Pokémon VGC: Kaito Arii Wins Japan National Championships

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Pokémon VGC: Kaito Arii Wins Japan National Championships

Kaito Arii takes his first Pokémon VGC win at the Japan National Championships.

One of the biggest events of the year ends with Kaito Arii, Hodaka Hatakeyama, and the other six members of the Top 8 getting World Championship Day 2 invites.

Kaito Arii

Kaito ran a very Attack heavy team for the Japan National Championship, with plenty of support for the big hitters. In fact, his team is one of the less diverse teams in recent Pokémon VGC history. Utilizing only Attack, Defense, and support, Kaito's team is straightforward enough to be predictable. What made him a Japan National Champion was his execution of the team. There are two halves of every team. The team, and the trainer. The team was built to simply be strong, and very little else. Meanwhile, the trainer was so talented, that he was able to execute it against far less predictable teams. He understood the meta so well that all he needed was a strong team to put in the work while he worked around the meta strategies his opponents were running.


979 0650

Annihilape @ Safety Goggles  
Ability: Defiant  
Level: 50  
Adamant Nature  
- Rage Fist  
- Protect  
- Bulk Up  
- Drain Punch
925 1275
Maushold-Four @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Friend Guard  
Level: 50  
Timid Nature  
- Beat Up  
- Protect  
- Follow Me  
- Taunt  

663 0
Ability: Gale Wings  
Level: 50  
Adamant Nature  
- Acrobatics  
- Tailwind  
- Protect  
- Quick Guard  

1003 0234
Ting-Lu @ Leftovers  
Ability: Vessel of Ruin  
Level: 50  
Impish Nature  
- Sand Tomb  
- Ruination  
- Heavy Slam  
- Protect  

861 0269
Grimmsnarl (M) @ Light Clay  
Ability: Prankster  
Level: 50  
Sassy Nature  
- Spirit Break  
- Reflect  
- Light Screen  
- Misty Terrain  

992 0158
Iron Hands @ Sitrus Berry  
Ability: Quark Drive  
Level: 50  
Adamant Nature  
- Detect  
- Swords Dance  
- Thunder Punch  
- Drain Punch

Annihilape and Iron Hands are the ones responsible for most of the straightforward damage output on this team. Meanwhile Grimmsnarl, Talonflame, and Maushold are meant to support the team by mitigating damage output towards them. Ting-Lu is the interesting stand out Pokémon here. In Pokémon VGC, Ting-Lu is often used for it's fairly high Defense, and decent Attack. So while adding to the Attack of the team, Ting-Lu also provides a wall for opponents to have to deal with while it either outputs damage, or has a Pokémon by its side outputting huge amounts of damage.

Congrats Kaito Arii!

Kaito Arii now has an invite to World's Day 2 with a Travel Award. His in-your-face style of play is going to be very fun to watch if he continues to carry it forward into the Pokémon VGC World Championship. His team will likely change by the time that comes around, but since this style of play worked so well for him, perhaps we'll see him bring back this offensive, maximum support style.

Pokémon VGC: Kaito Arii Wins Japan National Championships
Joseph Shay
Joseph is Production Director and Writer with experience in the esports field. He has coached Overwatch teams in North American and Pacific Contenders, and has been an avid esports fan for years now. Outside of esports and media, he is a Creative Writing major based out of Virginia, USA.