Necro-Ogre is in the house! – Cancun Special Event’s Champion Team Report

Hi everyone. My name is Hiram Espinosa (@HiramESOR on Twitter), and I am the Cancun Special Event Champion. Today, I’ll be explaining the team-building process which brought me to win this event, along with my tournament run and some notes on how to use the team.

salamence-mega Team Building Process

As soon as the Ultra Series was announced back in August 2018, we all noticed that Necrozma, either Dawn Wings or Dusk Mane, was going to be one of the most relevant forces within the metagame. Personally, it reminds me of the Lele-Metagross core that was popular in 2018.

As it is to be expected, Necrozma and Tapu Lele were my first team choices. Incineroar was a no-brainer for me. There’s not much to say about it, since it is the best Pokémon on the format. Finally, I also added a Mega-Salamence, as it is one of the top 3 megas in the metagame, if not the best. Amoonguss and Groudon were finally added to patch some basic weaknesses, as I just wanted to start practicing.

This first build was based on the team I used back at Mexico Regionals, where I achieved my (up to back then) best major event result, a 2nd place. It was a good team, although it was somewhat weak against common match-ups as XernOgre or YvelOgre. Rayquaza could also make give me some troubles on the team when paired with Kyogre or Xerneas, but that depends more on the rest of the opposing team.

After some testing, I moved onto what started to become a fairly standard-looking team. This improved the squad’s results, but also threw a new issue into the mix: everyone knew how to play against it. This was a good team, and also a one able to deal with difficult match-ups, but seeing that most people had a solid game plan to stop it, I had to shake things up.

At this point, I realized that what made me succeed at the previous Regional was ‘breaking the meta’ with an unusual but solid team. I finished in 2nd place thanks to being able to easily turn uncommon match-ups to my advantage. This re-build of the team did pretty nice, but my biggest problem was Yveltal, yet again. The awkward speed interactions of Gengar and Crobat were troublesome as well.

After some heavy thinking, I decided to bring back Salamence on Gengar’s slot. This forced me to get rid of Crobat as well, who was replaced by Amoonguss once more. Nevertheless, after some further testing, I noticed that Tapu Koko posed a strong threat, as it could take out either Salamence or Kyogre with its terrain-boosted Z-move which also ensured heavy damage on other Pokémon of the team, like Incineroar. Togedemaru was a good check for this specific problem, at the same time it could deal with the speed problem and threaten the rest of the Tapus.

salamence-mega The Team

▶️ Check out the importable version here!

Necrozma-DW Victory Road
Necrozma-Dawn-Wings @ Ultranecrozium Z
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 36 HP / 4 Def / 188 SpA / 92 SpD / 188 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Moongeist Beam
– Photon Geyser
– Earth Power

Offensive calcs

incineroar 188 SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Incineroar: 155-185 (76.7 – 91.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
groudon-primal 188 SpA Ultra Necrozma Light That Burns the Sky vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 214-253 (103.3 – 122.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
kyogre-primal 188 SpA Ultra Necrozma Light That Burns the Sky vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Primal Kyogre in Psychic Terrain: 198-234 (112.5 – 132.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
xerneas 188 SpA Ultra Necrozma Light That Burns the Sky vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Xerneas: 202-238 (100 – 117.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
rayquaza-mega 188 SpA Ultra Necrozma Light That Burns the Sky vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Mega Rayquaza: 220-259 (122.2 – 143.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
metagross-mega 188 SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Moongeist Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 155-182 (99.3 – 116.6%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO

Defensive calcs

necrozma-ultra 252 SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Moongeist Beam vs. 36 HP / 88 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 162-192 (91.5 – 108.4%) — 50% chance to OHKO
tapu-lele 252 SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 36 HP / 88 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 152-182 (85.8 – 102.8%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
gengar-mega 252 SpA Mega Gengar Shadow Ball vs. 36 HP / 88 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 158-188 (89.2 – 106.2%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
yveltal 252 Atk Dark Aura Yveltal Sucker Punch vs. 36 HP / 4 Def Ultra Necrozma: 164-194 (92.6 – 109.6%) — 50% chance to OHKO
tapu-koko 252 SpA Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 36 HP / 88 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 78-92 (44 – 51.9%) — 8.6% chance to 2HKO
kyogre-primal 252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 36 HP / 88 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 136-160 (76.8 – 90.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Kyogre-Primal Victory Road
Kyogre @ Blue Orb
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 204 HP / 220 Def / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Origin Pulse
– Protect
– Water Spout

Offensive calcs

incineroar 0+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Incineroar: 240-284 (118.8 – 140.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
salamence-mega 0+ SpA Primal Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Mega Salamence: 304-360 (178.8 – 211.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
tapu-koko 0+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 145-172 (99.3 – 117.8%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
yveltal 0+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Yveltal in Heavy Rain: 177-208 (87.6 – 102.9%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO

Defensive calcs

xerneas +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 204 HP / 0 SpD Primal Kyogre: 144-171 (71.6 – 85%) — guaranteed 2HKO
yveltal 252 Atk Dark Aura Yveltal Black Hole Eclipse (175 BP) vs. 204 HP / 220 Def Primal Kyogre: 174-205 (86.5 – 101.9%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
tapu-koko 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunder vs. 204 HP / 0 SpD Primal Kyogre in Electric Terrain: 152-182 (75.6 – 90.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
ferrothorn 220 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 204 HP / 220 Def Primal Kyogre: 140-168 (69.6 – 83.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Salamence-Mega Victory Road
Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
– Protect
– Tailwind
– Roar
– Double-Edge

Offensive calcs

ferrothorn 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Ferrothorn: 106-126 (58.5 – 69.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
rayquaza-mega 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. -1 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza: 201-237 (111 – 130.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
gengar-mega 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Gengar: 160-189 (118.5 – 140%) — guaranteed OHKO
tapu-lele 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 169-199 (115.7 – 136.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
xerneas 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 139-165 (68.8 – 81.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
kyogre-primal 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Primal Kyogre: 145-172 (82.3 – 97.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

tapu-koko 252 SpA Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mega Salamence: 92-110 (54.1 – 64.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Tapu-Lele Victory Road
Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Psychic
– Moonblast
– Magic Room
– Skill Swap

Offensive calcs

salamence-mega 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Mega Salamence: 218-258 (128.2 – 151.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
necrozma-ultra 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Ultra Necrozma: 186-218 (107.5 – 126%) — guaranteed OHKO
amoonguss 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 236 HP / 180+ SpD Amoonguss in Psychic Terrain: 228-270 (104.1 – 123.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
rayquaza-mega 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Rayquaza: 180-212 (99.4 – 117.1%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

Defensive calcs

xerneas +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 121-144 (82.8 – 98.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Incineroar Victory Road
Incineroar @ Incinium Z
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Atk / 4 Def / 44 SpD / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Roar

Offensive calcs

necrozma-ultra -1 180+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Ultra Necrozma: 200-236 (115.6 – 136.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
lunala -1 180+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 216-254 (101.4 – 119.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
bronzong -1 180+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Bronzong: 170-204 (98.2 – 117.9%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
tapu-lele 180+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 186-219 (127.3 – 150%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs
necrozma-ultra 252 SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Incineroar: 160-190 (79.2 – 94%) — guaranteed 2HKO groudon-primal -1 252+ Atk Primal Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 152-182 (75.2 – 90%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Togedemaru Victory Road
Togedemaru @ Assault Vest
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
EVs: 68 HP / 12 Atk / 4 Def / 172 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Nuzzle
– Iron Head
– Zing Zap

Being honest, I didn’t work much on this monster of a Pokémon. I tried Assault Vest and used during the tournament, but it kept getting KO’d from moves such as Kyogre’s Water Spout (big roll in Kyogre’s favor) or Earth Power from Rayquaza and Necrozma. It is a really good counter for Xerneas, though. I strongly recommend using Focus Sash rather than AV.

There are not really any calcs, as its job is based on disrupting my opponents by paraflinching them while keeping away Electric-types, especially Tapu Koko and Raichu.

Focus Sash variant

togedemaru Togedemaru @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Nuzzle
– Iron Head
– Zing Zap

I was completely sure I had a good team, and I was ready to take on Cancún’s Special Event following my own style of ‘breaking the meta’, playing something unique and adapting. Next step were move-sets and synergies.

Some remarks about the sets described above:

  • Scarf Tapu Lele with Magic Room + Skill Swap. Tapu Lele is the key against Xerneas/Groudon teams.
  • Salamence with Roar. Mainly for Xerneas, either in turn 1 or turn 2 after Magic Room + Tailwind, when Xerneas is locked on Geomancy.
  • Incineroar with Roar and Z-move. Roar negates Trick Room or boosts, while the Z-move threatens a OHKO on key threats Necrozma, Tapu Lele and Bronzong.

salamence-mega Team Play

Groudon + Xerneas
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads

XernDon is a solid team, but really easy to play against due to the versatility of our lead. The game plan is having control of the speeds while stopping Xerneas from sweeping the team or the foe’s Tapu Fini from annoying you all over with its endless support moves.

Standard leads from this team feature Tapu Fini+Incineroar, which allows us to pivot easily into Salamence + Kyogre; or Xerneas + Incineroar, where we’ll use Magic Room + Tailwind followed by Roar on the first turns to secure an easy game 1 momentum.

One of the reasons why I said there’s no ‘never bring’ is because it actually depends on the rest of the opposing team. The most common fourth one to pick is Necrozma, but you can use Incineroar when facing a Bronzong, or Togedemaru when they have Tapu Koko instead of Tapu Fini.

Rayquaza + Xerneas
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads

It is probably one of the most difficult match-ups, but our game plan is pretty simple: set up the Tailwind for Necrozma -and Kyogre if we have chosen it. These kinds of match-ups are usually open to reads and risk-vs-reward plays every turn, since they are forced to protect their win conditions, allowing us to capitalize on it and take advantage of the momentum.

The most reasonable ‘never bring’ against this core would be Togedemaru, but some players might have a Tapu Koko on this team composition, turning the little spiky mouse into a good choice as well.

Xerneas + Yveltal / Kyogre + Gengar
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads

Likely to be one of the hardest match-ups, but that’s just because they are pretty lineal. Game plan is easy: set up Tailwind, get some damages/kills with Tapu Lele (regardless of them leading Yveltal or Gengar, or both) and take advantage of the speed to sweep on the late game with your restricted Pokémon.

I pick Togedemaru as the ‘never bring’ due to its lack of supportiveness on this matches. It can be used if an Yveltal-Lele lead is expected, as it gets us quick speed nerfs to take advantage of during the whole game.

Ultra Necrozma + Tapu Lele
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads

This is one of the most equal match-ups. Game plan against this team consists on not giving any space or chances to the opponent, for example, by throwing Moonblasts and fishing for an early KO with Incineroar’s Malicious Moonsault, so we are able to set up with our own Necrozma along with Kyogre or Salamence. Once the enemy has lost the board control, we can easily take on the game.

Groudon + Lunala
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads

This is probably one of the easiest cores to deal with, thanks to our favorable match-up, at least, in my opinion. They cannot really peel the pressure out from us, and even if they do, we can still bring it back with Kyogre and one of our Intimidate users. Abusing of Tapu Lele’s Skill Swap is also strongly encouraged. The main problem should be Lunala, but it really depends on your opponent’s effectiveness on using it.

salamence-mega Tournament Run

Round 1 vs MEX Alejandro Terrazas | WW

I find it funny to think that I was one of the very few (and first) users of Necrozma+Kyogre, and suddenly I ran into it in round 1. It was a ‘hard’ match-up, since I hadn’t made any specific gameplans when testing. I ended up winning the first game because his Accelgor wasn’t running Final Gambit, so I could take advantage of speed control and Salamence’s Intimidate in the lategame.

On game 2, I decided not to Ultra-Burst with Dawn Wings Necrozma, so the opposing Tapu Lele couldn’t KO me, and it worked. After that, I just controlled speeds and pressured his Ultra Necrozma for the win.

Round 2 vs MEX Alberto Renero | WW

I had this match crystal clear from the beginning. I knew I had to lead Ultra Necrozma and Tapu Lele in G1, so I did, locking the opposing Xerneas into Geomancy through Magic Room in order to KO it afterwards with Light That Burns The Sky. The endgame was easy to take from there.

Game 2 ended on a really important turn, where my opponent could’ve gotten a key knock-out but he suddenly ran out of time, which left myself on a much better position that allowed me to take the game.

Round 3 vs MEX Israel Suaste | WLW 

I was pretty sure about how to play game 1, so I was able to win easily, although Israel knew how to plan game 2, looking after his Lunala and messing around with Tapu Fini until Groudon could just finish me.

I then realized I needed an early kill on Tapu Fini for game 3, so I led with Salamence+Necrozma in order to Ultra Burst while protecting, and then throwing the Z-move with a Lele switch-in for terrain control on turn 2. Once that worked out, I focused on Incineroar, allowing his Lunala to set up Trick Room. Then, I won the weather war and the game was essentially over.

Ronda 4 vs SLV René Alvarenga | WLW 

This was a relaxed but emotionally touching round, since Rene is my mentor from when I started playing VGC. I was aware that one of the 3-1s wouldn’t make it into Top 4, although my resistance was good enough, so I don’t think it would have been me. A good Skill Swap + Origin Pulse sealed the deal for me on game 1.

A surprised Rene adjusted his game plan for game 2, where he was able to beat me on a really even game. In the end, he got rid of my Togedemaru in order to deal huge damage with his Tapu Koko.

In game 3 I realized that Tapu Lele was one of my win conditions, even more useful than Necrozma. I picked Salamence, Togedemaru, Tapu Lele and Kyogre, and it worked out, so I advanced undeafeated into top cut. That was a clear sign of my high level performance.

Before top 4 started, we had an hour break to eat something, but I was so nervous about my incoming mirror match-up that I just couldn’t eat, so I spent the time thinking about a game plan.

Semi finals vs MEX Kenneth Gamboa | WLW 

I was facing the Cancún 2017’s Champion and a very good friend of mine. I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

During game 1, I managed to keep a better position most of the time, it was easier than expected. Game 2 was a really close one: I was able to prevent his Xerneas from boosting thanks to Roar, but he knew how to come back when I switched out Lele at the same time I was expecting him to do so with his Koko. But in the end, he never did, thus costing me game 2. I was very frustrated since I threw my opportunity to close the round, and he would not give me any more chances like that.

I tried to clear my mind for game 3. I can tell it was the most iconic match of the tournament. My lead wasn’t any good at all, as I started with Necrozma + Salamence against his Incineroar + Xerneas. First thing I saw was a free boost for him; and from there, I’ll explain every turn:

On turn 1, I switched out Salamence into Tapu Lele and went for Ultra Burst + Photon Geyser on Xerneas, dealing around 80-85% damage. He went for Fake Out into Salamence’s slot and Geomancy.

My run at the tournament was decided on turn 2: he knew Dazzing Gleam wasn’t enough to KO Tapu Lele, and that I had to protect Necrozma, as it was my win condition. So what did I do? I switched Tapu Lele out into Togedemaru and used another Photon Geyser on Xerneas. What happened after selecting the moves was awesome: I read the turn. He went for Moonblast into Tapu Lele’s slot (now Togedemaru) and I KOed Xerneas. Then I just had to keep carrying the match safely.

Final vs MEX Alberto Renero | WLW 

Once again I had to fight against Alberto (Golden Empoleon), who turns out to be the most recent Cancún Champion (2018). I was going to win this time.

Something I realized since we played on round 2 was the advantage I had against his team thanks to Tapu Lele, so I led with Tapu Lele+Necrozma both games. In game 1, I decided to bring Incineroar and Salamence on the back, being able to control the game and secure the win.

Game 2 was harder: I had control of the board until he managed to face both my intimidate users with Incineroar and Xerneas. Knowing his safer moves, Fake Out into Salamence and Geomancy, I revealed my Incineroar’s Roar, which proved worthy after forcing his boosted Xerneas out. I took the game from there.

And… I did it! I was the new Cancún Champion, after beating the two most recent ones. I got my revenge, as well as my self-confidence back. And the most important, the Worlds dream was still alive!

salamence-mega Closing words

I hope this report and team have been any useful to you all reading this. I promise to improve on my EV spreads, as I’m aware that they are not the best, but they really fit on the team at this point in the meta. I will share any improvements I make on them!

I’d also like to thank PER Gabriel Duran (@GabrielDR35), COL Juan Pablo Naar (@DonVGC) and SLV Rene Alvarenga (@ReneVGC) for their constant support during the days prior to the tournament. As always, it has been a pleasure counting on players as good as they are, because of the help, the laughs and the support during the tournament. It really means everything to me.

I promise to place MEX México’s flag on the top if I get it into Worlds, and I promise to keep doing these reports!

And last but not least, I really want to thank Aditya Subramanian for inviting me to share my team and Victory Road for this team report opportunity.

See you soon!

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Victory Road