A Song of Fire and Ice – aDrives First Top Cut Regional

Yoooo! My name is Dan, aka aDrive, and I’m a full-time Pokémon content creator on both Twitch and YouTube! I’m most known for my Shiny Hunting and Draft League Single battle content, but with the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, I’ve jumped headfirst into the world of VGC with my sights set on a Pokémon World Championship invite!

I’m not new to competitive Pokemon, but I’m very new to VGC, and I’ve been spending most of my free time finding ways to practice and improve.

It is a big focus of mine to help grow the VGC community. I love competing and I’ve met so many wonderful people in my short time playing. I sincerely want to help others find that same joy!

Feel free to stop by my YouTube or Twitch channels to see me in action! Twitch | Youtube | Twitter

My Full Collinsville Regional Vlog


  • Top 4 at Collinsville PC
  • Top 16 at Collinsville Regionals

Teambuilding Process

When I set out to build a team, I knew I wanted to build something I felt could counter the current metagame. With the prevalence of Pokémon like Togekiss, Arcanine, Duraludon, and others, I felt Coalossal was an overlooked pick, especially considering its raw power, Grass coverage, and utility in and out of Trick Room.

When I build teams, I like to really hone in on finding 3 pieces that can work super well together, and while this team changed many times, I ultimately settled on Coalossal being the pivotal middle piece to function both in Trick Room (with Bulldoze) and with its Steam Engine Ability outside of Trick Room.

Most players look to activate Steam Engine with Surf, which I’ll admit is a superior approach, however I decided to utilize Aqua Jet on Inteleon because I felt Inteleon + Vanilluxe was such a strong core together. Blizzard spam is incredible and Aurora Veil provides so much support for Pokemon like Coalossal and Conkeldurr, so it was too hard to pass up that combo.

Coalossal runs the Weakness Policy item, which can be activated under Trick Room with Dusclops Bulldoze. I tested a ton of TR setters from Runerigus, Bronzong, Brick Break Gothitelle, and more, but I felt Dusclops was the superior pick because of its incredible bulk and reliability in setting TR. I do think Bronzong could easily fit in here as well, and earlier variants of the team did feature Bronzong.

Conkeldurr was a necessary piece with the over-abundance of Sand. It has insane raw power in Trick Room and is an incredible threat under Aurora Veil. It can be often overlooked as a Dynamax piece, but with Veil, it can really snowball with Max Knuckle or Max Ooze to boost itself or its allies.

Lastly, Rotom-Mow was necessary to handle the onslaught of Gastrodon, Rotom-W, other Rotom-Mow, Milotic, and just generally bulky Waters/Ground types that create havoc for Coalossal. I ultimately went with a Nasty Plot variant for raw damage and viability in Dynamax. Dark Pulse was a fun move to lower Sp. Def and allow Rotom-Mow to continue to pressure opponents. I chose to run max Speed on my Rotom-Mow to help with Togekiss, Gyarados, Duraludon, and other Pokemon in this Speed tier. It also helped my matchup against opposing Rotom (Wash).

The Team


Normal Sprite

Inteleon @ Life Orb
Ability: Torrent
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Aqua Jet
– Blizzard
– Air Slash
– Hydro Cannon

Inteleon is one of the main leads of this team, providing Aqua Jet support for Coalossal or Blizzard spam next to Vanilluxe. Max Airstream also provides a really cool opening with Vanilluxe to allow for a faster Aurora Veil or Blizzard. A lot of teams simply aren’t prepared for a faster Vanilluxe, considering how powerful it can be. Hydro Cannon was my choice over Snipe Shot since I have a lot of spread damage and don’t feel the need to dodge redirection, as well as my lack of Fake Tears support causing me to need a bit more power on Inteleon. Raw Hydro Cannon or Max Geyser can really dent a lot of things, and it serves as a tremendous wallbreaker to start and end a game. Be mindful of setting your own Rain while trying to utilize Vanilluxe, however.

The EV spread is standard, as offensive and fast as possible.

Normal Sprite

Coalossal @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Steam Engine
Level: 50
EVs: 204 HP / 252 SpA / 52 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ancient Power
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Protect

The centerpiece of the team, Coalossal functions in and out of Trick Room with incredible bulk, immense power, and great counter-meta typing. Admittedly, I often found myself using Coalossal in the back on this team under TR, but it can function in both scenarios. I opted for a specially offensive variant to counter Intimidate and get the most out of spread Fire, but Solar Beam was the primary factor in going special. +2 Max Overgrowth can OHKO pretty much any bulky Water when they are not Dynamaxed, so oftentimes you’ll use the Inteleon/Vanilluxe core to bait a Rotom-W or Milotic Dynamax early. If you can do that, set up TR and Coal can generally win in the back.
You’ll find Coalossal misses out on a few Dynamax KOs just BARELY. Helping Hand support is something to very much to consider in future builds. (Gets the KO on Dynamax Gyarados + Milotic / Rotom-W etc.)

I wanted to rock with a bulkier Coalossal due to the TR variant and Aurora Veil, so my Speed investment was minimal. The Speed allows you to outpace Adamant Scarf Darmanitan as well as Dragapult w/ Steam Engine. You’ll outspeed any non-Tailwind threats otherwise, while still underspeeding non-TR Pokemon (without Steam Engine).

Vanilluxe @ Focus Sash
Ability: Snow Warning
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Blizzard
– Aurora Veil
– Freeze-Dry
– Protect

I really think Vanilluxe is underrated and superior to Alolan Ninetales in this format. It has some serious raw power with Blizzard and Freeze Dry, handling a lot of Coalossal’s counters and dealing with a lot of the Ice-weak metagame. Aurora Veil is an incredible tool to utilize for a mid/late-game Trick Room win for Conkeldurr or Coalossal.
I would love to fit Icy Wind or even Ice Shard on this set in future builds (for other WP Pokemon), but I feel Protect is essential to get Max Airstream boosts and help as Vanilluxe can often be the target of double attacks.

Max Speed / SpA get the most out of its power and having a Focus Sash allows it to stick around A LOT longer. I really fell in love with this Pokemon and I definitely will revisit it again in a future team.

Rotom-Mow @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunderbolt
– Leaf Storm
– Dark Pulse
– Nasty Plot

Rotom-Mow is on this team as a glue piece. It isn’t brought a ton, but when it does come to games, it can be a very viable Dynamax option or simply a way to handle some of the bulky Waters and Ground types that can plague Coalossal. In a Best of 3, this Pokémon can be crucial.
Moveset is pretty standard and Speed helps outpace Togekiss/Rotom-W etc. Dark Pulse can be really nice as a Sp. Def dropping option in Dynamax to set up the other specially offensive threats this team has. It also helps against Duraludon and Pokémon of similar resistances.

I often found that being a bit reckless with Rotom-Mow tends to pay off. My philosophy was mostly “just click Nasty Plot and see what happens”, and it can deal a significant amount of damage at +2, even without any SpA investment.

Dusclops @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 92 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Bulldoze
– Trick Room
– Night Shade
– Pain Split

Dusclops is one of the most reliable TR Pokemon in the game due to its incredible bulk, and in my case, Pain Split. I LOVED having Pain Split, and while I understand the value of Helping Hand or the far-too-common Ally Switch, I think having greater longevity can make it a huge problem. Often, Dusclops is brought in the back, and you’ll find your opponent will waste their resources and really struggle to beat Dusclops in an end game. Because of this, it is a super strong member of the team that can easily take the opponent to timer or cause them to tilt as they try to take it down while it constantly heals back up to insane levels.

Bulldoze provides Coalossal with WP support under TR, and Night Shade is essential in chipping down bigger threats.

The EV spread is just to make it as bulky as possible. I did live a -2 Max Starfall Crit from a Togekiss, and that was pretty massive.

Conkeldurr @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 212 HP / 196 Atk / 100 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Drain Punch
– Mach Punch
– Thunder Punch
– Poison Jab

While it’s easy to say Coalossal is the focus of the team, I really think Conkeldurr was the star. In TR with Veil Support it can really snowball with Max Knuckle, and having Poison Jab was a really clutch last minute adjustment to deal with the rise in Sylveon usage. I went with 0 Speed and good special bulk to ensure I could live the spread of Fairy moves and know exactly where my Speed tier was in TR.

I made the bold choice to run Iron Fist over Guts because I figured my opponents wouldn’t be willing to take the chance to burn my Conkeldurr. It worked in all but 1 round, and I have no regrets about running Iron Fist. The extra damage output really helped me in a handful of games.
Thunder Punch was another option against bulky Waters and Gyarados, which can be a bit scary for this squad. It also has a nice Iron Fist buff, which helps too.

The key to using Conkeldurr on this team is to use it as a Dynamax late game.

Team Preview

I’m admittedly not as advanced as some of these other top players. No flowcharts or any of that, nothing too fancy. I generally stick to my gut and find that going with the standard, most comfortable lead yields the best results. I think this team really is more about forcing your opponent to adjust to you, rather than the other way around.

Most of the time my strategy is simple: force out their Dynamax and burn some resources, get up Aurora Veil, get up TR, then win with a sweeper under TR. It’s important to identify the threats to Coalossal (like Rotom-W/Gastro/Milotic) and bait a Dynamax early for this team to work late game. If you have a chance to dent both leads on your opponent, you often go more offensive early, but I do think this team plays best when played slowly.

Common Leads

Pretty simple:

  1. Click Double Blizzard
  2. Click Protect + Max Airstream (for faster threats or Fake Out)
  3. Click Blizzard + Max Airstream (hyper offensive)
  4. Aurora Veil + Blizzard (setting up for TR)

This is generally my “I’m not sure what to do” lead. Vanilluxe can get up Veil to really help the TR mode, and Dusclops rarely dies when focused. Often times, the things that can threaten Dusclops don’t want to take a Blizzard, so there’s some versatility here. Rotom-M as an option early game allows for TR later for Coalossal as you try to break down their bulky Waters with Freeze Dry and TBolts.

Only lead this if they don’t have redirection. I think trying to manage Follow Me with Aqua Jet isn’t worth it, and you really need to get the most out of Coalossal early game if you do this lead. I think this is one of the leads the opponent needs to be aware of, but usually there is a better option for this team. This is more of a Bo3 kind of tech.

There’s a lot of options with this team, but I find that Inteleon + Vanillixe is generally the way to go. It provides a lot of flexibility and sets up nicely for TR in the mid/late game.

Core Combinations

Generally, you want to run Inteleon + Vanilluxe + Dusclops + TR offensive Pokemon. This is going to be the standard approach most games, and it usually is best if you can save your Dynamax. You don’t always have that luxury, and it’s important to remember that Conkeldurr under Veil is in some ways better than Dynamax Conkeldurr, so Aurora Veil should always be a priority (but it doesn’t need to be set on turn 1 if you’re not threatened).

Dusclops and Coalossal are like Peanut Butter and Jelly. You should find ways to send in Dusclops first, get TR up, and then get the right positioning to activate WP.

Without WP, Coal is very mediocre, but has great typing against a lot of things. Play slow. Don’t rush the Dynamax.

Team Matchups

This team does really well against a lot of the standard stuff you see, including Pokémon like Whimsicott which rely on Focus Sash. It can manage TR decently well and is more about countering common cores like Duraludon/Whimsicott, Whimsicott/Charizard, or Sand.

This team can struggle against unusual techs like Eerie Impulse, Dynamaxed Water-types if you’ve already Dynamaxed, Charm when used on Conkeldurr, and more. It’s all about when you choose to Dynamax.

Rundown of Tournament

Check out my Regional VLOG, where I cover every round!

Conclusion and Shoutouts

It was a really cool accomplishment for me to Top Cut my second Regional of the format. I’ve spent a lot of time preparing and trying to catch up to everyone else to be a formidable VGC player, and while I have a lot of room to grow, I’m excited about where I can go!

A special shoutout to Paul Ruiz, who has been coaching me along this journey and who originally brought Coalossal to my attention back in January. I also want to thank Wolfe, Justin, and Aaron for all being there to bounce ideas off and see my horrible replays. Lastly, a special shoutout to GWDavon and Au_Plays for being reliable for a quick response when I wanted a second opinion.

I’m proud to say I built this team from the ground up and went through nearly 400 practice games from the original idea. I had some help along the way, but it was ultimately the practice and learning experience that allowed me to feel so comfortable at the event and be prepared in nearly every situation.

I think there are parts of this team that can still be good, and I think with Coalossal getting its G-Max form, there is some value in revisiting this Pokemon. Charizard/Incineroar usage is a good thing for Coalossal. However, it’ll struggle against the increase in Milotic and Venusaur (sorta).

I’m not sure I’m done with my Steam Engine friend just yet, but I may put him on the shelf for a few weeks to explore new team ideas.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing you at a future event!