Hello, everyone! My name is Hippolyte Bernard, I’m 23 and I placed 9th at the 2022 World Championships in London. I qualified for Day 2 after placing 17th in European season standings. During the whole season, I decided to use one of my favorite Pokémon in competitive: Shedinja.
Shedinja is a very particular Pokémon. It has only 1 HP, which means it dies in one-hit whether it comes from an attack, from weather or from status. In return, it has the best Ability in the game: Wonder Guard.
Wonder Guard prevents damage from non-very-effective moves. Shedinja being Ghost/Bug type, it has 5 weaknesses, so basically 13 immunities.
It also learns Ally Switch, that makes Shedinja swap places with its ally, and which is really strong against Max Moves. It leads opponents to make suboptimal plays and put them in a very uncomfortable position when they see Shedinja at team preview.
Table of Contents
At the beginning of Series 12, Zacian + Kyogre teams were popular, so I asked myself if Shedinja could do anything at this moment. I tested it for the first time during February’s International Challenge, using this team. Since I was in vacations in the Alps, I had little time to play, but still managed to do well in 20 games.
As you can see, we had Seismitoad at this time. It has good coverage for Gastrodon and could boost Kyogre‘s Speed with Max Airstream. Shedinja did not need to have max Speed since nobody was seriously considering it at this time, so we could underspeed min-Speed Mimikyu by one point. This allowed to protect Incineroar from Taunt before using Parting Shot under Trick Room. Kyogre had enough Speed investment to outspeed Shadow Rider Calyrex after Max Airstream. We were hesitating a lot on Incineroar’s item. We changed later for Shuca Berry as it was useful for White Kyurem and Dialga matchups. This spread had a lot of Special Defense investment for those as well.
The team showed its limits when Rinya Sun (Zacian, Groudon, Incineroar, Gastrodon, Grimmsnarl and Charizard) started to become popular. Seismitoad was too frail to deal with Charizard even in Rain. Charizard could easily give a Speed boost to Zacian which outsped Seismitoad under Rain. This is what led to the first major change of the team. I decided to replace Seismitoad with Kartana to have a Max Airstream user that is faster than Charizard and does not need to Dynamax to beat Gastrodon. Hopefully, March’s International Challenge came quick and I was able to test the new team.
I still was not able to play all games during the weekend, but I was close to the 1800 points. The circuit was going to restart soon so we still had few things to fix before Liverpool Regionals. First, I decided to change the Incineroar spread to have enough bulk to survive +1 Sacred Sword from Zacian as I felt Special Defense was not that necessary. I was also finally convinced Endure being better than Protect for Shedinja. Even if it is better for Parting Shot and Will-o-Wisp, being able to survive Max Moves was way more important. My friend Thomas Gravouille (Hari) ended 2nd at Liverpool Regionals after beating 4 times Rinya Sun in Swiss rounds, but ultimately losing to it carried by the great Eric Rios.
Read Thomas’s Liverpool team report here!
Next step for Thomas was the Europe Internationals in Frankfurt, since I could not play. We quickly changed Darkest Lariat for Throat Chop and a fast Incineroar so we could manage weather far more easily. We also tried Grass Knot over Taunt to have more pressure on Gastrodon and Groudon. We thought we could still deal with Venusaur if it did not go through paralysis too often and our Pokémon did not sleep too many turns. Zacian became 252 Speed EVs to outspeed most Adamant Zacian.
Even if I got DQ’ed before playing top 8, I was truly happy with my performance this weekend. I had never felt so strong with the team compared to other tournaments.
The only change I did for Lille Regionals was having more Speed investment on Incineroar as it had costed me a lot against Juan Manuel Odriozola (JMOdri) in Bilbao since his Incineroar was faster than mine.
Even if I was not able to go further in the tournament, I was proud of cutting two events in a row as it gave me confidence for the next event.
Next week, at Bremen Regionals, I added again a few Speed EVs on Incineroar as it was really important for the Lunala + Groudon match-up. For exemple, in Lille it could be seen that Giulio Tarlao had a faster Incineroar than Florian Henry‘s but slower than Thomas’s. It allowed us to estimate the exact speed of his Incineroar. From this, I knew I had locked my Wolrds Day 2 spot, but since I had already booked the next Regionals, I decided to run the team again and again to see its true limits.
I really did not play very well this weekend so I can’t complain about missing top cut after going 6-0.
The following week was the last event before Worlds: the Milan Special Event. I tested Safety Goggles Incineroar that weekend as I expected to face a lot of Groudon teams with Venusaur, but I realized the matchup relied more on Incineroar’s Speeds than their item.
I had a lot of good set this weekend, so I was not feeling bad despite the bad result (my only tournament with 3 Swiss round losses in the season). This tournament convinced me that I had to change something in the team if I want to have a good finish at Worlds. Seeing the teams that came to the top at NAIC confirmed me this feeling. I had now two months to find the right call for Worlds.
The team had a big issue: it was almost impossible to deal with Defiant Thundurus in Groudon teams. Opponents also tended more to lead Incineroar knowing there was no risk of Defiant on our own Thundurus. I changed my Kyogre to a bulkier one with more Special Attack to deal more damage to Ice Rider Calyrex. Also, I quickly found out that I was not picking Kartana that much so, if I had to change a slot, it would be that one being kicked out of the team. This is what led us to try a lot of stuff:
Yes, I considered Shiftry in my Worlds preparation. This guy has a Grass-type STAB that deals with Gastrodon easily. It also learns support moves like Fake Out or Icy Wind. Sadly, it had no good options against Charizard without Sun. It was also not dealing with Thundurus very well, so I gave up on it. I was convinced I needed a Dark-type Pokémon, so I continued to search in the list.
Weavile almost made it to my Worlds team since it was really good in testing. Neutral Max Hailstorm from Triple Axel has 81% chance of KOing no-bulk Dynamax Thundurus. It also has a fast Fake Out and Icy Wind, which allows Kyogre to deal with everything with Max Moves. The problem I had with Weavile was the item clause, since I didn’t want to replace the Focus Sash on my Shedinja. It was also limited against Gastrodon.
After this new failure, I totally changed my mind about this slot, and I asked me this question: What is the Pokémon that can go against Lunala and Groudon and almost ignore them while still dealing with Gastrodon?
And the answer to this question was Assault Vest Incarnate Landorus. It deals good damage on Zacian, Groudon, Incineroar, Rillaboom, Charizard, Thundurus, Shadow Rider Calyrex and Gastrodon. Also, it was a good Dynamax option, which was something I was missing after Kartana’s departure. Therefore, I ran four offensive moves with Assault Vest: Earth Power, Stone Edge, Fly and Grass Knot. Also, by having this new option in my team, I also expected my opponents to think there were other changes in the team, but I only changed back Grass Knot for Taunt on Thundurus and came back to a bulkier Zacian to survive against Life Orb Timid Regieleki. I did not make the Landorus spread myself (Thomas did), but I wished I had run a neutral Nature to have more options with my physical moves against Rillaboom and Charizard.
Get the team’s paste here!
Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 12 Def / 20 SpD / 148 Spe
– Behemoth Blade
– Play Rough
– Sacred Sword
(Neutral Atk) 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 93-109 (46.7 – 54.7%) — 62.1% chance to 2HKO
(Neutral Atk) 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Kyogre: 102-120 (49.2 – 57.9%) — 96.5% chance to 2HKO
76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 108+ Def Incineroar: 84-99 (41.5 – 49%) — guaranteed 3HKO
76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 252 HP / 108+ Def Incineroar: 112-132 (55.4 – 65.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow: 186-220 (105.6 – 125%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 76+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 103-122 (66.4 – 78.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 164-194 (82.4 – 97.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
-1 252+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 170-204 (85.4 – 102.5%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
+1 236+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 150-177 (75.3 – 88.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+1 236+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Quick Attack vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 20-24 (10 – 12%) — possible 9HKO
252 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (84.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Zacian-Crowned: 170-202 (85.4 – 101.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
156+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 20 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 172-204 (86.4 – 102.5%) — 18.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 252 HP / 20 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 169-200 (84.9 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Kyogre @ Mystic Water
EVs: 108 HP / 132 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 148 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Origin Pulse
– Ice Beam
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Calyrex-Ice in Rain: 207-244 (100 – 117.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 169-199 (84.9 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Thundurus in Rain: 309-364 (99.6 – 117.4%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
116+ SpA Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 236 HP / 156+ SpD Amoonguss: 104-124 (47.4 – 56.6%) — 83.6% chance to 2HKO
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 60 SpD Dynamax Groudon in Rain: 390-462 (94.2 – 111.5%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 220 HP / 76 SpD Assault Vest Rillaboom in Rain: 103-122 (50.7 – 60%) — 87.5% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
116+ SpA Kyogre Max Hailstorm vs. 220 HP / 76 SpD Rillaboom: 200-236 (98.5 – 116.2%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
116+ SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Max Geyser vs. +1 4 HP / 0 SpD Dynamax Landorus-Therian in Rain: 414-488 (125.4 – 147.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
156+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 108 HP / 132 Def Kyogre: 84-99 (44.4 – 52.3%) — 18% chance to 2HKO
-1 156+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 108 HP / 132 Def Kyogre: 87-103 (46 – 54.4%) — 58.6% chance to 2HKO
252+ Atk Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 108 HP / 132 Def Kyogre in Grassy Terrain: 158-188 (83.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 108 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Kyogre: 320-377 (84.6 – 99.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Landorus-Therian Max Quake vs. 108 HP / 132 Def Dynamax Kyogre: 148-175 (39.1 – 46.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
Incineroar @ Shuca Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 92 Def / 52 SpD / 116 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Throat Chop
– Parting Shot
– Fake Out
4 Atk Incineroar Max Flare vs. 220 HP / 12 Def Rillaboom: 192-228 (94.5 – 112.3%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO
4 Atk Incineroar Throat Chop vs. 68 HP / 4 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 114-134 (51.5 – 60.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 92+ Def Incineroar: 170-200 (84.5 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 244 HP / 52 SpD Incineroar: 46-55 (22.8 – 27.3%) — 64.3% chance to 4HKO
-1 252+ SpA Lunala Meteor Beam vs. 244 HP / 52 SpD Incineroar: 108-128 (53.7 – 63.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Thundurus (M) @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 148 Def / 124 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
– Eerie Impulse
– Thunder Wave
0 SpA Thundurus Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 54-64 (27.1 – 32.1%) — guaranteed 4HKO
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 236 HP / 148 Def Thundurus: 154-183 (83.6 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
-2 252+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Geyser vs. 236 HP / 124+ SpD Thundurus in Rain: 144-172 (78.2 – 93.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Charizard-Gmax G-Max Wildfire vs. 236 HP / 124+ SpD Thundurus: 140-165 (76 – 89.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Wildfire damage
+1 252+ SpA Lunala Meteor Beam vs. +1 236 HP / 124+ SpD Thundurus: 148-176 (80.4 – 95.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 236 HP / 124+ SpD Thundurus: 87-103 (47.2 – 55.9%) — 80.9% chance to 2HKO
Shedinja @ Focus Sash
Ability: Wonder Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Def / 0 SpD
– Shadow Sneak
– Ally Switch
252+ Atk Shedinja Poltergeist (110 BP) vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Kyogre: 88-105 (50 – 59.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Shedinja Poltergeist (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 72-85 (36.1 – 42.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252+ Atk Shedinja Shadow Sneak vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow: 144-172 (81.8 – 97.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
-1 252+ Atk Shedinja Shadow Sneak vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Calyrex-Shadow: 100-120 (56.8 – 68.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Shedinja Max Phantasm vs. 180 HP / 204+ Def Gastrodon: 99-117 (47.3 – 55.9%) — 21.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ Atk Shedinja Poltergeist (110 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 108-127 (69.6 – 81.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Shedinja Shadow Sneak vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 40-48 (25.8 – 30.9%) — guaranteed 4HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Max Phantasm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Shedinja: 889-1048 (88900 – 104800%) — guaranteed OHKO
Landorus (M) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 164 HP / 76 Def / 36 SpA / 4 SpD / 228 Spe
– Earth Power
– Stone Edge
– Grass Knot
36+ SpA Landorus Max Quake vs. 252 HP / 12 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (84.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
0- Atk Landorus Max Rockfall vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Gigantamaxed Charizard: 260-308 (84.4 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
0- Atk Landorus Max Airstream vs. 220 HP / 12 Def Rillaboom: 170-204 (83.7 – 100.4%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
36+ SpA Landorus Max Overgrowth vs. 180 HP / 124 SpD Gastrodon: 256-304 (122.4 – 145.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
0- Atk Landorus Max Rockfall vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 142-168 (45.8 – 54.1%) — 94.5% chance to 2HKO after sandstorm damage
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 164 HP / 76 Def Dynamax Landorus: 314-372 (84.8 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 164 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Landorus: 109-129 (29.4 – 34.8%) — 9.5% chance to 3HKO
156+ SpA Life Orb Kyogre Max Geyser vs. +1 164 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Landorus in Rain: 307-367 (82.9 – 99.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
This was my run in the 2022 World Championships Day 2!
Juan M. Santizo
Before this set, I only heard about TeKa as the guy who gave wrong information to Gabriel Agati at NAIC. I knew he was active in the community, so I expected him to be very good considering I was playing him in first round of Day 2.
I remember catching him off-guard with Max Overgrowth to pick up the KO on his Gastrodon in the very first game of the tournament.
I got a full paralysis very early in game 3 that brought me a in a really good position, but I played poorly and allowed my opponent to come back with Rillaboom. It came down to a double Endure from my end while I could have clicked Ally Switch against a Rillaboom that was paralysed. I was not playing very well this round and got lucky, but I guess we take those.
Paul is a very good friend of mine, and I was sad to face him this early in the tournament. Calyrex + Palkia is often a good match-up for me, but Paul had everything to make it bad. Wiki Berry Palkia with Flamethrower, Focus Sash Incineroar and Sitrus Berry Amoonguss.
I learnt it the hard way in game 1 and got stomped by White Herb Calyrex since I lost my Shedinja.
In game 2, I decided to go with Thundurus and played well by keeping my resources to win after Trick Room ended.
In game 3, I made two very good turns at the beginning of the game. I predicted Incineroar switch on Amoonguss and got a freeze with Ice Beam. I could deal with it the next turn if it stayed frozen and commit to it considering it was only a 20% chance of thawing. It didn’t and I won after making Calyrex lose a turn of Dynamax with Ally Switch. I was not very satisfied with my play so far, but I was 2-0 and three set wins away from top cut.
Last time I played David was in Harrogate Regionals in 2019 and he destroyed me with his Yveltal + Groudon team. David was running Yveltal again but with Dialga this time.
I led Thundurus + Incineroar as I knew his Thundurus was Prankster and probably faster than mine since I had no speed. I won game 1 after clicking Eerie Impulse + Fake Out in front of Dialga + Thundurus turn 1 since it totally removed Dialga’s pressure.
I won game 2 with a late Kyogre Dynamax after praying a lot to not have RNG against me. I needed Rock Slide not flinching my Incineroar, Thunderbolt not paralysing my Dynamax Kyogre and Dialga not critting my Zacian with Max Quake. None of those occurred and I left the table with a clean 2-0 win.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might know I am not in good terms with Kasty and I wanted so hard to win against him.
I didn’t expect to see a Weakness Policy on Charizard in game 1 and didn’t have much space to win with Kyogre, which double-missed a crucial Origin Pulse on Groudon and Charizard in the last turns.
I did the same plan in game 2 as he brought Regieleki this time and won thanks to my Zacian surviving Max Lightning with a dozen of HP.
I decided to bring Landorus instead of Zacian in game 3 and won after getting rid of his Lunala, which was faster than Landorus and had Hypnosis.
I was very nervous during this set, and I think it was a really good one… I wished it appeared on stream!
Leonardo is a very strong player that placed very well at different Players Cups (2nd at both Players Cup III and Players Cup IV) during the covid break. I know he used to play Xerneas + Groudon like me back in Ultra Series and that we were queuing for team check together after passing Day 1 at the 2019 World Championships in Washington.
I remember winning game 1, knowing I would catch him off-guard with Ally Switch and my Kyogre surviving a crucial Behemoth Blade from his Zacian.
In game 2, he showed me how Rillaboom + Kyogre lead is hard to deal without Kartana, and his Life Orb Kyogre being faster than my own Kyogre.
I assumed I had to go for repeated Ally Switches in game 3 if I wanted to win this set. This is not how I like to play, but sometimes I have no choice… I made it to win and secured a spot in top cut after going 5-0. I was so happy since this was my goal by attending this tournament.
I almost got to face Roberto Parente at Milan, but we got repaired and didn’t get to play each other.
When I saw Indeedee and Regieleki at team preview of game 1, I knew I would have to play with Shedinja to pressure with Ally Switch. I sadly found out Regieleki was Assault Vest and Kyogre was Life Orb with Origin Pulse.
Since I knew it would be difficult to win the set, I decided to go with a no-brain Landorus lead in game 2 that got punished by a smart Regieleki + Kyogre lead from my opponent.
I was not 100% focus this game as I still didn’t believe I made it to top cut. But I decided to focus for the next and last round since a win could give me a bye during the next day.
I don’t remember that much about this set sadly. I only remember that I assumed he would not bring Gastrodon in game 3, and in turn 1 I Dynamaxed my Kyogre to pick up as many KOs as I could so I could let my Shedinja win.
I reached 2nd seed after the Swiss-round phase, thanks to 6 of my 7 opponents making it to top cut!
I watched Meaghan’s top 32 set against Shinichi Matsuda (Kakunaka) and picked up information from here.
I won game 1 after she kept her Dynamax for Celesteela, but I dealt too much damage with Kyogre and Shedinja.
In game 2, I got lucky in early game after getting one or two full paralyses on Zacian, but a critical hit on my Thundurus later made me lose both Thundurus and Kyogre, and Shedinja could not deal with Celesteela.
In game 3, I paralysed her Zacian very early in the game again, but I played too passively, and I lost so many HP on my Pokémon before her Zacian fell down while never being fully paralysed, sadly. I was very sad at this loss since I think I had a good match-up, but played very poorly in game 3.
Even if I’m sad about how my run ended, I’m very satisfied with my performance and proud to represent my country so far in the tournament (this was the first time a French player made it top cut in the Masters division!). I’m very proud of my team choice. Locking a Pokémon with less than 0.5% usage is something that was very stressful to me, so I’m glad how events turned out.
It’s now time to thank several people:
- Thomas Gravouille for playing and testing with me the whole season
- Florian Henry for everything he taught me for several years now
- Andréa, Luca and Arnaud for being very nice roommates
- Charles, Julie and Gabriel, being my best supporters while having no clue about how the game works
- To the whole French team that was here to support me in London
This weekend was a blast also thanks to my friend Eduardo Cunha (Edu) claiming his first World Champion title while being undefeated. You totally deserved it, dude, and I’m so proud of you! <3
I hope you enjoyed reading this report and to see you all in Japan