Gravnosis Still Works? – A Top 8 Bochum Regionals In-Depth Analysis

Heya!

My name is David Koutesh, but many of you know me under the alias @HamstermaniaVGC on Twitter, where I post screenshots from my long nights on Pokémon Showdown. I try to stay drama free most of the time as I don’t tend to win arguments, so if you’re looking for some good laughs or for notifications of my streams, feel free to hit the follow button.

I’ve achieved numerous strong results over the years (3x day 2 Worlds, 13x top 8 at European Regionals / Specials) with what many of you might call “innovative ideas”, and today, I’m happy to share one of my “innovative teams” with you!

Achievements

  • Top 4 Bochum Regionals
  • Top 8 Bochum Regionals (me)
  • Top 16 Bochum Regionals
  • 2x Top 32 Bochum Regionals

Teambuilding Process

I got the idea for this team while streaming roughly three weeks prior to the event. That day, I faced a Japanese opponent, who lead with Gothitelle and Dusclops. At first, I thought they were just spamming blind Hypnosis. However, what intrigued me that battle was what happened on turn 2, when the opponent used GRAVITY with Dusclops to give Gothitelle a 100% accurate Hypnosis. That, coupled with the fact that I couldn’t switch out my Pokémon due to Gothitelle’s Shadow Tag, was what made me put the team into the Showdown Teambuilder.

All I could remember at that point was that the team had Gothitelle, Dusclops, Rhyperior, and Torkoal. I quickly added Fake Out on Gothitelle so that TR setup with Eviolite max HP max Defense Dusclops was practically impossible to stop. Torkoal was Specs, and Rhyperior carried the ever-common Weakness Policy. I soon realized I needed redirection if I wanted to beat Chandelure or Life Orb Hydreigon, as those Pokémon target Dusclops’ weaker Special Defense (more on that in the Dusclops review). So I added Indeedee, as she could easily remove herself from the field with Healing Wish after her redirection job was over.

First round of testing involved getting a secondary sweep mode, preferably revolving around Dragapult and a Helping Hand user. I settled for Helping Hand Indeedee, as she was already on the team and I didn’t want to remove Pain Split on Dusclops. The mode didn’t work as well as I had hoped, as after Indeedee was removed from the field (serving as a meat shield so that Dragapult could safely set up Dragon Dance), the rest of the team couldn’t do anything outside of Trick Room, resulting in very easy wins for my opponents!

I decided that Togekiss might be good redirector, but kept the Indeedee on the team and went to get food. While I was on my way, I noticed that Togekiss learns Nasty Plot?! When I got back from lunch, I removed Heat Wave from Togekiss and added Nasty Plot instead. Surprisingly, it had very good results! I swept many unprepared teams, yet I was still thinking about possible improvements…

I played around with the last slot for around a week. One Pokémon that definitely deserves a special mention is Butterfree. Buttefree can put A LOT of Pokémon to sleep with little to no effort. Many of these Pokémon are very dangerous for Togekiss’ sweeping potential, like Rotom forms or Duraludon. When I wanted to prevent something like Durant from hitting me, I could just Rage Powder. Yet still I was unsatisfied; Steel-types could be put to sleep, but what if I want to deal damage to them? Togekiss could use Follow Me for redirection as well, so maybe I should remove Buttefree so my team doesn’t have three supporters?

Gyarados was last the last change for the team slot-wise, and it was definitely the correct one! Taunt on Gyarados dealt with annoying setup sweepers like Snorlax, and also completely shut down support Pokémon like Butterfree, Grimmsnarl, and Dusclops. When you combine that with Shadow Tag on Gothitelle, you’re going to see a fair few turn 0 wins! Gyarados also provided Intimidate support, which helped Togekiss deal with threats like Durant and Excadrill. Gyarados didn’t make any previous matchup plans any more complicated, while making most difficult matchups easier to deal with.

Unfortunately, my choice of Gyarados didn’t fully fix three bad matchups. I only realized this the night before tournament, leading to two major changes. These changes were the addition of Clear Smog on Torkoal and adding a bit more Speed to the Togekiss. The new Togekiss set outsped Charizard and Hydreigon at +1, which made my opponents’ matchup much, much harder. I decided to Bottle Cap Torkoal’s Speed, too. With the Cap, it reached 36 raw speed. At +1, that’s 54 speed, and this magical Speed number would allow me to outspeed any Snorlax in the tournament. Remember that fact, as we’re going to come back to it in team matchup session!

Now, onto the introductions of each individual member, where I’ll try to make YOU understand the power of this team!

The Team

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Rental Code

žena (Gothitelle) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Hypnosis
– Trick Room
– Brick Break

Before I start discussing this Pokémon, I need to address that the EVs don’t make much sense. Despite that, after playing over 500 games with this team, I never felt the need to adapt it to some dangerous threat, so I just kept it as it is. Focus Sash is an interesting item choice. I never quite pinpointed what was so good about it, yet it proved very useful in so many situations (and not just in Bo1, surprisingly)! It simply lived and did its magic, which brings me to the next point: Hypnosis. This move, along with Dusclops’ Gravity support, completely redefines how you should approach hard Trick Room. I played a lot of people who were confident in their Trick Room matchups, but once I started clicking Hypnosis, they were quickly overwhelemed—especially if +2 Attack Rhyperior was running wild on top of that. Fake Out is another invaluable move, and I doubt the team would work as well without it. It forces the opponent to take on Dusclops 1v1. That almost always guarantees Trick Room, which allows me to fall back on the plan mentioned above (Gravnosis). Brick Break procs my Rhyperior’s Weakness Policy, and if you’re thinking that it might also help against dual screen teams… no need, just spam Hypnosis! Gothitelle also has a Trick Room of its own, which allowed me to play mind games with my opponent. Sure, they may be able to OHKO my Dusclops by using Helping Hand and a STAB super effective move, but that could give me a TR with Gothitelle + a free switch to Rhyperior… which means, you guessed it: GGWP.


lehni! (Dusclops) @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Will-O-Wisp
– Gravity
– Trick Room
– Bulldoze

Ah, Dusclops, one of the most unbreakable Pokémon I’ve ever used. Max HP and max Defense allows it to take Adamant max Attack LO Max Phantasm from Dragapult, which is very important, since Gothitelle’s Fake Out takes care of the opponent’s other Pokémon. With Frisk, I can reconsider my game plan on the go. Where is the Life Orb? Oh, that Pokémon has a Choice Band? Simply invaluable! Gravity is a key move, as with it, Gothitelle’s Hypnosis becomes 100% accurate. Another side effect was that Rhyperior could simply spam Max Quake without worrying about immunities from pesky things like Corviknight, which might otherwise attempt to switch-juggle me. Will-O-Wisp allowed me to take on Rhyperior mirrors with much higher confidence. Another Pokémon that really dislikes being Burned is Mudsdale, an otherwise very problematic Pokémon if not for Gyarados’ presence. Trick Room + Bulldoze alongside Rhyperior is self-explanatory.


deslimáktor (Torkoal) @ Charcoal
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Eruption
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Clear Smog

While I was testing the team, my choice of item on this lava tortoise was Choice Specs, as this allowed me to 2HKO most of the metagame without much issue. However, I later found out that changing moves while staying in grants me even better board control. With Charcoal, I still get very important KOs on things like specially defensive Corviknight, but now I’m also able to respond to my opponent trying to get out of bad spots by switching into to something like Gastrodon. Solar Beam is a guaranteed OHKO on Gastrodon, but unfortunately, most of them carry Rindo Berry. It’s not really about OHKOing the sea slug, though, it’s about sending a message and putting them in Max Quake range! The Speed investment (or rather, the 31 Speed IVs) allowed Torkoal to outspeed any Snorlax after a Max Airstream boost, pressuring it with my Clear Smog. Unfortunately, I did not face a single Snorlax at Bochum, making the last move slot completely useless. I heard from others that there were plenty of Snorlax to Clear Smog at the tournament, though, so maybe I just got unlucky. Oof.


jatka (Rhyperior) @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
Level: 50
EVs: 44 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 196 SpD / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide
– High Horsepower
– Protect

Rhyperior is an amazing Trick Room sweeper. What I’m surprised about is that not too many players go heavy on the Special Defense investment, as that is Rhyperior’s weak point and entry point for KOs from moves like Hydro Pump or Flash Cannon. This Rhyperior spread might not have the same physical survivability other Rhyperior do, but I reach 225 raw Special Defense after Sand + Max Quake’s Special Defense boost. Normal Rhyperior sets only reach 135 Special Defense after both boosts. Noticeable difference, huh? Weakness Policy as the item of choice is self-explanatory, as I’ve got Weakness Policy-proccing moves on both of my Trick Room setters. Both of them are actually slower than Rhyperior, as I have 28 Speed invested. That way, our mining rhino achieves 64 Speed while our min Speed value Relaxed Gothitelle reaches 63. It can then proc the Weakness Policy with Brick Break in Trick Room, and I can wreak chaos with Rhyperior. I’ve seen a lot of players who prefer to have Fire coverage on Rhyperior to better handle Steel-type Pokémon. For me, this was irrelevant, as the most common Steel-type Pokémon that might cause me trouble is Corviknight. Corviknight gets smacked down by Gravity… which allows my Rhyperior to demolish it in one shot, even if the bird Dynamaxes. With High Horsepower, I get a more powerful single-target move, allowing Rhyperior to synergize better with Torkoal. I also have two speedy fliers, so it felt only natural to keep the classic Ground-type move, Earthquake, on the moveset.


pozor (Togekiss) @ Scope Lens
Ability: Super Luck
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 92 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Air Slash
– Dazzling Gleam
– Follow Me
– Heat Wave

This happy blob with wings allowed me to take care of things which are otherwise tricky for my main two Trick Room setters to handle, such as LO Dynamax Chandelure and LO Dynamax Hydreigon. Not only do these two threats get redirected, but in Hydreigon’s case, my opponent being prevented from switching out in front of Togekiss might just cause an instant game loss! If I ever see a Pokémon with a super effective move against the Trick Room setters I’m bringing to the game AND an ally with Helping Hand, Togekiss should be able to prevent my opponent from KOing my Dusclops in one hit (or Gothitelle in two). Where this Togekiss truly excels, though, is in its ability to tear through unprepared teams with its almost flawless coverage, boosted by its STAB and the Scope Lens + Super Luck combination, which gives it a terrifying 50% crit chance! This caught a lot of people off guard and won me a game or two which I would not have otherwise been able to win, while also being amazing at countering Snarl spam Arcanine (since crits ignore stat drops). The Speed EVs allow me to outspeed Charizard and Hydreigon after a Max Airstream, making both of these matchups much, much easier. Max HP coupled with the Defense investment allows me to take -1 Max Steelspike from LO Durant in combination with max Special Attack Modest Chandelure Shadow Ball, again lifting a bit of the pressure this combination would exert on my team otherwise. The rest of the investment was put in Special Attack. Heat Wave is for Corviknight.


NE (Gyarados) @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Taunt
– Waterfall
– Power Whip
– Earthquake

Gyarados was meant to be the glue that made the team stick together, and it certainly had the gluey perks to do so! Intimidate allows me to disrupt physical attackers in general, but most importantly, it gives me a fighting chance against Durant teams, especially if they have Chandelure alongside it. Taunt can be used to shut down supporters which might Taunt me or Burn me, but in reality, its mostly just there for Buttefree. If you trap a taunted Buttefree with Shadow Tag, you probably win. The Taunt also probably has more niche uses like Taunting Imprison, which can be game changing, since not too many players expect it. Earthquake is quite good on Gyarados. After a Special Defense boost from Max Quake, Max Lightning from AV Duraludon does a pathetic 55%. That said, Earthquake is mainly used for its spread when not Dynamaxed, which allows Mr. Sea Shrimp to KO multiple things at once and, most importantly, pick off glass cannons after their Sash is broken (like Chandelure). You’re probably going to get Speed boosts via Max Airstream, so why not capitalize on it? Life Orb is another interesting choice; it allowed my Max Quake to OHKO non-Dynamax Duraludon and my Max Overgrowth to OHKO any Rotom-Wash or Gastrodon (even through Rindo Berry in the latter case). Of course, the surprise factor made this choice more powerful, as an unexpected Dynamax (when I lead next to a TR setter) + Max Geyser + the Life Orb boost KOs more things than the average opponent expects.

Team Preview

If you see any of the following Pokémon or combinations thereof in team preview, consult this guide on how to beat them:

  • + Pokémon that learns Helping Hand / + Pokémon that learns Helping Hand
  • + Pokémon than can use Max Airstream


If they have a Chandelure, it usually means the opponent’s matchup against Trick Room is bad, awful, or straight-up horrible. It probably has Imprison. It might not have it, but you’ve got game 1 to figure it out. If it doesn’t have Imprison, just lead Togekiss + Gothitelle/Dusclops and you’ll sweep the opponent’s team with your Trick Room mode. For game 1, I recommend leading with Gothitelle and Togekiss to scout the Chandelure’s moves, with Rhyperior and Gyarados in the back. Go for Max Airstream and try to switch to Gyarados if there’s a threat like Durant on the field. You will tank Shadow Ball + Max Steelspike guaranteed! The Gyarados and Togekiss combo resulted in many wins against Chandelure for me, as Earthquake on Gyarados was able to pick off Chandelure after its Focus Sash had been used up.

/ + Pokémon that learns Helping Hand
When paired with Helping Hand, both of these Pokémon are able to OHKO Dusclops. Don’t make the mistake of Faking Out their Whimsicott or whatever support they have, instead try to set up Trick Room with Gothitelle or, if you’re feeling lucky, go for blind Hypnosis. 😛 Leading with Togekiss solves the problem with Dragapult 100% of the time, so that’s my recommended plan when going up against it for all games of a Bo3, but don’t be scared to play risky there are other threats to worry about!


Do NOT lead with Dusclops + Gothitelle. Instead, lead with Togekiss + Gothitelle. Go for Follow Me if you believe Rhyperior is able to sweep in TR. If you’re feeling lucky, you could go for Max Airstream so that Togekiss outspeeds Hydreigon next turn and OHKOs it. If you brought Gyarados in the back, it will be able to provide Intimidate support and powerful coverage moves which deal with pesky threats to Togekiss like Rotom-Wash and Excadrill.

 + Max Airstream
 Don’t lead with Gyarados; it’s just going to be put to Sleep and you’ll lose. Lead with the standard Gothitelle + Dusclops instead. Fake Out the Buttefree turn 1 and set up Trick Room. Proceed with the standard flowchart from there!


I highly recommend leading with Gothitelle and having Gyarados in the back, as it completely walls Hippowdon and is able to 2HKO it after a Stockpile boost or even OHKO it if it was Faked Out turn 1.

Common Leads

+ / +

If you don’t see any bad MU approaching and the opponent doesn’t have a particularly meta team, just go with this and try to go for a sweep full of slumber! Also, try to scout for Whimsicott’s or other Pokémon’s moves so you don’t get surprised or countered in game 2 or 3.


+ or / + or

Togekiss + TR setter guarantees Trick Room with greater reliability than the dual TR setter lead. This is described in more detail in the team preview section. Gyarados might seem like a silly choice since we lead with a Trick Room setter, but the fact that you as a reader felt it was silly is exactly why it’s such powerful backup. After all, you didn’t expect Togekiss to Dynamax, have Intimidate support, AND go for a Max Airstream to boost the Speed of itself and its partner Gyarados. This ends games fairly quickly if the opponent chose the wrong lead, especially if you lead with Gothitelle to prevent his or her Pokémon from switching out! If you doubt this game plan, just go with Torkoal instead. It’s probably going to work out.

Core Combinations

Core combinations are best described by going through my practically flawless flowcharts—my signature ability!

Sand Braviary | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
This team attempts to use Braviary’s Ability, Defiant, and Max Airstream to muscle through opposing teams. It also has a Sand mode and carries Dracovish, with its legendarily powerful Fishious Rend. The team further has Rotom-Mow to annoy opponents with Burns, Thunderbolt, and the coverage move corresponding to its form of home appliance. Its hard Trick Room counter-strategy consists of either going Excadrill Tyranitar (EQ to proc Weakness Policy, then kill everything) or simple reversal of Trick Room by way of the last member, Mimikyu. With its Disguise ability and access to Max Phantasm, you have to be careful of how you approach it. It’s the team’s best chance against my composition, so I’ll cover how to deal with it in flowchart below!
Game Plan
ALL PLANS INVOLVE NOT GOING FOR THE EASY GOTHCLOPS LEAD, BECAUSE TAUNT MIMIKYU MIGHT APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE. TOGEKISS COVERS THIS OPTION GUARANTEED, WHICH MEANS ALL PLANS ALSO WORK AGAINST TAUNT MIMIKYU VARIANTS!
Bring: Togekiss + Dusclops / Rhyperior + Gyarados
Opp’s lead: Excadrill + Tyranitar

  • Turn 1: Opp goes for double Rock Slide, guaranteed. Click Follow Me and go for Trick Room!
  • Turn 2: Your opponent probably flinched you. No problem, just switch to Gyarados. This allows you to take Iron Head from Excadrill + Max Darkness from TTar.
  • Turn 3: Switch Gyarados for Rhyperior and Will-O-Wisp the TTar. Dusclops probably faints here.
  • Turn 4: Go for Max Quake into the Excadrill and Earthquake with Gyarados, proccing your Weakness Policy (you’ll survive Max Rockfall, as Tyranitar should be Burned and at -2 Attack).
  • Turn 5: Sweep with Rhyperior. You can let Gyarados go down at this point, as Rhyperior sweeps. Pay attention to the Trick Room turns, however. You need to be able to KO Dracovish in Trick Room or have Togekiss ready to redirect the mighty Fishious Rend!

Opp’s lead: Mimikyu + Braviary

  • Turn 1: Pretty obvious Trick Room or Taunt. Go for Max Airstream into Mimikyu to break its Disguise and switch to Rhyperior. Worst case: opp doesn’t set up Trick Room for you.
  • Turn 2: Rock Slide and KO the Mimikyu. You might want to Protect Rhyperior as there is a quite probable Will-O-Wisp coming its way.
  • Turn 3: Dracovish could be coming in. Braviary is faster and will give it another Speed boost before you can KO Dracovish with Max Starfall, which means you’ll lose Rhyperior. Switch Rhyperior for Dusclops and use Max Starfall!
  • Turn 4: Follow Me + Trick Room? Heat Wave + Will-O-Wisp? It’s up to you. Finish the game off, and don’t forget Braviary likes to run Lum Berry.

Opp’s lead: Rotom-H + Mimikyu

  • Turn 1: pretty obvious TR reversal + Max Lightning OHKO attempt aimed at Togekiss. Togekiss will survive, though, and with this knowledge, I highly recommend going for Dazzling Gleam + Gravity.
    1. If opp setup TR
  • Turn 2: If opp set up Trick Room, that’s perfect! Go for Dazzling Gleam and Bulldoze to start damaging the Rotom-H!
    1.1 If opp reversed Trick Room
  • Turn 3: Mimikyu now underspeeds your Gyarados and can’t Burn it in time! Go for EQ and set up Trick Room for the last time.
  • Turn 4: Rhyperior sweeps the backup fairly easily.
    1.2 Opp didn’t reverse Trick Room
  • Turn 3: get Rhyperior in and yeet the opponent to the moon!
    2. If opp didn’t setup Trick Room
  • Turn 2: go for Follow Me and Bulldoze to slow down the opponent. Opp KOs Togekiss and Max Lightnings your Dusclops.
    2.1 Opponent didn’t set up Trick Room yet again
  • Turn 3: Mimikyu now underspeeds your Gyarados and can’t Burn it in time! Go for EQ and set up Trick Room for the last time.
  • Turn 4: Rhyperior sweeps the backup fairly easily.
    2.1 Opponent decided to set up Trick Room
  • Turn 3: Yeet the opponent away with the sheer charisma of your +2 tunneling rhino!

Snorlax redirection + TED/TR | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
If you’ve got Togekiss, a free sixth slot, and you fear Trick Room, adding Snorlax is an absolute no-brainer. Unfortunately for us, we’re using Trick Room and, also unfortunately, this is never the main core, so the lead has to also deal with the other four troublemakers your opponent has. Luckily, I’ve developed an easy-to-adapt way to deal with it!
Game Plan
Bring: Togekiss + Dusclops / Torkoal + Rhyperior
Opp’s lead: Snorlax + Togekiss (opp fell into our trap!)

  • Turn 1: Max Airstream the opp’s Togekiss and switch Dusclops for Torkoal. Opponent either Follow Mes (useless play) or Yawns (I’ll cover that) if he or she predicts hard in game 2 or 3. Snorlax Belly Drums.
  • Turn 2: go for Max Starfall, which is a guaranteed KO on Togekiss. With 36 Speed on Torkoal and +1 Speed we outspeed and Clear Smog the Snorlax, Max Strike now only does around 20% to Togekiss. If the opponent Max Guards in order to stall for Yawn, the Misty Field will protect Torkoal from being put to Sleep, giving it another chance to Clear Smog next turn!
  • Turn 3 and on: you should win from here.

HUGE NOTE: consult with other guides for plans vs the rest of the team. Dusclops can be changed for any slot on my team, so don’t be scared of changing it!


TED stuffs (“FARTED”) | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
Ah, the combination of the three best non-TR Pokémon. Dragapult has an incredible 142 base Speed, allowing it to outspeed entire metagame. Togekiss has access to the amazing moves Follow Me and Yawn, which makes opponents think twice about Dynamaxing, and a variety of coverage moves. Excadrill is a Pokémon that can be brought in the back and still pressure quite a number of Pokémon even without Dynamazing, but of course, Dynamaxing it is also an option. The rest of the team consists of either good stuffs (Intimidators, Conk, Rotom) or an additional TR mode (Clops/Zong + Rhyperior). The ARF (Arcanine, Rotom-Wash, Ferrothorn) core also deserves special mention, as it helps the consistency of the team with its Grass Fire Water. But people never fear experimenting with the rest of the team, to the point that you start seeing stuff like Vanilluxe as a filler. Having to counter these three monsters together while trying to deal with the other three slots is always a nightmare. Thus, I had to make special preparations.
Game Plan
Bring: Togekiss Gothitelle / Gyarados Torkoal
Opp’s lead: Togekiss + Dragapult

  • Turn 1: this looks like obvious Yawn spam + Dynamax. Go for Fake Out into Togekiss and Max Starfall the Dragapult. If Starfall crits, it OHKOs. If not, it leaves it in range for Torkoal / Rhyperior to start doing something.

1. Starfall OHKO’d

  • If Exca was brought in: go for Max Starfall into Togekiss and set up Trick Room for Torkoal to finish off things. If Goth fainted, switch in Gyarados, go for Max Airstream to finish off Togekiss, and Waterfall + outspeed the Excadrill! Choose the correct coverage move to deal with your opponent’s backup, and don’t forget you have EQ!
  • If Rotom-W was brought in: go for Max Starfall into Rotom and try to Hypnosis the Togekiss. Rotom can’t really do much, and gets 2HKO’d guaranteed. Next turn, set up Trick Room for Torkoal to ensure your victory! If Goth fainted, switch into Torkoal, which takes Hydro Pump + Air Slash, then Heat Wave + Max Airstream into Togekiss to finish the smiling blob off! Gyarados in the back probably prevails again, as its coverage moves are amazing here.
  • Anything else: similar to Rotom-W. Choose the coverage move, get the 2HKO, set up TR, get Gyara in…

2. Starfall did ~80 and opponent targeted down Gothitelle with Max Phantasm

  • Turn 2: go for Max Airstream to finish off Dragapult. Take the Yawn and let Goth faint! Switch into Torkoal.
  • If opp brought in Exca: switch in Gyarados and Max Airstream. If the opponent wants to win, they have to double up Torkoal with Air Slash + High Horsepower. Next turn, finish off Togekiss with Waterfall and start burning Sleep turns on Togekiss. You take Rock Slide pretty easily. Choose the correct coverage moves to take the game!
  • If opp brought in Rotom: same as the plan above.

Opps lead: Excadrill + Togekiss

  • Turn 1: go for Fake Out + Max Airstream into opp’s Togekiss.
    If opp’s Excadrill Max Steelspiked the Togekiss:
  • Turn 2: go for Max Airstream to finish off Togekiss and try to Hypnosis the Excadrill.
    If opp brings in Arcanine:
  • Turn 3: Earthquake (Arcanine probably Burns you) and set up Trick Room, as opp can’t KO Gothitelle here.
  • Turn 4: EQ again to get off some more chip onto Arcanine. While doing that, start spamming Hypnosis into Arcanine. That should guarantee a somewhat easy Torkoal sweep later on.
  • Turn 5 and on: finish off Arcanine (Eruption does about 35%), Hypnosis the Rotom-W, and Solar Beam it.
    If opp brings in Rotom-W or everything else
  • Turn 3: Power Whip / use the proper coverage into the slot to pressure it heavily. Set up Trick Room in preparation for a Torkoal sweep, if the option feels feasible. You can also go for fast Hypnosis spam as you’ve got +2 speed on Goth.
  • Turn 4 and on: KO things and sleep things.
    If opp’s Excadrill Steelspikes Gothitelle:
  • Turn 2: switch to Gyarados and finish off Togekiss with Max Airstream. Opp shouldn’t do much damage!
  • Turn 3: use your coverage and Speed to sweep the opponent!

ANY OTHER LEAD ISN’T THREATENING


Duraludon Grimm | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
With the help of Grimmsnarl’s dual screen support, lengthened to 8 turns by Light Clay, breaking through will be quite a pickle for most teams. This is further multiplied by Max Steelspike from Duraludon, which also carries Assault Vest. The rest of the team mostly consists of a Water type, such as Dracovish or Gyarados, a Fire type such as Arcanine, and a Grass type such as Rotom-Mow, completing the common Grass Fire Water core. The last two Pokémon I mentioned also learn Will-O-Wisp. This team heavily focuses on bulk, so breaking through it with Sleep and +2 Rhyperior should not be that difficult. Try the game plan I’ve got right below this introduction!
Game Plan
Bring: Dusclops + Gothitelle / Rhyperior + Torkoal
Opp’s Lead: Tyranitar + anything

  • Turn 1: Fake Out the non-TTar slot and Trick Room. If the other Pokémon Dynamaxes, it will still fail to KO Dusclops with Dynamax Move + Crunch. Set up Trick Room.
  • Turn 2: Hypnosis + Gravity.
  • Turn 3: Hypnosis again and switch to Rhyperior. Sweep!

Opp’s Lead: Rotom-Mow + anything

  • Turn 1: opp probably Dynamaxes Rotom, so Fake Out the other slot and set up TR (unless the other slot is TTar).
    If the other slot isn’t TTar:
  • Turn 2: Hypnosis the Rotom-Mow and switch to Torkoal.
    If opp doesn’t KO Torkoal:
  • Turn 3: Hypnosis the Rotom-Mow again and Eruption, preparing for inevitable Rhyperior sweep.
  • Turn 4: you should win from here.
    If opp KOs Torkoal:
  • Turn 3: this is a pretty free sweep with Rhyperior, as Rhyperior takes Max Ovegrowth with Sand / Quake pretty easily.
  • Turn 4: finish off Rotom-Mow with Max Rockfall. Prioritize the Dracovish if it comes in. You take another Leaf Storm!
  • Turn 5: Rotom-Mow is very weak now, so target down the other slot. If it goes for another Leaf Storm it’s at -4 Special Attack and Hypnosis Goth + Gravity Bulldoze should win, funnily enough.

Opp’s Lead: Duraludon (using Max Lightning turn 1) + Grimmsnarl

  • Turn 1: Fake Out Grimmsnarl and let Max Lightning go off. Set up Trick Room.
  • Turn 2: switch Dusclops to Torkoal and Brick Break away both of the opponent’s screens.
    If opp Max Lightnings Torkoal for the KO:
  • Turn 3: bring in Rhyperior, Brick Break it, and get the guaranteed OHKO onto Duraludon (even with Reflect).
  • Turn 4 and on: sweep, and keep in mind that Grimmsnarl’s Foul Play hurts quite a bit!
    If opp Max Steelspikes and doesn’t KO:
  • Turn 3: Heat Wave / Eruption (whichever does more damage) and keep Brick Breaking the Duraludon slot. Your opponent set up quite a bad position for themselves as Dynamax on Duraludon ends this turn.
    If opp KOs Torkoal:
  • Follow the Rhyperior plan above.
    If opp KOs Gothitelle:
  • Turn 4: Heat Wave and Max Quake the Grimmsnarl. Even Solar Beam is going to do pitiful damage.
  • Turn 5: finish off Duraludon with another Heat Wave and choose the correct coverage move for the other slot. Win the game!
    If opp manages to not KO anyone somehow:
  • Turn 4: how!? Well, Eruption with Torkoal and keep Brick Breaking, I guess.
  • Turn 5: double KO with Eruption / Heat Wave and Brick Break once again.
    Opp brings in something (Rotom-Mow + Dracovish is the worst)—what my opponent didn’t realize is the fact that my Pokémon in the back are very healthy! Dusclops is at almost full HP, and I haven’t Dynamaxed anything yet!
  • Turn 6: if opponent brought in Rotom-Mow and Dracovish, dynamax the Torkoal and KO the Rotom-Mow. You will take any double up. Gothitelle faints and Sun fades.
  • Turn 7: switch into Dusclops and let Torkoal faint to Fishious Rend. Set up TR.
  • Turn 8: Bulldoze + EQ for the guaranteed KO on Dracovish!

Hard TR Hatterene | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
It’s only natural that the combination of Trick Room setter + Follow Me would be popular! What sets this variant apart is its Psychic Surge synergy, which boosts Psychic-type moves power by 30%. As both the setter and redirector have STAB, its not hard to imagine how things might go downhill fast for an opponent. Hatterene likes to Dynamax, causing the opponent’s chance for survival to be next to zero, especially if Specs Torkoal joins the field alongside it. Rhyperior and Bronzong are meant to be the secondary mode. Bronzong like to carry Colbur Berry, since both Barraskewda and Duraludon have powerful Dark-type moves which ignore redirection. All in all, a strong Trick Room team everyone has to have a few counters for!
Game Plan
Bring: Rhyperior + Gyarados / Torkoal + Dusclops
Opp’s worst case lead: Bronzong + Indeedee

  • Turn 1: go for Earthquake + Dynamax Max Quake into the Indeedee. Your opponent probably sets up Trick Room.
  • Turn 2: they should bring in Rhyperior, so switch to Dusclops immediately and Max Guard while the opp Bulldozes and Rockfalls the Dusclops in the worst case scenario.
  • Turn 3: Will-O-Wisp the Rhyperior to severely weaken it. The opponent probably Protects, it so go for Rockfall into Bronzong to do about 60%. Your Dynamax ends.
  • Turn 4: try to Burn the Rhyperior again and let your own Rhyperior faint. Dusclops should be still hanging on after Bronzong does nothing with its Gyro Ball.
  • Turn 5: switch into Torkoal and Eruption to KO the Bronzong or Heat Wave, as you are going to survive Rock Slide from opp’s Rhyperior fairly easily, since it’s Burned and no longer Dynamaxed.
  • Turn 6: Dusclops should finally have fainted, which means you get a switch into Gyarados. It’s sunny, so pray your Power Whip hits and OHKOs Rhyperior (it’s weakened from Heat Wave and Gyarados carries Life Orb).
  • Turn 7: Gastrodon doesn’t threaten Gyarados, so ignore it. Our Torkoal outspeeds the opponent’s Torkoal and Heat Waves it for important chip, and opp’s Torkoal doesn’t 2HKO Gyara. Hatterene also gets undersped and 2HKO’d by Heat Wave.

Opp’s lead: Bronzong + Rhyperior

  • Turn 1: EQ and Max Quake the opponent’s Rhyperior. Worst case, opp Dynamaxes and Max Guards as they set up TR.
  • Turn 2: opponent isn’t able to OHKO your Rhyperior since you Intimidate theirs, so go for Max Quake to do 85%~ to them + switch to Dusclops to take the Rockfall.
    1: Dusclops gets Rockfalled
  • Turn 3: go for Gravity and Max Quake to KO the Bronzong. Worst case, opp Max Quakes your Rhyperior for 55%.
  • Turn 4: Protect with Rhyperior and Will-O-Wisp your opponent’s Rhyperior. Their Eruption actually doesn’t finish off your Dusclops.
  • Turn 5: try to EQ + Bulldoze, but opponent should get a double KO here.
  • Turn 6: bring in Torkoal and Gyarados. Start by KOing the opp’s Rhyperior and Eruption for the 2HKO on the opp’s Torkoal + to weaken the opp’s Eruption. You outspeed their Torkoal guaranteed, since we actually run Speed.
  • Turn 7: go for the Gastrodon if it comes in, win with great coverage!
    2: Rhyperior gets Quaked
  • Turn 3: go for Will-O-Wisp into the Rhyperior slot and Max Guard with your own Rhyperior. Opp should double target your Rhyperior, but it fails.
  • Turn 4: set up Gravity and let Rhyperior faint.
  • Turn 5: send in Torkoal and start Heat Waving. Switch into Gyarados the same turn. Rhyperior is not Dynamaxed, at neutral Attack, and Burned, Will-O-Wisp should cause no trouble.
  • Turn 6 and on: finish the game with Power Whip and fast Eruptions. You’ve got this!

Any other lead: gets obliterated by Gyarados + Rhyperior pressure. Opponent can’t even proc the WP on their Rhyperior, and you pressure theirs with the combo of Torkoal’s Solar Beam and Max Quake for the OHKO (or Burns). Solar Beam + Psychic in Psychic Terrain doesn’t KO your Dynamax Rhyperior, because you got the Max Quake boost turn 1, so you should be safe even against a Hatterene Torkoal combo!


Whimsicott + possible Rhyclops | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
Whimsicott got buffed HARD this gen. Its Tailwind now lets your allies to have doubled Speed on the same turn Tailwind goes up! This allows many slower sweepers to be twice as dangerous, really. Whimsicott also has amazing STAB options in Moonblast and Energy Ball, with which it can remove dangerous threats for the rest of the team, like Dragapult or Gastrodon. It can also set up Sunny Day for Charizard, which then gets absurd power if it Dynamaxes. The team doesn’t always Dynamax Charizard, though, as a Trick Room mode in the back could be an amazing bluff that the opponent won’t be able to handle since they prepared for a fast Charizard mode. Rhyperior also carries a bit of Speed, allowing it to function in Tailwind if the user wants to abuse its amazing Rock/Ground coverage. All in all, this team will be always able to control the Speed board position, making it a potent threat!
Game Plan
Bring: Gyarados + Gothitelle / Rhyperior + Togekiss
Opp’s lead: Whimsicott + Duraludon

  • Turn 1: Go for Max Quake, as this allows you to take Max Lightning fairly well. Fake Out Whimsicott.
  • Turn 2: you give your opponent a “pick your poison” play: either they Taunt (this is the worst possible set on Whimsicott to face) the Gothitelle and Max Quake KOs Duraludon, winning the game because the team doesn’t have sufficient counters now, or the opponent sets up Tailwind, KOing Gyarados but giving you a free Trick Room.
    Turn 3: if Trick Room is up, go for Brick Break + Earthquake, as Taunt revealed no Energy Ball.
    Turn 4: use the correct coverage moves and prepare to outspeed the opponent’s Rhyperior. Switch to Togekiss, and play carefully!

Opp’s lead: Dusclops + Rhyperior

  • Turn 1: Go for Taunt on Dusclops and try to Hypnosis the Rhyperior. If Hypnosis misses and Gyarados goes down to Max Rockfall, the sea shrimp has dealt the (mental) damage it needed to to our opponent’s team.
  • Turn 2: switch to Rhyperior, which now cant be Burned via Will-O-Wisp, and Dynamax it. I recommend going for Max Rockfall as Dusclops’ Ghost typing allows it to switch out and Flying-type Pokémon like Charizard are very likely to come in to block the damage from Max Quake. Try to Hypnosis Rhyperior again. Missing means they either proc Weakness Policy or do moderate damage to Gothitelle, as Gyarados has intimidated Rhyperior.
  • Turn 3: either continue spamming Hypnosis, as you are bound to hit one by now (two Hypnosis in a row have an effective 85% to hit) or go for Trick Room, as Max Quake against non-Dynamax Rhyperior is an OHKO. Play well from here on!

Bulk Bird (Corviknight) Balance | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
This team screams “bulk”. It’s got multiple Pokémon that can Dynamax at any point of the game, which ensures the user will be always able to get an advantage based on their opponent’s Dynamax Pokémon of choice. Corviknight can boost Speed and Defense, and is thus the most popular recipient of the Dynamax phenomenon on this team, but this might only be a trap set up by the user! The team also has the classic Grass Fire Water core, which means its users have an easier time switching around and responding to you. Another dangerous thing about this team is the presence of Dragapult: you might have prepared your team for the bulky mode, but now you’re facing a Life Orb-boosted, Dynamaxed monster that just took out one of your important Pokémon, perhaps even resulting in an early loss. Finally, I should mention the team has never feared to experiment with its last slot. It’s mostly filled by Dark-type Pokémon like Tyranitar or Intimidate Scrafty. The latter one makes the team even more durable due to Intimidate. Strong team, so you’ve gotta be ready!
Game Plan
NOTE: THE ORIGINAL CREATOR OF THIS TEAM IS VERY SMART. HE WILL DO EVERYTHING HE CAN TO WIN (AND WILL PROBABLY DEVIATE FROM THESE FLOWCHARTS).

Bring: Togekiss + Dusclops / Gyarados + Rhyperior
Opp’s lead: Dragapult + Whimsicott

  • Turn 1: Follow Me and set up Trick Room
  • Turn 2: if Togekiss didn’t faint, go for Dazzling Gleams. Otherwise, switch into Rhyperior. Go for Bulldoze and Max Rockfall, as the opponent might try switch in their Rotom-Heat or Corviknight.
  • Turn 3: set up Gravity for extra safety.

Opp’s lead: Corviknight + Rotom-H

1. If Corviknight Dynamaxes:

  • Turn 1: go for Max Flare into the Corviknight and Gravity. Opp probably Volt Switches into Gastrodon.
  • Turn 2: go for Will-O-Wisp into Corviknight and go for another Max Flare. You’re slowly setting up for an Earthquake + Bulldoze sweep!
  • Turn 3: go for Max Flare to finish off Corviknight and set up Trick Room. From this point on, the time bomb known as Rhyperior is ticking down. All you have to do is use Bulldoze…

2. Rotom-Heat Dynamaxes:

  • 2.1 You crit Max Flare
  • Turn 1: you OHKO Corviknight and set up Trick Room while the opponent struggles to do 40% to your Togekiss with Max Lightning.
  • Turn 2: set up Gravity for a late game Rhyperior sweep and target down Gastrodon if it switches in.
  • Turn 3 and on: Bulldoze and Earthquake once Rhyperior comes in. Prioritize KOing Gastrodon and don’t forget you’ve got harsh sunlight up, which means Gastrodon wont KO your Rhyperior at all with Scald!
    2.2 You don’t crit Max Flare
  • Turn 1: your opponent gets Taunt off, but at the cost of 80% of Corviknight’s health. Max Lightning does 40%.
  • Turn 2: go for switch to Gyarados and Max Airstream the Corviknight slot, as it doesn’t have Protect and will get KOd by Max Airstream. Anything switching in has high chance of being OHKO’d (or take 90% in case of Gastrodon).
    2.2.1 Opp KOs Gyarados on the switch-in
  • Turn 3: You switch back into Dusclops. Worst case scenario, Gastrodon switches in for free. Go for Max Starfall into it and set up Trick Room.
  • Turn 4: Dazzling Gleam and set up Gravity. Gastrodon should be dying soon, and Rhyperior next to Bulldoze Dusclops with Gravity should clean this game up.
    2.2.2 Opp goes for more chip onto Togekiss
  • Turn 3: the opp probably brings in Gastrodon at full health. Switch back Gyarados for Dusclops immediately, and go for Max Starfall on the (likely) Protecting Gastrodon. Togekiss gets KO’d here.
  • Turn 4: switch back to Rhyperior and go for Protect on it + Gravity.
    2.2.2.1 Opp doesn’t switch
  • Turn 5: go for Earthquake + Bulldoze. The opponent probably switches to Scrafty via Volt Switch and Scalds Rhyperior (in Sun).
  • Turn 6: switch to Gyarados, which allows Rhyperior to tank the Close Combat, and Earthquake, which KOs Scrafty and leaves Gastrodon at very low health.
  • Turn 7: go for Earthquake with Gyarados to double KO the opponent!
    2.2.2.2 Opp hard-switches to Scrafty
  • Turn 5: switch into Gyarados and High Horsepower the Gastrodon. You KO the Gastrodon and outspeed it if your opponent went for Close Combat, and you win as EQ cleans up. If the opp Crunched the Gyarados instead, HH does about 35% and the opp probably Scalds the slot, proccing the Weakness Policy.
  • Turn 6: High Horsepower the Scrafty slot for a guaranteed KO (CC can’t KO) and Power Whip the Gastrodon for another guaranteed KO.
  • Turn 7: click the correct coverage moves.

3. No one Dynamaxes (opponent saves Dynamax for Gastrodon in the back):

  • 3.1 You crit Max Flare
  • Turn 1: you KO Corviknight as Volt Switch does pitiful damage. Gastrodon switches in while you set up Gravity.
  • Turn 2: go for Max Airstream into the Gastrodon again, and go for Bulldoze to do about 35% to Rotom-Heat. Rotom-Heat probably Volt Switches into something like Scrafty, and Gastrodon probably changes the weather to Rain as you do respectable damage to it with Max Airstream.
  • Turn 3: continue going for Bulldozes. Try to snipe Scrafty with Max Starfall, but it’s obviously going to switch back to Rotom-Heat, which you do quite decent damage against anyway (despite the move being resisted). Bulldoze does OK damage!
  • Turn 4: go for more Bulldozes and pressure the Scrafty in the back with Dazzling Gleam. If it crits, it’s a KO. The opponent probably goes for Volt Switch to KO the Togekiss and Bulldoze hits to both Scrafty and Gastrodon.
  • Turn 5: switch to Gyarados and Earthquake to punish a possible Rotom-Heat switch-in. Remember that Dusclops isn’t invincible, so pay attention to its health!
  • Turn 6: set up another Gravity and go for Power Whip into the Gastrodon. Gravity will now stay on the field for the rest of the game, allowing Gyarados to spam EQ safely. With Rhyperior being faster than the Gastrodon in the back and only taking about 55% from CC, you should have the game!
    3.2 You don’t crit the Max Flare
  • Turn 1: Corviknight Taunts Dusclops and Rotom Volt Switches Togekiss into Gastrodon. NOTE: DYNAMAXING GASTRODON IS VERY MUCH A CHOKE HERE. EXPECT THE OPP TO DYNAMAX SOMETHING LIKE ROTOM-H INSTEAD, IN WHICH CASE, USE THE GUIDE ABOVE.
  • Turn 2: switch Dusclops for Gyarados and Max Airstream the Corviknight, which worst case scenario switches to Rotom-H. Gastrodon Dynamaxes and sets up Rain with Max Geyser.
  • Turn 3: switch Gyarados back into Dusclops and Max Airstream Gastro for good chip. Rotom-H probably Volt Switches to Scrafty and Gastro Max Geysers Togekiss.
  • Turn 4: eat the Fake Out with Togekiss and get Max Geysered, which KOs your Togekiss. You set up Gravity as Dynamax ends on Gastrodon.
  • Turn 5: Power Whip the Gastrodon so Rhyperior can switch in safely. We don’t care if it switches into Rotom-H.
  • Turn 6: go for EQ with Gyarados to KO both the weakened Corviknight and the now-grounded Rotom-H + High Horsepower into Scrafty (EQ + Close Combat from -1 Scrafty doesn’t KO Rhyperior).
  • Turn 7: don’t choke! You’ve got this, king!

Own Tempo Mudsdale | Example Paste

Team Breakdown
Mudsdale’s Ground typing is quite nice and leaves it with few physical weaknesses. This makes Assault Vest the perfect item to put on this magnificent horse. With Grimmsnarl’s screens and the help of both Max Steelspike and Max Quake boosting both of its defenses, it’s hard to imagine a Pokémon might 2HKO it (even Dynamaxed). Grimmsnarl also carries Swagger, which synergizes well with Own Tempo Mudsdale. Since Mudsdale can’t be confused, its Attack doubles with zero drawback, and did I mention the Ability makes it immune to Intimidate as well!? Arcanine attempts to eliminate one of the biggest threats to Mudsdale with Safeguard—the Burn status. Yes, it might have 400 Special Defense and over 250 Defense, but if it’s not going to do any significant damage, your opponent will simply overwhelm the other slot on the battlefield and the Mudsdale player will lose. The double Intimidate with Gyarados and Arcanine further helped make the team as durable as it is, and Arcanine even carries Will-O-Wisp. Durant was a peculiar choice, but trust me: if you’re facing one of those bulky teams (Edu makes great ones), this little ant will tear through them like scissors tear through paper! I didn’t fear bringing it against other compositions, either. Sometimes it didn’t work, but other times it brought back great results in the form of easy game 1 wins! Gastrodon is there for Dracovish. Yes, that’s it—without it, Dracovish just wins, but with Gastrodon there, I’m the one winning. What a turnaround, huh? The team is very sturdy, but as its creator, I know exactly what it does, so I had an easy time preparing against it!
Game Plan
Bring: Togekiss + Gothitelle / Gyarados + Torkoal
Opp’s lead: Durant + Grimmsnarl

  • Turn 1: Follow Me and TR. Opp KOs Togekiss.
  • Turn 2: bring in Torkoal and eruption the Durant out of the Battle Stadium. The opp just lost their Dynamax!
  • Turn 3: if the opponent brings Mudsdale, don’t be scared to spam Hypnosis. Dynamax the Torkoal, as Dynamax will allow Eruption to 2HKO Grimmsnarl and Hypnosis is bound to hit at some point.
  • Turn 4: KO Grimmsnarl, and don’t stop clicking Hypnosis.
  • Turn 5: choose Gyarados’ and Torkoal’s coverage correctly based on the opponent’s backup. Also, you’ve still got Hypnosis. 😛

Opp’s lead: Grimmsnarl + Mudsdale

  • Turn 1: Fake out the Grimmsnarl and Dynamax + Max Airstream it. Max Rockfall from Mudsdale after two Sand tics won’t 2HKO.
  • Turn 2: Max Airstream again and start clicking Hypnosis! There’s nothing stopping you, and you have an 85% to hit at least one if you use Hypnosis twice in a row. Don’t forget Max Airstream boosts Goth’s Speed as well!
  • Turn 3: if there’s a Durant switch, outspeed it and OHKO it with Max Airstream. Gyarados in the back ensures the clean late game KO on Mudsdale!
  • Turn 4: try to play optimally. There are too many options to cover, but with the high Speed on Goth, high crit chance on Togekiss, and two full health Pokémon in the back, you should be able to clean this up!

Opp’s lead: Arcanine + Grimmsnarl

  • Turn 1: Fake Out the Arcanine and Max Airstream it. You 2HKO even with Light Screen up.
  • Turn 2: outspeed and prevent the Safeguard from Arcanine.
  • Turn 3: Max Airstream the Grimmsnarl or Max Flare the Durant and go for Hypnosis spam. Again, you’ve got two amazing Pokémon in the back that should clean up, and Hypnosis should hit Mudsdale at some point.
  • Turn 4: Dazzling Gleam should finish off Mudsdale. You don’t have to worry about setting up Misty Terrain, either, since you’re no longer Dynamaxed!

Rain with TR Surf Spam | Example

Team Breakdown
Pelipper + Ludicolo is the fast mode that abuses a positive MU against bulky teams, which rarely have counters for attacks boosted by Rain. Even if they have Gastrodon, Ludicolo is going to OHKO it with Energy Ball. Jellicent is the alternative mode of the team, and is very physically bulky. Jellicent’s Surf in TR boosts Gastrodon’s power to incredible levels, and Mr/Mrs Pringles also underspeeds the Gastrodon in TR, which might be unexpected as the sea slug has much lower base Speed. Togekiss is the surprise element, since opponents might have not prepared for it. In those cases, Togekiss can sweep with its amazing coverage. Conkeldurr is another Trick Room sweeper, with the nice bonus of being the only Pokémon on the team capable of KOing Ferrothorn.
Game Plan
Bring: Togekiss + Dusclops / Gothitelle + Gyarados
Opp’s best lead: Jellicent + Togekiss

  • Turn 1: Go for Max Airstream and Gravity (which will allow us to use a 100% accurate Hypnosis). Double Max Airstream has about a 90% chance to 2HKO Jellicent when factoring in crits. We take whatever the opponent throws at us; we’re bulky enough.
    1. If TR went up:
  • Turn 2: finish off Jellicent and don’t do anything with Dusclops. Don’t even think about reversing the Trick Room, as Gastrodon tends to be really fast on these teams and Gothitelle will be able to underspeed it in Trick Room. Just Gravity again if Trick Room went up.
  • Turn 3: tick tock, the Dynamax turns on their Togekiss are ticking down! They have to go into Gastrodon, as Pelipper is KO’d by Airstream into Bulldoze and neither Conkeldurr nor Ludicolo can take the Airstream. Try to Max Flare the opponent’s Togekiss and switch to Gothitelle, as it should take any combo of attacks.
  • Turn 4: Fake Out the Togekiss (as Max Starfall was probably used by the opponent in previous turns) and switch to Gyarados.
  • Turn 5: Power Whip the Gastrodon for an easy OHKO. If  the opponent Follow Mes, they’re just wasting time.
    1.1 Opp Follow Mes
  • Turn 6: continue Power Whipping. While you’re doing that, Hypnosis the Togekiss, even with Gravity down.
  • turn X: go for Hypnosis into Togekiss and try to Waterfall it if Pelipper is in the back for the opponent! Then, Dazzling Gleam and win the game with what you have in the back. Setting TR isn’t a bad idea, either, as Togekiss underspeeds what’s on opp’s team, except Conkeldurr.
    1.2 Opp Dazzling Gleams for 30 – 35%
  • Turn 6: Waterfall the opponent’s Togekiss and set up Trick Room. If there is no Conk in the back, just Hypnosis the now-flying Togekiss!
  • Turn X: Dazzling Gleam and try to hit Hypnosis. You’re bound to hit it eventually.
    2. Opp didn’t Trick Room
  • Turn 2: finish off Jellicent and wait for Dusclops to die. Opponent probably Max Starfalls Dusclops.
  • Turn 3: opp’s best backup Pokémon is Pelipper. Bulldoze and Max Airstream Togekiss to do a minimum of 25% to it. Dusclops probably faints here.
  • Turn 4: go for Dazzling Gleam + Fake Out into Togekiss to start chipping away at it with crits. Opponent probably Hurricanes Togekiss.
  • Turn 5: Pelipper is a guaranteed KO now, and Togekiss is in range of another Dazzling Glea. Don’t forget, our Togekiss is faster since opp had to go for Max Starfall to prevent Hypnosis spam!
  • Turn 6: opp’s best backup is Gastrodon, but that hardly helps now, as one more Dazzling Gleam KOs our opponent’s Togekiss. We also have Gyarados with Power Whip in the back, which just wins us the game.

ANY OTHER LEAD LEADS TO QUITE A MASSACRE. MAX AIRSTREAMS HURT EVERYTHING, AND GYARADOS AS A SWITCH IN IS GOING TO BE AN EVEN BIGGER NIGHTMARE FOR THE OPPONENT!


Versing Myself (Mirror Match)

Game plan: Use Taunt on Gyarados to stop Hypnosis as Togekiss’ Max Airstreams to increase Speed (which also does heavy damage and can crit), while using Hypnosis and avoiding Hypnosis to win. Try to Speed creep my Togekiss with your Togekiss? Don’t set up with Nasty Plot if you happen to have it, just attack!

Team Matchups

Bad MUs

LO Timid Duraludon + Trick Room reversal (Jellicent): You want to go for a Togekiss Gothitelle lead. If you see a Jellicent Duraludon lead, you want to go for Brick Break + Max Starfall into the Duraludon, as if Starfall crits Duraludon faints and the game becomes much easier. From this point on, you can set up Trick Room or use the Trick Room the Jellicent set up as it tried to reverse it. Make the correct decision based on Togekiss’ HP: the less it has, the more you want to go for TR. And when in doubt (with no Electric Terrain, because the opp probably wanted to do a bit more damage to your Togekiss), go for Hypnosis.

Rundown of Tournament

On the morning before a tournament, I never eat any breakfast, and that Saturday was no exception. There was a lot on the line, especially since our country can’t have VG locals and since I was not going to any more Regionals this year to focus on school.

I registered for the tournament, said hello to number of people (which definitely made the pressure I felt ease up), and went into round 1 with a lot of confidence and energy!

Round 1 vs Brian Zourdani

Game 1: My opponent knew my team, as his turn 1 was Max Lightning from Duraludon to prevent Gravnosis, a different play than I’d experienced on ladder. I managed to get a free switch into Torkoal turn 2, as he targeted down Gothitelle, and after turn 3, Rhyperior also appeared on the field. I was able to sweep afterwards.

Game 2: Pretty similar to game 1. However, he brought Dracovish in late game. After wasting so many turns getting my Pokémon in, it was easy to clean up for my opponent.

Game 3: With Dracovish being a guaranteed pick in the back for my opponent, I adapted by bringing Togekiss instead of Torkoal. I got my Rhyperior in earlier than in game 1 and 2, which also helped a lot. Togekiss Dazzling Gleamed the Dracovish and won the game for me!

Going into round 2 with a win was refreshing, but I generally only know if a team is the right choice or not after 4 rounds. This was a good start, though, so I was certainly ready to keep up the momentum!


Round 2 vs Marc Andrés

Game 1: he surprised me with an early Duraludon Dragon Tail while I Faked Out Whimsicott to prevent any Taunt shenanigans. I tried to prolong the game as long as possible so my opponent would reveal the whole Whimsicott set, and he did! Safeguard, Energy Ball, Moonblast, and Tailwind. I might have lost this game, but I took complete control over the information war!

Game 2: My opponent tried to Dragon Tail me, but I Faked Out Duraludon in game 2, allowing my TR backup to easily sweep.

Game 3: He brought Tyranitar and Duraludon, and I still went for Fake Out into Duraludon. My opponent Dynamaxed Duraludon to prevent the flinch and tried to KO Dusclops with Crunch + Max Steelspike, but it wasn’t enough and I got TR up. This time, I even had Hypnosis pressure, so it’s not hard to imagine how this game went downhill for my opponent real fast!


Round 3 vs Yiğit Dönmez

Game 1: I knew this would be hard matchup. I lead with Dusclops + Gothitelle, and my worst fears are confirmed turn 1: it was indeed IMPRISON JELLICENT. Game 1 was lost.

Game 2: I thought Gyarados could do good, but boy, was I wrong. My opponent led with Raichu and I Faked Out so that Max Quake would KO it through a potential Sash. Instead, Raichu Dynamaxed, BUT I SURVIVED THE MAX LIGHTINING BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY BASED ON VOLT SWITCH. I KO’d the Raichu and managed to clutch out the victory with Rhyperior and Togekiss in the back, something I thought would be impossible after turn 1!

Game 3: My opponent definitely made a mistake by leading with Tyranitar. I led with Togekiss + Gyarados this time, trying to Protect my Gyarados from the mighty Max Lightning. It worked nicely, and Sand even KO’d Raichu after its Sash was broken. Gyarados took control of the game from this point on, and I won one of the worst possible matchups ever.

After this MU, I felt without a doubt that I’d make cut. After all, what could be worse? As long as I’m a good team pilot, nothing can stand in my way!


Round 4 vs Javier Seňorena

Game 1: I remembered the team from ladder. Clearly he’d planned against my team before the tournament, as I didn’t use an alt, but he did. I remember asking why he didn’t Dynamax Conkeldurr + Phantom Force in the Showdown games. I played him three times, and he never made that play. In the tournament, though? He leads Conk Dragapult and does the exact thing I’d recommended before turn 1, taking control of the game immediately. I blame myself…

Game 2: “Oh yeah, that lead hates Togekiss,” I thought, “so why not lead it?” I did, and won game 2 almost instantly, as Max Airstream stacked the odds against Javier as much as it stacked the Speed boosts on my Pokémon.

Game 3: Javier overpredicted and went with same lead. He tried to beat me with hax; he got quite lucky (crit Scald Burn in Sun against Togekiss for Mach Punch to finish it off), but it wasn’t enough, and so I advanced to 4-0.


Round 5 vs Maximilian Haberstorm

It was my opponent’s first tournament, and I’m kinda sad I don’t remember much from the games, expect for the fact that this was the only time Max Flare was useful on Togekiss throughout the whole tournament. My opponent choked in game 3, losing an already won game and making me advance to 5-0. I felt quite bad, but we take those, eh?


Round 6 vs Tadeusz Szuba

Game 1: My opponent led with Togekiss Dragapult. I led with Gothitelle and Dusclops, going for Fake Out into Togekiss. I Gravnosis’d my opp out of the game from this point on, and felt really confident, since this deconfirmed Helping Hand on Togekiss.

Game 2: Same lead, same plays, but what’s that? HELPING HAND? OHKO ON CLOPS? NOW? I took this opportunity to get as much info from my opp as possible. Power Whip did 55% to +2 Defense Rindo Gastro!

Game 3: I tried using the fast mode this time, and it got me pretty far. I procced Tyranitar’s Weakness Policy early and forced it to switch out in front of Rhyperior, which put me in great late game spot. However, I made a crucial mistake in thinking Gastrodon would get KO’d by Power Whip. It did 93%, and Gastrodon was able to KO my late game Rhyperior, putting me at 5-1.


Round 7 vs Batuhan Can

Your average semi-Trick Room TED. Again, I don’t remember much from this game. My opponent tried to bring Rhyperior in the back as his late game Trick Room counter, but I managed to Burn it in both game 1 and 2.


Round 8 vs Eliot Lagroux (Downpair)

Game 1: I went hard TR and Faked Out Whimsicott + got TR up, then switched out Dusclops in fear of Encore, but my opponent reversed Trick Room instead. I learned the whole Whimsicott moveset, spotting no Taunt, and moved into game 2.

Game 2: I Gravnosis’d instead of switching out, and just won!

Game 3: He lead with Dusclops + Braviary. A pretty passive lead, but I wanted to prevent Imprison from Dusclops by going for blind Hypnosis. I hit and got the three turn Sleep. When Dusclops woke up, it Hazed away my Rhyperior’s boost on the last run of TR. As you can guess, it was too late, and I won. Interestingly, after the match, my opponent revealed this was turbo Imprison Dusclops to counter TR and Snorlax, so I got kinda lucky…


Round 9 vs Emre Sahan

Game 1: Knowing my team much better than my opponent, I knew what to do, and it was to blind Hypnosis + use Togekiss! My opponent tried to set up Nasty Plot, which I’d used on ladder but removed last minute. I went for high Speed Hypnosises and took game 1.

Game 2: I knew he would copy me, so I went with Taunt Gyarados instead. I Taunted Gothitelle and started Max Airstreaming again, easily taking the game and guaranteeing my top cut!


Top 16 vs Taran Birdee

This was streamed, so if you want a taste of this match, watch it on Victory Road’s YouTube!


Top 8 vs Alex Soto

Game 1: He wasn’t prepared for Gravnosis. I dealt with Rotom-W thanks to Gravity, and Ferrothorn was burned down in the late game with Torkoal.

Game 2: My opponent played around my offensive Pokémon by predicting me every turn with his Arcanine / Ferrothorn / Rotom-W core. Excellent game by Alex, moving us into game 3!

Game 3: Alex decided to Dynamax his Sylveon turn 1, while I tried different approach with Dynamax Gyarados. I got to a position where I was staring down Rotom-W and a weakened Sylveon. I went for Power Whip into Rotom-W… which Ally Switched! Sylveon survived and Starfalled my Gyarados, but with only one more turn of LO remaining, Gyarados was unable to KO Rotom-W in time for the rest of the team, losing me the game.

Conclusion and Shoutouts

This tournament went better than I imagined. I totally expected to get 40-60 CP and be forced to invade more locals in Germany, but now I’m a mere 2 CP away from the World Championships and can fully focus on my studies! (As it’s pretty likely that we’re going to get some online International Challenge, which I can do easily over a weekend.)

Huge shoutouts to whoever the Japanese player was on ladder that inspired me to build around this destructive archetype and to players on ladder who made me master my skills with it! Also to whoever said hi and started a conversation with me during the tournament. Thank you as well, as it kept me busy not stressing out about the upcoming rounds! (Oliver, Edu, people running my team, and many more which I forgot the names of, sorry…)

That’s it for the article! Hopefully the flowcharts will help you understand the genius of this team, and next time… see you at Worlds!?