“Oblivious”ly Good! — An EUIC Top 4 Team Report

Hello everyone! My name is Alexander D’Andrea, also known as 1exar, but you can just call me Lex. I am 22 years old from New Jersey, and I have been playing a form of Pokémon since 2008. I started out with the TCG in which I qualified for three World Championships, cut numerous regionals, and won dozens of locals. After I headed off to college in 2018 I took a break from Pokémon, but after graduating back last May, I looked for a return to competitive gaming.

Come December 2022, I decided to pick up a copy of Violet and play it for some nostalgia, little did I know I would find out there was an in-game ladder and quickly became addicted. Soon enough I was looking up VGC guides on teambuilding and EV training. Fast forward four months and I was able to get Top 4 at my first tournament, the 2023 European International Championships! The team I brought was a unique take on the Dondozo archetype, and I am incredibly excited to break it down and explore what makes it tick.

Before I get started, I want to shout out Chuppa Cross, Carson Confer, and Francesco Pero. They were all incredibly instrumental in the building process and kept me motivated throughout the event. I also did a breakdown on TubNation’s YouTube channel and I recommend checking that out as well!

Table of Contents

Teambuilding process

I had played no tours in Regulation Sets A or B, not even online or a grassroots one, so as soon as the Regulation Set C ladder dropped I hopped on Showdown and started playing around. The big question on many people’s minds was, which of the Ruin Pokémon would you want to build around? Some people opted for Ting-Lu balance teams, others for offensive Chien-Pao teams, and over 50% of people at EUIC used the best Ruin Pokémon: Amoonguss. When I started building for Regulation Set C, I was extremely and still am inexperienced at it, so I started looking for Regulation Set B teams to adapt into the Regulation Set C format. That is when I found Neil Patel‘s (NeilVGCVancouver Regional Top 8 team.

DragoniteGlimmoraGreat TuskIron BundleTatsugiri CurlyDondozo

I took his team, kept it exactly the same and even had the EVs as I am a proud NeilVGC Patreon subscriber, but made one critical change swapping Chi-Yu in for Great Tusk. I immediately went from struggling in the 1400s to peaking at an ELO of 1850 in the matter of two days on the Showdown ladder. Quickly, I messaged Neil and said “hey you know your Van team plus Chi-Yu is kinda insane,” he responded that he also thought it was quite good and had been experimenting with it himself for EUIC, which made me confident I had found something solid to work with.

DragoniteGlimmoraChi YuIron BundleTatsugiri CurlyDondozo

Around this time, I began working with Chuppa Cross for 1-on-1 coaching to improve my fundamentals as I wanted to go into EUIC having a decent shot to end with a positive record, which was my main goal for my first tournament. He helped me tweak the team and EVs, and eventually on Sunday I had what I thought would be my final version of the team. That was until Chuppa himself took such a liking to the team that he was strongly considering using it for EUIC as well. He asked if he could use my team on ladder, to which I had no problem with, and he introduced me to someone who had swiped the team off of me accepting OTS on Showdown and was also planning on using it.

To summarize here are all the big changes we made to Neil’s original team:

  • Choice Band > Lum Berry Dragonite. This allows our Dragonite to put insane physical pressure on the opponent and threaten Normal Tera Type-boosted Extreme Speed OHKOs on any non bulky Pokémon. Additionally it takes advantage of opposing Chien-Pao’s as Normal-Tera Type Dragonite can often get 2-3 attacks off before it is dealt with and absorb all the pressure, allowing the Pokémon sitting next to it to attack relatively unscathed.
  • Max Speed EVs on Dragonite. This lets our Dragonite win every Extreme Speed tie and 1v1 late-game Palafin with ease. Additionally, it allows our Iron Bundle to combo Icy Wind with an attack from Dragonite much easier.
  • Ice > Ghost Tera Type on Iron Bundle. Ice Tera Type-boosted Freeze-Dry allowed us to comfortably pick up OHKOs on opposing Amoonguss and resist opposing Iron Bundle’s Freeze-Dry.
  • Max Speed EVs on Dondozo. Half of the Flutter Mane are running below 174 Speed, which allows our Dondozo to just pick it up with Wave Crash or Tera Blast with ease and not have to worry about taking any damage in response.
  • Chi-Yu > Great Tusk. Chi-Yu is easily my favorite Ruin Pokémon, as if you position it correctly it can completely run over a game. Combined with Iron Bundle you have deadly Icy Wind + Overheat combos that pick up basically any Pokémon in the game that doesn’t resist.
  • Key Dondozo changes that I will save for a more in depth explanation shortly.

The Team

▶️ Get the team’s paste here!

Glimmora @ Assault Vest
Ability: Toxic Debris
Tera Type: Grass
Bold Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD
– Mortal Spin
– Power Gem
– Earth Power
– Energy Ball

The entire reason I was drawn to the team to begin with, Glimmora is incredibly annoying to deal with and is strong into a lot of matchups that the core of Iron Bundle + Chi-Yu and Dozogiri is not. The goal of Glimmora is to Mortal Spin and proc Toxic Debris with your own Dragonite via Extreme Speed or Earthquake (Grass-Tera Type Glimmora) and then swap in Dondozo and slowly stall out opponents by alternating between attack and protect as they die to poison. While I wish I could say I made a lot of use of Glimmora at EUIC, it was mostly irrelevant as I played almost entirely Balance teams during the tourney, a matchup in which it is not common to bring Glimmora.

Dragonite @ Choice Band
Ability: Multiscale
Tera Type: Normal
Adamant Nature
EVs: 44 HP / 204 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Outrage
– Ice Spinner
– Extreme Speed
– Earthquake

Dragonite serves as a means to accelerate the pace of the game. When I ran into a team that had a particularly good Dondozo counter or had a very specific strategy that I did not think I could break with Chi-Yu and Iron Bundle, the strategy that is best is to just hit them incredibly hard and fast. When you click Normal Tera Type-boosted Extreme Speed with Choice Band, you are saying to your opponent “all of your Pokémon are on a 2-attack clock; deal with Dragonite or lose the Pokémon of my choice”. Outrage allows you to beat any beefy attacker like Ting-Lu or Iron Hands, which Iron Bundle and Chi-Yu struggle with. Ice Spinner is for the random Psychic Terrain I might face, and Earthquake was good coverage and a way to set Toxic Debris if needed.

Offensive calcs

Chi Yu 204+ Atk Choice Band Tera Normal Dragonite Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Chi-Yu: 135-159 (103 – 121.3%) — guaranteed OHKO 

Chi-Yu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beads of Ruin
Tera Type: Ghost
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Overheat
– Heat Wave
– Dark Pulse
– Protect

Chi-Yu is absolutely busted, this Pokémon can pressure basically every single Pokémon in the format aside from Ting-Lu, which this team has plenty of other ways to deal with. The main Pokémon you lead with Chi-Yu is Iron Bundle. All Chi-Yu needs to be an insane threat is a bit of speed, and Iron Bundle’s Icy Wind provides that along with the chip to let Overheat pick up the Pokémon of your choice. Additionally, Chi-Yu and Iron Bundle have a unique advantage in that they cover Fire + Water + Grass cores spectacularly well, as Hydro Pump hits Fire types, Heat Wave and Freeze-Dry hit Grass types and Water types. The most common defensive Tera Types are Grass and Water in this format, and Chi-Yu + Iron Bundle threaten both the base and Tera typing of most of those Pokémon. All I can say is good luck resisting both hits from the duo.

Offensive calcs

Just two to give an example of Overheat + Icy Wind potency…


252 SpA Beads of Ruin Chi-Yu Overheat vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Baxcalibur: 171-202 (84.2 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Icy Wind vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Baxcalibur: 51-61 (25.1 – 30%) — guaranteed 4HKO

Flutter Mane

252 SpA Beads of Ruin Chi-Yu Overheat vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Flutter Mane: 118-139 (82.5 – 97.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Icy Wind vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Flutter Mane: 34-42 (23.7 – 29.3%) — 99.1% chance to 4HKO

Iron Bundle @ Booster Energy
Ability: Quark Drive
Tera Type: Ice
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hydro Pump
– Icy Wind
– Freeze-Dry
– Protect

There is not much to say about Iron Bundle that I have not already mentioned in tandem with Chi-Yu. Iron Bundle serves as the main way to deal with Dondozo as ours is Oblivious. Additionally, it is a fantastic Amoonguss checker as they practically all have Water Tera Type, and those that have Steel Tera Type just drop to Chi-Yu. Once again, the Ice Tera Type picks up the KO on most Amoonguss.

Offensive calcs

Amoonguss 252 SpA Tera Ice Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Freeze-Dry vs. 244 HP / 76+ SpD Amoonguss: 204-244 (92.7 – 110.9%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
Great Tusk 252 SpA Tera Ice Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Icy Wind (60 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Great Tusk: 216-256 (113 – 134%) — guaranteed OHKO

Iron Bundle 252 SpA Tera Ice Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Freeze-Dry vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Iron Bundle: 156-184 (118.1 – 139.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
Dondozo 252 SpA Tera Ice Beads of Ruin Iron Bundle Freeze-Dry vs. +2 4 HP / 172 SpD Dondozo: 116-140 (51.3 – 61.9%) — 97.3% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Dondozo @ Leftovers
Ability: Oblivious
Tera Type: Grass
Adamant Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 76 Atk / 4 Def / 172 SpD / 252 Spe
– Wave Crash
– Earthquake
– Tera Blast
– Protect

Dondozo: the heart and soul of the team, but with a twist! Nearly every single Dondozo outside of Nick Navarre‘s (Nails) solo Dondozo in Top 8 of Fort Wayne has run the same ability, Unaware. It makes sense why, it makes your +2 omni-boosted Dondozo basically unkillable and the opponent cannot get around it with setup. However, in Regulation Set C, when I looked at the meta and kind of teams that were dominant, setup such as Swords Dance and Nasty Plot were scarce. People opted in favor of pure outright damage with Chien-Pao and Chi-Yu, along with Choice Band and Choice Specs users. While they still back quite a punch, +2 omni-boosted Dondozo can still tank 3-4 of these hits with the right defensive investment and positioning. Additionally, with the overall quantity of Dondozo’s falling, Unaware, which is highly essential for the mirror, drops in importance even more. So I looked for a better ability to fit onto Dondozo for EUIC. Nearly every Palafin balance player had simply opted for Intimidate cycling into Haze as their Dondozo counter. It turns out Dondozo has a very handy Ability versus Intimidate, Oblivious, which simply lets Dondozo ignore the Intimidate all together. Combine that with Grass Tera Type and Tera Blast and you will nuke any Palafin while ignoring all Spores and Rage Powders. Wave Crash and Earthquake are the other chosen moves, respectively for massive single-target STAB and solid spread damage.

Tatsugiri @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Commander
Tera Type: Steel
Timid Nature
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Draco Meteor
– Muddy Water
– Icy Wind
– Sleep Talk

To round off the team Tatsugiri is the counterpart to Dondozo allowing it to get its +2 omni-boost with Commander. While a lot of people view Tatsugiri as a Pokémon that is kind of useless outside of letting Dondozo take KOs left and right, it functioned much different on this team. Being that we could preserve Chi-Yu from the early game thanks to Focus Sash, we are able to get quite deadly endgames with 1 HP Chi-Yu next to Tatsugiri firing off strong Muddy Waters and Draco Meteors.

How to use the team

Tournament run

Day 1 Swiss rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Mark Maclean
TalonflameIron BundleAbomasnowFarigirafOrthwormGarchomp
Wang Shengyu
Chi YuIron BundleGreat TuskMurkrowScizorFlutter Mane
Leandro Sarmento
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussTing LuFlutter ManeBaxcalibur
Maurice Uteg
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussTing LuKingambitFlutter Mane
James Evans
TalonflameIron BundleChien PaoIron HandsGholdengoGarchomp
Davide Redaelli
PalafinAmoongussChien PaoTing LuGholdengoDragapult
Aaron Zheng
Chi YuIron BundlePalafinPelipperAmoongussFlutter Mane
Sidy Badiane
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussChien PaoFlutter ManeDragonite
Federico Camporesi
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussTing LuKingambitFlutter Mane

Day 2 Swiss Rounds

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Davide Miraglia
Chi YuIron BundleAbomasnowGreat TuskIron HandsFlutter Mane
Gabriel Agati
(Wuilber flex)
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussTing LuFlutter ManeBaxcalibur
Víctor Medina
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussIron HandsTing LuFlutter Mane
Sohaib Mufti
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussIron HandsTing LuFlutter Mane
Giulio Tarlao
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussChien PaoGholdengoDragonite

You can watch my Swiss round 11 match versus Gabriel here!

Top Cut

RoundResultOpponentOpponent’s teamList
Giulio Tarlao
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussChien PaoGholdengoDragonite
Gabriel Agati
(Wuilber flex)
ArcaninePalafinAmoongussTing LuFlutter ManeBaxcalibur

You can watch my Top 4 match versus Gabriel, a rematch from Swiss round 11, here!

Advice for new players!

I wanted to finish this report by going over my general thoughts on how to be successful as a new player.

  • Set incremental goals

I had decided going into EUIC that my main goal was to finish with a positive record of 5-4. If I achieved that my goal would be to get to Day 2 if that was still possible, then from then on it was Top 16, etc. When you approach events like this, especially as a new player, you often take the pressure off. Many players fall into a trap of romanticizing their first few tournaments of how well they can do, however often this leads to poor performances. I did this many times as a veteran player in the TCG, and it set me up for failure. Even once you become a seasoned player, do not overburden yourself with your own expectations, at the end of the day make sure you are having fun with friends, then no matter how well you do, you are sure to have a good time.

  • Do not worry about ladder rank

The nice thing about VGC is that the Pokémon Showdown and in-game ladders have zero role in how you perform at tournaments. It does not matter if you lose 300 points on Showdown testing a team for an upcoming regional, whether you are Rank 500 or Rank 1, all that matters is how you play in the regional itself. Is it nice to be high rank on the respective ladders? Yes! Should you obsess over it like I know I have at times and seen people? No!

  • Play A LOT

In any game, a tried and true way to improve is to play. However, it is not as important in my opinion as this next tip.

  • Watch / read A LOT

If you are serious about improving as a new player, you should absolutely be watching every Regional you can and consuming as much VGC content on YouTube and websites like Victory Road. The greatest leap in ability you will make as a player is when you are an introductory-level to average-level player, you want to make sure to set yourself up for succes. The greatest help to me as a new player was watching Neil Patel’s and Jamie Boyt’s YouTube channel guides on everything Scarlet and Violet.

  • If possible, get a coach

While this does require extra monetary commitment, getting a coach is incredibly helpful. Had I not signed up for Chuppa Cross’s coaching, I would not have had nearly the fundamentals I needed to do as well as I did at EUIC. No matter how good your meta call is, if you do not understand the game at its core, you will not do well. Additionally, having a coach can offer many connections and access to resources you normally would not have as a new player.

Closing words

I just want to reiterate my deepest thanks to Chuppa Cross, Carson Confer, and Francesco Pio Pero. The three of them made my preparation for EUIC so incredibly amazing that I absolutely could not have done as well as I did without them. Best of luck to all of them in future events and I look forward to working with everyone again!

This whole article also would not be possible without Victory Road for giving me the opportunity to write it! So thanks to them so much for the platform!

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