Hello everyone! I’m Alex DellaPasqua and I’m a relatively new player in the competitive scene. You may remember me for the report of my top 16 at the VR Tundra Challenge with Guzzlord, back in Series 7. As written in the last report, I started playing competitive in 2020 with the release of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. Right from the start, I top cut my first 3 Midseason Showdowns, one of which I won, and then, after the pandemic started, I dedicated myself to online tournaments.
Now with the reopening of the tournaments in real life I have decided to participate with a whole new archetype, based on Ice Rider Calyrex and Reshiram. This duo allowed me to get CPs in my first Regional in Liverpool, getting a top 32, and got me top cutting my first Internationals, where I got a top 8 in the Europe Internationals in Frankfurt.
Now I will explain how this duo was born and why I think it can have an excellent space in the meta.
Table of Contents
The team dates back to the beginning of the metagame, when my brother asked me to build a team with Ice Rider Calyrex to use. At the time, Calyrex was only used with Kyogre and I immediately thought that there could be better partners. With this premise I came up with 2 Restricted: Palkia and Reshiram. I thought they could best enhance the potential of Calyrex, so I built two different teams.
One that you all know by now:
And a version with palkia:
I initially used the Palkia version more, and I had a great time with it. My brother and I both got on very well in the ladder and found Palkia much better performing than Kyogre. Initially we preferred it for its ability to set up Trick Room, but after a few weeks we realized that both the Ground-type and Fire-type moves were essential, otherwise the team struggled a lot against Kartana and Ferrothorn.
Moreover, after using it a lot in ladder, Jiseok Lee (MeLuCa) went second in the International Challenge February (the first in Series 12) with this duo, until the archetype became standard. At this point, since I no longer wanted to play something that had become meta, and because I would have preferred to use Palkia without Trick Room anyway, I went back to my version with Reshiram.
Right from the start I saw that duo could do very well for the way the meta was evolving, also because of the birth of Rinya Sun team. In fact, the duo has a good match-up against the weather teams that are currently in top usage. This is due to the fact that Reshiram covers Calyrex’s weakness to Zacian very well, and unlike Palkia it is able to deal with it even without the Dynamax. Furthermore, Reshiram is very strong even against Rain, because it controls the weather and this gives Calyrex the possibility to be able to set up Trick Room without fearing Kyogre’s moves.
Being an early-meta team, I played this Gastrodon set when Rillaboom wasn’t played yet. In fact, Rillaboom began to rise in usage only after the proliferation of Seismitoad. So despite the fact that in the first half this set was very strong, it then became suboptimal at the time of the Liverpool Regionals, I decided to test it anyway to see how it behaved in a tournament. How did it go? I felt the absence of Protect and I only pressed Acid Armor once in the whole tournament, at the win and in, and it made me lose.
Another change I made from Liverpool to Frankfurt is on Mimikyu’s set. Since I considered Mental Herb a wasted item, because I saw in the ladder that everyone expected it and never Taunted me, I decided to play Babiri Berry. This turned out to be an excellent tool with closed team sheets, because it allows me to survive not only Zacian’s neutral Behemoth Blade, but also Life Orb Solgaleo’s Sunsteel Strike, which ignores the Disguise. This version of the team, however, suffered a lot from Calm Mind Kyogre and Tapu Fini, and I also felt the absence of Taunt to taunt the opposing redirectors like Indeedee while they were under Trick Room.
Here another fundamental chapter opens. After my result in Liverpool, an American guy I didn’t know, Cindy Drife (KitsuneofDreams), wrote to me on Discord and asked me if I could give them the team. Of course I passed it to them and also explained the gameplans and the weaknesses of the team. Thanks to their suggestion, I decided to try Safety Goggles Mimikyu with Taunt, because it helped me both against Calm Mind setters and against redirectors. I had never thought about this change because Safeguard on Mimikyu seemed to me more optimal to deal with Amonguss, moreover also the Babiri Berry seemed to me an excellent item, and if I wanted to play Taunt I would have to force the Safety Goggles on it, otherwise I would have suffered too much from Amonguss’ Spores. The fact is that, after trying it, they convinced me and I took it to Frankfurt, and this change made me able to top cut the tournament, so I really want to thank them.
Also shoutouts to my brother for the idea behind the team, to my girlfriend for making me make a fundamental change to the Gastrodon set which was of utmost importance during both days in Liverpool, to Enrico Colombari (Syntex) for being the best travel companion between Liverpool and Frankfurt and for helping me breed the team and to Luca Longobardi (Porydonk) with whom I have tested throughout the early season.
Reshiram @ Assault Vest
EVs: 124 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpA / 12 SpD / 108 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Blue Flare
– Draco Meteor
– Earth Power
– Heat Wave
Let’s start with the star, Reshiram. The spread is very simple, the Speed allows you to outspeed max Speed Incineroar, the Special Attack has been maxed out to do as much damage as possible, and the rest in HP. Since Reshiram is usually played outside the Trick Room, I felt it was essential to always outspeed each Incineroar to attack before their Parting Shot. I chose the Assault Vest as a tool to be able to better face Kyogre and take its attacks.
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough: 80.5 – 95.2%
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade: 168-200 (43.9 – 52.3%) — 19.9% chance to 2HKO
+2 180+ Atk Solgaleo Max Quake: 83.3 – 98.4%
236+ SpA Lustrous Orb Palkia Max Wyrmwind: 182-216 (47.6 – 56.5%) — 82% chance to 2HKO
Calyrex-Ice @ Weakness Policy
Ability: As One (Glastrier)
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Glacial Lance
– High Horsepower
– Trick Room
Ice Rider Calyrex is the best partner for Reshiram, as it is able to perfectly cover its weakness to the Ground type. There is not much to say about the spread, the best is always the one with the maximum Attack and maximum HP.
+1 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Hailstorm vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gigantamaxed Charizard: 288-339 (94.1 – 110.7%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade: 164-194 (79.6 – 94.1%)
Incineroar @ Eject Button
EVs: 236 HP / 148 Atk / 20 Def / 4 SpD / 100 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Throat Chop
– Fake Out
– Parting Shot
This Incineroar is particular for two reasons: its EV spread and its item.
Starting from the spread, I opted for a lot of investment in Attack so that it could do as much damage as possible with its two STAB-boosted moves; in fact, Flare Blitz manages to take 1HKO on Zacian. In this way, even if it were to remain on the field, it is not a useless slot, but always a threat to the opponent’s Zacian. I also chose a fast spread (usually it is played with a Speed of 92 to outspeed “turbo” Amoonguss, and I played it with 93 just to outspeed this type of Incineroar) in order to always have the fastest Throat Chop on the opponent’s Incineroar and also to go out last in Trick Room with Parting Shot. In fact, being fast is essential for Incineroar who play in Trick Room, as they can take the opponent’s Parting Shots and do it in turn on the new slot that has just entered.
But above all, what makes this Incineroar really strong is its held item: the Eject Button. In fact, it often happens to leave the field immediately after a Fake Out to take advantage of four full turns of Trick Room. This also allows you to have this Incineroar ready to Intimidate again in the late game.
148+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Zacian-Crowned: 170-204 (101.7 – 122.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
148+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 172 Def Amoonguss: 204-242 (92.3 – 109.5%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO
Amoonguss @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Rage Powder
The item of this Amoonguss is also particular and well studied. The Sitrus Berry is fundamental in the match-up against Shadow Rider Calyrex + Regieleki, because after Electro Web + Astral Barrage it goes to 50%, kills Calyrex and it’s able to eat the berry. At this point, Amonguss is able to handle both a Max Airstream from an Assault Vest Regieleki or a Max Strike (based on Hyper Beam) from a Life Orb variant. In this way, Amoonguss can take another hit in addition to this one from Regieleki to allow you to set Trick Room again. In addition to this specific calculation, the Sitrus Berry comes very handy very often during a battle, and combined with its Regenerator Ability it becomes a very difficult Pokémon to take down.
Lastly, Hex is a fundamental move because it allows a manual activation of Ice Rider Calyrex’s Weakness Policy, also allows you to do good damage to Shadow Rider Calyrex and excellent chip damage on the Pokémon that Amoonguss itself has put to sleep with Spore, as Hex doubles the power on the Pokémon that have a status on them.
252 Atk Regieleki Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 172 Def Amoonguss: 134-158 (60.6 – 71.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Regieleki Max Strike vs. 252 HP / 84+ SpD Amoonguss: 92-109 (41.6 – 49.3%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Transistor Regieleki Electroweb vs. 252 HP / 84+ SpD Amoonguss: 21-26 (9.5 – 11.7%) — possible 9HKO
252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 84+ SpD Amoonguss: 90-106 (40.7 – 47.9%) — guaranteed 3HKO
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 172 Def Amoonguss: 184-217 (83.2 – 98.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Gastrodon @ Soft Sand
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 172 HP / 220 Def / 4 SpA / 108 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Earth Power
As I said, before playing Gastrodon with this set I played it at Liverpool with Acid Armor instead of Protect and Leftovers. How did I come to change it so much? Basically, after Liverpool I was convinced to play Protect instead of Acid Armor, because often this move allows you to reposition better.
At this point I was left with the Leftovers that did not serve for anything substantially specific. The day before the departure I then remembered that my brother played the same but Life Orb, and under the advice of my girlfriend I convinced myself to make this change. While I was flying I realized that the Leftovers gave the Pokémon a lot of resilience, and I needed the Pokémon to stay on the field for a long time. For this in the end I opted for the Soft Sand to increase the damage, because I saw that without having to change my spread this tool allowed to 1HKO some Zacian and Incineroar with Max Quake, and at the same time I could count on the durability of this Pokémon, also thanks to its ability to Recover. So I played this set compared to the one with Yawn because I didn’t want to slow down the team, I needed something that could still do damage and take advantage of Trick Room turns, but at the same time I needed something solid that was able to win every 1 vs 1 against Kyogre, and that way I came up with this perfect set for my team.
+1 4+ SpA Soft Sand Gastrodon Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (100.5 – 118.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
4+ SpA Soft Sand Gastrodon Max Quake vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 162-192 (97 – 114.9%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO
+1 4+ SpA Soft Sand Gastrodon Max Quake vs. 236 HP / 236+ SpD Incineroar: 212-252 (106 – 126%) — guaranteed OHKO
4+ SpA Soft Sand Gastrodon Max Quake vs. 236 HP / 20 SpD Incineroar: 194-230 (97 – 115%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk burned Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 172 HP / 220 Def Gastrodon in Grassy Terrain: 170-204 (81.7 – 98%)
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 172 HP / 220 Def Gastrodon: 160-189 (76.9 – 90.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Mimikyu @ Safety Goggles
EVs: 228 HP / 108 Def / 172 SpD
– Shadow Sneak
– Trick Room
As anticipated, this Mimikyu set proved to be fundamental during the European Internationals, and I think it is the best to support Calyrex. With Shadow Sneak it is able to activate the Weakness Policy, with Taunt it stops the Spores and redirects, but also the possibility of Protecting (very useful against the Zacian behind a Substitute) and Will-o-Wisp is always useful against Zacian and Groudon, but also for Pokémon that run Foul Play.
I left the spread unchanged from what I was playing in Liverpool, which with the Babiri Berry allowed me to survive Zacian’s neutral Behemoth Blade. Now the spread can do the same thing against the Intimidated and burned Zacians, and it is a situation that happens very often. In addition, the Defense allows it to take Assault Vest Rillaboom’s G-Max Drum Solo (which ignores the Disguise) after an Intimidate, and the rest was given in Special Defense to take the Water Spout from Assault Vest Kyogre and to have a roll to survive Lunala’s Moongeist Beam.
I want to clarify that I consider Mimikyu the best partner for Ice Rider Calyrex. Often we tend to play Porygon2 or Dusclops for their better resistance, and Mimikyu is thought not to be bulky enough to survive and reset the Trick Room later. This is a false belief, because, with this spread, the ability to increase one’s physical Defense through Will-o-Wisp burns, Intimidate and Max Wyrmwind, and the possibility of boosting the Special Defense thanks to the Max Quakes from Calyrex, Gastrodon and Reshiram, it is always able to set Trick Room twice. In practically all the matches I have won in Frankfurt I have done so, managing to set the Trick Room several times in a game thanks to the bulk of Mimikyu.
In addition to this, Mimikyu is the only Pokémon that gives you a guaranteed Trick Room against Sun, without even playing the 50/50 of the Fake Out Incineroar on the Dynamax. And this is fundamental in a tournament, because the more you eliminate the variables, the higher your chances of moving forward.
And to conclude, as if all this were not enough, the Weakness Policy trigger via Shadow Sneak is crucial for this duo, especially because Calyrex often doesn’t want to Dynamax to be able to make Reshiram do it in late game. In this case it is essential not to take too much damage, which would be inevitable with the activation with Foul Play from Porygon2. Furthermore, Shadow Sneak has priority, Mimikyu cannot flinch from Fake Out and, with the Safety Goggles, it cannot even be redirected by Rage Powder.
Basically, if you want to play Weakness Policy Ice Rider Calyrex, you have to play Mimikyu. This does not mean that Porygon2 or Dusclops are bad Pokémon, on the contrary, but if you play these you must have a lucky run with match-ups to top cut. Trust Mimikyu’s bulk, because it allows the most guaranteed way to do well with Ice Rider Calyrex.
252 Atk burned Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade: 109-130 (68.5 – 81.7%)
252 SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP): 118-141 (74.2 – 88.6%)
252+ SpA Lunala Moongeist Beam: 146-174 (91.8 – 109.4%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
-1 252+ Atk Rillaboom-Gmax G-Max Drum Solo: 255-301 (82.7 – 97.7%)
|Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram in the back. The goal is to set Trick Room, spam Glacial Lance and Dynamax Reshiram in late game. If you make good use of Trick Room turns, it is a pretty easy match-up.|
|You can face it in two ways, with Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Gastrodon in the back if you see that the comp suffers particularly from Ice Rider Calyrex, or Reshiram + Amoonguss with Gastrodon and Calyrex in the back if they have Pokémon like Ferrothorn and Kartana. This mode is excellent even if the opponent has Miracle Seed Rillaboom, because if you play with Mimikyu in this case it could one-shot you turn 1 and prevent you from setting Trick Room.|
|Usually the lead is Amoonguss + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram in the back, especially if Eleki is present in the comp. In this case, if the opponent starts with Calyrex + Regieleki, the goal is to double-focus Calyrex with Shadow Sneak + Hex, and the next turn, enter with your Calyrex to do Rage Powder + Trick Room.|
If there is no Regieleki you can lead Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram in the back. If Zacian uses Substitute, help yourself with Mimikyu’s Taunt to prevent it from Protecting.
Alternatively, it is also possible to play the Reshiram mode with Amoonguss next to it and Calyrex and Incineroar in the back.
|Reshiram + Amonguss with Calyrex and Incineroar in the back. If they have no Tapu Fini, then Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Amoonguss or Reshiram to try to Taunt it or put it to sleep after the Misty Terrain ends.|
|Amoonguss + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Gastrodon in the back. The usual goal is to set Trick Room and try to win Dynamaxing Gastrodon to stall the opponent’s Dynamax Restricted.|
|The safest lead is Amoonguss + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram behind, because you can redirect Lunala’s move and set Trick Room, and then Taunt Lunala to prevent it from reversing it.|
|Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram in the back. As against Sun, try to keep the Dynamax for Reshiram in the late game and make good use of Calyrex in Trick Room, without Dynamaxing it if it is not strictly necessary. It is also important to try to burn Yveltal once you are in Trick Room to limit the damage of any Foul Play, which bothers Calyrex a lot.|
|Amonguss + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Reshiram in the back. As against the Sun with Zacian, but with Amonguss in lead because it is more useful against Shadow Rider Calyrex, and you can always shoot it by going double with Mimikyu.|
|Incineroar + Mimikyu with Calyrex and Gastrodon in the back. In case of a Calyrex + Kyogre lead, just Fake Out Kyogre and Trick Room. If it doesn’t Dynamax you have set Trick Room and you have practically won, while if it Dynamaxes, then Incineroar comes out with the Eject Button after taking the Astral Barrage and at this point Gastrodon enters to redirect the Max Geyser from Mimikyu, to set Trick Room and win. This lead is also good vs pairs like Weezing + Regigigas, who are often played with these two Restricted Pokémon. If this happens, simply Fake Out on Weezing + Trick Room.|
The problem with this lead though is that it loses to Regieleki + Calyrex if they have Regieleki on the team. In this case, it is a 50/50 lead, because it would be enough to lead Amoonguss + Mimikyu and go with the gameplan explained previously.
That’s all I have to say about the new duo I’ve created. Being very strong against most of the standard archetypes, I think they may have a good place in the meta, and I’m sure Ice Rider Calyrex still has a lot to offer in the upcoming tournaments!
I don’t have a Twitter account, but you can contact me on Discord at Gilgamesh#2746. Thank you for reading the report!