Hi all! I am Chengfu Ren, also known as 小夫 (Xiaofu) on Ladder. It appears like Ren Chengfu on the 2021 World Cup and Victory Road because all Team China members chose to use the Eastern style of writing our last name before our first name. For anyone who hasn’t heard about me, I am a Chinese VGC player who started playing VGC at the end of 2019.
The most important accomplishments I have achieved since then are:
- 2-times 2000 rating on Battle Spot
- Runner-up in 43th JollyBreloom Tour
- 2nd place in 2021 JollyBreloom’s Total Ranking
- Lots of championships in various formats in China
- Semi-finals in 2021 World Cup as a member of Team China
Since I have introduced myself a bit, let’s go straight into the team which I managed to get to 2nd place in the VR February S12 Challenge.
Table of Contents
To be honest, this team was not created by me. It was on Wednesday when Wang Bingjie asked me whether I wanted to play and stayed up late with him for the new VR Challenge. Since I just lost 1 game in NPA before, I thought it was time to make some practice and accepted Bingjie’s offer. Then I asked another friend Tan Qingyang if he had any team for me to play, and he gave me this team which looks like Rinya Kobayashi’s Zacian + Groudon team but with Defiant Thundurus instead of Iron Ball Grimmsnarl. I found this team really interesting and solid so I practiced on Pokémon Showdown and on cart for over 100 games before NPA and VR, and finally got a good grade of winning my NPA match and getting 2nd place in the VR February S12 Challenge.
In fact, this run was a really unlucky one for me. Besides Precipice Blades classic misses, I also got haxed a lot. For example, despite reading correctly, I got double crits by the -2 Atk Groudon of Tomoyuki Yoshimura (SNOW). Although I won the set in the end, when I saw this I really wanted to throw the game. Since I played lots of Zacian + Kyogre teams in 13 sets, many opponents were just clicking Hurricane under Sun, and my Groudon got confused for 5 times and all 5 times hit myself in confusion (LMAO). Also, if I had not get Static’d by Zapdos, I might have won the Grand Finals in a really bad match-up.
However, with all this stuff I still got 2nd place in the run, so just don’t give up too early on your unlucky games but try to find a way to win it back! It’s normal and it’s VGC, something we all hate but still love and play, lol.
Get the team’s paste here!
Thundurus @ Assault Vest
EVs: 196 HP / 76 Atk / 52 Def / 12 SpD / 172 Spe
– Wild Charge
– Brick Break
– Foul Play
This Defiant Thundurus is the main Dynamax option of the team. It is the first choice when I’m playing against Thundurus + Zacian or Shadow Rider Calyrex and when I actually don’t know what to start with. I made it extremely bulky in order to survive more attacks since you can’t really do much damage with Thundurus. Surviving three Dynamax turns and setting up as many boosts as possible with Max Airstream and Max Knuckle to help the team should be our goal of using it.
The Speed is to outspeed any Pokémon with a 100 base Speed stat, such as Charizard and Zapdos, which also means we will always move after the opposing Thundurus, but it’s totally fine because of our bulk.
76 Atk Thundurus Max Lightning vs. 124 HP / 4 Def Kyogre: 192-228 (100.5 – 119.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 164+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Helping Hand Behemoth Blade vs. 196 HP / 52 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 302-356 (84.3 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Behemoth Blade
– Sacred Sword
From my perspective, Zacian is the best Restricted Pokémon in the format since its Ability and type are broken. I decided to run Substitute because it’s hard for me to play against Trick Room teams, so I needed some counter-measures.
I chose a 220 Speed stat Zacian because moving first is the most important thing and I didn’t want to get punished by Imprison Zacian or max Speed Zacian. Also, I made it with 169 HP in order to be able to set up Substitute 4 times (with 1 HP left in the end) as well as not getting killed easily by opponent’s Zacian. It is quite useful against Dialga and Kartana when you just click Substitute 3 times to stall out their Dynamax turns and KO them back with Sacred Sword.
+1 236 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Dialga: 158-188 (89.7 – 106.8%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
+1 236 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Calyrex-Ice: 218-258 (105.3 – 124.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 156+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 12 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 144-169 (85.2 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Incineroar (M) @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 76 Def / 60 SpD / 116 Spe
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Parting Shot
Incineroar is just the god, whatever the format is. This time I tried out Focus Sash Incineroar and it was super useful. Focus Sash Incineroar makes it more likely for Zacian to set up Substitute with the support of Fake Out, and also it survives any Water-type move by Kyogre before using Parting Shot on it.
I tested both the offensive and the bulky EV spreads, finding out that even with Focus Sash, the bulky one is still better since you need to play without the item in late games.
+1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 252 HP / 76+ Def Incineroar: 170-202 (84.1 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
-1 252 Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 76+ Def Incineroar: 162-192 (80.1 – 95%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Charizard-Gmax (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Solar Power
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Blast Burn
– Ancient Power
Charizard is my second Dynamax choice. It is for certain match-ups, such as Sun archetypes, Yveltal and teams without Regieleki. I know there are many other item options for Charizard, but I really love Life Orb. That huge power under sunlight is just so exciting for me to use. Being able to OHKO Grimmsnarl without Sun is also super important.
252 SpA Life Orb Charizard-Gmax G-Max Wildfire vs. 252 HP / 60+ SpD Grimmsnarl: 157-187 (77.7 – 92.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Wildfire damage
252 SpA Life Orb Charizard-Gmax Max Rockfall vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Gigantamax Charizard: 333-395 (108.1 – 128.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard-Gmax G-Max Wildfire vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Zapdos in Sun: 363-426 (109.3 – 128.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
Groudon @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 92 Atk / 20 Def / 76 SpD / 76 Spe
– Precipice Blades
– Rock Slide
– Swords Dance
Groudon is one of my favorite Restricted Pokémon, so no matter how Precipice Blades made me suffer, I still trust and use it. This time I run a bulky set with Sitrus Berry which can endure many attacks. There are lots of Assault Vest Groudon on ladder nowadays, but I still find it quite useful to have a Protect on Groudon. Also, a nice-timing Swords Dance often leads you to an easy win.
+1 92+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 222-264 (111.5 – 132.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 92+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 156-186 (92.8 – 110.7%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Groudon: 115-136 (55.5 – 65.7%) – 25.3% chance of 2HKO with Sitrus Berry
Gastrodon (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 204 HP / 204 Def / 100 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 8 Spe
– Earth Power
– Ice Beam
Before the run, I didn’t expect this Pokémon to be so useful in this team, but the fact is it truly helped me out in lots of games. You just easily win a lot of games if you Yawn the opposing Pokémon and then Protect to wait for it to fall asleep.
For the EV spread, I considered for a while and finally chose to invest more on the Special Defense because I need it to win against Kyogre in late games, as well as to survive a Max Wyrmwind from Adamant Orb Dialga (which boosts its base power 1.2 times). Making the Speed stat to be 48 enables me to Yawn before the opponent’s Ice Rider Calyrex’s move under Trick Room, which is quite important since my team has not a good match-up against the Ice Rider.
252+ SpA Adamant Orb Dialga Roar of Time vs. 204 HP / 100+ SpD Gastrodon: 178-211 (83.9 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
How to use the team
In best-of-3 I prefer to lead Thundurus + Zacian to kind of learn what your opponents’ playstyle is. It is always a good choice when you just don’t know how to lead a game.
Against no Intimidate users
I love leading with Incineroar + Zacian, using Fake Out + Substitute to create advantage. It’s always useful against Kyurem and Dialga stuffs or sometimes in Zacian + Kyogre matches.
Leading with + or +
The hyper-offensive leads which I love the most! You just need to click G-Max Wildfire and the damage you create is so cool to see.
Leading with +
This is a lead I used against Regieleki + Shadow Rider Calyrex teams. Just Protect or go straight Dynamax Gastrodon. Remember: it was even worse than fainting if your Gastrodon just remain on the field with a low HP, which gives the opposing Shadow Rider Calyrex a chance to setup.
I can only remember some of them so I will just talk about five sets.
Juan M. Odriozola
|Since SNOW had a Sun team with Grimmsnarl, what I needed to do is to kill that Grimmsnarl as soon as possible. I led with Incineroar and Charizard in the first two games, putting pressure on his Grimmsnarl, with Zacian and Groudon in the back. The only decision we need to make in that situation was choosing which spot you use G-Max Wildfire on, because his Grimmsnarl might switch into Incineroar. On our last game, since he had led with Charizard + Groudon on the second game, I led Zacian + Charizard to give him a huge pressure on that lead, and by doing this at least we can have a speed tie between the two Charizard.|
|Since Digne had a Solgaleo + Kyogre team with Tailwind, it was time to play Gastrodon as the core. I led with Incineroar + Zacian, stalling his Dynamax turns out with Fake Out, Substitute and Protect. Then I used Max Quake to boost my Gastrodon and finished the game by using Yawn to put all his Pokémon to sleep. Gastrodon truly is a god for this match-up.|
From here on, all my opponents ran Zacian + Kyogre archetypes. To be honest, it was really boring to play so many Zacian + Kyogre teams in 13 sets, but it is the case when people really want to win the game!
I led with Thundurus + Zacian in G1. Although I lost easily because of his Icy Wind Tornadus, I learned something about his playstyle. I found out that he didn’t have the intention to bring Kyogre, so I might have a chance of winning by Dynamaxing Incineroar.
This time I led with Incineroar + Zacian again, with Groudon and Gastrodon in the back. Incineroar’s Fake Out helped Zacian keep its Substitute, gaining some advantage. I Dynamaxed my Incineroar in the midgame, successfully countered his Kartana and sealed the win.
On our third game, I went with Thundurus again. Even though my Thundurus only had 160 HP left, it was bulky enough to survive Tornadus’s Max Hailstorm and Kartana’s Leaf Blade to get the KO. Truly recommend everyone to try out this spread of Thundurus!
The first game with Torviv was my best game during the run, but unfortunately there was no stream from VR side so you guys cannot watch it. I led with Groudon + Incineroar and he led with Tornudus + Kyogre. It was hard when I Dynamaxed my Groudon while he didn’t choose to Dynamax, because I instantly knew he would Dynamax Kartana in the late game which was painful to me. As I expected, he managed to have Zacian on the field as a boost receiver when he Dynamaxed Kartana. When he predicted correctly to kill my switched-in Incineroar, I almost wanted to throw this game. However, I tried a wild switch-in of Zacian to save my Gastrodon. Kartana didn’t use Max Airstream, and after taking the +2 Max Overgrowth with only 20HP left, Zacian managed to outspeed it and get the KO with Sacred Sword. Gastrodon found the chance to Yawn his Zacian and eventually won the 1-on-1 with just 5 HP!
For the second game, I led with Thundurus + Zacian. I switched in Groudon while Dynamaxing my Thundurus to get a KO on his Kyogre with Max Lightning. My opponent chose to Dynamax his Tornadus, but I correctly predicted the double attack on my Incineroar. I reserved my Incineroar for the late game and it finally paid off. Really nice game and GG to my opponent!
For the finals, I think many people have already watched them. To be honest, I played many Zacian + Kyogre teams during the run but Joe’s team was the hardest for me because of that Life Orb Zapdos. I just didn’t have any way to deal heavy damage towards that Dynamaxed Zapdos. I could not even lead with Thundurus + Zacian because I knew the damage was not sufficient. I tried three leads (Thundurus + Groudon, Incineroar + Charizard and Incineroar + Groudon) but finally lost the game by 1-2… really a pity, but it would give me a chance of competing for the Champion next time!
I think this is a very solid team with a lot of potential left to be found. The possible changes are the items for Charizard, Groudon and Incineroar. Venusaur might also be an alternative to Gastrodon.
I want to thank all my friends for the support, especially Wang Bingjie, who invited me to this match; Tan Qingyang, who gave me the team and guidance; Xuan Zhengyi, who helped me with the typos of the team report; and also Xi Xiangyu, who helped me practiced a lot of match-ups. I dedicate this victory to them!
Thank you very much for reading the team report, I hope you liked it and see you guys in future tournaments. Enjoy using the team!