Seismigoat! — A VR x GGtoor Series 12 Challenge Top 16 Team Report

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

Teambuilding process

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.

XerneasGroudonumbreonvenusaur-gmaxregielekithundurus

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.

Zacian-CrownedKyogregrimmsnarl-gmaxrillaboom-gmaxzapdosSeismitoad

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.

Zacian-CrownedKyogreIncineroargrimmsnarl-gmaxzapdosSeismitoad

Then I replaced Grimmsnarl with Jynx, because it is a Pokémon with Dry Skin and it has Lovely Kiss and Fake Out.

Zacian-CrownedKyogrejynxrillaboom-gmaxzapdosSeismitoad

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.

Zacian-CrownedKyogregrimmsnarl-gmaxrillaboom-gmaxzapdosSeismitoad

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!

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Sig. Rosaria / Gustavo (Seismitoad) @ Life Orb 
Ability: Swift Swim 
Level: 50 
Shiny: Yes 
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
– Liquidation 
– Stomping Tantrum 
– Power Whip 
– Bounce 

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.

Offensive calcs

zacian-crowned 252+ Atk Life Orb Seismitoad Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 144 Def Zacian-Crowned: 203-242 (102 – 121.6%) — guaranteed OHKO

kyogre 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 
Ability: Drizzle 
Level: 50    
EVs: 188 HP / 20 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 140 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
– Water Spout 
– Origin Pulse
– Ice Beam 
– Protect 

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.

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 188 HP / 20 Def Dynamax Kyogre: 166-196 (41.7 – 49.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO

groudon 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 
Ability: Static 
Level: 50 
Shiny: Yes 
EVs: 172 HP / 12 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe 
Modest Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
– Hurricane 
– Thunderbolt 
– Eerie Impulse 
– Roost 

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.

Defensive calcs

Palkia -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 
Level: 50 
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 92 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
– Sacred Sword 
– Protect 
– Behemoth Blade 
– Substitute 

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.

Defensive calcs

Venusaur-gmax 252 SpA Venusaur-Gmax Max Flare vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Sun: 164-194 (82.4 – 97.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Groudon 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (84.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Kyogre 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 156-184 (78.3 – 92.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Calyrex-Shadow-Rider 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
Ability: Prankster 
Level: 50 
Shiny: Yes 
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 116 SpD 
Careful Nature 
IVs: 0 Atk 
– Foul Play 
– Light Screen 
– Reflect 
– 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 
Level: 50 
EVs: 244 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 60 SpD / 4 Spe 
Adamant Nature 
– Fake Out 
– Grassy Glide 
– Knock Off 
– U-turn 

This is just another standard Rillaboom set. It defeats Choice Scarf Kyogre with Grassy Glide.

Ofensive calcs

Kyogre 196+ Atk Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kyogre in Grassy Terrain: 300-354 (171.4 – 202.2%) — guaranteed OHKO) 

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Rillaboom: 171-202 (82.6 – 97.5%)

Tournament run

This was my run at the VR Series 12 Challenge!

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R1 WWMEX
Eduardo Abrego
(Lalobethel®)
zacian-crownedcalyrex-shadow-ridertorkoalvenusaurthundurusgrimmsnarl
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R2 WWCRI
Mauricio Vargas
(MauGML)
zacian-crownedcalyrex-shadow-riderincineroarblastoisethundurusindeedee-female
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R3 WWCHN
Tang Kyoshiro
(キョシロ)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroargrimmsnarlzapdosseismitoad
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R4 WLWDEU
Yuki Safari
(Yuki)
calyrex-shadow-ridergroudonincineroarvenusaurthunduruswhimsicott
Match summary

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. 

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R5 WWITA
Cristian Frosio
(Cris7)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarferrothornzapdosgrimmsnarl
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R6 WWITA
Francesco Iozzia
(Nova)
zacian-crownedrayquazaincineroaramoongussregielekigastrodon
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R7 WWECU
Juan C. Ortiz
(MrPenguin93)
zacian-crownedyveltallandorus-theriangrimmsnarlrotom-heatgastrodon
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R8LWWUSA
Jourdan Bul-lalayao
(Professor Ragna)
zacian-crownedyveltalincineroargrimmsnarlrotom-washlandorus-therian
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 R9WWMEX
Kenneth Gamboa
(Lisiado Vgc)
zacian-crownedkyogrekingdraferrothornthundurusurshifu
Match summary

My opponent didn’t play so i took the 9-0 (which fits perfectly for Twitter!).

Top cut

I had a bye for the top 64 round!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 T32WWCAN
Navjit Joshi
(Navjit)
calyrex-shadow-ridergroudonincineroarcharizardthundurusgastrodon-east
Match summary

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.

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 T16LLUSA
Kyle Geffner
(North)
calyrex-shadow-ridergroudonincineroarcharizardthundurusgastrodon
Match summary

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!

Conclusion

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!!!

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