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Best Like No One Ever Was: Wolfe Glick wins Pokemon VGC 2016 World Championship
Posted by Caisam Yvez Nopueto September 01, 2016

It took another four years for him to return to another grand final of Pokemon VGC World Championships, and this time he wins the whole tournament. Welcome your new Master’s Division world champion, USA-native Wolfe Glick.

Wolfe is famous in the Pokemon VGC scene as the master of the game clock, being an expert in tactics that focus on strategic switching of Pokemon in order to stall the game and take advantage of the mechanics of VGC. He was also notable of the Perish-trap team featuring Mega Gengar that won him USA National championships. Aside from his two National championships in 2011 and 2012, he was also a Grand Finalist during the year of 2012 where he fell to another legendary Pokemon player Ray Rizzo.

This year, his playstyle has proven to be very successful after his very dominant and convincing run through the Top 8.


Wolfe’s Team

wolfeteam

Here’s Wolfe’s lineup for the whole of VGC 2016.

Kyogre
Nature: Modest
Held Item: Blue Orb
Ability: Drizzle
Moves:
– Origin Pulse
– Ice Bean
– Water Spout
– Protect

Rayquaza
Nature: Jolly
Held Item: Focus Sash
Ability: Air Lock
Moves:
– Dragon Ascent
– Protect
– Swords Dance
– Extreme Speed

Gengar
Nature: Timid
Held Item: Gengarite
Ability: Levitate (Mega Gengar Ability: Shadow Tag)
Moves:
– Protect
– Taunt
– Sludge Bomb
– Will-o-wisp

Hitmontop
Nature: Adamant
Held Item: Eject Button
Ability: Intimidate
Moves:
– Wide Guard
– Fake Out
– Close Combat
– Feint

Raichu
Nature: Timid
Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Lightning Rod
Moves:
– Fake Out
– Volt Switch
– Endeavor
– Nuzzle

Bronzong
Nature: Sassy
Held Item: Lum Berry
Ability: Levitate
Moves:
– Safeguard
– Gyro Ball
– Skill Swap
– Trick Room

Wolfe Glick against Aaron Zheng during the VGC 2016 showmatch
Wolfe Glick against Aaron Zheng during the VGC 2016 showmatch

 

After a grueling Swiss round of 7 series, Wolfe managed to finish Top 8, and he first faced Justin Carris who also was from USA.

In this series, we can see how well Wolfe understands his team and his win condition. In Game 1, it is notable that Wolfe made critical reads during the first turns and put him in a position to win the whole game by having more healthy Pokemon as the game timer expired.

For example, in the first turn Wolfe immediately swapped out his Rayquaza so that both Bronzong and Assault Vest Pikachu can tank through Salamence’s Hyper Voice while preventing Xerneas from making a move through Fake Out. By turn three, Justin Carris still haven’t set-up Geomancy for his Xerneas because of constant pressure from Wolfe‘s switches. This only lead to Xerneas fainting after a double-up from Rayquaza and Bronzong which eventually put Justin in a terrible spot. Justin had decent win conditions due to the fact that he has the stronger and meta-specific Pokemon, but Wolfe maneuvered beautifully thoughout the game and took Game 1 as the game clock expired.

Wolfe then took Justin to school come Game 2, with perfect reads since turn 1. Wolfe used Protect on his Rayquaza that blocked Justin‘s Spore from Amoonggus, while also able to sneak in a Nuzzle from Pikachu which consequently fully paralyzed Justin‘s Salamence. This is already a great start for Wolfe, but he made another great move in turn 2: he was able to switch Bronzong into Rayquaza’s slot to tank another Spore attempt (which fizzled out since Bronzong has Lum Berry), and switch Raichu out while providing chip damage onto Salamence through Volt Switch. Salamence continued to be a non-factor as the rest of the game progressed, due to the fact that its speed is cut to half because of Paralyze and that Wolfe made good switches around Rayquaza, Kyogre and Bronzong.

The masterful performance from Wolfe Glick convincingly earned him a spot to the Semi-finals, but his brilliance is not yet done. For the Top 4 match-up, he faced Markus Stadter from Germany.

His semi-final run was about threatening to use Fake Out, but only to pressure and not to actually use it. Both games we’ll see how Wolfe swaps between Hitmontop and Raichu where almost every turn he limits the moves that his enemies can take.

Markus’ plan of friendly-fired Sludge Bomb on the Raichu of his own (so he can use Endeavor much faster than he normally would) backfired heavily, because Wolfe played defensively during Turn 1. This game, Wolfe threatened Fake Out for many turns but didn’t opt to use it — the mind games forced Markus to do awkward moves such us Protect plays on his core Pokemon that slowed down his own pace. The swap between Hitmontop and Raichu completely protected Kyogre and Rayquaza, and Markus slowly lost Pokemon turn after turn due to Wolfe‘s methodical switches.

Wolfe then showed another match won with switches and Fake Out pressure. During turn 1, he was able to set-up Swords Dance for his Rayquaza by instead switching out Hitmontop — which Markus understandably targeted with a Raichu Fake Out of his own, since he will surely outspeed — into Raichu. Come turn two, Wolfe has the upperhand because he newly switched in Raichu has a Fake Out, while Markus‘s own does not. This forced Markus to use Protect on his own Rayquaza, but Wolfe had a free one-hit KO on Markus‘ Raichu. By turn 4 and 5, Markus’ Rayquaza still can’t land an attack due to Fake Outs. Markus may have taken Wolfe’s Raichu, but Wolfe just have the distinct advantage with three Pokemon left compared to Markus’ two remaining which included a fully paralyzed Rayquaza. Wolfe advanced to the finals after a very decisive 2-0 win.

Here we are, at the very last match-up for the VGC 2016 Masters championship. Wolfe faced another USA native Jonathan Evans.

 

Their series was very close however. It came to a point where the winner only won because of one brilliant turn.

Wolfe made a huge read in turn 1, switching in Raichu to absorb Jonathan‘s Thunder using the ability Lightning Rod. Jonathan himself made good reads through turn two, safely switching in a better match-up with Bronzong and Kyogre on the field as Wolfe only made a Protect and chip damage Endeavor in this turn. However, the crucial turn of events for Wolfe was when he was able to sneak in a Swords Dance for Rayquaza, while stalling out the Trick Room via defensive switches and constant Fake Out pressure. He was able to trade the utility Raichu for Jonathan‘s core Kyogre, and Jonathan simply ran out of steam due to the scarcity of offense from his team.

Wolfe did almost as he did with Game 1, only this time he opted for the Origin Pulse that connected on a 1-hit KO on Jonathan‘s Gengar. Wolfe‘s Raichu tanked the opposing Kyogre’s Origin Pulse (thanks to Assault Vest), and the fact that it did not die gave Wolfe a huge chance to use Endeavor on Jonathan‘s Kyogre and drop it to 37 HP. Jonathan kept the game close respectfully, but he was too crippled and Wolfe did what does best: systematically switch and attack, and take down his opponent’s Pokemon turn after turn.

Wolfe clinched his first World Championship with six straight wins, and all of it in a dominant fashion. The master of stall tactics is your new Pokemon Video Game Competition champion, and his unique strategy will forever be etched in the history books of competitive Pokemon.

Now Reading: Best Like No One Ever Was: Wolfe Glick wins Pokemon VGC 2016 World Championship
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