The Seniors’ Master – Team Report from Ko Tsukide, the 2019 Senior Pokémon VGC World Champion

Hello, I’m Huyubare. I participated in Pokemon World Championships 2019 Senior Division. I finished as champion, with record of 4-0 in day1, 6-1 in day2, and winning top cut (total record is 14-1). I’m very happy because I couldn’t win in the 2018 season or 2019 Japan Nationals. The team I used is the next one:

rayquaza-mega Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road

I’ll introduce it right away. Please go easy on me because it’s my first time writing a team report.

salamence-mega Victory Road Team Building Process​

Choosing Legendaries

I have tested RayOgre, XernDon, LunaRay, NecroRay, etc. Soon after Japan Nationals, but all of them didn’t fit me. I had no time and no choice but to use X-Ray, which I used in Japan Nationals and I understood very well, of course I knew it was regarded as a part of the meta.

rayquaza-mega Victory Road Sets of Rayquaza

I believed it was best to have a win condition which opponents didn’t expect, in order to win with top archetype team of the meta. I remembered I had seen Tailwind Rayquaza during a Japan online competition and I tested it.

  • In the last part of battle, combination of Fake Out + Rayquaza provides a secure win against opponent who had been exhausted by my Xerneas, incomparably better than Extreme Speed.
  • Tailwind helps my Xerneas use Geomancy safely.
  • Even if opponent knows my Rayquaza has Tailwind, it doesn’t matter very much.

I decided to use Tailwind Rayquaza because it was strong, as mentioned above, whether opponent knew about it or not. It provided a number of wins so it was good I used it.

Selecting Non-legendaries

I picked up Incineroar as a third slot without hesitation. There was no reason to reject it because it supports allies by Intimidate and Fake Out, it has Fire-type move lacking in XRay, and it has a resistance to Ghost and immunity to Psychic type moves.

I selected the another three considering teams in the metagame:

  • tapu-fini Victory Road Tapu Fini against teams with Groudon, Lunala, Necrozma, and Xerneas
  • tapu-lele Victory Road Tapu Lele against RayOgre and Gengar-Mega
  • amoonguss Victory Road Amoonguss against mirror matches and Steel-types

I tested these six. Here’s its pokepaste. I was thinking of the team like this:

  • rayquaza-mega Victory Road Rayquaza: Focus Sash is the best item for it. Tailwind is very strong. No Extreme Speed causes a problem only in Rayquaza mirrors.
  • xerneas Victory Road Xerneas: It’s power is enough and I want it to be more bulky.
  • tapu-lele Victory Road Tapu Lele: It’s very strong against opponent’s Gengar-Mega thanks to Rayquaza’s Tailwind but it’s hard to deal with Celesteela and Ferrothorn in RayOgre matchup. Nature’s Madness is useful, if it doesn’t miss, such as on KaEl’s Tapu Koko in his SolgRay team that won Nationals.
  • tapu-fini Victory Road Tapu Fini: Nature’s Madness is mandatory. Icy Wind is not necessarily required. I’m not sure Light Screen is needed. Scald is also effective on Stakataka.
  • incineroar Victory Road Incineroar: Strong. Z-Move for Steel-types is not so good.
  • amoonguss Victory Road Amoonguss: Coba Berry is also an option. Protect is also mandatory in Ultra Series.

I noticed Tapu Lele was not so effective against RayOgre and Gengar-Mega teams because it was easily dealt with by their bulky Steel-type Pokémon. It was also bad that it prevented my Fake Out due to its Psychic Terrain. I searched for an alternative and found Kartana, Kommo-o, Thundurus, Togedemaru, and Zapdos etc. In the end I picked up Togedemaru with excellent moves and synergy to XRay.

Finally these six were fixed. They may look unreliable because it has no Z-Move and no strong counter against opponent’s Xerneas (no Pokémon can easily KO Xerneas), but it’s ok since I was winning decently (I also reached 5th place on Showdown ladder).

salamence-mega Victory Road The Team

▶️ Get the importable version of the team here!

Xerneas Victory Road
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 124 Def / 60 SpA / 68 SpD / 28 Spe
Modest Nature
– Moonblast
– Dazzling Gleam
– Geomancy
– Protect

This is a core of my team. I played to set up Geomancy safely after preparing good situations for it. However, I sometimes played Geomancy very early supported by double Fake Out or Amoonguss’s Rage Powder, in order to deal damage indiscriminately and to create a win-condition for Rayquaza with Fake Out, especially against opponent doesn’t have a way to reset its boosted status.

I selected Modest Nature because I considered bulky Xerneas stronger on my team compared to max speed Xerneas. I reduced its speed to 123 because my Tapu Fini doesn’t have Icy Wind, and also because it is not necessary to care mirror matchup of boosted Xerneas very much thanks to Tapu Fini’s Haze and Amoonguss’s Red Card. However, it outspeeds max speed Rayquaza-Mega at +1 speed. This spread is made by Kou, which is fitted to my thinking of its Speed and durability. The moves are standard and best for this team.

Defensive calcs

rayquaza-mega Victory Road 252+ Atk Choice Band Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 228 HP / 124 Def Xerneas: 196-232 (85.2 – 100.8%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

necrozma-ultra Victory Road 252 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Light That Burns the Sky vs. 228 HP / 68 SpD Xerneas: 195-229 (84.7 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Rayquaza-Mega Victory Road
Rayquaza-Mega @ Focus Sash
Ability: Delta Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 20 SpA / 236 Spe
Hasty Nature
– Dragon Ascent
– Earth Power
– Tailwind
– Protect

This is a restricted legendary and Mega Pokémon. In the last part of the battle, combined with Fake Out it is very effective. Also I often set up Tailwind with the support of Fake Out early and attacked with Togedemaru etc. I selected Focus Sash as its item to set up Tailwind consistently, surviving attacks from Koko, Kyogre, Lunala etc. I used 252/252 attack speed spread first but I reduced its speed a bit (outspeeds max speed Lucario-Mega after Mega-Evolving), because it couldn’t win against opponent’s Rayquaza because of no Extreme Speed and I wanted as much damage of Earth Power as possible.  It was also useful to detect the set of opponent’s Rayquaza by checking ability activating order. 

Moves are Dragon Ascent as core move, Earth Power against Steel-types, Tailwind for speed control, and Protect for navigating situations. Thanks to Tailwind, it can deal with maxspeed Groudon + Xerneas in the first turn and Gengar-Mega teams, which were very hard to deal with for my team before. There was a situation where I wanted Extreme Speed but there were no losses because of no Extreme Speed.

Tapu-Fini Victory Road
Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 92 Def / 92 SpA / 76 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Scald
– Nature’s Madness
– Light Screen
– Haze

The Tapu slot of this team. During nationals, I faced a Trick Room/Gravity Necrodon team and, because I got demolished by it, I gave Tapu Fini a Sassy Nature and made it slower than min speed primals. I invested a fair amount of SpA EVs in order to deal good damage to Stakataka and OHKO Groudon under Air Lock. In regards to its moves, Nature’s Madness was necessary to chip opponents in range of X-Ray’s attacks, Scald for Groudon and Stakataka, Haze specifically for Xerndon and LunaXern matchups and Light Screen for Lunala and Necrozma teams. 

For the Light Screen move slot, I was debating whether I should have Reflect for Trick Room + Groudon + Stakataka matchups which the team struggles with or Heal Pulse which is generally a strong move. But thinking how unlikely I was to face those archetypes at worlds, I ultimately chose Light Screen. I believe this was the correct decision considering how I never ended up facing the above archetype. In Day 1 I brought Fini to almost every game and went 8-0 game record wise, allowing me to advance to Day 2. 

Offensive calcs

groudon-primal Victory Road 92 SpA Tapu Fini Scald vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Groudon-Primal: 208-252 (100.4 – 121.7%) — guaranteed OHKO

Deffensive calcs

xerneas Victory Road +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 244 HP / 76+ SpD Tapu Fini: 148-175 (84 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Incineroar Victory Road
Incineroar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 60 Def / 188 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 12 Spe
– Fake Out
– Knock Off
– Flare Blitz
– U-turn

The Pokémon which synergises perfectly with X-Ray. As I wanted Incineroar to fully support X-Ray and keep it alive as long as possible, I gave it an Assault Vest with a Careful Nature. When thinking about my matchups against Ultra-Necrozma or Kyogre teams with Ferrothorn, items aside from Assault Vest were unthinkable for the X-ray core. I gave it a 71 speed stat, so it can outspeed min speed Necrozma and Smeargle under Trick Room but also wanted it to function under Tailwind as well. Although this speed adjustment never really lead to my victory in any of the matches, at the same time it never became a drawback so there were no regrets. 

Flare Blitz was essential for the Fire move coverage which X-Ray lacks, U-turn was for the pivoting, Fake Out was a must in order to support its allies and although it took me a while to think of the last slot, I gave it Knock Off. This move was crucial against the common Pokémon which are often holding an item (Rayquaza, Tapu Lele, Tapu Fini, Incineroar, Stakataka, etc.) and it actually does a fair amount of damage against Rayquaza after its defenses are lowered from using Dragon Ascent. The damage output towards opponents without items was concerning but it never lead to my loss. During worlds, I brought Incin to every game excluding one game. I honestly thought this mon’s strength is insane when paired with X-Ray. 

Defensive calcs

rayquaza-mega Victory Road 252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 60 Def Incineroar: 173-204 (85.6 – 100.9%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

Togedemaru Victory Road
Togedemaru @ Eject Button
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Helping Hand
– Zing Zap
– Encore

The Pokémon which showcased its full potential in the finals. I gave it a Sturdy ability seeming how my team didn’t seem too weak to Electric moves. I was stuck in a dilemma of whether giving it an Eject Button or a Z move, but I gave it an Eject Button once I understood how strong the flowchart of Rayquaza setting up Tailwind while Togedemaru received an attack, allowing Xerneas to come in as a free switch-in

As I wrote in the team building process, the moves it learn synergised perfectly with the X-Ray core. Fake Out is self-explanatory and both Helping Hand and Encore were useful. For example, I can go for Fake Out + attack with X-Ray, if they protect I can Encore them. Even if they don’t protect, I can use Helping Hand to boost X-Ray’s damage output to pick up KOs. Zing Zap allowed me to KO the likes of Kyogre, Celesteela and Tapu Fini from doubling up. Aside from the finals, I faced many Rayogre teams throughout Day 2 and it performed excellently.

Amoonguss Victory Road
Amoonguss @ Red Card
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 172 Def / 92 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 2 Spe
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Protect
– Clear Smog

Being able to support X-ray with its excellent movepool and ability, this Pokémon was very handy. Right before the tournament I was debating whether to give it Sitrus Berry or Coba Berry, but 2 days before my flight I noticed how I had too much faith on Amoonguss as a redirector against Steel-types so I immediately changed it to Red Card, for the Xerneas and Gengar-Mega matchups. 

Not having any experience with the set, I was nervous in using it but aside from the finals which my opponent mispredicted my team selection, it did its job in both Day 1 and 2. I didn’t have time in thinking of a proper EV spread for a Red Card Amoonguss so I used Wild’s spread who also used Red Card Amoonguss in a Tailwind X-Ray team. By having a Red Card, it still functioned as Xerneas counter even with its EVs highly invested towards its Def and also being able to redirect attacks from Steel types too.

Defensive calcs

rayquaza-mega Victory Road -1 252 Atk Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 244 HP / 172 Def Amoonguss: 186-222 (84.5 – 100.9%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

gengar-mega Victory Road 252 SpA Gengar-Mega Sludge Bomb vs. 244 HP / 92+ SpD Amoonguss: 93-109 (42.2 – 49.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO

salamence-mega Victory Road Team Match-ups

I often change this depending on my opponent’s team but I will roughly list the selections I have already decided upon prior to the tournament.

ArchetypeSpecsLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadw/Trick Roomxerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road + togedemaru Victory Road / tapu-fini Victory Road xerneas Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Road + incineroar Victory Road
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadmetagross-mega Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road + togedemaru Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road + incineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road + incineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadcrobat Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road + incineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road + incineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadlucario-mega Victory Road tapu-lele Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road / tapu-fini Victory Road + incineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road + tapu-fini Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadkangaskhan-mega Victory Road crobat Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
necrozma-ultra Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road
Xerneas + Groudon
ArchetypeLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
Rayquaza + Kyogre (No TR)
ArchetypeLeadBack
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
Rayquaza + Kyogre (With TR)
ArchetypeLeadBack
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road / rayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
Rayquaza + Kyogre + Metagross
ArchetypeLeadBack
rayquaza-mega Victory Roadkyogre-primal Victory Roadmetagross-mega Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
Xerneas + Rayquaza (No Crobat)
ArchetypeLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road

 

Xerneas + Rayquaza + Crobat
ArchetypeLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadcrobat Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road

 

Xerneas + Lunala + Lucario + Tapu Lele
ArchetypeLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadlucario-mega Victory Roadtapu-lele Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road / tapu-fini Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Road / amoonguss Victory Road
Xerneas + Lunala + Kangaskhan + Crobat
ArchetypeLeadBack
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadkangaskhan-mega Victory Roadcrobat Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
Necrozma + Groudon
ArchetypeLeadBack
necrozma-ultra Victory Roadgroudon-primal Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadrayquaza-mega Victory Road

salamence-mega Victory Road Closing Words

I was able to win the World Championships thanks to Dr.K and Koki, who discussed about the team with me, Toki, Amadeus and Sivarou who helped me prepare for the finals and all the people who cheered for me. Thank you all very much!

I will do my best to win next year too!

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