An Overview of the VGC 2017 Metagame

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An Overview of the VGC 2017 Metagame

Post by NickFishVGC on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:45 pm


With the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the time has come for a new season of VGC. The 2017 season is reminiscent of previous seasons such as 2011 and 2013, with the allowed list of Pokémon being limited to the regional Alola Dex, including Ultra Beasts. As usual, the major legendaries, being Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma, the event legends, Magearna and Marshadow, are not allowed along with Cosmog and Cosmoem. As well, the special demo Greninja and any Pokemon found from the QR Island Scan are banned.

As there are brand new Pokémon this season, there are many strategies to be explored, some new and some returning.

Trick Room

Trick Room is a move that causes the fastest Pokémon in play, which normally move first, to move last and the slowest to move first. The effect lasts for 5 turns, with the turn the move is used counting as the first. Unfortunately, there is no way to extend the effects of the move. In a doubles format, Trick Room is a viable strategy due to Fake Out support and a partner Pokémon to eliminate threats to your Trick Room setter. To optimize the use of Trick Room, it is recommended that there are at least two other slow Pokemon to take advantage of the move, with support Pokemon to allow Trick Room to go up in the first place by using Taunt or Fake Out. It is also recommended that one or two faster Pokemon are put on the team to function outside of Trick Room.


In past seasons, sun was an extremely popular weather condition with Charizard Y and Ninetales being used as sun setters. This season, Torkoal is the only available sun setter, as the Drought ability is the most optimal way to set up the sun, the only one with the ability. Harsh Sunlight increases the power of Fire-type moves by 50% and decreases the power of Water-type moves by the same amount. Many moves and abilities take advantage of the sun, so they are optimal to use on a sun team. Sun is up for 5 turns, and can be extended to 8 by the sun setter holding the Heat Rock item.



The counterpart to sun, rain is also extremely popular. Politoed has always been the go to rain setter when Kyogre is not legal as both have the Drizzle ability, but now this season, Pelipper has received a buff, gaining Drizzle. Rain increases the power of Water-type moves by 50% and decreases the power of Fire-type moves by the same amount. While there are moves and abilities that take advantage of the rain being up, the rain also negatively impacts certain moves and abilities that take advantage of the sun. Rain is normally up for 5 turns, and can be extended with the use of the Damp Rock item.



Hail is a newly popular weather condition in this season. Previously, Abomasnow was the only hail setter available due to its Snow Warning ability. However, this generation, the Vaniluxe line has received the ability as well as Ninetales’ Alolan Forme having it as a hidden ability, like its Kantonian counterpart having Drought as its hidden ability. Hail damages all non-Ice-types for 1/16th of its max HP each turn. Certain abilities and the Safety Goggles item protect Pokémon from Hail’s damage. Hail’s 5 turn effects can be extended to 8 with the Icy Rock. Alolan Ninetales gets the move Aurora Veil, which acts as both Light Screen and Reflect but can only be activated under while hail is up.


The counterpart to hail, sand is also a damaging weather ability. Tyranitar and Hippowdon used to be the only sand setters with their Sand Stream ability. This generation, Gigalith has received the ability and the only Pokémon with it usable this season. Sand damages all non-Rock, Ground or Steel-types for 1/16th of its max HP each turn. Certain abilities and the Safety Goggles item protect Pokémon from sand’s damage. The 5 turn effects of sand can be extended to 8 with the Dry Rock item. Under sand, the Special Defense of Rock-type Pokémon by 50%.


The four Alolan Guardian Pokemon, Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini, have new signature abilities. Their abilites activate one of the four terrains each only effecting grounded Pokémon for 5 turns, which can be extended by the Terrain Extender item. Electric Terrain, brought by Tapu Koko, prevents Pokemon from going to sleep and boosts the power of Electric-type moves by 50%. Psychic Terrain, brought by Tapu Lele, prevents Pokemon from being hit by priority moves and boosts the power of Psychic-type moves by 50%. Grassy Terrain is brought upon by Tapu Bulu. At the end of each turn, Pokemon are healed by 1/16th of its maximum HP and boosts the power of Grass-type moves by 50%. Misty Terrain, brought upon by Tapu Fini, prevents Pokémon from being affected by non-volatile status conditions and cuts the damage of Dragon-type moves by 50%.

Good Stuff

Good Stuff is a term used to describe a team composition with little synergy, however the team is comprised of common threats, and may or may not use a combination of strategies. Good Stuff teams are often of the Hyper-Offense variety, taking advantage of Pokemon such as Garchomp, Salamence, Alolan Muk and Alolan Marowak.


Z-Moves are a onetime use super powered move. Commonly used Z-moves include the Dragon-type Devasting Drake, the Grass-type Bloom Doom, and the Water-type Hydro Vortex. Z-Moves break through Protect and Detect, though the power is weakened upon contact. Like megas in previous seasons, it is not advised that more than one Z-move is brought, however it can be effective.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this overview. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them below.

"I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."


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