Hi, guys! I’m Alex DellaPasqua, also known as Gilgamesh, and I’m relatively new to the competitive scene in VGC. I do not have a Twitter account, but you can find me on Discord at Gilgamesh#2746.
I started playing this January but I immediately got over 100 CP in my first month. Also during the lockdown I made top cuts in every online tournament I participated in, each time with a unique and creative team.
I built this team with my brother Denis DellaPasqua and I also wanted to thank my friend Enrico Colombari (Syntex) for helping me with the breeding and getting the team in time for the tournament. I got Top 16 at the VR Tundra Challenge!
When the rules of the new format came out, our first idea was to try Guzzlord immediately. With the Dynamax it has an immense number of HP (660) and can be used well as a Trick Room abuser thanks to its typing and its ability. In fact, after going to +2 thanks to the Weakness Policy activated by Dusclops with Brick Break, Guzzlord easily takes a kill going to +3 with the Beast Boost and dropping the Special Defense by 1 with the Dark-type Max Move. Basically in one turn it is as if Guzzlord went to +4 Special Attack considering the drop, allowing you to snowball entire teams.
The best teammates therefore who can allow Guzzlord to sweep are Dusclops and Amonguss. Dusclops is reconfirmed as one of the best Trick Room setters also in this format, without envying anything to Porygon2 and Cresselia. Being Dusclops slower than Guzzlord, in Trick Room it can easily activate its Weakness Policy with Brick Break. Amonguss is also the best redirector to help set up the Trick Room because, with the Spore pressure and its Poison type, it allows Guzzlord a safer Trick Room entry.
Now we obviously needed a Steel type to cover Guzzlord’s Fairy weakness. The first choice fell on Metagross because it gives a solid offensive presence both inside and outside Trick Room. And in testing this Assault Vest Metagross was phenomenal, and it also offers a good response against Lapras. Later I wanted a core that allowed me to play even outside Trick Room in case I couldn’t set it, so I added Tapu Koko that allows to protect yourself from opposing Spores and take momentum with Volt Switch. Finally in the last slot I put Landorus because an Intimidate user is always good and it is a solid Pokémon outside Trick Room. It also allows me to gain momentum with U-turn and also gives me immunity to the Ground type, suffered by both Tapu Koko and Metagross.
In testing I noticed how Landorus was not useful to the team. I therefore decided to replace it with Incineroar, both because I wanted to keep Intimidate and because I needed a Fake Out to help set up the Trick Room against Grass-type Taunt users such as Whimsicott and any Taunt user with Safety Goggles. At this point I also decided to replace Tapu Koko because three weaknesses to Ground without resistance is not good, but I still wanted to keep a control against the opposing Spores. In testing Tapu Fini seemed a much more solid choice and allowed me to immediately do great damage both inside and outside Trick Room with the Life Orb. It has become an excellent secondary Dynamax.
Here we are with the final version. The previous one had a big problem: it was losing to one of the strongest Pokémon in Trick Room: Glastrier. So, in agreement with my brother, we decided to replace Metagross, even though it was very strong, with Celesteela, to have a solid response against Glastrier also in Trick Room. And in testing we noticed that it’s actually even stronger in our team than Metagross. Celesteela gives us an immunity to the Ground type that was missing before and is so bulky that it protects Guzzlord very well from the enemy Fairies. Now not even Glastrier could penetrate Celesteela’s defenses, even with the help of an Intimidate and the Defense boosts Celesteela provides. It was the piece we needed to complete the team.
Dusclops @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 244 Def / 12 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Night Shade
– Pain Split
– Brick Break
– Trick Room
The most common set for Dusclops. I chose the physical variant because there are so many Metagross, and Dragapult is always scary. Night Shade and Pain Split are a must and help to stall the opponent, also thanks to the Leech Seed that Celesteela places. Brick Break is used to activate Guzzlord’s Weakness Policy and allows you to break the opponent’s screens, very useful given the many Lapras that are played.
As a side note, for the open-teamsheet format of the VR Tundra Challenge, I optimized the set with Pressure over Frisk as Dusclops’ Ability.
+2 252+ Atk Metagross Max Steelspike vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Eviolite Dusclops: 102-120 (69.3 – 81.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Max Phantasm vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Eviolite Dusclops: 125-148 (85 – 100.6%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Tapu Fini @ Life Orb
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 244 HP / 188 SpA / 76 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
– Muddy Water
– Ice Beam
This Tapu Fini is designed to be used immediately in Dynamax if you want to do great damage. The spread is studied against Galarian Moltres, which can give problems to the team. Max Starfall is a 2HKO on the Moltres while it, even at +2, needs 3 hits to kill Tapu Fini. I also chose Ice Beam to do significant damage against Amoonguss. I think the Calm Mind set is generally better in the meta, but for this team this set is absolutely perfect.
188+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Max Starfall vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Moltres-Galar: 198-237 (50.2 – 60.1%) – guaranteed 2HKO
188+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Max Starfall vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Dragapult: 307-361 (93.5 – 110%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
188+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 108 SpD Amoonguss: 117-140 (52.9 – 63.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252+ SpA Moltres-Galar Hurricane vs. 244 HP / 76 SpD Dynamax Tapu Fini: 130-154 (36.9 – 43.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
Incineroar @ Iapapa Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 92 SpD
– Parting Shot
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
I chose a classic set of Incineroar to give strength to the team. I preferred the physical defensive variant to better contain Glastrier’s damage, but without leaving the necessary investment in Special Defense to hold up the Max Quake of Venusaur and the Max Airstream of Galarian Moltres after it used Nasty Plot but under a Snarl. The Relaxed Nature allows for slow turn outside the Trick Room and also a fast Snarl in Trick Room.
252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Incineroar: 177-208 (87.6 – 102.9%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Glastrier Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 164+ Def Incineroar: 146-174 (72.2 – 86.1%) guaranteed — 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Moltres-Galar Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Incineroar: 162-192 (80.1 – 95%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Amoonguss @ Expert Belt
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 156 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Rage Powder
– Sludge Bomb
This Amoonguss set is unique and designed for this specific team. Expert Belt with a Quiet Nature allows Amoonguss to take 2HKO against bulky Tapu Fini without sending them into berry range and on bulky Togekiss, and also takes OHKO on Tapu Koko. The investments in physical Defense are used to withstand the Max Hailstorm from Metagross (often played without a Psychic-type move) and the rest has been put in Special Defense to increase the bulk.
0+ SpA Expert Belt Amoonguss Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 146-175 (100 – 119.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
0+ SpA Expert Belt Amoonguss Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 82-101 (46.3 – 57%) — 75.4% chance to 2HKO
0+ SpA Expert Belt Amoonguss Sludge Bomb vs. 236 HP / 12 SpD Togekiss: 103-125 (54.2 – 65.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Metagross Max Hailstorm vs. 252 HP / 108 Def Amoonguss: 176-208 (79.6 – 94.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Celesteela @ Misty Seed
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Atk / 76 Def
– Heavy Slam
– Leech Seed
This Celesteela with the Misty Seed is immortal. It manages to stall and log entire teams. The spread is designed to get the Beast Boost in Defense while still optimizing its Attack to do as much damage as possible with the Dynamax moves. Thanks to the Misty Seed and the ability to use Max Quake, it manages well even threats such as Regieleki, Tapu Koko and Heatran. The set is designed to better manage Glastrier, placing the Leech Seed first and then Dynamaxing to boost the Defense and kill the teammates to get an additional +1 in Defense. This set for Celesteela in combination with the Dynamax is broken.
180 Atk Celesteela Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Regieleki: 202-238 (54 – 63.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Transistor Regieleki Volt Switch vs. +2 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Celesteela: 122-146 (29.9 – 35.7%) — 38.6% chance to 3HKO
+2 252+ Atk Glastrier Max Hailstorm vs. 252 HP / 76+ Def Dynamax Celesteela: 217-256 (53.1 – 62.7%)
+1 252+ Atk Glastrier Max Hailstorm vs. 252 HP / 76+ Def Celesteela: 162-192 (79.4 – 94.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Guzzlord @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Dark Pulse
– Draco Meteor
– Sludge Bomb
The star of the team. The spread is simply meant to maximize damage and bulk when Dynamaxed. As written in the introduction the idea is to go to +2 Special Attack with the Weakness Policy and then take a kill with the Dark-type or Poison-type move, take the Beast Boost, and go to +4 (counting the Max Ooze or the drop in Special Defense of the Max Darkness). Even the Dragon-type move allows you to take interesting kills (like the OHKO on Dynamaxed Thundurus) and at the same time lower the Attack on opponents to increase your bulk. Dynamax Guzzlord withstands Tapu Fini’s Max Starfall with no boosting items and practically any Dazzling Gleam in the game. With the Dark-type move after going to +2 it takes OHKO on Dynamax Metagross and at +3 with the Poison-type move it takes the kill on bulky Tapu Fini (also at +2 after a Night Shade from Dusclops). These are just some of the things this monster can do.
+2 252+ SpA Guzzlord Max Ooze vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 130-154 (73.4 – 87%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+3 252+ SpA Guzzlord Max Ooze vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 162-192 (91.5 – 108.4%) — 50% chance to OHKO
+2 252+ SpA Guzzlord Max Darkness vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Metagross: 428-506 (114.4 – 135.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
204+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Guzzlord: 593-702 (89.8 – 106.3%) — 37.5% chance to OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Metagross Max Hailstorm vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Guzzlord: 540-636 (81.8 – 96.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Guzzlord: 498-588 (75.4 – 89%)
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Guzzlord: 348-421 (52.7 – 63.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
How to use the team
The main mode involves setting up Trick Room and sweeping with Guzzlord. As ally for Dusclops, usually Amoonguss is better, but you can decide to start with Incineroar if there are any Grass-type Taunt user or if it generally looks better against the team. In the back, however, as a Guzzlord companion I generally bring Tapu Fini because it can be a good secondary Dynamax in case the Guzzlord can’t enter safely in Trick Room, and because it can spam damage right away. Also remember that the Misty Terrain helps Guzzlord take away its weakness to Dragon, but that its Dragon-type move should only be fired on Pokémon that do not touch the ground. In 90% of cases, however, Guzzlord will spam the Dark-type or Poison-type moves. Celesteela can still work well on its own, don’t be afraid to bring it even if the Misty Seed is not activated (the opponents will often still activate it).
This secondary mode should be used when you see an Imprison user or when there is a Glastrier in the opponent’s team, or as a secondary mode in a best-of-three. The strategy consists on spamming Leech Seed with Celesteela and Dynamaxing it at the right time to boost the defenses. It’s an impenetrable core for a lot of teams right now.
|For a very bulky team like this, Single Strike Style Urshifu is problematic. You have to play very well Tapu Fini, which must be brought in the set.|
|Calm Mind||The dangerous version of Tapu Fini is only the Calm Mind set. You have to keep it in check with Amoonguss, so you have to play it carefully.|
with Electro Ball
|Regieleki itself is not a problem for the team, but it can become problematic if played Choice Specs with Electro Ball and especially if the opposing team has a way to stop Guzzlord. This is because it manages to one-shot Dusclops and Tapu Fini, and also because Dynamax Celesteela takes 80% damage after the Misty Seed boost, thus wasting the Dynamax in that way.|
|Safety Goggles||If it is played with Safety Goggles, Heat Rotom can give some problems. It is necessary for Tapu Fini to threaten it before it even manages to set up, otherwise even in Trick Room it manages to kill everything except Guzzlord.|
R1 vs Leonardo Bonanomi (Leo) (result: 3-3 drop) — LWW
In my first round I immediately find a champion (and a friend too). We played a really extreme set. As I saw Glastrier + Calm Mind Tapu Fini I started with Celesteela mode. It was a long set of positioning and stall, until in the last turns of each game every move was fatal.
At G1 we finally reached a win-win situation for both of us, but he takes a 50%/50% realizing that I was going to Dynamax Tapu Fini instead of Celesteela and takes home the first game. The second game I managed to position myself better by taking out his Dusclops immediately before he managed to Haze (problematic for the boost of Celesteela), but it was always played really at the limit. I managed to win the game with just 30 seconds of timer left at my disposal. The last game proceeded in a similar way as the second one, but in the last few turns I took the bet (as he had taken at G1) by lifting Celesteela right at the end, which I had never done for the whole set.
R2 vs Marco Cucini (Marco) (result: 2-2 drop) — LL
In this round, after the set with Bonanomi, I went to overpredict really aggressive and I was punished for this. I had to change mindset at least in G2 but I could not, and my opponent was able to bring it home with safer plays. A great cold shower after the previous round.
R3 vs Tyler Melton (Tyler) (result: 1-3 drop) — WW
Unfortunately for my opponent this team couldn’t do anything with my Celesteela set. He couldn’t keep up with my boosts and Celesteela was taking zero damage. At this point I was feeling really satisfied with my Celesteela but Guzzlord hadn’t had a chance to shine yet and I was worrying … but I still didn’t know its time would come soon.
R4 vs Alban Badin (~yocto~) (result: 2-3 drop) — WW
Here finally Guzzlord manages to completely sweep the team. I had already met this team in the ladder twice the previous day and knew how to deal with it. Once he set up Trick Room, he had no way to stop Guzzlord. Cresselia couldn’t even take the Trick Room off without first dying from my Guzzlord’s Max Darkness.
R5 vs Carmine Ragone (Carmine) (result: 5-4) — WW
This set was a lot of fun, but also here Guzzlord did miracles. In G1 he went for Fake Out + Taunt to prevent me from setting up Trick Room, but i predicted it and went aggressive, so I managed to stall the Taunt, setting up my Trick Room and win with Guzzlord. In G2 he started the game with Lapras and was very good at never giving me a free switch. In fact I could enter with Guzzlord only on the last turn of Trick Room. Despite this, Guzzlord was so bulky that it was able to win well out of Trick Room.
R6 vs Markus Sponholz (Luna) (result: 6-3) — WLW
One of the most intense sets of my run. That Rotom gave me a lot of trouble in a passive lead like Amoonguss + Dusclops, managing to set up with ease. But in the last turn of Trick Room I could also take a double kill on his Urshifu and Rotom under the sun only with Muddy Water thanks to the Guzzlord drops and the +1 that I gave to Tapu Fini with the Max Ooze. G2, on the other hand, he managed to make sure that this did not happen and stalled the Trick Room better after the set-up, adapting perfectly. So I decided to change my game plan and in G3 I started with Tapu Fini instead of Amoonguss, so as not to allow Rotom to set up. In fact, he Dynamaxed Rotom immediately taking the kill on Tapu Fini, but at this point Rotom did not have the boost and I could easily win thanks to Guzzlord, who killed the whole team. In this round, I realized that Guzzlord is actually even stronger than I could ever imagine.
R7 vs Preston Gadling (heKtikVGC) (result: 5-4) — WW
Like my first round against Bonanomi, this was a team to face with Celesteela. In fact, G1 I managed to stall it and win while preserving the Dynamax in the late game. At G2 he started with Regieleki and I surprised him with Fake Out + Max Quake in turn 1, taking the kill. He still managed to play the remaining turns very well, but Celesteela managed to win a 1 vs. 2 against Tapu Fini and Urshifu.
R8 vs Max Waterman (Simipour) (result: Top 16) — LL
His team was really impossible for mine. Unfortunately Calm Mind Tapu Fini + Life Orb Tyranitar is a combination that doesn’t allow Guzzlord to sweep, and at the same time had a Rotom that didn’t allow me to win with Celesteela. Had I faced him again I would have tried to win with Celesteela in Trick Room and boost the defenses of Dusclops, and then stall him, but in Swiss I tried to force the match with Guzzlord and it didn’t work.
R9 vs Guillermo Castilla (KastyTP) (result: 6-3) — WW
When I saw that I had to play the win and in against a talent as him, with again a Tapu Fini and Rotom, I was very worried. Fortunately he decided to go with Metagross, so I stalled his Dynamax without even setting up Trick Room. I set it up only after, just in time to give Guzzlord four turns to kill everything. G2 I started with Tapu Fini + Dusclops because I imagined he wanted to start with Rotom, but he did not. Then I struggled much more, but I could take myself to a situation where Guzzlord could throw down Porygon2 to -2 Special Defense. The last turn he took a 50%/50%, but missed an Overheat that maybe would have killed Guzzlord, but I had still Amoonguss in the back that I did never bring in but that would have closed the game anyway. Guzzlord was absolutely devastating.
Top 32 vs Andrea Pagano (Paghy) (result: Top 32) — WW
As soon as I saw his team, I knew he wanted to go for Fake Out + Taunt. So, I started very aggressive since setting up Trick Room wasn’t my priority, but I had to win with Tapu Fini. In both games I managed to always position myself very well and predicted his moves, without ever giving him the opportunity to activate the Weakness Policy on Dragapult. Guzzlord was still very useful to take Ghost-type moves from Dragapult and threaten every other Pokémon in the field.
Top 16 vs Koki Kawanishi (ライ) (result: Top 8) — LWL
Unfortunately, his team was really problematic for mine. Calm Mind Tapu Fini with Leftovers is the hardest set to deal with. Somehow in G1 I managed to stall his Dynamax, but to my surprise he had Urshifu as his last Pokémon instead of Regieleki, so I couldn’t win with Guzzlord. In G2, imagining that he wanted to bring the same four, since Urshifu had saved him, I led with Celesteela and managed to win the game. At this point, in G3, imagining that he wanted to bring Regieleki, I went for the Guzzlord sweep, but he had the right idea to leave Tornadus on the bench, which he had always led with, so that he could bring both Urshifu + Regieleki. The two of them, combined with Leftovers Calm Mind Tapu Fini, didn’t allow me to do much.
Unfortunately for me, I faced in the top 16 round the sets that bothered my team the most, all together. If Urshifu had not held a Focus Sash, I would have won G1; if Regieleki had not been Choice Specs with Electro Ball (difficult combination to deal for Celesteela), I would have been able to win with Celesteela; and if it had not been Leftovers Calm Mind Tapu Fini I would have managed to win with Guzzlord. Perhaps the only other way I can think of in order to beat his core is to try to win with Celesteela in Trick Room, boosting the defenses of Dusclops and stalling later with Leech Seed + Pain Split. Despite the difficulty of the match-up it was still a nice set, fun to play and without hax. I’m glad I came out of the tournament like this, I tried to do everything possible against his sets.
In conclusion: Can Guzzlord have a space in the meta?
Definitely yes. It is still a difficult Pokémon to use and that requires support, but in the right conditions as we have seen it can be devastating. As long as Metagross remains in top usage, Guzzlord can continue to do really well. Also, despite its 4-time weakness to Fairy, there are very few Dazzling Gleams and the other Fairy-type moves are redirectable. Also, not so many Fairy-type moves can one-shot Guzzlord when it is in Dynamax. For this reason I believe that Guzzlord, in the right team and with the right support, can have its use.