So, I’m Jamie Boyt and I am a now three-time Regional Champion, having just won the Malmö Regional Championships. I am also a YouTuber who puts out Battle Spot content. I have done a report on this team in video form which can be found here.
- First, Malmö Regional Championship
- Top 64, Oceania International Championships
Charizard-Mega-X @ Charizardite X
Ability: Blaze (Tough Claws)
Tournament EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 4 Def / 20 SpD / 156 Spe
Updated EVs: 204 HP / 76 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 220 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Thunder Punch
– Dragon Dance
With the nerf to “-ate” abilities, Charizard-X’s Flare Blitz is now as strong as Mega Salamence’s Double Edge (thanks to Tough Claws). However, Zard-X has a much better typing, and thus has a lot more opportunities to set up a Dragon Dance. A difference between Mence and Zard, however, is that Mence can afford to use Return/Frustration, its next best alternative to Double Edge, for no recoil damage. Zard X’s next best option, however, is Fire Punch, which does pathetic damage in comparison to its stronger Fire type option. Flare Blitz also can pick up KOs while at neutral (most notably Tapu Koko), so it was chosen as the primary attacking move.
Thunder Punch was chosen as the coverage move for its ability to hit Water types. Plus, with the Electric Terrain boost, it is almost exactly as strong as Dragon Claw but has much better coverage. The original speed out-sped Smeargle and max speed Jolly Bulu, but the updated spread out-speeds Modest Tapu Lele, which is a significant enough benchmark to sacrifice the initial bulk.
- 76+ Atk Tough Claws Mega Charizard X Flare Blitz vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 148-175 (101.3 – 119.8%)
- 76+ Atk Tough Claws Mega Charizard X Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Metagross: 186-218 (99.4 – 116.5%)
Celesteela @ Electric Seed
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 148 SpD / 20 Spe
– Heavy Slam
– Leech Seed
While I think Acrobatics Celesteela is one of the best sets for it in VGC ’18, Misty/Psychic Seed is most likely better than Electric/Grassy Seed. However, the only Tapu I had was Tapu Koko, so I had to go with Electric Seed. This led to heavy investments in special bulk, in order to get the Special Defense Beast Boost. That way, at +1/+1, Celesteela was likely to wall out the rest of the game on its own. People don’t think about Celesteela in team building for VGC ’18 as much as they did for VGC ’17, but it is one of the best answers to Meta-Lele, so it’s is definitely still a threat.
- 84 Atk Celesteela Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Volcarona: (100 – 118.7%)
- 252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus-T Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela: (84.3 – 99.5%)
Persian-Alola @ Black Glasses
Ability: Fur Coat
EVs: 228 HP / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 44 SpD / 228 Spe
– Foul Play
– Icy Wind
– Fake Out
– Parting Shot
I was initially drawn to Persian because, with Black Glasses, it could often out-speed and OHKO Mega Metagross if they had a basic EV spread. Since it’s the beginning of the meta, most do. I do expect this to change, as players will train their Metagross to survive this attack in the future. However, the Black Glasses still remain relevant since the damage increase to Foul Play is very significant, especially in combination with the next Pokemon, (which is why the speed is not maxed out).
Persian getting Icy Wind as a tutor move was a huge buff as well. Icy Wind, Fake Out and Parting Shot are all fantastic support moves, and the fact that a Pokemon gets all three of them is amazing. This Persian gives you a lot of control in the match while still threatening good damage with Foul Play, which makes it my ideal kind of support Pokemon.
I invested more in HP than Special Defense because Modest, Life Orb Koko isn’t a thing in VGC 18. So, being able to survive Timid Life Orb Dazzling Gleam was good enough for me, since it allowed a lot more Physical bulk. That way, Persian could take a Tectonic Rage from Landorus-T easily.
- 0- Atk Black Glasses Persian-Alola Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Metagross: (97.4 – 115.3%)
- 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 228 HP / 44 SpD Persian-Alola: 140-166 (82.8 – 98.2%)
Serperior @ Wide Lens
Tournament EVs: 100 HP / 4 Def / 148 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Updated EVs: 100 HP / 20 Def / 132 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Leaf Storm
This Serperior is a fantastic partner for Persian. One day, as a joke, I put Swagger on Serperior to have the Swagger-Foul Play combination with Persian. I wasn’t happy with the 85 percent accuracy, though, so I gave it the Wide Lens as another joke, to help pull off the combination safer. However, this turned out to be the absolute best item for Serperior. Leaf Storm is Serperior’s set up move, and without any boosts, the damage output is very poor. However, Leaf Storm is 90 percent accurate, and everyone knows that means it is really 50 percent accurate, and missing means that Serperior doesn’t get to set up. Imagine if Snorlax could miss Belly Drum, or Volcarona could miss Quiver Dance. And I’m sure everyone has whiffed a Clangorous Soulblaze into double Fairy before. Serperior cannot afford to miss Leaf Storm, so having the Wide Lens security means that Serperior can set up with (almost) no fear.
- +2 132 SpA Serperior Leaf Storm vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: (100 – 118.1%)
- 252 SpA Aerilate Mega Salamence Hyper Voice vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Serperior: (82.2 – 99.3%)
Suicune @ Mago Berry
Tournament EVs: 244 HP / 52 Def / 140 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Updated EVs: 244 HP / 4 Def / 188 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
– Ice Beam
Suicune getting a buff in Pinch berries has made it a lot stronger than it was in VGC 15, and it was a great Pokemon even back then. It does have to contend with new threats in Bulu and Koko. Despite that, a lot of teams cannot break through bulky water types very easily, letting Suicune help control the match. Having access to Tailwind is always a good thing, and Snarl lets Suicune stick around even longer to be able to get a second Tailwind off.
The moves are pretty straight forward. I didn’t feel the need for Icy Wind with Tailwind, and much preferred the damage potential of Ice Beam — especially since it has the chance to OHKO Mega Salamence and Landorus-T.
- 188 SpA Suicune Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mega Salamence: (98.8 – 117.6%)
- 252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus-T Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 4+ SpD Suicune: (84.4 – 102.4%)
Tapu Koko @ Electrium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 44 Atk / 204 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Wild Charge
– Dazzling Gleam
Real talk, how on earth did it take 14 months for someone to come up with this Koko set? Electrium Koko is supposed to deal out a huge amount of damage, with the intended goal of picking up many OHKOs. But despite that, almost every set was limited to hitting Special Defense. But what about Assault Vests? What about Misty/Psychic Seeds? What if you just face a Pokemon with a lot more Special Defense than Defense? That’s where Wild Charge comes in. With those EVs, Koko has an identical Attack and Special Attack stat (141), and both Z Thunderbolt and Z Wild Charge both have 175 base power. So, both Gigavolt Havocs actually have identical power. Now you just work out the lower defense of the Pokemon you are targeting and pick the appropriate Z move. This opens up a lot more OHKOing potential for Koko — and since that is the main role of the Z move, this is only a benefit for it. Z Wild Charge can also OHKO a no bulk Tapu Lele in Psychic Terrain, so they can no longer feel safe against Kokos anymore. This could initiate a shift to bulky Leles if this set picks up popularity, which it should.
- 44 Atk Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: (100.6 – 119.1%)
- 44 Atk Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zapdos in Electric Terrain: (100.5 – 118.7%)
The team is built to pick up significant OHKOs on things that would threaten win conditions, like Celesteela or Charizard, and then use them to win once they’re safe. The team can also be played defensively if needed, thanks to Parting Shot and the high bulk on Celesteela and Suicune.
Core Combinations and Common Leads
This gives the option for Fake Out + Leaf Storm or Leaf Storm + Self Parting Shot to set up Serperior, or to go immediately on the offensive with Swagger + Foul Play. This lead also works against Trick Room with Fake Out + Taunt.
This gives the option to claim a quick KO with Gigavolt Havoc and Fake Out to potentially take no damage.
This would be for Fake Out + Dragon Dance to get set up with Charizard immediately.
This is the same logic for setting up Serperior or Charizard with Tapu Koko’s permanent Fake Out (Gigavolt Havoc).
If you need Tailwind for the matchup, Suicune will be a strong lead with anything.
The main thing to remember is that Persian underspeeds Serperior. This means that you can go for Swagger Foul Play combos, but you cannot Parting Shot your own Serperior for +1 before it goes for Leaf Storm. You should only Parting Shot Serperior with the mentality of setting up Serperior rather than preparing it for a KO that turn.
- The Edu/Yuree team: Focus on KOing the Zapdos, so Celesteela should be able to 1v3 the rest of the team.
- Rain: Get Tailwind up with Suicune and trade a Pokemon for the Swift Swimmer.
- Trick Room: Either Taunt it with Serperior, or use the defensive synergy of the team to stall it out.
Rundown of Tournament
I managed to go 7-0 in Swiss, which I haven’t been able to do in a Regional since 2015. The Top Cut matches were all streamed, and can be found below.
This win puts me seventh in Europe at the time of writing, with 840 cp. I almost certainly have the paid trip to Worlds and I’m in good contention for the stipend to Ohio, so I’ll hopefully see some of you guys in the US soon.
Shoutouts to Ben Kyriakou who gave me his Top 8 Leipzig Regional team which I evolved into the team I used in Malmö.
Credit to All0412 for featured image