Shining in the Rain – Costa Rica Special Event Champions Report

Hello everyone! My name is Victor Gonzalez from Costa Rica, more commonly known as “Vic”, and I’m the champion of the recent Special Event held in Costa Rica.

To let you know a bit about me, I’ve been playing competitively since the end of 2015. I’ve competed at the last 3 World Championships, making Day 2 in 2016. The other 2 times, I ended up X-3, just a win short of making it to Day 2. Today I’m gonna tell you about the team that I used to win the Special Event.

The team started off as a Dialga + Kyogre team, based on one of the top ladder teams at the time. My friends @CrisZVGC, @Haxnandez, @Neroshiny93 and I started theorizing and building a team based on the local metagame. After testing for a while, I realized that the base was good, but there was something that the team was missing.

The Team

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Normal Sprite

Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Prism Armor
Level: 50
EVs: 196 HP / 108 Atk / 4 Def / 200 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 24 Spe
– Sunsteel Strike
– Trick Room
– Protect
– Photon Geyser

When I was testing the Dialga team, I realized it has really good resistances, but it lacks offensive power once it sets up Trick Room, so I couldn’t properly take advantage of it. Also, Dialga deals no significant damage to a boosted Xerneas, which is why I thought of Necrozma. It has a better Xerneas match-up whilst still having most of the advantages of Dialga. Even with the rise of Lunala due to its signature Z-Move, I considered Dusk Mane a good option. The Chesto Berry was to make sure that neither Amoonguss nor Smeargle could threaten to put it to Sleep (mostly because of Payapa Berry on Amoonguss). The Speed, despite being Brave, has some IVs still to ensure it was able to be slower than no Speed Kyogre/Groudon and to outspeed Xerneas/Yveltal in Tailwind.

Kyogre @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 116 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
– Scald
– Origin Pulse

Even though Kyogre is less popular in Moon series compared to its usage in Sun series, I thought it had potential. The primary reason being that it’s the best restricted to pair with Necrozma as it covers both Incineroar and Groudon. I chose to use Kyogre with Choice Scarf because using min Speed to play a hard Trick Room version has a lot of cons (mostly because of Koko and Smeargle). Also, the ability to threaten a full power Water Spout is amazing, because it does a ton of damage to pretty much the whole metagame. In the tournament, it ended up being the principal damage dealer and helped a lot in the Groudon match-up.

Tornadus @ Mago Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 124 HP / 4 Def / 20 SpA / 244 SpD / 116 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hurricane
– Taunt
– Tailwind
– Rain Dance

This was an easy choice since Tornadus is the best support for Kyogre and I can definitely say it was the MVP of the tournament. The spread is the same as Benjamin Tan’s from a couple of reports before. Tornadus came out at pretty much all the matches, easily showing why it’s so good.

Landorus-Therian @ Groundium Z
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 24 HP / 252 Atk / 20 Def / 16 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– U-turn
– Protect
– Knock Off

The next Pokémon is one that doesn’t have as much popularity as in other metagames, but that doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it is one of the better mons overall. On the first version of the team, @CrisZVGC insisted on how good this Landorus set can be, and it was true. While you can view Incineroar as the better Intimidate user due to its support options, Landorus has a lot of offensive power. Furthermore, its Ground-type STAB deals big damage to a lot of the metagame with the Z-Move enabling it to deal with a lot of threats.

  • 252+ Atk Landorus-T Knock Off vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Lunala: 196-232 (92 – 108.9%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO (non-Shadow Shield)
  • 252+ Atk Landorus-T Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 190-225 (94 – 111.3%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO

Heliolisk @ Electrium Z
Ability: Dry Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunder
– Glare
– Grass Knot
– Protect

It was pretty fun to make use of this Pokémon. I’ve tried it out before but it didn’t convince me because of its lack of damage output. However, with the introduction of the Z-Moves in Moon Series, I realized that the offensive power that Heliolisk lacks in can be rectified with a Z-Move.
Heliolisk worked as a Kyogre counter, giving me the advantage in Kyogre mirrors. It was also good against AV Yveltal, as with the help of chip damage Heliolisk can blow it away with the Z-Move before it starts spamming Snarl.

  • 252 SpA Heliolisk Gigavolt Havoc (185 BP) vs. 108 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 138-164 (64.1 – 76.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Heliolisk Thunder vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 126-150 (71.5 – 85.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Lurantis @ Figy Berry
Ability: Contrary
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 12 Def / 44 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Leaf Blade
– Superpower
– Knock Off
– Protect

The last Pokémon to be included in the team was Lurantis. I originally started out using Tapu Bulu, because it deals good damage to a lot of threats in Trick Room, but there were some responses to Bulu that were a pain (for example Incineroar, Ferrothorn, and Dialga), all of which Lurantis had a good match-up against. This is a VGC18 spread made by @CrisZVGC, but because of a lack of time I didn’t really optimize it for the format. It already had the calcs I needed.

  • +1 196+ Atk Lurantis Superpower vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 202-238 (101 – 119%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 196+ Atk Lurantis Leaf Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 152-182 (86.3 – 103.4%) — 25% chance to OHKO

Core Combinations and Common Leads

+

Probably my most used lead. In Sun Series it was really solid, and Moon Series didn’t really make it worse. Tornadus has everything that Kyogre wants: Flying-type coverage for Grass-types, Rain Dance to win the weather war, Taunt to stop any annoying gimmicks and it just makes Kyogre’s life easier overall.

+

This lead is kinda similar to the classic duo of Landorus + Thundurus. They both complement each other really well. Tornadus gives Landorus the speed control it needs due to its base Speed being lower than a lot of threatening Pokémon, such as Lele or Lunala. This lead also allows Lando to just spam Earthquake.

+

If I don’t see a Groudon in team preview, this is a good option. This is because I’ll pretty much always have Rain up. Also, Heliolisk is a threat to pretty much all Kyogre archetypes, especially if it’s YvelOgre. Heliolisk is also pretty good against Lunala + Kyogre teams.

+

This lead works pretty well against Xerneas + Incineroar leads if the opposing team has Xerneas, but no Groudon. I didn’t use it that much, but it can be a good option that has a lot of offensive power.

Team Match-ups

Good Match-ups

This match-up feels like one of the easiest, because I have a variety of ways to win the weather war. By doing that, Groudon becomes less of a threat, making Necrozma’s life easier. I generally lead with Kyogre + Tornadus with Necrozma in the back for the late game.

The Kyogre match-up is easier because Heliolisk gives me a huge advantage against Kyogre. I pretty much consider this match-up the easiest because it is almost like the opponent only has one restricted Pokémon.

Bad Match-ups

Probably this is the worst match-up because my principal damage dealer is Kyogre, and it’s really hard to keep Kyogre healthy without letting Zygarde get boosted to the point that Kyogre can’t stop it. This is definitely the hardest match-up.

Rundown of Tournament

Round 1: Rene Alvarenga @Rene_VGC (El Salvador) – WW

First round, I was up against the most known player in the tournament and also one of my closest friends in the Latin American community. Our Swiss match was relatively simple. In Game 1, he did not expect Kyogre to have a Choice Scarf, which allowed me to get a huge advantage, getting rid of his Groudon as early as possible.

Game 2 was even simpler, as Kyogre + Tornadus just demolished his team.

Roud 2: Josher Ramirez – WW

With both games, he led Lunala + Fake Out User, but the bulk on my Tornadus was to much for his team. It survived the MMM from Lunala twice, and once the Lunala was KO’d, Landorus and Lurantis were free to take the win. The defining point for both games was when I got rid of his Lunala.

Round 3: Max Morales @Max_LJCR – WW

I was against one of the better players in the Costa Rican Community (I’ll say he is in the Top 5). These games were pretty interesting because I had a little bit of experience against the archetype due to my Round 1 match. Once again, Tornadus + Kyogre allowed me to get rid of his Groudon early and Necrozma was very useful in the end game.

Round 4: Jose Mena – WLW

This fight was very similar to the one in Round 2. The difference was the leads. In game 2, I led with Kyogre, and he led with Ludicolo + Lunala all 3 games. Game 2 got pretty difficult as soon as I realized he didn’t change his lead. The damage output of LO Ludicolo was too much for me, so I lost that game. In game 3, Tornadus came in clutch once again, setting up the speed control I needed.

Round 5: Gonzalo Gonzalez ( Panama ) – WW

Really similar match to both my Round 2 and 4, but with Gonzalo not having Ludicolo, it made my life much easier. The lack of Ludicolo allowed me to just abuse of the offensive power of Kyogre.

Top 8: Roberto Ortega – WW

A great friend of mine in the community, this match felt relativity easy. Roberto was running a Z Psych-Up Kyogre, so his Kyogre had no way to deal significant damage to my Heliolisk. Therefore, my priority was getting rid of the Xerneas and then have a checkmate scenario with Heliolisk against his Kyogre. Both games I made the right calls so I could get rid of his Xerneas and win.

Top 4: Rene Alvarenga @Rene_VGC (El Salvador) – LWW

This match ended up being very different from the one in the Swiss Rounds. He clearly kept some surprises under his sleeve. For example, he never used his Tapu Koko against me in the first round, but it ended up being AV, which made me lose the first game.

Game 2 was a lot closer where a bad play on my part was saved by a critical hit on his Groudon, and I ended up with my Necrozma against his Xerneas and won. In Game 3, I played it in a better way and managed to get the win.

Final: Max Morales @Max_LJCR – WLW

All 3 games were pretty similar. Right from the start they had a 50/50 situation. His Tapu Koko, which was holding a Choice Specs, was very threatening, so I had to KO it with either Kyogre or get into a good position with Landorus. The games I won were thanks to me predicting which slot the Koko was going to attack and who Incineroar was throwing its Fake Out at.

Conclusion

I’ve been enjoying this team a lot. I made a couple of variations after the tournament that really helped me. One of them is changing the Glare on Heliolisk for Dark Pulse, giving me a better answer against Lunala.

In conclusion, the tournament was a great day and it was pretty good to see many foreign players. It was our first tournament with that many people from outside Costa Rica, so it was a pretty cool experience.

Shoutouts to @CrisZVGC for helping me with both the Landorus and Lurantis spreads and also for the translation of this report (and thank God I didn’t have to face your Zygarde in the tournament).

I hope you have enjoyed this report. If you have any questions, you can contact me @vic17988

Credit to rinatiger for featured image

One comment

  1. Is it imperative to run Heliolisk with Dry Skin? I really like this mon

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