Enjoying a Shockingly Strong Duo – A VR Circuit: Spring Series Qualifier #4 Top 4 Team Report

Hello! I’m Aidan Jackson. You may know me by my trainer name, Miden. I’m a VGC player living in New Zealand.

I’ve been playing Pokémon casually since I was a kid. I tried playing ladder growing up, but was often discouraged to keep playing due to how difficult it was to play. I wanted to become a competitive VGC player when The Crown Tundra DLC released. The first Pokémon tournament I entered was Qualifier #1 of the VR Circuit: Winter Series this year. My first breakthrough was when I made a top cut in the Qualifier #5 of the same Winter Series.

This report is about the team with which I reached semifinals in the Qualifier #4 of the VR Circuit: Spring Series!

Teambuilding process

The core concept of this team started with Tapu Koko and Regieleki (aka “KokoEleki“). This was actually the same concept I brought to the same VR Circuit tournament I first made top cut in.

regielekitapu-koko

I wanted to build around these two because they are my two favourite Pokémon. I also liked the idea that both the terrain setter and abuser can put on a lot of offensive pressure when out on the field.

The thing that makes Regieleki unique compared to other terrain or weather abusers is that it doesn’t need to Dynamax at all to inflict maximum damage because of its access to Rising Voltage. Its drawbacks are obviously in its type coverage. It also needs to be the fastest thing on the field. This is where Regieleki’s terrain setter can help.

Tapu Koko gets access to Max Airstream which can keep Regieleki as the fastest thing on the field while being able to hit Grass types which resist Electric-type attacks for super effective damage. This actually gives KokoEleki a decent match-up versus sun teams because, after one Max Airstream, both Pokémon can outspeed and deliver the final blow on Venusaur the following turn. And, because I didn’t want two Electric-type special sweepers, a physical Tapu Koko set was very compelling. I was completely sold on physical Tapu Koko when I realised Regieleki had access to Screech, which can help pick up some key KOs.

regielekiTapu-kokoregirock

While this pair can exert massive offensive pressure, there are two things that can completely stop them in their tracks: 1) Ground types —mainly Landorus— and 2) Trick Room. I decided to kill two birds with one rock… Regirock.

Indeed, Regirock is weak to Ground. But the Ground-type Pokémon KokoEleki mainly need to worry about are physical attackers. I decided to exploit the interaction between Regirock’s base 200 Defense coupled with Weakness Policy, which made for an interesting deterrent effect. Ice Punch was key to making this deterrent threatening against Pokémon like Landorus. Regirock’s low Speed, bulk and access to Curse made for a viable Trick Room monster as well.

regielekiTapu-kokoregirocktalonflame

I then thought it would be interesting to make Regirock fast and add a Tailwind user so that I don’t have to rely on Regirock’s bulk to take hits before dishing out in return. Most people probably don’t suspect a fast Regirock with Curse, so this allowed me to blindside some opponents. Anyhow, I found Talonflame to be most suitable because, paired with Regirock, it could inflict super effective STAB attacks onto opposing Grass, Fighting and Steel-type Pokémon. Its ability Gale Wings was a nice touch as it gave me additional flexibility, as at full HP I could also attack opposing Rillaboom or Urshifu before they could use priority Grassy Glide or Aqua Jet. Moreover, what Talonflame lacks in raw power like, say, Tornadus, it makes up with its access to 120 base power + 100 accuracy STAB moves in Flare Blitz and Brave Bird.

regielekiTapu-kokoregirocktalonflametsareena

Talonflame wouldn’t solve the Rillaboom issue on its own though. And in fact, Rillaboom was a big problem for the team at first because it could change terrain to weaken Regieleki’s Rising Voltage and threaten big damage on Regirock as well as the frail KokoEleki with priority Grassy Glide. Another issue I had was Fake Out and other priority moves from Pokémon like Urshifu. KokoEleki are easy to neutralise without Dynamax and the Fake Out + Surging Strikes or Wicked Blow combo people like to exploit can be a problem in the end game. This was Tsareena’s big moment.

Tsareena solved all these problems. I first saw how well it could support Talonflame when I lost to Giuseppe Alario (Il Mule) in the top cut I made during Qualifier #5 of the VR Circuit: Winter Series this year. I was captivated by how it could essentially paralyse opposing Rillaboom that only run Grassy Glide as its Grass-type attack. It could also use Trop Kick to drop the Attack stat of opposing Rillaboom before they use Wood Hammer on, say, Regirock, which when Dynamaxed would take negligible damage. I didn’t have to worry about Fake Out or other priority moves sniping KokoEleki. My team also greatly appreciates the immunity Tsareena gives against Prankster moves like Eerie Impulse, Trick and Scary Face.

regielekiTapu-kokoregirocktalonflametsareenagastrodon-east

The remaining holes to be covered were opposing Regieleki, screens + Metagross and rain teams. My sixth Pokémon also had to be one that was not weak to Landorus or other Ground types. I chose Gastrodon. Storm Drain meant I would not need to worry about Max Geysers. Gastrodon in team preview was also handy for additional deterrence against Tapu Fini, which can also be used to disrupt Electric Terrain. I developed an Acid Armour set in response to the Spectrier + Metagross + Grimmsnarl core that was gaining traction back in May. Access to Acid Armour also gave me an additional win con in other match-ups via stall.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Regieleki @ Focus Sash
Ability: Transistor
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Rising Voltage
– Electroweb
– Screech
– Protect

Regieleki is the focal point of the team. Modest Nature is necessary for securing some OHKOs. Focus Sash is for added security. This is useful when KokoEleki are on the field as the opponent cannot easily knock out both at the same time and will usually incur massive damage because of it. The fact that I have Tsareena on the team also means that people cannot easily snipe Regieleki via priority moves if it has consumed its Focus Sash.

With Rising Voltage it can deliver massive one-hit or two-hit knockouts without needing to Dynamax (see calcs below). While it needs the team to create the favourable conditions for Electric spam, it can also help its comrades in return with Speed drops via Electroweb and Defense drops via Screech. I took full advantage of Screech by making this team primarily physical and will address further details on how both support moves support the rest of the team below.

Offensive calcs

incineroar252+ SpA Transistor Regieleki Rising Voltage (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 190-225 (94 – 111.3%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO

torkoal252+ SpA Transistor Regieleki Rising Voltage (140 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 0 SpD Torkoal in Electric Terrain: 190-225 (107.3 – 127.1%) — guaranteed OHKO

metagross252+ SpA Transistor Regieleki Rising Voltage (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Metagross in Electric Terrain: 234-276 (62.5 – 73.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

coalossal-gmax252+ SpA Transistor Regieleki Rising Voltage (140 BP) vs. 68 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Coalossal-Gmax in Electric Terrain: 231-273 (59.5 – 70.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Normal Sprite

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Wild Charge
– Dazzling Gleam
– Brave Bird
– Protect

Tapu Koko is the second star of the team. Max Speed Jolly Nature was chosen to ensure it outspeeds Venusaur at +1 as well as speed-tying with Spectrier at neutral. Life Orb is necessary for its offensive presence.

Wild Charge was chosen so that Tapu Koko can still deal considerable damage while it wasn’t Dynamaxed; I didn’t feel that recoil was a problem because Tapu Koko dies to one hit from most Pokémon anyways. An interesting move combination you can do is Screech + Max Lightning into an opposing threat like Porygon2 or Dusclops if you predict your opponent setting up a Light Screen. Next, I picked Dazzling Gleam so that I imposed a threat on the opponent where I could punish Urshifu switch-ins as well as opposing Dragon-type Pokémon setting up next to redirectors. Being able to finish off Focus Sash Pokémon while damaging the partner Pokémon was a nice touch too. Finally, Brave Bird, as mentioned earlier, was picked to beat Rillaboom and Venusaur as well as having additional access to Speed boosts via Max Airstream. Also, if you are really stuck, Screech + Brave Bird is actually a OHKO on most non-Dynamax Landorus (Therian).

There are three reasons why I chose Jolly and not a nature that a mixed attacker would usually run like Hasty or Naive. If I chose Hasty nature, then a Max Quake from Regigigas would be a guaranteed OHKO onto Tapu Koko. If I chose Naive nature, then it can be knocked out by Venusaur’s Max Quake or Max Ooze. Even with 0 SpA investment + Jolly nature, Tapu Koko can essentially bring Urshifu to its Focus Sash with spread Dazzling Gleam or OHKO Dynamaxed Dragapult with Helping Hand + Max Starfall. However, it is primarily used for flexibility. It isn’t supposed to be your go-to option to beat all those Pokémon.

Offensive calcs

dusclops 252 Atk Life Orb Tapu Koko Max Lightning vs. -2 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Dusclops in Electric Terrain: 138-164 (93.8 – 111.5%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO

porygon2 252 Atk Life Orb Tapu Koko Max Lightning vs. -2 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Porygon2 in Electric Terrain: 177-211 (92.1 – 109.8%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO

urshifu 0 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu: 255-302 (144.8 – 171.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

Urshifu 0 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: 127-151 (72.1 – 85.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

dragapult 0 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Helping Hand Max Starfall vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Dragapult: 343-406 (105.2 – 124.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

Venusaur-Gmax 252 Atk Life Orb Tapu Koko Max Airstream vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Venusaur-Gmax: 221-263 (71.2 – 84.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Rillaboom-Gmax 252 Atk Life Orb Tapu Koko Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Rillaboom-Gmax: 208-247 (100.4 – 119.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

Landorus-Therian 252 Atk Life Orb Tapu Koko Brave Bird vs. -2 84 HP / 0 Def Landorus-Therian: 178-211 (101.7 – 120.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs

regigigas 252 Atk Life Orb Regigigas Max Quake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Tapu Koko: 257-304 (88 – 104.1%) — 25% chance to OHKO

venusaur-gmax 252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur-Gmax Max Ooze vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Tapu Koko: 234-276 (80.1 – 94.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Normal Sprite

Talonflame @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Brave Bird
– Flare Blitz
– Taunt
– Tailwind

Talonflame‘s set is a little more standard. Safety Goggles are used over something like Sharp Beak so that it doesn’t lose its Gale Wings ability when Regirock sets sand or hail. It is also handy for ignoring redirection by Amoonguss and being able to reduce Venusaur’s options to neutralize Talonflame via Sleep Powder.

Talonflame can actually be critical when versing Celesteela teams with Lightning Rod. Dynamaxing Talonflame is only really desirable in clutch situations. However, you also have Screech + Flare Blitz which can threaten a OHKO on Dynamaxed Celesteela if need be. It is worth noting that, without a power-boosting item, most KOs you want to inflict on key Pokémon are going to be either short by 10% or down to a roll. Talonflame does give you much needed access to OHKOs on Ferrothorn and Kartana. It may not be your go to Pokemon to get KOs, but Talonflame does provide some good flexibility in your gameplay.

Offensive calcs

celesteela 252 Atk Talonflame Flare Blitz vs. -2 0 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Celesteela: 296-350 (86 – 101.7%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO

Venusaur-Gmax 252 Atk Talonflame Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Venusaur-Gmax in Sun: 266-314 (85.8 – 101.2%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

Rillaboom 252 Atk Gale Wings Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Rillaboom: 164-194 (79.2 – 93.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

Venusaur-Gmax 252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur-Gmax Max Ooze vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Talonflame: 125-148 (81.1 – 96.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Regirock @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Clear Body
Level: 50
EVs: 88 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 160 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Rock Slide
– Drain Punch
– Curse
– Ice Punch

This Regirock is just as much of a star as KokoEleki. It hits 90 Speed and so it can outspeed everything up to Thundurus under Tailwind. With Electroweb it can also outspeed most mid-tier speed Pokémon. It also naturally outspeeds a lot of Incineroar, which is handy for avoiding Taunt as well as knocking Incineroar out before they can use Parting Shot.

Drain Punch provides it another way to increase its Attack with Max Knuckle. Access to HP recovery can be critical in certain end games too. It also gives you a win condition when versing Porygon2. Max Hailstorm lets you KO Pokemon like Landorus. However, it is a damage roll versus Dynamaxed Garchomp. By using Trop Kick with Tsareena you can use a potential Wood Hammer from Rillaboom to activate your own Weakness Policy and deal a knockout in return. I did try Max Quake via Stomping Tantrum, but I found that the combination of Rock and Fighting-type attacks covered what Regirock needed to deal with. Curse is added so that it has a third way to increase its offensive power. It is also a neat tech to have to readjust Regirock’s Speed and gain some needed bulk for what it won’t underspeed in Trick Room. Having Curse may also throw the opponent’s suspicion off Regirock being speedy.

Defensive calcs

rillaboom

-1 252+ Atk Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 88 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Regirock in Grassy Terrain: 104-126 (31.3 – 37.9%) — 0.3% chance to 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

 

-1 252+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 88 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Regirock in Grassy Terrain: 126-150 (37.9 – 45.1%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

Gigantamax Urshifu Image

Tsareena (F) @ Coba Berry
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 212 Spe
Adamant Nature
– U-turn
– Trop Kick
– Helping Hand
– Taunt

Tsareena was made more supportive and less offensive. Coba Berry lets it survive most Max Airstreams.

Trop Kick gives you a way to drop your opponent’s Attack. Helping Hand ensures that Tsareena has something to do on the field at all times. I put Taunt on it to give my team flexibility in denying Trick Room or a second screen move from Grimmsnarl. U-turn on Tsareena is super neat; you can use it if you want to swap Tsareena out of the field and still keep Queenly Majesty active for that turn.

I made it 119 Speed so that it can outspeed Kartana at +1 for Trop Kicks as well as opposing Rillaboom at neutral. However, I was later made aware that offensive Rillaboom are running more Speed nowadays.

Defensive calcs

Landorus-Therian 252 Atk Landorus-Therian Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Coba Berry Tsareena: 121-144 (67.5 – 80.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Landorus-Therian 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus-Therian Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Coba Berry Tsareena: 157-187 (87.7 – 104.4%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

Normal Sprite

Gastrodon-East @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
Level: 50
EVs: 172 Def / 92 SpA / 244 Spe
Modest Nature
– Ice Beam
– Earth Power
– Protect
– Acid Armor

Gastrodon was made more defensive. I took the SpA spread from the Gastrodon of Paul Ruiz (Ralfdude) for the same purposes of KO’ing Landorus without Assault Vest. I made it hit 90 Speed so that it can avoid Taunt from Incineroar and outspeed up to Thundurus in Tailwind. It also proved to be clutch for outspeeding Kartana in some cases where it was cornered. The Speed also lets it safely click Acid Armour in Tailwind before getting hit by a Max Move. That move was picked to solve my dilemma regarding Metagross under dual screens. Acid Armour was also very useful for scenarios where I could corner opposing physical attackers like Glastrier or Regirock.

Offensive calcs

Landorus-Therian 92+ SpA Gastrodon Ice Beam vs. 84 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 184-220 (105.1 – 125.7%) — guaranteed OHKO

Regieleki 92+ SpA Gastrodon Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Regieleki: 194-230 (125.1 – 148.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs

Glastrier 252+ Atk Glastrier Max Hailstorm vs. +2 0 HP / 172 Def Gastrodon: 73-87 (39.2 – 46.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

 

Metagross +2 252+ Atk Metagross Max Quake vs. +2 0 HP / 172 Def Gastrodon: 91-108 (48.9 – 58%) — 62.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

How to use the team

While there are many ways you can try to use this team I will explain the two main modes it gives you. A Japanese friend of mine actually coined me the perfect team name which captures the two modes I will go into: 電光石火. It’s a play on words. It can be read as denkou sekka, which is “Quick Attack” in Japanese. The kanji 電光 means “light from electricity” and 石火 means “fire combusted from rock”.

First mode: Denkou (電光)

CoreRecommended partners
tapu-koko +regielekitsareena , talonflame
The first is the KokoEleki mode where you want to Dynamax one of those two. You usually always bring Tsareena to beat Fake Out and priority snipes. You can just straight lead KokoEleki if the match-up is favourable. The fourth Pokémon is usually whatever KokoEleki need backup offensive pressure for (i.e. Talonflame for Kartana, etc.). This mode is great versus opposing Tailwind teams or sun teams with neither Landorus or redirection + Trick Room.

Second mode: Sekka (石火)

CoreRecommended partners
regirock + talonflametsareenaand/orgastrodon-east
The second mode is your ‘RockFlame‘ mode, which comprises Regirock + Talonflame + Tsareena or Gastrodon. The fourth slot can be any Pokémon. Regieleki is usually more preferrable than Tapu Koko because of its ability to support via Screech and Electroweb. Regirock + Tsareena lead is great for beating Trick Room leads. Talonflame can be led instead if you are confident in gaining speed control and accelerating the game from turn 1.

Threats

PokémonComments
landorus-therianLandorus in sun teams give this team a lot of problems. Even Landorus in any team piloted by an experienced player will still give you problems. While Regirock gives you a solution vs Dynamaxed Landorus, you are basically forced to Dynamax your Regirock if you want to KO Landorus. This can be exploitable, and if your Dynamax is stalled it becomes a big problem. Gastrodon is a good option, but can be hard to position well if versing an experienced player using Landorus and Venusaur.
hatterene+indeedee-femaleHatterene + Indeedee can also be problematic. Max Rockfall + Taunt on Indeedee is your safest option for turn one. However, G-Max Smite is simply too good. Setting a sandstorm can help avoid a 2HKO on Max Regirock. But that is exploitable if the opponent has Torkoal in the back. Even if you can deal with this, you still are at the mercy of confusion rolls. Generally speaking, if you hit yourself with confusion just once, you will lose your Dynamax Pokémon.
regielekiDynamaxed Regieleki can also be a problem. Regieleki with Electric Terrain or a Helping Hand can OHKO basically everything. Gastrodon is a solution but it won’t get a chance easily to attack Regieleki if it is paired with Clefairy. Your best solution is using KokoEleki. However, this becomes complicated if they have a Ground type next to Regieleki. This problem isn’t as serious or frequent as the two mentioned just earlier.

Tournament run

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WLLJPN
Kazuki Kobayashi
(Yuary)
kartanaurshifutapu-finithundurusindeedee-femalelandorus-therian
My opponent led Indeedee + Kartana with Landorus and Urshifu in the back during all three matches. He also Dynamaxed Kartana in all three matches. It wasn’t Assault Vest so I could get a OHKO via Rising Voltage in game 1. KokoEleki Screech + Brave Bird let me OHKO his Landorus. He was wise to my Rising Voltage strategy in game 2 and outplayed me with terrain control. The last game was down to the wire. I had KokoEleki for my last 2 Pokémon. He only had Landorus. I used Screech + Brave Bird onto his Landorus and it survived with what appeared to be 1 HP.
R2WLWFRA
Arnaud Clément
(Cadoizz)
rillaboomincineroarurshifuregielekitogekissdragapult
I was able to beat my opponent with Dynamaxed Regirock in my RockFlame mode. Dynamaxed Regirock was great against his team as long as I could position myself with Tsareena or set up with Curse to beat Rillaboom. He also didn’t Dynamax Regieleki, which made things more simple.
R3WWUSA
Lenny Guzman

(Lenny)
kartanaincineroartapu-finithundurusurshifulandorus-therian
RockFlame was also the perfect mode to use going into this match. This game I actually brought Tapu Koko for added offensive pressure vs. Tapu Fini and Urshifu rather than going defensive with Gastrodon.
R4WLWIND
Varun Gudapati

(cyan)
rillaboomincineroarurshifumoltres-galardragapultcoalossal
Gastrodon was amazing in this match-up as Storm Drain denied Aqua Jet. The only way my opponent could set up Coalossal was via Surf. If he did that, then he also procs Regirock’s Weakness Policy. I lost game 2 because I wanted to change things up and used my KokoEleki mode because I worried too much about being countered somehow. Although I still think KokoEleki can be used vs Coalossal teams, you cannot afford to make any mistakes. You can very much lose from turn 1. It was just simply unnecessary given my resources.
R5LWLCUB
Kevin Salvetto
(Lil Bo Peep)
venusaurtorkoalgrimmsnarllandorus-therianporygon2charizard
My opponent brought and led the same every game: Grimmsnarl + Venusaur lead with Torkoal and Porygon2 in the back. The problem for me was KO’ing Venusaur before it could KO me due to Venusaur holding Weakness Policy behind Reflect. I led RockFlame. I learnt in game 2 that by setting sand turn 1, I could take a G-Max Vine Lash quite well and activate my own Weakness Policy to attack turn 2. I recall also exploiting him switching Torkoal in for speed control and getting rid of my Special Defense boosts from sand by using Flare Blitz on Venusaur. The exact same thing couldn’t work in game 3 and I was forced to make reads. Part of me wished I had brought KokoEleki to the last game. But if he brought Landorus then that would have been disastrous.
R6WWCHN
Li Jingshu

(鲁路修四海)
rillaboomincineroarurshifutogekissclefairyspectrier
KokoEleki was a great mode into this match-up due to no Ground types on the opponent’s side. They did not have very safe switch-ins against KokoEleki. Tsareena also prevented my opponent from sniping them in the end game too.
R7LWWITA
Luca Longobardi

(Mary)
virizionincineroartapu-finidragapultporygon2regirock
My opponent played towards getting boosts with his Regirock via Dynamax for late-game Body Press sweeps in all 3 games. They brought Regirock, Incineroar and Dragapult in all 3 games. Virizion came out in the first two and he switched to Porygon2 in the last game. I lost the first match after underestimating my opponent’s strategy and letting their Regirock get too many boosts. I won the next match by focusing on Regirock with KokoEleki. The last match I was incredibly lucky. I had sacked my Regieleki after dealing enough damage to Regirock thinking I wouldn’t need it anymore. However, my opponent would later reveal that Porygon2 was their last Pokémon and not Virizion like the previous two games. It was their Porygon2 and a weakened Regirock vs my Tapu Koko and burnt Gastrodon. Porygon2 usually would win in this endgame because it can set Trick Room safely, use Recover and then attack. I recognised my wincon was to freeze Porygon2 in two turns or less. I got the freeze and was able to knock Porygon2 out before it thawed.

Top cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
Top 32LWWITA
Damiano La Barbera
(Naji)
dragapultincineroarurshifuregielekiclefairyporygon-z
My opponent led PorygonZ + Clefairy with Urshifu and Incineroar in the back. I think in one game he brought Regieleki instead of Incineroar. I lost the first game quite badly when I tried leading with KokoEleki. I tried doubling Porygon-Z with Max Airstream and Rising Voltage assuming it would KO if not redirected. However, it just missed the KO. Porygon-Z used Max Strike and Clefairy used Icy Wind. I lost speed control and Regieleki after turn one. I didn’t want to play mind games again so I tried RockFlame. I used Taunt on Clefairy and set sand via Max Rockfall. This covered all bases because my opponent could not use Nasty Plot without being subject to Taunt on his Clefairy. Sand proved extremely useful because +2 Max Strike missed the KO on Regirock by 15-20%. Late-game KokoEleki was very good into his team after Clefairy and Porygon-Z were out of the way. The end game was less smooth for me in game 3. Admittedly, I had to win that match with a Rock Slide flinch on the opposing Urshifu.
Top 16WWGBR
Will Tansley

(StarKO)
amoongussincineroarurshifuzapdosporygon2glastrier
RockFlame were great into my opponent’s team with support of Gastrodon. Dynamaxed Regirock did not need to fear its only threat, Urshifu. Even when non-Dynamax without full HP investment, Regirock can comfortably survive Close Combat and dish out a powered-up Drain Punch in return. I used Tsareena in the first match and Regieleki in the other for Screech.
Top 8WWGRC
Paschalis Dermentzis

(PasDer)
rillaboomurshifucelesteelaregielekiclefairyglastrier
I was very fortunate that my opponent did not have a Ground-type Pokémon in their team. Their best lead was Regieleki + Clefairy. I learnt in this match how good KokoEleki can be versus that combination because my opponent’s Regieleki could not OHKO either Dynamaxed Tapu Koko or Focus Sash Regieleki turn 1. This let me incur considerable damage on his lead. Tsareena was critical to ensuring his Rillaboom + Urshifu end game was not as threatening. I had learnt this match how well Tsareena could be used against this kind of archetype.
Top 4LLCHN
Wang Bingjie

(kokoro)
rillaboomturtonatorlandorus-therianregielekigothitelleglastrier
I lost game one because I could not come up with a good game plan at all. I read relatively well. Tsareena + Gastrodon actually covered a lot of bases as Tsareena could pivot out from Shadow Tag and Gastrodon wouldn’t die to whatever lead he had unless he Dynamaxed his Landorus or Rillaboom, which would let me Dynamax something to beat it in return. In my confusion and nerves I prematurely Dynamaxed my Gastrodon. Needless to say, this led to my defeat because all my opponent had to do was get Rillaboom in safely and click G-Max Drum Solo. Game two, I lead RockFlame reading he wouldn’t lead Gothitelle + Regieleki because of how I led in the previous match. This is the match when I realised a glaring flaw with my RockFlame strategy. Yes, my Regirock when Dynamaxed can pick up KOs on a lot of my opponent’s Pokemon. However, the fact I’m forced to Dynamax or switch Regirock in the face of a Landorus became very exploitable. I had Dynamaxed my Regirock and my Dynamax turns were masterfully stalled. The match wasn’t over yet. I had dealt significant damage to my opponent’s Rillaboom. I knew their four Pokémon were Regieleki, Glastrier, Landorus and Rillaboom. He had Dynamaxed his Glastrier and I played towards setting up Acid Armour with Gastrodon. It came to a point where it was my Gastrodon vs his Dynamaxed Glastrier and Regieleki on the field. His Rillaboom was in the back at 10% HP. Whether it was because of fatigue or rash thinking, I clicked Earth Power into Regieleki to knock it out instead of clicking Acid Armour one last time to get +6 Defense. Rillaboom came back in for free, and with only +4 Defense I could not survive a double-up that turn. I misplayed in the end game. However, I would be dishonest if I didn’t acknowledge that my opponent had outplayed me in both matches.

Conclusion

I was initially over the moon to just top cut with this team at a Victory Road circuit. But I cannot express how happy I was to make the quarter finals. I was shocked. I was also honored to be knocked out by a player as experienced and good as Bingjie Wang. I learnt many things about this team doing this tournament, and am looking forward to seeing how I can further develop the team concept of KokoEleki in future. I would like to finish with a quick thank you message to a few people who helped me bounce ideas, teambuild and practice in preparation for this. Shout outs to Tomoya Kawashima (Zubola), Neil Patel (Neil) and Drew Costello. You’re awesome.

I’m sharing a slightly different version of the team as the rental team. In it, Tsareena’s Nature is Jolly instead of Adamant. The EV spread is 252 HP, 4 Atk, 60 Def, 4 SpD, 188 Spe. With this modification, it hits 127 Speed to outspeed most Rillaboom, and has enough bulk to survive Max Airstream from Jolly Life Orb 252 Atk Landorus (Therian).

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