Hi! My name is Andrea Olea, but I’m also known as BanFox. I started playing back in 2018 after randomly stumbling upon that year’s North America International Championships (NAIC) live stream without previous knowledge of VGC existence. I always preferred double battles in game over singles, and finding out there were official Pokémon tournaments that used such a format was incredible news for me. Seeing the synergy of the team of Jeremy Rodrigues (Serapis) through the Abilities of Drifblim and Tapu Lele really blew my mind back then and it’s what inspired me to play to this day.
Until recently I’ve been playing mainly online, as until after 2019 Worlds I was living in Switzerland, where there were no tournaments, and, after that, covid happened. That said, I did get multiple online results through Ultra Series to today. Now that tournaments have come back, I decided to try and get my Worlds invite, which I managed to get by attending just Europe International Championships (EUIC), where I got a top 32, and Milan Special Event, plus an online International Challenge.
This team report will be about my top 4 at Milan Special Event through the special help of a Slowbro!
Table of Contents
The team process starts with my EUIC experience: I managed to get a top 32 there with the Zacian + Yveltal duo, which had been pretty solid for the tournament.
I loved Yveltal, as it was the only Restricted with a STAB Max Airstream, allowing me to have both my Restricted on the field doing great damage and speed control altogether. I expected many Groudon teams back then, which I indeed faced, and my team composition was built to do quite well in all of them. That said, after EUIC, Assault Vest and Life Orb Kyogre variants became way more popular, making my team too impractical.
I looked into many new teams, but I didn’t feel too comfortable with any of them. In the end I decided to give Yveltal + Groudon a shot, as I found myself already comfortable with both Groudon and Yveltal.
I tried some variants, like that of Joseph Ugarte (JoeUX9) with Porygon2, but my main concern with this core, which was Ice Rider Calyrex teams, still remained.
Also, I didn’t really like Magnet Regieleki; it felt like it was missing a bit on everything: it didn’t have the support of a Focus Sash, nor really the damage output (or Speed, if Modest) of a Life Orb Regieleki. I left it at that and stopped using Yveltal + Groudon, until a couple of days later when I faced an Amnesia Slowbro alongside Eternatus while testing. The team itself wasn’t amazing or anything, and Slowbro didn’t perform well, but for some reason the Pokémon itself stuck into my mind, and I’d think about it from time to time, until one day I gave up and decided to try it into the Yveltal + Groudon core, in a similar way to how Filip Idczak (Idczaq) used it with Bronzong.
It proved quite effective in giving me better match-ups vs Ice Rider Calyrex teams and Kyurem teams, as well as improving the match-up of Kyogre teams with Tornadus with the changes made to the team. The members hadn’t changed since then, but I changed movesets and spreads a lot before reaching the final version.
The team was amazing as it had both a slower-paced mode based on stacking boosts, as well as a more offensive one through either G-Max Vine Lash damage-over-time or Dynamax Regieleki, putting a lot of pressure into my opponents already since team preview.
Sole Spento (Groudon) @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Atk / 76 Def / 116 SpD / 44 Spe
IVs: 0 SpA
– Precipice Blades
– Swords Dance
– Rock Tomb
Due to the lack of Assault Vest on Groudon, I wanted to make sure it would still have a good survivability and not be too slow. Rock Tomb is a move I’m loving in this format, as it helps keeping Max Airstream users in check or making sure to outspeed Pokémon slightly faster than Groudon. I’ve also Dynamaxed it often at -1 Atk simply to boost Slowbro’s Special Defense, which proved very helpful, while other times I’d manage to get off a Swords Dance and then sweep with it.
20+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 88-105 (50 – 59.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Origin Pulse vs. 252 HP / 116 SpD Groudon in Sun: 86-104 (41.5 – 50.2%) — 0.4% chance to 2HKO (3HKO with Sitrus Berry Recovery)
252 SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 252 HP / 116 SpD Groudon in Sun: 174-211 (84 – 101.9%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
+1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 76 Def Groudon: 109-130 (52.6 – 62.8%) — 1.6% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
Tutto Nero (Yveltal) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 236 HP / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 12 SpD / 228 Spe
– Oblivion Wing
– Foul Play
– Sucker Punch
Due to playing Zacian + Yveltal in EUIC, I was more used to a Life Orb version than to this Assault Vest Yveltal set. On the one hand, losing such damage output felt a bit strange, but, on the other, the gained bulk was amazing and the support from Snarl and Sucker Punch really paid off.
Initially it was a bit slower and bulkier (but still outspeeding Landorus), but with Jiseok Lee (MeLuCa) I noticed that I mistakenly did my Yveltal calcs vs. base Kyurem instead of White Kyurem, so I had to change it to make sure that I could outspeed such a threat. In the end I didn’t face any, but I’m still glad I did it because it helped a lot in testing and allowed me to win a “Win-a-Box” side event vs. Kyurem in finals. Calc-wise I decided to cover the most powerful damage-dealing moves simply as benchmarks, which was amazing, as in the end Yveltal lived in multiple matches around low HP.
4 SpA Yveltal Helping Hand Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 124 SpD Assault Vest Rillaboom: 212-252 (102.4 – 121.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
(Neutral Atk) 156+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 236 HP / 28 Def Yveltal: 198-234 (85.7 – 101.2%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
180+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 236 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Rain: 195-230 (84.4 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Rain: 127-150 (54.9 – 64.9%)
-1 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (125 BP) vs. 236 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Rain: 72-85 (31.1 – 36.7%) — 70.5% change to 3HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 236 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Yveltal: 393-463 (85 – 100.2%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Nu Latitante (Incineroar) (M) @ Shuca Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 156 Def / 20 SpA / 84 SpD
IVs: 28 Spe
– Parting Shot
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
– Burning Jealousy
I was inspired a bit by the Incineroar of Stefan Mott (Pengy) and decided to run a Shuca Berry variant with Burning Jealousy which could help against Zacian, Ice Rider Calyrex, Thundurus and especially Landorus.
The Special Attack investment is good to guarantee breaking most Substitutes from Zacian, roll at worst. This spread is also slower than most Incineroar, which allows me to use Burning Jealousy in front of them to stop a potential Zacian switch-in. These Burns are always useful obviously, but even more when playing Assault Vest Yveltal, who could otherwise feel threatened by Pokémon like Zacian.
20 SpA Incineroar Burning Jealousy vs. 196 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 48-56 (25 – 29.1%)
+1 204+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar: 170-200 (84.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+1 156+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 156+ Def Shuca Berry Incineroar: 172-204 (85.5 – 101.4%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 156+ Def Shuca Berry Incineroar: 166-196 (82.5 – 97.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 156+ Def Incineroar: 164-194 (81.5 – 96.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Con Una Rosa (Venusaur-Gmax) (F) @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sleep Powder
– Leaf Storm
– Weather Ball
– Helping Hand
Spread-wise, it’s a standard Focus Sash Venusaur. The item is just perfect for it. Initially, I had Protect and Earth Power over Weather Ball and Helping Hand. I later changed the first to better hit Rillaboom and Amoonguss, while the second was a final change I made to allow Dynamax Regieleki to just sweep against many teams, and to feel useful with Venusaur when in Electric Terrain. Helping Hand allowed me to win multiple rounds through Regieleki’s sheer power.
La Felicità (Slowbro) (F) @ Wacan Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 27 Spe
– Body Press
– Iron Defense
– Slack Off
– Trick Room
Slowbro is the star of the team, as well as the most unexpected member. It was initially thought as a better check to Ice Rider Calyrex + Palkia or Ice Rider Calyrex + Reshiram teams, which it managed to do most of the time, but in the end it offered much more than that:
- It was amazing against most Zacian + Kyogre teams with Tornadus, especially where Regieleki and Venusaur would have had a bit more trouble. Instead, if it happened to be a more slow-paced Zacian + Kyogre, then Regieleki and Venusaur would break through it.
- I also brought it from time to time against Shadow Rider Calyrex teams just as a Trick Room setter (it lives Astral Barrage, although it gets damaged highly), as once Calyrex’s Focus Sash is broken, they are threatened by Sucker Punch and can’t really stop Trick Room. Once up, Yveltal is faster than Calyrex. Obviously it isn’t the main plan, but it’s something I often did for one game vs. Zacian + Shadow Rider Calyrex teams if they happened to have Whimsicott.
- It can be good also vs. “Rinya Sun” (the team of Zacian, Groudon, Incineroar, Gastrodon, Grimmsnarl and Charizard) if they don’t lead Charizard + Groudon, and they normally lead with Grimmsnarl as otherwise they tend to lose to Regieleki and Venusaur.
- It also improved Kyurem’s match-up a lot.
Most times I’d bring it just one game out of two, as losing by Slowbro would force them to change plans completely, opening themself to other weaknesses. I run Wacan Berry as it proved useful while testing, it would come in handy especially against Kyogre with access to Max Lightning alongside Tornadus, but from time to time also against Thundurus, Regieleki and Zapdos. That said, no one activated my Wacan Berry during the whole tournament, so I basically ran it itemless. A good change would be Safety Goggles, as it makes the Ice Rider Calyrex match-up easier if they have Amoonguss, which could still be tricky (which was the whole initial point about Slowbro). It still wouldn’t have made a difference in Milan, but it’s something that could be quite useful in general.
252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard-Gmax Max Airstream (140 BP) vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro in Sun: 172-203 (85.5 – 100.9%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Turboblaze Kyurem-White Max Wyrmwind (140 BP) vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 173-204 (86 – 101.4%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Turboblaze Kyurem-White Freeze-Dry vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 174-205 (86.5 – 101.9%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Turboblaze Kyurem-White Freeze-Dry vs. +2 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 86-104 (42.7 – 51.7%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro in Rain: 86-101 (42.7 – 50.2%) — 1.2% chance to 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Lightning vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Wacan Berry Slowbro: 95-113 (47.2 – 56.2%) +
252 SpA Tornadus Hurricane vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 76-91 (37.8 – 45.2%) – 2.34% to KO
252+ SpA Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 168-198 (83.5 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 244 HP / 12 Def Slowbro: 85-102 (42.2 – 50.7%) — 2% chance to 2HKO
204+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning (140BP) vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Wacan Berry Slowbro: 169-200 (84 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
-1 252 Atk Kartana Max Overgrowth vs. 244 HP / 12 Def Slowbro: 174-206 (86.5 – 102.4%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Venusaur-Gmax G-Max Vine Lash (140BP) vs. 244 HP / 252+ SpD Slowbro: 168-198 (83.5 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Cuore Matto (Regieleki) @ Life Orb
EVs: 60 Def / 244 SpA / 204 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Volt Switch
Regieleki is one of my main Dynamax options, as it’s able to just OHKO lots of Pokémon, giving a hard time to my opponents. That said, it was useful even when small: it threatens a roll of OHKO on Gigantamax Charizard, offers speed control through Electroweb, and with Volt Switch I could reposition (potentially leading Incineroar + Regieleki, switching Incineroar out and bringing it back in for a double Intimidate). It was specially effective in lead with Venusaur: I could use Helping Hand + Max Lightning and start sweeping, or I could use Volt Switch into Groudon + Sleep Powder or G-Max Vine Lash. With its Speed stat it can outspeed Thundurus when at -1, as well as a +1 Spe Thundurus.
244 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 36 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Thundurus: 320-376 (100.6 – 118.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
244 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 108 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Kyogre: 400-476 (105.8 – 125.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
244 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 236 HP / 236+ SpD Incineroar: 208-247 (104 – 123.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
244 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Thunderbolt vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Gigantamaxed Charizard: 283-338 (91.8 – 109.7%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO
+1 156+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 0 HP / 60 Def Dynamax Regieleki: 250-294 (80.6 – 94.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO (Life Orb recoil)
252+ Atk Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 60 Def Regieleki in Grassy Terrain: 127-151 (81.9 – 97.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
|Versus standard Rinya Sun, a Regieleki + Venusaur lead with two between Incineroar, Groudon and Yveltal in the back offer a decent match-up. They are forced to lead Grimmsnarl to not lose to those two.|
Another option is leading Incineroar + Slowbro with Groudon and Yveltal in the back. If they don’t lead Charizard + Groudon (which would lose to Regieleki + Venusaur) most times than not they lose, as Slowbro can set a guaranteed Trick Room and Groudon can put in work through Max Rockfall and Max Quake, to allow for a late-game clean-up through Slowbro and Yveltal.
|As there are lots of Zacian + Kyogre variants, there are lots of possible leads:|
—If it is a variant with Tornadus and without Venusaur, a lead with Slowbro + either Incineroar, Yveltal or Groudon, having in the back the two not chosen for lead, is solid most of the time.
—If it doesn’t have Tailwind, then an amazing lead is Regieleki + Venusaur, with Groudon + Incineroar or Yveltal in the back.
—Against “French Rain” (Zacian, Kyogre, Incineroar, Kartana, Shedinja and Thundurus), I tend to lead Incineroar + Slowbro with Groudon and Yveltal in the back as it gives me many options. The only problematic lead with those is Kyogre + Kartana (which suffers a lot from Venusaur, especially with Regieleki), and G1 they tend to go with Zacian + Thundurus. Then in G2 I can adapt and not bring Slowbro, or still push for it. Obviously it also depends on who’s using it, But I’d say my team has the Upper hand.
|This is a bit of an awkward match-up, as it can have some 50/50s from time to time. That said, Yveltal is really solid into them, and both Regieleki + Venusaur and Venusaur + Groudon leads are solid, as well as Regieleki + Yveltal. Incineroar also offers really good options in the match-up thanks to Burning Jealousy, and surprisingly Slowbro is a pick that allowed me to win vs. them from time to time, as I’d bring it for one game if they had Whimsicott, either G1 or G2. Tailwind helps them in the match-up if I go with the standard plan, but Trick Room ruins that. If they lose vs. Slowbro’s Trick Room, they usually stop bringing Whimsicott, which makes it safer for the other option.|
|Zacian + Yveltal can be a bit tricky, but it really depends on their composition and items.|
If they lack Landorus, then Regieleki + Venusaur can be really threatening.
If they have White Herb Landorus, then Incineroar‘s Burning Jealousy can put in lots of work.
The worst version is Life Orb Yveltal + Lum Berry Landorus with Swords Dance + Amoonguss. It’s still winnable, but not really great. That said, Zacian + Yveltal has fallen a bit since the increase of Assault Vest or Life Orb Kyogre so it felt like a good deal.
|Yveltal is really good here, even if they have Regieleki. There’s lots of possible plans depending on their composition, but in general Yveltal + either Incineroar, Groudon or Venusaur is a good lead, with the other two in the back, especially Groudon or Venusaur.|
|Similar to Sun, but Yveltal becomes way better and Slowbro kind of worse. In general Regieleki + Yveltal with Incineroar and Groudon the back is a solid plan (if they have Charizard). They can still go for Sleep Powder as a plan though, nonetheless it’s hard for them to break through. Even Venusaur is decent if they don’t have too many options to stop Sleep Powder.|
|Basically just like Lunala + Groudon: Yveltal is really solid here, Slowbro is often unbringable due to Calyrex + Venusaur. Regieleki + Yveltal (or Venusaur) with Groudon and Incineroar (or Yveltal) in the back is often really solid.|
|Having Yveltal + Groudon, this is obviously not the best match-up. That said, it’s still winnable thanks to Slowbro: Yveltal + Incineroar is a good lead as it can keep Kyurem in check through Snarl and Parting Shot. The goal is to lower Kyurem’s damage output while stalling its Dynamax, to then set up Trick Room with Slowbro and win with Groudon doing good damage against their whole team through Dynamaxing and boosting Slowbro for the endgame.|
If they have Zacian, it’s easier than vs. Calyrex, but the latter is still doable. The worst is Kyurem + Calyrex + Single Strike Style Urshifu, against which I did win from time to time, but It’s still hard for obvious reasons.
|Again, having Yveltal + Groudon, these duos can be really hard to face. Slowbro makes it bearable, as it can wall Ice Rider Calyrex, stall it in Trick Room and even reverse it if necessary. It’s a bit easier if they have Reshiram than Palkia, as Palkia can crit through Spacial Rend’s high-crit ratio, so look out for that and try to deal with Palkia. The four Pokémon in this match-up are Yveltal, Groudon, Incineroar and Slowbro, but the lead is pretty much open depending on their composition. I tend to keep Slowbro in the back though, especially vs. Palkia.|
From time to time, Venusaur can also be brought in lead, especially if they have Amoonguss, which can still be of annoyance if they play it well. As previously mentioned, I’m planning to make Slowbro hold Safety Goggles to better face this composition, as it can use Body Press ignoring Rage Powder and Spore, which means it can also reverse Trick Room more easily.
Day 1 went amazing, the team managed to handle everything, and I happened to be the last 8-0 left. With Day 2 guaranteed, I played my last round more relaxed, without thinking about it too much. Slowbro was amazing and I brought it into 5 different won rounds (Round 3 G2, Round 4 G1, Round 6 G1, Round 7 G2, and Round 8 G1).
You can watch my Round 6 match in stream, starting at 6:18:18!
Slowbro was my MVP once again: it won me both games in top 16 and G2 of top 8. Top 8 against Davide Cauteruccio (Dynamo) was an intense rematch and a wonderful set, as well as an unfortunate one because both me and him needed a top 4 to qualify for worlds.
After that, I lost in top 4 against my friend Flavio Del Pidio (Pado), who won the tournament. I’m happy and satisfied with my result, as I got my Worlds invite, but I feel like I could have played it a bit better. Still, the match-up wasn’t great and Pado is an amazing player and deserved the win.
You can watch my Top 4 match in stream, starting at 2:22:56!
I’m happy I could get such a result with an unexpected Pokémon like Slowbro and qualify for Worlds. The response to the team has been astonishing, everyone loved it and many asked for the Poképaste, so I felt like it was the right thing to share it.
An interesting fact about my run is how I faced no Groudon at all, either in Swiss or top cut.
The Pokémon nicknames are inspired by Italian songs, based on an old NPA Puppies meme involving Sun, Italy and songs.
I have to thank Giovanni Cischke, Nathan Sitler (Atmosphere), Filip Idczak, Willy Paterson and Justin Knox (45mice) for being amazing friends and testing buddies, my friends Davide Piroddu (Pyrods) and Simone Giannini (Sora) for the occasional help and Jiseok Lee (MeLuCa) for the final adjustments!
Scroll below the Rental pic for a surprise!