Thundurus and Landorus with Devil Mushroom – A VR Circuit: Spring Series Qualifier #5 Top 4 Team Report

Hi, guys! I’m Masahide Tamaki, also known as Masa (まさ), a Japanese VGC player. I started playing VGC last year, and practiced to play well on every weekend.

In fact, this is the third time I join the VR Circuit. But I made top cut and Top 4 for the first time, so I decided to write this article as my achievment.

I want to thank all people who supported and congratulated me!

Teambuilding process

thundurus

In this format, I think Thundurus is very strong since it is weak only to Rock and Ice types and there are few Pokémon which have these types. Its drawback is its low endurance, but that can be compensated by wearing an Assault Vest.

thundurus landorus-therian

Next, I chose Landorus (Therian) as the best partner for Thundurus. Thundurus can raise the Attack and Speed of Landorus as well as its own by Dynamaxing, and this simple strategy is very strong. That is because Landorus has spread moves such as Earthquake and Rock Slide.

thundurus landorus-therianincineroar

However, these two Pokémon are weak to Glastrier. So, I tried Incineroar since it has a great ability: Intimidate.

thundurus landorus-therianincineroarkartana

Of course, Incineroar is strong against Glastrier, but Glastrier is very very strong, so it felt insufficient. The next teammate I tried was, therefore, Steel-type Pokémon who were strong without Dynamaxing (I wanted to make it a top priority to Dynamax either Thundurus or Landorus). I came up with Kartana and Scizor, and it was hard to choose between these two. I thought about it over and over, and decided to adopt Kartana because of the advantages over Tapu Fini and Rapid Strike Style Urshifu.

thundurus landorus-therianincineroarkartana urshifu-single-strike-gmax

I think these were not strong enough to beat a team which used Reflect or Light Screen. So, next choice fell on Single Strike Style Urshifu because Wicked Blow is not affected by Reflect and Light Screen. Sucker Punch is also reliable.

thunduruslandorus-therianincineroarkartana urshifu-single-strike-gmax amoonguss

The last piece was difficult, but I noticed that opponent’s Thundurus were very troublesome. So, I regarded Spore as the solution. This is effective for not only Thundurus, but also any other Pokémon except for Grass types.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!


Thundurus @ Assault Vest
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
Evs: 164 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Wild Charge
– Fly
– Superpower
– Electroweb

The star of the team. The most common set for Thundurus is with an Assault Vest, I think. Wild Charge, Fly and Superpower are a must. Electroweb is very useful to lower opponent’s Speed after the Dynamax ends. Smart Strike or Iron Tail are interesting, but not suitable for this team.

Defensive calcs

dragapult 252 Atk Life Orb Dragpult Max Phantasm with Helping Hand vs. 164 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 270-320 (77.1 – 91.4%) – guaranteed 2HKO


Landorus-Therian @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
Evs: 36 HP / 252 Atk / 36 Def / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Fly
– Rock Slide
– Protect

This Landorus is an idea by Jekyll (ジキル), based on the one he used in their Season 13 Ladder (Dec 2020) 24th place team.

The power of Landorus (Therian) with a Life Orb is very high even if the Attack is lowered by opponent’s Intimidate. The strategy to raise Landorus’ Artack or Speed by Dynamax Thundurus’ Max Knucle or Max Airstream is very strong. Of course, Dynamax Landorus also poses a threat to opponents.

I prefer Rock Slide for MoltresZapdos, and so on. However, Superpower is also a good choice because it is convenient for Urshifu.

Offensive calcs

mamoswine 252 Atk Mamoswine Ice Shard vs. 36 HP / 36 Def Landorus-Therian: 144-172(85.2 – 101.8%) – 6.25% chance to OHKO

Gigantamax Urshifu
Urshifu-Gmax @ Choice Band
Ability: Unseen Fist
Level: 50
Gigantamax: Yes
Evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Wicked Blow
– Sucker Punch
– Close Combat
– Poison Jab

I think the best item for Urshifu is Focus Sash, but it is impossible because Amoonguss has it. So, I gave Urshifu a Choice Band. The game gets harder, but the power of Wicked Blow with Choice Band is destructive.

EVs are the most common, so there is nothing else to mention.


Kartana @ White Herb
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 44 HP / 172 Atk / 4 Def / 36 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
– Protect

The drawback in using Kartana is its low Special Defense. However, it can’t wear an Assault Vest (because Thundurus is wearing it), so I gave up Special Defense and assigned more EVs to Attack and Speed.

Thanks to its White Herb, I didn’t fear opponent’s Intimidate or Electroweb.

Since there is a chance of it Dynamaxing, I wanted Aerial Ace for Max Airstream… but Protect is more important.

Defensive calcs

regieleki 252+ SpA Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 44 HP / 36 SpD Kartana: 113-133(80.7 – 95.0%) – guaranteed 2HKO


Incineroar @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 44 Def / 116 SpD / 100 Spe
Impish Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Parting Shot
– Taunt
– Fake Out

Its ability (Intimidate) is great especially for Glastrier or Landorus. For that reason, I chose Shuca Berry to withstand the Max Quakes. But I think Sitrus Berry or Figy Berry are also good to restore HP. This is a matter of taste, I think.

Taunt is very helpful for opponent’s Trick Room, Yawn and so on.

Defensive calcs

cinderace -1 252 Atk Life Orb Libero Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 244 HP / 44+ Def Incineroar: 172-203 (85.6 – 101.0%) – 6.25% chance to OHKO

regieleki 252+ SpA Choice Specs Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Incineroar: 153-181 (76.1 – 90.0%) – guaranteed 2HKO

rotom-wash 252+ SpA Rotom-Wash Hydro Pump vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Incineroar: 170-204 (84.6 – 101.5%) – 6.25% chance to OHKO


Amoonguss @ Focus Sash
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sludge Bomb
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Protect

Maybe you think that best item for Amoonguss is Coba Berry and Urshifu should have Focus Sash. Of course, that is a good choice. However, Amoonguss must move at least once. Moreover, opponent may choose Max Flare being wary of the Coba Berry. So, in this team Focus Sash is the best item.

Raising Amoonguss’ Speed by Thundurus’ or Landorus’ Max Airstream threats opponents if there is no Misty Terrain. +2 252+ Spe Amoonguss is faster than Urshifu, Zapdos, and Thundurus!

The choice between Spore, Rage Powder and Protect is very important and difficult.

How to use the team

Main mode

LeadBack
thundurus or landorus-therian+amoongusskartana, urshifu
The main mode involves raising the team’s Speed and using Spore. If there is Tapu Fini in the opponent’s team, it is important to be careful. If you can send opponent’s Pokémon to sleep, changing Amoonguss to Kartana or Urshifu is a good choice.

Secondary mode

LeadBack
thundurus + landorus-theriankartana, urshifu
This secondary mode will be used when Spore is not necessary or Landorus’ Earthquake and Rock Slide are effective. Even if Landorus fainted, you have the chance to win with Thundurus’ support (Max Airstream or Electroweb).

Threats

PokémonComments
Indeedee-female+dusclopsIt is hard for my team to stop Follow Me + Trick Room. Our choice is making Dusclops flinch by Landorus’ Rock Slide.
zapdos
Life Orb Zapdos
Zapdos is problematic because Landorus, Kartana, Urshifu, and Amoonguss are all weak to this legendary bird Pokémon.
Dragapult+ThundurusPowerful combination with which my team members are not good at dealing. If Dragapult has Will-O-Wisp, it is very hard to win.

Tournament run

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WWKOR
Kang Seung-woo
(승우)
grimmsnarlincineroartapu-finizapdosporygon2metagross
My opponent arrived too late, so I was very lucky because there was Zapdos in this team.
R2WLWSWI
Stefan Mott
(Pengy)
tapu-buluurshifumiloticrotom-heatporygon2garchomp
Pengy and I didn’t change Pokémon through the three games: he led Garchomp + Urshifu with Milotic and Heat Rotom in the back, and I led Thundurus + Amoonguss with Kartana and Urshifu in the back.
Garchomp had Lum Berry, but I could send it to sleep because its first choice was Sword Dance in G1 and G2. This was also thanks to Amoonguss’ Focus Sash. In G3, Amoonguss fainted in the first turn by Wicked Blow + Rock Slide, but Garchomp didn’t use Sword Dance, so it was not a threat for Thundurus and Kartana.
R3WWPRI
Alexavier Álvarez
(Arekusabi)
venusaurtorkoalurshifutogekissporygon2stakataka
Arekusabi chose Venusaur + Porygon2 and my choice was Landorus + Amoonguss. While Landorus selected Max Airstream, Amoonguss sent Porygon2 to sleep. The constant damage was troublesome, but Incineroar and Urshifu could defeat Venusaur and sleepy Porygon2, Urshifu, and Torkoal.
R4WWCAN
Justin
Miranda-Radbord

(snoresfan(Reew))
moltres-galarenteigrimmsnarlrotom-washporygon2metagross
I was upset because Porygon2 Dynamaxed, but using Max Knuckle to increase the power of Landorus and Urshifu was a good strategy.
In this game, I couldn’t choose Amoonguss since Grimmsnarl had Taunt.
R5LWWUSA
Huston Rhodes

(Skie)
shucklechanseyindeedee-femalehattereneliepardspectrier
I was very confused because Skie led Indeedee + Spectrier in G1. And Spectrier’s Nasty Plot was very strong. I couldn’t stop this “ghost horse”.
In G2, the lead was Liepard + Hatterene. This time, Max Rockfall + Fake Out to Liepard was a very good choice because Trick Room-based Max Guard + Copycat didn’t succeed. Without Trick Room, Chansey and Shuckle couldn’t defeat my Urshifu and Kartana.
In G3, Indeedee protected and Hatterene used Trick Room. However, I chose Urshifu’s Wicked Blow to Hatterene, so its HP went to 0 thanks to the Choice Band.
R6LLESP
Álex Gómez
(PokeAlex)
registeelkingdrapolitoedzapdosgothitelleglastrier
I should have chosen Kartana + Amoonguss to stop the combination of Perish Song and Shadow Tag. But that was all transparent to PokeAlex. He chose Zapdos + Gothitelle (252+ Spe!!). I could do nothing through G1 and G2. I think this is a great team.
R7WWCUB
Kevin Salvetto

(Lil Bo Peep)
venusaurtorkoalgrimmsnarllandorus-therianporygon2charizard
In G1, Lil Bo Peep selected Venusaur + Grimmsnarl, so I could win as in Round 3 with Landorus and Amoonguss. In G2, he changed lead to Grimmsnarl + Charizard (maybe for Fake Tears + G-Max Wildfire). However, it was just as I had expected. My lead was Thundurus + Amoonguss, so I could win thanks to Max Airstream and Spore (Focus Sash was very useful in this game!). It was also helpful that Grimmsnarl didn’t have Fake Out and Taunt.

Top cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
Top 32ByeN/A
 
Top 16LWWCAN
Justin
Miranda-Radbord

(snoresfan(Reew))
moltres-galarenteigrimmsnarlrotom-washporygon2metagross
This was a rematch of the day before. So, I was careful of Porygon2’s Dynamax, but first turn’s move was Trick Room in G1. Because of this I lost this game, but I could predict Porygon2’s Dynamax in G2. Moreover, I expected Porygon2’s Max Guard + Spirit Break to Urshifu, so I focused on Grimmsnarl. This was successful, and Grimmsnarl couldn’t set Reflect.
In G3, my Urshifu and Snoresfan’s Porygon2 fainted in the first turn, so I gained a little advantage and could eventually win.
Top 8WWUSA
Huston Rhodes

(Skie)
shucklechanseyindeedee-femalehattereneliepardspectrier
This was also a rematch, and I could win as the day before. Kartana and Urshifu were very strong for Chansey and Shuckle.
Top 4LLITA
Damiano La Barbera
(Naji)
rillaboomincineroarurshifuregielekiclefairyporygon-z
In G1, he Dynamaxed Regieleki with Clefairy and it was a big threat to my Thundurus and Amoonguss because Spore became ineffective. So I chose Landorus in G2, but Naji’s choice was Regieleki + Porygon-Z. Porygon-Z (maybe 252+ SpA) was so powerful that Landorus was knocked out by Max Strike.
Finally, Naji won the tournament. His team, lead selection, and playing skill was great.

Conclusion

I’m very glad to earn a Top 4 finish at VR Circuit, but at the same time, I’m so frustrated because I couldn’t get to the Spring Series Grand Finals. I’ll practice harder to be able to achieve a better result on the next series. Moreover, I want to enjoy playing VGC battles with strong players.

Thank you for reading! If you have any question, please feel free to contact me at @masa83_poke.

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