Generally, in competitive videogames players tend to use specific vocabulary from the own game. This, makes the introduction of new players much more difficult. In multiple ocasions in VGC, you must know the meaning of a short phrase or word to follow the action. For that reason, we have decided to compile and explain every term related to the competitive scene of Pokémon. In this way, we may increase the knowledge of recent players and we check that begginers enjoy his/her experience in VGC.
If you think there are expressions or terms we are missing, please send us a DM by Twitter.
Popular composition based on one or more strategies or Pokémon.
Some tournaments only count the player’s best results. The BFL or ‘Best Finish Limit’ provides a limit of the quantity of tournaments from the same series (Premier Challenge, MSS, etc) which can be taken into account to accumulate Championship Points. In this way, if you exceed the BFL (let’s say BFL is 2 and you play in 3 Premier Challenge), only the best performances will be considered (following the example: if you won 2/3 of those events, the third one, where you obtained for instance a 4th place, will not count).
2 or more Pokémon which combine one another.
Championship Points, commonly known as CP’s, are the points which players obtained competing in official sanctioned tournaments. The amount of players who can obtained CP’s differ according to the competition, the attendance and the season.
It is the limit of CP’s from where a player is able to obtain an invite to the WCS. The CP Bar changes depending on the region and the division the player belongs to. You can look up the CP’s needed to qualify for 2019 WCS in the following link.
A player who get an invite to The Pokémon World Championships because he/she managed to pass the CP Bar.
A player who get an stipend to The Pokémon World Championships because he/she has obtained enough CP’s to obtain a place in the best players of his/her competitive zone. The amount of players a region can bring to the WCS changes depending on the zone and the season.
A series of rules and restrictions which players must follow when building a team. These regulations change each year and it become avalaible months before its implementation. Trainers called ‘VGC + (year which is being played)’ to each format, in order to difference between them.
Pokemon or Core which usage increase days or weeks before a tournament, usually to beat a strong archetype or core in the format.
Pokémon, archetypes, cores, movements, items, strategies… mostly sen during a format that influences the evolution of the own format.
An obligatory and non-transferable number which you need to accumulate Championships Points. It is used to identify a player in tournaments and record its events history. You can obtain one asking the organizer of the first tournament you attend or through the official page of Pokémon. Players can search for more info here.
A period of time that starts in September and finishes with the Pokémon WCS, when players can obtain CP’s from the tournaments celebrated. It usually contains 2 formats.
In the previous years, a player who did well earlier in the season had more chances to get an invite to the WCS through the travel awards he/she obtained. However, in 2019 season this effect, similar to a snowball rolling down a hill (hence the name), was nerfed. In this way, in VGC 2019, players with the most CP during certain times of the season are given travel awards.
A money award exclusively made to cover the costs of travelling to a certain tournament. This stipends are the main tool for players to snowball.
A fully invitation to one VGC tournament (commonly WCS) with flight and accomodation paid. Players can obtain one getting a place into the best players of their respective region, see Day 2.
VideoGame Championships or VGC is a yearly circuit organized by The Pokémon Company International (TPCI). You can study this term in depth here: What is VGC?
WCS stands for the World Championships the biggest tournament of the season. Although each year changes its location, generally it takes place in a US city. Each year, after the prize-giving ceremony during the Worlds’ stream, the new location is announced.
Tournament / Championship terms
Best of one / BO1
In the best of one or BO1 the player wins the round if he defeats his/her opponent in that match.
Best of three / BO3
In the best of three or BO3 a player wins the round if he/she wins 2 out of 3 matches. There are three possible situations:
-Player A wins 2 consecutive matches so Player A wins the round.
-Player B wins 2 consecutive matches so Player B wins the round
-Player A wins the first match and Player B wins the second one (or viceversa). Whoever wins the third and last match, will win the entire round.
The biggest competition before worlds also called ‘Internats’. There are 4 of them throughout a season and they are held on: Latam, Oceania, Europe and NorthAmerica. Players compete for huge prizes and enormous quantities of Championships Points.
Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ)
It was a competition played in the Worlds venue which allow the champion to qualify directly to the Pokémon World Champion. Latest LCQ was held in Washington 2014.
Midseason Showdown / MSS
Competitions bigger than PC’s and smaller than Regional or Special Events. Usually Top 8 takes CP’s home and the awards depends on the organizers.
A post-worlds event similar to a Regional Championship whose CP’s count for the following season. It is an opportunity for those players who haven’t reached Day 2 to start on the right foot.
Premier Challenge / PC
The most basic sanctioned tournament. The awards depends on the organizers.
The largest events in terms of attendance and CP’s payout (with the exception of International Championships). In these events, players compete for huge prizes and scholarships.
Special events or SPE are another way of getting CP’s in a similar way to Regional Championships. The prizes depends on the organizers and attendance tends to get close to participation in Regionals. Special Events are held all over the world with the exception of North America.
Tournament system which the competitions use. It is a non-eliminating format whose number of rounds is established by the attendance. In each round, players get paired according to his/her victories and losses along the competition. After the swiss rounds, players are ranked depending on their final results and, generally, a Top Cut is generated.
A necessary complement to play in the VGC tournaments. It is a document which you must fill in with your information (name, surname, player ID, birthday and division) and your team’s data (Pokémon, items, natures, moves, genre, and stats). You can obtain the current teamsheet (VGC 2019) here.
The Top Cut is a eliminating tournament celebrated right after the swiss rounds. The players who reach the Top Cut battle against each other (usually in BO3) in an specific number of rounds that depends on the attendance. Commonly, Top Cut is composed by 8 players. The three rounds works as a Quarterfinals, Semi-finals and Finals (if in Top Cut there are 16 players, we must include a round of 16) just like sport competitions (soccer, tennis, etc). At the end of the finals, the winner is declared.
An increase on one or more stats in a Pokémon, due to moves, abilities or items.
A Pokémon which pressures the opponents’ Pokémon but it has no guarantees to resist the move targeted in the slot of the Pokémon switched.
A Pokémon which pressures the opposing team and can switch in for free.
A decrease on one or more stats in a Pokémon, due to moves, abilities or items.
The ev spread is the quantity of EVs (effort values) invested on the six different stats of the Pokémon (Speed, HP, Attack, Special Attack, Defense and Special Defense).
It refers to the 2 Pokémon the player decide to bring in the first turn.
How one team performs against other one.
Literally, ‘the flow of the game’ which determined which player has the advantage in the game.
The 4 moves the Pokémon is battling with.
Every competitive move a Pokémon can learn.
OHKO, 2HKO, 3HKO
OHKO stands for ‘One Hit KO’ what means that a move cause the faint of the opposing Pokémon. Depending on how many times the player needs to defeat a Pokémon using the same move, we can difference between OHKO, 2HKO (2 times the same move to defeat it), 3HKO (3 times the same move to defeat it), etc.
It refers to the situation when a Pokémon moves faster than the other Pokémon.
Situacion when the player reads the predict the opposing player is going to make and does something consequently.
Favoruable situation caused intentionally by the player who, as a consequence, gets an advantage in the game.
Situation when a player knows what is going to happen in the next turn and does something consequently.
It is the place in the field occuped by a Pokémon.
Moves used to control the speed in the field. Many times, teams are built taking this into account.
It is produced when 2 Pokémon tie in speed and luck decides which moves first.
Moves that caused multiple damages to all the Pokémon in the field (mostly with the exception of the ones which uses the move).
STAB or “Same Type Attack Boost” is the increase of power of one move due to being the same type as the attacking Pokémon.
How well two or more Pokémon combine their types, movements, abilities, items or stats.
It is the Pokémon which, one move is aimed at. In case that both opposing Pokémon guide its moves to one single slot is considered a ‘double target’.
It refers to the time you can battle with. There are two types:
-Move time (60 seconds). It is the time you can expend on each turn.
-Your time (5 minutes). It is the time you can expend in one match. If this one reached zero, the player automatically losses the match.
Circumstance or condition that allows the player to win the game.
Popular Archetypes in VGC history
Archetype popularised in VGC 2016 composed of: Primal Groudon, Xerneas, Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Salamence, Smeargle and Talonflame. Although Big 6 is the original idea, thoughout last couple of months of the 2016 metagame, some variations increased in popularity such as Big B (the same team including Bronzong instead of Smeargle).
Archetype popularised in VGC 2015 whose influence has survived to this day. It is composed of 5 Pokémon: Cresselia, Heatran, Amoonguss, Landorus-T and Mega Kangaskhan. Its fame is due to its success in 2015 Pokémon World Championships when appeared in 6/8 teams. For more information about this archetype, you can visit this article.
A very important archetype in VGC 2016 which included two of the most powerful Pokémon in that moment: Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon often accompanied by Bronzong and Mega Salamence.
A famous core in VGC 2017 which included three of the most dominant Pokémon back then: Tapu Fini, Arcanine and Kartana. This FWG (Fire Water Grass) core was completed with an electric type (most of the times Tapu Koko or Togedemaru) and finally two more Pokémon such as Porygon 2 and Gigalith.
Those 6 mentioned: Tapu Fini, Arcanine, Kartana, electric type, Porygon 2 and Gigalith made the FAKEPG acronym. Gradually, more variations were born like FAKEPM which replace Gigalith by Mudsdale.
In-depth information about this composition is available at The Game Haus’ post and Nimbasa City Post’s article
A popular archetype in 2015 who also got a rebirth in VGC 2018. It is based on Tyranitar, Excadrill and Mega Salamence. Japan popularised this and thence the name.
Archetype from 2022 which was named after the Japanese player who popularized the six Pokémon: Rinya Kobayashi. Rinya got 6th in February International Challenge with Zacian, Groudon, Charizard, Gastrodon, Grimmsnarl and Incineroar. Later that season, this archetype would rule the metagame getting significant wins at EUIC and SLC Regional. Kobayashi placed 10th at the 2022 WCS with the final version of this team.