Hello! I’m Ramsés Quintana, also known online as Kaoru Kitsune, a Spanish Pokémon VGC player who has been playing Pokémon VGC since 2015. Just recently, I was finalist of Qualifier #2 of the VR Circuit: Winter Series.
I built this team based on my Series 7 Glastrier team taking into consideration how Lapras + Zacian and sun-based teams are dominating the current Series 8 format.
With this team, I have also achieved the first place on the Series 8 Pokémon Showdown ladder.
Header Ice Rider Calyrex art by DeviantArt user LusiaNanami.
As I said, in the Series 7 format I was comfortable with my Glastrier team: Glastrier, Incineroar, Tapu Fini, Regieleki, Dusclops and Single Strike Style Urshifu composed an incredibly strong team. So the first thing I tried in the Series 8 format was the same team but using Ice Rider Calyrex because of its incredible stats and its As One ability.
At first I noticed that the team needed a face wash, making me change almost all the spreads (I will talk about that later) and some held items, but still the team turned out to be very competitive in this new format. The idea is the same: abuse using your “ice horse” in Trick Room.
Also, I must say that I tried Porygon2 instead of Dusclops, since now, in the Glastrier slot, there is Ice Rider Calyrex, which is also weak to Dark and Ghost types; and now Yveltal, Shadow Rider Calyrex and other strong Pokémon of these types are playable. However, Haze Dusclops is addictive, allowing you to remove Intimidates and rival boosts, so I just decided to use an Assault Vest on Calyrex (that also helps a lot against Kyogre cores) and Urshifu for those match-ups.
Because of the problem of Calyrex having a type that it does not need (Psychic type), I also tried a common Glastrier but using Yveltal instead of Urshifu. Finally, after a lot of testing and laddering, I came to the conclusion that, apart from being very rare, I could deal with Calyrex and Yveltal match-ups relatively well thanks to the comfort that the team gave me and the Assault Vest in my Calyrex.
Get the team’s paste here!
Dusclops @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
IVs: 6 Spe
– Night Shade
– Pain Split
– Trick Room
I chose a Dusclops with a lot of Special Defense because I needed to survive Life Orb-boosted G-Max Wildfire (based on Heat Wave) from a Solar Power Timid Charizard, or Water-type moves from Kyogre in rain. By the way, without any investment, Dusclops survives a Wicked Blow by Single Strike Style Urshifu. My Dusclops has 6 IVs in Speed to avoid the speed ties with other Dusclops.
I also use Dusclops with a very important tech: Haze. This move helps a lot, mainly for removing the Intimidate drops of my Ice Rider Calyrex and also for eliminating the opponent’s boosts.
252+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Geyser (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Dusclops in Rain: 122-146 (82.9 – 99.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard-Gmax G-Max Wildfire (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Dusclops in Sun: 114-136 (77.5 – 92.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Urshifu-Single Strike Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Dusclops on a critical hit: 114-134 (77.5 – 91.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 244 HP / 28 Def / 124 SpA / 44 SpD / 68 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Calm Mind
Tapu Fini is in there to protect the team of sleep-inducing move users (Amoonguss, Venusaur, Yawn Umbreon, etc.), burns (mainly into Calyrex) and so on. Tapu Fini helps a lot against Dark types like Yveltal and Galarian Moltres.
My Tapu Fini can survive a Grassy Glide from Rillaboom in Grassy Terrain; a Leaf Blade from bulky Assault Vest Kartana (if you battle against an offensive Kartana, you can use Intimidate to survive the move); and Thunderbolt from Regieleki. It also has enough investment in Special Attack to 2HKO Moltres and Yveltal.
124+ SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 100 SpD Moltres-Galar: 102-120 (51.7 – 60.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
124+ SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Yveltal: 132-156 (65.6 – 77.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 244 HP / 28 Def Tapu Fini in Grassy Terrain: 144-170 (81.8 – 96.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
4 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 244 HP / 28 Def Tapu Fini: 150-176 (85.2 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
-1 252+ Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 244 HP / 28 Def Tapu Fini: 126-150 (71.5 – 85.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 44 SpD Tapu Fini: 150-176 (85.2 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Laquari (Incineroar) @ Aguav Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 164 SpD / 108 Spe
– Parting Shot
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
Incineroar is a key piece in the team. I deal with the vast majority of match-ups just leading Dusclops + Incineroar, so I need my Incineroar to be faster than most other Incineroar, not only because of the Fake Out but also to be able to use Taunt first (using it against opposing Incineroar to avoid it using Taunt on my Dusclops, or even to avoid Parting Shots).
For that reason, my Incineroar has a lot of Speed. Also, I need it to survive Max Geyser from Lapras since in the Zacian + Lapras match-up I can’t lose it as soon as I start.
252+ SpA Lapras-Gmax Max Geyser (140 BP) vs. 236 HP / 164+ SpD Incineroar: 168-198 (84 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
-1 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 236 HP / 0 Def Incineroar: 138-164 (69 – 82%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur-Gmax Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 236 HP / 164+ SpD Incineroar: 148-177 (74 – 88.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
Urshifu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Wicked Blow
– Close Combat
– Sucker Punch
I need Urshifu to deal with Solgaleo, Metagross, Shadow Rider Calyrex, Necrozma and other Pokémon that bother Ice Rider Calyrex. I use the Focus Sash version since this Pokémon dies easily, so I don’t do any defensive calc for it. For this slot you can use any other Dark type like Galarian Moltres or even Hydreigon, but I prefer Urshifu because it can do a good job in a lot of match-ups thanks to Wicked Blow (for example, against Heat Rotom) and it has more answers against Ferrothorn. Even so, if you want to have a better answer against Shadow Rider Calyrex, in my opinion Moltres is a better option.
252 Atk Urshifu-Single Strike Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Solgaleo on a critical hit: 198-234 (81.1 – 95.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Urshifu-Single Strike Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Metagross on a critical hit: 168-198 (89.8 – 105.8%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Urshifu-Single Strike Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane on a critical hit: 126-150 (61.7 – 73.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Regieleki @ Choice Specs
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Electro Ball
– Volt Switch
I use Regieleki to do as much damage as posible (Choice Specs and Transistor-boosted moves with a Modest Nature are a thing) and for the speed control out of Trick Room. In some match-ups, Regieleki + Urshifu are incredible and put great offensive pressure. You can also lead Regieleki + Dusclops and go for a destructive Volt Switch + Trick Room combo. Regieleki is a great answer against Celesteela, Galarian Moltres or Yveltal, which can be very annoying, and it can be great against Water types too, like Kyogre or Tapu Fini.
I love how Choice Specs Modest Regieleki puts all that offensive pressure without the need for Dynamax. I must also say that I haven’t done any calc on this Pokémon: I just click the correct Electric-type move depending on the situation and the target; if the target is Dynamaxed, it will probably survive your move, but will still receive a lot of damage. Play this monster like any attack will kill it because that’s probably what will happen.
Calyrex-Ice @ Assault Vest
Ability: As One (Glastrier)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Glacial Lance
– Close Combat
– High Horsepower
– Heavy Slam
And here is the star of the team. Before continuing reading I encourage you to look at the base stats of this beast if you have not seen them yet. Due to its insane stats, double ability in As One, and a very good movepool I think that this is one of the best Pokémon in the current metagame. The only problem is that, in my opinion, its Psychic type is dragging it.
I didn’t need an incredible EV spread to play it comfortably since, as it is, it already withstands everything that interests me and also kills everything that interests me. I used Glacial Lance for obvious reasons, High Horsepower and Heavy Slam for defensive boosts as Dynamax, and Close Combat for Attack boosts. Assault Vest is very important, in my opinion, to deal with Tornadus + Kyogre cores, Yveltal, Shadow Rider Calyrex, etc.
Before reading the offensive calcs, remember that you can remove the Attack drops using Haze with Dusclops on the same turn that the opponent Intimidates you with their Intimidate user, and in the deffensive calcs you can still boost your defenses using Max Quake or Max Steelspike.
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 210-248 (103.9 – 122.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian: 172-204 (86.4 – 102.5%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Glacial Lance vs. 176 HP / 4 Def Yveltal: 224-266 (100.4 – 119.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Hailstorm (140 BP) vs. 176 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Yveltal: 326-386 (73 – 86.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Moltres-Galar: 236-278 (119.7 – 141.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Hailstorm (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Moltres-Galar: 338-402 (85.7 – 102%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Dialga: 154-182 (74.3 – 87.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Dialga: 166-196 (40 – 47.3%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Calyrex-Ice Rider in Rain: 111-132 (53.6 – 63.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider in Rain: 150-177 (36.2 – 42.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Dark Aura Yveltal Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 205-244 (49.5 – 58.9%) — 99.6% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Moltres-Galar Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 110-132 (26.5 – 31.8%) — guaranteed 4HKO
+2 252+ SpA Moltres-Galar Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 218-258 (52.6 – 62.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Dialga Max Steelspike (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 146-174 (35.2 – 42%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Rider Max Phantasm (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 198-237 (47.8 – 57.2%) — 91.4% chance to 2HKO
252+ Atk Solgaleo Max Steelspike (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 180-212 (43.4 – 51.2%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
+2 252+ Atk Solgaleo Max Steelspike (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Calyrex-Ice Rider: 356-422 (85.9 – 101.9%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
How to use the team
Trick Room mode
Almost all the times I lead Incineroar + Dusclops with Calyrex and Tapu Fini in the back. Depending on the match-up, you can also bring Urshifu or Regieleki instead of Tapu Fini (for example, against Solgaleo, bringing Urshifu instead of Tapu Fini is usually better).
Regieleki + Urshifu in some match-ups can be better, and in the back Calyrex and Dusclops, or Incineroar and Tapu Fini, depending on how much you need the Trick Room in that match-up. Remember that Calyrex survives a lot of things, so if you are careful with the Intimidates, you can use it as your Dynamax without Trick Room.
|This is a really bad match-up: Metagross, Yveltal and Spectrier with screens should beat my Trick Room mode, so in game 1 I decided to play with my fast mode and, after an intense match trying to be careful of Rillaboom, I ended up winning in late game a 1 vs. 1 of Tapu Fini vs. Yveltal.|
After that, and knowing that their Spectrier didn’t have Taunt, I changed my gameplan and went for Trick Room (I risked a little doing this, but with this match-up I think that I needed to risk a little for the win). I don’t remember what lead they used, but I got it right leading Calyrex + Dusclops, and in Trick Room I easily won game 2.
|This is an incredibly good match-up: with Incineroar + Dusclops I should always win except for critical hits or something like that.|
In G1 they start with Togekiss + Kyurem and I with Incineroar + Dusclops. I predicted that they would use Helping Hand + a Max Move (my Dusclops always survives this) and just went for Parting Shot to Kyurem + Trick Room. I won G1 easily. G2 was a re-run of G1 and I ended up winning easily too (as I said, I had a glorious match-up against this).
|In G1, if I remember correctly, they brought Incineroar, Venusaur, Groudon and Celesteela. I went for my common Trick Room gameplan and won G1 very well.|
In G2, they realised that Venusaur didn’t do anything (it didn’t have Protect and its item was Coba Berry) and brought Tapu Fini instead. They played very well and won this game after a close match.
In G3, I went for the same gameplan since I thought that if I played better I could win. After a rare set with lots of hax by both sides (flinches, crits, etc.) I got the victory.
|In G1, I used my common Trick Room gameplan knowing that my Dusclops survives the Life Orb-boosted Fire-type moves from Charizard. To my surprise, they played G1 without Charizard (or at least I remember that they didn’t open with it) but it was still a very close game.|
After their loss in G1, I thought that they would probably change the gameplan, since Charizard puts a lot of pressure at the start. What’s more, I didn’t use Regieleki in G1, so with more reason I predicted that they would open with Charizard. Like I thought, they did lead Charizard (I don’t remember the other Pokémon) and I opened with Regieleki + Dusclops. The game ended in turn 1: they changed the other Pokémon with Clefairy and Gigantamaxed Charizard, trying to survive Thunderbolt (thanks to Friend Guard) but my Choice Specs Regieleki is Modest and that is a roll that went in my favour, getting the KO in Charizard. After that, my opponent forfeited.
|This was my third sun team in a row. Versus this match-up I usually try to set the Trick Room quickly and Ice Rider Calyrex is usually very annoying for my opponent, so I opened Incineroar + Dusclops (with Tapu Fini and Calyrex in the back) and they started with Incineroar + Rotom (with Groudon and Celesteela in the back). In this first game, since I checked that my Incineroar was faster than theirs, I went for Taunt to their “cat” in order to avoid a possible Taunt in Trick Room on their part that would prevent my Parting Shot or disable my Dusclops, forcing me to rotate, but they got a Hydro Pump crit on my Incineroar that let them Taunt my Dusclops and almost ended the game there. From this point, I just played with hope that hax was compensated… and that is what happened, as I achieved a double crit of Glacial Lance from my burned Calyrex to their Groudon and Dynamaxed Celesteela that, although it did not do great damage, it helped me get the KO in Groudon later, handing me the win of G1.|
In G2, we opened with the same leads and I set the Trick Room without problems. In this game, they stalled my Trick Room turns skillfully, but taking some damage. After that, they prevented my new Trick Room thanks to the Rock Slide flinches (clearly they needed those flinches, and went for them like I would have) and so Eric managed to win G2.
G3 was just like G2: I set the Trick Room and they managed to stall it, but this time I didn’t have the opportunity to set the Trick Room again, but I still won after a really close game thanks to my Assault Vest Calyrex that endured a Max Geyser in the rain from their Dynamaxed Rotom at +2, finishing it off with Close Combat.
|This was my fourth round in a row facing sun, but this time my common gameplan wasn’t effective because of their Life Orb Stakataka. In G1, they opened Groudon + Venusaur and I opened Incineroar + Dusclops with Tapu Fini and Calyrex in the back. I went for Trick Room but their Life Orb Stakataka was an incredible problem that got OHKOs to almost all my team and a 2HKO on my Dynamaxed Calyrex. I lost this game easily.|
In G2, I tried a complex gameplan that consisted in setting the Trick Room normally, forcing their Stakataka to enter, and then when it Dynamaxed reverting the Trick Room and knocking it out but still I ended up losing.
This was a difficult match-up and, although they hit one crit in G2, they were playing perfectly and taking very good care of their Stakataka, so I think I would have lost anyway.
|This is one of the match-ups that I had prepared the most, the other one bing sun. Versus this match-up I just go for Trick Room and do all the damage I can, but being careful with my Incineroar since Zacian in neutral does not kill Calyrex and therefore I need it to Intimidate (although I can also use Haze if I am in Trick Room). Normally with this gameplan I win.|
In G1, I just went for this gameplan and I controlled the game until the end (we rotated a lot).
G2 was similar to G1: Trick Room, do damage with Calyrex and keep Incineroar safe until Zacian appeared.
|This was probably an impossible match-up. Life Orb Dragapult can get a OHKO on Dusclops and with Zacian it is annoying for almost all my team. I still could play and break that lead, but Heat Rotom and Perish Song Lapras in late game were a serious problem.|
In G1, I forced them to remove the Dragapult, but still they played very well and I eventually lost.
In G2, I tried a different gameplan but they changed theirs too, starting with Zacian + Lapras, and I also ended up losing G2.
|Well, this was a rare match-up, I hadn’t played many games against Xerneas. But I paid more attention to Moltres and Spectrier, that could give me some troubles, so I started with Regieleki + Incineroar with Calyrex and Tapu Fini in the back, because I thought that Regieleki was annoying for their match-up. If I remember well that they opened Moltres + Incineroar. It is very funny to me to remember that in one point of the game I was forced to Dynamax my Regieleki since the Xerneas found itself in a “good position” and my Regieleki could only use Electroweb. Thanks to this play, I won the G1.|
After seeing their gameplan of G1, I thought that just going for Trick Room as usual was a solid plan, so I opened Incineroar + Dusclops with Calyrex and Tapu Fini in the back and they started with Amoonguss + Xerneas with Moltres and something else in the back that I can’t remember. I controlled this game from the start thanks to Calyrex incredibly resisting a focus of Xerneas and Moltres when the Trick Room ended.
|Just like my game of R2 against Brandon, I have an incredible match-up against White Kyurem teams, and have Haze for Registeel. What’s more, Registeel can only attack with Body Press, so I think that this was an impossible match-up for my opponent.|
In G1, with my common Trick Room gameplan, I won easily. I killed the White Kyurem and removed the Intimidate drops of Incineroar and the boosts of Registeel with Haze.
G2 was almost the same, but they brought Rillaboom instead of Incineroar. Even so, I ended up winning again with no problems.
I think my rival shouldn’t have brought Registeel, because it really was a dead weight unable to boost thanks to my Haze, and it didn’t really do too much damage to Calyrex and any to Dusclops. I was able to play quite calmly focusing on the other slot thanks to the fact that it was Registeel. However, this is just my point of view, and as I said Adrien faced a horrible match-up.
|It was the same gameplans we had played in the Swiss rounds, but this time Eric read me in G1 like an open book (I’m not exaggerating: it almost seemed like they were reading my mind) and that’s why a lost G1.|
In G2, I tried to change my game style trying to overpredict their predictions, which often ended up being “strange” plays such as hitting Rotom with a Water-type move, predicting that Incineroar would enter in that slot. This worked incredibly well, so I won G2 after a close game.
In G3, I play with the same in my mind, and after a really close game I won the best-of-3 set. However, I must say that they played awesomely.
As I said, all three games were with the same gameplans as in Swiss, but this time they didn’t bring Celesteela, using Grimmsnarl instead.
Manuel is a good friend of mine and I was very happy to face him in the finals, but I knew that this match-up was very difficult. In that moment you could hardly face Shadow Rider Calyrex, so I didn’t expect to see that in the finals.
In G1, they opened with Calyrex + Indeedee and, if I remember well, I opened Dusclops + Urshifu, trying to pressure Calyrex or go for Trick Room depending on their lead. Well… it was a bad idea and they won G1 easily, in my opinion.
I think that Ice Rider Calyrex is a Pokémon that is not being taken into account enough: it has a good match-up against almost every sun and “Lapdog” (Zacian + Lapras) teams (and also Palkia, Kyurem, etc.) and a lot of neutral match-ups like Dialga or Yveltal teams. Lately, Shadow Rider Calyrex teams are appearing more often, but you can improve your match-up against that core using, for example, Mimikyu, or trying other Dark types like Galarian Moltres.
Finally I must say that, if you need anything, just DM me on Twitter, and I hope that this report would be helpful to you. Thank you very much for reading it!