Header image by Pixiv user mYho.
Hello, everyone! My name is Filip Idczak, also known as Idczaq. I started playing VGC when Sword and Shield came out but I have been following the competitve scene since 2014 when Sejun Park won Worlds with his Pachirisu. I played a few locals before tournaments were cancelled in 2020, and I tried my best at online tournaments but always ended up just missing cut. Before Liverpool, I thought of Worlds as a distant dream with only 40 CP to my name, but now, I am motivated more than ever, and I will do everything I possibly can to meet you all in London.
This is the team with which I got top 4 at Liverpool Regionals!
Table of Contents
At the beginning, I’d like to give shoutout to Devon Singh (Teenspirit) who has always been a partner in building my most succesful teams.
To be honest, I was devastated when it was announced that Series 12 would span the entirety of the competitive season; I didn’t believe I could succeed in a Restricted format. Two months ago, I stumbled upon a document where the most meta-relevant teams were available to try. After testing multiple comps, I found that this Yveltal + Groudon build with Metagross suits me really well since I’ve been using Sun since I started playing VGC. Even though the current sets are very different from the original, the main concept of the team remains the same.
I quicky realized Ice Rider Calyrex and Therian Landorus, as well as hyper offensive teams with speed control, were too difficult to manage, and Metagross felt like it was mediocre even in the match-ups where it was supposed to excel. It had nothing to offer outside of Dynamax, but I decided to test a different variation.
Choice Scarf Entei replaced Incineroar to pair better with Metagross, especially on lead. Bulldoze provided both another form of speed control and an easy method of activating Weakness Policy while breaking Mimikyu’s Disguise, which was instrumental against Ice Rider Calyrex teams. Unfortunately, Landorus was still a threat, especially when holding a Lum Berry which neutralized the inconsistent burns from Sacred Fire. Sadly, the combination of Metagross + Entei didn’t solve Ice Rider Calyrex match-ups as well as I expected; if these teams managed to get into Trick Room, they could hit nearly my entire team for super effective damage which my damage mitigation options were so limited. I didn’t have enough tools to stop the ice horse.
I eventually concluded that YvelDon had little chance of competing with the other popular meta teams, especially as I watched the rise of “double Don” (Groudon+Gastrodon) and Lum Berry Charizard. Devon suggested watching the team report on an Yveltal + Groudon team with Bronzong by Joseph Ugarte (JoeUX9) on his YouTube channel from earlier in the meta, to see if Bronzong would help fix some of the problematic match-ups. Unfortunately, the video itself was too broad to address my specific concerns, but Joe kept mentioning how good Bronzong was on the team, so I decided to give it a try and I was stunned.
With Iron Defense and Max Quake boosts from Groudon or Venusaur, Bronzong could single-handedly carry the Ice Rider Calyrex match-up or completely wall Dynamaxed Landorus. Leftovers provided the necessary recovery for Bronzong to stay on the field, and with Body Press it often took 3-4 KO’s alone. Now it was the time to figure out how to beat the best team in the format, the infamous “double Don”. Here, I have to thank Peng Chongjun who wiped out the entire population of Lum Berry Charizard by winning Salt Lake City Regionals with Charti Berry. This meta shift allowed Venusaur to dominate in this specific match-up.
Get the team’s paste here!
Groudon @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 20 Def / 116 SpD / 44 Spe
– Precipice Blades
– Rock Slide
– Swords Dance
Groudon is probably one of the best Restricteds in the meta and in the history of VGC thanks to its Drought ability that enables many strong options. I decided to run a standard Sitrus Berry set with Swords Dance. In place of Rock Slide I did consider Stone Edge or Rock Tomb; while the former can deal significantly more damage that Rock Slide at the cost of reduced accuracy, the latter could provide solid speed control though it suffered from low base power as a Dynamax move. I decided Rock Slide was the most sensible choice. My Groudon hits 116 Speed stat to outspeed Charizard or Zapdos at +1 from Yveltal’s Max Airstream as well as speedcreep other popular Groudon builds while maintain adequate bulk.
252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 116 SpD Groudon in Sun: 180-212 (86.9 – 102.4%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Groudon: 115-136 (55.5 – 65.7%) — 23.4% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry
Venusaur-Gmax @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Frenzy Plant
– Earth Power
– Sleep Powder
Venusaur had a standard Focus Sash spread, but the devil is in the details and, in this case, the moveset. Sleep Powder is obviously mandatory. Initially I had Leaf Storm and Weather Ball over Protect, but I was disappointed in the Leaf Storm damage. During prep I had many games that I lost becuase something survived Leaf Storm on a glimmer of HP or just outside of G-Max Vine Lash passive damage range, so I switched to Frenzy Plant. Protect turned out to be an insanely good option to have, helping Venusaur maintain its sleep pressure outside of Dynamax and preventing potential Fake Outs that could break the Focus Sash.
252 SpA Venusaur Frenzy Plant vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 162-192 (92 – 109%) — 50% chance to OHKO
Yveltal @ Assault Vest
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 188 HP / 44 Def / 68 SpA / 12 SpD / 196 Spe
– Foul Play
– Sucker Punch
– Oblivion Wing
Yveltal’s biggest weakness is probably Zacian which the rest of the team covers consistently enough for the bacon bird to do its job. Basically, it’s a standard Assault Vest set with a few twists important to the team. At first I ran Modest, but I found outspeeding Jolly Therian Landorus and Timid Kyogre more valuable than damage, especially since I didn’t have any specific offensive benchmarks that I needed to hit. In general, Yveltal provides speed control with Max Airstream, damage mitigation with Snarl and has recovery with Oblivion Wing which makes it a really annoying Pokémon to deal with and demands respect whenever it’s on the field.
68 SpA Yveltal Oblivion Wing vs. 236 HP / 156+ SpD Amoonguss: 110-132 (50.2 – 60.2%)
252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 188 HP / 44 Def Yveltal: 186-222 (82.6 – 98.6%)
-1 252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (125 BP) vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Rain: 79-94 (35.1 – 41.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 187-221 (83.1 – 98.2%)
252 SpA Solar Power Charizard G-Max Wildfire (150 BP) vs. 188 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Yveltal in Sun: 171-202 (38 – 44.8%)
Regieleki @ Life Orb
EVs: 28 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpA / 20 SpD / 196 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hyper Beam
Now the REAL offensive powerhouse, Regieleki! Regieleki is another flexible Pokémon on the team that excels both with and without Dynamax. With Electroweb and Hyper Beam, Regieleki was able to control the pace of the game while dealing huge amount of damage. I was using Modest Nature for a long time until I realized the importance of outspeeding Incarnate Thundurus after clicking Max Airstream. Despite the decrease in Special Attack, Timid Regieleki when Dynamaxed is still powerful enough to 2HKO even bulky Assault Vest Thundurus variants. Rising Voltage was an option instead of Thunderbolt, but it does miserable damage without Dynamaxing its user which sometimes happened in testing. Regieleki hits 269 Speed, which is just enough to outspeed Jolly Thundurus without sacrificing the bulk I had used on my Modest Regieleki.
252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Gigantamax Charizard: 283-338 (91.8 – 109.7%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO after Solar Power damage
252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 160-188 (95.8 – 112.5%) — 75% chance to OHKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 28 HP / 20 Def Dynamax Regieleki: 256-302 (80.5 – 94.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Incineroar @ Safety Goggles
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 92 Def / 76 SpD / 92 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
– Parting Shot
Incineroar is probably the most splashable Pokémon in VGC history. It fits on almost every team and this one is no exception. An Intimidate user with Fake Out and Parting Shot gives it unmatched utility in multiple match-ups. My item of choice, Safety Googles, helps me manoeuvre against Amoonguss in Ice Rider Calyrex teams, and Taunt prevents Incineroar’s partners from falling asleep or being disrupted by Grimmsnarl. Having a Dark-type move felt unnecessary with Yveltal on the team. I made my Incineroar a little bit faster to outspeed most fire cats on the enemy team. In retrospect, Shuca Berry would’ve been a better call for this tournament in addition to Burning Jelousy over Taunt, but I also didn’t lose a game because of needing a different item.
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 92+ Def Incineroar: 170-200 (84.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 244 HP / 92+ Def Incineroar: 127-150 (63.1 – 74.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Bronzong @ Leftovers
EVs: 244 HP / 76 Def / 188 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Body Press
– Iron Defense
– Trick Room
– Ally Switch
The iron heart of the team; the untouchable—unkillable monster. Though it was the last Pokemon added to the team, he was just as important. Bronzong basically adds another mode to the team while completely walling Landorus and Ice Rider Calyrex. The combination of Iron Defense + Max Quake from Venusaur or Groudon makes it really annoying for the opponent to play against, especially with consistent Leftovers recovery.
Though it is debatable, I decided to try the infamous Ally Switch in the International Challenge March the week before Salt Lake City Regionals and ended up liking it so much that I kept it. I didn’t have to click it very often during my run in Liverpool, but I knew it could catch my opponents off guard especially since JoeUX9 used Gyro Ball on his team. The option to waste even one turn of Dynamax Ice Rider Calyrex or Landorus can be a game changer. Additionally, the Calm Nature lowers Yveltal’s Foul Play damage by around 10 HP on avarage while underspeeding the ice horse in Trick Room.
+4 76 Def Bronzong Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Zacian-Crowned: 98-116 (49.2 – 58.2%) — 97.7% chance to 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Bronzong: 78-92 (45 – 53.1%) — 1.2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 244 HP / 188+ SpD Bronzong in Rain: 144-171 (83.2 – 98.8%)
How to use the team
The biggest strength of this team is its flexibility when it comes to Dynamaxing. I have four viable Dynamax options, and I didn’t need to choose my Dynamax Pokemon in team preview. During my Liverpool run I had plenty of games where my plan changed due to the situation on the board. These are some common leads.
|In Liverpool I faced 3 of these Sun teams piloted by 3 different players. Every one of them led vs me differently. I think Eric Rios had the best plan against me. He led Incineroar + Grimmsnarl in all 3 games trying to set up screens and mitigate the damage while pivoting to get Charizard into a good position. These leads are the best into what Eric led, in my opinion. On turn 1, you can pressure your opponent with Sleep Powder and Swords Dance, and if you manage to put the Incineroar to sleep turn 1, you can even get a +3 Groudon early in the game.|
As I said earlier, this can change depending on your opponent’s playstyle. Yveltal + Regieleki is really good vs Charizard + Grimmsnarl on lead. They often try to Scary Face + G-Max Wildfire the Regieleki slot, which can be mitigated by clicking Max Airstream + Protect, allowing Regieleki to continue outspeeding Charizard even once Scary Faced.
|Against Rain teams you have basically 2 options: keeping Groudon in the back to maintain the weather control, or leading Groudon + Bronzong (especially if you notice that your opponent’s teamcomp loses to Max Quake + Iron Defense boosted Bronzong). Venusaur + Bronzong may sound a little strange but it can work as well.|
Teams with Defiant Thundurus
|This is the most popular lead I used against Defiant Thundurus. Electroweb + Foul Play should take the KO unless they have very little Attack or lots of bulk. Other options are Max Strike + Foul Play, or simply Dynamaxing Regieleki, which outspeeds and 2HKOs Thundurus even after Max Airstream. Groudon in the back is also a safe switch-in if you think Thundurus will opt to Max Lightning the Yveltal.|
Ice Rider Calyrex + Palkia teams
|To be fair, I usually don’t bring both Restricteds into this match-up. I remember leading Groudon + Bronzong once (which, in retrospect, wasn’t a great idea) and I still managed to pull it off with the Max Quake + Iron Defense combo. Bronzong is the key to this match-up. G-Max Vine Lash can also be a reasonable gameplan at the beginning of the game to spread a lot of damage in the early game.|
I can only remember some of them so I will just talk about five sets.
Brendan Rhys Lamb
|This is team I was the most scared to face. The time had come to see if Bronzong does its job. Both games went well. In G1 and G2 I led Groudon + Bronzong and Venusaur + Bronzong respectively, and passed Max Quake boosts onto Bronzong, allowing it to roll through that team and taking an insane 3 KO’s in G2.|
|I knew this game would be tough as soon as I saw the pairings. I’ve heard that Will is an extremely good player. Will led more offensively than most: Charizard + Grimmsnarl and Incineroar + Groudon. I remember I could have won G2, but I decided to keep Protect on Venusaur a secret and attacked despite being one turn away from Light Screen expiring. Though I lost that game, I was able to pull it back in G3.|
|I didn’t have this match-up prepared but, to be honest, I was not concerned about my Lunala + Groudon match-up with bacon bird at my side. Even though I assumed it would be an easy W, he made me sweat in G2; and in G3 we both went yolo by Dynamaxing our Electric-type monsters. Luckily, I caught his Max Lightning on a Groudon switch which kept me in the driving seat for the rest of the game.|
|Taran suprised me with his lead (Zacian + Amoonguuss) G1 vs my team. It “quickly” turned out he had more tricks up his sleeve like Quick Attack Zacian and Choice Band Helping Hand Urshifu. Not knowing what I was up against resulted in a quick 2 games won by Taran.|
|Though Stefan’s team appeared to be a standard Rain comp, it had plenty of off-meta choices that threw me off guard. G1 ended up being close but his Zapdos did so much work that I couldn’t break through it. In G2 his Zapdos and Kyogre turned out to be Eerie Impulse Zapdos and Assault Vest Kyogre with Max Strike. I still managed to get to a 50/50 position and won the mental war and the game. G3 was crazy. Stefan switched his Zacian and, to my shock, it ate the combination of Fake Out + Max Lightning from Life Orb Regieleki and it survived on a drop of HP. With Zapdos stacking Max Airstream boosts, I was unable to win the set in the end.|
With most of his tricks revealed in our previous set, I came prepared. Little did he know that I had hid Protect on Venusaur the entire tournament and it ended up putting me into a comanding position in G1. I don’t remember much from G2 other than the endgame with Groudon and +2 Speed Yveltal after Max Airstream against Zacian. The iconic duo sealed up the game for me.
This was probably the best set I played in the entire tournament.
In G1 I led poorly against his relatively passive Incineroar + Grimmsnarl lead and that resulted in a quick game for Eric.
In G2 I managed to put myself into an excellent position where I had 3 Pokémon vs Groudon alone, so my opponent ended up forfeiting.
G3 was methodical from both of us. I think we tried to make the safest plays as to not throw the game by accident. I hit 3 Sleep Powders and cruised toward what looked like a straight path to the final. On the penultimate turn, his Groudon survived Frenzy Plant on around 20 HP (from what I’ve heard). Though I had my finger on Earth Power, I think the surge of adrenaline I was feeling compelled me to begin doubting whether it takes out the Groudon (it would), so I locked in Frenzy Plant that ended up missing, ultimately giving Eric the win.
This was probably the best set of my life, such an incredible back-and-forth struggle. I am so happy that Eric ended up winning the whole tournament!
I am still in a huge disbelief of what happened that week. I think my team was just a really good meta call for the tournament. I would like to give a final shoutout to my friend Devon who helped me build the team, the entire Team Poland for supporting me during my run and my wonderful fiancee who always stays by my side, cheers me up and does everything possible to support me.
Even with the few mistakes I made, in the end I’m proud about how I played and can’t believe I went so far while competing with the best players in Europe. It was my first international tournament and I literally cried when I found out I was playing on Sunday in the top cut. This has been one of the best trips of my life. I met so many new friends and the ones I knew only online.
Before the tournament I didn’t think qualifying for Worlds was possible, but here I am now and I will do everything in my power to see you all in London! You can always catch me on Twitter if you want more details about the team.