Hello everyone, I’m Yihui Xu. I’m of Chinese descent, currently living in Canada, and started to play in VGC events during May 2018. I’m known as Yihui Xurkitree by the Western community and 朱墨霖 in the Chinese community.
Before Collinsville, I’d cut two Regionals, Hong Kong ’19 and San Diego ’20, as well as had some mediocre finishes at other Regionals. I’m also known for attending huge amounts of events, so if you see me in person some day, don’t forget to come and say hi! 🙂
This team was inspired by my fellow Canadian player Sébastien Biagé’s (SebbyVGC‘s) team. This core has achieved the following finishes:
When Sebby beat me in the Gatineau MSS finals, the team had 4 of the same members as the current version: Araquanid, Dusclops, Togekiss, and Inteleon. These were the ones that Sebby used in all 5 games we played (finals and Swiss), and they hugely impressed me.
While preparing for Oceania Internats, I asked around for multiple teams, including this one. (However, I did not use it in Melbourne.) After I got home, I felt that there had been multiple teams around with mid-Speed mons which used Whimsicott for Speed control, and Rotom-Wash teams were also going wild around the scene. I then realized that a hard TR team with a proper Water-type attacker might be the call for Collinsville. As I did not want to try Rotom-Wash, I was drawn to Sebby’s team.
The rest of the members that Sebby didn’t use against me were Vanilluxe and Excadrill. After a few tests with that version, I felt that I didn’t really like using these two for the reason that Vanilluxe was too bulky (even holding a Wiki Berry) for me to pilot on such a Hyper Offensive team, and Excadrill was simply not my style as I’m a Durant player (#ANTANTANT). I decided to keep the other four and gave up on Vanilluxe and Excadrill.
Before looking for new members of the team, I figured out that when I used Vanilluxe, I rarely used Aurora Veil or Blizzard, since Tyranitar is everywhere to change weather to Sand. I mostly used it for Freeze Dry, to deal with Water resists like Dracovish and Gyarados. When I used Excadrill, I was really only looking for answers to Tyranitar, Rotom-Wash, and Duraludon, all of which like to Dynamax, which makes Excadrill feel less powerful when facing them. Which two mons could both be strong and have super effective coverage against these opponents—and even other potential ones? Additionally, since I mostly Dynamax Inteleon or Araquanid, could the newcomers do damage even without Dynamax?
The first Pokémon that came to my mind were Darmanitan-Galar and Conkeldurr. Darmanitan has the highest physical damage potential without Dynamax and is frail enough to faint quickly and let a TR sweeper get a free switch-in without taking damage, making it attract attacks even though it does not have Follow Me, whereas Conkeldurr is simply powerful and suits the TR mode.
After a few tests with this version, I found that even though Conkelfurr is strong, it still can’t deal much damage against certain Pokémon, especially Max Steelspike users. Also, it’s not fast enough if I go with the non-TR mode with Togekiss/Inteleon, which relies on boosting the ally’s Speed.
Sylveon then came to mind when I thought back on how I got defeated by Teru Nakajima (Teru_Gift) in Melbourne, when I’d used Durant against his TR team. Him sacrificing a Pokémon while setting up TR and switching in his Choice Specs Sylveon completely smashed me in G3 and secured him the victory. So I looked around, found a Sylveon paste, and applied it to the team, finishing up the six I brought to Collinsville.
Araquanid @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– Leech Life
– Giga Drain
Araquanid is the core of this team. Once Weakness Policy procs, its Water-type attacks are no weaker than either of the STAB moves from Rhyperior, while Max Geyser also sets up Rain for it to further boost the power of its next Geyser. Its physical and special bulk allows it to take many Max Moves when Dynamaxed. Leech Life and Giga Drain are coverage for opponents against whom Max Geyser is not a suitable option, or when I need to drop the opposing side’s Special Attack with Flutterby.
Dusclops @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Tomb
– Trick Room
– Helping Hand
– Ally Switch
Dusclops is the best possible ally for Araquanid. Being the bulkiest TR setter in the meta, it’s able to set up TR in most situations. Rock Tomb is the second most important move on Dusclops: being a secondary Speed control move aside from TR, it’s mainly used to proc Araquanid’s WP in addition to lowering its Speed to rectify its awkward base Speed of 42 (which is faster than most TR sweepers). It can also deal huge damage to Charizard, or finish up any Sashed Pokémon when Araquanid needs to be protected. When supporting Sylveon, lowering its Speed under TR is also important, to ensure its faster than opposing Conkeldurr.
The Ally Switch slot used to be Will-O-Wisp, but I personally love it, so I changed it.
Inteleon @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Air Slash
– Snipe Shot
– Mud Shot
– Hydro Cannon
Inteleon is simply powerful and fast. Snipe Shot is used against any Pokémon protected by Storm Drain, while the rest are mostly used when Dynamaxed. Max Airstream is used to boost Speed for Togekiss/Sylveon on its side, Max Quake is a Duraludon killer, and Max Geyser is purely damage.
Togekiss @ Scope Lens
Ability: Super Luck
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 60 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Air Slash
– Follow Me
– Helping Hand
This is Sejun Park’s (Pokemon_TCG’s) Togekiss spread, instead of Sebby’s original physically bulky version. I’ve been using this spread for a long time in VGC20, so I just kept it from previous teams. I changed Sejun’s Yawn to Helping Hand, simply because I am not very good at using Yawn. I would’ve preferred to use a bulkier version of Togekiss, as I rarely needed it to do damage. No damage calcs—the set could be improved.
Darmanitan-Galar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Gorilla Tactics
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Icicle Crash
– Flare Blitz
Darmanitan is another sweeper. It gets by on brute strength and does not require Dynamax. I mostly just use Icicle Crash to OHKO any Togekiss, which might be troublesome when TR is set up. The item used to be Scarf, but I changed it to Sash after losing to a Sash Darmanitan on Showdown, as it almost guarantees it can deal some big damage at least once.
Damage calcs: I need to note that it cannot OHKO bulky, Dynamaxed WP Dragapult.
Sylveon @ Choice Specs
EVs: 164 HP / 172 Def / 132 SpA / 4 SpD / 36 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hyper Voice
– Hyper Beam
– Mystical Fire
I have only ever clicked Hyper Voice on Sylveon. Hyper Beam is for potential endgames, Mystical Fire is for Durant, and Psyshock is just there to be a fourth move. Sleep Talk might also work well.
The Sylveon spread is copied from a Throat Spray variant, which is one of the biggest mistakes I made in building, as it fails to OHKO Dynamaxed Duraludon with Helping Hand most of the time and created some troublesome moments in Swiss rounds for me. This should definitely be patched up in a later version.
When you don’t want to lead Darmanitan
Vs. Duraludon without Speed control
Vs. Duraludon with Speed Control
Vs. Gyarados / Rotom-Wash
Vs. Jellicent (Hard Matchup)
Vs. Hard TR
I don’t normally try to set up TR for my opponent, because they can easily unset it or take advantage from it. Plus, Dusclops can do so many things to disrupt them, and Araquanid is naturally faster than most of hard TR Pokémon. Need to point out that Torkoal needs its weather, so you might want to use Max Geyser when facing it regardless.
This is the worst matchup for me. I’d try my best to sweep Jellicent’s teammates and preserve Sylveon for an endgame against it, as none of my other team members can hit it hard.
Vs. teams with poor speed control methods
This team is full of Speed control methods, so I can switch modes between games to confuse my opponents in order to gain the upper hand.
Superpower the Tyranitar.
Round 1: Nate Eavers (2-3 dropped) LWW
Nate is a local player and was there with his daughter. His team lacks Speed control, and since he had, Arcanine and a Gastrodon I didn’t bring the TR mode and used the Inteleon Togekiss lead in all three games. In G1, I played the endgame poorly and lost, but I did get the info that he didn’t bring Gastrodon against a team with two Water types, so I Max Geyser into his Aranine lead G2 and even the Light Screen could not stop it from doing a large chunk of damage. In G3, I predicted him to bring Gastrodon so I did not Dynamax and used Snipe Shot. He did bring Gastrodon, but fell to my gimmicks. I easily won the game after a Helping Hand Max Airstream OHKOed Gastrodon.
Round 2: Sergio Navarrete (2-4 dropped) WW
Before Round 2 could begin, I had some technical issue with my console and had to play against Sergio using wireless. His team looks pretty weak against Water-types, but Sableye could be a bad deal for my Speed control gimmicks. I lead Darmanitan Dusclops into his Charizard and Sableye, and he Quashes + G-Wildfires into Darmanitan, so it goes down after using a powerful Rock Slide. Since Araquanid could still be Quashed, I Protected it and Rock Tombed the Charizard to finish it off and won from there. In G2, I won by switching to Inteleon mode.
Round 3: Andrew Oden (5-4) LWL
This might be the worst ever matchup for me, as the team contains Duraludon, Arcanine, and Jellicent. In G1, it came down to an endgame with boosted Araquanid vs Jellicent. Giga Drain could not deal enough damage to Jellicent, and I lost. In G2, I switched to my Inteleon mode and Max Quaked into his non-AV Dynamaxed Duraludon, which won me the game from there. In G3, I did the same thing as in G2, but he Protected Duraludon and set up TR. I lost from there.
Round 4: Rex Holmberg (5-4) WW
Having to face two Jellicents in a row was a nightmare. Luckily, Rex’s team didn’t have any Intimidate, so I was able to set up TR safely by leading Darmanitan + Dusclops in both games. His Whimsicott used Charm and reduced my Araquanid’s Atk to -2 in the G1 endgame, but a Helping Hand Max Overgrowth was still enough to KO the Jellicent. This made him assume that my Araquanid is Special, so he stopped using Charm in G2, which allowed me to take the game without any problems.
Round 5: Davian Harry (4-5) WW
I lead Darmanitan and Dusclops in and was able to OHKO something and set up TR in both games. Sylveon and Araquanid were able to help me sweep from there.
Round 6: Steve Guthrie (5-4) WLW
Steve is a veteran TCG player and has been switching to VGC for a few years. His team looks weak to the TR mode, so I led Dusclops and Darmanitan in G1, played my TR mode, and won. In G2, I switched to the Inteleon mode, but he lead Duraludon and Dracovish. I couldn’t think straight, so I Max Quaked + Dazzling Gleamed, but a fast Fishious Rend was able to OHKO my Togekiss. Since my Sylveon does not have Protect and is in range of a Fishious Rend, I lost the game from there. In G3, I lead Togekiss and Dusclops so that a safe Follow Me + TR could secure the TR set-up. He kept the same lead from G2. Fishious Rend only did half to Togekiss and Duraludon, surprisingly, Protected turn 1. Helping Hand boosted Dazzling Gleam crit and OHKOed both Dragons turn 2, and won me the game from there. Interestingly, this is the only time that my Scope Lens Togekiss got a crit that mattered in the whole tournament.
Round 7: Matthew Greaves (5-4) WW
PickleSword is known for being a creative player, so I was not surprised to see him bring Abomasnow to this tournament. I led Inteleon and Togekiss into his Abomasnow and Inteleon, I used Max Airstream R1 to gain the Speed advantage while he Protected Abomasnow and used Max Geyser into my Togekiss. With Helping Hand support letting me finish off his Inteleon, I secured G1. In G2, I expected him to lead Whimsicott to get better Speed control, and he did. My TR lead worked perfectly and I was able to sweep from there despite his Bronzong, which caused some slight trouble for me.
Round 8: Hao Dai (6-3, T64) LWW
Hao is a fellow Chinese player living in Colorado, and this is his first IRL tournament. I was super happy for him since he was still x-1 at this point, but was sad that I’d have to play against him. In G1, he led Gothitelle Rotom into my Darmanitan Dusclops. I used Helping Hand + Icicle Crash into his Gothitelle while Gothitelle used Fake Out into Darmanitan. Since Gothitelle was able to set up TR and Dynamax Rotom is hard to KO, I had no way of playing around it and lost G1. In G2, we went for the same plays, and in the endgame, I only had Araquanid left (able to Dynamax) when he still had Rotom (at pinch health) and a healthy Sylveon with healthy Vanilluxe in the back. TR had 2 turns left, but I thought it was over, so I didn’t even click Dynamax. Liquidation finished up Rotom that turn and Hyper Beam missed Araquanid. I felt that my chance had come. I assumed he would either click Hyper Beam again or Protect Sylveon, so I Dynamaxed and used Max Geyser into Vanilluxe’s Protect on the last turn of TR, as Hyper Beam hit into Araquanid and did a little under half. The next turn, Vanilluxe’s Freeze Dry did some damage to Araquanid and Max Flutterby KO’d Vanilluxe while dropping Sylveon’s SpA, which allowed Araquanid to take another Hyper Beam and finish off Sylveon with Max Geyser. I felt like a miracle brought me back. In G3, Hao was caught off-guard and set up the TR for me, and I was able to sweep from there with a side-Rock Tomb to make my Sylveon slower than his team.
Round 9: Wolfe Glick (7-2, Runner-up) WW
In this round, I faced the biggest name in the pool. Prior to the game, I got a bit of information of Wolfe’s team based on Justin Carris’s streamed match, so my whole plan in G1 was to have him proc the WP for me, since Araquanid was faster than Reuniclus and a Max Flutterby could drop its SpA. He did so, which gained me such a huge advantage that even when he set up TR later, I could still play the endgame decently to win it. In G2, I changed my lead to Sylveon and Togekiss in order to deal a large amount of damage to any of his leads, since none of them could resist Hyper Voice. My plan did work out in the early game, but in the mid game when he Dynamaxed a +2 Atk Mimikyu, I had to rely on Ally Switch to finish it up. My gimmicks worked, and I won against someone I’d looked up to when I was a nobody.
I cut the tournament with a record of 8-1 as the 8th seed, since my resistance was pretty awful. My top cut opponent was Alex Arand, who beat my fellow Canadian Ryan Loseto in the first round of Top Cut at the same venue last year.
Top 16: Alex Arand (7-2, Top 4) LL
Alex’s team was a really hard matchup, since it has LO Rotom-Wash and Fake Tears Whimsicott. He played perfectly in both games to KO my Dusclops with Max Darkness and its SpD dropping effect, while my Sylveon could not outplay the Duraludon in the back. Although I wanted to get revenge for Ryan, I was not good enough to do so.
My run ended at Top 16 with a record of 8-2 in sets (17-7 in games).
Firstly, I would like to shoutout to Sebby who provided the genius idea of a perfect Araquanid team and showed me its power by defeating me. I wouldn’t have been able to cut this one without your idea. Merci beaucoup!
Thanks to my fellow Chinese and Canadian friends, as well as those who sent congratulations on Twitter and who supported me and Bingjie the whole weekend online. Even if you’re not by our sides, we felt your power and it helped us!!
See y’all around the world!