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!
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.
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.
However, these two Pokémon are weak to Glastrier. So, I tried Incineroar since it has a great ability: Intimidate.
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.
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.
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.
Thundurus @ Assault Vest
Evs: 164 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Wild Charge
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.
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
Evs: 36 HP / 252 Atk / 36 Def / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
– Rock Slide
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 Moltres, Zapdos, and so on. However, Superpower is also a good choice because it is convenient for Urshifu.
252 Atk Mamoswine Ice Shard vs. 36 HP / 36 Def Landorus-Therian: 144-172(85.2 – 101.8%) – 6.25% chance to OHKO
Urshifu-Gmax @ Choice Band
Ability: Unseen Fist
Evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– 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
EVs: 44 HP / 172 Atk / 4 Def / 36 SpD / 252 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
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.
252+ SpA Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 44 HP / 36 SpD Kartana: 113-133(80.7 – 95.0%) – guaranteed 2HKO
Incineroar @ Shuca Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 44 Def / 116 SpD / 100 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Parting Shot
– 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.
-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
252+ SpA Choice Specs Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Incineroar: 153-181 (76.1 – 90.0%) – guaranteed 2HKO
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
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sludge Bomb
– Rage Powder
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
|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.|
|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).|
|+||It is hard for my team to stop Follow Me + Trick Room. Our choice is making Dusclops flinch by Landorus’ Rock Slide.|
Life Orb Zapdos
|Zapdos is problematic because Landorus, Kartana, Urshifu, and Amoonguss are all weak to this legendary bird Pokémon.|
|+||Powerful combination with which my team members are not good at dealing. If Dragapult has Will-O-Wisp, it is very hard to win.|
|My opponent arrived too late, so I was very lucky because there was Zapdos in this team.|
|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.
|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.|
|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.
|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.
|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.|
(Lil Bo Peep)
|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.|
|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.
|This was also a rematch, and I could win as the day before. Kartana and Urshifu were very strong for Chansey and Shuckle.|
Damiano La Barbera
|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.
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.