‘My Pachirisu moment’: Regional champ Alex Underhill reveals origin of Electabuzz team

Using Electabuzz alongside Annihilape, Farigiraf, Smeargle, Bloodmoon Ursaluna, and Ice Rider Calyrex, Underhill had an impressive top-16 finish at Pokémon NAIC this weekend. We witnessed the bizarre Electabuzz team on stream during the regional champ’s Swiss round 13 match against Michael Zhang (who was also running some off-meta picks like Galarian Moltres).

Alex Underhill's Electabuzz team at Pokémon NAIC 2024.
Electabuzz was a hidden gem at NAIC. Screenshot via The Official Pokémon on YouTube

Underhill’s Gen I Electric-type Pokémon served as reliable support for his team. “Electabuzz is a very good Pokémon at making Trick Room teams work,” Underhill told Dot. “It has a very unique toolkit for that; Follow Me is a great tool for supporting to set up Trick Room, and Feint is a good way to prevent your opponents from wasting your time under Trick Room by going for Protect.” “Volt Switch to pivot out… to get into one of your Trick Room sweepers, or Taunt to prevent annoying things like opposing Taunts or Spore from Amoonguss. The ability Vital Spirit, as well, prevents it from being put to sleep.”

When asked how he figured out Electabuzz was the call for NAIC, Underhill shared an interesting story. While practicing Regulation G on the ladder, he came across fellow top player Marco Silva using Electabuzz on a similar team. “I talked to Marco and learned that he was coaching someone and that she recommended Electabuzz as something she wanted to use on a Trick Room team,” he recalled. “I played against Marco during that coaching session, and then I was like ‘I want to use that! That guy makes too much sense.’ So it wasn’t too much of an original idea, but I realized it had a lot of potential.”

The regional champ also compared Electabuzz to perhaps the most iconic off-meta pick in VGC history, Pachirisu. Like Sejun Park’s Pachirisu who won Worlds 2014, Electabuzz is a bulky, underused Electric-type with Follow Me. Underhill admitted he was hoping to have his “Pachirisu moment” at the tournament.

Looking ahead to Worlds in August, the key to success may lie with players who are willing to take a chance on these unorthodox ‘mons like Electabuzz, Pachirisu, and even Wo-Chien. “The trick to this metagame is to stay ahead of it,” Underhill stated. “I think we’re gonna see some crazy stuff at the World Championships—people willing to risk it all on a call, [or] run something silly like Electabuzz.”

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