Source: Wikia

Last weekend, the weak inherited the Pokémon world for an official online tournament. Much like last month’s Tiny Tournament, players could only use a subset of the game’s hundreds of options. The Weakness Cup’s restriction, as its name implies, only allowed players to use Pokémon with five or more weaknesses to the game’s various types.

On top of the stipulation about weaknesses, the majority of the game’s best items were banned. All anyone could use were the various berries that reduce the damage of one attack from a single type and the Weakness Policy, which raises a Pokémon’s Attack and Special Attack by two stages when they’re hit by an attack that is super effective.

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Due to these constraints, players favored fast, hard-hitting monsters. That, coupled with all the weaknesses, meant that many Pokémon often took major chunks of damage, or got knocked out entirely in a single hit. The only thing that stopped big hits in this format were the damage reduction berries, which only protects a Pokémon from one of its weakness.

With those constraints, players quickly scoured the list of eligible Pokémon and identified a handful of options that would dominate the tournament. Aerodactyl was immediately recognized as perhaps one of the format’s best Pokémon, due to its speed and access to important moves such as Rock Slide and Tailwind. Greninja, too, seemed like a good choice since its diverse move-pool and Protean ability would let it change types to suit the situation.

VGC competitor Jon Hu used both of these Pokémon, as well as Togekiss, Breloom, Weavile and Delphox to great success during his run in the tournament:

In the above match, Hu is immediately forced into a tricky situation thanks to Whimsicott, which was favored due to its “Prankster” ability. In this match, Whimsicott forced Hu’s Aerodactyl to uselessly spam Tailwind after setting it up turn one with the move Encore. Thanks to his Breloom’s Yache Berry, though, it was able to survive an Ice Shard and counter-attack the opposing Weavile for the KO. From there, Hu’s next problem was dealing with the ever-popular (and deadly) Beat Up Whimsicott and Terrakion combination. By hitting Terrakion four times with the very weak dark type attack, its Justified ability boosted its attack by four stages. From there, it could spam Rock Slide to devastating effect.

Meanwhile, 2014 World Champion Sejun Park used his own Whimsicott in a different but equally devastating way. Instead of attacking into a Terrakion, Park used U-Turn on his Krookodile to both trigger its Weakness Policy and let him switch Whimsicott into a more useful Pokémon. He would often do this after setting up Tailwind, allowing the rest of his team to either keep pace with or out-speed his opponent.

Terrakion isn’t the only Pokémon that can take advantage of the Justified/Beat Up combo, which VGC competitor Caitlin Beach proved with her team. Virizion is also able to boost its stats to overwhelming levels, and can even go a step further with the help of Tapu Bulu’s Grassy Surge boosting Grass type attacks further. Beach went into more depth about her team and the format in a report of her own, but the above battle shows Virizon dismantling her opponent with ease.

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All in all, the Weakness Cup seemed like another good foray into new rulesets and should be a good lead into the upcoming No Holds Barred tournament. With a start date of August 17, players will be able to use almost any Pokémon they want with none of the usual restrictions, such as legendaries limitations, and duplicate items/team members.

Jason Krell is a freelance journalist, VGC player and managing editor at the Trainer Tower.