Sun, Rain and Willow! – Team Report from the Runner-up of the Kaohsiung Regionals

Hello everyone! My name is Jhou Ya-yi, also known as ga0620ryTW on Twitter. I am a Taiwanese player and started playing VGC on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

Although many tournaments were cancelled during the COVID-19, Taiwan was relatively lucky to have two Regional-level tournaments during this time (2021 Taipei and Kaohsiung Regionals), but I didn’t have a good result in any of them. At the end of August, I made it to Week 2 of the Asia Players Cup Taiwan Qualifiers with a 6-1 record, but unfortunately I had to give up my qualification for personal reasons. So this was actually my first experience with Top Cut, and I was very lucky to make it to the final!

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

The official announcement was made three weeks before the tournament. The first two weeks I was playing with Zacian, including the Zacian + sun, Zacian + Dragapult and Zacian + Lapras (“LapDog”) cores and the AST Revolution champion team. Zacian is powerful, but I didn’t play it very well.

zacian-crowned

With a week left, I started to find my instructor and good friend Ting Yu-liang to discuss and practice, and he asked me if I wanted to try Solgaleo, and after discussion the team probably looked like this:

solgaleospectrierzapdostapu-finigarchomp and incineroar/grimmsnarl

Support Spectrier activates Solgaleo’s Weakness Policy; Tapu Fini prevents status conditions; Garchomp and Zapdos help against weather teams, and the last one depends on what you want: Incineroar to reposition with Intimidate and Parting Shot, to provide Fake Out pressure and to attack with Fire-type moves; or Grimmsnarl to set up screens and to provide speed control.

This team I played quite handily, but the match-up was hard against weather teams. The Global Exhibition had just ended and the metagame was flooded with Groudon and Kyogre teams. Whether I was practicing with Yu-liang or testing on Pokémon Showdown, I was extremely hard-countered by them, so in the end I gave up using the team.

I had to find a last-minute team. I made the choice between a Zacian core, which I practiced a lot in the first two weeks, or a Kyogre core, which I played the most in Series 8.

kyogretorkoalvenusaurporygon2urshifutornadus

This is the team built by Yosuke Takayanagi, a Japanese player who used it to win the VR Circuit Winter Qualifier #3 in Series 8. Sun and rain double weather, and Tornadus and Porygon2 to provide Tailwind and Trick Room. Finally, Urshifu to make up for the team’s lack of physical attackers and kill low-HP Pokémon.

You can read Yosuke’s team report at Liberty Note!

The reasons I chose this team were because I expected a lot of sun-based teams and because the team I played in the Asia Players Cup Qualifiers top cut was also based on the Venusaur + Torkoal + Porygon2 core. In early Series 8, I had also used the Kyogre + Tornadus core and achieved good results in some competitions.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!


Venusaur-Gmax
@ Coba Berry
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 252 SpA / 100 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Frenzy Plant
– Sludge Bomb
– Weather Ball
– Sleep Powder

I think Venusaur‘s EV spread is very common. In terms of move selection, I prefer Leaf Storm over Frenzy Plant, I would rather have a little less damage than a round of inaction. The reason I chose Sludge Bomb instead of Earth Power is in my personal understanding, this team is more inclined to strong offense, and this team is full of special attackers. After the competition, my experience is that I always fight in Trick Room, and set Trick Room myself many times. Max Quake to buff Special Defense might be a good choice too.

Offensive calcs

zacian-crowned 252+ SpA Venusaur Max Flare vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Sun: 182-216 (108.3 – 128.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

incineroar 252+ SpA Venusaur Max Geyser vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Incineroar in Rain: 204-240 (100.9 – 118.8%) — guaranteed OHKO


Porygon2
@ Eviolite
Ability: Trace
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 148 Def / 116 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Recover
– Trick Room
– Eerie Impulse

Porygon2 was the MVP in this tournament. Ability depends on personal preference; I only had one attacking move, so I chose to use Trace. This time it really played a great effect, since it traced Prankster twice, Intimidate three times, and Triage once. Eerie Impulse has a good momentum effect on Tapu Fini, which is difficult to deal with fast. Regarding attacking moves, Tri Attack and Foul Play show a good effectiveness, but I ended up keeping Ice Beam: it is very effective on Venusaur, Flying types like Thundurus, and even Eternatus.

Defensive calcs

kyogre 252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Porygon2 in Rain: 160-190 (83.7 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

urshifu
252 Atk Urshifu Close Combat vs. 244 HP / 148+ Def Eviolite Porygon2: 116-140 (60.7 – 73.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 244 HP / 148+ Def Eviolite Porygon2: 176-210 (92.1 – 109.9%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 244 HP / 148+ Def Eviolite Porygon2: 144-170 (75.3 – 89%) — guaranteed 2HKO

 

After the tournament, these next calcs proved to be important:

regieleki 252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 181-214 (94.7 – 112%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO

eternatus 252+ SpA Dragon Fang Eternatus Helping Hand Dynamax Cannon vs. 244 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 112-133 (58.6 – 69.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO


Kyogre
@ Sea Incense
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 244 HP / 252 SpA / 12 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Origin Pulse
– Ice Beam
– Protect

Kyogre‘s Speed EVs are to surpass Shadow Rider Calyrex under Taiwind, and one point slower than Venusaur. Since I didn’t put a lot of EVs on speed, I fight under Trick Room more often than in Tailwind. As for the choice between Ice Been and Thunder, both of them are effective, but the reason I chose the former is that Thunder is riskier when it is not raining, and Max Lighting would crash my Sleep Powder.

Offensive calcs

thundurus 252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 4 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Thundurus in Rain: 220-261 (70.9 – 84.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

regieleki
252 SpA Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 146-174 (70.8 – 84.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 190-226 (92.2 – 109.7%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Kyogre: 170-202 (41.2 – 49%) — guaranteed 3HKO

thundurus 252 Atk Thundurus Max Lightning vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Kyogre: 222-264 (53.8 – 64%) — guaranteed 2HKO

 

After the tournament, these next calcs proved to be important:

rillaboom 252+ Atk Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Kyogre in Grassy Terrain: 182-216 (88.3 – 104.8%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

araquanid 252+ Atk Water Bubble Araquanid Liquidation vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 59-69 (28.6 – 33.4%) — 0.5% chance to 3HKO


Tornadus
@ Life Orb
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Icy Wind
– Protect
– Hurricane
– Tailwind

Tornadus‘ four moves are my personal preference. Protect can give you a chance to set up Tailwind again, and the opponent won’t expect Tornadus to have it. Icy Wind can help the speed control after using Tailwind without Dynamaxing; additionally, the main attackers in this team are rather slow, so I think Icy Wind is a must.


Torkoal
@ Charcoal
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Eruption
– Heat Wave
– Yawn
– Protect

Regarding Torkoal, I must only say that I think the choice between Burning Jealousy and Heat Wave just depends on personal preference.

Offensive calcs

glastrier 252+ SpA Charcoal Torkoal Max Flare vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Glastrier in Sun: 350-414 (85.3 – 100.9%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO


Urshifu
@ Focus Sash
Ability: Unseen Fist
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Close Combat
– Protect
– Sucker Punch
– Wicked Blow

Just a standard Single Strike Style Urshifu.

How to use the team

Common leads

Lead PokémonExplanation
venusaur+porygon2I think it’s a wide and flexible opening, but sometimes it won’t give you a huge advantage.
tornadus+kyogreI rarely used this opening in this tournament. The main reason is that everyone knows how to play against this lead; another reason is that I’m more used to fight under Trick Room.

Hard match-ups

Rival PokémonExplanation
zacian-crowned+thundurusBoth Dynamax Venusaur or Kyogre have awkward positions against this pair. I think that against common Zacian cores, this team has a 50-50 or even a little disadvantage. Thundurus gives me a lot of pressure and I can’t knock it down easily.

Tournament run

This was my run at the 2022 Kaohsiung Regionals!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1ByeN/A
 
R2WWTWN
Chou Man-jung
(草蛇)
solgaleoincineroartapu-finizapdosgrimmsnarlspectrier
R3WLWTWN
Chuang Chan-jung
kyogretorkoalvenusaurcomfeyurshifutornadus
R4WLWTWN
Chiu Hou-wen
solgaleoincineroarspectriergastrodongrimmsnarlsalamence
R5LWWTWN
Tung Yi
zacian-crownedumbreonamoongussthunduruslapraslandorus-therian
R6LLTWN
Wang Yi-liang
(小Yee)
zacian-crownedrotom-heatrillaboomregigigasweezinglandorus-therian
Top 16LWWTWN
Tseng Yen-jung
(Tony)
calyrex-ice-riderincineroartapu-finiregielekidusclopsmimikyu
Top 8LWWTWN
Tsai Chien-chien
(芊芊)
eternatusincineroararaquanidregielekidusclopsglastrier
Top 4WLWTWN
Duh Jenn-chau
(我什麼都沒有)
zacian-crownedgyaradosrillaboomthundurusurshifulandorus-therian
FinalsLLTWN
Liu Jian-ting
(Sayha)
eternatusincineroararaquanidregielekidusclopsglastrier

Conclusions

I didn’t expect to get into Top Cut in such a huge tournament, and I just can’t believe I did. Venusaur + Torkoal with Kyogre has a lot of possibilities but also has its disadvantages.

Thanks to everyone who has read this team report!

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