Sejun Park, the 2014 World Champion, is one of the most influential team builders in Pokémon and widely considered one of the greats of the game. Often his ideas are adopted, and adapted by various other players in different regions to great success. Today we take quick look at his recent Battle Spot team that he posted on his blog.
We aren’t confident translating Korean so we’ve used a mix of intuition and broken translations to deliver this content. If you enjoyed it, want more, or have suggestions as to how to improve the formatting and content, feel free to comment below!
Before starting, Sejun would like to thank the creator of the original team and the foundations of this build, Shochan.
On the 17th and 18th of December the first VGC 17 tournament was held in Busan, Korea; just a day after Sejun’s final exam. This left Sejun with little time to build a new team. On the 17th, Sejun participated in the TCG tournament losing in Top 8 against Break Trevenant whilst playing a Mega-Rayquaza deck himself. He notes staying in a hotel with JJI and MeLuCaVGC.
Sejun expresses his troubles at finding a team he was happy with at this point, but MeLuCa showed him a team he had found. The original post detailing the team has since been deleted.
The team was fairly unique at this point, however Sejun was convinced it had potential to succeed as the team had proven successful on the ladder. Tapu Fini and Porygon-Z especially stood out. Sejun and his friend opted to change the items and sets on Arcanine as well as Alolan-Muk. It was very late at this point and they opted to settle on the team rather than lose more sleep.
With four hours sleep, and a new team; Sejun headed for the tournament!
The team exceeded expectations and took Sejun to the final! Ultimately he lost to a Trick-Room team.
After returning home, he felt the team had a lot of potential, made some additional changes, and headed onto the ladder.
Sejun tried for 2000 but ultimately fell short as the surprise factor of the team wore off as people learnt the sets. He ended up facing, and losing to two perfect mirrors.
Tapu Fini @ Choice Specs
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Muddy Water
– Dazzling Gleam
Tapu Fini’s strength is in its stability and consistent damage. Water/Fairy typing can act as both defensive and offensive. Tapu Fini’s natural physical and special bulk needs only 252 HP EVs, to ensure the longevity of strong attacks. The consistent, very powerful damage due to the Choice Specs, can often be enough to disrupt and throw off an opponent that has a weak match-up or is struggling to gain tempo.
Misty Terrain is stronger as a means to remove other terrains than to function on its own. Tapu Fini is not a particularly threatening lead, and not always as strong as the other Tapus, but is very stable due to the above qualities. As it is slower than Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele, Misty Terrain will remove the opposing respective terrains. This contributes to the longevity of not only Tapu Fini, but other team members. PorygonZ is specially mentioned; this is likely due to the lead combination the pair offer.
In addition, the power of dragon moves are reduced, specially Salamence’s Z-move Devastating Drake and Draco Meteor. As Misty Terrain also blocks status conditions on grounded Pokémon, it can mitigate hax experienced in a battle, especially from moves like Blizzard and Discharge.
Predominately, Muddy Water is used. It is easy to not have to think, and just spam Muddy Water. Of course it is annoying if Muddy Water does miss, however due to the stability of Tapu Fini, it can afford to miss occasionally.
Dazzling Gleam is also used to accumulate damage on both opponents. Scald and Moonblast are used in situations were the opponent may have Wide Guard, or when Tapu Fini needs to do extra damage to pick up a KO.
The EVs are simple. 252 HP gives longevity and 252 SpAtk maximises damage output.
Porygon-Z @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Tri Attack
– Hyper Beam
– Ice Beam
– Dark Pulse
When most people see Porygon-Z they instantly assume it is a Z-Conversion team and hence play very aggressively. This plays into scarf Porygon-Z as it can outspeed and pickup early KOs with strong, STAB Tri Attack. For example, it has a 37.5% chance to OHKO offensive Tapu Koko builds.
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Tri Attack vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 130-154 (89 – 105.4%) — 37.5% chance to OHKO.
Ice Beam can comfortably OHKO Garchomp and, with very little chip damage or a high roll, Assault Vest variations. 252+ SpA Porygon-Z Ice Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Garchomp: 180-212 (97.8 – 115.2%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
Hyper Beam is used to ‘one for one’ other Pokémon and should be used expecting Porygon-Z to faint afterwards. Naturally, this is good to remove Pokémon that the rest of the team struggles against. As it only has 90% accuracy, lets hope it hits!
Dark Pulse is used to cover Pokémon that the other three moves don’t such as Alolan Marowak, and Metagross. (Sejun makes special note of Arcanine and Kartana as well). Although it was just a filler move, Sejun notes it was useful.
As there are few Pokémon using fighting type moves, Porygon-Z can often survive a long time, especially if Misty Terrain is active. Normally the only moves that can OHKO it are Z-moves. Sejun considered mixing in HP EVs however he wanted to outspeed Scarf Tapu Bulu (especially to avoid Rock Slide), so he opted for 252 SpAtk and 252 Spd.
Arcanine (F) @ Firium Z
EVs: 76 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 164 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Wild Charge
– Extreme Speed
As a fire type Pokémon, as well as intimidator, Arcanine compliments Tapu Fini well. As Z-Flare Blitz has no recoil, it is very useful to target bulky Pokémon such as Porygon 2 and Alolan Muk for huge damage.
Wild Charge is excellent as a means to hit Gyarados, Pelipper, and Araquanids whilst Arcanine is beside Gastrodon. Extreme Speed is a powerful move +2 priority move strongest when the opponent has already taken significant damage.
76 HP EVs minimise hail and sand damage as Arcanine’s HP stat hits a 16n-1 number. 252 Adamant ensures Arcanine does as much damage as possible. 164 outspeeds puts Arcanine on a speed stat of 136, outspeeding 252 Modest Xurkitree by 1 point.
Arcanine is the only Pokémon in the team that can hit Celesteela for super-effective damage. Sejun discusses briefly that Celesteela is not such a problem as the rest of the team is not ‘weak’ to it. It will only set up a substitute and use Leech Seed. By defeating the rest of Celesteela’s teammates, it can be double targeted respectively until it is KO’d or Arcanine can OHKO it.
Kartana @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
Kartana is a very high speed attacker that pairs well with Tapu Fini as it can remove other water types such as Gastrodon. It is also extremely effective against all the Tapu Pokémon excluding Tapu Koko, as well as putting pressure on Porygon2. Kartana pairs well with both Porygon-Z and Tapu Fini as it can exert a lot of offensive pressure.
Celesteela with only Heavy Slam do very little to Kartana and cannot Leech Seed it. For these reasons, Kartana is free to attack Celesteela’s partners, a stategy discussed above under Arcanine’s set.
Unfortunately, most Kartana are also max speed so sometimes you need to win the speed tie.
Muk-Alola (F) @ Figy Berry
EVs: 204 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
– Poison Jab
– Knock Off
– Shadow Sneak
Figy Berry gives Alolan-Muk great longevity. It is very strong against teams that use Alolan-Marowak, Tapu Pokémon, Oranguru, Porygon2 etc.
Sejun did not change any EVs on the Muk from the original team, however he notes that the speed could be changed as some Alolan-Marowaks now run speed investment. Muk is slow enough to move before all of the Tapu Pokémon in Trick Room.
Muk is brought mainly against teams that rely heavily on Tapu Pokémon and/or Trick Room. Sejun notes that Muk is quite weak against Garchomp, so if Arcanine is already selected, he would not bring both.
Gastrodon-East @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 164 HP / 92 Def / 252 SpA
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Sludge Bomb
Against Rain teams, Milotic, Gyarados, Araquanid etc Gastrodon was selected. It also has strong synergy with Arcanine. Whilst Gastrodon can do super effective damage against Tapu Koko and Garchomp, one should be weary of Grass Knot and Tectonic Rage as surprise KOs.
The EVs were not changed from the original team. It can function as an both an attacking and defending Pokémon depending on the situation.
In general it was not selected much for battle save for when the opponent had Trick Room in which Alolan Muk was also selected.
Even if Gastrodon is not selected for battle, it will influence the opponent’s team selection.
The four Pokémon selected for battle for the four that supply the most effective attacks against the opposing team. Often the lead of Tapu Fini + PorygonZ/Kartana is used. Teams that don’t have effective countermeasures to Tapu Fini, such as Kartana, would normally lose through this basic lead combination.
Trick Room is a tough matchup. (Remember; Sejun lost in the final to Trick Room). The team needs to try and navigate the Trick Room turns without losing too much momentum and finally strike once Trick Room expires. It is paramount that Trick Room is not set up twice. Trick Room + Belly Drum Snorlax is a very tough matchup.
As the team offers no countermeasure to gimmicky teams, it is most probable that these teams, such as those focused around Eevee, will win.
The team is far from ideal and struggles against Kartana, Alolan Ninetales and Lilligant + Torkoal.
It has become harder to win now that Tapu Fini and Porygon-Z’s sets are known and the number of Kartana’s has increased. For the time that the team was used, it was fun but now it is time to retire it. This combination is still powerful. The foundations of the team are from Shochan!
Many thanks for reading. Sejun will be stronger in 2017!