Spacial Dog! – Team Report from the Winner of the VR x GGtoor Series 12 Challenge

Hi all guys! I am Jesús Jiménez, also known as Susej. For anyone who hasn’t heard about me, I’m a Spanish VGC player who started playing VGC at the end of 2014 with some tournaments taking place in Spain in Game stores.

The most important accomplishments I’ve achieved since then are:

Since I’ve introduced myself a bit, let’s talk about the team with which I managed to be crowned champion in the VR Series 12 Challenge.

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

In the Battle Frontier tournament in which I reached Top 4, I brought out the potential that Palkia had, and I thought “why not use Palkia again?” since it has a lot of offensive potential and I will be able to take advantage of the rain of the rivals’ Kyogre. Other than that I’m a huge fan of “Lapdog” (Zacian + Lapras) so literally the first base for the team was to use my Series 11 team swapping Lapras for Palkia.

Zacian-CrownedPalkiaIncineroaramoongussthundurusLandorus-Therian

I brought up the team idea with my friends Pablo García (Krais) and Raúl Campoy (Rayko), as the two of them had played team comps in Series 11 of Zacian plus a potential Dynamax Water-type. Both saw the team correct with the naked eye. The team test was not bad, but I did notice that the archetypes of Indeedee + Shadow Rider Calyrex and some teams with Defiant Thundurus were very annoying. As for the first, I could not lower the Special Attack of Calyrex with my Thundurus; and against Thundurus, I had two Pokémon with Intimidate, so it wasn’t the best matchup. Also, almost every Shadow Rider Calyrex archetype had Thundurus!

So I decided to make the following changes: I swapped my Prankster Thundurus for a Defiant one as I needed another Pokémon with Dynamax potential, and decided to put Grimmsnarl in for Therian Landorus, since Grimmsnarl gave me the support the team needed with screens and speed control in matchups I wasn’t going to use my Thundurus to use Max Airstream.

Zacian-CrownedPalkiaIncineroaramoongussthundurusGrimmsnarl

Once I made those changes, I started to play in Pokémon Showdown reaching the top 25 of the ladder. I decided that the team was going well like this although Solgaleo could get me stuck a lot, but hey!, it was a Pokémon that was not seen too much since Zacian, as a Steel type, outclasses it. I moved the team over to my Switch and started testing it on some best-of-1 ladder tours. I did very well in those tournaments too, so I decided to play the team in the Series 12 Victory Road tournament.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!


Palkia @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 76 SpA / 28 SpD / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Spacial Rend
– Hydro Pump
– Earth Power

Palkia was the main Dynamax of the team. Being my second Restricted, it was really worth it to me that it was as long as possible in the field. It was also my main asset against sun archetypes, and also against most Kyogre teams as they powered Palkia’s Max Geyser.

The Speed is to outspeed base 80s with 252 EVs and a neutral Nature by 2 points, and, if I get +1 Speed from Thundurus, to outspeed base 130s by 1 point.

Offensive calcs

 

zacian-crowned

76+ SpA Life Orb Palkia Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 156 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 185-218 (98.9 – 116.5%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
76+ SpA Life Orb Palkia Hydro Pump vs. 156 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 175-207 (93.5 – 110.6%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
groudon 76+ SpA Life Orb Palkia Max Geyser (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Groudon in Sun: 179-213 (86.4 – 102.8%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
regieleki 76+ SpA Life Orb Palkia Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 108 HP / 36 SpD Dynamax Regieleki: 338-398 (100 – 117.7%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 44 Def Palkia: 180-212 (91.3 – 107.6%) — 50% chance to OHKO
kyogre

252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 28 SpD Palkia in Rain: 44-52 (22.3 – 26.3%) — 11.8% chance to 4HKO
252+ SpA Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 28 SpD Palkia: 53-63 (26.9 – 31.9%) — guaranteed 4HKO
groudon 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 44 Def Palkia: 90-106 (45.6 – 53.8%) — 41.4% chance to 2HKO
regieleki 252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 28 SpD Dynamax Palkia: 152-179 (38.5 – 45.4%) — guaranteed 3HKO


Zacian @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 4 Def / 36 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Protect
– Substitute
– Behemoth Blade
– Play Rough

Zacian in my opinion is the best Restricted in the format, since its Ability is broken, and it has great stats. It can be added that it does brutal damage to Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokémon. I decided to teach it Play Rough instead of Sacred Sword since Yveltal could get annoying as Palkia is special and its Snarls could make me have a hard time. Apart from that, it was great versus Urshifu and Gastrodon since you can hit them more with its STAB.

With Zacian’s Speed I beat Timid Whimsicott with 252 EVs by 2 points, and if I get a +1 Speed I beat Timid Regieleki with 252 EVs.

Ofensive calcs

groudon +1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Groudon: 117-138 (56.5 – 66.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
kyogre +1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 153-180 (86.9 – 102.2%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
palkia +1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Palkia: 272-324 (138 – 164.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
incineroar 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 102-120 (51 – 60%) — guaranteed 2HKO
zacian-crowned 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Zacian-Crowned: 93-109 (55.3 – 64.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

kyogre

252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 36 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 180-213 (90.4 – 107%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 36 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 165-195 (82.9 – 97.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 36 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain through Light Screen: 161-190 (80.9 – 95.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
groudon

252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (84.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Groudon Max Quake (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned through Reflect: 172-204 (86.4 – 102.5%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
regieleki 252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 36 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 168-199 (84.4 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
venusaur-gmax 252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur Max Flare (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 36 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Sun through Light Screen: 154-182 (77.3 – 91.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
calyrex-ice-rider

252+ Atk Life Orb Calyrex-Ice Rider High Horsepower vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 164-195 (82.4 – 97.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 172-204 (86.4 – 102.5%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO

Normal Sprite

Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 68 Def / 172 SpD / 12 Spe
Careful Nature
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Parting Shot
– Throat Chop

Incineroar is one of the best Pokémon in the metagame, whatever the format. I can say little about Incineroar that you don’t know yet. I think the Sitrus Berry would have been much better for me in the tournament, but I realized that while playing it.

The Speed is to outspeed Incineroar that only have 4 Speed EVs, and if I get a +1 I outspeed base 70s with 252 EVs and a neutral Nature.

Ofensive calcs

calyrex-ice-rider 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Ice Rider: 110-132 (53.1 – 63.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
zacian-crowned 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Zacian-Crowned: 138-164 (82.1 – 97.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
calyrex-shadow-rider

4 Atk Incineroar Throat Chop vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow Rider: 244-292 (138.6 – 165.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
-1 4 Atk Incineroar Throat Chop vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow Rider: 168-196 (95.4 – 111.3%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
venusaur-gmax 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Gigantamax Venusaur in Sun: 270-318 (86.5 – 101.9%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO

Defensive calcs

calyrex-ice-rider -1 252+ Atk Life Orb Calyrex-Ice Rider Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68 Def Incineroar: 169-200 (83.6 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
groudon -1 252+ Atk Life Orb Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 68 Def Incineroar: 164-195 (81.1 – 96.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
urshifu 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 68 Def Incineroar on a critical hit: 198-240 (98 – 118.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
zacian-crowned 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 68 Def Incineroar: 170-200 (84.1 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
landorus-therian -1 252 Atk Landorus-T Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68 Def Incineroar: 162-192 (80.1 – 95%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
venusaur-gmax 252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 172+ SpD Incineroar: 146-174 (72.2 – 86.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery
kyogre 252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Origin Pulse vs. 252 HP / 172+ SpD Incineroar in Rain through Light Screen: 169-200 (83.6 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO after pinch berry recovery


Amoonguss @ Coba Berry
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 236 HP / 92 Def / 180 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 27 Spe
– Protect
– Spore
– Rage Powder
– Giga Drain

Amoonguss has been a very good Pokémon since it came out. The possibility of redirecting single-target moves, being able to put opponents to sleep and to heal its own HP with its Ability make it an exceptional Pokémon. I tried to use it with Pollen Puff, but I couldn’t find the right moment to use it, since this is such an offensive metagame; so I decided to put Protect on it. Giga Drain was always there since you could beat Kyogre 1 vs 1 if it did not have Ice Beam, and it was also quite useful against Groudon.

The Speed is to be slower than Ice Rider Calyrex by one point and have a solid response against Calyrex Trick Room teams that don’t have Tapu Fini.

Ofensive calcs

kyogre 0 SpA Amoonguss Giga Drain vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 56-68 (31.8 – 38.6%) — 97.2% chance to 3HKO
groudon 0 SpA Amoonguss Giga Drain vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Groudon: 84-98 (40.5 – 47.3%) — guaranteed 3HKO
gastrodon 0 SpA Amoonguss Giga Drain vs. 188 HP / 180 SpD Gastrodon: 144-172 (68.5 – 81.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss: 184-217 (84 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO
incineroar 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss: 182-216 (83.1 – 98.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
calyrex-ice-rider -1 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Rider Glacial Lance vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss: 168-200 (76.7 – 91.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
groudon 252+ Atk Groudon Fire Punch vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss in Sun: 184-218 (84 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
kyogre 252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 180+ SpD Amoonguss in Rain: 93-111 (42.4 – 50.6%) — 2% chance to 2HKO


Thundurus @ Assault Vest
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
EVs: 164 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Wild Charge
– Fly
– Brick Break
– Crunch

Thundurus is my second Dynamax. It is for certain match-ups, such as Shadow Rider Calyrex + Indeedee; and some teams with double Intimidate, since, as I said before, Thundurus usually annoys those teams a lot and I also cover my Zacian from possible Intimidates. I decided to use Brick Break instead of Superpower as the ability to remove screens seemed more useful than OHKOing Incineroar.

Speed is maxed out to speed-tie versus other Thundurus, and at +1 it can outspeed some non-max Speed Regieleki.

Ofensive calcs

calyrex-shadow-rider 84 Atk Thundurus Crunch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow Rider: 180-212 (102.2 – 120.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
kyogre 84 Atk Thundurus Wild Charge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 134-162 (76.1 – 92%) — guaranteed 2HKO
incineroar +1 84 Atk Thundurus Brick Break vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 112-134 (56 – 67%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

kyogre 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 164 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Thundurus in Rain: 153-180 (87.4 – 102.8%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
zacian-crowned +1 156+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 164 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 214-252 (61.1 – 72%) — guaranteed 2HKO
groudon 252+ Atk Life Orb Groudon Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 164 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 309-367 (88.2 – 104.8%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
calyrex-shadow-rider 252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Rider Max Phantasm (140 BP) vs. 164 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Thundurus: 148-175 (42.2 – 50%) — 0.4% chance to 2HKO
zapdos 252 SpA Life Orb Zapdos Max Lightning (130 BP) vs. 164 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Thundurus: 113-134 (32.2 – 38.2%) — 96.9% chance to 3HKO


Grimmsnarl @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
Gigantamax: Yes
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 108 Def / 148 SpD / 12 Spe
Careful Nature
– Spirit Break
– Thunder Wave
– Reflect
– Light Screen

Grimmsnarl for me is the best support of the moment, since it gives you screens and gives you speed control.

The Speed is to outspeed other Grimmsnarl with 4 Speed EVs, and if I get a +1 I outspeed base 70s with 252 EVs and a neutral Nature.

Ofensive calcs

palkia 4 Atk Grimmsnarl Spirit Break vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Palkia: 98-116 (49.7 – 58.8%) — 96.5% chance to 2HKO
kyogre 4 Atk Grimmsnarl Spirit Break vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 55-66 (31.2 – 37.5%) — 80.5% chance to 3HKO

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 236 HP / 108 Def Grimmsnarl through Reflect: 169-200 (84.5 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
kyogre 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 148+ SpD Grimmsnarl in Rain: 184-217 (92 – 108.5%) — 50% chance to OHKO
dialga 252+ SpA Dialga Max Steelspike (130 BP) vs. 236 HP / 148+ SpD Grimmsnarl through Light Screen: 173-205 (86.5 – 102.5%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
venusaur-gmax 252+ SpA Life Orb Venusaur Max Ooze (90 BP) vs. 236 HP / 148+ SpD Grimmsnarl: 174-211 (87 – 105.5%) — 25% chance to OHKO
eternatus 252+ SpA Life Orb Eternatus Sludge Bomb vs. 236 HP / 148+ SpD Grimmsnarl through Light Screen: 153-182 (76.5 – 91%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Tournament run

This was my run at the VR Series 12 Challenge!

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R1 WLWITA
Daniele Spuntarelli
(Zenzero)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarindeedee-femaledracozolttornadus
Match summary

When I saw my rival’s team, the first thing I thought was that I had to be careful with Palkia, since it was an essential part of the match-up. In G1 I was victorious because of a Play Rough I hit Dracozolt with at switch-in. In G2 he adapted the gameplan for me and positioned himself with Tailwind, and Kyogre using Water Spout left all my Pokémon within range of his later Dynamax. In G3 we ended up Palkia versus Zacian, and a Play Rough miss gave me the victory. Zenzero was a player of the finalist Italian team at the World Cup.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R2 WLLITA
Kevin Salvetto
(Lil Bo Peep)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroaramoongussregielekitornadus
Match summary

In this round the match-up was similar to round 1, but this one had Regieleki and Amoonguss. In G1 I was able to beat him well thanks to Palkia’s well-used late-game Dynamax, since it does great against Kyogre and Zacian. In G2 he played Amoonguss super well, which gave me a lot of problems since he wouldn’t let me Dynamax freely by Dynamaxing his Regieleki after he put my Palkia to sleep. In G3 we started taking very passive turns, but there was a turn in which his Regieleki Dynamax was waiting for me; I decided to Dynamax my Palkia but that was the end of the game.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R3 WWUSA
Drew W.
(Druthless)
groudonkyogreincineroarvenusaurporygon2tornadus
Match summary

When I saw the rival’s team, the first thing I noticed was that it had a double weather with Groudon and Kyogre, for which my win condition was a good use of Palkia in Dynamax. G1 I left his Groudon completely useless by lowering its Attack with Incineroar, Grimmsnarl’s screens and Palkia’s Max Wyrmwind, which made things a lot easier for me. Also a turn in which I Thunder Wave’d his Tornadus, and Zacian’s Behemoth Blade in my opponent’s first turn of Dynamax, gave me the victory completely. In G2 I decided to do the same game plan and it worked for me since the rival team didn’t have many answers against it.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R4 WWESP
José P. Figueroa
(Anubis)
yveltalkyogreincineroarrillaboomregielekibronzong
Match summary

In round 4 I had to play against a friend, Anubis. When I saw his team the first thing I did was take a look at what Ally Switch Pokémon he had this time, since he is a big fan of it! I saw that I didn’t have a solid answer against Thundurus + Zacian, so I decided to present my game plan taking this into account. In G1 he Dynamaxed Regieleki turn 1 and switched his Yveltal for Bronzong, and I used Max Airstream, since at +1 my Zacian outsped Regieleki. On turn 2 it was a 50-50 if he was going with Ally Switch or not, so I decided to focus on Bronzong since it didn’t have Protect, getting a KO on it; Regieleki Protected on that turn, which meant the end of that game. In G2 we both decided to raise the bets. This time he Dynamaxed Yveltal, but the match-up was so favorable to me that he couldn’t do anything.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R5 LWWJPN
Arata Kumaoka
(ピエローーヌ)
zacian-crowneddialgaincineroarwhimsicottregielekitogekiss
Match summary

In this round I had to play against a Japanese player. When I saw their team, I thought “Oof! It’s a very tough match-up!” Their team was very offensive and with a Blizzard Dialga I could not play Amoonguss comfortably. In G1, their Togekiss + Life Orb Dialga lead completely destroyed me, since when he once used Ally Switch with Togekiss there was little I could do. In G2 I decided to bring Thundurus, which came in handy since I could be faster with my Zacian than their Regieleki. A bad turn could have cost me the match, but they showed a move that wasn’t on their teamsheet and I got the win in this game. And in G3 I decided to bring Incineroar and Dynamax it, using Max Strike so that my Palkia could also be faster than their Dialga and that added to a good use of Amoonguss allowed me to win.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R6 LWWUSA
Michael Bsharah
(Mike)
ho-ohkyogreincineroarrillaboomtogedemaruditto
Match summary

In round 6, I saw the rival’s team and really liked it: it was different from the ones used and I thought it was a very good team. In G1 my rival played a turn very well, ignoring my Zacian and using a self-Volt Switch on his Ho-Oh proccing the Weakness Policy and proceeding to destroy my entire team, to which moreover his Ditto, that had transformed into Palkia, activated its Quick Claw. In G2 I decided to bring Thundurus because, if I was careful with his Togedemaru, Thundurus could perform very well. And in G3 I decided to do the G1 approach again, it didn’t seem bad to me and a predict of his Ditto switch-in transforming into my Palkia and using Play Rough on that slot gave me the victory.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R7 WWITA
Omar Berd
(Shiori)
zacian-crownedpalkiaincineroarweezingregielekilandorus-therian
Match summary

In this round I was calm because the mirrors are teams that I usually battle them quite well. In G1 and G2 a good positioning of Amoonguss and Zacian with Substitute could give me a fairly easy victory. Mirrors are never easy and the fact that his Palkia was faster than mine made it very difficult for me.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R8 WLLECU
Paul Ruiz
(Ralfdude)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarwhimsicottzapdosferrothorn
Match summary

I had 2 rounds left and winning 1 round already assured me the top cut. When I saw the pairings and realised I was facing the 2018 World Champion, I shivered. “It can’t be, I can’t get a simple round!” In G1 a good use of Palkia’s Dynamax gave me a lot of advantage in the lategame; it also was the only game in which he brought out Ferrothron. In G2 a lead from Kyogre + Zacian versus Zacian + Thundurus was an exchange of blows as we lost a Pokémon each, but I took a lot of damage with the Pokémon that survived. And in G3 he brought Zapdos for the first time and took out the game plan for the finals. He played me excellently and took the fight!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R9 LWWGBR
Taran Birdee
(AuraRayquaza)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarvenusaurraichugrimmsnarl
Match summary

It was the 9th and last round! I played the win-and-in against Taran: it seemed that fate was laughing at me, such a run I was playing! But even if I was tired I could go to top cut if I played it well. In G1 one bad approach allowed him to connect all the Sleep Powders and I did not have any options. In G2 and G3 I realised that Thundurus + Zacian did a lot of damage to Taran’s team since he couldn’t stop that combination, which gave me a victory without the opponent being able to do anything, even though he is a great player.

Top cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Top 64 WWITA
Mattia Crescente
(Xigor)
zacian-crownedlugiaincineroaramoongussraichugastrodon
Match summary

First game of the Top Cut and unfortunately I don’t have a bye to Top 32. My rival’s team surprised me a lot since it had a Lugia, and it was the first Lugia I saw both in my whole run and in all the testing I had done with the team. In G1 and G2 a good use of Thundurus + Zacian could give me a relatively easy win; there were teams that couldn’t stop this core!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Top 32 WLWJPN
Naoya Takasago
(みず)
zacian-crownedpalkiaincineroaramoongussthundurusurshifu
Match summary

As I said in Round 7, mirrors are never easy and I was paired against another one in Top 32. In G1 a good use of Thundurus in Dynamax gave me the victory alongside Zacian. However, an error I made in G2 gave my rival a great chance, he knew how to take advantage of it perfectly and achieved a tie in the set. In G3 a Protect from Zacian + a Max Airstream from Thundurus to his Dynamax Palkia in turn 1, and a focus from Max Airstream + Play Rough in turn 2, got the KO on Palkia and I got the win.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Top 16 WWHKG
Mak Kwan Ho
(AnabelVg)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomzapdosseismitoad
Match summary

I was already in the Top 16, one win away from the $25 goal! It was the first Seismitoad I faced and I was quite terrified of what it could do, I did not know how much offensive potential it had. My game plan in G1 and G2 was based on playing Palkia + Incineroar, pivoting Incineroar and playing Amoonguss well. This strategy gave me an easy win even though my opponent played great.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Top 8WLWUSA
Mike D’Angelo
(Mike)
Zacian-Crownedkyogreincineroaramoongusszapdostornadus
Match summary

In the top 8 I had to play against a well-known player like Mike D’Angelo. I had played this match-up quite a few times in the tournament and knew how to approach it. In G1, using well Palkia’s Dynamax to raise Amoonguss’s Special Defense helped me a lot. In G2 I decided to bring Thundurus, and I regretted it a lot: even though I Dynamaxed it, Kyogre’s Water-type moves did a lot of damage to it. In G3 I decided to do the same gameplan as G1; I was very close to winning when in the penultimate turn of the battle Zapdos double-Protected when I used Fake Out + Play Rough on it. I decided to Protect my Zacian and use Parting Shot on his Zacian so that it wouldn’t make my Pokémon faint with another Behemoth Blade. I got the KO on his Zapdos with Play Rough and used Flare Blitze on his Zacian to have its HP bar in red, forcing my opponent to forfeit and earning the win that put me in Top 4.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Top 4 WLWITA
Gabriele Mocciaro
(Dalembertian)
solgaleokyogreincineroargrimmsnarlzapdoslandorus-therian
Match summary

In Top 4 I had arguably the worst match-up of the entire tournament. Solgaleo not only was already complicated, but it also was holding an Assault Vest with screens and was accompanied by a Calm Mind Kyogre. In G1 I decided to try to play the hax and make his Solgaleo be paralyzed on some Dynamax turn, but luck smiled to me another way: making my Zacian dodge two attacks and opening my Amoonguss the door to put his Kyogre to sleep. In G2 I decided to try to blow up the Dynamax, but it turned out fatal and he won very, very easily. In G3 I decided to try to stall by using Grimmsnarl + Amoonguss, as this forced him to use Max Lightning to avoid his Solgaleo to be put to sleep. I was able to set the screens that I could never set in G1 and G2. The gameplan worked out for me and I got the win.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 Final WWECU
Paul Ruiz
(Ralfdude)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarwhimsicottzapdosferrothorn
Match summary

I was already super happy but I was very, very tired, and I had to play in the Finals again against Paul Ruiz, a fearsome rival. I wanted to try to beat him to redeem myself from the Swiss loss and I decided to make a game plan based on the last info he was getting from me in G3 of Swiss as I assumed he was probably going to repeat the same game plan. G1 he played me very well and I had to make a risky play in the final turns that gave me the victory. In G2 we had connection problems, but we repeated turns; a funny thing is that the second Moonblast when we repeated the game took more from me than the first one! I knew how to position myself well against his Zacian in neutral, and having set the screens for my own Zacian, I was able to use a great Substitute which complicated the game for him. We reached the final turns and anyone could win, however my Zacian was so bulky it took away the hopes of poor Paul, enduring Zapdos’ Heat Wave and crowning me as the VR Series 12 Challenge champion!

Conclusions

I think it is a very solid team with a lot of potential. The possible changes that the team has are Safety Goggles or Sitrus Berry in Incineroar and if you like to play Amoonguss without Protect, you can use it with Clear Smog or Pollen Puff. Everything else I would keep as it is.

I want to thank all my friends for the support, my colleagues at Oxygen Gaming, and all the people who supported me until the end; I dedicate this victory to them! Thank you very much for reading the report, I hope you liked it and see you in future tournaments 🙂 BARBARIE!!!

Enjoy the team!

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