If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That is the message coming from the 2017 Pokémon Video Game Championships (VGC). Many of the competitors are fielding teams featuring stunning similarities. These “common cores” are quickly solidifying themselves as the definitive meta game for this edition of the VGC.
Of course, with any competition, there will be strategies implemented that catch wind through the populace. These team builds have shown a proven track record through multiple tournaments, causing many gamers to quickly adjust their Pokémon teams before the next major event. If a core of Pokémon is seen in multiple top cut teams, that will draw attention. Other Pokémon are just accepted as the best available in the competition scene. Individuals like Arcanine, Garchomp, and Tapu Koko simply out class others of the same type or who would do the same job in the current pool available. The Pokémon’s stats speak for themselves. Yet, such commonalities in team construction are not always a bad thing.
The reason these teams are so popular is due to their recorded effectiveness. If something worked for you, why wouldn’t it work for me? The other interesting result is that some players choose to build teams to counter these common cores. Since they are so common, if they find a unique formula that works, then odds are they have a response for a majority of the competition field. All of a sudden, the game gains an added level of mentality. The presence of common cores truly emphasizes the learning curve with Pokémon. Are you a trainer who chooses to go with what is common or go with something a bit riskier?
At its foundation, Pokémon is a glorified version of rock-paper-scissors. That game gets a facelift as thousands of players comb through strategies in order to move what is a fundamentally simple game into their favor. Thus it should be no surprise that an effective winning team build will attract gamers in flocks. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.