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Ditto in the Pokémon anime.
Image via The Pokémon Company

Ditto bursts into day 2 meta at Pokémon NAIC

There's an imposter among us.

Top Scarlet and Violet VGC players are seeing success with a unique Gen I Pokémon at the North America International Championships (NAIC) based on stats from day two.

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As NAIC continues this weekend, we’re seeing a lot of the same dominant Pokémon—Incineroar, Urshifu, Calyrex, Miraidon, and their friends. In fact, there’s only one major difference when comparing the usage stats between day one and day two. If you look at the last slot of the top 12 Pokémon on day two, Ditto just made the cut at 12.2 percent usage. VGC caster Rosemary Kelley confirmed a total of 10 players made it to day two with the pink blob.

Ditto transforming into Calyrex at Pokémon NAIC.
Ditto made a few stream appearances at NAIC. Screenshot via The Official Pokémon YouTube channel

This is a pleasant surprise since Ditto wasn’t relevant in Scarlet and Violet VGC prior to the current Regulation G ruleset. It’s suddenly seeing usage now because we’re in a format where players are limited to bringing one restricted Legendary Pokémon. Ditto’s unique ability to transform into an opposing ‘mon gives players the potential to have one extra restricted Legendary on their side. In other words, Ditto allows players to have not one but two Calyrex—or any combination of two strong Legendary Pokémon.

Generally, the idea is to let Ditto hold the Choice Scarf and position it to transform into one of the opponent’s strongest ‘mons. The Choice Scarf essentially allows Ditto to be a faster version of whatever it transformed into so that it can quickly dish out damage.

I have to admit watching Ditto in action is quite refreshing, though it seems tricky to use. It’s a uniquePokémon that is fully dependent on what your opponent brings to battle, so you have to be able to adapt to whatever is thrown at you. For example, it’d be very different to use a Ditto that transforms into a bulky Terapagos rather than one that transforms into Shadow Rider or Ice Rider Calyrex.

Depending on how far Ditto makes it at NAIC, it could be a key player in the next international event—Worlds. It’s already a great sign to be among the top 12 most-used ‘mons on day two, but winning the whole event would prove Ditto is much more dangerous than its pink blob appearance lets on. And I’ll be rooting for it throughout the rest of the season.

Dot Esports is covering NAIC in New Orleans with travel provided by The Pokémon Company.

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Image of Karli Iwamasa
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer and editor for Dot Esports based in the Bay Area. She mostly writes about Pokémon with a focus on competitive VGC but also enjoys VALORANT.