega Evolutions, but Trainers largely chose to stick with what worked back in the Alola Friendly this time.
The Pokémon that finished atop the Pokémon Ranking should be no surprise to Trainers who participated in earlier Online Competitions. The five Pokémon most frequently selected in the Kanto x Alola Regional Rumble were the same as in the Alola Friendly: Garchomp, Mimikyu, Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, and Celesteela. Four of these Pokémon even finished in the top 5 of the Battle of Alola, despite the presence of some powerful Legendary Pokémon in that competition. Garchomp was most successful of all—it was the most frequently selected Pokémon in all three competitions. (We wrote about Garchomp, Mimikyu, and Tapu Koko after the Alola Friendly).
Among members of this elite quintet, Tapu Lele made the biggest jump in the Kanto x Alola Regional Rumble. Tapu Lele became the second most commonly selected Pokémon in this competition, but the timing of its ascent is a bit of an enigma. The Pokémon selected in this competition were similar to the Alola Friendly, and the rules were almost the same, too. Perhaps we’re seeing similar trends in Online Competitions as we’ve seen in the Video Game Championships, where Trainers are adopting a balanced approach by training Tapu Lele defensively, relying on its high Special Attack stat and the damage boost from Psychic Terrain for offense.
Celesteela quickly rose to prominence as one of the most challenging opponents found in the Alola region through the combination of the HP-draining effect of Leech Seed and its stout defense. The battlefield has become particularly favorable for Celesteela in recent Online Competitions, making it even more valuable. It has a massive advantage against Tapu Lele as a Steel-type Pokémon, and since it’s also a Flying-type it’s resistant to Garchomp’s Dragon- and Ground-type attacks, too. One trait that separates Celesteela from similar Pokémon, like Skarmory, is that it functions well on offense, too. One of the top finishers even chose to leave Toxic and Leech Seed behind in favor of teaching Celesteela four attacking moves instead!
Another Notch for Defense
The first Online Competitions featuring Single Battles in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have inspired similar trends in Pokémon usage. The most common Pokémon overall have tended to be Pokémon that are quick and powerful—Pokémon like Garchomp and Tapu Koko that immediately stand out to players of all experience levels. But at the highest ratings, we’ve seen a mix of teams full of these Pokémon and teams including several Pokémon known more for their defensive prowess.
The Kanto x Alola Regional Rumble followed a trend that was common in past competitions. Most competitors seemed to shift strategies more toward offense than in past competitions—even defensive favorites like Porygon2, Celesteela, and Muk dropped a little in the Pokémon Ranking compared to January’s Alola Friendly. But the top teams contrasted this shift by skewing even more defensively than normal. Porygon2 and Celesteela were much more popular at the highest ratings, and the sturdy Chansey and Zapdos appeared on multiple top-10 teams, too. Pyukumuku, Blissey, Skarmory, and Glalie stand out as infrequently selected defensive Pokémon that proved their value on top teams in this competition.
Five of the top 10 Trainers elected to use a Pokémon with the Intimidate Ability to soften incoming blows, but their choices for this role were shocking. None of the top 10 Trainers elected to include Arcanine on their teams, although it was the most frequently selected Pokémon in the competition with the Intimidate Ability. Instead, three Trainers selected Krookodile, a Pokémon that wasn’t selected frequently enough to appear on the Pokémon Ranking at all.
Magnezone was only the 16th most common Pokémon in the competition overall, but it appeared on three top-10 teams, and its previous Evolution, Magneton, appeared twice more. Trainers who have competed in Single Battles for many years may have expected these Pokémon to possess the Magnet Pull Ability trap and defeat the Steel- and Flying-type Skarmory and Celesteela. But this competition proves that an old magnet can be taught new tricks—Trainers valued the extra combat power from the Analytic and Sturdy Abilities more than the potential disruption of Steel-type Pokémon.
A pair of top-10 teams stood out in their commitment to defense. Chansey, Skarmory, Toxapex, and Mandibuzz were united by one Trainer to form a veritable defensive super team. Another team featured a Pyukumuku that knew Purify and held Poisonium Z, enabling it to boost all its stats and then use Baton Pass to give the boosts to a teammate. This strategy must have been super effective against Trainers who tried to avoid knocking out Pyukumuku in one hit to reduce the damage from its Innards Out Ability.
Take some time to evaluate the sturdiest defenders the next time you plan your strategy for an Online Competition. It can be trickier to build a defensive team than an offensive one, but an impenetrable defense can be one of the most reliable ways to come out on top in battle.
Source: Pokémon Global Link