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Ditto lying flat on its back in the Pokémon anime.
Image via The Pokémon Company

‘Well this is awkward’: Pokémon VGC star Jeudy Azzarelli praises Ditto despite huge misplay at NAIC

Still a great 'mon.

Ditto was one of the brightest stars at the Pokémon North America International Championships (NAIC) this weekend, and Dot Esports spoke to VGC veteran Jeudy Azzarelli about his impressive run with the Transform Pokémon and how to use it.

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On the VGC side, the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet meta has been quite diverse in Regulation G, and that definitely showed at NAIC this weekend. While the usage charts were still topped by the usual suspects like Incineroar and Urshifu, we also saw tons of niche picks on stream, like Alex Underhill’s Electabuzz, Shiliang Tang’s Wo-Chien, and Jeudy Azzarelli’s Ditto. In fact, Ditto even claimed the last spot on the top 12 most-used Pokémon on day two of the event.

Ditto transforming into Calyrex at Pokémon NAIC.
Ditto transforming into Shadow Rider Calyrex. Screenshot via The Official Pokémon YouTube channel

Dot Esports was at NAIC with travel provided by The Pokémon Company, giving us the opportunity to chat with Azzarelli about Ditto’s success, its future in the meta, and tips on how to utilize it.

Now, Ditto is a very unique Pokémon that automatically transforms into the opposing ‘mon directly across from it with its signature Imposter ability. It hasn’t been viable in previous Gen IX formats, but it’s finally getting its chance to shine in the current Regulation G meta, where players are limited to one restricted Legendary Pokémon per team. By transforming into the opponent’s Legendary Pokémon, Ditto essentially gives you “two for the price of one,” as described by Azzarelli.

The cool part about Ditto is that you can take advantage of different restricted Legendary Pokémon, depending on what your opponents bring. This ability, however, also makes it a bit tricky to use since there are situations where the pink blob may transform into the wrong ‘mon. That’s exactly what happened to Azzarelli during one of his NAIC matches.

“I had a situation where I misclicked where Ditto was going—into an Indeedee/Calyrex—and I took the Indeedee,” he laughed. “And I was just like, ‘Well, this is awkward.’”

That being said, the VGC veteran still sees the pink Pokémon as a strong asset with a Choice Scarf and good positioning. After all, he finished NAIC in tenth place, while another Ditto user, Justin Burns, made it to the top eight. Azzarelli revealed one neat strategy Burns used: “He was taking notes on where people were leading their Legendary so that he could properly lead Ditto.” In that way, your Ditto should be more likely to transform into a powerful Legendary ‘mon like Calyrex rather than something underwhelming like Indeedee. Even then, he stated, “Usually, if you’re leading Ditto, you’re getting rewarded no matter what it transforms into.”

When asked about Ditto’s future in the meta, Azzarelli was hopeful. “Truthfully, where Ditto is at is totally fine,” he told Dot. “I do think, however, people who make teams that Ditto is good against will prepare for it.” 

The next international event is Worlds, which will also be under the same Regulation G format, giving Ditto one final shot to win this season.

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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.