Mooseca! – A VR x GGtoor Series 12 Challenge Top 8 Team Report

Wassup, boys! I’m Mattia Angelini, better known as Matty! I’m a VGC player who started playing in January 2020, but I made my first results at the end of 2021.

Today I will reveal the secrets of my LapDog bacon, with which I made my first great result: a Top 8 at the VR x GGtoor Series 12 Challenge, a tournament with more than 500 registered participants! It’s a team that other players have also done well with, like Sohaib Mufti (Soh), anyway.

Having said this… Music, master!

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

At first I didn’t have clear ideas for a team. As the first archetype I tried Ice Rider Calyrex + Kyogre, which was really strong but I didn’t feel very confident with the team.

calyrex-ice-riderkyogre

Then I tried Zacian + Yveltal and… it was love at first game. I had a great time with it from the first game I played, so I decided to start building a team on that core, the sliced bacon as I call it.

zacian-crownedyveltal

The second step was to look for a check for the Ice Rider Calyrex + Kyogre teams and a Pokémon that could give good support to the team also for its typing. The choice fell on Amoonguss, a Pokémon with redirecting (Rage Powder), control (Spore), healing support (Pollen Puff) and low speed to put Ice Rider Calyrex to sleep under its own Trick Room. It has proven to be an excellent member of the team, so… compliments to the mushroom for being so strong.

zacian-crownedyveltalamoonguss

The third step was to look for a Pokémon that provided speed control and also a candidate for another dynamax. I didn’t even think about it: here is the bouncy boy (Regieleki), one of my favorite Pokémon ever and also one of the strongest competitively speaking. Insane speed, speed control, massive attack power … notmuch to say about the bouncy boy.

zacian-crownedyveltalamoongussregieleki

At this point, I was looking for another Pokémon capable of giving solidity to the team and that would keep the opposing Zacian at bay, as well as annoy the opposing Venusaur. And even on this I had thought almost nothing. My favorite Pokémon, as well as the strongest one of the format from 2018 to now: Incineroar (called Insigneroar by me and my other friends). A Pokémon that only by entering the field is able to impair the offensive potential of the opponents (Intimidate), block an opponent Pokémon with a priority that always attacks first (Fake Out), a strong typing, the possibility of blocking opposing supporters (Taunt) and the capability of repositioning with a move that also decreases the offensive potential of the opponents (Parting Shot)… is seriously broken. Praise the tiger man.

zacian-crownedyveltalamoongussregielekiincineroar

And here we are at the final act, the last team slot. In this slot I tried many Pokémon: Gastrodon, Therian Landorus, Urshifu, Thundurus… No one convinced me. Then, she came along. The soloist of this band. Hands up for Lapras! A Pokémon that I now think is really underestimated. It walls Kyogre; gives you an Aurora Veil that, in a meta where there is so much damage, is really strong; it hurts Incineroar, as little even from a nuisance with Freeze-Dry for Kyogre, Gastrodon and Palkia; and a really important move in this team: Helping Hand. I used Lapras as my main Dynamax (Gigantamax, in this case) option, but is strong also as a supporter. Once again: Lapras is underrated.

zacian-crownedyveltalamoongussregielekiincineroarlapras-gmax

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 236 HP / 12 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Behemoth Blade
– Sacred Sword
– Swords Dance
– Protect

There is absolutely nothing to say about Zacian, it speaks for itself. The best Restricted Pokémon of the format, broken typing, broken stats, broken Ability, broken signature move…: broken Pokémon.

Although this set can be strange: it is bulky but still max Speed and only little investment in Attack. I decided to give it this EV spread to allow it to withstand even if you don’t Gigantamax Lapras and set the Aurora Veil, in a scenario in which you decide to Dynamax Yveltal or Regieleki or if you opt to make Behemoth Blade + Helping Hand with Lapras, which I have often done. I think it’s very important to have a fast Zacian for this goal: it helped me a lot during the tournament. The lack of investment in Attack is easily compensated with the various chip damages of Lapras, Yveltal and Regieleki; the easy use of Swords Dance when paired with Amoonguss; a Fake Out user… And hey, we’re still talking about Zacian, it’d take Quick Attack OHKOs too!

Offensive calcs

zacian-crowned +3 12 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 199-235 (100 – 118%) — guaranteed OHKO (after a Swords Dance)

incineroar +1 12 Atk Zacian-Crowned Helping Hand Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 132+ Def Incineroar: 212-250 (105.4 – 124.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

ferrothorn +1 12 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 212 HP / 156+ Def Ferrothorn: 104-124 (59 – 70.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Venusaur-gmax +1 12 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Venusaur-Gmax: 156-184 (100.6 – 118.7%) — guaranteed OHKO

This is the Focus Sash Venusaur set

kyogre +1 12 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Kyogre: 88-104 (50.2 – 59.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

groudon 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (85.2 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

calyrex-ice-rider 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 172-204 (87.3 – 103.5%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO

incineroar 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 134-162 (68 – 82.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

kyogre 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 169-199 (85.7 – 101%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

Lapras-Gmax @ Light Clay
Ability: Water Absorb
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 116 SpA / 28 SpD / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Freeze-Dry
– Hydro Pump
– Helping Hand
– Protect

When she starts singing, there is none for anyone.

The soloist of the band, Lapras. She doesn’t do much damage, but her job is not to do damage, it is to prevent others from doing damage and allow her companions to throw bombs. Lapras’ most important move is undoubtedly Helping Hand. She allows me to adopt multiple different gameplans. For example, I can lead Regieleki or Zacian and Lapras and see how the opponent leads, and do either of these depending on the situation: Gigantamax Lapras and set Aurora Veil; or Dynamax Regieleki, use Helping Hand with Lapras and throw a Max Lightning or Behemoth Blade very often for a OHKO.

A soloist member but also a companion, in short.

Offensive calcs

incineroar 116+ SpA Lapras-Gmax Max Geyser vs. 244 HP / 20 SpD Incineroar: 186-218 (92.5 – 108.4%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO

rillaboom 116+ SpA Lapras-Gmax G-Max Resonance vs. 132 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 200-236 (104.1 – 122.9%) — guaranteed OHKO

kyogre 116+ SpA Lapras-Gmax Freeze-Dry vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Kyogre: 66-80 (37.7 – 45.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO

palkia 116+ SpA Lapras-Gmax Freeze-Dry vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Palkia: 156-184 (39.5 – 46.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned +1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 28 Def Gigantamax Lapras-Gmax: 396-468 (83.5 – 98.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

rillaboom 252+ Atk Rose Incense Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 28 Def Gigantamax Lapras-Gmax in Grassy Terrain: 392-464 (82.7 – 97.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

regieleki 252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 252 HP / 28 SpD Gigantamax Lapras-Gmax: 398-468 (83.9 – 98.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO (based off Rising Voltage)

kyogre 252 SpA Kyogre Max Lightning vs. 252 HP / 28 SpD Lapras-Gmax: 180-212 (75.9 – 89.4%) — guaranteed  2HKO

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

Just mushroom. This spread is made to withstand a Hurricane from Tornadus + Ice Beam from Kyogre and to be one point slower than min Speed Ice Rider Calyrex, so under Trick Room I can put it to sleep.

Defensive calcs

kyogre 252 SpA Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 236 HP / 180+ SpD Amoonguss: 102-122 (46.5 – 55.7%) — 71.1% chance to 2HKO

Tornadus 252 +SpA Tornadus Hurricane vs. 236 HP / 180+ SpD Coba Berry Amoonguss: 82-97 (37.4 – 44.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss: 184-217 (84 – 99%) — guaranteed OHKO

Incineroar 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Amoonguss: 182-216 (83.1 – 98.6%) — guaranteed OHKO

Thundurus +1 252 Atk Thundurus Max Airstream vs. 236 HP / 92 Def Coba Berry Amoonguss: 180-213 (82.1 – 97.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

Yveltal @ Assault Vest
Ability: Dark Aura
Level: 50
EVs: 204 HP / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 20 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Oblivion Wing
– Snarl
– Foul Play
– Sucker Punch

The second Restricted Pokémon of the team. Under Aurora Veil, it can withstand everything. And I mean everything. It’s very important versus Solgaleo in order to use Foul Play, and also versus Kyogre to use Snarl. It can also be a good Dynamax option.

Offensive calcs

thundurus +2 252 Atk (Thundurus’ stat) Dark Aura Yveltal Foul Play vs. 164 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 261-307 (74.5 – 87.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

urshifu 4 SpA Yveltal Oblivion Wing vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Urshifu: 170-204 (97.1 – 116.5%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk (Zacian’s stat) Dark Aura Yveltal Foul Play vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Zacian-Crowned: 87-103 (52 – 61.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive calcs

zacian-crowned +1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 204 HP / 28 Def Yveltal with an ally’s Aurora Veil: 189-224 (83.2 – 98.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

regieleki

252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 204 HP / 20 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal with an ally’s Aurora Veil: 189-225 (83.2 – 99.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

(This calc makes me laugh)

252 SpA Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 204 HP / 20 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 128-152 (56.3 – 66.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

kyogre 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 204 HP / 20 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Rain: 171-202 (75.3 – 88.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Regieleki @ Life Orb
Ability: Transistor
Level: 50
EVs: 100 Def / 212 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Electroweb
– Thunder
– Hyper Beam
– Protect

The bouncy boy. This EV spread allows Regieleki to withstand (in Dynamax) a Behemoth Blade of Zacian + the Life Orb recoil, overcoming Thundurus at +1 by one point and still maintaining excellent offensive potential. I have also often used Regieleki as a late Dynamax or late-game cleaner, especially in match-ups against Kyogre.

Just bounce.

Offensive calcs

kyogre

212 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Thunder vs. 252 HP / 20 SpD Kyogre: 218-260 (105.3 – 125.6%) — guaranteed OHKO

212 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Kyogre: 424-502 (121.1 – 143.4%) — guaranteed OHKO

zacian-crowned 212 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 168-199 (100 – 118.4%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs

kyogre 252 SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Regieleki in Rain: 274-324 (88.3 – 104.5%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

Groudon 156+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 0 HP / 100 Def Dynamax Regieleki: 254-300 (81.9 – 96.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

zacian-crowned +1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 0 HP / 100 Def Dynamax Regieleki: 248-294 (80 – 94.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Incineroar (M) @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 132 Def / 20 SpD / 108 Spe
Impish Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
– Taunt
– Parting Shot

I already said everything about this beast. This EV spread is made to outspeed other Incineroar. The Safety Goggles are to have a check versus opposing Amoonguss and Venusaur. Now you will see the calcs.

Defensive calcs

Zacian-Crowned 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 244 HP / 132+ Def Incineroar: 146-172 (72.6 – 85.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Calyrex-Ice-Rider 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 132+ Def Incineroar: 168-198 (83.5 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Groudon -1 252+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 132+ Def Incineroar: 168-200 (83.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

(Watch out for White Herb Groudon)

The match-ups

For the moment, apart from Zacian + Kyogre, there are no dominant cores in the meta as it is just getting started, but I still want to give some advice on the most common cores that I have found.

PokémonComments
Zacian-CrownedKyogreincineroaramoongussTornadus

with either of

RegielekiKartanaZapdos
Regieleki + Lapras with Zacian and Amoonguss in the back or Amoonguss + Lapras with Regieleki and Zacian in the back (if the opponent doesn’t have Kartana).
In the first case, I do different plays depending on the opponent’s lead. If the opponent leads Kyogre + Tornadus, I switch out Regieleki for Amoonguss and use Freeze-Dry on Kyogre, then they use Tailwind + Water Spout. In the next turn, I use Protect + G-Max Resonance on Tornadus, and use Regieleki as a cleaner. This match-up would be easier with a Focus Sash on Regieleki, but I don’t have it, so… it isn’t so easy.
In the second case I lead directly Amoonguss + Lapras and use Spore on Tornadus and Freeze-Dry on Kyogre. The rest of the game depends on your plays; this is a composition for which you have various possibilities to beat, for example by using Yveltal or even Incineroar.
Versus the version with Grimmsnarl, Venusaur and Zapdos, I lead Incineroar + Lapras with Zacian and Yveltal in the back. This is an annoying match-up, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, quite the contrary. Tip: try not to trigger Venusaur’s Weakness Policy if it Gigantamaxes; try to focus on the other Pokémon or stall for a late Dynamax with Yveltal.

 

Zacian-CrownedPalkiaincineroarAmoongussZapdosgrimmsnarl

 

Lapras + Incineroar with Zacian and Yveltal
The most common lead that opponents use against me is Zapdos + Grimmsnarl. I use G-Max Resonance on Zapdos and Taunt on Grimmsnarl. Next turn I use another G-Max Resonance on Zapdos and Parting Shot also on Zapdos.
If the opponent leads Palkia, I use Freeze-Dry on it + Fake Out on Grimmsnarl. A neutral match-up.

 

YveltalGroudonVenusaur

 

Lapras + Incineroar with Zacian and Yveltal
I think this is a good match-up, the team has many answers to the opponent, three Dynamax options (Lapras, Yveltal and sometimes Incineroar) and checks. Obviously it depends on the rest of the team, the Pokémon around Yveltal, Groudon and Venusaur.

Tournament run

Sadly, I don’t remember my tournament battles, so I’ll just show the teams I’ve played against.

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
R1WWBEL
Niels Notelaers
(Neill)
zacian-crownedcalyrex-shadow-ridercharizardwhimsicottsneaselgastrodon
R2WWESP
Francisco Garví
(FrancisKet)
zacian-crownedgroudonumbreonrillaboomzapdossuicune
R3WWUSA
Lance Chen
(Lance)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroaramoongussraichutornadus
R4LLESP
Jorge Tabuyo
(Tabu_24)
zacian-crownedyveltalincineroarvenusaurregielekigrimmsnarl
R5LWWITA
Eugenio Calafato
(eughe)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarvenusaurdragapultgrimmsnarl
R6LLUSA
Max Simon
(Coraline)
zacian-crownedkyogrecharizardwhimsicottpikachutogekiss
R7WWESP
Joaquín Vedelin
(Vede)
zacian-crownedkyogrekingdraferrothornthundurusurshifu
R8WWMEX
Alan Mauricio León
(Mau)
YveltalGroudonIncineroarVenusaurThundurusMetagross
R9LWWBRA
Pedro Feitosa
(Pedro Henriq)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomtornaduslandorus-therian

Top cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
T64WWUSA
Sohaib Mufti
(Soh)
Zacian-CrownedKyogreIncineroarAmoongussZapdosGrimmsnarl
T32WWUSA
Anders Nordstrom
(Anders)
Zacian-CrownedGroudonIncineroarFerrothornThundurusCharizard
RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
 T16LWWSGP
Jude Lee
(CoalossalVGC)
zacian-crownedyveltalincineroarrillaboomurshifucoalossal
Commentary

I remember that I won this match because of a speed tie between both Zacian in G3. Sorry, Jude, I hope we can play other best-of-three matches, you’re an amazing player!
Coal drip <3

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamPaste
T8LLECU
Paul Ruiz
(Ralfdude90)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarwhimsicottzapdosferrothorn
Commentary

Nothing to say, he literally destroyed me. He showed me why he is a World Champion.

Conclusion

Can Lapras have a spot in Series 12?

Well… we can say yes. Maybe even in a different composition than the one I played. Lapras has a lot of potential for this series, and I’m happy to have shown that. While I don’t think I’ve built a perfect team, it can be improved a lot. Possible changes are:

  • Weakness Policy on Lapras over Light Clay
  • Therian Landorus holding a Lum Berry and with Swords Dance to better deal with Sun teams and screens
  • Safety Goggles Yveltal
  • A more offensive EV spread on Zacian

I am however satisfied with the team that I have built and very happy with the result I have achieved. I hope to do another such result in the future, or even better.

I would like to thank the Casalnuovo Seismitoad guys who supported me during the tournament, including my bro Mattia Crescente (Xigor) and Juan Benítez (Palo) who also participated in the tournament achieving Top 64 and Top 16 spots respectively (Juan also made a report a few days ago , so I thought I’d do it too!). I love you guys! <3

And what to say… this is only the first stage of my concert. See you in upcoming tournaments.

LAPRAS GAMING!

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