Raging Fire When Moonlight Falls – Team Report from the Taiwan National Champion

Header image by Pixiv user mok.

Hi, my name is Chyr Wei, you can also call me Megumi as my game ID on ladder, and I won the Taiwan National Championships with Lunala + Groudon combination. I’ve been playing VGC since 2016, however this is just the second time to participate in live events, very happy to have the opportunity to share this team.

Actually, I prepared two teams for the tournament, bringing “Swordfish” (Zacian + Kyogre) for the first day and this Lunala + Groudon team for Day 2. The report will focus on my Lunala + Groudon team, but I’m also willing to have a few words on the Swordfish team which was built by Xuan Zhengyi (Lunavia Xuan).

Teambuilding Process

First, I want to thank Chen Chia-chi and Wang Yuxiang (KyogreSG) who practiced with me and Klefki giving advice on adjustments according to the team. I got the inspiration while reviewing top teams in previous tournaments, besides, I also met some Lunala + Groudon teams while practicing on Pokémon Showdown. These teams mainly look like this:

  • lunalagroudonincineroarcharizard-gmax
  • lunalagroudonincineroarvenusaur-gmax

I suppose that Groudon is still one of the best Restricted Pokémon partner to Lunala, though Zacian is also offensive. However, Dynamax Kyogre could put a lot of pressure on this match-up without Gastrodon in the back. But when Groudon is in, I am able to get the weather control and Lunala can be more confident to set up Trick Room while facing Dynamax Kyogre, even without the Shadow Shield.

lunalagroudon

Incineroar is no doubt the perfect Pokémon in the team to handle with Dark- and Ghost-type Pokémon such as Shadow Rider Calyrex and Yveltal. It’s needless to explain how important Fake Out and Parting Shot are. However, it would be difficult if Incineroar is the only means to counter Shadow Rider Calyrex, since Defiant Thundurus is one of the most common Pokémon in Zacian + Shadow Rider Calyrex teams. Therefore, I considered Grimmsnarl as the fourth Pokémon of the team, as Reflect and Light Screen could provide me with higher fault tolerance, and, apart from that, Scary Face and Thunder Wave provide extra speed control, which is quick crucial in some situations.

lunalagroudonincineroargrimmsnarl-gmax

For the last two pokemon of the team, it was certain that I would bring Venusaur or Charizard, since G-Max Vine Lash and G-Max Wildfire are both really offensive G-Max Moves. I had considered Charizard + Gastrodon or Venusaur + Regieleki, however I realized that the matches would be difficult sometimes when the match-up is just not confortable if I insist on bringing Charizard or Venusaur in the game. So, why not bringing both Charizard and Venusaur? In this case, I would still be able to choose the other one.

lunalagroudonincineroarvenusaur-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxcharizard-gmax

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Lunala @ Power Herb
Ability: Shadow Shield
Level: 50
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Def / 228 SpA / 92 SpD / 36 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Trick Room
– Meteor Beam
– Moongeist Beam

Compared to Shadow Rider Calyrex, Lunala is certainly not that offensive, but it is obviously bulkier thanks to its Ability, Shadow Shield. Trick Room is one of the main speed control methods of this team. Apart from that, with Meteor Beam, it could put some pressure whenever Incineroar is switching in.

For the Speed EVs, I considered that Lunala sometime leads with Charizard, therefore outspeeds Thundurus and some Zacian whose Speed stat is around 180 after +1 Speed.

Offensive calcs

Zacian-Crowned

228+ SpA Lunala Moongeist Beam vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 85-102 (50.5 – 60.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

+1 228+ SpA Lunala Max Phantasm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 166-196 (99.4 – 117.3%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

Deffensive calcs

Zacian-Crowned

+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 148 HP / 4 Def Shadow Shield Lunala through Reflect: 62-74 (26.8 – 32%) — guaranteed 4HKO

+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 148 HP / 4 Def (no Shadow Shield) Lunala through Reflect: 125-148 (54.1 – 64%) — guaranteed 2HKO

kyogre

252+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 148 HP / 92 SpD Shadow Shield Lunala in Rain through Light Screen: 66-78 (28.5 – 33.7%) — 0.6% chance to 3HKO

252+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Water Spout (135 BP) vs. 148 HP / 92 SpD (no Shadow Shield) Lunala in Rain through Light Screen: 118-140 (51 – 60.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Groudon @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 12 Def / 140 SpD / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Protect
– Swords Dance
– Stone Edge
– Precipice Blades

Pretty standard Swords Dance Groudon, but I chose Stone Edge instead of Rock Slide or Rock Tomb. Sometimes I prefer not to Dynamax Groudon but still want to deal more damage on Thundurus or Yveltal.

With a Speed stat of 114, it outspeeds the opposing Charizard and gets advantage in the weather control against Kyogre, which is usually faster in most of the standard Swordfish teams.

Offensive calcs

Zacian-Crowned -1 76+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 102-120 (51.2 – 60.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Deffensive calcs

calyrex-shadow-rider +1 252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 140 SpD Groudon through Light Screen: 86-102 (41.5 – 49.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO

Incineroar @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 84 Def / 132 SpD / 36 Spe
Careful Nature
– Fake Out
– Parting Shot
– Throat Chop
– Flare Blitz

Since Lunala and Groudon are not in a good position when facing Yveltal, I considered that my Incineroar should be able to better handle special moves from Yveltal. With the help of Light Screen, you are probably safe clicking Parting Shot on Dynamaxed Yveltal.

Deffensive calcs

zacian-crowned (Neutral) 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Incineroar through Reflect: 83-99 (41 – 49%) — guaranteed 3HKO

yveltal 252 SpA Life Orb Yveltal Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 132+ SpD Incineroar through Light Screen: 84-100 (41.5 – 49.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO

calyrex-ice-rider -1 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Incineroar through Reflect: 85-101 (42 – 50%) — 0.4% chance to 2HKO

Grimmsnarl-Gmax @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 132 Def / 116 SpD / 12 Spe
Careful Nature
– Spirit Break
– Reflect
– Light Screen
– Scary Face

Grimmsnarl‘s Reflect and Light Screen just make the team bulkier to trade damage or make sure Groudon gets boosted by Swords Dance with more HP. Spirit Break is a better choice in this team since it is able to lower the Special Attack of offensive special attackers such as Kyogre or Yveltal. Scary Face is one of the most important speed control strategies, and what makes it better than Thunder Wave is that it is able to drop the speeds of Landorus, Thundurus or Regieleki.

Offensive calcs

Yveltal 4 Atk Grimmsnarl Spirit Break vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Yveltal: 104-126 (51.7 – 62.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Venusaur-Gmax @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 148 SpA / 4 SpD / 100 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Earth Power
– Frenzy Plant
– Sludge Bomb
– Sleep Powder

With the help of Grimmsnarl, Venusaur is able to handle Max Airstream or Max Hailstorm getting its Weakness Policy activated and firing back when facing Thundurus, Kyogre and so on. Sleep Powder pressure is always a way when not deciding to Gigantamax immediately. Sludge Bomb and Earth Power are both helpful while Gigantamaxing to boost partner Lunala.

With a Speed stat of 113, it outspeeds Shadow Rider Calyrex while Chlorophyll is active, but is also able to take advantage of Trick Room without the Sun.

Offensive calcs

kyogre +2 148+ SpA Venusaur-Gmax G-Max Vine Lash vs. 252 HP / 20 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Kyogre: 186-218 (44.9 – 52.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Vine Lash damage

Deffensive calcs

zacian-crowned 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Gigantamaxed Venusaur-Gmax: 266-314 (71.1 – 83.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

thundurus

252 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Gigantamaxed Venusaur-Gmax through Reflect: 205-241 (54.8 – 64.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Thundurus Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Gigantamaxed Venusaur-Gmax through Reflect: 157-185 (41.9 – 49.4%) — guaranteed 3HKO

calyrex-shadow-rider 252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Psyshock vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Gigantamaxed Venusaur-Gmax through Reflect: 125-149 (33.4 – 39.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO

Charizard @ Life Orb
Ability: Solar Power
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Heat Wave
– Hurricane
– Blast Burn

Everyone knows how devastating a Gigantamax Charizard is under the Sun with Life Orb and Solar Power boosts. And there is no doubt that it is the first Gigantamax choice in this team. A Charizard lead puts a lot of pressure to the opponent, making them guess whether it is going to Gigantamax right away or switch out for a  Gigantamax later in the game. A better position can be achieved even when facing disadvantageous match-ups.

Offensive calcs

groudon 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard-Gmax G-Max Wildfire vs. 252 HP / 156 SpD Assault Vest Groudon in Sun: 204-242 (98.5 – 116.9%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

Common leads

PokémonComments
lunala+charizard
Pretty offensive lead, simply Max Airstream + Meteor Beam, get the speed control and do damage. You also have the option to switch Lunala into Groudon or just click Trick Room.
lunala+venusaur
Setting up Trick Room while Venusaur is on the field lets it the option to click Sleep Power or to Gigantamax.
grimmsnarl+venusaur
Aiming at getting Venusaur’s Weakness Policy activated to fire back, and also puts Sleep Powder pressure on opponent.
grimmsnarl+groudon
Get the Reflect and Light Screen set up, and just Swords Dance.
incineroar+grimmsnarl
It is never a bad option to lead with these two guys.

Game plan

CoreComments
zacian-crownedkyogre
Standard Zacian + Kyogre teams, with Incineroar, Rillaboom, Grimmsnarl and Zapdos, probably lead Zapdos if it carries Eerie Impulse. With a Lunala + Incineroar lead and Groudon and Venusaur in the back it guarantees Trick Room, but Venusaur sometimes is a better lead when encountering opposing Kyogre. You should be aware of the weather in Trick Room, as Venusaur is able to move before most Kyogre in Rain, so it’s pretty tricky when Groudon should switch in to the field. Venusaur is no doubt the best choice to Gigantamax in this match-up, however Parting Shots from Incineroar could be a problem; but thanks to Meteor Beam from Lunala, Incineroar will risk being knocked out when switching in to the game.
zacian-crownedgroudon
Charizard is the key when facing “Rinya Sun” (Zacian, Groudon, Incineroar, Gastrodon, Grimmsnarl and Charizard). Leading with Lunala + Charizard with Groudon and Incineroar in the back is one option. Speed ties between Charizard are always crucial, but Lunala seems pretty safe in this situation and Meteor Beam will just be able to punish the opposing Charizard if it does not carry a Charti Berry. By simply doubling Charizard with Max Airstream + Meteor Beam, you will be in a good position both when winning the speed tie and when moving after the opposing Charizard.
zacian-crownedcalyrex-shadow-rider
A Shadow Rider Calyrex + Thundurus lead could be pretty hard to deal with… and it is a very common lead in this matchup. The game plan to win this match-up is to knock down Calyrex as quickly as possible, and then to set up Trick Room. Lunala and Groudon can handle the rest of the game under Trick Room. With a Grimmsnarl + Venusaur lead, Gigantamaxing Venusaur + Reflect is necessary to get the Weakness Policy activated by the opposing Max Airstream, and then you can clean up Calyrex.
zacian-crownedyveltal
Lunala would not be happy to face Yveltal anyway, but Charizard could be pretty devastating in this match-up. Although you still have to be aware of an Yveltal + Regieleki lead, even though Regieleki is not fond on facing Groudon, Groudon could find itself in a pretty awkward position in front of Dynamax Yveltal. The better option is to bring Grimmsnarl + Incineroar for the first turn with Groudon and Charizard in the back. Light Screen + Parting Shot makes it easier to handle Dynamax Yveltal, and, by the way, Spirit Break can also do pretty good damage to Yveltal while weakening its Special Attack. Charizard should be able to clean up the game when it Gigantamaxes in the right position.
calyrex-ice-riderpalkia
The game plan actually depends on what are the other four Pokémon in your opponent’s team. Lunala + Charizard could be one of the options to stop Trick Room from Palkia without Amoonguss, as Meteor Beam + Max Airstream is supposed to knock out Palkia. However, it could be risky if Palkia just Dynamaxes right away. With Sleep Powder, Venusaur could also stop Trick Room from setting up, but the problem is that this does not work if Incineroar stands beside Palkia and Ice Rider Calyrex can get a free +1 with an easy knock out sometimes. Grimmsnarl would be pretty comfortable in this situation, as Spirit Break is always a big problem for Palkia. So whether bringing Incineroar or Charizard is needed to be considered. The pros and cons of choosing Incineroar is that it can deal better with Dynamax Ice Rider Calyrex, but it’s not going to be able to knock it out easily even in the Sun.

Tournament run

Day 1

I actually brought a Swordfish for Day 1, and this team was created by Lunavia Xuan. The team is as follows:

zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarkartanagrimmsnarlthundurus

Here is a report (in Chinese) of this team and the paste if you are interested in it!

Few words on this team: Assault Vest Kyogre is just so bulky with Reflect and Light Screen that you may have the option to keep doing damage in front of some Electric-type Pokémon. And Dynamax Thundurus or Kartana with Zacian can sweep the game!

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WLWTWN
Ho Chin-wei

(小高維)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomgrimmsnarlzapdos
R2LWWTWN
Wang Ta-sheng

(王達聖)
zacian-crownedkyogremoltres-galarrillaboomgrimmsnarlregieleki
R3LWWTWN
Shih Cheng-han
(石承翰)
zacian-crownedreshiramgastrodon-eastrillaboomgrimmsnarlthundurus
R4WWTWN
Chang Yi-hsiang

(張奕祥)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomgrimmsnarlzapdos
R5WWTWN
Chen Chih-chun
(ToooTz)
zacian-crownedyveltalincineroarrillaboomsneaselregieleki
R6LWLTWN
Yang Chieh-lun

(血汗淚)
zacian-crownedgroudonincineroargastrodon-eastcharizardthundurus

Day 2

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WWTWN
Wu Yi-hsun

(あめのかみ)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomgrimmsnarlzapdos
R2WWTWN
Li Yu-heng

(冰冰OuO)
calyrex-shadow-riderreshiramamoongussgastrodon-eastgrimmsnarlthundurus
R3LLTWN
Liu Jian-ting
(Sayha)
calyrex-shadow-ridergroudonincineroarvenusaursnorlaxthundurus
Top 8WWTWN
Yang Chieh-lun

(血汗淚)
zacian-crownedgroudonincineroargastrodon-eastcharizardthundurus
Top 4WWTWN
Yang Da-wei
(Wavvvy)
zacian-crownedkyogreincineroarrillaboomgrimmsnarlregieleki
RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
FinalsWLWTWN
Sie Meng-ru

(萊恩)
zacian-crownedyveltallandorus-therianlatiossnorlaxregieleki
Match summary

It was really a close game in Finals, I was supposed to be able to take the game in Game 2, but Ryan just did so well in the last few turns to come back and won Game 2. And he made an adjustment in Game 3, which caused a lot of trouble to me. The Yawn from Snorlax gradually gets him in a better position, but I made a really risky decision to Dynamax Charizard with being yawned and be able to trade Dynamax Yveltal which makes me able to come back the game.

Conclusion

That’s all about this interesting double-Gigantamax Lunala + Groudon team that I won Taiwan Nationals with. At the end, I want to thank again my friends Chen Chia-chi and Wang Yuxiang (KyogreSG), who helped me prepare for the team, and Klefki for giving me advice after piloting the team in several online games.

Finally, I made a Rental team code, feel free to use the team if you are interested in it, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading my report!

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