Hi there, my name is Yanqing Sun and I’m here to introduce the team I used at the Virginia Regional Championships.
I have been playing Pokémon since Gen 1 and knew about the EV stuff since Gen 2. I started to play online single battles in Gen 3 (RSBOT, Shoddy Battle, etc.), but after I went to College in 2010, I started to play Go(Weiqi) more often and sort of gave up playing competitive battles. The only way I kept updating my Pokémon knowledge was by playing the random battle on Pokémon Showdown, which was definitely not enough because I still remember that the first Battle Spot double battle I played and I didn’t know Amoonguss had Rage Powder.
In 2017 I came back and started playing on the Battle Spot ladder and found out that my instinct for Pokémon still existed. I then attended my first PC event on Jan 18th, 2018.
As you can tell, I am new to the VGC community and I don’t have so much time for travel. Before I went to Virginia, I only attended four PCs & one MSS in which I got roughly 60 CP (including 20 CP from the March international Challenge). I didn’t think about a Worlds invitation, but that has become a very realistic and achievable thing now.
- Chantilly PC Runner-up
- Gettysburg PC 3rd place
- Virginia Regional Runner-up
- Battle Spot Championship Ladder peak at 1900+
Niuwa (Politoed) (F) @ Iapapa Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 4 SpA / 140 SpD / 12 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Perish Song
Politoed and Gothitelle combine together transform the game into a “knock-out two Pokémon and stay on the field for 3 turns” mode. Some may not like it, but it works well.
When Gothitelle is around, Politoed can Encore a boosting move like Dragon Dance or Calm Mind and then you get a bonus of three free turns. Perish Song would then finish them off.
Encore could also be a huge threat to Aegislash and Belly Drum Snorlax.
- 252+ SpA Zapdos Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 140 SpD Politoed: 144-170 (73 – 86.2%)
Dazui (Mawile) (F) @ Mawilite
EVs: 252 HP / 112 Atk / 144 SpD
IVs: 6 SpA / 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Iron Head
– Play Rough
According to PGL, the top five most common moves on Mawile are Iron Head, Protect, Sucker Punch, Play Rough and Rock Slide. Iron Head and Protect are solid and I need Rock Slide for Charizard Y. So then there is a decision to be made between Play Rough and Sucker Punch. On this team, Gothitelle doesn’t have a STAB move and Tapu Bulu puts no pressure on Kommo-o. For that reason, I really needed Play Rough over Sucker Punch to deal with Kommo-o, even though it made me suffer against Dylan’s Gengar.
Hetong (Ludicolo) (F) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 156 HP / 52 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 142 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Energy Ball
– Fake Out
Standard AV Ludicolo set from VGC ’14, but it might be a little bit out of date in the environment now. On this team, Ludicolo is the least used team member for me. It’s main job is more to provide Fake Out pressure rather than deal damage.
I benefited from the bulk in the game 2 of top 8 against Chuppa and lost due to lower damage output against Dylan’s team in the finals. Fair enough.
Yima (Gothitelle) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 244 HP / 108 Def / 158 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Helping Hand
– Heal Pulse
– Trick Room
Gothitelle is the heart and soul of a Perish Trap team. I have always thought Shadow Tag is a top three ability in VGC. It can trap opposing Pokémon and control the trend of the game. With the Shadow Tag, you only need to consider if the target will Protect or not without worrying about a switch-out option (although in this format you also have to think about Ally Switch).
The whole team lacks offensive EV investment and Helping Hand works well in combination with almost all other team members to mitigate this. When really confident that the opposing Fake Out will target the Gothitelle, Helping Hand will be a good answer to that.
Heal Pulse is always an ordinary and perfect choice in this team.
My game always play longer than average and most time I will have the Grassy Terrain active, so I think Leftovers is way better than Berry.
On the other hand, since Gothitelle doesn’t have any attack moves, Taunt on Goth was a huge problem. Once Taunted, she is forced to switch-out or struggle. Pay attention to any potential Taunt users.
- 252 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 252 HP / 158+ SpD Gothitelle in Sun: 142-168 (80.2 – 94.9%)
Moumou (Tapu Bulu) @ Grassium Z
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 72 Atk / 184 SpD
– Stone Edge
– Wood Hammer
– Horn Leech
There are only few jobs for Bulu:
- Threaten all the Landorus
- Cover all the terrains
- Take down Tapu Fini
- Surprise those bulky Charizard-Y with Stone Edge.
- 252+ SpA Pelipper Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 184 SpD Tapu Bulu: 146-174 (82.4 – 98.3%)
Xionggui (Incineroar) (M) @ Aguav Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 128 Def / 130 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
– Knock Off
I started to use Incineroar on this team before it got Intimidate; now it just got way better. The first version of the move set even ran Will-O-Wisp instead of Flare Blitz, but I realized a STAB move was still necessary after testing.
As you can see, there were three Metagross in the top cut of Virginia regionals and all three were Adamant with some bulk. As the season goes, it’s a trend that Metagross becomes bulky and being able to OHKO a Metagross becomes harder. Also the speed investment on Incineroar goes up every day and you never know if you can out-speed that Incineroar on the other side of the field. Given those facts, I started to consider it would not be a bad idea to give up all the speed and attack investment and make him more bulky. A Helping Hand Gothitelle could be a complement on the offensive side.
My Incineroar has 0 speed IV’s on it and it can out-speed most of the special threats inside of Trick Room like Zapdos, Tapu Fini, Heatran, Charizard-Y and normal speed Gastrodon (which worked out in my top 8 game!) Once weakened, the Heal Pulse + Snarl combo sparkles.
Incineroar and Perish Song are the two solutions to the steel type Pokémon such as Celesteela, Kartana, Aegislash, Ferrothorn, or Metagross. Most of the time you have to select him as a counter for the steel types.
- -1 252 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Stomping Tantrum vs. 252 HP / 130 Def Incineroar: 78-92 (38.6 – 45.5%)
- With Intimidate, Incineroar can take 2 hits from Metagross and has a high chance to eat its berry
-1 252+ SpA Tapu Fini Hydro Vortex (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 128 SpD Incineroar: 168-200 (83.1 – 99%)
Personally, I don’t really like those 50/50 plays in VGC games. Some of them are smart reads and others are just gambling. I believe that a well built team or a strong Pokémon trainer should try not to make many reads in a game. Shadow Tag became a good weapon to eliminate those uncertainties. Running this team, I get to be very patient. Every single Pokémon is not that offensive and I personally don’t want to make some all-in call on turn one. Re-position, figure out what the opponents’s Pokémon sets and making some game plans are more important than spread damage in the first few turns.
As a Perish team, if I get the first knock-out, it will be easier to find a win condition than other types of team, even though it might be many turns away. When I see a clear way, I don’t hesitate to sacrifice Pokémon.
On the other hand, the slower I play the game, the more attacks I suffer from. Also, because of the slow speed of this team, the turns will increase and create more opportunities for my team to get unfavorable RNG rolls. This is the down side of the team and I have tried to make peace with that.
Chalk teams really rely on its control with Icy wind, Fake out, and/or Tailwind. All of those supporting moves are weakened by Shadow Tag. Generally speaking, Trap + Intimidate will be the winning condition.
Against Metagross + Tapu + Amoonguss + Landorus-T
Amoonguss is hard to deal with because my team doesn’t have a Spore counter. When Amoonguss is 4 times resisted to Grass-type moves and has a high chance to hold a Poison-type attack move, you cannot even call Bulu a check, let alone a counter. The most convenient way to deal with that would be Perish Trap.
Against Charizard Y team
It will be dangerous for your opponent if Charizard-Y is trapped, especially when you have an Incineroar with Snarl. Most time, the threat will come from Charizard-Y’s teammate such as Snorlax, but not Charizard-Y itself.
Against Charizard Y + Kommo-o + Aegislash
Rundown of Tournament
Round 1 vs Cameron Kicak (WW)
Salamence Ferrothorn Aegislash Zapdos Milotic Mamoswine
Round 2 vs Will Wetzel (WW)
Manectric Tyranitar Incineroar Ferrothorn Tapu Fini Braivary
Round 3 vs Dylan Salvanera (WW)
Gengar Incineroar Celesteela Mimikyu Snorlax Tapu Fini
Round 4 vs Isaiah Martinez (WW)
Tapu Fini Ferrothorn Kangaskhan Zapdos Incineroar Landorus-T
Round 5 vs Ashton Cox (WLW)
Tapu Lele Drifblim Metagross Landorus-T Heatran Amoonguss
Round 6 vs James Baek (LL)
Charizard-Y Landorus-T Snorlax Mimikyu Accelgor Tapu Lele
Round 7 vs Jonathan Melandez (WLW)
Metagross Amoonguss Zapdos Tapu Fini Landorus-T Incineroar
Top 8 vs Chuppa Cross IV (WW)
Metagross Tapu Lele Landorus-T Amoonguss Gastrodon Rotom-H
Top 4 vs Brian Youm (WW)
Kangaskhan Landorus-T Cresslia Heatran Tapu Fini Kartana
Finals vs Dylan Salvanera (LL)
Gengar Incineroar Celesteela Mimikyu Snorlax Tapu Fini
I formed the team alone and went to Roanoke alone, but I met a lot of new friends there and it was completely new experience for me. I have never played Pokémon so seriously before the weekend and I got second place. It was a wonderful experience for me.
- bennywongwhc (aka绕指银风) for persuading me and giving me the motivation to attend the event.
- Yammy, for arousing my enthusiasm towards Pokémon again and training those Pokémon for me.
- Zhengle (@ZhengleVGC) for cheering for me and keeping my nerves down during the match.
- Ashton Cox for giving me some advice preparing for top cut.
- wcj for being my first Pokémon mentor.
- X for the Art on my shirt and support in my heart.
Credit skystalker for featured image