IntroductionIt was a few weeks before Internationals and I originally had a few ideas I wanted to try out from FAKE variants to Double ducks to GACT. However, I would always find some weakness with them. I decided it would be a good idea for me to just use a standard team on Battle Spot and climb up to see if there were any cool teams to use. I was unable to find unique strategies but I did however like the team I was using. It was composed of Garchomp Celesteela Arcanine Hariyama Tapu Koko and Ninetales. As the event was approaching, I was starting to freak out because I didnt have a good team, even the team I just mentioned started to flop. I then decided to switch Hariyama to Snorlax after seeing a large amount of success from it at the Madrid Special event. I also learned how to play the FAKE matchup by watching Alex Gomez use it at a Regional. Thus, I ended up with the team I used this past weekend.
Tapu Koko @ Electrium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
There's not much to really say here about this Tapu Koko. It is given a Timid nature and max Speed in order to make sure I do damage as fast as I can. Thunder had only one purpose, and it was to do more damage than I would have done with Thunderbolt. This allowed me to pick some key KOs such as specially defensive Arcanine and even some Muk. Overall, I did enjoy using this Tapu Koko and I have no regrets on using Thunder regardless of it being relatively useless after I used it for the Z move.
Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 204 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
- Heavy Slam
- Leech Seed
- Wide Guard
Celesteela is the only Ultra Beast I used for this team, but was definitely the best choice for it. Celesteela was really bulky and allowed me to win some games by just pressing Leech Seed and Protect. The EV spread is from when the format was first announced and someone just gave me it, so I have no idea what it actually does other than take hits pretty well. The special aspect about this Celesteela was the use of Wide Guard. Wide Guard allowed me to win some very key moments that might not have been winnable otherwise had I used another move such as Flamethrower. An example of a moment can be against Garchomp who might have only Rock Slide and Eartquake as their damaging moves and Tapu Koko locked onto Dazzling Gleam.
Ninetales-Alola @ Focus Sash
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aurora Veil
Ninetales was the Pokemon that I used the least this past weekend. It was a very situational matchup and I would only bring it against mainly Drifblim+Tapu Lele, Rain Teams, and Eevee teams. The EVs are self explanatory, no bulk was invested because Ninetales is a pretty frail Pokemon and I never really pressed Aurora Veil often so I decided to capitalize more on offensive power. Other than that, Freeze-Dry and Blizzard were chosen because they were strong attacks and Freeze-Dry allowed me to handle Gastrodon because the rest of my team struggles to do big damage to it.
Arcanine @ Mago Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 60 Atk / 4 Def / 164 SpD / 36 Spe
- Flare Blitz
- Extreme Speed
Arcanine in my opinion is probably the best Pokemon in the format because of its massive bulk and Intimidate. The Arcanine EV spread allowed me to survive a wide variety attacks such as Gigavolt Havoc from Tapu Koko and All Out Pummeling from Kartana. I decided to go with Snarl over something such as Helping Hand is because I felt like this Arcanine should be used to support the team and having Snarl allowed me to support Snorlax in order to survive Special Attacks and Garchomp to survive Ice Beams.
Snorlax @ Figy Berry
EVs: 68 HP / 196 Atk / 244 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
- High Horsepower
Snorlax was chosen as a way to handle Trick Room teams. Combining Curse Snorlax along with Arcanine's Intimidate and Snarl helped make this Pokemon really difficult to go down. The extra Defense boost and Speed decrease is one of the big reasons why I went the Curse route over Belly Drum because it allowed me to survive more attacks as well as put more pressure if Trick Room gets set up. High Horsepower was chosen as my other attack over other options such as Flamethrower because it still took advantage of the Attack increase and can hit things Facade wouldn't such as Kartana and Mimikyu. Facade was chosen over Return or Frustration because one of the best ways to handle Curselax is to burn or poison it, which Facade takes advantage of. This puts pressure on the opponent to not really use those moves due to the large damage output that would be coming.
Garchomp @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Fire Fang
- Rock Slide- Poison Jab
Garchomp's moveset and EVs are really standard. Nothing to really say here other than I went with Jolly because it is able to outspeed Pheromosa as well as some Pokemon under Tailwind such as Tapu Lele.
The TournamentBefore the actual day, I was really nervous. As a result, I had some trouble with sleep the night before and only got in around 5 hours. Anyways, here is who I played and mostly what they used with that part being filled in if they decide to fill in the rest :P. I dont really take notes on them so this is going based off memory with only a small comment about the set.
Round 1 Andrew Nowak (OO) (1-0)
Streamed match, ScarfChomp put in a lot of work to win this.
Round 2 Michael Lanzano (OO) (2-0)
Really simple match, set up Curse with Snorlax and Tapu Koko/Garchomp cleaned up with Celesteela providing them health to recover.
Round 3 Kazi Rahman (OXX) (2-1)
Messed up near the end of Game 3 which ultimately led to my first loss in the event.
Round 4 Junghun Youm (OXO) (3-1)
I got lucky near the end of Game 3 by flinching his Tsareena. His Pelipper being Timid made it worse because that meant even under Tailwind, he would be faster.
Round 5 Shawn Tang (OXX) (3-2)
Figy Berry Mudsdale+Roar Arcanine= bad time.
Round 6 Ethan Dinh-Luong (XOO) (4-2)
Had Tapu Koko+Raichu, which I thought was a pretty rough matchup. Luckily, Ninetales won by using Blizzard a lot.
Round 7 Jake Barrett (OO) (5-2)
His Choice Scarf Arcanine scared me. Game 2 had his Kartana and Garchomp set up with Swords Dance but I ended up predicting right and removed them with little damage taken.
Round 8 Evan Thomas (XOO) (6-2)
This team scared me, had no idea what to do against the team. He choked game 3 by not going for Soft-boiled and instead went for Toxic.
Round 9 Brian Youm (XOO) (7-2)
Another scary bo3. Got destroyed Game 1 but I got a lot of information out of it. I was terrified of him bringing in Marowak so I tried playing more defensive in case it came in. However, he never brought it in all 3 games.
In the end, I advanced on to Day 2! I was really happy I made it after last year's abysmal performance. I ended getting around the same sleep this night as the night prior.
Day 2Round 10 Brian Jens (OXO) (8-2)
Wide Guard was really useful in this set. His Aerodactyl also had Wide Guard so taking that out was a huge priority. Game 2 he burned my Celesteela with Flare Blitz and that allowed his Aerodactyl to survive with 1 HP on a predicted switch in.
Round 11 Riley Factura (XOX) (8-3)
I only won Game 2 because he missed Hydro Pump on my Tapu Koko. Game 3 I could have won because I was able to score a flinch on his Golduck, however he got a critical hit on my Garchomp with his Tapu Koko's Dazzling Gleam. He did deserve to win this set faster so I wasn't that mad.
Round 12 Nathaniel Christmas (XOO) (9-3)
Got destroyed Game 1 because I couldnt deal big damage to his Snorlax. Game 2 I had an easier time because he brought Liligant+Torkoal. Game 3 I won because of Roar and my Snorlax surviving a +5 Facade at +2 Defense.
Round 13 Alessio Yuri Boschetto (OXO) (10-3)
I felt like I had an advanatage against his FAKE team due to the lack of Mudsdale. Game 2 was decided because of a Rock Slide flinch on Snorlax which would have taken out his Kartana, thus putting me in a good position to win. I felt like I won game 3 off turn 1 when he did not protect his Tapu Fini from Gigavolt Havoc.
Round 14 Emilio Forbes (OO) (11-3)
Not much to really say, I just felt like I had the advantage a majority of the time. I did get scared near the end of Game 2 because I decided to be risky and attack with Arcanine into Kartana instead of Protecting. However, he attacked into Celesteela which gave me the win from there.
Top CutI made it into the Top 10 cut as the 10th seed, thus I needed to play in order to get into Top 8.
Top 10 vs Diego Ferreira (OO)
Snorlax and Arcanine were key to winning this match. I conserved them well and played around some of his tricks due to some prior knowledge before the set giving me a clean win.
Top 8 vs Markus Stadter (OXO)
Game 1 went pretty clean, with Roar giving me a huge momentum swing. Game 2 was a different story that I feel like could have been winnable had I played a little better. Game 3 I just reached panic mode when I saw he lead Smeargle+Porygon-Z again. My only way to stop it from here was to spam Rock Slide because even if he got it off, Garchomp was still faster. I got lucky with Rock Slide and I advanced to Top 4 from that.
Top 4 vs César Reyes (OXO)
My many friends and I came up with the idea to bring Garchomp+Tapu Koko with Celesteela and Snorlax in the back. Game 1, I feel like could have gone either way, but surviving the Volt Switch decided the game for me. Game 2, I thought he would bringing Mimikyu+Snorlax and brought Ninetales as a result, that did not go well. Game 3, he did not bring Celesteela and I knew that from that point on all I had to do was take out Snorlax and weaken Garchomp so that my Garchomp in the back can just spam Earthquake. The plan worked perfectly as I seemingly read into when he would Protect/ switch into Garchomp correctly even though I wasn't anticipating it. With that, I made it to the finals!
Finals vs Christopher Kan (XOX)
I was tired, his team just did a lot better vs mine. Not much to be said. I would have won games 2 and 3 due to luck. He deserved the win over me.
I am content with my performance at this big event. Thank you to everyone who helped me prepare and get me my Pokemon! Of course, thanks everyone for your support and I will hopefully do well at Worlds next month!
The QR code version of this team will be posted here when I Game Sync.