Hello everyone! My name is Alex Arand (@AlexTheRNGLord) and I am sharing my team that I used to get to the Top 8 of Collinsville Regionals. I started playing VGC last year in the Chicago-land area, I have been playing the game since I was 7 with Pokémon Diamond version being my first game ever and favorite of the series. As a senior, I got 2nd at this Regional last year which was one of my best finishes before cutting my 1st Masters Regional for the VGC ’18 season. Along with Collinsville Regionals, I also got top 8 at Roanoke Regionals as a senior and was able to dominate the Chicago-land area in seniors. I ended with about 720 CP and 11th on the Senior Leaders board at the end of VGC ’17. With my poor finish of 1-4 at Worlds 2017 as a senior, I was determined this year to get my invite once more to get a crack at the World Champion title, even though I was moving into a new age division. I have been running this team since about mid-January after debating between that, a sand focused team and standard CHALK. Thanks to some last minute team building with treedoodle, I finally found something I liked in this format that was to my play style: an offensive core that could deal massive damage and control the battlefield.
This team has cut 2 MSS, Top 4 and Finals, as well as this regional placing. I also let Nightlight26_ use my team for Costa Mesa Regionals, getting him 17th place at that Regional.
Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
Just a basic, standard Choice Scarf Landorus-Therian. Supplies good damage with Earthquake and Superpower, as well as a simple solution to Charizard-Y teams with Rock Slide (plus the flinch chance in general). Also, Superpower is an alternative to relying on Zapdos to OHKO a non-Sash Kartana. However, most Z-move Kartana variants are bulkier, so the chance lowers to a 50% chance. Being able to use Earthquake next to Zapdos was a nice combo for taking down Tapu Fini because Earthquake provides protection against threatening physical attackers like Mega Metagross and Mega Tyranitar, and with the damage done by Earthquake you can normally take down a Tapu Fini with a Thunderbolt afterwards. U-Turn provided a way out of Perish Trap and also allowed me to activate Zapdos’ berry earlier by using U-Turn on myself. Landorus also threatens Mega Gengar, sometimes forcing the opponent to bring their Politoed, giving my team the advantage with Zapdos and Tapu Lele’s damage. Defensively, just watch out for Ice Beam, Spore, Will-O-Wisp, or any moves that will outright cripple or OHKO Landorus-T.
- 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 116 Def Tapu Fini: 82-97 (46.3 – 54.8%) — 58.6% chance to 2HKO
- 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Superpower vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 130-154 (97 – 114.9%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Superpower vs. 52 HP / 4 Def Kartana: 130-154 (92.1 – 109.2%) — 50% chance to OHKO
Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
Being a very powerful special attacker, Tapu Lele was a prime choice for this team. With its Psychic Terrain it allows Amoonguss use Spore, amplifying the already powerful Shattered Psyche and stops Fake Out and other priority moves. Tapu Lele serves as a primary role of stopping speed control with Taunt or outright getting the OHKO with the Z-move before they can set up. With Shattered Psyche already getting the OHKO on standard Zapdos, Timid was the nature I chose for Tapu Lele because it lets me out-speed Jolly Landorus-T and Modest Charizard-Y, getting the KO on both with a Z-Move in terrain.
Positioning Tapu Lele correctly with terrain is key. Without its terrain, it can miss KO’s. Be careful against Charizard-Y, as it can only take one Heat Wave and that is on a roll.
- 252 SpA Tapu Lele Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. 220 HP / 132+ SpD Zapdos in Psychic Terrain: 195-229 (101 – 118.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Tapu Lele Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Charizard-Mega-Y: 133-157 (86.9 – 102.6%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Tapu Lele Shattered Psyche (175 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Charizard-Mega-Y in Psychic Terrain: 199-235 (130 – 153.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
Heat Wave Calc:
- 252 SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele in Sun: 127-150 (86.9 – 102.7%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Ice Punch
– Stomping Tantrum
– Iron Head
Very standard Metagross, but it gets the job done. Metagross can potentially live an Earthquake from Landorus-T and allows for quick retaliation with Ice Punch. Zen Headbutt can also be an option over Ice Punch, but is a roll on Charizard-Y. Great offensive option, but with great power comes with great responsibility. Metagross cannot deal with Mega Gengar alone and needs support from Landorus-T, Tapu Lele, or from Zapdos’ Tailwind. With Metagross and Tapu Lele together, it creates a very powerful core that destroys the likes of Snorlax and Incineroar with the overwhelming power from Shattered Psyche and Tough Claws boosted attacks.
- 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Metagross-Mega: 144-170 (92.3 – 108.9%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO (Note: will not kill if split damage)
- -1 252 Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Ice Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Landorus-Therian: 180-212 (109.7 – 129.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Stomping Tantrum vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Incineroar: 134-158 (66.3 – 78.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Amoonguss @ Aguav Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 84 Def / 188 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Rage Powder
– Sludge Bomb
Amoonguss allows for the redirection of crucial weaknesses such as special fire moves and Shadow Ball for Metagross, fighting moves for Tyranitar, Ice moves for Landorus-T, and fatal moves to Tapu Lele as well such as Iron Head and Meteor Mash from Metagross. Using Tapu Lele instead of Tapu Fini on this team allows for the use of Spore, which creates openings and another way to shut down TR setters. Being able to recover HP easily with Regenerator and with its pinch berry, Amoonguss becomes a huge nuisance to the opponent if played correctly.
- 252 SpA Gengar-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 236 HP / 188+ SpD Amoonguss: 75-88 (34.2 – 40.1%) — guaranteed 3HKO
- 252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 236 HP / 188+ SpD Amoonguss in Psychic Terrain: 204-242 (93.1 – 110.5%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO
- 252 Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Ice Punch vs. 236 HP / 84 Def Amoonguss: 146-172 (66.6 – 78.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Tyranitar-Mega @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 124 HP / 76 Atk / 12 Def / 44 SpD / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Dragon Dance
Tyranitar allowed for a fast Charizard-Y counter and is very effective at stalling the rest of the weather cores. Even a Z move from Ludicolo won’t stop this monster. Tyranitar is able to set up Dragon Dance with the support of Amoonguss redirecting attacks or Tapu Lele destroying any common fighting types, Landorus-T with Superpower, or even opposing Tyranitar with Low Kick. The Jolly nature allows Mega Tyranitar to out-speed Tapu Koko at +1 and wreak havoc with stats of 202 speed and 291 Attack.
- -1 252+ Atk Landorus-T Superpower vs. 124 HP / 12 Def Mega Tyranitar: 156-184 (81.6 – 96.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 252+ SpA Ludicolo Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 124 HP / 44 SpD Mega Tyranitar in Sand: 150-176 (78.5 – 92.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- -1 252 Atk Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 124 HP / 12 Def Mega Tyranitar: 124-148 (64.9 – 77.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Zapdos @ Mago Berry
EVs: 220 HP / 108 Def / 4 SpA / 132 SpD / 44 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Heat Wave
Zapdos allows for many offensive and defensive options. Defensively thanks to its access to recovery through Mago Berry and Roost. Offensively by threatening massive damage to Tapu Fini, Ferrothorn, and Kartana; the latter two having a potential to wall without Zapdos being present. Zapdos can also be protected by Landorus-T as it can Earthquake next to it, getting rid of the Rock and frail offensive Pokemon that Zapdos despises. Doing a good chunk to Tapu Fini with Thunderbolt and just threatening good damage allows for Zapdos to be the glue for the team and create many options for leads.
- 4 SpA Zapdos Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 140 SpD Tapu Fini: 90-108 (50.8 – 61%) — 89.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
- 4 SpA Zapdos Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Metagross-Mega: 80-96 (51.2 – 61.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
My strategies are normally very hyper offensive, as I like to have the pace of the game in my control. Thus making my opponent adapt to me, rather than vice versa. When I built this team, I incorporated some of this with the infamous Mega Metagross and Tapu Lele combo, which at the time allowed me to express my play style to its maximum potential.
Core Combinations and Common Leads
Being able to deny Fake Out, Intimidate, and Electric Terrain protects both Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross. Both can then attack at full power and deal a lot of damage without fear of these threats.
A good way to win the Mirror match is using Rock Slide and Ice Punch as a quick way to take out Zapdos. The opponent is then forced to target down Landorus-T.
This is is the main core against weather and very special attacking focused teams. Since Mega Tyranitar is boosted by 50% from sandstorm and Amoonguss is Sassy, they will take less damage from these special attackers. Setting up with Dragon Dance allows for massive damage and is hard to stop due to the redirection provided by Amoonguss.
Zapdos and one of the three above were used as another offensive core. Landorus-T and Zapdos could fire off Earthquake and Thunderbolt respectively together and deal massive damage. This can also create openings to set up Tailwind for the team members in the back. Tapu Lele could obliterate a threat to Zapdos with its Shattered Psyche or Taunt to stop an opposing Taunt. Amoonguss can redirect super effective moves and create mind-games for the opponent.
Personally, I would rather have my opponent play around me rather than me playing around them. Reads are therefore easier to make and allows me to deal huge damage at the start of the game with this hyper offensive core. RNG is normally in my favor as well, since Choice Scarf Landorus-T and Mega Metagross out-speed most things. I am also able to deal potential flinches with Iron Head and Rock Slide. Not having Misty Terrain is also a plus, as Ice Punch can now freeze and Spore can be used in Psychic Terrain. The only real downside to the team is that if your opponent can out-speed you with Tailwind or Trick Room and become too offensive, then the team really has no walls or bulky Pokemon that can stall that out. In order to balance this, Taunt and Spore are able to help prevent this.
Rain and Sun
Very easy, just play around rain after the opponent realized Waterium Z doesnt KO Mega Tyranitar.
Preserving the Mega form might also be necessary to keep weather control.
Hard Trick Room
Put the TR setter to asleep and if they have Safety goggles, then Taunt them. Not much the opponent can do without critical hits. Amoonguss completely walls Staraptor and can Rage Powder the Final Gambit away from its partner Pokemon.
Use the team’s offensive capabilities to its advantage. The opponent cannot Fake Out with Psychic Terrain and Shattered Psyche does a lot of damage to Mawile, even though it’s not very effective. If weather is involved, bring Tyranitar if necessary.
Mega Manectric Teams
Hinders Tapu Lele greatly with Snarl and can be a challenge if Landorus-T is taken out early. Be careful of Snorlax setting up with Gothitelle and take out Tapu Fini as quickly as possible because they are usually Water Z move. The combination of damage from Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross should be able to take Tapu Fini down swiftly.
Rundown of Tournament
Round 1 VS Gwenn Cox (WW)
Torkal, Tapu Bulu, Mega Camerupt, Staraptor, Amoonguss, Tyranitar
Round 2 VS Trenton Jackson (WW)
Zapdos, Amoonguss, Landorus-T, Gastrodon, Celesteela, Mega Metagross
Round 3 VS Carl Shotsberger(WW)
Tapu Bulu, Malamar, Gigalith, Mega Mawile, Thundurus-T, Chandelure
Round 4 VS Stephen Brown III(LWW)
Pelipper, Incineroar, Mega Swampert, Ludicolo, Celesteela, Tapu Koko
Round 5 VS Whitney Johnson(WW)
Nidoking, Kartana, Zapdos, Tyranitar, Cresselia, Incineroar
Round 6 VS Ashton Cox (W, followed by two disconnects, resulted in W)
Tapu Koko, Tapu Fini, Amoonguss, Tyranitar, Aegislash, Mega Salamence
Round 7 VS Nick Navarre (WLW)
Gothitelle, Landorus-T, Mega Metagross, Scrafty, Snorlax, Tapu Koko
Round 8 VS Louis Milich (WW)
Tapu Fini, Mega Manectric, Celesteela, Snorlax, Incineroar, Gothitelle
Top 8 VS Alvin Hidayat (WLL)
Kartana, Manectric, Tapu Fini, Porygon2, Snorlax, Scrafty
Tapu Lele is my favorite Tapu and I’m glad I cut this regional twice with it! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to go far and somehow I went 8-0 in Swiss, then losing to Alvin Hidayat in top 8. If you plan on trying this team out with Intimidate Incineroar now being released, just be wary of it and try to play around it. The Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross core works the same as always and is just as much as an offensive presence. This regional was such an amazing experience and I hope to compete more and spend more time with this amazing community!
- The Peanut Gallery, for supporting me and being a nice place to chill.
- treedoodle and Sachit99VGC for team help.
- The Illinois tournament organizers for hosting events (Joe, Rebecca, and Suzanne).
- The community for leaving 30+ notifications on my phone after day 1.
- My family for driving me to all these events.
- Mochachiiino for the amazing artwork of this report.
- The Illinois VGC Squad, you guys are awesome.
- NateTheDyno , BlenGloffle , Seven_Poke, Mattadome and PephanVgc for your support during this regional.