Hi! My name is Juan Benítez, but I know most of you know me as Palo. I’m from Spain, and among my hobbies I can say I’m a passionate fan of UD Almería and I love playing VGC. Well, this is not entirely true, because I quit playing VGC for many months during the pandemic.
I don’t like to write about achievementes but I’m very proud to have played at the Pokémon World Championships in 2019 and, recently, having reached top 16 after a 9-0 Swiss in this VR Series 12 Challenge with over 500 people. I’ve come to talk about the team I used to reach that top 16.
Table of Contents
Well, here people usually talk about very different ideas regarding their final team, but I was really lost and I didn’t know what to use for this tournament, so I was talking with my friend Gianluca Tognino (Icebulletino) about what to play. First, we were talking about many archetypes, but I didn’t like any of them and I was unconfortable. Nonetheless, I started playing Xerneas + Groudon because I love Xerneas. Well, this was a very bad idea.
My friend then gave me a build with Zacian + Kyogre, based in a Japanese Series 11 team, and I started testing. This version was composed by the final members of the final team, but I changed some of them during my testing though eventually I had to return to the starting point. This was: Zacian, Kyogre, Grimmsnarl, Rillaboom, Zapdos, Grimmsnarl and Seismitoad.
This composition was very strong against many match-ups except for Zacian + Groudon and other compositions where it felt a bit tricky to play Seismitoad. This is the reason why I changed Rillaboom and put Incineroar… which then gave me problems against Kyogre compositions with Tornadus, an archetype that was very common in ladder.
Then I replaced Grimmsnarl with Jynx, because it is a Pokémon with Dry Skin and it has Lovely Kiss and Fake Out.
Another horrible idea. I tested Chandelure, Cradily, Umbreon, Scrafty… But no Pokémon convinced me. I found Grimmsnarl mandatory to bring and finally, went back to Rillaboom and focused on making a good EV spread.
With the new EVs, my Kyogre was able to endure a Behemoth Blade from a Jolly Zacian with 252 Attack EVs and to outspeed it, helped by a Max Airstream from Seismitoad or Zapdos. The latter holding Safety Googles gave me a good plan against Groudon teams with Venusaur.
Now that Rillaboom had returned to the team, I only had to lead Rillaboom + Seismitoad to have a good match-up against many Zacian + Kyogre teams, and thanks to the “frog”, Zacian + Yveltal was not a problem anymore. The same can be said for Palkia match-ups, where Zapdos’ Eerie Impulse was key.
I have to thank Francesco Pero (Cicciott), who was the creator of this superb Zapdos set. So, the final team was exactly the first version, but with differents EV spreads!
Sig. Rosaria / Gustavo (Seismitoad) @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Stomping Tantrum
– Power Whip
It is named after Kermit the Frog’s Spanish name, but with a special mention to Icebulletino’s mother.
Seismitoad was easilly the best Pokémon of the team, I picked it a lot of times. It was able to do a lot of damage to all the metagame, while having a good typing and being a consistent response to the annoying Gastrodon.
252+ Atk Life Orb Seismitoad Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 144 Def Zacian-Crowned: 203-242 (102 – 121.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Seismitoad Max Overgrowth vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 203-239 (98 – 115.4%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
CARLOS (Kyogre) @ Mystic Water
EVs: 188 HP / 20 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 140 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Origin Pulse
– Ice Beam
We all know what Kyogre means in terms of dealing massive damage, and this one is no exception. It has an insane damage output, and even though it has some offensive calcs, I think that the Speed and defensive ones are way more important.
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 188 HP / 20 Def Dynamax Kyogre: 166-196 (41.7 – 49.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 188 HP / 20 Def Dynamax Kyogre through Reflect: 104-123 (26.1 – 30.9%) — guaranteed 4HKO
That’s why Grimmsnarl is very important!
WICHIWI (Zapdos) @ Safety Goggles
EVs: 172 HP / 12 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Eerie Impulse
The other MVP candidate. This set makes the opponent very hesitant, since they don’t know if it can perhaps Dynamax or use Eerie Impulse to act as a support. Its item gives you the Groudon + Venusaur match-ups and it is a great Pokémon against Zacian + Palkia thanks to its set.
Most of the times I had the Special Attack dropped, but I only wanted Zapdos to stall opposing Dynamax and position my Kyogre or my Zacian with +1 Speed.
-2 236+ SpA Life Orb Palkia Max Geyser vs. 172 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos through Light Screen: 68-81 (36.3 – 43.3%) — guaranteed 3HKO
So, Grimmsnarl + Zapdos was very consistent against Palkia + Zacian, and you can play this match-up very much relaxed.
Elena (Zacian-Crowned) @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 92 Spe
– Sacred Sword
– Behemoth Blade
This Zacian set outspeeds Thundurus and is very, very bulky. First I wanted to be fast, but if you bring screens it is better to train the “dog” slow, bulky and definitely, very strong.
It has a standard moveset, priorizing Sacred Sword instead of Play Rough because of Ferrothorn.
252 SpA Venusaur-Gmax Max Flare vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Sun: 164-194 (82.4 – 97.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (84.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 156-184 (78.3 – 92.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Max Phantasm vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 165-195 (82.9 – 97.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
YURI (Grimmsnarl-Gmax) @ Light Clay
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 116 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
– Foul Play
– Light Screen
– Thunder Wave
This is a standard Grimmsnarl set. It has Foul Play because I needed a good response to Shadow Rider Calyrex and I already had Eerie Impulse in Zapdos as a Special Attack control for other match-ups.
3 DAYS GRACE (Rillaboom-Gmax) (M) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 244 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 60 SpD / 4 Spe
– Fake Out
– Grassy Glide
– Knock Off
This is just another standard Rillaboom set. It defeats Choice Scarf Kyogre with Grassy Glide.
196+ Atk Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kyogre in Grassy Terrain: 300-354 (171.4 – 202.2%) — guaranteed OHKO)
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Rillaboom: 171-202 (82.6 – 97.5%)
This was my run at the VR Series 12 Challenge!
This round was a very good match-up. I had Zapdos leading the team both games and Grimmsnarl with Screens + Thunder Wave. Late game was easy because I made their Grimmsnarl faint and my Zacian finished the game.
In G1 I led Seismitoad + Kyogre. He didn’t bring Blastoise, so I used Max Airstream + Water Spout and finished the game quickly.
G2 was slower. I led the same but he picked Blastoise, so I saved my Dynamax to prevent Yawn. I played well and I was able to win in late game with Dynamax Seismitoad.
This was a mirror, but I had advantage because of Rillaboom. I only had to led Seismitoad + Rillaboom, with Kyogre and Zacian in the back. I kept my Rillaboom and started hitting with Dynamax Seismitoad. When their Seismitoad wanted to appear, I had an angry monkey there.
I started winning G1 with Grimmsnarl + Zapdos, and keeping Kyogre, but in G2 she played very well and destroyed me with Thundurus.
In G3 I thought I had won but she made a comeback and it ended up being a close game.
In G1 and G2 I led the same, with Seismitoad Kyogre. It was a good match-up because I had the frog. I knew how to play because I had practiced this match-up with Icebulletino and I had Sacred Sword Zacian which helped a lot against Ferrothorn.
Sadly, I don’t remember how I led but I won both games thanks to Dynamax Kyogre, which did a lot of damage against Rayquaza. I don’t remember what I did against Gastrodon but, with it out, the way was clearly easier.
Juan C. Ortiz
I led both games with Seismitoad because it is in the team for this kind of match-ups. I had Ground-type coverage for their Zacian, Water-type for Yveltal and Ground and Grass-type for Gastrodon, so our favourite frog did it veeeeery well.
In G1 I remember missing a key Origin Pulse and later I was surprised by Helping Hand Rotom in a turn I didn’t expect, so I lost, but I decided to do the same in G2 and it worked. I led Seismitoad + Kyogre and they led Grimmsnarl + Yveltal.
G3 started similar but they played better. When I had already lost, their Zacian missed Play Rough and I made it faint, giving me the secured Top 32 spot.
My opponent didn’t play so i took the 9-0 (which fits perfectly for Twitter!).
I had a bye for the top 64 round!
I won but it was a really bad match-up because I can’t play Seismitoad and my Kyogre was covered by Gastrodon. I did a good gameplan and I was able to win both times with Dynamax Zapdos and the boosted speed in Kyogre.
North and Navjit are friends and had built this team together, so I was in a bad position before even starting. It was a hard match-up and my opponent could already know what I’d do.
In Game 1 I led Grimmsnarl + Zapdos and he led Calyrex + Groudon. I missplayed in turn 1 because I hit the wrong slot and he played perfectly. In late game, Gastrodon won by spamming Yawn with Calyrex behind.
I did better in G2 and I had a good position, but then their Groudon critted my Kyogre trough Reflect and then I knew I had lost. I wasn’t wrong!
You can watch this set below!
I achieved this result, but it belongs to a lot of people. The first of all, my girlfriend, who spent the whole afternoon besides me so I didn’t have any mental breakdown. Then we have my Casalnuovo Seismitoad buddies, and especially, Gianluca Tognino (Icebulletino). Special thanks to Matteo Ghisini (Lelemosina), Francesco Pero (Cicciott) and that Japanese ladder player who helped me against a match-up.
I always play to win and make a good performance; even though sometimes it doesn’t happen, as long as I do it with motivation I’ll keep trying it, standing up after every fall.
See you in Worlds 202X!!!