The Queen’s Veil! – Team Report from the Women’s Tournament Champion

Hello, everyone! My name is Fiona Szymkiewicz; some of you may know me by my online handle, YoshiandLugia. I am a Canadian VGC player from Ontario, an area I feel deserves more respect for how strong some of our players are.

I have been playing VGC since 2015 but started competing and traveling seriously in 2017. My most notable accomplishment was placing 31st at the 2018 North America Internationals, as well as qualifying for Worlds in 2018 and 2019. Sadly, I haven’t been able to top cut a regional yet; the closest I have come was Top 16.

Going into the Women’s Tournament, promoted by Alyssa Smith (Temporal), I had very low expectations since I wasn’t doing that well in practice. Top cutting this event, let alone winning was a major shock to me. This tournament had 174 players and some of the best girls to ever play Pokémon, so I knew I was in for a tough challenge.

Teambuilding process

PrimarinaRaichu

Going into this I really wanted Primarina because I personally feel like it is the best Water type and quite possibly the best Pokémon in the format. It’s amazing how much damage that Pokémon does with Dynamax. Raichu was going to be my partner of choice for it because Lightning Rod is able to protect Primarina from all the Electric types in the format.

PrimarinaRaichuDuraludonUrshifu-single-strike-gmax

Duraludon was another Pokémon I really wanted because of the popularity of Grimmsnarl and Hatterene. Hatterene is a scary Pokémon to face because there’s always a play that the Hatterene player can go for that can keep them in a good position thanks to the option of G-Max Smite confusing both targets. Urshifu was the last Pokemon I knew I wanted on the team. I have been using it since Series 5 and Wicked Blow is such an amazing move. The fact it doesn’t have to worry about Intimidate weakening it or opponents protecting on it makes it a super strong choice. Togekiss being gone makes Urshifu’s job a lot easier and it’s definitely the best Fighting type in the format right now.

From here, Ryan Loseto (SableyeVGC) and I tested a lot of Pokemon in the last two slots in different orders so I’m just going to speak on them individually:

Arcanine
Arcanine was one of the first I tested because it had so many features that I feel make a team really strong. Intimidate, Snarl, Fire typing, good general bulk and being faster than Porygon-Z made this Pokemon stick out in my mind. I also felt it was my playstyle because I love making defensive pivots and weakening my opponent’s team gradually with Intimidate, Snarl and Will-O-Wisp. Unfortunately, I found it very underwhelming. Every team I faced in practice was prepared for Arcanine in some way, so it generally went down quickly, making the whole selling point of Arcanine feel nullified for me. I still think it’s a great Pokémon but I don’t think it was very good on this team.

Amoonguss
Amoonguss was the next Pokemon I tested on this team due to my success with it in previous formats. I think redirection is really valuable in this format or very close to being a necessity to a successful team. Not to mention it has the ability to put people to sleep, which works super well with the lack of Grass types in the format right now. Of course, Safety Goggles are always an option for teams which Amoonguss isn’t happy to see, however that wasn’t the reason why I dropped Amoonguss. While testing, I rarely brought Amoonguss, and when I did, I would set up Misty or Electric Terrain because I would Dynamax Primarina or Duraludon. Similar to Arcanine, I still love Amoonguss but it just didn’t fit on the team.

Clefairy
Clefairy was another Pokémon I tested because the idea of Helping hand and Friend Guard beside Primarina sounded incredible. While it did work, I often felt that Clefairy was useless in a lot of match-ups; it felt like I was bringing 3 Pokémon instead of 4 and it didn’t synergize well with the rest of the team.

primarinaraichuduraludonUrshifu-single-strike-gmaxtsareenatalonflame

While I was playing around with the unfinished Primarina team, I ran into someone on the ladder using 4/6 of my final team. I thought it was a really cool team because I used Tsareena and Talonflame on a Porygon-Z team I was building and loved the support both Pokémon provided. Fast Tailwind and the ability to block priority moves can easily swing games back into your favour. Tsareena has the added bonus of being very strong as well as being an amazing check to Primarina. So I thought “This guy’s team would be really good with Urshifu and Raichu” and decided to throw it in the builder.

lapras-gmaxraichuduraludonUrshifu-single-strike-gmaxtsareenatalonflame

The team worked very well in testing, and I got to top 30 on the Pokémon Showdown ladder, so I thought this would be a good backup team for other tournaments. The only problem is that it is now Thursday night, and I would like to lock my team by Friday so I can sleep well before the tournament. I had been testing so much with Ryan all week and kept getting frustrated that the team kept either feeling too passive or too frail on those last 2 Pokémon. By Friday night, I still didn’t feel comfortable with the team Ryan and I came up with, so I went back and forth on Battle Stadium with both teams. It took me till 1am to make a decision so I locked in the Lapras team and went to sleep.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Normal Sprite

Lapras-Gmax @ Life Orb
Ability: Shell Armor
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 172 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Freeze-Dry
– Hydro Pump
– Thunder
– Protect

Lapras is a very interesting Pokémon. In my opinion it is the 2nd best Water type in the format thanks to its amazing bulk, great variety of coverage moves and most importantly, the ability to automatically set Aurora Veil thanks to its G-Max move.

However, what Lapras doesn’t have over Primarina is the power. Life Orb makes up for the lack of power at the very least. It may not be as strong as Primarina, but it is better on this team thanks to the Aurora Veil and natural bulk, which would otherwise make this team way too frail. Lastly, I chose Shell Armor because it forces Single Strike Style Urshifu to go for Close Combat as opposed to Wicked Blow. Getting crit through screens can be game-losing if other Pokémon do it and it seems to happen to me way too often, so I chose to be safe.

Normal Sprite

Talonflame @ Expert Belt
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 76 HP / 148 Atk / 20 Def / 12 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
– Brave Bird
– Heat Wave
– Taunt
– Tailwind

Talonflame has a special spot in my heart thanks to Gen 6’s Gale Wings mechanic. Priority Tailwind is super good in the format; especially thanks to Gen 8’s new dynamic speed mechanic. It also has a very fast natural Speed stat so I can still get off a Tailwind or fast attacks when I’m not at full HP.

You guys may notice that I have Heat Wave instead of Flare Blitz or even Overheat. Ryan made sure that Heat Wave would KO Dynamaxed Durant if they are the common Life Orb variant, and I thought it was a great idea thanks to the fact we can get around redirection this way. It was originally holding a Charcoal, but Ryan found a way to optimize the spread with Expert Belt to make it so it can do damage with Brave Bird too. Heat Wave is also better vs the Iron Defense Ferrothorn, because you can Taunt them, so they won’t Leech Seed you, and Heat Wave right around their Defense boosts.

Normal Sprite

Raichu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 124 HP / 4 Def / 68 SpA / 60 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Fake Out
– Volt Switch
– Nuzzle
– Helping Hand

If you asked me what the most underrated Pokémon in Series 6 is, I would answer Raichu 100% of the time. It may not be the fastest Fake Out in the format, but it is certainly up there. Lightning Rod is super good vs common Electrics that threaten Lapras, such as Rotom, Dracozolt, Toxtricity (if Dynamaxed), and the occasional Pincurchin + Alolan Raichu combo. Fast Nuzzle acts as another form of speed control, similar to Grimmsnarl’s priority Thunder Waves. Sometimes it even acts as a second-turn Fake Out. A full paralysis can be game changing, especially if it happens during an opponent’s Dynamax turns. Volt Switch is nice for positioning and Helping Hand makes maximum use of my Dynamax turns to pick up crucial KOs, as well as giving Raichu something to do in a bad position.

The spread that Ryan built was originally meant for an Assault Vest variant, but I chose to keep the bulk for this team despite being Focus Sash because, if I can live another turn, especially under Aurora Veil, that’s another turn they have to worry about Raichu Nuzzling their team.

Normal Sprite

Urshifu-Gmax @ Choice Band
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Close Combat
– Wicked Blow
– Poison Jab
– Sucker Punch

Urshifu carries the team super hard. It may seem like you are down 2v4, but if you have Tailwind up and Choice Band Urshifu in the back, you are still in a great position to win the game. Wicked Blow not being affected by Intimidate or opponent’s Defense boosts and getting the Choice Band boost is insane. The cherry on top is that the opponent can’t even Protect against it thanks to Unseen Fist.

I prefer the Single Strike Style of Urshifu over the Rapid Strike Style because I don’t have to worry about each individual hit getting a different damage roll, or activating a berry after every hit. The main reason I chose Choice Band was because I preferred the Sash on Raichu, but after playing the tournament, I realized just how much of a threat Choice Band Urshifu is. Poison Jab is there over Iron Head for the purpose of hitting Primarina, and it hits the Fairies anyway. It may not be the Dynamax candidate often, but the Gigantamax form is optimal thanks to G-Max One Blow ignoring Protect and Max Guard.

Normal Sprite

Tsareena @ Miracle Seed
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 204 HP / 92 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Grassy Glide
– Power Whip
– U-turn
– Protect

Tsareena is another Pokémon I think is heavily underrated in the format. Losing Rillaboom and Venusaur means that there aren’t that many good Grass types left. When Ryan and I were talking about testing out Tsareena, we were curious if Grassy Glide without terrain would KO Primarina and he said it was close but not enough. I suggested Miracle Seed, he ran the calc for that and it worked. With 140 Speed EVs, you can outspeed Urshifu at +1 Speed. It is also important to note that Tsareena will outspeed Inteleon and Barraskewda in Tailwind.

The moveset on Tsareena is very specific to this team. I have an Urshifu and a Lapras so I have no need for High Jump Kick and Triple Axel. I chose Power Whip for the stronger Max Move, or if I need the extra damage. Protect is amazing on Tsareena to stall turns or cover your opponent attacking you, and U-turn is for the slow positioning safely into one of my sweepers or frail supporters. Dynamaxing Tsareena is a great option against Terrakion or teams that don’t have many Grass resists. Not to mention that if you Dynamax, you give yourself the priority Grassy Glide and boosted power.

Normal Sprite

Duraludon @ Assault Vest
Ability: Stalwart
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 108 HP / 36 Def / 252 SpA / 92 SpD / 20 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Flash Cannon
– Draco Meteor
– Thunderbolt
– Body Press

Duraludon is probably one of my Top 5 picks in Series 6 at the moment because of how well it matches up against common team compositions. Assault Vest allows Duraludon to be a bulky attacker without having to worry about taking major damage from special attacks in Dynamax form. Even in games you don’t Dynamax it, you still benefit greatly off of the Aurora Veil that Lapras provides for it. Not to mention that I can Dynamax it and increase my Defense a lot thanks to Max Steelspike, which boosts the power of Body Press and then makes the opponent’s Snarl useless.

Dynamax is better than Gigantamax here because you benefit more off of the Attack drops of Max Wyrmwind than you do by lowering their PP with G-Max Depletion. Duraludon is also the most consistent answer to Hatterene because of its ability to ignore the redirection that Hatterene is commonly protected by thanks to the Stalwart ability. Stalwart also makes staying in beside my own Raichu easier since I ignore the Lightning Rod. Finally, Max Lightning is an incredible option if your opponent’s game plan is to use Amoonguss or Milotic to put you to sleep.

Tournament run

Summary

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1LLGBR
Maly
(MalyClarke)
dhelmiserioludracovishhatterenedracozoltgigalith
R2WWUSA
Liz
(HolyGuard)
alcremie-ruby-swirl-berrytalonflamemiloticswoobatgoodrajolteon
R3WWCHN
绝剑
(NecrozmaRinkai)
tsareenamarowak-alolarotom-washhatterenebraviarydiggersby
R4WWSGP
Moony
(lovebirdlisp)
runerigusvolcaronaprimarinapincurchinraichu-alolacorviknight
R5WWUSA
Nemesis

(Lbray138)
liepardbraviaryprimarinaklefkiduraludonhitmontop
R6WLWGBR
Kyou
(ShinyCaterpies)
ferrothorncoalossalprimarinadusclopssneaselcobalion
R7WWJPN
Merli
(wistariaVGC)
dhelmisevanilluxeurshifudusclopsnoivernrhyperior
R8WWEmily
(SHMEmily)
tsareenatalonflameurshifuclefairyduraludonporygon-z
Top 19ByeN/A
 
Top 16WWUSA
Dina
(Tapu_Dina)
amoongusstalonflameurshifuhatterenetsareenamarowak-alola
Top 8WWAUS
Tanya

(KiarazKiki)
chandeluretalonflamedracovishtoxtricity-low-keyduranturshifu
Top 4WWUSA
Nemesis

(Lbray138)
liepardbraviaryprimarinaklefkiduraludonhitmontop
FinalsWWUSA
Salami

(gracideae)
clefairytalonflameazumarillsylveonhydreigonterrakion

Swiss rounds

R1 vs  GBR  Maly (MalyClarke) (result: Top 16) — LL

dhelmiserioludracovishhatterenedracozoltgigalith

Game 1 I clicked Fake Out into the Gigantamax Hatterene instead of the Riolu by mistake, so it was able to get its Bullet Punch into the Weakness Policy Hatterene. I managed to bring the game to Lapras vs Gigalith but I opted to Hydro Pump instead of Freeze Dry, as I didn’t know how much damage I’d do with the previous attack I used on it, so I missed and lost.

Game 2 she adapted well and protected her Riolu from a Fake Out and Max Steelspike while Hatterene got Trick Room up for Gigalith and Dhelmise in the back. I thought I was in a good position because I figured she had to lock her Choice Band Gigalith into Superpower and couldn’t KO both Lapras and Urshifu, but she had Explosion and destroyed me.

R2 vs  USA  Liz (HolyGuard) (result: 1-7) — WW

alcremie-ruby-swirl-berrytalonflamemiloticswoobatgoodrajolteon

Game 1 she led Jolteon + Milotic into my Lapras + Raichu. Her Dynamax target of choice was the Milotic, which was a Leftovers variant, meaning it had no power once I got Aurora Veil up. Raichu protected my Lapras from the Jolteon, as well as getting off a huge Nuzzle into the Milotic. I was able to get rid of Alcremie and Jolteon so that Banded Urshifu could take down Goodra and Milotic in the end.

Game 2 was very similar, except she brought Talonflame instead of Alcremie to give her team a bit of speed. I kept Raichu in the back this time so when Jolteon came in, I could switch Raichu in to protect my Lapras once again and win the end game with Urshifu.

R3 vs  CHN  绝剑 (NecrozmaRinkai) (result: 4-3 drop) — WW

tsareenamarowak-alolarotom-washhatterenebraviarydiggersby

Game 1 she lead her Trick Room mode vs Lapras + Raichu. I wanted to try and double up the Hatterene with Fake Out and G-Max Resonance so she won’t get up Trick Room, but she makes the smart play and goes for the G-Max Smite immediately into Raichu. I made the read that Marowak would switch fearing Lapras, so I Nuzzled the Hatterene, which worked out perfectly as Diggersby goes all the way down to its Sash on switch in. I was able to move through the confusion while her Hatterene was fully paralyzed the rest of its Gigantamax turns. Hatterene managed to get a late-game Trick Room up thanks to its Babiri Berry. But thankfully, Lapras was faster than her Tsareena in Trick Room, KOing it before it attacked, and connecting a Hydro Pump into the Marowak for the win.

Game 2 she opted to bring Rotom instead of her Trick Room mode, so I got Tailwind up immediately and let Urshifu put a hole into something while she took two knockouts with her Diggersby and Rotom. With Duraludon and Lapras in the back, I opted to Dynamax my Duraludon since she Dynamaxed her Rotom. Freeze Dry was so close to KOing the Rotom but left it on 1 HP, so I just had my Dynamaxed Duraludon vs her 1 HP Rotom, full-health Tsareena and full-health Braviary. In the end Duraludon was able to win the 1v3 as it OHKO’d Braviary with a Max Lightning and weakened Tsareena’s Attack stat letting Duraludon edge out it in the end, dodging a High Jump Kick in style. She would have needed to crit the High Jump Kick to win anyways.

R4 vs  SGP  Moony (lovebirdlisp) (result: 2-2 drop) — WW

runerigusvolcaronaprimarinapincurchinraichu-alolacorviknight

Game 1 she led Volcarona + Runerigus into Raichu + Lapras. I just opted for Fake Out into Volcarona and Max Geyser into Runerigus, hoping that she wouldn’t protect it. After taking out Runerigus turn 1, there was no longer a threat of Trick Room so the combination of Raichu and Lapras were too much for her Volcarona, Primarina and Corviknight to handle at that point.

Game 2 she changed up her lead with Volcarona + Corviknight while I opted to lead Urshifu + Raichu this time. After dispatching her Volcarona turn 1, she brings in her own Raichu, hoping to get a Fake Out off into my Urshifu, so I swap in Tsareena to stop this and take out her Corviknight. At this point, she lost all of her answers to Tsareena so I just Dynamaxed it and picked up the remaining Pokémon.

R5 vs  USA  Nemesis (Lbray138) (result: Top 4) — WW

liepardbraviaryprimarinaklefkiduraludonhitmontop

Game 1 I wanted to make sure that the Klefki didn’t have a surprise Eject Button for my Lapras, so I protected it and got a Nuzzle onto her Dynamaxed Primarina immediately. After learning it was the screens variant of Klefki, I safely Gigantamaxed my Lapras, go for some easy KO’s and get my Aurora Veil up. Hitmontop was scary but the veil allowed my Lapras to hang on and pick up Hitmontop with a Helping Hand G-Max Resonance, securing the win.

Game 2 she opts for the same gameplan, so I waste no time Gigantamaxing my Lapras, heavily damaging Klefki and Nuzzling the Primarina. Lapras was once again able to deal with Hitmontop but this time with a Helping Hand Max Geyser, securing the game for me once again.

R6 vs  GBR  Kyou (ShinyCaterpies) (result: 5-3) — WLW

ferrothorncoalossalprimarinadusclopssneaselcobalion

Game 1 she opts for the Sneasel + Cobalion lead against my Lapras + Talonflame. I chose to make the read and go for the fact she wants to Fake Out my Talonflame, so I switch my Lapras into Tsareena to block the Fake Out, get a Tailwind up and waste a turn of her Cobalion’s Dynamax. From there, she tries and fails to take out my Tsareena with Triple Axel and I get rid of Sneasel before it is able to Beat Up Cobalion. Since I preserved my Dynamax, I was able to pick up her remaining Pokémon after her Dynamax ended.

Game 2 she chose the same lead while I opted for Raichu + Tsareena. After seeing Life Orb on Cobalion game 1, I wanted to get a Nuzzle off into it. Unfortunately, Cobalion was able to counteract the speed drops with Max Airstream boosts, so it was still a real problem to deal with after she got the Beat Up off. This forced me to Tailwind with Talonflame as opposed to Heat Wave, meaning Sneasel was able to KO Talonflame. I still was in a good spot because I had the Dynamax advantage, but at this point, I had lost all my answers to Ferrothorn which she brought in the back this time.

Game 3 I choose to lead Talonflame + Urshifu into her Beat Up combo. I get the call wrong this time as she does Fake Out Talonflame, leaving Urshifu to take a Max Airstream. Even with the Life Orb, Urshifu barely hangs on and Cobalion takes major damage from Close Combat. I made the call that Cobalion would not have Rock coverage, so I decided to Dynamax my Talonflame, and pick up her Cobalion. When Primarina comes in, I Max Flare so that Primarina won’t KO my 50% Talonflame with Hyper Voice. After both Dynamaxes it came down to a 2v2 between my Tsareena + 17 HP Urshifu vs her Primarina + Ferrothorn. Primarina could not Aqua Jet thanks to Tsareena, allowing both Tsareena and Urshifu to KO her Pokémon in the end.

R7 vs  JPN  Merli (wistariaVGC) (result: 5-3) — WW

dhelmisevanilluxeurshifudusclopsnoivernrhyperior

Game 1 I opt for Talonflame + Duraludon to cover any Ally Switch and Trick Room options, while she leads Urshifu + Dusclops. I take the risk and opt to Thunderbolt without Dynamaxing assuming she’d rather want Talonflame gone. This pays off and I trade my Talonflame for her Urshifu. This allows me to apply major pressure to her team with my Urshifu and Dynamaxed Duraludon, and at this point she will never be able to get a Trick Room off safely so I take the game.

Game 2 she leads Noivern + Rhyperior into my Duraludon + Talonflame. I take the risk that Noivern may have a Focus Sash or Haban Berry and just go for Tailwind + Max Wyrmwind. She is not any of those items so I’m able to KO her Dynamaxed Noivern turn 1 before it could get an attack off and this pretty much ended the game there.

R8 vs Emily (SHMEmily) (result: Top 19) — WW

tsareenatalonflameurshifuclefairyduraludonporygon-z

Game 1 I lead Raichu + Duraludon into her Clefairy + Duraludon. I wanted to KO Clefairy immediately and maybe get a Nuzzle on her Duraludon if she doesn’t use Follow Me. Instead, she protected her Duraludon while I got a free knock out on her Clefairy turn 1. With no more redirection, I figured it was time to Nuzzle everything and get some KO’s with my Dynamax. She opted to Dynamax Tsareena in this game which didn’t help her because I was using Max Wyrmwind to lower her damage output and there wasn’t much she could do from there.

Game 2 she adjusts with Talonflame + Urshifu lead while I keep the same. I chose to Fake Out and Max Wyrmwind her Urshifu, which works out since she doesn’t swap in Tsareena, Quick Guard with Talonflame, or protect it, giving me an early lead. Now she brings in her Dynamaxed Porygon-Z under Tailwind, so I decide to Nuzzle and hope she doesn’t double up Raichu. I do manage to get the Nuzzle off and take out her Talonflame, so now it’s just Porygon-Z and Clefairy. She doesn’t go for Max Strike, which allows my Duraludon to survive and pick up Clefairy. At this point it’s just Porygon-Z vs my remaining 4 and I get the win in the end.

Top Cut

Top 16 vs  USA  Dina (Tapu_Dina) (result: Top 16) — WW

amoongusstalonflameurshifuhatterenetsareenamarowak-alola

Since I was 2nd seed, I had a bye going into this, which allowed me to prepare for this match with the help of Ryan. I found out that her Tsareena was Sweet Veil, which helped out tremendously as I could safely Fake Out with Raichu and Brave Bird with Talonflame. I also learned that her Talonflame had Quick Guard.

Game 1 she opts for her Trick Room mode, so I figured I would Fake Out the Hatterene and Max Lightning the Amoonguss in case she uses Max Guard to get a Spore off. I do block the Spore but she went for a regular Protect, meaning that I could have broken the Sash on Hatterene if I wanted to. She gets up her Trick Room, so I figure that it’s best if I put the Hatterene at 1 HP and leave the Amoonguss on the field as long as possible. Eventually she brings in Marowak and Tsareena with 2 turns of Trick Room left. I safely Brave Bird and take out her Tsareena knowing it is Sweet Veil and has no Protect. Once Trick Room ended, Urshifu beat her Marowak.

Game 2 she adapted with her fast mode. I knew the Talonflame was going to Quick Guard because I went for Fake Out in game 1, so I went for the Nuzzle and Max Lightning to take out Urshifu, as well as set up terrain in case she wants to Tailwind for fast Amoonguss in the back. Marowak comes in and shows that it is faster than my Duraludon in Tailwind, doing major damage to me while I KO her Talonflame, leaving a similar end game like game 1. Once my Duraludon went down, Talonflame took out her Tsareena and it’s just Marowak vs Urshifu. I opted to Sucker Punch in case this Marowak was able to outspeed my Urshifu in Tailwind, as well as crit me. Fortunately, she just attacks, and the Sucker Punch KOs, ending the game.

Top 8 vs  AUS  Tanya (KiarazKiki) (result: Top 8) — WW

chandeluretalonflamedracovishtoxtricity-low-keyduranturshifu

Game 1 she opted for the Toxtricity + Talonflame lead while I lead Raichu + Talonflame. I wanted to get Tailwind up safely without getting destroyed by Overdrive, but she Gigantamaxes her Toxtricity, making my Fake Out useless. She smartly goes for Max Ooze and is hoping to get rid of Raichu so Toxtricity can sweep me, but I Volt Switch into Duraludon to eat the second Max Ooze. I figured I needed to Dynamax my Duraludon so I wouldn’t go down to her Urshifu or Toxtricity. Her Urshifu opts to KO Talonflame instead of attacking my Duraludon and Toxtricity gets the poison on Duraludon instead of the paralysis so I KO Urshifu. In the end, my Raichu and Dynamaxed Duraludon were able to take on the small Toxtricity and Durant.

Game 2 she decides to commit to her Durant lead. I try to catch her off guard with Heat Wave but she switches the Durant to Toxtricity. I break her Talonflame’s Gale Wings with Fake Out now, so I simply Tailwind and Volt Switch off Talonflame, KOing it before it gets Tailwind up. With the speed advantage, I am able to bring in Lapras, Gigantamax it and there isn’t much she can do from there. She Dynamaxes her Durant as a last ditch effort but it just gets OHKO’d by a Max Geyser in the rain and the game ends there.

Top 4 vs  USA  Nemesis (Lbray138) (result: Top 4) — WW

liepardbraviaryprimarinaklefkiduraludonhitmontop

I kept the same gameplan of Lapras + Raichu like the last set while she decided to lead Liepard + Duraludon this time. I immediately Faked Out the Liepard and KO’d it with Gigantamax Lapras because I didn’t want anything to do with its Prankster shenanigans. Knowing that her Duraludon wasn’t an Assault Vest variant, I decided to paralyze Primarina instead. Following a series of events, it came down to Talonflame and Duraludon vs just her Hitmontop. I got it down very low before Duraludon went down, so at this point, her only way of winning is if she crits my Talonflame with Sucker Punch. She actually does crit, but it doesn’t knock me out, scoring me a win in the end.

Game 2 she times out in team preview, forcing her to bring her top 4 Pokémon, being Braviary + Hitmontop, with Primarina and Klefki in the back. I keep the same game plan so her lead was a little bit scary seeing Hitmontop come out immediately. I opt to go after Braviary, but she actually switches out immediately to Klefki to take the G-Max Resonance. At this point, she is desperately trying to stall out my Gigantamax turns by switching around and getting a Light Screen up. On the last turn of Gigantamax, she opts to bring in Braviary and protect it. Helping Hand + G-Max Resonance does around 45% through the Protect and the screen which is nice to have before it inevitably Dynamaxes. I attempted to Nuzzle the Braviary as it Dynamaxes, but unsurprisingly, it was carrying a Lum Berry. Freeze Dry follows suit bringing it down to red HP, and securing a massive freeze. I took the opportunity to score some more damage onto Primarina, hoping that the Braviary will stay frozen and it works out. From there, Talonflame is able to take out the Primarina, while Raichu takes out the Dynamaxed Braviary, making it a 3v1 against her Hitmontop. Talonflame takes it out in the end and I win the set, moving onto finals.

Finals vs  USA  Salami (gracideae) (result: Finalist) — WW

clefairytalonflameazumarillsylveonhydreigonterrakion

Sorry for this breakdown being long, but it is the finals, so I wanted to go in depth. Elisa or, as people have been calling her, Miss Salami, had a very scary team. When I saw what it was doing on stream, I was telling my friends that if she makes it to finals, it’s an auto loss for me.

Game 1 she leads Clefairy + Terrakion, which was the lead I was fearing the most, while I opted for Raichu + Talonflame. My game plan here was to disrupt her team and stall out her Dynamax so that my Dynamaxed Duraludon will win in the end. I knew I couldn’t just go Dynamax vs Dynamax immediately or I would get destroyed since her Clefairy made her Dynamaxed Terrakion super bulky and therefore difficult for me to take out. The only thing I had going for me was that Duraludon could beat everything if played well. My game plan was working out since she Dynamaxed immediately and I got my Tailwind up. However, Terrakion reveals Max Quake which makes it really hard for me to just plow through it with Duraludon. I was extremely fortunate in getting the full paralysis on her Clefairy so that Raichu got the Nuzzle off on Terrakion before going down. From here, Duraludon was able to gain enough Defense with Max Steelspike to take Terrakion’s attacks, as well as KO her Clefairy and Talonflame. Tsareena was able to help put pressure on, as well as OHKO her Sylveon with a Power Whip, winning the game.

Game 2 she adapts really well with the Hydreigon + Clefairy lead while I opt for the same lead. I get up Tailwind thinking Hydreigon will more than likely knock me out anyway, but it reveals Max Quake which is a giant headache. Since she didn’t take out Talonflame, I decide to Taunt to stop Clefairy from doing anything for the next few turns while Raichu goes down without getting a Nuzzle off into Hydreigon. I change my gameplan immediately and opt to Dynamax Tsareena, since I can lower Hydreigon’s Special Attack with Max Flutterby. I score a major crit onto Hydreigon and do 75% damage which makes the game much easier. Talonflame takes the attack from Hydreigon thanks to the Special Attack drop and fortunately, her Clefairy’s Struggle randomly targets Tsareena, making it so I won’t have to bring Duraludon in against her Dynamaxed Hydreigon. From there, Tsareena was able to KO Clefairy in the remaining 2 turns of Dynamax, as well as set up Grassy Terrain for the late game Grassy Glides. Tsareena takes out Hydreigon with Grassy Glide and it comes down to her Talonflame and Terrakion vs my Tsareena and Duraludon. Since Talonflame is at full health, it can’t Brave Bird my Tsareena, so I chose to keep it that way and just kept targeting Terrakion. Her Talonflame tries to take my Tsareena out with Overheat and fails while Terrakion gets KO’d by Grassy Glide. In the end, Duraludon beats Talonflame and I win the set.

You can watch finals here from 07:44:27!

Closing words

With how underprepared I felt going into this tournament, I cannot believe I was able to win in the end. I honestly thought my run was over after I lost round 1, but I don’t know how I was able to win every set after that. Shoutouts to Ryan Loseto (SableyeVGC) for all the help with preparing for the tournament, building the spreads, and dealing with how stressed out I was going into this. If that isn’t a good enough reason to follow him I don’t know what is.

Shoutouts to everyone who supported me on my stream and on Twitter. I’m not used to having people cheer me on so it means a lot to me. I really wanted to win this tournament because I feel like I’m definitely a top contender to being one of the best female VGC players, and I took this tournament as an opportunity to prove myself.

The rental code is public now, so feel free to try it out for yourselves. I think you guys will realize that Raichu and Choice Band Urshifu are top threats in the Series 6 format.

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