Hello! My name is Wesley, but I’m more commonly known as Harry_Styles2 on Showdown. I started playing competitive Pokémon sometime in 2014, which was also when I went to my first tournament. I’ve been playing VGC ever since and have been getting more and more interested in it each passing year. I’d say that this was probably my favorite year of playing Pokémon so far, especially the Ultra Series side of it. Cedric and I met sometime before 2010, and it wasn’t until a few years after when we realized we both played Pokémon that we started talking.
Hi! I’m Cedric or TheFloppyMudkip online. When I was young, I had a Game Boy Advance with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and later Pokémon Ruby. In the summer of 2014, I got a 3DS for my birthday, and that Christmas, I got Pokémon Omega Ruby. I knew I was interested in playing competitively since earlier that year, when I watched Sejun win the World Championships. I started playing and went to my first tournament in the summer of 2015, and have been playing ever since.
Wolfe Glick used the Yveltal Gengar lead against me (Cedric) in our top 8 set at Madison Regionals, and while testing various things on Showdown for Worlds, I started building a team around that lead. Early on when I was testing the team on ladder, I ran into Wesley and they mentioned something about Icy Wind Gengar. Immediately after, I put that on the team. Eventually, Wesley asked me if they could try the team and we started working on it together for Worlds.
Yveltal @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 212 HP / 12 Def / 4 SpA / 28 SpD / 252 Spe
– Foul Play
When I originally built the team, I considered AV or Z-Move Yveltal, but I eventually settled on bulky Berry because being able to Tailwind while still having bulk is incredibly useful. Not having the power from the Z-Move is made up for with how many hits this thing can take and how long it can stay on the field. So while it doesn’t have the burst damage a Z-Move offers, the damage from Foul Play and Snarl adds up over the course of a game. I decided on max Speed because being able to outspeed special Groudon and Lunala to get a Snarl off before they attack is really important, and being able to Speed tie with Xerneas can come in clutch.
Groudon @ Red Orb
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Atk / 4 Def / 76 SpD / 12 Spe
– Swords Dance
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
Pretty standard Groudon. 164 Attack is enough to be able to get double-up knockouts on things like Incineroar. 76 Special Defense hits a lot of common defensive benchmarks. The Speed lets you outspeed base 100 Speed Pokémon after an Icy Wind, and is nice to outspeed opposing Groudon that don’t care that much about their Speed. I decided on Swords Dance because the immediate pressure it applies is unmatched by any other move, and it’s great for dealing with Intimidate cycling.
Gengar @ Gengarite
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Sludge Bomb
– Icy Wind
The biggest question about Gengar when building the team was if it was worth it to run bulk. A lot of different spreads with varying amounts of bulk were tested, but we eventually settled on just running a 252/252 spread. It was too important to be able to Speed tie Tapu Koko, because if Gengar was slower, Koko could dance around freely with Volt Switch and the trap wouldn’t do all that much. Max Special Attack was chosen to have the best chance at knocking out Xerneas and to give you more options against it, such as -1 Feint and Sludge Bomb having a 94% chance to KO 4 HP Xerneas. Substitute is important for keeping Gengar alive, and is a great play when predicting a Protect. Icy Wind is used to hit things like Salamence and Landorus, which would otherwise cause problems, and the speed control is really nice.
Tapu Koko @ Fairium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Volt Switch
– Dazzling Gleam
Tapu Koko was chosen to help against Rayquaza. Being able to pressure Rayquaza with the Z-Move and using Volt Switch to help position or chip things like Kyogre is really useful. Max Speed is important to outspeed Ultra Necrozma and Speed tie opposing Tapu Koko. Thunderbolt was chosen over Thunder because it’s not an Electrium Z variant, so the extra power isn’t needed for that, and having an accurate attack in Sun and in non-Kyogre matchups is useful.
Hitmontop @ Eject Button
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Atk / 244 Def
– Wide Guard
– Fake Out
– Close Combat
Hitmontop was chosen so that we could have a switch-in to Groudon and Fake Out support. Wide Guard is really useful against both Groudon and Kyogre. Feint is good to break opposing Wide Guards when attacking with your own Groudon, and having the option to go for a prediction and break a Protect is really threatening and leads to a lot of mind games in your favor. Close Combat, while clicked less often than any of the other moves, is still really nice to have. Being able to knock out Incineroar in two hits as well as just being able to do damage in end game situations made it worth the move slot. The spread lets you live Salamence Double-Edge and Groudon Precipice Blades after a Swords Dance. Didn’t feel a need to run any Special Defense on a Pokémon whose purpose is to help against physical attackers. Eject Button kind of makes up for the fact that Hitmontop isn’t an Incineroar and can’t U-turn, and is also useful for switching in, because you can get two Intimidates off in two turns if it gets hit coming in.
Stakataka @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 244 HP / 12 Atk / 252 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Trick Room
– Gyro Ball
– Wide Guard
Stakataka is useful because it provides a second option against Xerneas, since there are matchups where you don’t want to bring Gengar. Even if you can bring Gengar to a matchup, it’s nice to have an alternative. Trick Room is also really useful to help Groudon. Stakataka was chosen over Bronzong as it puts on a lot more offensive pressure, while Bronzong often feels useless after Trick Room goes up. Some people think that double Wide Guard is strange, but it’s one of the best moves in the format, and it can be really hard to be a Groudon player playing against two Wide Guard users. Shuca Berry helps keep Stakataka alive while getting Trick Room up and just being able to take a hit from Groudon, in general, lets you do more than just spam Wide Guard in front of it. Rock Slide is on this set so that you can spam Rock Slide and Precipice Blades in Trick Room—if Incineroar decides to come in, it drops to the combination of those attacks. Being able to bypass redirection and get flinches if needed can also be really useful.
The goal is always to get your Groudon into a position where it can launch off Precipice Blades with little to no punishment from the opponent. A big decision in team preview is whether or not you want to bring your Gengar. If you do bring Gengar, your goal is to control the board state and try to set up for Groudon to come in. If you don’t bring Gengar, you want to play around your speed control and try to get Groudon in to attack before your opponent.
The lead the team was built around. This is a great lead against most team compositions. You have speed control from both your Pokémon along with a lot of control with Snarl and Shadow Tag and still have the potential to dish out a good amount of damage. You always want Groudon in the back with these two. Hitmontop’s utility is really useful for helping with the trap, but you can bring whatever the matchup calls for as your last.
This is quite the versatile lead, as it gives you a lot of options. Tapu Koko threatens a lot of opposing Tailwind users, while Yveltal can get you your own Tailwind up or Snarl if they lead a threatening special attacker. Volt Switching on turn 1 is also a fine play if you need to adjust to what they lead. You want Groudon in the back with this lead plus either Hitmontop or Stakataka, depending on what they have or how you want to play./
You lead this with the intent of getting an early Trick Room up so you can bring Groudon in. You usually only do this if the opposing team is weak to Trick Room, but it can be really scary if they are weak to it. Whether you lead Tapu Koko or Hitmontop depends a lot on what they have and if you need Fake Out to get Trick Room up or not. Volt Switching into Hitmontop then Ejecting out into Groudon while you Trick Room is a fun T1 play.
This is a good lead against Xerneas leads, because you can Fake Out opposing Incineroar and Sludge Bomb. If they have a faster Fake Out Pokémon, like Kangaskhan, you either trade Fake Outs or you get a free switch with Eject Button. This lead also gives you a lot of options vs non-Xerneas leads, with a lot of options on T1 like Fake Out + Substitute or Fake Out + Icy Wind. You always want Groudon in the back here, and your last comes down to what they have and how you want to play.
This is an aggressive lead looking to take an early knockout or trade early. You also have the option to mix it up and make a more defensive play by Volt Switching into Hitmontop and Protecting. This is usually a good lead if they have offensive threats you want to try to knock out fast. Remember these two Pokémon Speed tie, because that can affect how a turn will go based on which of your Pokémon move first. You want Groudon in the back with this lead, and the last comes down to their team and how you want to play.
This is a bit of an odd lead, because you don’t have any speed control, but it can be really useful in the right situation. You have a lot of options and switching potential from turn 1 with plays like Fake Out + Volt Switch or Switch + Volt Switch. You always want Groudon in the back and either Stakataka or Yveltal depending on what form of speed control you want. Stakataka is often better if you think they are going to get Tailwind up early, but if not, either is a great option.
While these may be the most common leads, don’t limit yourself to just them when playing the team. The team is very versatile and any lead or combination can be good if the matchup calls for it.
Game 1: I led Gengar and Koko with Groudon Stakataka in the back. He brought Tapu Fini and Incineroar with Xerneas and Rayquaza in the back. I got a KO onto his Fini early and was able to ride that momentum to victory.
Game 2: I led Gengar and Koko with Groudon Stakataka in the back. He brought Tapu Fini and Incineroar with Xerneas and Rayquaza in the back. I went for a read on T1 and went for Protect and Volt Switch, but he Faked Out Koko and revealed Light Screen. That made dealing with Fini harder, but I was still able to play it out to a Trick Room end game and get the win.
WW – 1-0 (2-0)
Game 1: I led Koko Yveltal into Groudon Rayquaza. I played really defensively early, cycling Intimidates and trying to take as little damage as possible. After a few turns, I had Koko and Groudon out vs Ferrothorn and Rayquaza, and based on how I was playing, I assumed he wouldn’t think I was Fairium Koko and try to knock out my Groudon, so I went for Twinkle Tackle + Fire Punch for the double knock out.
Game 2: I led Hitmontop Koko, expecting the same lead, but he led Porygon2 + Incin and went for U-turn + Trick Room. He didn’t bring Ray, so he had trouble dealing with my Groudon + Hitmontop.
WW – 2-0 (4-0)
Game 1: Fearing a VenuDon lead, I led Koko Groudon with Yveltal and Hitmontop in the back. She led Zapdos and Lunala with Groudon and Lele in the back. I switched Groudon to Yveltal and Volt Switched Groudon back in, but she Z-Moved my incoming Groudon with Lunala, leaving it with around 5% of its HP. I was able to Snarl spam the next couple turns to stall out her Tailwind. Then, I set up my own Tailwind, brought in Groudon, and was able to sweep the game from there.
Game 2: I was still afraid of VenuDon, so I led Koko Groudon with Yveltal and Hitmontop in the back. She led Zapdos and Lunala with Groudon and Lele in the back once again. I Fire Punched Zapdos and Volt Switched off Lunala into Yveltal, as she went for Gigavolt Havoc with her Zapdos into my incoming Yveltal. With Yveltal gone, I couldn’t deal with Lele and Lunala.
Game 3: I assumed that she would lead the same thing and that one of the Pokémon she was leading had Roar, but I thought that pressuring the Trick Room would be enough, so I led with Yveltal Stakataka. She made a smart play T1 and didn’t use a Z-Move, instead going for Thunderbolt into my Protecting Yveltal, but Rock Slide did half to Zapdos and broke Shadow Shield before I got Roared out into Groudon. Next turn, I switched Yveltal to Koko expecting to take a Gigavolt Havoc, but she Z-moved with Lunala and Heat Waved to knock out my Groudon. At one point, she had Lele and Groudon out and went for Nature’s Madness + Precipice Blades and missed everything, so I feel bad about that, but I was able to get the win.
WLW – 3-0 (6-1)
Round 4: Ryan Loseto
Game 1: I led Gengar Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back and he led Rayquaza and Aegislash with Xerneas and Tapu Fini in the back. I found out his Ray was Assault Vest with Earth Power, which was hard to deal with because I brought four Pokémon weak to Ground. I was able to knock out Rayquaza, though, and caught his Aegislash on a turn he didn’t King’s Shield to get the win.
Game 2: I led Gengar Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back, and he led Rayquaza and Aegislash with Xerneas and Tapu Fini in the back. This game, he did a better job of preserving his Rayquaza, which made things tougher for me. I was playing this game way safer than I needed to, since I was up a game and kept talking myself out of plays that could swing momentum in my favor. In the end game, I made a stupid throw because I didn’t expect his Scald Fini to be slower than my Groudon, where I should’ve had an easy win if I went for Gyro Ball into his Fini.
Game 3: I led Gengar Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back and he led Rayquaza and Aegislash with Xerneas and Tapu Fini in the back. I went for Sub early on, but he doubled Gengar. He missed an important Nature’s Madness into my Stakataka, though, which allowed me to Wide Guard in the end game, protecting my Koko and knocking out his Ray.
WLW – 4-0 (8-2)
Game 1: I led Tapu Koko Gengar with Stakataka Groudon in the back. He led Tapu Fini Rayquaza with Xerneas Incineroar in the back. I found out his Ray was AV, which gave me a bit of trouble again, but once I took care of it, it was pretty smooth sailing.
Game 2: I led Tapu Koko Gengar with Stakataka Groudon in the back. He led Amoonguss Rayquaza with Incineroar Tapu Fini in the back. I had a lot of trouble dealing with his Amoonguss and Rayquaza together, because he could just throw out Earth Powers and Rage Powders to protect his Ray while I struggled to get damage down.
Game 3: I led Tapu Koko Gengar with Groudon Stakataka in the back. He led Rayquaza Amoonguss with Tapu Fini Incineroar in the back. This game was weird; I don’t remember too much from it. I could tell that I wasn’t playing my best and was clicking my moves way too fast. I got Trick Room up and remember not predicting a pretty obvious U-turn and getting frustrated by it. On the last turn of Trick Room, I had Koko Groudon out vs Incin Ray and locked in double Protect way too fast. After doing that, I thought that I should have predicted his Ray to switch to Fini. He doesn’t switch, though, and next turn I get a double KO with Twinkle Tackle and Blades.
We both talk about how poorly we played that game afterward, and I try to clear my head so I can focus next round.
Game 1: I realized his only Pokémon threatening to knock out my Yveltal was Mawile, so I led Yveltal Groudon with Koko and Hitmontop in the back. He led Necrozma Lele with Groudon and Mawile in the back. I was able to comfortably live the double-up into Yveltal T1 and get Tailwind up to sweep with Yveltal and Groudon.
Game 2: I led Groudon Yveltal with Koko and Hitmontop in the back. He led Smeargle Mawile with Necrozma and Groudon in the back. He didn’t have Wide Guard on his Smeargle, so it was pretty easy for my Groudon to get lots of damage down and use Koko to block Sleep and threaten Necrozma.
WW 6-0 (12-3)
This wasn’t a real set. We were both playing for information.
WW 7-0 (14-3)
I had information about his team, but the biggest question was the item on his Fini. I was told it was Z-Move, so I assumed Waterium.
Game 1: I led Yveltal Gengar with Groudon Hitmontop in the back and he led Rayquaza Tapu Fini with Groudon Incineroar in the back. T1, I went for Substitute and Foul Play into his Rayquaza because it covered all of his options. He Protected his ray and revealed that the Fini was Normalium Z with Nature Power, which knocked out my Yveltal. I was able to bring in Hitmontop and take care of Rayquaza with a couple of hits from my Gengar and close out the game with Groudon.
Game 2: I led Yveltal Gengar with Groudon Hitmontop in the back and he led Rayquaza Tapu Fini with Groudon Incineroar in the back. My plan was to do the exact same thing, because he wouldn’t expect it, and it worked out nicely, as I was able to get a KO onto his Rayquaza T1 to then close out the game with my remaining Pokémon.
WW 8-0 (16-3)
I was disappointed when I heard Jeremy Odena had a game loss in top 8, because I had a better matchup against him and it would have been fun to play him for our invites.
Game 1: I led Yveltal Koko with Groudon Stakataka in the back and he led Kangaskhan Groudon with Xerneas Incineroar in the back. He had a lot of offensive pressure from the start, and it was hard for me to deal with, so I lost this one pretty quickly.
Game 2: I led Gengar Yveltal with Groudon Hitmontop in the back and he led Kangaskhan Groudon with Xerneas Incineroar in the back. On T2, he went for the Bite flinch on my Yveltal while I was going for Tailwind, and he was able to just sweep through me after that.
LL 8-1 (16-5)
Overall, I was satisfied with this result and glad I finally had something to show for the team.
Going into round one, I remember being incredibly nervous in general. Then I saw I was playing against Liam, who I remember seeing get top 8 at the 2019 Oceania Internationals, which made me even more nervous. After seeing team preview, some of that went away. In my opinion, one of this team’s best match-ups is XRay, and seeing as how there wasn’t a Landorus or Tapu Koko, I felt even better about the match-up.
Game 1: I brought Gengar and Koko as my lead with Groudon and Stakataka in the back, while he led with Smeargle and Xerneas with Rayquaza in the back. I switched out Koko because I knew that if I could get Stakataka in against those two and break Smeargle’s Sash, then Stakataka could set up Trick Room or go straight for the Gyro Ball into Xerneas to pick up the KO. Looking back on it, it was risky to go for a Sludge Bomb into Smeargle, because if it had gotten Poisoned, then Liam would’ve gotten a free switch-in. Luckily, it didn’t, and I was able to knock out Xerneas and win from there.
Game 2: He brought Smeargle and Rayquaza as a lead while I brought the same thing as last time. I decided to go for a Sub on Gengar and Protect with Koko, fearing a Fake Out and thinking that if he wasn’t Earth Power Rayquaza then it would have to hit me with a Dragon’s Ascent and lower its stats to break Gengar’s Sub. He went for the double up on my Tapu Koko with Fake Out and Earth Power, allowing Gengar to get a free Sub up, and I forget what happened from there, but I know I Poisoned his Xerneas with Sludge Bomb (possibly the turn he went for a Geomancy). I don’t remember if it mattered or not, because I had Stakataka in the back, but gg’s to Liam.
Seeing the same team Tommy used to win Hartford Regionals made me feel a little more confident going into the match, because I knew what he had used, but I also hadn’t practiced against it much at all, so there was that. We shook hands and the game began.
Game 1: I led with Yveltal and Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back. I think he led with Salamence and Lele, and first turn made a double switch into Groudon and Stakataka. I don’t remember how it happened, but we got into a situation where we each had Groudon and Stakataka using Wide Guard and Swords Dancing to be able to knock out the opposing Stakataka with Fire Punch. I think I called him not Wide Guarding and maybe switching out Stakataka so it didn’t go down to a Fire Punch, so I decided to use Precipice Blades, and it worked, knocking out Tommy’s Groudon and winning me the game.
Game 2: The endgame was the same with Groudon and Stakataka on either side of the field, but I think it was more in my favor this time, and because of that I was able to win.
This was someone who I hadn’t heard of before, but looking at their team, I was scared. I had never practiced against Double Primal this season, and seeing both Tapu Koko and Whimsicott made Yveltal very worried.
Game 1: I led with Yveltal and Hitmontop with Groudon and Tapu Koko in the back, thinking that any control was going to be super important for this match-up, while he led with Tapu Koko and Whimsicott with Kyogre and Groudon in the back. Turn 1, I Faked Out Koko and Tailwinded with Yveltal as he Tailwinded with Whimsicott. Then, I Protected with Yveltal and switched out Hitmontop, wanting to get Groudon in to do some damage and not wanting to get hit by a Fairy-type attack while he went for a Volt Switch into Yveltal and Moonblasted the Hitmontop slot. I don’t remember what happened next, but I know that at some point in that game, Yveltal lived a Fairium Z from Whimsicott from full health with 5 HP, which was what I needed to win.
Game 2: I led with Hitmontop and Tapu Koko with Groudon and Yveltal in the back while he brought the same things. This game, I wanted to get rid of Whimsicott due to its Fairium Z as soon as possible, because I figured out last game that Tapu Koko didn’t have Life Orb, so I didn’t consider it as much of a threat. I used Feint with Hitmontop and Fairium Z from Koko into Whimsicott while it Protected, which got speed control out of the way for me and made the rest of the game easier.
I had played against Andrew many times on ladder and in PS tournaments before, which gave me some idea of how he played. It definitely helped in this match-up.
Game 1: I honestly cannot remember what Andrew’s last Pokemon was for the life of me, but I felt totally safe leading Koko and Yveltal, because it threatened both of his restricted Pokémon and because, even if he led Stakataka, I could just switch out into Hitmontop or Groudon.
Andrew brought Rayquaza, Incineroar, Tapu Fini, and Stakataka with Rayquaza as a lead, which immediately got the mind games going regarding whether he would Protect or switch out Rayquaza to avoid the Fairium Z or not. He decided to play passively from the start, which allowed me to switch some things around and get into a better position, calling that he would play that way. Later on in the game, his Rayquaza had very close to the amount of HP that made it look like Fairium would KO through Protect. It didn’t and instead lived on a few HP, which made things intense, but I was able to play around that and won.
Game 2: This game went pretty similarly to how the first one did, but this time, he brought Lunala over Stakataka while I brought the same things. It got to the point where it was Tapu Fini and Rayquaza vs my Groudon and Tapu Koko in the last turn of TR. Groudon was at +2 Attack, which meant it could KO Tapu Fini from the health it was at with Precipice Blades, and Tapu Koko had Protected the turn before, so I was confident he would Protect Rayquaza because it couldn’t KO Tapu Koko without some chip. I decided to go for the double Protect, hoping that I would get that or hit Precipice Blades. Groudon missed and Tapu Koko didn’t get the double Protect, which brought us to a game 3.
Game 3: We both brought the same things as last game. Going into the third game, I was thinking most about how to get rid of Rayquaza, because if I got it out of the way, then Groudon could be on the field and not be threatened by a Water-type attack from Tapu Fini. I played to having both Hitmontop and Tapu Koko on the field, and I got to Feint and Fairium Z into Rayquaza, which pretty much sealed up the game.
Going into team preview, I was very happy to see Zapdos as one of Jung’s Pokemon. Cedric and I had been testing it before Worlds, and I thought it definitely had a place in the meta-game, so it was cool to see it being used by someone else.
Game 1: I led Koko and Yveltal with Groudon and Hitmontop in the back, while he led with Rayquaza and Zapdos with Kyogre and Tapu Fini in the back. I didn’t know if his Zapdos was Timid Electrium Z or not, although I should’ve if I was thinking about whose ability went off first, so I decided to switch out Yveltal into Hitmontop while I Volt Switched with Koko back into Yveltal. He went for Tailwind with Zapdos and Earth Power into what was now the Yveltal slot. He switched out Ray into Fini while I Faked Out Zapdos and went for a Tailwind myself. Then, I think I switched out Hitmontop into Koko, because I didn’t like just leaving it there, and Snarled as he set up a Light Screen with Zapdos and used Icy Wind with Fini. I forget what happens from here on, but I think I risked it and tried to attack with Tapu Koko against a Kyogre and Tapu Fini while being Icy Winded. Kyogre ended up being faster and knocked out Koko, winning him the game.
Game 2: This time, I had a lot of info to go on: Kyogre being faster than Koko after an Icy Wind, Ray being AV, Zapdos having Sitrus, and Fini having Heal Pulse, Haze, and Icy Wind. I played a lot better knowing all of that and was able to match Tailwinds, position Koko well, and make sure I always either had Hitmontop and or Koko on the field, which let me go on the offensive or play defensively. I Fairium Z’ed his Ray after doing enough chip damage, which allowed me to bring Groudon in, and thankfully I either Protected or knocked out Kyogre when I found out that it was also Scald Fini, so I didn’t lose Groudon and was able to win.
Game 3: A few turns into this game and it time was called, making it sudden death. Luckily, I was able to get a knock out on one of his Pokemon right before we learned it was sudden death, and for the next few turns, I was able to keep my Pokemon safe from being knocked out, which won me the game.
The only thing I knew about Yusei was that he had been stream, which gave me just a little bit of info on what he was using.
Game 1: I predicted him not to lead with Xerneas after seeing how many answers I had to it in team preview. So, I led with Yveltal Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back while he led with Crobat Incineroar with Xerneas and Metagross in the back. Turn 1, he Faked Out my Koko and went for a Super Fang onto Yveltal, expecting me to be AV, which allowed me to get up a
Tailwind and basically win from there.
Game 2: I fully expected him to either lead with Xerneas or try to get it into a good position as soon as possible, so I brought Gengar and Groudon as my lead with Stakataka and Yveltal in the back. I don’t remember what he brought, exactly, but he did try to get Xerneas set up and never got the chance to.
I was not looking forward to this set because the XernDon match-up was one that was hardest for me to understand with this team, and there was also a Tapu Koko, so I wasn’t really looking forward to Speed ties, either.
Game 1: I led with Hitmontop and Gengar with Stakataka and Groudon in the back vs his Groudon and Tapu Koko with Xerneas and Salamence in the back. He protected Groudon while I Faked Out into it and I won the Speed tie with his Koko, knocking it out right away. He brought in Salamence, so I decided to go for an Icy Wind and Wide Guard play, because then I wouldn’t get knocked out by Blades. If he went for a Double-Edge onto Hitmontop, then I could just bring in my Groudon and start using my own Blades. He went for a Tailwind and Fire Punch into Gengar, which did not knock it out. I went for Wide Guard and Icy Wind again, because Gengar is faster than Groudon, so he would have to knock Gengar out by using Double-Edge, which I was fine with as that meant if Hitmontop got hit I could bring it next to either Groudon or Stakataka. Gengar goes down to Double-Edge and Hitmontop gets hit by Fire Punch, which won me the game.
Game 2: I brought the same things while he led with Groudon and Salamence with Xerneas and Incineroar in the back. I don’t recall much of what happened this game, but I know it played out similarly to how game 1 did. It got to a point where it was Stakataka with less than 30 HP vs just Salamence, I think, and on the last turn, either Stakataka knocked it out with Gyro Ball or it got crit by a Hyper Voice, bringing us to a game 3.
Game 3: This game also played out similarly to how the others did. There was this crucial turn where I switched in Hitmontop at full HP against Salamence and Groudon and it got crit by Double-Edge, which set me back a lot. During the last 3 turns of the game, I realized that both of our Groudon Speed tied, which threw me off. Due to that, I predicted his Groudon to Protect on the last turn of TR, because mine was at 40 HP, so I thought he would think I would want to Protect and not risk the Speed tie. So, I went for an SD, and now it was my Groudon and Gengar vs his Xerneas and Groudon. I Protected with Groudon and went for an Icy Wind with Gengar, hoping and predicting him not to go for a Geo, and he didn’t. Last turn of the game, I go for a +2 Precipice Blades and it just misses the KO on Xerneas after taking an Icy Wind.
It was cool seeing Brandon again after playing against him in the NAIC. Cedric and I had just been watching the stream, and it was Gavin Michaels vs Kazuki Kobayashi. Kazuki was using a similar team to ours, and we saw that Groudon and Jumpluff were giving him trouble. Then we thought about how our Groudon and Jumpluff/Venusaur match up, is and it didn’t look great. After talking with Brandon before our game, hearing that he was using the same team he used at NAIC really worried me, because he was using VenuDon.
Game 1: Cedric and I decided that our best chance of winning was leading Stakataka and Hitmontop with Groudon and possibly Tapu Koko for Electric Terrain in the back. For the first game, I decided to try what I usually do against XernDon, hoping he wouldn’t lead Groudon and Venusaur, which really wasn’t the best choice, because he did lead with them. The only reason I was able to win was because he missed two Sleep Powders and a Precipice Blades on Gengar. I felt really bad for that, but I guess we take those.
Game 2: This time, I decided to try what Cedric and I had discussed, and I had to hope he wasn’t Swords Dance Groudon. Turn 1, I Faked Out Venusaur and used TR while he used Precipice Blades and missed on Stakataka but hit on Hitmontop, which was the worst case scenario for him. I brought Groudon in and went for Gyro Ball on Venusaur and Precipice Blades. He switched out Venusaur into Salamence and Protected with Groudon. I don’t recall how the rest of it went, but him missing the Precipice Blades earlier mattered, and if he had hit it, I think he would’ve won. Hax really sucks sometimes, but I was super happy and excited to have made it to Day 2 of Worlds for my second year in a row.
I was really excited to see Umbreon in this match, especially since I don’t think I’d ever seen it used in battle before. I didn’t have any idea what to expect from it, though, which worried me.
Game 1: I led Yveltal Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back. He led with Tapu Lele and Umbreon with Groudon and Salamence in the back. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this lead, but I definitely didn’t expect a Helping Hand from Umbreon. Thankfully, he targeted Tapu Koko with Moonblast instead of Yveltal, so I was able to get Tailwind up. I brought Groudon in and went for Foul Play and Precipice Blades while he switched in Salamence and Foul Played Groudon. I don’t remember how most of the game went, but I went for an SD on the last turn of TR, which meant I was able to knock out Umbreon next turn.
Game 2: This time, I planned for the Lele Umbreon lead and led with Stakataka and Yveltal with Groudon and Hitmontop in the back while he brought the same things as last time. I Protected Yveltal and went for TR with Stakataka as he switched out Lele for Groudon and Foul Played Stakataka. A lot of Foul Plays went around, and in the end, I had Hitmontop to beat Umbreon.
Last time Justin and I played was at the 2019 Roanoke Regionals in the last round of Swiss, which I lost, so I wanted to win even more. This was going to be a very tough set, but I was looking forward to it.
Game 1: I led with Yveltal and Tapu Koko with Groudon and Hitmontop in the back while he led with Solgaleo and Incineroar with Rayquaza and Tapu Fini in the back. Turn one, I Protected Yveltal and switched out Koko into Hitmontop while he used Fake Out into Yveltal and used Solganium Z into what was now the Hitmontop slot. It lived, and I got to switch out into something. I put on a lot of pressure and was able to win the game from there.
Game 2: I led with Hitmontop and Koko with Groudon and Yveltal in the back while he led with Snorlax and Persian with Rayquaza and Tapu Fini in the back. I had to be careful in this game and try to always have Fake Out or Yveltal on the field in case Snorlax went for a Belly Drum. He was Stockpile Snorlax, which made things tricky. I got it down as close as I could without activating Berry, and it lived with what seemed like 1 HP in the end, thus taking us to a game 3.
Game 3: I led with Gengar and Yveltal with Koko and Hitmontop in the back while he brought the same things. After knowing that Snorlax didn’t have a way to hit Gengar, I felt that bringing it was a good idea. Having Gengar meant that I could keep Snorlax trapped in while I took care of everything else. It came down to Yveltal and Gengar vs Snorlax in the end, which was exactly what I wanted.
Edu and I had played before in the Summer Scramble, and looking at team preview, I saw there was a Pokémon difference with Aerodactyl over Salamence. Most teams like this have Earth Power Groudon, but when we played in the Scramble, he had Swords Dance on Groudon, which I hoped was still the case for this match-up.
Game 1: I led Hitmontop and Genger with Stakataka and Groudon in the back while he led with Groudon and Incineroar with Aerodactyll in the back. I went with what I normally use against most XernDon teams, not fully considering how different the match-up is with Aerodactyl. Somewhere in this match, I found out that he was Earth Power Groudon, so Wide Guard wouldn’t stop it, meaning his Groudon was pretty much free to just attack me. I didn’t play it the best, but I also don’t think there was much I could have done differently this game.
Game 2: I led with Yveltal Gengar with Groudon and Hitmontop in the back while he led with Groudon and Xerneas with Aerodactyl and Incineroar in the back. I felt pretty comfortable just going for an Icy Wind and Snarl, thinking that even if he used Geomancy I would lower it’s Sp. Atk and Groudon’s Speed, so my Groudon would be in a good position. He switched out Xerneas, which I felt was even better for me. I think I played very well this game, and the end game came down to Groudon and Aero against my Groudon, Hitmontop and Yveltal. He crit Yveltal with a Rock Slide, and on the last turn, because he hadn’t revealed Wide Guard before, I didn’t think he would have it, which lost me the game. I should’ve gone for a Feint + Blades play anyway, because there weren’t any drawbacks to it, so that one’s on me.
After seeing Cedric lose to a Xernala yesterday, I thought about the match-up a lot, and to me, it seemed extremely difficult with the match-up being in their favor.
Game 1: I led Gengar Hitmontop with Groudon and Yveltal in the back while he led with Kang and Lunala with Xerneas and Incineroar in the back. There’s not much to say about this—he played amazingly and I never felt like I was in a position to do much of anything.
Game 2: I led with Gengar Hitmontop with Groudon and Yveltal in the back while he led with Lunala and Xerneas with Incineroar and Kang in the back. Same thing, basically, especially because of his lead. I was able to play better this time, though, after seeing how he played the first game, but it was very tough and I couldn’t see much I could’ve done differently in that game, looking back on it.
After losing both of my last games, I was happy to see a team I felt more comfortable playing against. The Charizard really had me worried, though, seeing as how it’s one Speed faster than Yveltal.
Game 1: I led Yveltal Koko with Groudon and Stakataka in the back while he led with Charizard Lele with Groudon and Dawn-Wings in the back. Seeing him lead Charizard and Lele kinda confused me, because I figured he would want to save Lele’s terrain to protect Charizard, but I went for a Tailwind and Thunderbolt into Charizard, which picked up the KO, giving me a big advantage and making the rest of the game easier.
Game 2: I brought the same Pokémon while he adjusted and brought Smeargle and Stakataka as a lead with Groudon and Lele in the back. I don’t remember playing this game well, but I think I predicted him using Rockium Z, which brought me back into it and I was able to win.
Round 6: Lorenzo Lax – LL
Seeing that I was playing against the person who beat Cedric on the last round of day 1 made me nervous for many reasons, but I was determined to win.
Game 1: I led with Gengar Hitmontop with Groudon and Yveltal in the back while he led with Lunala Xerneas with Kang and Incineroar in the back. I think I played well and got into a position where all my Groudon needed to do was not get flinched by Bite twice at the end of the game and I would’ve won, but he was able to get both flinches, thus winning him the game.
Game 2: I led with Stakataka and Hitmontop with Yveltal and Groudon in the back while he led with Kang and Lunala with Xerneas and Incineroar in the back. I thought that, since he hadn’t led Kangaskhan last game, he wouldn’t this game, either, so I assumed it was worth a shot and I tried bringing Stakataka. To my dismay, he led with Kangaskhan and Lunala, which set me back a ton because I had to preserve Stakataka for Xerneas, which allowed him to capitalize off of that and get into a good position. Any setbacks in this match-up can be deadly, and that’s precisely what happened this game.
I wasn’t in the best mood going into this set, but Hippolyte said let’s just have fun for this match, which helped me. I don’t remember much from any of these matches, but in all of them, I didn’t feel like I played very well.
Game 1: I led with Gengar and Hitmontop with Groudon and Stakataka in the back while he led with Groudon and Salamence with Xerneas and Incineroar in the back. How we approach this match-up went according to plan for the most part, but when I brought Stakataka in at some point, he revealed that it was Earthquake Salamence, which caught me off-guard. There wasn’t
much I could do to stop Salamence at that point.
Game 2: This time, knowing that it was Earthquake Salamence, I brought the same things but played more cautiously. I don’t recall what he brought in this game, but I found out that not only was Groudon a Special variant, but it also had Roar. I think it came down to a prediction of whether would he use Earthquake or not, and I got it right, winning me the game.
Game 3: This next game was really not fun match-up wise. I led with Gengar and Hitmontop with Groudon and Stakataka in the back while he led with Smeargle and Groudon with Salamence and Xerneas in the back. There was close to nothing I could do against that lead, seeing as how I hadn’t brought Yveltal. The Groudon had Earth Power, Eruption, and Roar which gave it lots of ways to get Gengar off the field. There was so much craziness with Smeargle and Moody this game, that at one point he had like +6 Speed, +2 Evasiveness, and +3 Accuracy, among other things. He played really well, though, and deserved to win that game.
And that concludes my Worlds run. I had a great time playing in the tournament and had some amazing sets. Not the place I would’ve liked to finish, but it’s definitely not bad by any means.
I’m really proud of this team and what it’s done for us. I think it was a really great Worlds call. The meta seems to be favoring KangTorn, which is a tough matchup when piloted well, so I think it’s time to step away from the team. I’m still going to look back at this as one of the best and most fun teams I’ve ever built. Looking forward to what the future brings, and I’ll see you all in Sword and Shield! – Cedric
This team is by far my favorite Ultra team, if not one of my most favorite teams in general. Going into Worlds, some things I really wanted to use were Fairium Z Tapu Koko, Icy Wind Gengar, Yveltal, and Hitmontop, so when I saw Cedric using this team and then considering it for Worlds, I knew I wanted to use it. I’m really looking forward to another year of Pokémon, and hope to make some more awesome teams like this one with Cedric. See you all then! – Wesley