Strike Everyone with the King PZ – Team Report from the Winner of VR Circuit: Spring Series Qualifier #5

Ciao, guys! I’m Damiano La Barbera, also known as DamiVGC, an Italian VGC player who started playing VGC last year. I improved a lot as a player thanks to the practice that I had during all these months with great Italian players such as Davide Cauteruccio (Dynamo), Marco Marras (LuckyVGC), Riccardo Broggio (BlackCobra) and Enrico Colombari (Syntex).

It’s the first time that I manage to win a big tournament and the fact that I did it with a team created by me was such a pleasure, so I decided to write this article as my achievement.

I want to thank all people who supported and congratulated me! Special mention to UgoJJ45, one of my first friends and one of my biggest fans.

Teambuilding process

porygon-z

So I started building this team asking myself which Pokémon was able to deal a lot of damage in this format. The answer was The King Porygon-Z thanks to its Special Attack stat (135) and its Ability: Adaptability, which increases the STAB from 1.5 to 2. I decided also to maximize the damage by giving it Life Orb, adding another 1.3 bonus to its Special Attack.

porygon-zclefairy

Next, I chose Clefairy, which is the best support for a glass cannon like Porygon-Z, because its ability Friend Guard reduces the damage done to allies.

porygon-zclefairyincineroar

Incineroar is one of the most resilient Pokémon of the format with a strong Ability such as Intimidate and also because it can use the move Fake Out. Incineroar, Porygon-Z and Clefairy have an incredible synergy together.

porygon-zclefairyincineroar urshifu

I needed a strong physical attacker Pokémon, so who is better than Urshifu? I decided to go with Rapid Strike Style Urshifu because it’s one of the counters to the most used Pokémon of the format like Landorus (Therian) or Incineroar.

porygon-zclefairyincineroarurshifuregieleki

At this point I needed another Pokémon that could Dynamax and make speed control at the same time. I decided to put Regieleki in because of its amazing Speed stat (the highest in the game) but also because of its damage output.

porygon-zclefairyincineroarurshifuregielekirillaboom

The last piece of my puzzle was uncertain. I’ve tried so many Pokémon but in order to complete the Water + Fire + Grass core I went for the strongest Grass-type Pokémon at the moment, Rillaboom, which with its priority move Grassy Glide and its bulky stats is a good counter to the Regieleki and Urshifu of my opponent.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

 

Porygon-Z @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 244 SpA / 124 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hyper Beam
– Dark Pulse
– Protect
– Nasty Plot

The King. Hyper Beam is a must to maximize damage with the strongest STAB. Dark Pulse is a good cover against Ghost types. Nasty Plot is to punish bad leads or bad positioning of the opponent. Trick Room is an option too but not suitable for this team.

Defensive calcs

Urshifu 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Close Combat vs. 140 HP / 0 Def Dynamax
Porygon-Z: 272-324 (76.4 – 91%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Def / 220 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Follow Me
– Helping Hand
– Protect
– Ally Switch

Clefairy with the Eviolite gains 1.5 boost in both Special and physical Defense so in combo with Friend Guard it is the perfect support not only for Porygon-Z but also for Regieleki. Follow Me, Protect and Helping Hand are a must in order to protect and boost the allied Pokémon. The fourth move has always been difficult to choose, I noticed that this team had a bad match-up against Dragapult so with Ally Switch I could have a possibility to avoid Max Phantasm onto Clefairy creating a mind game for the opponent.

Defensive calcs

regieleki 252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 248 HP / 220+ SpD Eviolite Clefairy: 129-152 (73.2 – 86.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

dragapult 252 Atk Life Orb Dragapult Max Phantasm vs. 248 HP / 44 Def Eviolite Clefairy: 148-175 (84 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

 

Incineroar @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 156 Def / 76 SpD / 36 Spe
Impish Nature
– Fake Out
– Taunt
– Parting Shot
– Flare Blitz

Incineroar’s Ability Intimidate is great against physical sweepers like Landorus or Glastrier. Sitrus Berry is good to restore HP of this already bulky Pokémon making it a lot harder to take down. Taunt is very helpful against Trick Room, Spore or redirection moves.

Defensive calcs

urshifu -1 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 240 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar on a critical hit: 180-216 (90 – 108%) — approx. 18.8% chance to OHKO (92.4% Chance To 4HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery)

landorus-therian -1 252 Atk Landorus-Therian Max Quake vs. 240 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar: 134-162 (67 – 81%) — guaranteed 2HKO

landorus-therian -1 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus-Therian Max Quake vs. 240 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar: 174-211 (87 – 105.5%) — 25% chance to OHKO

garchomp -1 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Max Quake vs. 240 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar: 164-195 (82 – 97.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

 

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike-Gmax @ Focus Sash
Ability: Unseen Fist
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Close Combat
– Surging Strikes
– Aqua Jet
– Protect

I think Focus Sash is the best for Urshifu. Adamant Nature is to maximize damage. The moves and the EVs are the most common, so there is nothing else to mention.

Regieleki @ Magnet
Ability: Transistor
Level: 50
EVs: 172 HP / 76 Def / 244 SpA / 12 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunderbolt
– Volt Switch
– Electroweb
– Protect

A nice glass cannon with some physical Defense bulkiness to resist Grassy Glide boosted by Miracle Seed but also a lot of other physical attacks. The most important move is for certain Volt Switch that allows me to reposition into a better spot. Electroweb is for speed control and Thunderbolt is to deal a good damage. I didn’t need it to be max Speed because I use it in match-ups where Porygon-Z is not very good like Moltres or Metagross teams.

Defensive calcs

metagross 252+ Atk Metagross Max Quake vs. 172 HP / 76 Def Dynamax Regieleki:
250-296 (70.6 – 83.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

rillaboom 252+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom-Gmax Grassy Glide vs. 172 HP / 76 Def
Regieleki in Grassy Terrain: 150-177 (84.7 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
urshifu 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 172 HP / 76 Def
Regieleki on a critical hit: 153-180 (86.4 – 101.6%) — approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO
urshifu 52 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Sucker Punch vs. 172 HP / 76 Def Regieleki: 135-160 (76.2 – 90.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

 

Rillaboom-Gmax @ Assault Vest
Ability: Grassy Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 164 Def / 44 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Grassy Glide
– U-turn
– Knock Off

The background star that is very helpful in late game with its priority move Grassy Glide but also with Fake Out. U-turn is useful to reposition and Knock Off to get rid of opponent items. With these spreads it is able to take almost everything and to strike back.

Defensive calcs

dragapult

252 Atk Life Orb Dragapult Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 164 Def Rillaboom-Gmax: 169-200 (81.6 – 96.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 164 Def Rillaboom-Gmax: 185-218 (89.3 – 105.3%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

incineroar 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 164 Def Rillaboom-Gmax: 140-168 (67.6 – 81.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

urshifu 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 164 Def Rillaboom-Gmax: 94-112 (45.4 – 54.1%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

moltres-galar 252 SpA Moltres-Galar Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Assault Vest Rillaboom-Gmax: 156-186 (75.3 – 89.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

spectrier 252 SpA Life Orb Spectrier Max Phantasm vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Assault Vest Rillaboom-Gmax: 133-156 (64.2 – 75.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

How to use the team

Main mode

LeadBack
porygon-z+clefairyurshifu, rillaboom,regieleki, incineroar
Based on the match-up
The main mode involves using Porygon-Z as a glass cannon supported by Clefairy, threatening the opponent with a lot of damage but also taking speed control and preparing the field for the late-game sweepers in the back.

Secondary mode

LeadBack
incineroar+porygon-zurshifu, rillaboom, clefairy,regieleki
Based on the match-up
The secondary mode is very strong against Trick Room with Porygon-Z that can kill the redirector and Incineroar that can Taunt the Trick Room setter. Of course there are a lot of moves like Parting Shot or Nasty Plot that you can choose to stall it if you can’t avoid it.

Third mode

LeadBack
regieleki+urshifuclefairy, rillaboom,porygon-z, incineroar
Useful to deal a lot of damage in the early game and Dynamax later.

Main threats

dragapult + togekiss / urshifu

These are the most difficult match-ups because Dragapult’s Speed can’t be dropped thanks to its Ability, and it can also deal a lot of damage dropping the Defense of both Pokémon on my side. This match-up becomes much worse if there is a Pokémon next to it like Togekiss that can protect it, or Urshifu that can kill my Porygon-Z in Dynamax after a drop.

Tournament run

Qualifier #5 Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WWPER
Roberto Giampietri
(Roberto)
grimmsnarlenteiurshifuzapdosporygon2metagross
R2WWESP
Jonatan Vélez
(Jony)
amoongusslandorus-therianurshifurotom-heatgrimmsnarlporygon-z
R3LWLUSA
Huston Rhodes
(Skie)
shucklechanseyindeedee-femalehattereneliepardspectrier
R4WWUSA
Trainer Red
(Red)
venusaurtorkoalgrimmsnarlzapdosporygon2regirock
R5WLWITA
Matteo Agostini

(Cam)
moltres-galarenteigrimmsnarlrotom-washporygon2metagross
R6WWESP
Alberto Cano
(Alberto)
grimmsnarlincineroartapu-finizapdosspectriermetagross
R7LLITA
Francesco P. Pero
(CICCIOTT)
moltres-galarlandorus-theriangrimmsnarlregielekispectrierregisteel

Qualifier #5 Top Cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
Top 32WWCHN
Xiao Haotian
(DayDay)
alcremie-rainbow-swirl-strawberrylandorus-theriancelesteelaregielekiporygon2glastrier
Top 16WWUSA
Nicholas Borghi
(Borghi)
rillaboomtogekissurshifuregielekigothitellelandorus-therian
Top 8WLWITA
Francesco P. Pero
(CICCIOTT)
moltres-galarlandorus-theriangrimmsnarlregielekispectrierregisteel
Top 4WWJPN
Masahide Tamaki
(まさ)
kartanaincineroarurshifuthundurusamoongusslandorus-therian
FinalsWWESP
Max Gil

(Asurah)
venusaurtorkoalgrimmsnarlzapdosporygon2regirock

Spring Grand Finale

I also used this team during the Spring Grand Finale!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
Top 16WWJPN
Yuki Zaninovich
(ゆうき)
amoongussincineroarmimikyuregielekiporygon2glastrier
Top 8LLITA
Marco Silva
(marcofiero)
rillaboomincineroarurshifutogekissdragapultcoalossal

Conclusions

I’m very glad to have won VR Circuit: Spring Series Qualifier #5 and I hope this is just the beginning of a lot of success in the near future. I’ll practice harder to become a more and more strong player.

Thank you for reading! If you have any question feel free to contact me on Twitter at @damivgc!

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