Give up Garchomp! — Team Report from the Runner-up of the 2023 Tainan Regionals

Hello, everyone! I am Ku Chao-chen, or GoogleTWN and I’m glad to share the team I used to get to the finals of Tainan Regionals and what I was thinking about the team!

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

I started testing the Ranked Battles for a week before a friend of mine sent me this Rental Team by Joji Kaieda (Suica).


In the testing process, I came to think that Murkrow, Gholdengo and Hydreigon gave me a good feel, but when I used Garchomp I lost a lot of games. I felt Garchomp can’t get one-hit knockouts, will be OHKO’d instead very easily, and can’t move faster than the opponent. About Arcanine and Breloom, I seldom chose them while I was testing this team.

After a few days, I asked my friend Chen Chih-chun (ToooTz) about a new team, and he showed me Markus Stadter‘s Stuttgart-winning Rental Team, which featured Annihilape. How wise of a Pokémon choice! I’ll explain better in the next section.

After a lot of thinking, I found my answer to replace Garchomp in Federico Camporesi‘s LimitlessVGC tournament-winning Rental Team: Dragonite!

Finally, the sixth spot of the team went to Armarouge, which helped as a counter to Trick Room-oriented Torkoal teams.


After this thought process, I finally had the final configuration of the team!

The Team

▶️ Get the original version of the team’s paste here!

▶️ Get the latest, improved version of the team’s paste here!

Murkrow (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 236 HP / 156 Def / 116 SpD
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Foul Play
– Tailwind
– Haze
– Quash

From Suica’s version of the team, I changed Murkrow‘s Taunt to Quash, as it was more useful than Taunt most times.

Gholdengo @ Choice Specs
Ability: Good as Gold
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 132 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 124 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Make It Rain
– Shadow Ball
– Protect (originally Trick)
– Thunderbolt

I turned Gholdengo faster and made it hold Choice Specs, which dealt much more powerful damage. After the tournament, I changed Trick to Protect, because the Choice Specs were frequently Knocked Off. I must remark that Make It Rain is similarly powerful as Water Spout!

Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dark Pulse
– Flash Cannon
– Draco Meteor
– Protect

I only changed Hydreigon‘s Tera Type to Steel.

Annihilape @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Final Gambit
– Close Combat
– Shadow Claw
– U-turn

How wise of a Pokémon choice! When I think that an opposing Pokémon is not easy to KO, Annihilape‘s Final Gambit can be used to turn a 4 vs 4 into a 3 vs 3. When I have the Pokémon advantage, it may even turn into a 2 vs 1, which feels like a checkmate.

I changed one of Annihilape’s moves to U-turn, since this move can break Focus Sashes and knock out Meowscarada that do not hold it. Murkrow can then switch in to use Tailwind on the following turn, or even attack if you are in a comfortable position.

Before Tainan Regionals, my hotel partner Liu Jian-ting (Sayha) told me that, if I ignored Dragapult, I could invest more EVs in Attack. Being faster than Kilowattrel with the Choice Scarf was enough, although I saw a few Talonflame that day! Investing a little more EVs in Speed would have been better.

Dragonite @ Assault Vest
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50
Tera Type: Normal
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Extreme Speed
– Earthquake
– Dragon Claw
– Brick Break

Several features were important in the choice of Dragonite with respect to Garchomp:

  • With Extreme Speed, it can hit faster than Garchomp.
  • It can be trained to be stronger than Garchomp, since it does not have the need to invest in Speed.
  • It has a similar base Attack than Garchomp.

Armarouge (M) @ Covert Cloak
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
Tera Type: Grass
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 21 Spe
– Expanding Force
– Armor Cannon
– Trick Room (originally Wide Guard)
– Energy Ball

I lost many games against Torkoal in Trick Room, so I saw the need of a Trick Room counter… Eruption was so powerful! That’s where Armarouge entered the team.

I chose to run Expanding Force without a Psychic Terrain setter, since I only sent out Armarouge when I saw a Trick Room team, and the terrain would usually be activated by the opponent.

How to use the team

Tip: Tailwind is not that important. At first, try to learn about your opponent, and then choose.

Opponent’s teamBest leadsIn the back
Common picks, option #1
Murkrow  +  Gholdengo
Common picks, option #2
Annihilape  +  Gholdengo

Talonflame teams

Dragonite  +  Annihilape
Trick Room teams
Annihilape  +  Gholdengo
ArmarougeHydreigon or Dragonite

Murkrow mirror teams, option #1

Murkrow  +  Annihilape
GholdengoHydreigon or  Dragonite

Murkrow mirror teams, option #2

Murkrow  +  Hydreigon
Murkrow + Dragonite
GholdengoAnnihilape or Dragonite
Gholdengo, Annihilape or Hydreigon

Tournament run

This was my run at Tainan Regionals!

Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
R1WWUnknown player
Indeedee FemaleScizorGarchompSylveonArmarougeBreloom
R2WWUnknown player
Indeedee FemaleGholdengoArmarougeMurkrowAzumarillMeowscarada
R3LWWUnknown player
Indeedee FemaleDragapultArmarougeMurkrowPalafinCoalossal
R4LWWUnknown player
GalladeMurkrowGarchompSylveonRotom HeatMeowscarada
Li Yi-ju
Liu Jian-ting
AmoongussKingambitArmarougeSylveonTauros Paldea AquaMeowscarada

Top cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s team
Wan Ting-te

Yeh Kuan-cheng
SylveonGholdengoDragoniteTalonflameRotom WashBreloom
Chen Chih-chun
Tseng Yan-rong
HydreigonIndeedee FemaleArmarougeMurkrowMausholdMeowscarada

You can watch my top 4 match against Chih-chun (starting at 8:15:50) and finals match against Yan-rong (starting at 9:00:00) below!


Here you have the Rental Team of the version I used in Tainan. I hope you enjoy it!

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