The WayOgre to go — Team Report from the 2019 Korean National Champion

Hi everyone, I’m Hyungwoo Shin, also known as Mija, the 2019 Korean National Champion. After graduating from high school in 2018, I started participating in tournaments. I always ended up failing to top cut except for one time. I didn’t have much past success, winning this season was very meaningful to me. (Note: In Korea, all official events hosted by Nintendo Korea are called “seasons”. Nationals were the final season or season 4). After season 3, I practiced day and night thinking that this was my last chance. I built teams and tested them on Battle Spot and Showdown. This time, all the practice sessions paid back by helping me win the season. Without further ado, here’s the report! Before introducing the team, I’ll talk a bit about the teambuilding process and common match-ups.

salamence-mega Victory Road Teambuilding

After season 3, I practiced intensively and listed the teams that I felt good with.

rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadtsareena Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadditto Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadkangaskhan-mega Victory Roadkommo-o Victory Roadtornadus Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadbronzong Victory Road
solgaleo Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadsalamence-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadlandorus-therian Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadkangaskhan-mega Victory Roadcrobat Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadstakataka Victory Road

yveltal Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadsalamence-mega Victory Roadnihilego Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadbronzong Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadsalamence-mega Victory Roadtapu-lele Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
yveltal Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadmetagross-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road

As Nationals came close, I felt that I could not use RayOgre. This was because most Koreans I met in practice sessions were using it after season 3, and this would mean that Finals would have a lot of RayOgres once again. I wasn’t confident with mirror match and thought some would bring teams meant to beat RayOgre. 

So other than RayOgre, what I felt best practicing with was the Solgaleo + Kyogre team that I used in the IC.

This team reached 1900s at the International Challenge, proving to be strong. However, it was overall weak to Tapu Koko and also not so good against Kyogre. From what we saw in seasons 1 to 3, Koreans were mostly fond of Kyogre rather than Groudon, so this team did not seem to be a good call for the Korean meta. 

The next team I had a look at YvelDon. I personally like Yveltal. Other than Xerneas, Yveltal is very strong against most restricted Pokémon, so I thought it had tremendous potential. I built around Mega Gengar and Tapu Koko to go positive against RayOgre, but the team lacked speed control and felt weak to RayOgre with Tailwind. Switching and mind games could indeed work this out, but this still was a very hard match-up. Furthermore, the team in general was a little weak against Incineroar. So just before the tour, I decided against using it.

The day prior to the event, I wasn’t yet done with my team and concluded that I should use the very team I decided not to in the first place – RayOgre. Upon practicing, the team felt strong, and RayOgre is strong after all. At first, I came up with RayOgre with Tailwind (using Whimsicott) as a strong and easy to use core. With these three on the team, I then added Tapu Koko for the mirror match, and Incineroar to go against Trick Room teams. The team looked similar to Michael Lanzano’s Madison Regionals runner-up team. I noticed people usually use Stakataka to stop Xerneas, but I personally think that it isn’t that good. This is because Xerneas usually has Groudon or Earth Power Rayquaza, which knocks out Stakataka.

So I looked for some other things, and thought Mega Gengar could be good for trapping and setting Tailwind up, then allowing Kyogre to sweep through. This actually worked out well, and in the process, I found out Roar on Incineroar for opposing Perish Trap and Geomancy was good, too. So the day before the tour, with a bit more thought into item choices and optimization, my team was ready.

salamence-mega Victory Road The Team

▶️ Get the importable version of the team here!

Whimsicott Victory Road
Whimsicott Fairium Z
Ability: Prankster   
Level: 50   
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe   
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk   
– Tailwind   
– Taunt   
– Moonblast   
– Protect  

The best Tailwind user. Moonblast and Fairium Z help as a damage source, and Taunt was to stop opposing Trick Room or Tailwind. 

Fairium Z was essentially used against Mega Rayquaza that was very burdensome, and was (surprisingly) efficient in practice sessions. Other common targets include Ultra Necrozma, Mega Salamence, and Tapu Koko, which all threaten the RayOgre core. Opposed to with Fairium Z Tapu Koko, opposing Mega Rayquaza and Ultra Necrozma don’t feel so threatened in front of Whimsicott. In the event, it helped a lot, and I used it almost every game. 

Gengar-Mega Victory Road
Gengar-MegaGengarite   
Ability: Shadow Tag   
Level: 50   
EVs: 92 HP / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 156 SpD / 252 Spe   
Timid Nature   
IVs: 0 Atk   
– Sludge Bomb   
– Disable   
– Substitute   
– Protect 

The HP stat was for Substitute efficiency, and the rest was put in Special Defense. 

This is what I use against XernDon and X-Rays. Tmy surprise, I never got to face any of those, so I did not have many chances to use Gengar. It aims to stay in the field for long, trapping opponents to beat them up with its partner. Sludge Bomb is for damage, Substitute for survival, and Disable is for choice item users and some others. For instance, if I use Double Protect to stop opposing Incineroars U-turn and Disable it, I can use Kyogre then, to trap and knock them out.

Kyogre-Primal Victory Road
Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb   
Ability: Primordial Sea   
Level: 50   
EVs: 204 HP / 196 Def / 44 SpA / 4 SpD / 60 Spe   
Modest Nature   
IVs: 0 Atk   
– Water Spout   
– Origin Pulse   
– Ice Beam   
– Protect 

My first restricted Pokémon. I gave 8 extra speed EVs than what Koreans like to use  Wolfes 2016 Kyogre. 

Origin Pulse does have the chance to miss, but it was worth it. During the tour it thankfully did not miss on crucial moments. It was very strong and Water Spout on Tailwind was just beyond expectations. Kyogre was used every match, too.

Rayquaza-Mega Victory Road
Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band   
Ability: Delta Stream   
Level: 50   
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe   
Adamant Nature   
– Dragon Ascent   
– Extreme Speed   
– Crunch   
– Earthquake 

My second restricted Pokémon. 

I gave it full investment with Adamant Nature for damage output and felt good using it. I did not really have that many speed ties, either. Choice Band Dragon Ascent knocks out almost everything, and alongside Kyogre that has spread damage, these two swept through. Crunch is for Lunala, and Earthquake for Togedemaru which the team had hard time against. Rayquaza was used in every game as well.  

Tapu-Koko Victory Road
Tapu Koko @ Life Orb   
Ability: Electric Surge   
Level: 50   
EVs: 28 HP / 20 Def / 204 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe   
Timid Nature   
IVs: 0 Atk   
– Thunder   
– Volt Switch   
– Dazzling Gleam   
– Protect 

The HP stat was 10n-1 to minimize Life Orb damage. Defense investment allows it to live Extreme Speed from +2 Mega Rayquaza, and Max Speed was a necessary. The rest was put in Special Attack. 

Tapu Koko is good to lead in the RayOgre mirror match, and other match ups in general, too. 

I usually lead it with Whimsicott, and as Whimsicott already had Fairium Z, I gave Koko a Life Orb to knock out Kyogre without Z move with Thunder. It was very good and thanks to this, I was able to get rid of most Kyogre at once. During swiss rounds, I faced more Kyogre than Groudon, so I used Koko three times. After I climbed to the top cut, every match was against Kyogreso I brought Koko to every time there.  

Incineroar Victory Road
Incineroar @ Figy Berry   
Ability: Intimidate   
Level: 50   
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 236 SpD / 28 Spe   
Careful Nature   
– Fake Out   
– Flare Blitz   
– U-turn   
– Roar 

HP stat is a multiple of 4 to activate the berry after two Super Fangs. The Special Defense investment allows me to take a Moonblast from +2 Xerneas. Speed allows me to underspeed minimum speed Groudon and Kyogre. 

This is the best Pokémon in the metagame: it has Intimidate and enables the team to maneuver around and sweep opposing teams via U-turn. Roar prevents Trick Room, and everything that was mentioned before. 

During swiss rounds, I used it quite a bit, but during top cut, Kyogre and Tapu Koko were better calls, so I did not bring it that often.

salamence-mega Victory Road Match-ups

Xerneas + Groudon
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadrayquaza Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Road+incineroar Victory Road/whimsicott Victory Road

XernDon has such wide variation, so its better to lead based on what you meet. 

Rayquaza + Kyogre
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road+tapu-koko Victory Road

If against Togedemaru, using Incineroar instead of Tapu Koko, or leading Rayquaza to knock it out with Earthquake to a surprise would be a good choice. 

Xerneas + Rayquaza
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
xerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadrayquaza Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road+gengar-mega Victory Road/incineroar Victory Road

 

Groudon + Necrozma
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
groudon-primal Victory Roadnecrozma-ultra Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road+incineroar Victory Road

 

Yveltal + Groudon
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
yveltal Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road+incineroar Victory Road/tapu-koko Victory Road

 

Yveltal+ Kyogre
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
yveltal Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road+tapu-koko Victory Road

 

salamence-mega Victory Road Tournament Run

Top 16 vs KOR Gyumin Lee | WW
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadbronzong Victory Road

Facing a friend in top 16 is never good. Their team was standard RayOgre and the deal was to get rid of Togedemaru.

Game 1:
What I bring: rayquaza-mega Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Road / kyogre-primal Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: togedemaru Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road

I tried to catch Togedemaru with Moonblast + Earthquake, but he switched out to Rayquaza, who still took big damage from Moonblast. After that, he read my play and got Swords Dance up, but my Rayquaza took +2 Extreme Speed with a sliver of health and knocked it out with Moonblast. As the game went on, my paralyzed Kyogre got hit by Zing Zap and still moved, so Origin Pulse knocked out both Togedemaru and Incineroar. He had only Kyogre left whereas my Tapu Koko and Rayquaza was alive, so he forfeited. 

Game 2:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: togedemaru Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road

I read his switch from Incineroar to Rayquaza and went for Fairium Z, which worked. Then I got full paralyzed, which prevented me to use Water Spout and then KOing Togedemaru. Still, Kyogre attacked fine in following turns to get Togedemaru and Incineroar, leaving my opponent with only Kyogre left, so I won the set. 

Top 8 vs KOR Seongjae Jung | LWW
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadwhimsicott Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadstakataka Victory Road

I faced Nayeon, who won season 3. His team was RayOgre with Whimsicott, which was somewhat similar to mine. It was a mirror match, so I thought that having a good lead was important.

Game 1:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road
What my opponent brings: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road

We both went for Tailwind and it was close until my Kyogre switched in and got crit by Dragon Ascent, fainting to Extreme Speed the next turn. Rayquaza was caught by Extreme Speed too, and I lost. Had I not been critted, I would have had a Tailwind turn benefit on my side, so this was sad.

Game 2:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road
What my opponent brings: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road

This time I won the speed tie and taunted his Whimsicott, preventing Tailwind. His Kyogre did not Protect, but survived Thunder due to a low rollknocking out my Koko with Origin Pulse.I still set Tailwind up the next turn, knocking out every Pokémon. I found out that his Rayquaza was Assault Vest in game 1, and double targeted it. This was important information. 

Game 3:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: incineroar Victory Roadstakataka Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road

I led the same way both sets, so I thought this time he would lead his Trick Room lead of Incineroar+Stakataka. I went for Kyogre instead of Tapu Koko and it worked. I taunted Stakataka and thought he would save it next turn, so I went for Twinkle Tackle, but he did not switch out. Thankfully Origin Pulse hit both Incineroar and Stakataka and knocked them out. Then I set Tailwind, and knocked his RayOgre with my Tapu Koko and Rayquaza. 

Top 4 vs KOR Taeseok Roe | WW
zekrom Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadkrookodile Victory Roadcelesteela Victory Roadmoltres Victory Road

played against him in round 6 of swiss. I won then, but we had some information on each others teams and Zekrom was still a difficult thing to play against. I couldnt be overconfident.

Game 1:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road
What my opponent brings: zekrom Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Road / kyogre-primal Victory Roadcelesteela Victory Road

I did not expect Gengar that much, and was surprised at seeing it as his lead. It could OHKO my Tapu Koko and Whimsicott, and my RayOgre is completely blocked by his Zekrom, which meant that I could be swept by this trap. I could not switch out and reposition my board, so I had to knock Gengar out at once. 

I decided to double taget it assuming that either 1) or 2) were true:

  1. Mega Gengar is not bulk invested, so I can OHKO it with Thunder. 
  2. Mega Gengar is bulk invested, so it is slower, and thus I can KO it with Thunder + Moonblast.

This was a gamble, but I thought I had no other chance than to go for it.

Gengar turned out to be slower than Whimsicott, so I KOed in turn 1 for free. Next turn, Zekrom went for Tailwind. I tried to go for Tailwind + Protect the next turn. Luckily, Whimsicott dodged the Bolt Strike, which gave me the advantage. Then I used RayOgre to push his Pokémon down.  

Game 2:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road
What my opponent brings: zekrom Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Road / kyogre-primal Victory Road

At that point, I knew his Gengar was slower than Whimsicott, so I went for the same lead, and he did, too. Here I debated if he would Protect Gengar or not. But I needed to get rid of that Gengar, so I went for the same Thunder + Moonblast play which worked again. Zekrom went for Bolt Strike against Tapu Koko instead of Tailwind, but he missed again. He then forfeited the game.

As you see, both sets were won thanks to pure luck and some gamble that worked in my favor. I was awed by the fact I was in finals and was surprised again when I saw who I was against. Miel was with me since lunch time and battling a good friend in the finals was good, but we both were deciding our worlds participation by this match, so it was kind of sad as well.

Finals vs KOR Junghoon Jang | WLW
ho-oh Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadgengar-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road

His team was Kyogre Ho-Oh, a very unique core. Looking at the team, I thought I would have the upper hand, if only I could take care of that Ferrothorn.  

Game 1:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: gengar-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / kyogre-primal Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road

Whimsicott taunted the Gengar to ensure I could knock it out with Water Spout the next turn. However, my Whimsicott got knocked out without setting up Tailwind. Then, I read his Kyogre switch, and double targeted Ferrothorn to knock it out. After that, Origin Pulse got Incineroar and Thunder from Koko got Kyogre, which sealed the deal for me. 

Game 2:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: tapu-koko Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road / gengar-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road

I got Tailwind up and knocked Ferrothorn out with Dragon Ascent, but in turn 3 of Tailwind, the opposing Koko got a double protecting, which turned the game around. My reads were incorrect, and I made a wrong play here not going for Origin Pulse, which made me lose the game. I should have played better here.  

Game 3:
What I bring: whimsicott Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Road
What my opponent brings: tapu-koko Victory Roadho-oh Victory Road / kyogre-primal Victory Roadferrothorn Victory Road

I went for a safe Fairium Z + Protect play, which worked, getting his Tapu Koko out for free. Kyogre put some damage against his team, and then Rayquaza cleaned by knocking my opponentKyogre and Ferrothorn out. The last Pokémon, Ho-Oh was finished by Volt Switch for my win! 

salamence-mega Victory Road Closing words

Setting Tailwind and sweeping through is somewhat obvious and simple, but it was really strong and I think worked well in Korea where people don’t really use hard Trick Room. 

And at first I was worried people would use things like Kyogre/Dialga to be strong against RayOgre, but I did not really meet such things and mirror match went well, too. I didnt get to practice much because I made the team just before the tour, but Im glad to have such success.

RayOgre is definitely the best core!  

This win got me 210 points, thus allowing me to be in first place of Korean ranks. I can therefore fulfill one of my dreams: attending the World Championships!

I feel that during this tournament, I had some luck on my side. Origin Pulse always hit in important moments, I dodged some attacks in my favor, and looking back, some of the games I won werent well played. I feel I should improve more and practice for Worlds. 

Thanks to Suwoong Cheong, Jihyeon Ryu, Jongseo Lee, Sangyoon Jung for helping me practice. Love you all!

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