Hello everyone! My name is Donguk Jung (also known as SpringsVGC), and I’m a competitive Pokemon player from South Korea. Some of you guys may have heard my name from some online tours like TT open, Zelda’s challenge or NPA as well.
South Korean's Worlds Invite System
Before explaining about my team, I’ll explain about our Worlds invite system for anyone who is interested (If you want the team, just scroll down this section). As you might know, Korea has our unique point system (I’ll call them KP – Korean Point in this article). We have three Seasonal Leagues, Sun/Moon/Ultra respectively, and one Final League, which will be held as Ultra Series. Top cut players from each leagues will get KP as below.
Pokemon Korea announced that such number of the player who have the highest points will get Day2 seed for worlds. They didn’t reveal the exact number, but guessing from few previous years I’m definitely sure that is 4. For me, I didn’t top cut in Sun Series league, and I participated Oceania Internats in Moon Series league (it was same day lol). I didn’t have any points before this league, so this tournament was very important to get the Worlds invite.
|Worlds Invite||Ranking in Korean Points|
|Day 2||Top 4 in CP after Nationals|
|Day 1||Top 16 in CP after Nationals|
After AUIC, I began to prepare for Ultra Series. I was participating this year’s NPA on the Aether Symbionts team, and participated almost every week. To prevent counterteaming, I tested many cores which I thought were strong in Ultra Series such as the ones below.
I personally don’t like Xerneas, so I excluded it even in teambuilding process. I considered my league team among Yveltal, Ultra Necrozma, and Rayquaza, but Yveltal and Ultra Necrozma can do almost nothing against Incineroar, and almost every team included that annoying cat. However, I fell in love with Banded Rayquaza’s excellent damage. Although I lost to my former teammate TTT in our NPA set, I decided my core as Banded Ray and bulky Ogre.
This was my team’s initial form. It deals damage with RayOgre, and checks Xerneas with Bronzong and Amoonguss (actually my friend Seongmo Byun used this exact team and reached Top 8 too). But the thing was, Xerneas was too strong. Even if I have Amoonguss and Bronzong, the opponents’ Xerneas easily Protected one turn and just dominate my other slot with overpowered Moonblast. Also if Geomancied Xern is lined up with Groudon and Rayquaza, I can do nothing. Since I liked Ray/Ogre/Inci/Togede core, I tested a lot of Pokemon for my last 2 slot.
From lots of testing, I found that sub-seed Celesteela works quite well against Xern and many cores. By just seeding and protect/subing, it can get advantage in front of many pairs. And I figured out that Kyogre’s Icy Wind can be a great speed control method in my team, since it can outspeed M-Rayquaza after a single Icy Wind. So I changed Kyogre to this set. Also Amoonguss’ Spore is very useful in such matchup, so I confirmed my team as Cele/Amoonguss.
The day before the tournament, I found a crucial mistake. I thought Celesteela’s Substitute can endure +2 Xern’s Dazzling Gleam, but I forgot to put Fairy Aura in calculator, and it actually turned out that it is impossible to stand 100%.
This was a huge problem, since sub Celesteela can easily be broken through with XernDon’s Dazzling Gleam + Fire Punch. Also Leech Seed still has a 10% chance to miss, so I decided to change them.
I put Telekinesis Tapu Fini and Pinch Berry Staka, and it worked similar with Celesteela but more offensively. By using Telekinesis on Stakataka, I can take very good position against XernDon. However many Groudon were faster than Fini and could kill my Stakataka before my Fini uses Telekinesis. So I made my last slot to Haze, to get another way to stop Xerneas.
Shout out to Minwoo Lim who helped me a lot for last minute practice.
Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band
Ability: Delta Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
– Extreme Speed
– Dragon Ascent
Rayquaza is the sword of the team, which means it’s the best damage dealer. It can OHKO most Kyogre and Xerneas (without any Intimidate). With proper speed control, Banded Ray is a great endgame sweeper. Even if Xerneas used Geomancy, after 2 Icy Winds Ray can outspeed and OHKO Xerneas. I brought it every game since its damage output is so huge for my team.
252 SpA Ultra Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 4 HP / 12 SpD Mega Rayquaza in Psychic Terrain: 153-180 (84.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb
Kyogre is a bulky tank. It can sponge most attacks, and consistently deals damage with fantastic Water-type spread move, helping Rayquaza’s endgame sweep. It can take huge advantage when in front of Incineroar, which is used on most teams. Icy Wind is a great speed control move. My Kyogre can outspeed Mega Rayquaza after 1 Icy Wind. Even if Groudon switches in, Kyogre is guaranteed faster speed with Icy Wind so I can give my opponent the pressure of Air Lock(of Ray behind) + Origin Pulse under Desolate Land.
252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 204 HP / 156 Def Primal Kyogre: 157-187 (78.1 – 93%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Incineroar @ Incinium Z
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Atk / 220 SpD
– Fake Out
– Darkest Lariat
– Flare Blitz
A typical Incineroar. Its main role is accumulating Intimidates by switching in and using U-turn to make good board position. This is especially the case when I face Rayquaza, since it has the potential to OHKO our Kyogre/Rayquaza with Choice Band, I usually lead Incineroar to prevent being destroyed from potential Band Ray. I actually gave it Z-crystal since there is no any other proper Z-slot on my team. And it often did well, especially against Lunala or Necrozma matchups. To be honest, I can’t imagine a team without Incineroar in this format.
44 Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. -1 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza: 178-211 (98.3 – 116.5%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
+1 252 SpA Neuroforce Ultra Necrozma Earth Power vs. 244 HP / 220+ SpD Incineroar: 185-220 (92 – 109.4%) — 50% chance to OHKO
Togedemaru @ Assault Vest
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 228 HP / 172 SpD / 108 Spe
– Fake Out
– Super Fang
– Zing Zap
I usually lead Togedemaru when I face Electric-type Pokemon like Tapu Koko or other Togedemaru. It was a good supporter. Nuzzle was a great speed control method, since it nullifies Geomancy’s speed boost. Also, if I Zing Zap a paralyzed pokemon, the targeted Pokemon won’t attack almost half the time. For the fourth move, I chose Super Fang to cut my opponent’s HP into Ray’s Extreme Speed range even in the Togedemaru mirror match. It works well especially in Kyogre matchups. The EV spread, which Edu made at our Discord, is to endure M-Ray’s Jolly or Adamant, 0 SpA Earth Power. This was important for me since it usually leads against Rayquaza matchups. With this speed investment it will be able to outspeed both full speed Groudon and Kyogre
252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 228 HP / 172 SpD Assault Vest Togedemaru in Heavy Rain: 141-166 (83.4 – 98.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
-1 4 SpA Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Earth Power vs. 228 HP / 172 SpD Assault Vest Togedemaru: 140-166 (82.8 – 98.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Stakataka @ Shuca Berry
Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
I underestimated Fini, but I realized Fini was a good meta call after the tour. Incineroar can literally do nothing against Fini, and I can lead the damage race against Kyogre mirror with Heal Pulse. I usually lead Kyogre + Fini to nullify the Geomancy or Tailwind with double Icy Wind. Scald is usually not a considered on Fini, but I wanted to have more way to eliminate Groudon and it did really great. With all advantages that I wrote above, I felt comfortable when I played against Spore spam, since Misty Terrain prevented lots of hax. I can definitely say Fini was the MVP of my team, even though it joined my team the day before the tour. For the EV spread, my friend Minwoo made it to survive Xern’s Moonblast and to OHKO almost every Groudon in Air Lock.
+2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 76+ SpD Tapu Fini: 148-175 (83.6 – 98.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Our tournament started at 10am Sunday. Since I realized that this tournament was important for me to get Worlds invite, I felt a bit nervous. However, that week was NPA wildcard match week and my friend Edu’s match was scheduled on 9am that day. I watched that on my subway, and Edu won his match and our team secured top 4 of NPA. I felt a little bit better after that.
The tournament was 6 bo1 swiss rounds, Top 16 bo3 top cut tournament, and 94 Masters participated. From my rough calculation, 6-0 and 5-1 guaranteed top cut, and many of 4-2 bubble will top cut, but I can be out immediately since it’s bo1 swiss rounds.
Round 1 vs Gwangchae Kwak | W
It was a typical Xerndon matchup and I felt comfortable since I practiced this matchup a lot the day before the tour. Both of us led Fini, and I found out that opponent Fini’s moves were Icy Wind / Nature’s Madness / Heal Pulse in the first few turns. I was pretty sure that Fini didn’t have Scald, so I switch out my Fini to Staka at the turn his Xerneas used Geomancy next to Fini. He switch out +2 Xern, but its HP was already in the yellow zone. So I ended up with Extreme Speed to win.
Round 2 vs Sanghyeon Na | W
It was an unfavorable matchup since he was my good friend and he always helped me a lot. For the matchup, I didn’t practice against Crobat + Xerndon so it was a bit tough, but I led the same as previous round. He led Crobat Xern, and he Taunted my Fini and used Geomancy. I used double Icy Wind to nullify the Speed boost, but one of them missed to Xern so It was still faster than my Ray. I still had Staka in the back so I brought it after Fini fainted, but he used Pblades + Moonblast to Staka and it couldn’t survive even with Shuca berry. I had no more ways to stop Xerneas, but my Rayquaza KOed Xerneas with critical hit Extreme Speed, and I won in dramatic fashion.
Round 3 vs Junha Kang | W
I led Incineroar/Kyogre against opponent’s Lunala and Tapu Lele, so I protected my ogre and used the Z-move into Lunala. However, Lele turned out to be specs and my Inci was KOed by Z-moongeist + specs moonblast. I was frusturated. Her Lunala used trick room, and Fini had light screen / heal pulse. It was a tough match, but my Fini-Kyogre duo dealt well with heal pulse + origin pulse. Origin pulse didn’t miss, allowing me to KO Lunala before it sets up a second trick room, and my Ray could sweep out remaining mons with Kyogre.
Round 4 vs Jeongeun Lee | L
It was very similar team to mine. I led with Incineroar since he had many physical attackers. He led with Incin Mimikyu, and Trick Room went up. I fought with my bulky Kyogre and Fini/Inci under Trick Room, and eventually it ended. He had a full HP Kyogre as well as Stakataka, while I had a low hp Kyogre/Fini and full HP Ray in the back. My Kyogre was faster, so it was a mindgame if his Staka would protect or Trick room. I decided to scald Staka, but he did Protect + Water Spout. My Fini Ogre was doubled down and Ray couldn’t kill those two bulky pokemon in a row, GG.
Round 5 vs Jongseo Lee | W
He was the senior champion last year, so it was tough matchup again. He led with Yveltal Lele, so I protected Kyogre and used my Z-move on Lele. Lele went down and TW went up. I double switched into Fini/Ray next turn, and successfully took his Black Hole Eclipse with my Fini while weakening his Origin Pulse with Air Lock. It was obvious that he’d Foul Play my Ray slot, but I thought Kyogre was more important than Ray in this matchup, so I just used Extreme Speed into Yveltal (which dealt half it’s HP) and my Ray was KO’d. After that, I thought my Fini/Ogre secured the win but his Kyogre had Thunder. Fini went down, and Yveltal avoided my crucial Origin Pulse. I was almost lost, but his Origin Pulse missed my Incineroar so Darkest Lariat was enough to knock out my opponent’s Kyogre. It was another win with tons of luck today.
Round 6 vs Wonseok Jeong | W
Another tough matchup. He was the runner up the first league, and won the second league. He has 170 KP and he wanted more, so I felt I needed to stop him. He led with Xerneas Gengar and I Fini Ogre. I switched Fini to Staka and he double protected to mega evolve. He switch out to Groudon and taunted my Staka. Then I clicked Rock Slide and Icy Wind, dropping Gengar down to half HP. I really wanted to Wide Guard but Staka was taunted, so I just hit rock slide. Staka was KOd after 2 Precipite Blade hits, and Xern was switch in for Gengar that turn. I brought Rayquaza in on the Staka slot, and knocked out Groudon with Air Lock Origin Pulse. I dragon ascented into Xern but it protected. He brought out Gengar again, and I dragon ascented into Xern again, but his Gengar revealed disable, and Xerneas finally set up Geomancy. My Origin Pulse hit both Gengar and Xerneas, so my trap was released and Xerneas had less than half its HP. His last Pokemon was Incineroar, and I switched out disabled Ray into Fini. My Fini/Ogre were both KO’d by dazzling gleam, but my banded Rayquaza sweeped up the endgame with multiple Extreme Speed.
Guaranteed top cut, and I felt a bit comfortable since I passed bo1 zone, and at least I would get 10 KP. Right after a quick lunch, Top cut phase began.
Top 16 vs Taehyeong Kim | WW
Murkrow is my favorite Pokemon, so it’s good to see it here! But I never expected or practiced against Dual Primal team so I was a bit nervous. For our first game, I led with Togedemaru and Kyogre to spam with Nuzzle. His lead was Lele Don, and that Don was faster than my Ogre. It only could be faster if it was Jolly max speed, so I faked out it with a Fini switch-in. He skill-swapped Don and flinched. I nuzzled and icy winded on T2, but his Don was faster than Togedemaru and Lele used Gravity. Thankfully both of my Icy Winds hit, and I brought Kyogre on Togedemaru slot. Thanks to Gravity, Kyogre could deal massive damage position.
In game 2, I knew that Lele wasn’t scarf but both Groudon and it were max speed. So I led with Ray Fini, and he led same. I used Dragon Ascent and Icy Wind into Lele, and since it was sash, both Ray and Lele went down. I brought my Kyogre in to assert consistent pressure with Heal Pulse + Origin Pulse. His Kyogre revealed Thunder to knock out Fini, confirming that it’s moveset was Ice Beam / Water Spout / Thunder / Protect, so I brought out my last pokemon, Stakataka, and clicked Wide Guard until my Kyogre swept the game.
Top 8 vs Gwanghyuk Park | LWW
From Top 8 to final, My matches was streamed in event hall so my friends Nash and Enq was recorded it. Thanks for recording & sharing this! (You can access to the battle videos by clicking on the red titles)
In g2, I expected he would bring Koko since I didn’t bring Togedemaru in g1, so I lead with Togedemaru. He led with Mence Xern. I was afraid of a potential Tailwind so I faked out Mence and used Icy Wind with Ogre. He switched out Mence into Groudon while Xerneas avoided Icy Wind and set itself up. It was an awful position. I tried to Nuzzle Xern but he protected Xern and Pblades. I thought I had lost, but Togedemaru avoided the Precipite Blades, and successfully nuzzled Xerneas. His Xerneas couldn’t move by paralyze, and I finished it up with my banded Rayquaza.
After winning g2 luckily, I thought a bit. Since my Fini didn’t reveal Haze or Scald yet, I thought to myself ‘Let’s lead Fini-Staka in g3. If Groudon comes in, Scald it out, else just set up Trick Room and Staka will exert pressure’. It worked perfectly. For this game I’ll recommend you watch the streamed set. My opponent forfeit after first 2 turns.
Top 4 vs Hojae Jeon | WW
It was a rayogre mirror. In mirror match, the Rayquaza speed advantage is the most important thing. I lead with Togedemaru/Ogre and opponent led Incin/Ray. I double targeted Rayquaza with nuzzle and Icy Wind to drop its speed and hit both, including an Icy Wind crit! His Incineroar didn’t go for fake out, instead using Flare Blitz to get Togedemaru. However, nuzzled Ray was not a threat, so I got my band Rayquaza in and dominated everything.
I won g1, but I saw Ray had Swords Dance, so this time I led with Incineroar. He tried to set up with sword dance but I gave him fake out pressure and Intimidate properly. With some correct reads of my opponent’s Ray’s Protect timing, I got a big advantage, and it was enough to win. Finals!
Final vs Seongjae Jeong | LL
Finals was a Rayogre mirror match too. Gengar (maybe mega) looked a bit annoying in preview. I led with Togedemaru Ray since I expected a Koko lead, but he wouldn’t bring it. We switched fake out in first turn, and we both switched out Ray into Gengar and Kyogre respectively. I nuzzled Gengar, and next turn nuzzled Ray too. However, his Gengar used Trick room, so nuzzle made them faster. Without any paralysis, my Pokemon lost a lot of HP and I lost g1.
In g2, I led with Incin since his Ray was holding a Life Orb. I was surprised since his Ray had Tailwind, but I stacked 2 intimidates on Ray in T2, and I OHKO’d my opponent’s Incin with my Ray. He brought in Gengar, and I attacked with my Incineroar but it was holding a Focus Sash. He tried to Trick Room in the last turn of Tailwind, but I u-turned Gengar and killed it. He had Rayogre remaining whereas I had all my Pokemon. I brought Ray in since it seemed like his Ray’s HP would faint to extreme speed + life orb recoil, but it didn’t. He set up a second Tailwind, and all my pokemon were swept.
Although I lost in final, I was happy to finish my first Ultra Series tour with a 2nd place result. I got 70 points, and finished ranked 5th among all Korean. I think I got a day 1 invite at least, and can get day2 if I get notable results in the final league. I want to give special shoutout to Minwoo Lim, Wonseok, Nash and Enq, who practiced with me a lot, and also the Aether Symbionts team, especially Fumito, Edu and Shadow.
I’m going to build better team for the final league to win it, and hope to get a Day 2 invite for Worlds. Thank you for reading this all, and I hope to meet all you guys in Washington D.C. 🙂