Light of Destruction! A Spring Scramble Top 8 Team Report

Hello! I’m Ramsés Quintana (@kaoru_kitsune), a Spanish Pokémon VGC player who is finishing his Business Studies at University. I have been playing Pokémon VGC since 2015, and just recently I finished in top 8 of the Trainer Tower Spring Scramble. I am very happy to have the opportunity to write this report for Trainer Tower.

Team’s Achievements

  • Trainer Tower Spring Scramble Round Robin: 8 wins with 1 loss
  • Trainer Tower Spring Scramble Final Result: Top 8
  • Tournament “Sonrinte Ultra” (online): First place
  • Internationals Preparation Tournament (Spanish players): First place
  • Berlin European Internationals: Top 128 (79th) of 420 players (6-3). The team was good enough to make day 2, but my performance wasn’t at its peak in the final rounds as I was making silly mistakes. I also need to say that in this tournament, I used Amoonguss instead of Stakataka (I explain why a little later on).

The Team Building Process

I had been building this team for the EUIC since Sun series, but unsurprisingly, a lot of changes came with the start of Ultra series.

I was sure that I wanted to play Ultra Necrozma in Ultra series because of its incredible stats, movepool, and its ability to Ultra Burst. All these things, in my opinion, make this Pokémon really good and undervalued by a lot of people.

In the beginning, I naturally paired Tapu Lele with Necrozma (at that moment a physical Dusk Mane variant because of the typing), but then I tried different versions of the team from here, trialing Groudon, Mega Salamence, Incineroar, Amoonguss, etc. After a lot of testing these different versions, I replaced Groudon with Xerneas because I really wanted a better answer for Yveltal and Xerneas is, in my opinion, the best option for this. Further, it is able to boost Lele’s Moonblast with its Fairy Aura.

The other big problem was that Lunala can OHKO much of the team with its Z-Move, or simply with Moongeist Beam in the case of Lele and Necrozma. At first, I just used Incineroar’s Malicious Moonsault to combat it, but it was not enough. I decided to use Kangaskhan over Salamence because it is immune to Lunala’s Z-Move, in addition as having Dark coverage like Crunch, and can use Low Kick for Stakataka, which can be annoying without Groudon.

For the last slot, I chose Stakataka, because at that time in the meta, there was a boom of X-Ray and this Pokémon is really good in matchups like that without Primals.

The Team

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Dawn Wings

Galaxy-eyes (Necrozma-Dawn-Wings) @ Ultranecrozium Z
Ability: Prism Armor
Level: 50
EVs: 84 HP / 4 Def / 124 SpA / 108 SpD / 188 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Photon Geyser
– Earth Power
– Moongeist Beam
– Protect

Offensive Calcs

  • 124 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Light That Burns the Sky vs. 136 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre-Primal in Psychic Terrain: 192-226 (100 – 117.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 124 SpA Neuroforce Necrozma-Ultra Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Incineroar: 112-132 (55.4 – 65.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs

  • 12 SpA Kyogre-Primal Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 84 HP / 108 SpD Necrozma-Dawn-Wings in Heavy Rain: 160-189 (87.4 – 103.2%) — 25% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Gengar-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 84 HP / 108 SpD Necrozma-Ultra: 152-182 (83 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

I need to thank @MrSidi5 for this EV spread, as he made the calcs.

I decided to use this form over Dusk Mane, because with it I can use Moongeist Beam, which is very helpful against Lunala or in mirror matches. With this EV spread, UNec survives Gengar Shadow Ball. I really needed this calc, but in the past few weeks, I have seen less Shadow Ball on Gengar. It has enough Special Attack to KO nearly all the Pokémon in the meta with its Z-Move in Psychic Terrain (and some of them, like Groudon, Mega Salamence, etc., without the terrain) or go for a 2HKO with Psychic Terrain-boosted Photon Geyser if it hits for neutral damage. It is also able to 2HKO Incineroar with Earth Power. As an added bonus, with its Speed stat, it is 1 point faster than Mega Salamence.

Madoka (Tapu Lele) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Psyshock
– Shadow Ball
– Magic Room
– Moonblast

Offensive Calcs

  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Yveltal: 182-216 (90.5 – 107.4%) — 37.5% chance to OHKO (1OHKO with fairy aura)
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 159 SpD Groudon-Primal in Psychic Terrain: 118-139 (57 – 67.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Tapu Lele activates Psychic Terrain, fundamental for the Psychic Spam-mode which turns the team into something more offensive. I didn’t want to complicate things with the EV spread, I just wanted to hit hard and fast with Tapu Lele and have as much Speed as possible in case of a mirror match. I used Shadow Ball to have more answers against Lunala, and Magic Room to deal with Amoonguss/Smeargle-Xerneas leads.

Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 116 Def / 188 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Moonblast
– Dazzling Gleam
– Geomancy
– Protect

Offensive Calcs

  • +2 188 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 72 SpD Groudon-Primal: 105-123 (50.7 – 59.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 188 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Kyogre-Primal: 118-139 (57 – 67.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs

  • +1 76+ Atk Groudon-Primal Fire Punch vs. 4 HP / 116 Def Xerneas in Harsh Sunshine: 169-199 (83.6 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 4 HP / 116 Def Xerneas: 157-187 (77.7 – 92.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Xerneas in this team has the role of protecting Necrozma from Dark-types such as Yveltal, as well as being an offensive option for the team.

This Xerneas has enough Speed to outspeed both max Speed Primals by 2 points (2 points instead of 1, because I had a lot of speed ties testing it on SD with other Pokémon that outsped Primals by 1). I want to be faster than the Primals because I feel more secure setting up Geomancy before Water Spout/Eruption goes off. It survives +1 Fire Punch from Groudon, because there are lots of times when I Intimidate Groudon and the opponent goes for Swords Dance, leaving Groudon with +1 Atk. This calc is important, especially for the XernDon matchup.

Laquari (Incineroar) @ Incinium Z
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 228 SpD / 28 Spe
Careful Nature
– Fake Out
– Darkest Lariat
– Flare Blitz
– U-turn

Offensive Calcs

  • 0 Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs 0 HP / 0 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 254-300 (119.8 – 141.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 0 Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 68+ Def Bronzong: 174-206 (100 – 118.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs

  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 228+ SpD Incineroar: 171-202 (84.6 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

Incineroar is, as you know, a great supporter with Intimidate, Fake Out, and an ability to hit Steel-type Pokémon to help out Xerneas. Incinium Z is very effective at knocking out Gengar, Lunala, and Bronzong. I use it to hit Kyogre in TR too, if it’s necessary. This spread is very common, as it is able to endure a Moonblast from boosted Xerneas.

Liz y Patty (Kangaskhan-Mega) @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 100 HP / 212 Atk / 36 Def / 156 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Double-Edge
– Crunch
– Low Kick

Offensive Calcs

  • 212+ Atk Parental Bond Kangaskhan-Mega Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Shadow Shield Lunala: 132-157 (62.2 – 74%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 212+ Atk Parental Bond Kangaskhan-Mega Double-Edge vs. -1 0 HP / 0 Def Rayquaza: 218-258 (121.1 – 143.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs

  • 252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 100 HP / 36 Def Kangaskhan-Mega: 164-192 (84.9 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Lunala Psyshock vs. 100 HP / 36 Def Kangaskhan-Mega in Psychic Terrain: 103-123 (53.3 – 63.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Kangaskhan is, in my opinion, a good option for protecting Xerneas from Stakataka. Using Low Kick or supporting with Fake Out (double Fake Out with Incineroar can be very annoying for the opponent) helps the rest of the team deal with Lunala which can be problematic for Tapu Lele or Necrozma. It can also do good “chip” damage with Double-Edge. With this spread, Kangaskhan can survive Mega Rayquaza’s Dragon Ascent and take the KO after the Def drop from the attack, even if it’s Sash Rayquaza thanks to Parental Bond. This Mega-Kangaskhan is one point faster than Smeargle.

Normal Sprite

Stakataka @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Atk / 220 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Gyro Ball
– Trick Room
– Protect
– Wide Guard

Offensive Calcs

  • 44+ Atk Stakataka Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Yveltal: 127-150 (63.1 – 74.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 44+ Atk Stakataka Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Rayquaza-Mega: 92-110 (51.1 – 61.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs

  • Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom vs. 244 HP / 220 SpD Stakataka: 144-169 (86.2 – 101.1%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • 76+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Shuca Berry Stakataka: 134-162 (80.2 – 97%) — guaranteed 2HKO

As I said before, this Pokémon was added to the team because of the X-Ray boom during the teambuilding process. It primarily helps deal with Xerneas and Yveltal. After the tournament, I decided to use Amoonguss in this slot because the number of X-Ray decreased and Primals in TR could be a problem for the team if you didn’t play well in those matchups. I used Shuca Berry for taking possible Rayquaza, Necrozma, etc. Ground attacks. Bring this Pokémon in a XernDon matchup if it’s necessary.

Team Play

First I must say that if I bring Tapu Lele, I don’t bring the two Fake Out users. Maybe one, but never both of them. The team has 2 main strategies:

  1. Set up Geomancy with Xerneas by abusing the Fake Outs, and have Necrozma in the back to eliminate what remains of the opposing team during late game. Even when Xerneas is already boosted you can continue to abuse the Fake Outs, especially if your opponent has 1 or more Pokémon without Protect.
  2. Go for Psychic Spam and start destroying things with powerful attacks. Use the threat of the Z-Move after the Ultra Burst while keeping Xerneas in the back, waiting for a good position to enter and go for the Geomancy (or Stakataka in some matchups).

Core Combinations and Common Leads

+ or /

In a lot of matchups, a good lead is Xerneas Kangaskhan/Incineroar, to just go for Fake Out and Geomancy. Kangaskhan over Incineroar is usually better due to its faster Fake Out than the opposing in Incineroar, or in Gengar matchups.

+ / +

Another common lead for the team is Necrozma/Lele, especially if you play vs Amoonguss/Smeargle – Xerneas, setting up Magic Room and KOing the redirector, then eliminating Xerneas on the next turn before he finishes setting up Geomancy.

+ or + /

Against teams without Primals, Stakataka causes a lot of pressure, especially if you play it carefully during the game. The usual strategy is to go for Trick Room and start destroying. Keep the Lele in the back in case you need to stop the opponent’s Fake Outs and other priority attacks, and use Necrozma/Xerneas (depending on the rest of the team) to finish the job when Trick Room runs out.

Team Match-ups

+

Against this team, I usually lead Incineroar/Xerneas with Kangaskhan and Necrozma in the back. If my opponent has Tapu Fini (which almost always has Haze) and Incineroar on the team, this tends to be their lead 90% of the time. Against this strategy, the idea is to deal with Fini and then or within the same turn boost Xerneas, so the first turn is to trade Fake Outs (or Fake Out his Incineroar if you are faster after the Intimidates) and go for Moonblast on the Tapu Fini doing damage necessary to leave it within Kangaskhan’s Double-Edge range. Then with U-turn, you can go into Kangaskhan and go for Geomancy. On this same turn, you KO the Fini with Double-Edge and keep playing from here, keeping Necrozma in the back to finish the job. If the opponent leads with Xerneas, you can bring Stakataka in game 2, but be wary of the Groudon.

+

Depending on the teammates to these leads, I usually lead with Stakataka and Kangaskhan, or with the Psychic Spam lead. This is dependent on whether my opponent has Amoonguss or not. In the back, I usually bring Xerneas/Necrozma in the first case and Necrozma/Lele in the second instance. The strategy in the first matchup is to use Stakataka in TR with Kang/Incin to deal damage and, in the late game, finish the job with Xerneas and Necrozma. In the second instance, I usually go for Magic Room with Lele if the opponent leads Amoonguss and Xerneas. I activate the Ultra Burst and KO the Amoonguss, and on the next turn, I can KO the Xerneas before Geomancy using Necrozma’s Z-Move.

+

In this match up, I usually open with Necrozma/Tapu Lele with Kangaskhan and Xerneas in the back. I start going for damage while having the Xerneas wait for the opportunity to come in. Kangaskhan can OHKO Rayquaza and 2HKO Kyogre, while none of them can 1HKO Kangaskhan back, save for a Water Spout from a full HP Kyogre. If the opponent has a Tapu Koko, I usually lead with Necrozma and Kangaskhan so I do not lose the terrain war, but the game plan is quite similar. When they brought a Bronzong or another TR setter, I usually focus that Pokemon. If the opponent has a Ferrothorn, I would bring Incineroar instead of Xerneas in the back, waiting to KO the Ferrothorn after you deal with the Kyogre.

+

I deal with this matchup by leading Kangaskhan and Xerneas with Incineroar and Necrozma in the back. The idea is to set up the Xerneas, and with Scrappy Kangaskhan, you can Fake Out Lunala if necessary. With Moongeist Beam Necrozma and Malicious Moonsault Inicneroar, Lunala is always under pressure, and with the Intimidates from Incineroar, boosted Xerneas and Necrozma, you should be able to deal with the rest of the team. If the opponent has Tapu Lele, then Incineroar and Xerneas with Lele (I just don’t like to bring the two Fake Out users if the opponent has Tapu Lele too) and Necrozma in the back is a better option, giving you the opportunity to knock out the Lunala with Incineroar’s Z-Move on turn one.

+

Against this matchup, a lot of players lead with Gengar (to protect Yveltal) and Yveltal. I normally go with Xerneas and Kangaskhan with Tapu Lele and Necrozma in the back. Fake Out Gengar and go for Geomancy; if the Yveltal has a Z-Move and KOs Kangaskhan, you can go into Necrozma and cause a lot of pressure while also still having an answer to a possible Stakataka on the opponent’s team. This is not a difficult matchup, but the real problems are caused by variants with Tapu Lele, such as James Baek’s team. In this case, it is more difficult to deal with it. You must knock out the Gengar quickly, and then it should be easier from there, but it can be still problematic depending on the opponent, so be careful.

Rundown of Tournament

I picked a few matches from the tournament:

Round 4 vs C9lifeorb – LL

This was my only defeat in my 9 battles before the top and that’s why I want to analyse it.

Game 1
In game 1, he leads Smeargle and Groudon, with myself leading Kangaskhan and Xerneas. My game plan was to try and boost with my Xerneas quickly, since there was no Fini, and start destroying stuff, especially if he brings Bronzong. On turn one, he goes for Swords Dance with Groudon and, after a really close match at points, I executed the game plan poorly, allowing him to set up Trick Room with Bronzong and finish me off with his +1 Groudon.

Game 2
He noticed that Groudon in Trick Room was really dangerous for me, and in game 2, he leads with Smeargle and Bronzong. He sets up Trick Room without problems and I lose easily. My opponent played very well both games. After analyzing this game, I thought about it, and found my answer in Amoonguss which I used in Berlin instead of Stakataka.

Round 5 vs BillaVGC – WW

Game 1
Billa leads with Gengar and Yveltal and I, for the optimal matchup, lead with Kangaskhan/Xerneas. On the first turn, I Fake Out Gengar and go for Geomancy, while he withdraws Yveltal for Stakataka, giving me a free turn. From here I had a very good position. So I just go for Low kick into the Stakataka slot and Dazzling Gleam, getting the KO onto the Stakataka and winning the game with Xerneas.

Game 2
In the next game, I lead with the Psychic Spam duo, Lele and Necrozma, hoping that he brings a different lead. I was correct, and he led with Gengar and Togedemaru. At that point in the metagame, a lot of Togedemaru held Focus Sash, so I focus that Pokémon and my opponent protects Gengar, giving me another free turn 1. Then Stakataka comes in and my opponent switches out Kyogre for the Gengar slot but takes a lot of damage due to my Psychic Spam attacks, getting me a KO. From here I win in TR with Kangaskhan thanks to its bulk, surviving a Gyro Ball with Low Kick onto the Stakataka (on this turn Gengar KO’d my Scarf Lele in TR with Sludge Bomb) and then Crunch onto the Gengar slot.

Top 28 Match vs Atmosphere – WW

Game 1
In this game, I lead Incineroar/Xerneas with Kangaskhan/Necrozma in the back, with the intention of applying my standard game plan against this matchup. However, he led with Bronzong and Groudon. I used Malicious Moonsault onto Bronzong and Geomancied, getting both a KO and a boosted Xerneas, while my opponent’s Groudon goes for Swords Dance. Then my opponent goes into Persian-A, but from here, all I had to do was be careful of the Groudon and abuse my double Fake Outs to win, which I did.

Game 2
I was sure that my opponent knew that his win condition was setting up Trick Room with Bronzong. Therefore, I start game 2 in the same way, but with Tapu Lele in the back, expecting a Bronzong/Persian-A lead, which is exactly what happens. I used Malicious Moonsault again onto Bronzong, with a switch to my Lele stopping the Persian Fake Out and getting me a KO onto the Bronzong. Atmosphere goes into his Xerneas here, so I go for the Magic Room, preventing his Geomancy and switching my Incineroar the same turn (by using U-turn onto the Persian slot) into my Necrozma, getting a KO on Xerneas and practically winning the game 2 too.
I need to say that with the Amoonguss in the Stakataka slot I would not have had problems even if he had set the Trick Room.

Top 16 match vs Sohaib – WLW

Game 1
I lead with Kangaskhan/Lele and Stakataka/Xerneas in the back. The objective was to KO the Crobat quickly and then set up Trick Room with Stakataka. He leads Crobat/Rayquaza and then switches the Crobat out, but at some point in the game, I set up Trick Room and destroyed him with Stakataka.

Game 2
In this game, I thought of a similar game plan, but when I dealt with the Crobat, I went for Geomancy having the Stakataka in the back for the late game. It was a decent play, but unfortunately, my boosted Xerneas got crit, so I lost this game. That’s all a part of the challenge of the game.

Game 3
I went for the same game plan as game 2, but this time won without problems.

Top8 match vs Mister GX – LWL

Game 1
My game plan against his team was to start with Lele and Necrozma because of the possible Xerneas/Amoonguss lead, with Kangaskhan/Stakataka in the back for late game. Mister GX led with Incineroar/Xerneas, with Amoongus/Suicune in the back. In the late game, his Suicune burned my Kangaskhan and my Stakataka, so I could not get the KO’s I needed in the end, but it was a really close game.

Game 2
In this game, I went for the same game plan as game 1, but taking more care with the Scalds due to its high Burn chance. He leads in the same way, so I won this game, but it was a really close one too (finishing 1-0).

Game 3
This time, I repeated my game 1 and 2 game plans, but he brought Rayquaza for the late game instead of Suicune and I could not handle the offensive pressure with Stakataka. I lost after another really close game. Mister GX play perfectly all 3 games.

Conclusion

As I said before, I think that Amoonguss at this point in the meta is better for the team than Stakataka, and I would recommend using it instead, because it is a better response to Trick Room (especially if there is a Primal on the opponent’s team). It can also help set up Xerneas with Rage Powder.

I’m happy with the results that I got with the team I built and to have the opportunity to write this report for Trainer Tower.

If you have any doubts or want to ask any questions about the team, feel free to contact me on Twitter. I hope this article helps you. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, and thank you very much for reading this article.

Credit to leon88627 for the featured image

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