Hi, I’m Gary (ZygardeAwaken), a Seattle-based Pokémon player. Today, I’m going to present the team I used to get 12th place in Collinsville, featuring the Duck Knight (pun intended) Sirfetch’d and my baby, Trapinch.
Excuse me for starting the team building process section by mentioning something slightly off topic.
Some people may recall the following: three years ago, I made a bet with my friend. He told me he would buy me the Love Live merch I wanted if I ever top cut a Regional with my baby, Trapinch. After a long struggle, I figured I couldn’t fit him onto any team comfortably. So I changed up the team a bit, and added Flygon instead of Trapinch. As a result, I successfully cut a Regional and got 20th place in NAIC that year. However, it doesn’t change the fact that I ate my words.
… That is, until the last weekend. So as you can see, it’s actually kind of a big deal to me.
Trapinch is the first member I decided on for my team. Areana Trap, while slightly worse than Shadow Tag, is still one of the best abilities in the game. To fully utilize it, a hard Trick Room team is a must. Weakness Policy Rhyperior caught my eye for its excellent damage output and bulk. Trapinch and Rhyperior are both weak to bulky Waters, especially Coil Milotic, so I chose Roserade and Sirfetch’d to beat those Water types. Finally, Togekiss took the last spot, since it can help set up TR with Follow Me or use Max Airstream to allow Roserade or Sirfetch to get to +1 Speed.
Braveheart Coaster (Bronzong) @ Kasib Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SpD
IVs: 1 Spe
– Trick Room
– Ally Switch
A standard TR setter. I’m using Kasib Berry because I want Togekiss to be able to attack when facing Chandulure or Dragonpult instead of using Follow Me. Bulldoze is used to self-trigger WP on Rhyperior without worrying about Follow Me while breaking the opponent’s Focus Sash. Ally Switch protects Rhyperior and lets me bring out my Sirfetch’d or Trapinch in the back to make full use of TR.
Hypnosis looks like the best move I could choose on paper, but I was too scared to click it for the entire tournament. I clicked it a bunch when facing Wolfe in the top cut since I had a huge match-up disadvantage, but evidently, it didn’t work out.
Heatproof caught so many people off-guard, since no one is risking their tournament life on clicking Max Quake into Bronzong T1.
Believe Again! (Rhyperior) @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
– Fire Punch
– High Horsepower
– Rock Slide
There’s not too much I really want to talk about with Rhyperior. It’s simply the best TR sweeper, in my opinion. My lesson for using this Pokémon is: don’t get greedy by not clicking Dynamax. Both Rock Slide and High Horsepower can miss.
DuckKnight (Sirfetch’d) @ Leek
EVs: 228 HP / 212 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 60 Spe
– Steel Wing
– Leaf Blade
– Close Combat
Probably the highlight of the team. When the DuckKnight starts to wave his Leek with a Togekiss wearing Lens by its side, these two are unstoppable.
Rhyperior’s greatest enemies are bulky Water-types such as Milotic or Rotom-Wash. Sirfetch’d is the hero we need to defeat these Water villains in TR. With the help of Leek, Leaf Blade becomes a guaranteed crit move. It’s essentially a STAB Grass move that ignores stat changes. If that’s not quite enough, we can also gamble on the 50% chance that Max Overgrowth might crit.
Meanwile, its Close Combat also ignores boosts from Max Steelspike if we roll the correct 50%, so it was never a surprise to see Dynamaxed Durant / Duraludon / Excadrill go down instantly.
Despite being slower than Rotom and Milotic in TR, it can easily outrun them if it gets +1 Speed from Max Airstream.
Steel Wing is mostly for hitting Sylveon outside of TR, since Bronzong doesn’t really count as a Steel-type on this team.
Jump up HIGH!! (Togekiss) @ Scope Lens
Ability: Super Luck
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 100 SpA / 92 SpD / 60 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Heat Wave
– Air Slash
– Follow Me
Togekiss initiates two modes: Max Airstream mode or TR mode. The investment is more on the bulky side, since most of the time I want to it to tank hits and get as many crits as possible.
おやすみなさん！ (Roserade) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sleep Powder
– Leaf Storm
– Sludge Bomb
The name means “good night and go to bed”. Grass / Poison typing is exactly what I need for this team. Grass is good against the Water-type Pokémon which Rhyperior and Trapinch are afraid of. Poison can defeat Fairy-type Pokémon such as Togekiss and Sylveon. Sleep Powder gives me an out in desperate situations.
Strawberry Trapper (Trapinch) @ Eviolite
Ability: Arena Trap
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Last but not the least, my baby, Trapinch. It’s the Pokémon I brought the least, but that doesn’t meant it’s not important. It has two simple jobs: prevent my team from being swept by Torkoal and / or help Rhyperior sweep my opponent in TR. Trapinch possessed one of the most broken Abilities in game: Arena Trap, which means non-Ghost-type Pokémon on the ground can’t be switched out. When this Ability is paired with the move Feint, I can safely snipe and remove my opponent’s win con and make the best use of TR. Torkoal in TR is usually a big problem for it since my team can’t take Eruption at all. However, with a Speed stat as low as 10 , Trapinch underspeeds Torkoal and one-shots it with Max Quake in TR.
A little piece of trivia: I actually bred this shiny Trapinch from the Flygon I used three years ago, and this baby has a 0 IV in Speed. The parental bond is real.
Unfortunately, this team doesn’t really have a flowchart. Using it requires a lot of experience and practice. When I sit down across from my opponent, I usually think about how I would counter my own team if I were in his shoes, figure out what he would bring, and plan accordingly.
This team is incredibly flexible and doesn’t have fixed lead.
1. Togekiss + Bronzong with Trapinch / Rhyperior in TR
The Hard TR Mode: Togekiss goes for Follow Me or Dazzle, Bronzong sets up TR straight off the bat. This combination is usually used when my opponent has Torkoal or Rhyperior and can OHKO any of my opponent’s Pokémon even Dynamaxed. The game is normally finished up in 5 turns.
2. Roserade + Bronzong with Togekiss + Rhyperior / Sirfetch’d
Trick Room isn’t a must in this case. Bronzong can choose to TR or just use Ally Switch to catch my opponent off-guard. The gist is to force my opponent to go for Dynamax T1 to prevent TR from going up while Roserade puts them to Sleep and wastes its turn. After sacking Bronzong, Togekiss can come in, and I can either Dynamax Roserade or Togekiss to sweep my opponent.
3. Roserade (Sirfetch’d) + Togekiss with Sirfetch’d (Roserade) / Rhyperior
Gotta go fast. Max Airstream all the way while Roserade puts things to Sleep or Sirfetch’d crits its way out.
4. BO3 only: if I think my opponent is gonna lead his win-con (Milotic, Mudsdale), I will lead Trapinch and the counter Pokémon (mostly Roserade or Sirfetch’d). But this requires you to predict and have a lot of knowledge of your opponent’s tendencies.
In TR mode, Rhyperior is the main damage dealer. Bronzong, Trapinch, and Sirfetch’d function differently, but are essentially there to help Rhyperior out.
In the Max Airstream mode, Roserade will need to connect with at least one Sleep Powder to keep the Airstream spam going. Getting Sirfetch’d to +1 Speed is extremely important if the opponent has a Steel-type Pokémon. As long as both Togekiss and Sirfetch’d have the Speed advantage, few things can stop this critting duo. (Especially when the duck ignores Intimidate and can hit Ghost-types!)
1. Whimscott Duraludon
You should be able to setup TR with ease. Definitely need to prioritize knocking out Whimscott so Sirfetch’d can comfortably come in and deal with Duraludon.
Try to set up TR and have +2 Max Flare Rhyperior deal with it. Then reveal Heat Wave on Togekiss in G2 or G3.
3. Jellicent Torkoal TR
Roserade Togekiss lead with Sirfetch’d Trapinch in the back. Try put things to Sleep with Sleep Powder, and don’t commit to Dynamax easily. If Roserade failed at stopping TR, then it’s time for Trapinch to save the world with Max Darkness and Max Quake.
4. Defense setup (Iron Defense Corviknight, Coil Milotic, Screens Grimsnarl + Mudsdale)
Togekiss and Sirfetch’d are gonna have a good time.
5. Wolfe Glick (Reuniclus + Mimikyu + Dusclops)
Try to hit a blind Hypnosis or Sleep Powder T1.
I don’t keep notes, but I think I played 4 of the top 8 players. I arrived at 11:34 PM, and hadn’t slept the night before. So I spent that night playing the online IC and got some solid practice in. After dozing off for half an hour, I packed my shiny Trapinch plush and Team Yell Marnie towel (she is indeed my victory goddess). Unfortunately, neither my Trapinch plush nor my Team Yell costume was shown on stream. Guess I will have to work harder the next time.
Round 1 VS Alex Arand
Congrats to Alex. He ended up in Top 4 of this tournament, which is really impressive.
His team had Whimscott, Arcanine, Duraludon, Togekiss, Rotom-Wash, and Conkeldurr. This looks like a rather standard team, and I do have solutions to it. However, I wasn’t able to focus because of the lack of sleep.
Alex completely outplayed me in game 1. I started to wake up, and told myself this ain’t the time for slacking off.
Game 2, Alex leads Whimscott and Arcanine, trying to Fake Tears + Max Flare to knock out my Bronzong and stepping right into the Heatproof trap. I managed to put Arcanine to Sleep and brought in Rhyperior. But here, I got too greedy: instead of Dynamaxing it and guaranteeing the KO on Whimscott, I stayed in the normal form and went for the double KO. However, Rhyperior missed the Rock Slide and got revenge KO’d.
Therefore, I lost my first round.
I was very mad at myself for making such stupid mistakes. So I went out, got three Monsters, and decided to give everything from there on out.
I didn’t commit any mistakes after the 1st round. I kept myself awake by consuming Monsters and black coffee. My team members all put in work and helped me win the next 7 rounds with a record of 14-2.
The scariest round had to be Round 7 VS Jake White
He had Snorlax, Sylveon, Rotom-Wash, Roserade, Hawlucha, and Dusclops. The Roserade mirror is very scary for me, because he has a faster Airstream user. Snorlax also gave me a lot of trouble in TR. I was lucky enough to hit a blind Hypnosis against his Dynamaxed Snorlax and it stayed asleep in TR for two turns. Then Rhyperior was able to KO his Roserade at 70% through Protect with a +2 Max Flare, which secured the win for me.
So, I’m finally at 8-1 after a long day. But I know it’s not enough. Since I lost my first round, the only way I can sneak into top cut is by defeating my last round opponent. But I ain’t afraid; I know my team and I can do it. Three years ago, I trusted in Flygon, Murkrow, and their teammates, and ended up having a great run. It was time to believe again.
Round VS Nathan Ortiz
He had Inteleon, Liepard, Togekiss, Chandulure, Conkeldurr, and Duraludon.
This one was very difficult. Copycat completely shuts down TR, so I have to work outside of TR.
His Liepard had T-Wave and Iron Ball with Trick, which made it incredibly difficult for me to move at all. Fake Tears + Inteleon almost one-shot everything on my team. I brought out Bronzong and tried to set up TR in G1, but a Copycat from Liepard immediately denied it, and then I got absolutely destroyed by T-Wave on my Dynamax Togekiss. Therefore, I lost G1.
Now I’m on the edge of the cliff, so I decide to gamble a bit and brought Roserade with Sirfetch’d and Rhyperior in the back. I managed to shut down Inteleon with Sleep Powder and barely survived G2.
“What do I do now?,” I asked myself, knowing I had used up all of my tools in the first two games. So I decided to trust my instincts and lead with Togekiss and Sirfetch’d. My Togekiss never went for Max Guard in G1 & 2, so Nathan tried to get the biggest threat out of the way by clicking Fake Tears + Hailstorm into Togekiss. But I made the biggest prediction of the tournament by Protecing Togekiss and attacking Liepard with Sirfetch’d. After I did so, Liepard went down, and there’s no way he can take out togekiss without giving it a Speed boost. Everything went my way , except for Roserade missing Sleep Powder against Chandulure. So it came down to a Chandulure at 70% vs a full HP Rhyperior. My Rhyperior loves me and didn’t miss its High Horsepower. For the first time ever, I came back from a 0-1 record to top cut!
Top 16 VS Wolfe Glick
This is the worst match-up for me out of all opponents left. He had two Ghost-types and one Psychic-type, while I had 0 Dark/Ghost-type mons. I practiced all night, only to find out my best bet was to hit blind Hypnosis and Sleep Powder on his Dynamax and go from there.
Unfortunately, the next day, I missed all 3 Hypnosis and 2 Sleep Powders I needed to connect. My run ended here.
Top 16 isn’t a great accomplishment for most people, even for myself. My finish may not be great, but I can always go into my next tournament knowing I can believe again: believe in myself and believe in my team.
At the end of the day, this is just a game. Games should be fun, and I had tons of fun. If you are reading this, I hope you will enjoy your tournaments as well!