Case Closed — Team Report from the Bochum Regional Champion

Hi! My name is Markus Stadter and I recently won the 2023 Bochum Regional Championships, one of the biggest VGC tournaments in Europe ever. It’s been a while since I won a big offline tournament and this win means a lot to me, which is why I would like to share the team and my tournament run in this report.

My achievements in VGC previous to this tournament include 2 National Championship wins (2014 Germany and 2015 United Kingdom), Worlds Top 4 (2016) and 2 Regionals wins (2016 Stockholm and 2017 Leipzig). I was very happy with what I have already achieved at this game, but as you can see my big accomplishments are all a few years in the past, when I was still studying and had much more time to focus on Pokémon. When I started working full-time in 2020 I wasn’t sure if I could continue to perform at the highest level, but qualifying for Day 2 of Worlds in 2022 and finishing in the Top 32 motivated me a lot and I decided that I would keep playing with the goal to win tournaments.

To be honest sometimes it can be very hard to know that I cannot reach my best because I can’t put in the time and effort anymore while still having very high expectations and goals. I am still learning how to deal with this in the best way and how to be smart about how I use the time I can put into Pokémon and I am really glad that I could still win a tournament as prestigious and big as Bochum Regionals all these years later.

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

First of all, I need to stress again that this team was mostly built by Wolfe Glick. I am very glad to have a friend like him and that he shared this team with me!

Indeedee FemaleArmarougeRoaring Moon

After using Dondozo in Liverpool, I knew I didn’t want to use it again for Regulation Set B and instead started to look at other options first. One idea I had pretty soon after Liverpool was to combine the Indeedee + Armarouge Trick Room core with a Tailwind mode. I thought Speed-boosting Booster Energy Roaring Moon would be a good fit because it also has a good match up in the mirror. I didn’t actually test this idea much, but my friends Wolfe and Aaron Traylor looked into similar ideas so we chatted about them for a bit. Wolfe liked the concept of Trick Room + Tailwind, but didn’t like Indeedee + Armarouge too much. Also Roaring Moon left the team quickly, since it required Terastalization in many games to get rid of its weaknesses. Iron Jugulis was something that Wolfe had talked about earlier, but I didn’t believe it could be strong at first.

This changed when I saw him use the first version of the team in early February. The team was:

Iron JugulisBrute BonnetGholdengoGothitelleIron BundleGreat Tusk

This already consisted of 5 out of the 6 final members!

Brute Bonnet was strong, but the Trick Room mode was a bit awkward and soon Wolfe looked into alternatives to it. Around one and a half weeks before Bochum, I started to talk to Wolfe more about the team. Iron Hands had joined over Brute Bonnet and we started to spend quite some time to finalize the game plans, EV spreads, moves and Tera Types of the Pokémon. We made some decisions that were crucial in both our runs at Regionals and I’m very happy that we put in the time to push the team further rather than being happy with what we had.

Iron JugulisIron HandsGholdengoGothitelleIron BundleGreat Tusk

Since Knoxville Regionals and Bochum Regionals happened on the same weekend, we had the rare chance to use the same team while not attending the same tournament.

The Team

▶️ Find a paste of the team here!

ANOKATA (Iron Jugulis) @ Booster Energy
Ability: Quark Drive
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 132 SpD / 116 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Air Slash
– Snarl
– Tailwind

Iron Jugulis was a core piece of the team and definitely carried its weight in the tournament. The EV split allows it to outrun unboosted Flutter Mane and Iron Bundle, which was crucial to get a Snarl off before they could attack. The Speed lets us outrun max Speed Choice Scarf Annihilape. It is important to outspeed Great Tusk when at -1 Speed, since it is commonly paired with Booster Energy Iron Bundle. The bulk came in handy many times.

When using Iron Jugulis, you need to be aware that it will not do a ton of damage and you need to be smart where to attack to soften up opponents for Gholdengo and Great Tusk. One advantage that Iron Jugulis has over more frail Tailwind setters like Talonflame is that, with Snarl and the bulk, oftentimes you can set up Tailwind a second time after the first one peters out.

The moves all seem necessary and I don’t think it’s wise to run another moveset on Iron Jugulis if you want it to set up Tailwind like we did. Steel Tera Type was something we adapted pretty late and was supposed to help against Flutter Mane and Dragonite. It didn’t come up very often in the tournament, but I used it in Game 3 of Round 10 to set up Tailwind for a second time against Javier Señorena.

Defensive calcs

Flutter Mane 252 SpA Flutter Mane Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 132 SpD Iron Jugulis: 170-204 (84.5 – 101.4%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

Iron Hands
76+ Atk Iron Hands Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Iron Jugulis: 180-212 (89.5 – 105.4%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

KAITO KID (Gholdengo) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Good as Gold
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 244 HP / 36 Def / 132 SpA / 4 SpD / 92 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Make It Rain
– Shadow Ball
– Power Gem
– Trick

Gholdengo is a Pokémon I enjoyed using a lot in Regulation Set A and I was happy to see that it could still be strong in Regulation Set B. At first we were running a faster version to make use of Icy Wind support Iron Bundle can provide. However, we realized that Gholdengo is strongest when it is led next to Iron Jugulis and that bulk is needed to survive some combination of hits. Snarl from Iron Jugulis helps Gholdengo a lot as it lowers the damage output from Flutter Mane and other fast Pokémon that threaten Gholdengo.

The Speed outruns Choice Scarf Tatsugiri and speed-creeps other bulky Gholdengo and bulky Annihilape. We chose to run Power Gem to help against Arcanine. I didn’t use Power Gem very often, but most of the time you are using Make It Rain anyway. Trick was there against bulky teams and against Trick Room. How it can completely win games on the spot was showcased well in Game 2 of finals. Steel Tera Type is great to get rid of Ghost- and Dark-type weaknesses and to boost Make It Rain even further.

Offensive calcs

Great Tusk 132+ SpA Choice Specs Gholdengo Make It Rain vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Great Tusk: 195-229 (102 – 119.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive calcs

Flutter Mane252+ SpA Flutter Mane Shadow Ball vs. 244 HP / 4 SpD Gholdengo: 168-198 (87 – 102.5%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO

JUZO MEGURE (Great Tusk) @ Life Orb
Ability: Protosynthesis
Level: 50
Tera Type: Ground
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 28 HP
– Protect
– Headlong Rush
– Close Combat
– Earthquake

Life Orb Great Tusk is such a strong Pokémon that it can easily tear through teams especially after they were hit by Make It Rain.

A regular battle with the team would often be to lead Iron Jugulis and Gholdengo, set Tailwind and attack with Make It Rain. Now the opponent has to make a choice: if they attack Iron Jugulis, they will probably fail to knock it out easily because it is so bulky and will have to take more Make It Rain. If they knock out Gholdengo, Great Tusk will come in and can pressure with Earthquake thanks to Iron Jugulis’ Flying type and its 120 STAB moves. They only have a few turns to knock out Iron Jugulis or Tailwind will be set up for a second time. And even if they knock out Iron Jugulis, Iron Bundle can come in and provide more speed control for Great Tusk with Icy Wind.

Ground Tera Type is used to boost Earthquake and Headlong Rush even further. We used Jolly to outspeed all Gholdengo and bulky Arcanine and to get at least the speed tie against opposing Great Tusk. Unfortunately max Speed Booster Energy Iron Bundle always outspeeds Great Tusk in Tailwind, but that is something you have to play around. We chose to run 28 HP IVs because we wanted to run max Attack and max Speed and couldn’t find any defensive calcs that changed with a 189 HP stat value and it seemed likely to get off multiple attacks with Great Tusk. If you can find arguments to run 31 HP IV, please let me know, I’m genuinely curious!

AI HAIBARA (Iron Bundle) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Quark Drive
Level: 50
Tera Type: Flying
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Icy Wind
– Encore
– Freeze-Dry

We opted to run Focus Sash since Booster Energy was already taken and Covert Cloak didn’t come up very often in testing. Instead Focus Sash provided us with a lifeline that Iron Bundle appreciates.

Tera Type is Flying to help against Great Tusk and more notably to avoid being hit by our own Great Tusk’s Earthquakes. We agreed that we didn’t want to run Hydro Pump and I think we succeeded in finding a moveset that actually gets away with not running it. Encore combos really nicely with Gothitelle’s Shadow Tag and helps a lot in the Dondozo match-up because it prevents them from going for Protect or Substitute, which means that Fake Out from Iron Hands is pretty effective against it. Encore also came in handy to punish opponents for setting up Tailwind, going for Fake Out or Protect and for securing end games.

MIWAKO SATO (Gothitelle) @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 124 Def / 132 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 3 Spe
– Protect
– Charm
– Psychic
– Trick Room

Gothitelle was amazing on this type of team. It provided the team with a Trick Room mode that can be transitioned into quite nicely after the 4 turns of Tailwind are over. With Charm and Leftovers, it can lock in physical attackers like Dragonite and turn the game essentially in a 2v1. Charm is also really helpful versus Dondozo.

We decided not to run Fake Out, because Gothitelle functions a bit differently on our team than on other Tailwind teams where it was seen before. Instead of supporting for example Flutter Mane as a lead, Gothitelle usually comes in the back together with Iron Hands to seal up end games. And if we decide to lead Gothitelle, it is usually next to Iron Hands to set up Trick Room early, which doesn’t require Gothitelle to use Fake Out.

Leftovers vs Sitrus Berry was a debate we had, but looking back at some of our games, we realized that Gothitelle can stay on the field for a pretty long time, making Leftovers more effective. Steel Tera Type helps Gothitelle to wall Dragonite, which was otherwise a problem for the team. Gothitelle hits a Speed stat value of 71, which is 1 below min Speed Armarouge, while still outspeeding e.g. Adamant Great Tusk in Tailwind.

Defensive calcs

Flutter Mane 252+ SpA Life Orb Flutter Mane Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 132+ SpD Gothitelle: 151-179 (85.3 – 101.1%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

GENTA KOJIMA (Iron Hands) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Quark Drive
Level: 50
Tera Type: Grass
EVs: 100 HP / 156 Atk / 252 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Close Combat
– Wild Charge
– Drain Punch

Iron Hands was the last Pokémon to join the team and felt like the correct Pokémon to complete the Trick Room mode we wanted to include. With Assault Vest and max Special Defense, it becomes really bulky also on the Special side and can even take on Flutter Mane and Iron Bundle. We decided to use Grass Tera Type mostly against Amoonguss and Great Tusk.

Initially, the Iron Hands we used was pretty fast to abuse Tailwind more, but we realized that we needed to be slower than Armarouge to outspeed it in Trick Room. Since we wanted Iron Hands to hit before Gothitelle in Trick Room, we put it at a Speed stat value of 70 to still outspeed Adamant Great Tusk in Tailwind. This is relevant against Dondozo, to be able to break the Substitute first with Wild Charge, before lowering its Attack with Gothitelle’s Charm. While I used 70 Speed stat on Iron Hands, Wolfe didn’t want to speed-tie Kingambit with no Speed investment and ran 69 Speed stat. I had already shiny-hunted for one and didn’t want to get one with 29 Speed IVs, so I stuck with 31.

Close Combat was the first fighting move we used and we liked the damage output it provided, but Drain Punch felt strong when Trick Room was set up to knock out Kingambit or Tyranitar, when dropping its Defenses wasn’t necessary. Running both felt like the right choice to me and I ended up using Drain Punch more often than Close Combat in the tournament.

How to use the team

Opponent’s teamComments
  • Option 1: Lead Iron Jugulis + Gholdengo, with Iron Bundle and Great Tusk in the back.
  • Option 2: Lead Iron Jugulis + Gholdengo, with Gothitelle and Iron Hands in the back.
These are the standard picks for the team. Use Iron Jugulis to support with Tailwind and Snarl and Gholdengo to soften up the opposition. Then, transition into Great Tusk + Iron Bundle or into Gothitelle + Iron Hands to finish the game.
Fast teams that cannot stop Trick Room
  • Lead Gothitelle + Iron Hands, with Gholdengo and Iron Jugulis in the back.
One of the beauties of the open team sheet format is that you can look precisely for counterplay to certain leads. If the opponent was running a Tailwind team that could not stop turn 1 Fake Out + Trick Room, it’s often a great choice.
Gavin Michaels‘s OCIC team
Iron HandsAmoongussBaxcaliburPalafinPelipperDragonite
  • Lead Gothitelle + Iron Hands, with Gholdengo and Iron Bundle in the back.
Gothitelle is great against Palafin, and Iron Hands supports it to get Trick Room up when it is needed. Charm helps a lot against Dragonite and even Baxcalibur and the team doesn’t have much to hit Gholdengo.
Dondozo teams
  • Option 1: Lead Iron Bundle + Gholdengo, with Iron Hands and Gothitelle in the back.
Use Iron Bundle + Gholdengo early to put pressure on the opponent and to force Dondozo in. Then use Iron Hands + Gothitelle to set up Trick Room and Charm the Dondozo.
  • Option 2: Lead Gothitelle + Iron Hands, with Iron Bundle and Great Tusk in the back.
It can also be a good strategy to lead Gothitelle and to set up Trick Room early. Iron Bundle + Great Tusk can usually manage to power through a boosted Dondozo.
Trick Room teams
Indeedee FemaleArmarouge
  • Lead Iron Jugulis + Gholdengo, with Iron Hands and Gothitelle in the back.
Iron Jugulis + Gothitelle is really strong here as you can lower their damage output with Snarl while trapping them in, and also reverse the Trick Room when necessary with Gothitelle.
Other options
  • Lead Iron Jugulis + Great Tusk.
Iron Jugulis + Gothitelle is really strong here as you can lower their damage output with Snarl while trapping them in, and also reverse the Trick Room when necessary with Gothitelle.

Major threats


Dragonite completely walls Great Tusk and only Iron Bundle can hit it for super effective damage.

  • Counterplay: Use Gholdengo and Steel-Tera Type Gothitelle‘s Charm.

Kingambit completely walls Iron Jugulis + Gholdengo and makes Snarl very risky.

  • Counterplay: Use Great Tusk and Iron Hands to force it to Terastallize and go from there.

This was not something we considered in team building. Lilligant in Sun outspeeds the entire team and Fire types are already not so easy to handle.

  • Counterplay: Pray for Sleep Powder misses.

Fire types can be problematic as we don’t have a quick way to get rid of them (no Hydro Pump on Iron Bundle).

  • Counterplay: Great Tusk still gets the job done even at -1.

Volcarona can be problematic if it gets out of hand with Quiver Dance boosts.

  • Counterplay: Use Snarl to keep it in check, threaten it with Power Gem to force a Terastallization and use Great Tusk to knock it out.

Tournament run

Next, I want to describe my tournament run. On Day 1, all my opponents went at least 5-4 so all my games were competitive. I finished 7-2 on Day 1 and 8-0 in sets on Day 2 for a total record of 15-2. This was my run at Bochum Regionals!

Day 1 Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Dennis Komen
Great TuskMausholdBrute BonnetMurkrowFlutter ManeGholdengo
Kusha K.
Iron HandsAmoongussBaxcaliburPalafinPelipperDragonite
Omar Ziyani
Iron HandsIndeedee FemaleArmarougeGrimmsnarlHattereneRoaring Moon
Nikola Zirdum
KingambitAmoongussVolcaronaPalafinFlutter ManeBaxcalibur
Francesco Raga
(Lil Darkrai)
KingambitAmoongussTauros Paldea BlazeIron BundleFlutter ManeBaxcalibur
Simon Bernard
Great TuskAmoongussTalonflameIron BundleFlutter ManeTyranitar
Christian Bicker
Sandy ShocksMausholdFarigirafPalafinPelipperKingambit
Enosh Shachar
DragoniteGlimmoraTorkoalPalafinFlutter ManeRoaring Moon
Matt Maynard
AnnihilapeMaushold FourTalonflameGreat TuskGholdengoRoaring Moon

Day 2 Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Javier Señorena
Iron HandsAmoongussGholdengoIron BundleFlutter ManeRoaring Moon
Simon Schlütter
Great TuskGholdengoTalonflameDondozoTatsugiri CurlyDragonite
Guillermo Castilla
Iron HandsAmoongussArcanineIron BundleGholdengoRoaring Moon
Faaiz Ashfaq
Great TuskMaushold FourTorkoalIron BundleFlutter ManeKingambit
Álex Soto
AnnihilapeTorkoalArmarougeIndeedee FemaleHattereneKingambit

Top Cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Michael Kelsch
Great TuskTyranitarTalonflameIron BundleFlutter ManeDragonite
Aurélien Soula
Great TuskMaushold FourVolcaronaIron BundleGholdengoDragonite
Álex Soto
AnnihilapeTorkoalArmarougeIndeedee FemaleHattereneKingambit

Closing words

I mentioned it before and I have to say it again: I could not have won this tournament if it wasn’t for Wolfe Glick’s incredible teambuilding. He saw something in Iron Jugulis that no one else saw, just like he did with Scream Tail earlier in the format. Thank you for letting me join the teambuilding process and helping me prepare for the event!

Another big shoutout goes to Yuki Zaninovich who supported me from home during the tournament and helped me to stay calm when I knew I had to win every game to advance.

Thank you to Faaiz AshfaqBaris Akcos and Fevzi Özkan who supported me in Bochum in person, it was amazing to share this experience with you!

And last but not least to all my other friends, my girlfriend and my family who supported me on this weekend and always. I’m so happy that I have so many great people in my life that support me playing this game and I am also proud of myself that I can still compete at the highest level while working a time-intensive job and pursuing other things in life.

With this, I’m only 10 points short of qualifying for Worlds and I don’t want to jinx it by saying “See you in Yokohama”, so instead, I will see you in London for EUIC! 🙂

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