Leonardo’s Top 8 Malmo Regional Report

Hey everyone! I’m Leonardo Bonanomi, a VGC player from Italy, and I’m here to present you with a report on the team that I used to reach Top 8 at the Malmö Regional.

To give a quick rundown on myself: I’ve always played Pokémon, but I only became interested in VGC after watching the 2016 World Championships. That event impressed me a lot, and the coinciding release of Sun and Moon motivated me to compete in the 2017 season.

For the first part of VGC17, I only went to local events. In the second half, I did well at the Special Events in Lyon and in Milan, managing to snatch up an unexpected invitation to the World Championships in Anaheim. During the following season, I got my second Worlds invite fairly quickly, and made an attempt at getting the Day 2 invite. However, due to some poor performances in the latter part of VGC18, I didn’t succeed.

In VGC19, I got my third invite, and I finally managed to participate in Day 2 of the World Championships after making it through Day 1.

Teambuilding Process

The base of this team was created in Season 1.
In January, after the Bochum Regional, I lost to David Koutesh’s team. After trying it myself, I noticed three things that stood out about it:

  • Togekiss’ 50% crit chance due to Scope Lens, when used side-by-side with another offensive Pokémon, could put a lot of pressure on the opponent.
  • The Dusclops + Rhyperior duo, which had already been widely used since the beginning of the format and which I had always tried to counter (but to no avail).
  • The power of Sleep⁠—sometimes I would find myself leading Togekiss and Gothitelle so I could start spamming moves with Togekiss and go for blind Hypnosis with Gothitelle.

It was a fairly “brainless” thing to do, but I noticed that many opponents could not fight back against both. With a Hypnosis hit (especially on the opponent’s Dynamax Pokémon), you could get a great advantage that led to quick victories. However, Hypnosis’ 60% accuracy made it very inconsistent, and Gothitelle’s slow Speed did not help, as it meant opponents could simply use Max Starfall or Max Lightning to avoid being put to Sleep.

On the same weekend, a friend of mine, Francesco Pero, won an MSS in Naples using a rather different team that revolved around Eldegoss. Eldegoss could put pressure on the opponent with Endure + Cotton Down to lower the Speed of the opposing Pokémon and then put them to Sleep, while its partner (Dragapult or Excadrill) is free to dish out damage. Thinking about it, however, I saw Eldegoss as good, but with shortcomings on the offensive side. Cotton Down also had a con, as it decreased the Speed of my Pokémon.

I recalled that, before Bochum, my friend Davide Carrer had tried a team with Roserade. It hadn’t done bad in testing, but we left it almost immediately due to lack of time before the Regional. Thinking some more about it, Roserade had everything I was looking for: fast Sleep Powder, good Special Attack with good Speed, and two great STAB options.

I talked about it with Davide, and we came up with a versatile core made up of Togekiss, Roserade, Dusclops, and Rhyperior.
We then added Conkeldurr for the matchup against Sand, and finally Vanilluxe, which gave us weather, Speed control with Icy Wind, and the option to set up Aurora Veil.
We easily reached 1900 on Showdown with this team on our first evening of testing.
On the same weekend, we participated in an MSS of 67 people in Milan, with me getting first place and Davide getting second. I went undefeated, and Davide only lost when paired with me.
During the following weeks, with the help of Enrico Genovese and Pasquale Esposito, we perfected the sets. Davide had the idea of ​​dropping Vanilluxe for a curious Indeedee with Safety Goggles, which improved many matchups, and we achieved various successes in Italian tournaments, bringing attention to our team.

With the 3rd Season dawning upon us and with only 5 days of testing before Malmö, we were quite worried about the two new major additions to the format: Incineroar and Gigantamax Lapras.

The first change we made was to remove Indeedee to try Incineroar. Then, after talking to Enrico, we removed Conkeldurr for a very offensive, fast Rotom-Wash with Life Orb. We saw how good offensive Rotom-Wash was against both Gigantamax Lapras and Incineroar, and we were also considering the high usage of Sand in Oceania Internats.

Davide instead opted to use a WP Lapras in place of Rhyperior, putting Rock Tomb on Dusclops to activate it and keeping Conkeldurr on the team.
At first, I was not very convinced, as it was a different style of play from the previous version of the team; less hyper offensive and more balanced. Lapras had to be Dynamaxed to make a real difference, and it also overshadowed Togekiss, which was the Pokémon that used to be Dynamaxed more frequently. After testing it together for a couple of evenings, I soon changed my mind and we decided to go with the new version instead.

The Team


Togekiss @ Scope Lens
Ability: Super Luck
Level: 50
EVs: 220 HP / 4 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Air Slash
– Dazzling Gleam
– Follow Me
– Heat Wave

Scope Lens Togekiss’ 50% crit rate in combination with Focus Sash Roserade, which threatens the opposing Pokémon with Sleep, is a duo that many teams are not easily able to stop.

Before Incineroar was made legal again, it worked very well as a lead and we used it often. Now it’s a little less good, but it’ll always remain an effective way to play.
The initial spread with Togekiss was taken from David Koutesh’s report and then modified.

  • 164 EVs in Speed allow it to outspeed Gengar and Raichu after a Max Airstream. 156 EVs in Speed would’ve been enough, but we wanted 164 EVs to speed creep other Togekiss who wanted to reach that benchmark.
  • The bulk and the Special Attack have no particular calcs.
  • The moves are standard on offensive Togekiss, with Follow Me to support its partners.


Roserade @ Focus Sash
Ability: Natural Cure
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Leaf Storm
– Sludge Bomb
– Sleep Powder
– Protect

Seeing Roserade in team preview can exert pressure and force the opponent into bringing specific leads to avoid Sleep, making them vulnerable to different types of leads on our part.

With the arrival of Series 3 and the addition of Venusaur, we compared the two Pokémon and evaluated the pros and cons, deciding to keep Roserade.

  • Roserade has better Special Attack: the difference in damage between the two is noticeable. An example is the combination of two Roserade Sludge Bombs + one Togekiss Max Airstream Crit on an opposing bulky Dynamax Togekiss. This combination always takes the KO, unlike two Venusaur Sludge Bombs, which have a low change to KO.
  • Roserade has more Speed: the 90 base Speed makes it quite fast compared to many Pokémon with high usage in the format. Venusaur’s 80 base makes it slower than Jolly Excadrill, Jolly Gyarados, and makes it tie with Timid Togekiss, Timid Chandelure, and Jolly Braviary, who are all common Sleep Powder targets.
  • Roserade is less bulky than Venusaur: less Defense and less HP for Roserade, but since I run Focus Sash, I never cared much for bulk. On the bright side, Roserade is still surprisingly bulky on the special side, as even without Focus Sash it is able to take Heat Wave or Flamethrower from Arcanine without going down, in addition to living Togekiss’ Air Slash or a Draco Meteor from 252+ SpA Duraludon.
  • The ability: Chlorophyll is much more useful than Natural Cure in theory, as it allows you to take advantage of opposing Torkoal’s / Ninetales’ Sun or simply Sunny Day to threaten them with a very fast Sleep Powder, and can also be activated by going for Max Flare with Togekiss. However, that didn’t seem like a very good reason to pick Venusaur over Roserade. In some situations, Natural Cure has proven to be very useful. Switching out a Roserade which has been Paralyzed by a Grimmsnarl, Frozen by Vanilluxe, or put to Sleep by a Yawn in order to remove the status is not something to be underestimated, especially since few remember this mechanic (we, too, have sometimes switched out a useless Paralyzed or Frozen Roserade, considering it KO’d for the purposes of the game, and then switched it back onto the field only to, with amazement, see its status had healed)!
  • The moves: The moves are identical. Venusaur now learns Earth Power, but to fit it in you have to give up Protect, making it susceptible to Fake Out and less long-lived in the game.


Dusclops @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 212 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Will-O-Wisp
– Night Shade
– Trick Room
– Rock Tomb

By now, the bulk given by the combination of high defenses + Eviolite is well-known, and can be modified to survive any type of attack.

Before, we used a physically bulky Dusclops, but after struggling with the Duraludon + Whimsicott matchup and with the inclusion of Intimidate in the team, we decided to make it more specially bulky.

  • Frisk is an excellent Ability, as seeing the opponents’ items is very helpful and keeps any nasty surprises at bay.
  • Will-O-Wisp is a great move against physical attackers, especially against Rhyperior and Tyranitar, which can be annoying for Lapras, and against Corviknight, which can give Conkeldurr problems.
  • Night Shade is great for doing damage, breaking Focus Sashes, or finishing off Pokémon with low HP.
  • Rock Tomb is used to activate Weakness Policy on Lapras.

We also considered Brick Break, which compared to Rock Tomb doesn’t miss and lets you reset the Aurora Veil turns by using G-Max Resonance again before the Dynamax ends. However, Rock Tomb allows us to drop Lapras’ Speed by one stage to underspeed min Speed Rhyperior and one-shot it with +2 Max Geyser under Trick Room.

Trick Room is self-explanatory.

  • 252+ SpA Life Orb Duraludon Helping Hand Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 212+ SpD Eviolite Dusclops: 125-148 (85 – 100.6%) – 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Tyranitar Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 44 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 128-152 (87 – 103.4%) – 12.5% ​​chance to OHKO


Conkeldurr @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
Level: 50
EVs: 164 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 84 SpD / 20 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Drain Punch
– Mach Punch
– Ice Punch
– Thunder Punch

In the previous Series 2 team, Conkeldurr had Flame Orb and Guts. I really liked the amount of damage it did with Guts activated, and especially how effective it was against Sand cores, while also straight-up KOing the omnipresent Togekiss.

Towards the end of series 2, Davide got in touch with Nails who had been interested in the team, and after discussing it suggested we use Assault Vest. With the approach of series 3, Assault Vest could very well be the right choice as it would help the matchup against opposing Lapras, Charizard, and Sand with Sylveon, which saw use in the Oceania Internats.

We tried Assault Vest with Guts, and it satisfied us, but in some situations I missed the damage I was accustomed to from Flame Orb. An example is the KO that I had many previous times dealt on many Togekiss with the combination of Night Shade + Guts Ice Punch, which was now no longer possible. In general, no one tries to Burn Conkeldurr as they risk activating Guts, so many times we ended up with a Conkeldurr without an Ability.

Instead, we opted for Iron Fist. The damage is certainly not comparable to the previous version, but a 1.2 boost on the moves is not bad at all, and I felt the difference was enough. The moves are fairly standard, all boosted by Iron Fist: Drain Punch to recover HP and Mach Punch to finish off opponents low on HP (or, in extreme situations, activate the Weakness Policy on our own Lapras), with Ice Punch and Thunder Punch for coverage.

We thank Nails for the spread!

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard Max Airstream (140 BP) vs. 164 HP / 84 SpD Assault Vest Conkeldurr in Sun: 346-408 (86 – 101.4%) – 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Voice vs. 164 HP / 84 SpD Assault Vest Conkeldurr: 168-200 (83.5 – 99.5%) – guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Togekiss Air Slash vs. 164 HP / 84 SpD Assault Vest Conkeldurr on a critical hit: 168-200 (83.5 – 99.5%) – guaranteed 2HKO


Incineroar @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 84 Def / 84 SpD / 84 Spe
Careful Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Throat Chop
– Fake Out
– Parting Shot

Incineroar is unique: Intimidate + Fake Out + Parting Shot are a combination of Ability and Moves only it has, and its set can vary based on necessity.
We thank Alessio Yuri Boschetto for the spread.

  • 252 HP 84 Def allows it to always live Max Quake or Max Rockfall from Life Orb Hustle Durant at -1.
  • 84 EVs in Speed are used to ensure that our Incineroar is faster than opposing ones. This is very important, because many lead their Incineroar in order to stop our Roserade with the combination of Fake Out + another attack.

Having the faster Incineroar ensured we would be able to Fake Out before theirs and go for Sleep Powder on their Incineroar, guaranteeing us a Sleep turn, with the possibility of repositioning the next turn with Parting Shot and threatening the partner with another Sleep Powder.

The rest of the EVs were put into special bulk.

The Safety Goggles were an idea of ​​Davide’s, since we noticed that Sleep Powder Venusaur could cause us problems if used next to another Incineroar.
For the moves, Flare Blitz, Fake Out, and Parting Shot are staples. We preferred Throat Chop to Darkest Lariat for the ability to stop Parting Shot from other Incineroar or even Sylveon’s Hyper Voices, since our fast Incineroar would be going first.

  • -1 252 Atk Life Orb Hustle Durant Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Incineroar: 169-200 (83.6 – 99%) – guaranteed 2HKO

After two Max Airstreams, Incineroar can outspeed Pokémon like Durant / Raichu / Gengar. This was useful to me against Yuree in Round 6, allowing me to attack before his Raichu with my Incineroar and get the KO.


Lapras-Gmax @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Shell Armor
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 60 Def / 220 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Hydro Pump
– Freeze-Dry
– Thunderbolt
– Protect

Lapras is an excellent Pokémon, with a lot of bulk given by its high HP and good defenses.

Its natural bulk is further increased by the Gigantamax and the secondary effects of its peculiar G-Max Move, making it an excellent Pokémon on which to use a Weakness Policy to increase its mediocre Special Attack stat.

  • I consider Shell Armor superior to Water Absorb. Without Shell Armor, Scope Lens Togekiss is able to get past the Aurora Veil set up by Lapras with its crits, rendering the effect pointless.
  • We decided to use a Lapras with Trick Room to be able to activate the Weakness Policy with Rock Tomb Dusclops so we can put ourselves at -1 Speed in order to be able to move before min Speed Rhyperior in Trick Room to OHKO them with +2 Geyser. You have to pay close attention to Speed in these situations!
  • Lapras at -2 Speed (lowered by Rock Tomb + opposing Bulldoze) will always be slower than Rhyperior at -1, so they will attack later in Trick Room.

It may seem trivial since it’s simple math, but it’s easy to get confused by thinking about the overview of the statistics instead of the actual figures.
The moves are standard; we chose Thunderbolt over Thunder because we didn’t like the idea of having a Lapras with two low accuracy moves, despite being aware of the difference in damage between the two Max Lightnings.

  • +2 220+ SpA Lapras Max Lightning (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 52 SpD Milotic: 188-222 (93 – 109.9%) – 62.5% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 228 HP / 60 Def Lapras through Reflect: 382-450 (81.6 – 96.1%) – guaranteed 2HKO

Team Matchups

Before Malmö, we only had 4 days to test the team and focused more on understanding how to play the team well rather than analyzing individual matchups turn by turn.

For the matchups, we flow-charted the most common teams:

VS Sand

Lead: Togekiss Roserade
Back: Dusclops Conkeldurr

  • A Togekiss Roserade lead can put a lot of pressure on the opposing team, especially if they don’t have Lum Berry Tyranitar or Safeguard Arcanine.
  • Sleep Powder onto Tyranitar + Max Flare onto Excadrill to remove the Sand threatens the opposing team in the case of an Excadrill / Tyranitar lead, and Dusclops / Conkeldurr in the back can finish up the game.
  • Safeguard Arcanine can be easily ignored by doubling into its teammate with two offensive moves, then dealing with Arcanine later.
  • The advice is to try to remove the opponent’s Togekiss as quickly as possible, as without it the opponent is very susceptible to our Conkeldurr (both in and outside the Trick Room).

VS Durant

Lead: Incineroar / Dusclops
Back: Lapras / Roserade

  • This matchup can be difficult for both players in various ways.
  • The teams with Durant are almost always characterized by the presence of Milotic, which limits the use of our Incineroar and threatens our Pokémon with Coil + Hypnosis.
  • We have a fairly slow team, which is outsped by Durant and forces us to play the matchup in Trick Room.
  • Usually, these teams have few resists to Water, Ice, and Electric, making G-Max Lapras at +2 an excellent Pokémon in the matchup, especially if you use your Gigantamax after that of the opponent.
  • The advice is to set up Trick Room quickly; the Incineroar + Dusclops lead with Lapras and Roserade in the back can work.

VS Hard Trick Room

  • When facing their passive leads, you have to pressure them by using Sleep Powder with Roserade, then soon after doing damage with the same Roserade and Night Shade Dusclops / CritKiss, while being careful not to give them any free switch-ins.
  • Will-O-Wisp threatens Rhyperior, and Gigantamaxing Lapras / Conkeldurr or Togekiss at the right moment can decrease the impact of their Trick Room sweeper.
  • Beware of Torkoal and G-Max Hatterene, which can be very annoying.

VS Lapras stuff

  • Much like us, other players have decided to build teams around Lapras, accompanying it with various support mons such as Raichu, Incineroar, Togekiss, etc.
  • I noticed that many Lapras teams don’t have much against other Lapras. A good position for us is under Trick Room with our G-Max Lapras at +2. That lets it do a lot of damage, with Conkeldurr usually finishing off the job.
  • Roserade / Incineroar and Dusclops as a lead can work well, with Lapras in the back and one spot to choose between Togekiss and Conkeldurr depending on the opposing team.

Triple Ghost (Dragapult, Mimikyu, Aegislash / Dusclops)

  • This matchup is quite difficult and full of unknowns for both players. A Dragapult Mimikyu lead can put on a lot of pressure with various possible plays, depending on the sets used by the opponent.
  • We must try to pressure the opponent as much as possible by forcing him to make a difficult choice. This is feasible with a lead like Roserade Dusclops. This duo forces the opponent to make a choice: do they take care of Dusclops to avoid the Trick Room and have a Pokémon fall asleep, or do they double Roserade, leaving Dusclops free to set up the Trick Room? This is an option, but it requires you to hit Sleep Powder, which makes the plan unreliable.
  • Other possible leads may be Togekiss / Dusclops or Togekiss / Roserade. The former could guarantee the setup of Trick Room aided by Follow Me, but as it’s rather passive it could also benefit the opponent by letting them set up Swords Dance with Mimikyu, or it could fail miserably if the Mimkyu happens to reverse TR.
  • The latter option has various possibilities. Follow Me + Sleep Powder can be a good move to protect Roserade from double-ups and put one of the two opponents to Sleep. Dynamaxing Togekiss and trying the crit on Dragapult is another option, but would make Lapras in the back much less effective as you’re forced to use your Dynamax early.
  • Lapras and either Incineroar or Togekiss are usually brought in the back.

VS Sun

Lead: Togekiss Dusclops
Back: Lapras and Conkeldurr / Incineroar

  • This is another situation where setting Trick Room as soon as possible makes the most of Conkeldurr or Lapras’ Dynamax, and is therefore an excellent plan.
  • Incineroar resists Charizard and threatens Whimsicott with Fake Out, which lets you avoid Taunt on Dusclops or Sunny Day to boost Charizard.
  • Depending on the mons on the opposing team, either the Trick Room abusers or Roserade / Togekiss can be brought in the back if you can ensure the KO onto Charizard, making the opponent weak to one of the two.

Rundown of Tournament

Round 1 vs Kelly Kuipers WW

He told me that this was his first tournament. I win G1 by setting up Trick Room and clean-sweeping with Lapras. In G2, I led Togekiss Roserade against his non-optimal lead, and the game ends pretty quickly.

Round 2 vs Mattie Morgan LL (7-2 Top4)

Game 1 – I am surprised that he doesn’t lead Durant but instead Torracat and Gothitelle, with Tyranitar and Sylveon in the back. Meanwhile, I lead with Togekiss Dusclops, with Incineroar and Lapras in the back. Thanks to a switch into Tyranitar followed by a self U-Turn to activate the Weakness Policy, he manages to put himself in a good position, while I Air Slash the slot where Tyranitar came in and Trick Room with Dusclops.

I manage to minimize the damage of his 3 turns of Dynamax thanks to Will-O-Wisp onto Tyranitar and Incineroar’s Intimidate, but a Rock Slide crit on Incineroar and Sylveon’s switch-in + Hyper Voice take an unexpected double kill that put me at a disadvantage.

I was able to recover up to when I Gigantamaxed my Lapras. Boosted by the Weakness Policy, I took the kill on both Sylveon and Tyranitar by setting Aurora Veil, pitting my +2 SpA Lapras in Rain against his Gothitelle and Torracat.

Here I’m thinking that I’ve surely won, but Lapras decides to miss 2 Hydro Pumps on Gothitelle, which in the meantime drops my Special Defense with Psychic, leading to my defeat.

Game 2 – we both bring the same 4. I lead the same, but he instead leads with Tyranitar Torracat. He plays better and wins, apologizing for the G1, but I didn’t take it to heart⁠—I know that these things can happen and I wish him luck in the next few rounds.

Round 3 vs Szymon Wojdat LWW (5-3)

Very interesting team, and I am especially surprised to face another Torracat. I notice that his team is quite weak to my Lapras, as all 6 of his mons are hit super-effectively by it.

Game 1 – This starts off with Whimsicott Lapras with Togekiss and Torracat in the back. The game is fairly balanced. When I think I have gotten the advantage, ready to set up Trick Room with Dusclops to close the game out with Conkeldurr, I am caught off-guard by Taunt Torracat and his Togekiss. Accompanied by his short-lived Lapras, they quickly turn the game upside down and KO my AV Conkeldurr with Hydro Pump in the Rain + Air Slash.
The good thing is that, in G1, I was able to see almost all moves on his Whimsicott and learned the Togekiss and Lapras items thanks to Frisk. I understood that I had to utilize Gigantamax Lapras better than I did in G1, possibly after he had used up his own Max.

Game 2 – He brings the same 4 and changes the lead. I kept Lapras and end up winning the game.

Game 3 – I go with the same plan as G2, but am surprised by his use of Protect Togekiss and find myself in a situation similar to that of G1. It comes down to his Conkeldurr and Dusclops at full HP against my Lapras in the Rain and Togekiss, which had taken damage. He doubles the Conkeldurr with Air Slash + Hydro Pump, and Conkeldurr survives at 9 HP. I do not hesitate and shut down Togekiss with Ice Punch while Dusclops closes out the game by setting Trick Room.

Round 4 vs Christian Franck WW (4-4)

Dusclops had a lot of freedom in this game: the plan was to set up Trick Room to do big damage with Lapras at +2, and then close the match with Conkeldurr.

Round 5 vs Flavio Del Pidio WW (5-3 Top32)

I was quite displeased to see this pairing.

Me, Davide, Flavio, and the other Italians were roommates on this trip. Flavio was very interested in the team we used in series 2 and wanted to adapt it to series 3. We had explained our thoughts on the team to him and asked for his opinion. We were happy to see that some ideas corresponded to his.
In the meantime, he showed us this team with Coalossal, and I had the opportunity to see his sets. In the evening with Davide, we spent a few minutes to find a good plan in case we had to face it.

Game 1 – I lead Conkeldurr Incineroar with Dusclops and Togekiss in the back, while he leads Dragapult Coalossal with Gastrodon and Corviknight in the back. By ignoring Conkeldurr, he lets his Coalossal be KO’d, leaving Togekiss the task of cleaning up with Dazzling Gleam.

Game 2 – I stuck to my plan, but he changed leads to Venusaur Corviknight with Gastrodon and Conkeldurr in the back. The game was pretty even until two turns before the end of the Trick Room, when I took a KO on his Conkeldurr as it switched in with Night Shade + an Air Slash crit, which mattered a lot.
Two turns later, by switching Incineroar back in, I managed to take the KO on Venusaur too with Fake Out + an Air Slash crit, which sealed the game.

The first crit mattered a lot, because Conkeldurr could have survived, and I would have used an extra turn of Trick Room to finish it with Night Shade, making him avoid the mind game of Protecting Venusaur or not in the last turn.

Round 6 vs Alessio Yuri Boschetto WW (6-2 Top16)

Another Italian derby against Yuree, who uses Durant and also streams. I was fairly nervous before the game.

You can watch the full game at this link.

Round 7 vs Lauri Halonen WW (5-3)

Seeing his team, I decide to approach the game by setting up Trick Room and taking advantage of Lapras boosted by Weakness Policy.

Game 1 – He brings Raichu Lapras as a lead with Corviknight and Dusclops in the back, and while I do not remember the way the game progressed too well, in the end, when I thought I had won the match, he revealed Perish Song on Lapras. Fortunately, I had enough rounds to KO the 2 partners his Lapras had and won by having a slower Lapras than his.

Game 2 – I decide to lead with Dusclops Roserade with Lapras and Conkeldurr in the back.
Roserade manages to put his Raichu to Sleep before being killed by Feint + Brave Bird. I set up Trick Room, switch in Lapras, and discover that his Corviknight is Gigantamax and able to remove the Aurora Veil my Lapras had set up with its G-Max move.

I ignore his Gigantamax, which did not give Dusclops and Lapras any particular problems, by continuing to inflict heavy damage on his partner Pokémon with my boosted Lapras. Conkeldurr ends the match by KOing his Raichu, who had not even taken a Sleep turn yet, and also KOs Corviknight shortly after with Mach Punch.

Round 8 vs Davide Carrer LWW (6-2 Top16)

This was the worst pairing that could happen to me at this point in the tournament.
I was a little sorry that us facing each other had to happen in a last round clash, but we console ourselves thinking that one of the two would have broken anyway and the other would certainly have made Top16 with a small chance to enter Top8 with the X-2.
This was a full mirror, never tried and theorized before, all improvised.

Game 1 – We both lead with Roserade Incineroar, but bringing different Pokémon in the back. I chose Lapras and Dusclops while he brought Dusclops and Conkeldurr.
After an emotionless turn 1, he plays cunning and preserves his Roserade, while I leave mine in to take a Flare Blitz. This decision pays off for him later in the game.

Meanwhile, I manage to set up Trick Room and boost Lapras, but Davide manages to contain the damage and once the Trick Room is over his Roserade + Dynamax Conkeldurr close out the G1 in his favor.

Game 2 – I decide to lead Roserade Incineroar again, but bring Togekiss and Conkeldurr in the back, trying to imitate his G1 plan while preserving Roserade and deciding who to Dynamax between Togekiss and Conkledurr as needed.

As the game starts, I see a Togekiss Incineroar lead and realize that I have no switch-in into a Max Airstream crit. I tell myself it’s over. So I decide to make the only move possible: win the Fake Out tie vs his Incineroar and Sleep Powder his Togekiss. Fortunately, both things work out in my favor, and I also get a 3 turn Sleep on his Dynamax Togekiss, which gives me a huge advantage and lets me win the G2.

Game 3 – We both decide to change plans.

We go for the G2 leads, but inverted: this time, I bring Togekiss Incineroar and he brings Incineroar Roserade.
We play the turn 1 the same way. I lose the Fake Out Speed tie, but his Roserade whiffs Sleep Powder on my Togekiss, which lets me bring it to Sash.

Turn 2, I stop his Incineroar’s Parting Shot with Throat Chop and KO Roserade. Despite the advantage I got in the first 2 rounds, Davide manages to recover by Dynamaxing his Togekiss.

Once again, I get lucky. His Togekiss never crits mine, which could have overturned the outcome of the match, and Roserade and Conkeldurr ended this infamous Bo3.

Top 8 vs Alexandre Lissardy WLL (9-2 Runner Up)

I decided to play this game with the standard plan against Sand, trying to remove Togekiss as soon as possible to make room for Conkeldurr later on.

Game 1 – I lead Togekiss Roserade with Dusclops Conkeldurr in the back, while he leads Togekiss Arcanine with Tyranitar and Rotom in the back.

Concerned about Sleep, he uses Safeguard with Arcanine and Dynamaxes his Togekiss, which I learn is faster than mine. I double up into the Togekiss slot with Sludge Bomb + a Max Airstream crit, which puts his Togekiss in range of another Sludge Bomb. The next round, he takes the KO onto Roserade while I take the KO onto his Togekiss with another Max Airstream crit.

From there, the game goes downhill and Conkeldurr takes care of the rest.

Game 2 – I bring the same lead, while Alexandre leads with Tsareena Tyranitar and brings Excadrill Togekiss in the back.

I use Max Airstream to get rid of Tseerena and Sleep Tyranitar immediately, but he Protects Tyranitar and I am surprised by the Coba Berry held by his Tsareena. It takes Togekiss’ crit Max Airstream, and U-Turns onto Roserade dealing about 40% as he switches in Excadrill in Sand, putting me at a strong disadvantage.

I try to play it out, but I’m always behind and lose to the Scope Lens Togekiss he has in the back.

Game 3 – I decide to stick to my plan.

Even after losing the G2 badly, I think I could have avoided the bad situation in Round 1 by Max Flaring the Tsareena slot while trying to Sleep the Tyranitar. Even if Tsareena survived, I would still have had the weather advantage, allowing Roserade to go for another Sleep Powder on the following turn.

Alexandre changes his plans again by leading Arcanine Tyranitar. Seeing that lead, I decide to switch out Roserade for Conkeldurr and Dynamax Togekiss to get Conkeldurr’s Speed up and attack Arcanine. He goes for Snarl, Togekiss avoids it and crits Arcanine, KOing him. My Conkeldurr’s Speed is raised, while his Dynamaxed Tyranitar hits Togekiss with Max Rockfall.

The next round, Togekiss comes in, and I’m starting to think it’s the key turn of the game. I knew that Togekiss had no Protect, and I had seen it was a Scope Lens variant faster than mine, but having my Togekiss and Conkeldurr on the field at +1 Speed and having taken only one turn of Sand damage, I thought that doubling his Togekiss with Max Airstream + Ice Punch would be a good move to cover many scenarios.
Even if his Togekiss had been Max Speed, without a crit, he would never be able to KO Conkeldurr, and with the crit, I would probably still be able to survive the subsequent Sand chip and then recover my HP with Drain Punch.

Animations start. I attack with Togekiss, doing about 60%, and then his Togekiss turns out to be Timid Max Speed and attacks before Conkeldurr.

An Air Slash crit leaves me at 9 HP (calculating later, I found out that was the second-highest roll), followed by a flinch, while Tyranitar finishes my Togekiss with Max Rockfall and the Sand at the end of the turn KOs my Conkeldurr as well.

I am stunned and I understand that it is over. Going from a near-victory position to losing both of my Pokémon in one turn hurts. I try to play hoping that he doesn’t have Excadrill in the back. Dusclops and Roserade come in. Dusclops survives Max Darkness and Burns Tyranitar with Will-O-Wisp while Roserade Protects itself from Togekiss’ Air Slash. The next turn, I knock out his Togekiss while he knocks out my Dusclops and I just wait for Excadrill to switch in so I can forfeit.

When I see that he sends Rotom-Wash onto the field instead, my hope is rekindled. Roserade had taken only 2 rounds of Sand damage, and Tyranitar’s Crunch when Burned could be a 3HKO, and Roserade could handle it even after the Leaf Storm SpA drop. I would have knocked him out with the combination of 4 rounds of Burn + Sludge Bomb + Leaf Storm. So, I decide to use Leaf Storm on Rotom and hope it doesn’t Protect. It doesn’t Protect, but Roserade misses the Leaf Storm and condemns me to defeat.

My run, sadly, ends here. I get quite unnerved, wish him good luck anyway, and I leave to calm down a bit.
Looking back on what happened later, I think that on the second turn of G3 I didn’t make the worst play, but there could have been decidedly more safe moves, which would have led me to different scenarios and, maybe, to victory.

However, I am not complaining. These things happen. I was also lucky in situations that required it, like in round 6 and round 8.

Overall, I am satisfied with my run and how the team worked in mine and Davide’s hands.

Conclusion and Shoutouts

First of all, thanks to my partner Davide Carrer, with whom I have been cooperating with for almost 4 years; a cooperation that has led to success on both sides.

Thanks to Enrico Genovese and Pasquale Esposito for having developed and tested the team with us and all those who have contacted us since series 1, with whom we have exchanged ideas and opinions.

Thanks also to Trainer Tower for giving me the opportunity to write this report.