I have decided to write another team report to give a shout out to a team that was often under-appreciated during the Sun Series, but that I think holds massive potential if used well. I’m talking about the team based on the core Dusk Mane Necrozma and Kyogre! Together with I’ve not only accumulated 147 CP, winning a Mid-season Showdown, but have also made TOP 8 within the International Challenge of November, with a final score of 1827 points.
In this report, we will also be analyzing how this team can be evolved for the Moon Series, with the introduction of Z moves.
With Kyogre’s Drizzle ability can weaken any super-effective fire moves on Necrozma, it is also able to do a clean OHKO (under Rain) to the two main problems Dusk Mane faces- Groudon and Incineroar.
At the same time, Dusk Mane Necrozma is an excellent matchup against Grass-type Pokémon such as Kartana, Ferrothorn, and Amoonguss that are threats to Kyogre. He is also one of the best Pokémon in the whole metagame with its ability to battle Xerneas, whom when boosted takes very little damage from the Special attacks launched by Kyogre.
I also instantly liked Necrozma because of the fact that it gave me the possibility to utilise my teams in two different ways. The first as a “fast mode” that saw me utilizing the Scarfed Kyogre alongside Ludicolo, whom with his Swift Swim move has double the speed in Rain. The second mode is a “slow mode”, which instead sees me making the most of the moveset of the previously mentioned Dusk Mane.
On this note, I added Incineroar to the team, a Pokémon that immediately asserted himself with great imposed strength in the metagame of VGC 19. Plus, he is very useful for the team by supporting Necrozma with Fake out, this means Fake Out is almost certainly going to be necessary for its moveset.
By this point, I realised that the slow part of the team that was being made up by the Dusk Mane/ Incineroar duo, extremely lacked the ability to Intimidate. Thus, it is not able to damage any opposing Incineroar that could have been damaged with less effective moves. Because of this, I gave the fifth spot in my team to Lurantis. Lurantis is a Pokémon that uses its Contrary Ability to end the annoying and repetitive switch in/ switch out that Incineroar does, and at the same time can still deal great damage with Superpower.
By this point, I had absolutely no idea what Pokémon would be my choice for slot number six.
The first candidate I considered to complete my team was Tapu Koko, but I realised early on that I rarely brought him to any matches, and that he wasn’t particularly useful in any type of matchup.
Thus, I tried to replace him with a Riolu. At first sight, it seems like I’m trying to make it a meme to go up onto VGCStats, but in reality has a good and specific role for the team, mostly in supporting Kyogre.
Riolu @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 SpA
– Follow Me
– Rain Dance
– Helping Hand
Thanks to his Prankster Ability, Riolu was able to re-direct the opposing Incineroar’s Fake Out using Follow Me. He was also able to set up rain with Rain Dance before Kyogre could attack, and thus could surprise the eventual switch in of opposing Groudon in an attempt to set up Sun with the Drought ability.
This Riolu is an excellent support for the Scarfed Kyogre because it can boost up his attacks with Helping Hand. Not only that, it can also impede the opponent’s ability to use Bodyguard efficiently against a spread move (such as Water Spout, dealt by my Kyogre) thanks to the Feint move.
Although I like Riolu a lot, I figured this version of the team was better to play in BO1. Due to this, I substituted him with Tapu Lele; from the moment I realised the team was suffering due to Yveltal and high-priority moves, I knew that Tapu Lele’s moveset would be apt at blocking these.
Team in Depth
Kyogre @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
Like I’ve previously mentioned, the first Pokémon on my team is the classic Scarfed Kyogre. The only small, peculiar change is the Scald move as a substitute to Origin Pulse, as to be able to damage opposing Pokémon even if they have used Bodyguard- a move known to be used by many Pokémon in the meta, such as Solgaleo, Lunala or Stakataka.
The moveset of my Kyogre is pretty standard, and I don’t think that there’s any need to show calcs; it’s pretty obvious to all of us that this Pokémon has great offensive power.
Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 244 HP / 112 Atk / 76 Def / 76 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Sunsteel Strike
– Photon Geyser
Now we’re up to the star of the team, an impressive Pokémon in terms of bulkiness. Dusk-Mane Necrozma becomes even more impressive with Weakness Policy, as he can become a valid Physical sweeper even after being hit by a super effective attack.
In my opinion, Dusk Mane is the perfect Pokémon, being the unison between different stats that when put together make him a worthy wall, setter and sweeper all at once; it’s almost like having three Pokémon in one.
This spread was made in a way to allow Dusk Mane to survive Yvetal’s Foul play with Black Glasses, or Timid Lunala’s Moongeist Beam. I invested the rest of my spread in attacks, after realising that I didn’t feel there were any other attacks I had to survive.
Brave nature and 0 IV in speed allows Dusk Mane to outspeed as many Pokémon as possible under Trick Room.
- 112+ Atk Dusk Mane Necrozma Sunsteel Strike vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 206-246 (101.9 – 121.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
- +2 112+ Atk Dusk Mane Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 216-255 (104.3 – 123.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Dusk Mane Necrozma in Rain: 153-180 (75.3 – 88.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- Black Glasses Dark Aura Yveltal Foul Play vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 172-204 (84.7 – 100.4%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Choice Specs Lunala Moongeist Beam vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 172-204 (84.7 – 100.4%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
- 252+ Atk Choice Band Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 162-190 (79.8 – 93.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- -1 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 72-85 (35.4 – 41.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO
Incineroar @ Figy Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 156 Atk / 52 Def / 60 Sp.Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Knock Off
Incineroar is the most used Pokémon thus far in VGC19, and appears in almost every type of team. That being so, Incineroar couldn’t be missing in a team like this, that needs support from its moveset.
This Incineroar is minimum Speed to be able to use Trick Room to its best ability, and has much better offense than most Incineroars found in other types of teams.
Usually Incineroar is played with a lot of Special Defense invested into it, so it is able to better survive Xerneas, but this team already has an answer to Xerneas with the presence of Necrozma. Thus, I decided to use this Pokémon with a much heavier investment in Attack than usual, this has allowed me in many different situations to surprise my opponents by KOing them completely unexpected.
This particular spread allows Incineroar to survive Precipice Blades from a max Attack Groudon with life orb at -1. It also has a favorable matchup against Thunder from a Choice Specs Timid Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain, and guarantees at the same time the OHKO of Kartana in Rain with Flare Blitz.
The moveset is standard, even if initially in place of U -Turn I used Roar. I decided to use U-Turn at the end because it makes the team more unpredictable, allowing, for example, a switch in of Kyogre unexpectedly, or bringing in Lurantis that can put the opponent in a difficult position.
- 156+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 84 HP / 4 Def Kartana in Rain: 148-180 (102 – 124.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
- -1 252+ Atk Life Orb Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 236 HP / 52 Def Incineroar: 166-198 (83 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
- 252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunder vs. 236 HP / 60 SpD Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 175-207 (87.5 – 103.5%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
Lurantis @ Aguav Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Knock Off
Lurantis is the MVP of the team as much as Dusk Mane Necrozma. Having set up Trick Room with a Lurantis on the field ready to boost with Superpower puts my opponent in a really difficult position.
Lurantis has good synergy with the other components of the team in that it is able to hit much stronger Pokémon, such as Kyogre and Groudon, who may threaten my Incineroar and Necrozma. On top of that, he can make the most of Kyogre’s Rain being able to survive Fire moves that would be super effective.
Just like Incineroar and Necrozma, Lurantis has minimum Speed to make the best use of being in Trick Room. Instead, I’ve invested in Attack to guarantee a high chance to OHKO Kyogre with Leaf Blade, and Incineroar with Superpower at +1 attack.
This team is very often used with Amoonguss or Tsareena instead of Lurantis, but personally I think that this version of the team is better by a long shot . Without Lurantis, the slow mode of the team wouldn’t be able to face Incineroar and would, in general, have less offensive precision.
- +1 252+ Atk Lurantis Superpower vs. 236 HP / 52 Def Incineroar: 200-236 (100 – 118%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ Atk Lurantis Leaf Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 158-188 (89.7 – 106.8%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
- -1 156+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Lurantis: 138-164 (77.9 – 92.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Lurantis: 150-177 (84.7 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Ludicolo @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Fake Out
– Ice Beam
– Grass Knot
After having talked about the Pokémon who make use of Trick Room, we can now move onto Ludicolo. When alongside Rain Kyogre, Ludicolo is able to double up his Speed, and in this mode gives the team an alternative type of Speed control.
Playing this team, I noticed that the lead Kyogre/Ludicolo, despite seeming like it is often predictable and taken for granted, is actually very capable in putting many players in a difficult spot.
Ludicolo supports Kyogre with Fake Out, and they become a very formidable combo. Life Orb Ludicolo’s Scald in Rain is able to deal good damage to the majority of the metagame before the opposing Pokémon can deal damage, as he is not known for his good defensive stats.
The main role of Ludicolo in this team is not really to be Kyogre’s partner as much as it is to go against the opposing Kyogre that would otherwise OHKO Pokémon like Necrozma and Incineroar.
I’d even say that opposing Kyogres outside of Trick Room are the biggest problem for this team, so much so that it becomes staple to take Ludicolo as a lead if there is a Kyogre in team preview.
Tapu Lele @ Focus Sash
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
Finally, the last Pokémon on our team- Tapu Lele.
Substituting Rioliu in the team, Tapu Lele is able to not only stop priority attacks that can be a threat to my Scarfed Kyogre, but can also better the matchup against Yveltal, that was one of the main weaknesses in previous versions of my team.
The set of this Tapu Lele is standard, but for a long time (including the IC in November), I used a slightly different version with Ally Switch in place of Taunt, as to support Necrozma in setting up Trick Room. This was just in case I realised my opponent was going to double target Dusk Mane to take him down on the first turn. Playing many matches however, I realised that I wasn’t using Ally Switch as much as I thought I would, and due to this I switched it for Taunt to better my matchup against Smeargle and Amoonguss.
As I’ve previously stated in this report, the distinctiveness that makes my team valid and versatile are the diverse options for Speed control, that more than anything in a best of three can displace the opponent and bring us to victory.
Moon Series Analysis of Team
In this conclusion however, I’d like to concentrate in particular on the potential that this squad can have (or not have) in the Moon Series. The first huge tournament in Moon series, the Rise of the Moon Challenge, organised by @zeldaVGC, seems to promise a good future for this team, as this team was able to win the tournament in the hands of @JonoTV2000.
Regardless of these results, I’m reluctant to admit that this team may not bask in the most success in the next couple of months when the Z move format is introduced- it is a point against Dusk Mane Necrozma, an important pillar for this team.
As the metagame progresses, we can hope that they hold up the same way they did at the start of the Moon series.
Here are some calcs that better show how Necrozma could suffer after the format changes:
- 252+ Atk Groudon Tectonic Rage (190 BP) vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 229-270 (112.8 – 133%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Lunala Menacing Moonraze Maelstorm vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 229-271 (112.8 – 133.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ SpA Kyogre Hydro Vortex (200 BP) vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Dusk Mane Necrozma in Rain: 271-319 (133.4 – 157.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ SpA Palkia Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Dusk Mane Necrozma in Rain: 252-297 (124.1 – 146.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Dark Aura Yveltal Black Hole Eclipse (160 BP) vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Prism Armor Dusk Mane Necrozma: 238-280 (117.2 – 137.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
The team may have less to celebrate as the Sun Series has recently ended, but could still have a fair amount of success with a bulkier Necrozma and Incineroar supported with Snarl.
I leave you with links to the Showdown and the QR codes of the PGL, as well as the redacted version for the Moon Series by Jonathan Marton.
For any other questions, curiosities or bits of advice, don’t hesitate to contact me via Twitter (@GyulyVGC) -I’m more than happy to respond.
Until next time, happy Moon Series to everyone! 😀