2016 is almost over, and we here at The Meta are celebrating by paying tribute to the teams, players and vague concepts that made it worthwhile. Our MVP awards will be ongoing throughout the holiday season, so check in now and then to see who and what we decided to shower with praise.
Wolfe Glick won this year’s Pokémon World Championship, thanks in large part to a little shithead of a Pokémon called Hitmontop. Let’s be clear: Hitmontop is not a popular Pokémon. Out of the 106 teams at Pokémon Worlds, only 4 ran Hitmontop. But three of those four teams wound up in the Top 4.
I’ll try to explain Hitmontop’s unique value in a layperson’s terms. When Hitmontop enters the battlefield, its ability “Intimidate” decreases each enemy’s attack. Next it uses a move called Fake Out—which can only be used on a Pokémon’s first turn in battle—to stun an opponent, preventing it from acting for one turn. This allows Hitmontop’s partner Pokémon to get a free attack off, which is an enormous swing of match tempo. What Wolfe Glick did to make his Hitmontop even more powerful (or, depending on your perspective, insufferable) was to give it an item called an Eject Button. When Glick’s Hitmontop was hit by an attack, the Eject Button was activated and consumed, removing the diminutive scowling nuisance from battle. On the following turn, Hitmontop could be switched back in for another round of Intimidate/Fake Out.
Glick also ran a Raichu with a similarly infuriating moveset (again, Fake Out featured prominently), but while that was cool and all, it didn’t have the same psychological impact as the importunate dancing shit-disturber that was Hitmontop. Check out the full Grand Finals VOD to see what I mean. Congratulations to Wolfe Glick for his well-deserved victory, and congratulations to Hitmontop for earning the title of 2016’s Most Valuable Pokémon.