Double Slug – A 12th Place London Internationals Report

FanArt by ryuzaki

Hello, my name is Till Böhmer (@Dark_Psiana). I’m from Germany and started to play Pokémon in 2009, only playing singles until the end of 2014, when I decided to start with VGC. I played day 2 of worlds in both 2015 and 2016 and am going to try for it again in 2017. At the London Continental, which took place last weekend I was able to place 12th with a record of 11-3. This is a report about the team I used, its development, and my tournament games. I hope you enjoy reading this, and apologise in advance for possible mistakes in my English.

Early-Meta Teambuilding

When the new games came out I started testing some stuff on Pokémon Showdown while scouting replays of players being on top of the ladder like I always do during preparation. I eventually stumbled across a Japanese player named snow-pokepoke, who I already scouted in VGC ’16. Knowing he was someone who topped the ladder many times before, I took a closer look at the teams he was using and found one that seemed quite interesting to me:

Alola FormAlola FormEast Sea

He was using a Gastrodon set of Stockpile, Scald, Ice Beam and Recover with Sitrus Berry, combined with Aurora Veil Ninetales and Pokémon with high damage output. Since I was interested in Ninetales, Nihilego and Gyarados, I copied his team and started testing it. After a few games I replaced Ice Beam for Toxic on Gastrodon and was exploring the incredible potential this set has as a threat for many teams.

After a few days of playing around with this team and many others, I was skyping with @Billa, @13Yoshi37 and @TobySXE for teambuilding. We were talking about teams or single Pokémon that convinced us so far (there weren’t many), and I told them about this team. We started a ladder session using it, after which everybody was convinced that this Gastrodon set could be a good call for London.

We decided that Ninetales and Nihilego were bad options for a defensive team like this one because the job they do is more worthwhile for teams that have a higher damage output than one with Gastrodon and Celesteela. Another thing we wanted to do was to resolve the bad synergy of Gastrodon and Gyarados (I Z-Waterfalled into my Gastrodon a couple of times while testing this team…) and decided that Arcanine would do a better job as an Intimidate user for this team. The last thing we decided in this Skype call was to try out a Normalium Z on Gastrodon, since Z-Stockpile would do similar things as the Sitrus Berry and could potentially be better in some situations.

Markus was using Toxic Porygon2 and Scarf Tapu Lele as a filler and used the team at a Midseason Showdown I didn’t attend. He wasn’t completely convinced after it and we were testing some other stuff afterwards so I stopped working on the team.

After we hadn’t found something really strong until the evening of the Monday before London, all four of us were panicking about what to use at the International, and at this point we all decided on a different team to work with. I remembered the Gastrodon core and decided to give it another try, but this time with a Trick Room Porygon2.

East SeaAlola Form

I really liked these five while testing, but couldn’t find a last Pokémon within the next few days. I tested Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Koko, Tapu Fini and Gengar in this spot, but didn’t find a way to deal with everything I wanted to deal with, which was basically: Tapu Koko, Tapu Bulu, Kartana and Torkoal. At one point I was texting with @FeisReis and asked him if he knew a Pokémon that could handle all of this and he came up with AV Goodra, a set he had been testing a few days prior. He showed me some calcs, I did some on my own afterwards and was convinced this Pokémon fit perfectly into my team. This only happened on Wednesday evening and my flight was on Thursday, meaning I never played a single game using Goodra as my last Pokémon, and only calculated spreads later that night. I also hadn’t played a single game on Battle Spot during preparation, because I never really played Sun and Moon on cartridge due to a lack of time and motivation, so I was pretty insecure about that.

East SeaAlola Form

Lets get into a closer look at the individual members of the team, including the important calcs I used to create the EV spreads, and an explanation of their respective roles on the team:

The Team

gastrodon

Gastrodon-East @ Normalium Z
Ability: Storm Drain
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 220 Def / 60 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Stockpile
– Recover
– Scald
– Toxic

Gastrodon is a very important part of the team, because it is my win-condition against many opposing teams, including most of the standard teams running around nowadays. The main idea is to set up Stockpile in the first few turns, which is guaranteed with the Z-Crystal, because even if the opponents damage output in turn 1 is high enough to bring Gastrodon to low HP, I can safely use Z-Stockpile knowing it’s going to be back on maximum HP after this turn for sure.

After setting up, many teams not having a grass type or Toxic are not able to beat Gastrodon anymore meaning I’m going to win by Toxic stalling in the long-run. Pokémon that cannot be beaten this way are covered by the rest of my team (eg. Celesteela loses to the double fire core). Standard teams that don’t have Toxic on their Porygon2 and don’t use Tapu Bulu or Kartana usually outright lose if I play correctly and they don’t have a perfect plan.

Even if the opponent has a few threats to Gastrodon meaning I won’t be able to win via set up, Gastrodon has an important role on the team. By using Toxic I can put Porygon2, Milotic or opposing Gastrodon on a timer, with Scald I have a solid move to deal consistent damage, and with Recover I can maintain my board position very easily, giving me time and resources to position myself.

On top of that Gastrodon is used to support my second win condition: the Trick Room core. Many teams use Pokémon like Milotic, Gastrodon or Araquanid as their counters to Porygon2 in combination with Marowak, which are all beaten by Gastrodon. I can even pick Marowak against rain teams, knowing it is protected by Storm Drain, to abuse its enormous damage output. Other Pokémon that stop Marowak, like Gigalith, Krookodile, Garchomp or Incineroar are all checked by Gastrodon as well, meaning I can pressure them while protecting my Marowak, adding up the needed damage to KO them with Shadow Bone.

The spread is not very interesting, because it isn’t based on specific calcs. 228 HP EVs lead to a stat of 215, meaning I take one point less damage by Leech Seed. Sassy nature was chosen because Gastrodon’s special defence is higher, meaning boosting it via nature gives you more points overall. The EVs in defence and special defence guarantee balanced bulk while getting an extra point in special defence. Having minimal speed allows me to underspeed Araquanid which might come in handy recovering off damage and since I cannot hit opposing Gastrodon anyway, there is no need to speed-creep them.

arcanine

Arcanine @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Def / 164 SpA / 28 SpD / 164 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Will-O-Wisp
– Flamethrower
– Snarl
– Protect

  • -1 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 148 HP / 4 Def Arcanine: 102-120 (55.4 – 65.2%) — 12.1% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem vs. 148 HP / 28 SpD Arcanine: 156-186 (84.7 – 101%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • Outspeeds 252+ Xurkitree

Arcanine is my main way of controlling the opposing teams damage output with this team. Arcanine is an absolutely amazing choice for this task, combining Intimidate, Snarl and Will-o-Wisp in one Pokémon, while having decent bulk at the same time. Due to this, Arcanine is used as a lead a lot of times, ensuring the setup with either Gastrodon or Porygon2 – I picked it in most of my games in London. After Intimidate or a Snarl, both Gastrodon and Porygon2 can easily survive any combination of strong attacks like Z-Moves from Garchomp and Tapu Lele.

On top of controlling opposing damage output, Arcanine fulfils another important role; being one of the urgently needed checks to Celesteela. A defensive team without plenty of ways to deal with Celesteela and its Substitutes is not going to be successful in this format thus Arcanine’s ability to be a decent check to it was appreciated.

The item choice wasn’t easy on Arcanine: earlier, when I didn’t have Goodra in the team, I was using Safety Goggles to have a save way to deal with Torkoal + Lilligant. Another option was Firium Z, which is always nice to pressure opposing Celesteela and punish switches, but in the end I decided to use Sitrus Berry. The main reason was the fact that I often need to bring Arcanine as a lead against teams with Garchomp and the Sitrus Berry allowed me to be at a decent amount of HP after being hit by Earthquake. My spread even ensures that I survive two -1 Earthquakes most of the time which is especially useful against standard teams. Sitrus is a very good item in general anyway, preventing a lot of 2HKOs, especially after a Snarl.

The four moves being used on Arcanine where pretty clear. Although there are a few filler moves like Extreme Speed and Roar, which can be useful in some situations, the four I went with were a very obvious pick ensuring Arcanine’s durability. Protect is especially useful since people like to double into Arcanine.

The speed EVs allow Arcanine to outspeed Jolly Gyarados, Timid Xurkitree and Modest Tapu Lele. After playing the tournament I’m debating on using 252 speed EVs, just to be able to outspeed Jolly Krookodile and to speed-tie with Timid Lele, but the defensive calcs convinced me, so I went with 164 EVs. The combination of HP, defence and special defence EVs combined said calc against Garchomp and the other given calc against Nihilego, while having an even HP stat allowed me to have a better chance to survive Garchomp’s Earthquakes with an odd HP number. I even brought it to the tournament by accident, which meant Nature’s Madness wouldn’t activate my Sitrus Berry. This eventually screwed me over when I played Markus as he surprisingly KOd my Arcanine with a combination of Tapu Koko and Gengar, meaning I outright lost the game after as I wasn’t able to get off the much needed Snarl on both Pokémon.

celesteela

Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 4 Atk / 60 Def / 180 SpD / 76 Spe
Careful Nature
– Heavy Slam
– Substitute
– Leech Seed
– Protect

Like it has for many defensive teams in this format, Celesteela made its way onto mine. Although I wouldn’t say that my team focuses around it specifically, Celesteela is an important member due to its numerous resistances provided by its excellent typing, and the ability to win basically every late-game if set up correctly.

For more unconventional teams, Celesteela is usually a major threat because most of the non-standard Pokémon don’t have a reliable way to deal with Substitute + Leech Seed Celesteela, which is pretty valuable for a big tournament where you need to play against a wide range of players, from casuals to the most experienced players in Europe and the world.

Against more standard teams Celesteela is still an incredibly strong Pokémon, walling around 50% of the common Pokémon and pressuring nearly everything with Leech Seed and/or Heavy Slam. Resistances to Psychic and Ground are super important too, and together with my other two very defensive Pokémon, Celesteela was often able to “block” the field and prevent the opponent from dealing damage. The possibility to set up a Substitute in these situations makes Celesteela even more dangerous and as a fan of the move Substitute I was super pleased with Celesteela in general.

Paired with Marowak, Celesteela formed the dangerous and well known combination of Lightning Rod + Celesteela, and Gastrodon supported Celesteela by redirecting strong Water-moves from Araquanid and Pelipper. Porygon2’s Trick Room is another great way to support Celesteela against offensive teams, so all in all Celesteela’s synergy with the rest of the team is excellent.

I don’t pick Celesteela in every matchup (as many other teams do), only bringing it to matchups where it looked super strong or in single game of a best-of-3 when predicting the opponent to neglect the danger of a Celesteela. This worked pretty well, but to be honest, I think I could’ve picked Celesteela more often and games like my last game of day 2 (which you can read more about below) made me appreciate Celesteela even more.

The set was pretty clear for me from the beginning. Wide Guard is, in my opinion, only needed against offensive teams struggling to deal with Trick Room, and coverage moves like Flamethrower aren’t exactly worth considering my double fire core. The moveset of Substitute, Leech Seed and Heavy Slam fit perfectly, and I saw no reason not to use it.

Regarding the EV spread I decided to run a special defence oriented one, allowing it to be able to win late-games against Tapu Koko or water-types in rain provided it got a KO beforehand. I got the spread from Euler and Baris and only changed a few things, so I don’t really know the defensive calcs, but I really liked the way it worked, so I never calced one by myself.

When we were planning the tournament, our goal was to win the “Celesteela-race” most of the time, so we all went with pretty fast Celesteela at around 91 speed. This is important because it allows Celesteela to set up a Substitute before opposing Celesteela can use Leech Seed, and vice-versa. It turned to work pretty nicely; I outsped every Celesteela I needed to. Still, after talking to some other players, using even more speed would’ve been reasonable.

marowak-a

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 84 Def / 92 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Shadow Bone
– Protect
– Substitute

  • -1 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Marowak-Alola: 72-86 (43.1 – 51.4%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Marowak-Alola in Psychic Terrain: 136-162 (81.4 – 97%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Marowak is another pretty uncommon choice for defensive teams featuring Gastrodon, but once again I had several good reasons to use it. In my opinion every defensive team needs one or two slots that can finish off games in a faster way than stalling out the opponent. Without this option, a long tournament (like the London International) becomes too exhausting because your sets last too long, and hax can affect you much more severely if every game take a lot of turns. On top of that I wasn’t sure how the new “Sudden Death” rules would affect my team so I felt more safe using a strong Pokémon that could win me games in a few turns.

Marowak also has some really good resistances, and its ability; Lightning Rod grants immunities to its teammates so it was usable in a defensive way. Thanks to these resistances, you can find opportunities to switch it in pretty often and pressure the opponent immediately in Trick Room.

I also really loved the synergy of Marowak with its other teammates, particularly Porygon2 and Gastrodon. While Porygon2 is almost always paired with Marowak, Gastrodon, for some reason, isn’t a common partner of Marowak’s. I don’t really understand why, since Gastrodon next to Marowak in Trick Room opens up many new ways for Marowak to operate that otherwise wouldn’t exist (Milotic, Gastrodon, Araquanid and Golduck become useless). On top of that Gastrodon pressures opposing Marowak, bypassing possible speedties and deals pretty well with other Marowak-checks such as Garchomp (two Scalds plus Shadow Bone KOs).

I made a pretty unconventional but effective move choice by opting to use Substitute over Bonemerang. As I said, I really like the move Substitute and Marowak came to my mind as an effective Substitute user immediately after seeing how it was used at the beginning of VGC17. Substitute is really effective against opposing Trick Room teams and teams that need to stall out my Trick Room by protecting. I can also abuse free turns provided by Storm Drain to set up a Substitute and often find myself getting up a Substitute against a Celesteela switching out. It won me several games and I think it is a very strong choice on Marowak that more players should consider.

As for the EV spread I went with a very defensive approach, only using 76 Atk, with investment in both defence and special defence. In my opinion, Marowak is a Pokémon that doesn’t need a lot of attack investment anyway. The KOs it gets aren’t close to being rolls, and all the other ones are two-hits or need prior chip damage anyway. My spread was chosen based on this knowledge. I did some calcs to see if I was missing important offensive calcs but didn’t find any so I was really happy with the spread in general.

Marowak is a super strong Pokémon at the moment and I think the hype it’s getting is quite justified. Nevertheless I’m positive there are more ways to support it and players need to try out new possibilities to abuse its power and bulk.

porygon2

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 140 Def / 124 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Recover
– Tri Attack
– Shadow Ball

  • Z-Earthquake from Garchomp + LO Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko: ~9% to KO
  • Z-Psychic from Raichu + Psychic from Tapu Lele: ~10% to KO

Porygon2 is not a common pick for defensive teams, because it only fulfils a quite neutral role having no resistances and no ability supporting the team actively. People usually prefer using Pokémon like Tapu Bulu or Gigalith instead of Porygon2.

In my opinion, Porygon2 is still a very strong choice for defensive teams for several reasons:
First of all, there’s Trick Room allowing my slower Pokémon to control the game with greater ease. Gastrodon really appreciates Trick Room because it can Recover and Stockpile in the beginning of a turn allowing me to be able to Recover only if needed and not do so preemptively, which is what you’re forced to do quite often if you face two Pokémon that outspeed you. In Trick Room it’s also able to Recover from crits easily using Z-Stockpile the turn after the crit, which is a great way to protect the setup from being vulnerable to critical hits. With Marowak and Trick Room I have a safe way of finishing a game too, not needing to stall out the opponent until the end.

A second strong point for Porygon2 was already mentioned in the analysis of Celesteela; the ability to “block” the field, effectively preventing the opponent from dealing any damage. In more fragile builds featuring Porygon2 you cannot utilise this option as efficiently because the opponent can usually just target down your partner, but with Gastrodon or Celesteela that’s not an easy task, which is why I found it so effective. After the 5 turns of Trick Room, Porygon2 can often setup Trick Room once again, allowing for a Marowak sweep of the weakened opposing Pokémon. I recommend using this strategy against most standard teams, leading Arcanine + Gastrodon and switching Arcanine into Porygon2 turn 1. This generally worked excellently for me, provided my opponent didn’t have Toxic Porygon2 or Taunt on some other Pokémon.

Another plus is Porygon2’s strength and great offensive coverage. It deals with so many Pokémon, hitting them for at least neutral damage. For example against Tapu Lele and Marowak, Shadow Ball is an extremely good way to deal considerable damage. People often tend to underestimate Porygon2’s firepower, neglecting its base 105 special attack. If it is able to get the +1 boost from Download, it becomes a major threat to Pokémon without an option to recover. Tri Attack at +1 deals around 40% to every offensive Pokémon and is a great way to finish off already damaged opponents.

I had to use Trick Room and Recover to abuse the strengths of Porygon2 mentioned above, and as offensive moves I went with Tri Attack and Shadow Ball to hit Marowak super effectively whilst hitting nearly everything else for neutral damage. I felt like Tri Attack would be enough to beat Garchomp because I limit its damage output with my defensive Pokémon anyway, and already having 3 Pokémon that hit Celesteela pretty hard meant I felt I didn’t need Thunderbolt or Ice Beam too much.

The EV spread is pretty bulky on the specially defensive side, allowing it to deal better with Tapu Lele. I also aimed to minimise the probability that common combinations of Z-Move + another strong move would KO Porygon2, allowing me to beat teams that try to prevent me from setting up Trick Room. 244 HP ensure one point less in Leech Seed damage and both of the defense stats are even to maximize the effect of Eviolite. I was thinking about using Quiet Porygon2 before the tournament, but I made the right choice. The bulk came in clutch a few times, as shown in my game against Szymon in my round 7 match on Day 1.

In my opinion Porygon2 is one of the strongest Pokémon in VGC ’17 and I’m really curious whether it is going to remain this way for the whole season or not.

goodra

Goodra @ Assault Vest
Ability: Sap Sipper
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 164 Def / 156 SpA
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Draco Meteor
– Sludge Bomb
– Thunderbolt
– Dragon Pulse

  • 252+ Atk Garchomp Dragon Claw vs. 188 HP / 164 Def Goodra: 164-194 (86.7 – 102.6%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
  • 252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 188 HP / 164 Def Goodra: 84-99 (44.4 – 52.3%) — 18% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Goodra: 84-102 (44.4 – 53.9%) — 23.4% chance to 2HKO
  • 156+ SpA Goodra Dragon Pulse vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kartana: 78-92 (57.7 – 68.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 156+ SpA Goodra Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 84-100 (47.4 – 56.4%) — 84% chance to 2HKO, ~94% considering Poison

Goodra was, as I previously mentioned, the last addition to this team. I had a list of Pokémon I wanted my last slot to be able to check, consisting of Kartana, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Lele and Torkoal. On top of that I wanted the slot to not completely lose to Celesteela, and preferably it’d be nice if it was at least decent against the standard teams. For a long time I’ve been sure there is nothing that can fulfill all of this qualities but here it is: AV Goodra

Against both of the prominent grass types, Goodra does an amazing job, protecting Gastrodon by OHKOing Tapu Bulu with Sludge Bomb and 2HKOing Kartana with Dragon Pulse, while being able to safely switch into grass moves at the same time, thanks to Sap Sipper.

Against the other Tapus Goodra does an awesome job, too, thanks to its Assault Vest. Both Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele are unable to 2HKO Goodra, while being 2HKOed back. Against special based teams with Tapus I often brought Goodra as a lead next to Porygon2 to pressure the opponent from the outset with their collective bulk and Goodra’s respectable damage output.

Sun-teams are almost completely walled by Goodra since Torkoal’s Eruption will only do 30% maximum (Goodra deals solid damage back, too) and Lilligant is unable to put Goodra to sleep thanks to Sap Sipper. I didn’t face a single Torkoal, but I liked to know I didn’t have to worry about it anyway.

Celesteela cannot Leech Seed Goodra, which is pretty important if you combine it with your own Celesteela behind a Substitute since you deny the opposing Celesteela’s recovery while being able to deal decent damage with Thunderbolt, breaking the opposing Substitute with ease.

I actually predicted Rain-teams to be commonly used, which happened to be a correct assumption. Before I added Goodra, my rain matchup was ok, but rain teams pressuring Gastrodon tended to make me struggle. After adding Goodra I almost had an autowin against the standard “double duck” rain by leading Porygon2 and Goodra and having Marowak and Gastrodon in the back. I only faced one standard rain team, which was pretty unfortunate considering how many of them were being used, but at least this was at Day 2 and allowed me to win pretty easily.

In my opinion, this spread is very good as it is the only one combining all of the given calcs. It took me a long time to come up with it because there were so many things I wanted it to do. With Snarl and Intimidate I could circumvent the small chances for the OHKO or 2HKO but it was pretty good to know I could risk taking some of these attacks.

I went with 100 speed to break opposing Celesteelas’ Substitutes before my own Celesteela attacks, but it might have been better to make it only one point faster than 91 points so opposing Celesteelas won’t be able to use Substitute between Goodra and my own Celesteela in case they were faster than 91 Speed. It didn’t end up mattering in the tournament though.

Day 1

Round 1 vs ??? () (WW)

Alola Form

My Trick Room Matchup is very good, so I was pretty happy to see this team. In the first game he surprised me with some Instruct + Swords Dance stuff, but Gastrodon, Celesteela, Marowak & Porygon2 were able to handle this matchup pretty easily, limiting his damage output and recovering steadily.

1-0

Round 2 vs. René Alvarenga @Rene_VGC () (WW)

I actually know René from a Spanish team tournament I was participating in and it was very nice to meet him in person. We had a short chat before starting the battle and were talking on Sunday, which was fun. It was nice to meet you!

I knew that this would be the perfect time to bring Goodra, so I brought Porygon2 + Goodra into his Milotic + Tapu Bulu lead in game 1, which worked out perfectly, because it secured me Trick Room and some damage.

In game 2 I took a stupid risk and led Arcanine, which put me in a bad position. I had to make a risky prediction at one point, which eventually worked for me, so I was able to win the 1v1 against his AV Garchomp with my Porygon2 in the end.

2-0

Round 3 vs. ??? () (LWW)

This seemed to be a very good matchup for Goodra, Porygon2, Gastrodon & Celesteela, which I went for in all three games if I remember correctly. He played very well by switching around and healing with his Grassy Terrain and his AV Bulu, which survived Sludge Bomb easily causing some trouble. His Politoed had Perish Song and I made a mistake thinking it was faster than Celesteela after outspeeding it once. They speed-tied and I lost the 2v1 in Perish against Politoed – to a speed-tie Perish coinflip. With the knowledge about Perish Song, I played more carefully in game 2 and 3, and managed to secure the win.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Pascal Kiefer @MoeperVGC () (WW)

Alola Form

Moeper is a very strong german player who won a regional in impressive fashion last year, so I was not happy to face him. After looking at team preview I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have a way to win against Gastrodon if he didn’t have Toxic on Porygon2. I went with Gastrodon, Arcanine, Porygon2 and Celesteela/Marowak and was able to win game 1 and 2.

4-0

Round 5 vs. Markus Stadter @13Yoshi37 () (LL)

East Sea

We prepared together and had to play again, which sucked, but at least one of us would be at 5-0 after this. I knew most of his items and moves, so I went with Goodra + Arcanine in game 1, but I realized I had the wrong HP stat on my Arcanine, so I couldn’t do anything against Nature Madness + Sludge Bomb into Arcanine. Celesteela was strong in the end, so I wanted to bear this in mind going into game 2. He lead Garchomp into my Porygon2 + Goodra this time and I tried to predict which one he’d double target. I chose the wrong one and lost, although Celesteela came close to winning lategame

4-1

Round 6 vs. Abir Ahmmed () (WW)

Alola Form

Standard again: I went with Arcanine, Gastrodon, Porygon2 & Marowak in both games and although his Celesteela had Seed Bomb, Gastrodon + Marowak in TR was able to win both games.

5-1

Round 7 vs. Thomas Breische @DorikiVGC () (WW)

Alola Form

Another German player, which was pretty bad. He was playing a pretty standard looking team and I went with Arcanine, Gastrodon, Marowak & Porygon2 again. There wasn’t much he could do against Gastrodon besides pressure it with Celesteela, and I won both games with Marowak + Gastrodon.

6-1

Round 8 vs. Szymon Wojdat @szymoninho () (WW)

Alola Form

Had to play the next friend of mine, which sucked, but at least we could play on stream. He was using Surge Offense with Araquanid, so I went with Porygon2 + Goodra in both games. My Porygon2 survived his combination of Shattered Psyche and Psychic in game 1 (has a 10% chance to KO) so I won with TR, because Araquanid was useless against Gastrodon. In game 2 he switched things up, but my TR mode pretty strong against him, so I won this one as well.

7-1

Round 9 vs. Alex Gomez @Pokealex_ () (WLW)

Alola Form

And the next friend I had to face…His team looked threatening because of the Salamence. I was able to win game 1 because he didn’t pick Kartana. In game 2 he missed an early Draco and I was able to benefit from that, but I made a terrible mistake at the end, by not protecting my Arcanine, costing me two Pokémon in one turn and allowing Kartana to KO my Gastrodon. Game 3 was very close, but somehow I managed to win. I don’t remember much from this match, because it was so late and I was tired.

8-1

Day 1 Wrap-up

Markus, Baris, Toby and I were 8-1 and Wolfe was 7-2 and excluding games against each other we were 26-4 all together, so we were super happy with our result as a group. Sadly our joy was over when Markus was told he had to play without Gastrodon the next day. We had some takeaway food at midnight and went to sleep to late, but I was motivated to do my best on day 2.

Day 2

Round 10 vs. Melvin Keh @ShamanVGC () (WLL)

My opponent was very nice and gave me a souvenir from his home-country Singapore (thx!). I was able to win game 1 with Gastrodon, Arcanine, Porygon2 & Marowak, where he brought Krookodile, Xurkitree, Porygon2 & Tapu Lele, which made me very confident for game 2.

In game 2 he surprised me with Endeavour Whimsicott + Tapu Lele lead, which beat my Celesteela with a special defence Drop, making me lose this game. He showed me Dazzling Gleam, Thunderbolt and Protect on Xurkitree in this game, making me believe he has Discharge as his last move, because he didn’t have a good way to deal with Celesteela + Marowak otherwise. Because of this I decided to go full Gastrodon mode in game 3, what worked well at first, but in the end he had Energy Ball on Xurkitree and I lost. I was very disappointed by myself, because of this stupid mistake, but I still wanted to go for day 3, so I concentrated and went on.

8-2

Round 11 vs. Antonio Cano @Kano2isi_ () (WW)

Alola Form

I didn’t know him, but when I saw his team I was super happy. There was simply no way for him to beat Porygon2 + Goodra lead with Marowak & Gastrodon in the back, so I chose these four in both games and won.

9-2

Round 12 vs. Wolfe Glick @WolfeyGlick () (LL)

Alola Form

I got down-paired and had to play a friend again, which was extremely unfortunate, but we were allowed to play on stream again. His Salamence and Muk made it super hard for me to keep the advantage in number of Pokémon, leading to me losing to Perish Song in both games. I don’t know what I could’ve done better, but Wolfe made no mistake and there was nothing I could do the way I picked.

9-3

On the bubble…

Round 13 vs. Ruben Yanguas Ruiz @Y4NGS  () (WW)

Alola FormAlola Form

I didn’t know my opponent in this round either, but really liked my matchup here. Game 1 I went with Gastrodon and Celesteela and minimized his damage output. He couldn’t break my defence. In game 2 I predicted him to bring Ninetales to deal with Gastrodon and lead Marowak + Arcanine, which worked perfectly.

10-3

Round 14 vs. Kwok Pui Yin () (LWW)

Alola Form

Last game of the day and my matchup looked super tough. I had some information on his team, so I knew he had Z-Crystal Taunt Lele, Giga Drain Celesteela and Sitrus Arcanine.

Game 1 he completly swept me with Arcanine + Lele and I learned about his Lele being faster than my Arcanine. I decided to go for a Celesteela win in game 2, because I couldn’t see another way to win. I KOd Arcanine and baited him to have Lele and Celesteela in with Gastrodon, so I was able to set up Substitute with my own Celesteela and beat his Tapu Lele in the same turn. At the end I had to win 1v2 against Marowak and Celesteela, but I knew I was faster than both, so it was a safe win.

There were only 15 minutes left on the timer after this game, so I couldn’t do the same thing again, because I would lose the tiebreaker. I decided to lead Porygon2 and Marowak and bait him into taunting my Porygon2 predicting Marowak to Protect, because he didn’t know I had the information about Taunt Lele. I switched out Porygon2 into Celesteela turn 1 and attacked with Marowak. When the Z-Move animation started I put down my pencil and prepared for a loss, but somehow I was able to comeback…
This time I had Porygon and Celesteela against his Marowak & Celesteela. I stalled his Marowak with Recover for one turn instead of using Shadow Ball immediately, which gave my own Celesteela time to Leech Seed. Flare Blitz crit! I couldn’t believe it had to end like this…
But there was still a win-condition: If my Celesteela has enough time to beat his Marowak with Leech Seed I win the tiebreaker. There were only 4 minutes left on the clock and he took his time to make the moves. When the 50 minutes call came his Marowak was at 15% and I knew I had won, because there were 3 more turns. This win meant so much to me and my hands were shaking so hard after it.

11-3

The end of day 2

My friend Toby also won his last match and Wolfe had already won before, so we were waiting for top 8 to be announced. At the end, only Toby made it. Wolfe and I were 13th and 12th and disappointed to have lost our chance to play day 3 on resistance – something entirely out of our control.

Concluding Thoughts

In my opinion there never should be a spot in topcut decided by resistance! I hope that we only get x-2 or x-3 cuts in the future, because that’s the only fair system for playing Pokémon tournaments.

Thanks for reading!

  • Moeper

    Great report with a great team, keep up the good work!

  • Very informative and insightful team report!

  • drug_duck

    2320 6254 7183
    Gibe mons pls 8D

  • Casey Cullen

    I know this is late but thank you for your in-depth analysis. That was very informative.