Hyper Offense to be the Champ – A VR Invitational Champion Team Report

Hello everyone! I’m Sejun Park, the 2014 Pokémon World Champion. Today, I’ll introduce the team that helped me to reach Semifinal of Korean League Season 1 and win the Victory Road World Champion Invitational held in December 28, 2019. After the release of Pokemon Sword/Shield, I spent much time in teambuilding, and am happy to achieve so much. Have fun reading!

Teambuilding process

Two weeks after the release, in early December, I decided to set up a stable and powerful team for the Korean League, which was around the middle of December. First of all, I looked up Pokémon that learned Follow Me since I thought it would be strong given that Dynamax moves work only on single target. In Galar, there are only three users: Indeedee (Female), Clefable and Togekiss.

Togekiss
I already tried Indeedee in early meta with a Trick Room team with Rhyperior, but it wasn’t so strong in terms of stats, so I felt it would not be widely applicable if not for Trick Room support. Clefairy and Clefable are yet unable to breed with hidden ability, so it looked like a drawback to use them. Togekiss was left, and it learned several other skills aside from Follow Me, which allows it to act as a source of damage at the least. This would let me head to the stable team I wanted to make.

TogekissPassimian
Next, it was time to find good Pokémon to pair with Togekiss. Togekiss had a hard time with many Excadrill and Tyranitar at the time, so I needed a Fightingtype Pokémon, and Passimian with Defiant caught my attention. It is strong against Intimidate, which Togekiss cannot cover, and Will-O-Wisp could easily be passed onto its partner with Follow Me. In my opinion, Passimian with Defiant was released too late in 7th generation to be relevant, but had it been legal earlier, it was one of the Pokémon that I think would have changed the metagame.

TogekissPassimianWhimsicott
Togekiss and Passimian are both a bit low in speed so using Tailwind support made sense. Besides, given that Gastrodon and Rhyperior were at top usage, Whimsicott came into the team.

TogekissPassimianWhimsicottDuraludon
Now, I needed a clear answer to Trick Room and I remembered having a hard time against Stalwart Duraludon when I used Hard Trick Room team myself. I looked around it, and found out that with Earthquake + Weakness Policy Duraludon’s Dynamax I could stop almost all Trick Room attempts. Even if not for the Trick Room teams, it could allow for Steel or Electric-type offense against what Passimian couldn’t deal with.

TogekissPassimianWhimsicottDuraludonTyranitar
Scarfed Tyranitar came in as a partner for Duraludon to use fast Earthquake while having a strong match-up against Charizard. I used Unnerve since sand would not benefit the team so much, and stopping the opponent from consuming berries and saving Whimsicott’s Focus Sash was relevant.

At this point, I did not have any Dragon-type attacks on Duraludon, so Dracovish was a problem. I also did not invest on special defense, so rain teams were troublesome, too. In the end, Rindo Berry Gastrodon came in to patch those weaknesses. It also used Yawn to fight against Trick Room teams while acting as a second wall.

TogekissPassimianWhimsicottDuraludonTyranitarGastrodon-East
The team was complete, and I felt confident with it. But a big problem arose, which was that every 1st rank teams were using Weakness Policy Togekiss. This led to much increase in its use, but I did not have much answer to it with this team. Korean League was already around the corner and I could not really change the team at the moment, so I just decided to use Yawn well to fight it. I did actually face a lot of Togekiss, but was able to fight well with Yawn, and with 8-0 after Swiss rounds, I climbed to top 16, then all the way to semifinal.

After the tour, aside from the Togekiss issue, I felt that the team was overall not ready. The Victory Road World Champion Invitational was almost there too, so I did not reveal my sets and examined everything thoroughly. Tyranitar and Gastrodon were the least needed members of the team, and both could be open to change. Therefore, I decided to optimize the team around these two slots. 

First, I needed a clear answer to Togekiss. Possibly one that could OHKO even Dynamaxed Togekiss, too. Normally, Togekiss uses Weakness Policy or Babiri Berry, so I looked around Electric, Ice, Rock, and Poison-type attackers to see what could give a blast. And what I found was Dracozolt and Darmanitan.

Dracozolt has power beyond expectation thanks to ability Hustle, a wide range of attacks, and mediocre speed stat, which fits right with Togekiss and Whimsicott’s support. I wanted to use it for its name (Korean name for Dracozolt is Pachi-regon, which sounds like Pachirisu), but this made me feel better.

On the other hand, Galarian Darmanitan is strong against Togekiss too, and can activate the Weakness Policy on Duraludon like how Tyranitar used to with Earthquake. It could also deal a lot of damage to Mudsdale which was a problem, and could KO Dragapult without speed control in play, which was very appealing.

TogekissPassimianDuraludonDracozoltDarmanitan-GalarWhimsicott
These two Pokémon made the team a bit far from my ideal of stability, but its power was its best weapon. It did have a few weak match ups, but it was able to fight against most viable Pokémon in the meta game.

With these changes, this team helped me win the Victory Road World Champion Invitational 2020! The showdown of World Champions was a real blast and every game was great. There is a Korean stream to watch the matches, and if you’re an English speaker, be sure to check Victory Road’s playlist in English, too.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!


Togekiss @ Babiri Berry
Ability: Super Luck
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 60 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Flamethrower
– Follow Me
– Yawn

  • HP – 16n-1 (to lower weather and burn residual damage).
  • Def – survives LO Adamant Excadrill’s Max Steelspike most of the time (most Excadrill are Jolly, so it mostly survives).
  • Spe – 1 point slower than Passimian (to use Max Darkness just before Togekiss, and to clarify speed order).

Togekiss’ role is mostly support, but since it has a high base SpA, it can work as an offensive threat, too. I’ve used it well since 5th gen, but it feels a bit sad to see it being targeted so much in gen 8.

Max Steelspike is very strong and is everywhere, so the held item should be Babiri Berry. By putting that much EVs on HP, it can stand most attacks at least once, so I put the leftovers on SpA for when damage is needed. Speed is just below scarfed Passimian, but this makes it the same speed as scarfed Vanilluxe at Tailwind.

If I had to change some parts of the team, I would train Togekiss’ speed a point over 112, which is where the fastest Vileplume places in. But I think it’s OK if it goes faster than Dragapult under Tailwind (over 107).

I felt like Air Slash was not required as a Flying-type attack is not really required on this team, and because of its mediocre speed, I can’t aim for flinches. It would only be meaningful when Dynamax is used, but this did not happen much. The only time I wanted Air Slash was when I could not hit Arcanine. And since Air Slash is not used, the ability of choice is Super Luck.

Dazzling Gleam

Hits both opponents and is quite strong due to SpA investment and Super Luck.

Flamethrower

Dracozolt, Duraludon, and Whimsicott do not have a move to hit Ferrothorn hard, and Darmanitan is not so trustworthy, so I needed Flamethrower. Aside from Ferrothorn, Durant, Bronzong, and Corviknight could be fine targets for it, and Fire Blast or Heat Wave are too risky for them to be good options.

Follow Me

Allows me to protect the partner Pokémon. It stops Beat Up strategies or Fling combos too. My favorite move to use by far.

Yawn

Good against Dynamax and Trick Room. When it hits Dynamaxed Pokémon, the opponent has to choose from sacrificing Dynamax or letting it go sleep. Against Trick Room teams, it helps to not allow Pokémon like Rhyperior to safely set up. Electric and Misty Terrain is not as much viable as before, so Yawn looks like a very strong move.


Darmanitan-Galar
@ Choice Scarf
Ability: Gorilla Tactics
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Icicle Crash
– Flare Blitz
– Rock Slide
– Earthquake

  • AtkOHKOs HB Togekiss with 93.8% and Dynamax Dragapult with 81.3%

Fast, strong and has no second plan. It has weak defensive stats and lots of weak types, making it unable to stand more than one attack, but does enough of damage once it hits.

EV spread doesn’t have much behind it, but since hit rate against Dragapult and Togekiss does not change, I invested a bit in defense, taking 8 points out from attack. I bred for an Adamant nature to outspeed defensive Togekiss, but given that Jolly Darmanitan is faster than Vileplume, it has its own benefits, too.

Icicle Crash

Main source of damage. It does learn Ice Punch which is 100% accurate, but Icicle Crash is stronger and has a better secondary effect. This damage difference causes damages against Togekiss and Dragapult to be different, so I decided to choose it overall. Although there is a 10% miss chance, with that bad luck, I would not stand a chance against World Champs. It did its job during the events, though.

Flare Blitz

OHKOs Excadrill safely. It does learn Superpower, but for Ferrothorn, Corviknight, and Bronzong, I thought Flare Blitz was better. I actually think it’s technically unfair to be able to use Flare Blitz in this form.

Earthquake

Used to pop up Weakness Policy on Duraludon to fight against Trick Room teams. It deals rougly 40% of Dynamaxed Duraludon, but it is worth it.

Rock Slide

Aims for Charizard mostly, but honestly can be used anytime. Scarfed Rock Slide rules.


Dracozolt
@ Life Orb
Ability: Hustle
Happiness: 160
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Bolt Beak
– Dragon Claw
– Aerial Ace
– Earthquake

  • Atk – Bolt beak OHKOs HB Bronzong 81.3% of the time
  • Max Quake OHKOs H252 Torkoal, H4 Excadrill.

An Electric-type Pokémon with outstanding damage, which is rare in Galar. It is strong against Togekiss, and has good match up against Grimmsnarl, as it can’t get paralyzed.

Its ability Hustle drops its accuracy, but Dynamax allows it to be more trustable. Using Life Orb, I thought defensive calcs wouldn’t matter, and trained EVs on attack and speed stats to outspeed regular Duraludon and Togekiss. Jolly variant allows it to outrun Butterfree too, but it gives no other merit, so I stuck with Adamant.

Bolt Beak

Deals tons of damage, almost as much as banded Dracovish. Dynamax makes it weaker, but can still take on Dynamaxed Togekiss at one hit. Defensive Togekiss lives at Dynamaxed HP, but defensive variants usually don’t go for Dynamax anyway.

It can also be used as a sleep-preventing tech, too, but it stops our Togekiss from yawning, so this interaction can get awkward.

Dragon Claw

Nice dragon type attack that knocks out Rotoms when dynamaxed, plus attack drop is good, too. H6 dynamaxed Dragapult is OHKOed by normal Dragon Claw.

Aerial Ace

Used as Max Airstream to raise speed. Not used much if not for Whimsicott and Ludicolo, but there is chances this move comes in handy. It always hits, so it could be used without dynamax (Hustle still activates). Protect was sacrificed for this, but it was OK. 

Earthquake

Usually used as Max Quake to hit Excadrill and Duraludon hard. Excadrill usually uses Max Steelspike against me and Duraludon stands this and hits back with Max Wyrmwind, so it is hard match up, but I still needed the ground type attack. It can take on Coalossal which could be a trouble and most Arcanine at -1.


Whimsicott
@ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Energy Ball
– Moonblast
– Tailwind
– Protect

Offensive Whimsicott. Mostly goes for Tailwind, but puts in some work as the only Grass-type attacker in the team. Grass and Fairy type still gets blocked by Fire, Poison, and Steel types, but having two attacks gives more space for it to move around. Lots of weaknesses and weak defensive stats lead to Focus Sash. Modest nature would be nice for damage, but since speed ties are clearly a thing, Timid was the right choice.

Energy Ball

Hits Rhyperior and Gastrodon hard and can be used against Mudsdale and Excadrill, too.

Moonblast

Second STAB. Fairy-type makes it consistent, and secondary effect is cool as well.

Tailwind

Used at most battles unless opponents are using Trick Room. The team mostly has mediocre speed, so Tailwind really helps the team.

Protect

Whimsicott mostly doesn’t use Protect, but here, Whimsicott is used most game and is important as an offensive threat, too. So I used Protect, and it was strong against Fake Out + something moves and also when going for lategame Tailwind at times.


Passimian
@ Assault Vest
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Close Combat
– Knock Off
– Iron Head
– Feint

  • HP – The rest
  • Atk – Everything
  • SpD – For Assault Vest, even number, but meaningless otherwise
  • Spe – Faster than Togekiss, Braviary at Tailwind

Passimian’s defense is pretty high, and its Special Defense is subtantially better thanks to the Assault Vest. It can hit a vast majority of Pokémon, so it works great with Dynamax, too. The only problem is that it is weak against Flying-types like Togekiss, which in turn means that, if the opponents do not have answers like those (which many don’t), the match-up is in our favor already.

The real power of that Pokémon comes, of course, from the Defiant ability which raises its attack stat when any stat gets lowered, which is especially relevant with all the Intimidate going around. It also benefits from all the stat drops that come from Dynamax attacks on the opposing field. Moonblast from our Whimsicott has a 30% chance of a SpA drop, which means a 30% chance to boost its attack, too. Will-O-Wisp can be dodged with Follow Me, so Passimian can go through all the strategies that aim to prevent you from using your physical attackers. If there isn’t any Will-O-Wisp Pokémon on opposing side, just attacking with Follow Me Togekiss is strong play, considering their great defensive stats.

EVs are mostly invested in attack for max damage, and speed is up to 109 which outruns Dragapult and +1 Braviary under Tailwind. Outspeeding Braviary was quite nice, so I would say this is the lowest it should get. Investing more could not make much difference, and could pop opposing Togekiss’ Weakness Policy, so I decided to stop here.

The rest of it should be invested on special defense normally, but there is much more attack-based Pokémon around, so I invested in HP to benefit both defensive sides. Calcs are not really meaningful since it stands pretty much anything.

Close Combat

There are few strong Fighting-type attacks. It gets weaker when Dynamaxed, but since it is STAB, it is still strong and allows the team to not waste Dynamax turns and put on offensive pressure. Tyranitar, Excadrill, Duraludon, and Snorlax get hit pretty hard for this, as one would expect.

Knock Off

Knock off works against most Pokémon at Galar, where Z crystals and mega stones do not exist. Usually used against Ghost-types like Dragapult and Chandelurewhen it comes to damage, too.

It OHKOs Dragapult at 31.3% when not Dynamaxed, but most of the time either side goes for it, so think of it as a good choice. When Max Darkness is used, the opponent’s special defense is dropped, which Togekiss and Whimsicott can benefit from.

Iron Head

Used against most Fairy-types like Sylveon, Togekiss, and Grimmsnarl. When Dynamaxed, its secondary effect is good, too.

Feint

Goes through Protect, and is strong enough when its attack is raised. It also helps clean most Focus Sash threats off the field. Since it has +2 priority, it goes faster than Whimsicott. Max Strike lowers the opposing team’s speed, which could come into play from time to time.


Duraludon
@ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stalwart
Level: 50
EVs: 172 HP / 4 Def / 76 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Flash Cannon
– Dark Pulse
– Draco Meteor
– Protect

  • HP – Leftover EVs
  • SpA – 11n
  • Spe – mid-speed

Duraludon is a must-Dynamax Pokémon, which means it is not used as much as the others, but comes in handy against some troublesome match-ups. Earthquake activating the Weakness Policy + Max Darkness or Max Steelspike get most Trick Room setters at once. Stalwart goes through Follow Me or Ally Switch, too.

EVs are mostly aimed to go faster than Butterfree, but nothing much more. Special defense is quite low, so you have to be careful with that, too.

Flash Cannon

I used Max Steelspike a lot. For Rhyperior, Steel Beam would have been better, but for after Dynamax, I chose Flash Cannon.

Dark Pulse

Efficient against Psychic and Ghost-type Trick Room setters and since Max Darkness drops special defense, the combo of the moves is very nice.

Draco Meteor

Originally Thunderbolt, but as Dracozolt came in, it was less needed and Dragon-type attack seemed better on the slot. This made Butterfree harder to fight against, but Max Lightning meant that stopping Trick Room was tough too, so it seems there is both good and bad in this matter.

Protect

When Duraludon is used, especially against Trick Room teams, keeping it on the field is hard, so I needed Protect. When Max Quake and Gastrodon come into play, Protect + leading Togekiss to Follow Me is the play.

Tyranitar and Gastrodon that went through the team did their job at Korean League, so I’ll leave the sets here as well.

Tyranitar Tyranitar

Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Unnerve  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
– Rock Slide  
– Crunch  
– Superpower  
– Earthquake

Gastrodon-East Gastrodon

Gastrodon @ Rindo Berry  
Ability: Storm Drain  
EVs: 164 HP / 172 Def / 108 SpA / 60 SpD / 4 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
– Scald  
– Earth Power  
– Yawn  
– Protect

Leads and Plays

If not aganst TR teams, Whimsicott or Togekiss + Passimian, Dracozolt or Duraludon come as leads. Chose from those three which one you’d rather Dynamax.

In the back, bring the Fairy that didn’t lead and your choice between Passimian, Dracozolt and Duraludon that you don’t want to Dynamax. Thinking of which Pokémon to Dynamax during team preview is very important for this team to function. Dracozolt and Passimian are strong against most teams, since they have a wide set of options.

When Togekiss is used as lead, use Dazzling Gleam + Dynamax on its partner, take opposing Dynamax on with Yawn, or use Follow Me to pressure your opponent. Paving the way for its partner and Whimsicott is in the back is all Togekiss has to do.

If the opponent has Duraludon, or need fast Tailwind, I would rather lead Whimsicott, putting Togekiss in the back to support. The rest of the team has optimal times for use:

  • Passimian: when it’s easily Defiant-able, or the opponent has Tyranitar/Excadrill/Duraludon or no Togekiss/Charizard.
  • Dracozolt: when there’s no intimidate, or the opponent uses a rain/sun team, or has Grimmsnarl/Togekiss/Charizard/Corviknight.
  • Duraludon: against TR, Follow Me+Belly Drum Snorlax.
  • Darmanitan: against TR teams with Duraludon, or just when its damage output wreaks havoc.

Match-Ups

Hard TR

Common lead: Duraludon+Darmanitan

Stopping Trick Room is the best option for you. Lead Darmanitan + Duraludon to Earthquake + Max Steelspike or Max Darkness and knock out Trick Room user in turn 1. If Fake Out or berry plays are expected, switch out to Togekiss and use Yawn to stop your opponent from playing aggressively.

If your opponent plays with the fast option and then Trick Room+Rhyperior, like Shoma did in the Invitational, Darmanitan might not have much of a chance. But Duraludon is still the key to success, and if Trick Room is not stopped, use Yawn and Max Steelspike to lag Trick Room and let Whimsicott to deal against Rhyperior. Bronzong is usually OHKOed by Dracozolt’s Bolt Beak, so this is good to know of. Please refer to the final match!

Durant Durant

Dynamaxed Durant is very threatening, so we should consider Dynamaxing Togekiss. Stand Max Steelspike and burn the ant.

Mudsdale+Grimmsnarl Mudsdale+Grimmsnarl

This team does not have a massive damage output right off the bat, so leave Dynamaxed Mudsdale on the field and get rid of other Pokémon. Yawn Mudsdale at right time, and hit it when Dynamax is over. Dynamaxed Corviknight could similarly be checked by Dracozolt at the back.

Threat List

PokémonComments
Lightining Rod
RaichuTogedemaru
If they are alongside Pokémon like Togekiss, things get rough. Nuzzle is a problem, too.
Sleep Powder
VileplumeButterfree
Max Lightning is the only hope, and the Focus Sash they hold makes it harder to check.
Duraludon
Duraludon
Fast Max Steelspike or Max Wyrmwind causes issues. If it gets faster than Dracozolt, it turns into a nightmare.
Hail Teams
VanilluxeBeartic
The team is weak against Ice and Fairy-types overall. There isn’t much of fast fairy threats, but Vanilluxe + Beartic is very scary, and snow gets rid of Whimsicott’s Focus Sash.

Conclusion

The more you use it, the stronger the team will be, as it has wide range of leads and plays you slowly learn to use. I felt like I was able to showcase the strength of Passimian and Dracozolt, which aren’t used that much in the metagame. If you can take on the not-so-stable but strong team, I’d recommend you to use this team, but notice that due to its offensive nature, it can be pretty weak in best of 1 tournaments.

Since we’re now well into VGC 2020, I look forward to seeing more teams come up. I myself will work on building a new team for the upcoming Korean League season 2 in February. Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

– Sejun

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