A Bolt from the Prehistoric Past – Malmö VGC 2020 Regional Championship Team Report
This past weekend I travelled to Malmö via Copenhagen to participate in Malmö’s Regional Championship event for the third time in four years; accompanied by Ayleigh & Helen, I was able to couple this up as a week’s holiday to explore both of these beautiful cities before focusing on the tournament ahead.
With the recent changes to the VGC ruleset, legalising new Pokémon such as Incineroar and Venusaur, I was left unsure of what sort of team I would be bringing to the event and it wouldn’t be until the Wednesday before the tournament that my decision would finally be made.
My good friend, and a regional championship winner from 2009 Daniel Tapp fired a fun, offensive squad my way to at least make a fist at acquiring some Championship Points over the weekend; however, with the lack of preparation and the news of Europe’s International Championship being cancelled, my focus moved more towards the content which could be created for Goldenrod Press than the actual competition.
In the build up to Malmö Regionals, Tournament Center’s “Play the Championships” Facebook page had posted out an advertisement for their all new Creators Lounge which was designed to grant content creators behind the scenes access and space to create content throughout the course of the tournament’s weekend.
The area itself was a cosy area in the back stage area, situated alongside the commentary and featured games area equipped with lockers for our equipment, beanbags, a mini fridge stocked to the brim with various drinks, laptop work stations and even an interview area!
For a writer like myself, it made a pleasant change to have a quiet area to pen articles in between rounds (especially during my third round bye) whilst everything is still fresh in the mind rather than trying to claw everything back from memory at the end of a long tournament weekend; it also gave me the opportunity to sit down and catch up with Swedish player Johan Huang – our interview can be found by following this link; overall, it was a wonderful experience to be a part of, one which I would recommend to all content creators and look forward to experiencing again!
As you can see by looking at the choice of Pokémon, the speed tier of this team is somewhat middling which allows us to take advantage of both Tailwind and Trick Room depending on the opposing team. Whilst the team contains none of the meta’s hard Trick Room threats, we have enough answers to cope with opposing Torkoal and Rhyperior even if the dimensions are twisted whilst either of the two are on the field.
You can try this team out for yourself either by using the above rental code in game, or by clicking this link for the full Poképaste!
Butterfree-Gmax @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Pollen Puff
– Sleep Powder
Our only Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing, Butterfree is one of our two methods of speed control. The moveset ensures Butterfree is capable of acting as both a support Pokémon and an offensive sweeper whilst being able to function successfully regardless of whether it Gigantamaxes. Tailwind (and Hurricane whilst Gigantamaxed) boosts our team’s speed, Sleep Powder with the accuracy boost from Compound Eyes provides a reliable way of putting our opponents to sleep and Pollen Puff can either be used to inflict a decent chunk of damage or to heal our ally Pokémon. Whilst Gigantamaxed, Pollen Puff turns into G-Max Befuddle which will inflict either paralyses, poison or sleep status onto our opponents. [Total KO’s: 5]
Incineroar @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 116 Def / 4 SpA / 140 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Throat Chop
– Parting Shot
Yep. The King of VGC since 2018 has returned and plays a fairly important role on our team. Looking at our squad in team preview, Durant appears to be quite an easy Pokémon to lead into us, Dynamax and sweep from there. However, with the above EV spread, Incineroar gives us an answer to Durant:
-1 252 Atk Life Orb Hustle Durant Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 244 HP / 116 Def Incineroar: 164-195 (81.5 – 97%)
-1 252 Atk Life Orb Hustle Durant Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 244 HP / 116 Def [DYNAMAX] Incineroar: 164-195 (40.7 – 48.5%)
4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 4 HP / 0 Def [DYNAMAX] Durant: 280-336 (104.4 – 125.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
We made our Incineroar as slow as possible to ensure Parting Shot would activate last against the majority of our opponents, Flare Blitz provides the ability to knock out a Dynamaxed Durant without any investment required and Throat Chop was preferred over Darkest Lairat as the ability to shut down moves like Perish Song and Hyper Voice is much more valuable than the additional five base power from Lairat. [Total KO’s: 2]
Primarina @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Liquid Voice
EVs: 252 HP / 36 Def / 180 SpA / 36 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hyper Voice
– Perish Song
With Tapu Fini absent from the meta, Primarina takes the spot of the format’s premium Water Fairy (yes, we’re just going to ignore the fact it’s the ONLY Water Fairy…). Primarina does boast some impressive base stats, including a huge base 126 Special Attack which is put to good use through the STAB moves of choice – Moonblast & Hyper Voice. Initially, Primarina had Icy Wind in the last slot however, once Gothitelle was added to the team, I decided to add Perish Song to create a trap mode or at least force switches on Dynamaxed Pokémon; this almost backfired in one of our tournament matches as we swiftly found out Perish Song would activate Gastrodon’s Storm Drain, Jellicent’s Water Absorb and not trigger a perish count… Wiki Berry and Protect were added to the set, increasing Primarina’s longevity and helping us stall some crucial Perish Song turns. When using this team for yourself keep in mind that, once Dynamaxed, Primarina doesn’t get access to a water type attack as Hyper Voice (turning into Max Strike) loses its status as a sound based attack.
The EV’s allow Primarina to survive Max Quake from Rhyperior or a Max Lightning from more bulky variants of Rotom without needing to Dynamax. [Total KO’s: 5]
Gothitelle @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Ally Switch
– Trick Room
Initially, Mold Breaker Excadrill was in this slot to act as a way of combating Rotom-Wash/Heat, however I didn’t enjoy having Butterfree as the only mode of Speed Control on the team. I decided to add Gothitelle, not only for the ability to twist the dimensions, but to trap opponents in with one of our powerful sweepers. Incineroar isn’t safe to lead into our team as we could easily lead Passimian and knock it off the field and opposing Durant could easily be left vulnerable to a Gothitelle Incineroar lead. In addition to this, the mind games having both Gothitelle and Butterfree creates on team preview can easily force opponents to lead poorly or predictably against us. The moveset is fairly self explanatory with my only regret being the inclusion of Ally Switch over Helping Hand whilst the EV Spread doesn’t do anything specific; in truth, Gothitelle was added to the team too late for me to spend time breeding and training a new one with a more specific spread. That being said, the EV’s didn’t let us down during the event. [Total KO’s: 7… yes… really!]
Passimian @ Assault Vest
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 68 Spe
– Iron Head
– Knock Off
– Close Combat
The first of our two powerhouse sweepers, Passimian was incredible throughout the tournament. Having access to Defiant whilst being seen next to Gothitelle on team preview really forced our opponents to think twice before leading anything with Intimidate or firing off Dynamax moves which lower stats for fear of being overwhelmed by our boosted monkey. This is the exact same Passimian spread which helped Sejun Park win Victory Road’s World Champion Invitational. The EVs don’t do anything specific other than being able to outspeed Dragapult and +1 Braviary under Tailwind whilst the attacks grant Passimian excellent coverage. Overall, Passimian was an excellent pick and carried us to victory in a few matches. [Total KO’s: 14]
Dracozolt @ Weakness Policy
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Bolt Beak
– Aerial Ace
– Dragon Claw
Dracozolt was our clear MVP and, despite outside of dynamax feeling like you’re flipping a coin every time you try to attack, was so much fun to play with! Dracozolt was often the Pokémon we chose to Dynamax with Aerial Ace having the ability to boost our speed (as well as providing us with a 100% accurate attack whilst not Dynamaxed), Dragon Claw lowering opponents attack as well as providing huge damage output. Using Bolt Beak whilst Dynamaxed had its pros and cons, setting Electric Terrain to boost the power of future Bolt Beaks however preventing us from utilising Butterfree’s Sleep Powder.
The EVs maximise Dracozolt’s bulk, allowing it to take a surprising amount of punishment whilst activating the Weakness Policy to mitigate any Intimidate drops or the lack of Offensive investment. Investing maximum EV’s into speed with an Adamant nature allows us to move after our own Butterfree to ensure we can set up a Sleep Powder before activating Electric Terrain whilst also being able to outspeed Inteleon at +1. [Total KO’s: 23]
Round One: Mattie Morgan [IE] (Top 4) LL
Round Two: Nikolai Kugler [DE] 4-4 LWL
Round Three: Benedict Yves Eglestein (AKA BYE)
Yep… this is the first time I’d ever received a bye in a tournament…
Round Four: Luke Tonks [UK] (1-4 Drop) LWW
Round Five: Aleksandra Cwikiel [PL] (6-2) WLL*
*This was probably the most frustrating game of the day, losing game three to a Bolt Beak miss and an Ice Punch freeze in the same turn
Round Six: Francois-Xavier de Lageneste [FR] (4-4) WW
Round Seven: Francesco Urru [IT] (3-5) WLW
Round Eight: Simon Sandqvist [SE] (4-4) WW
Overall, I was pretty happy to finish 40th with a 5-3 standing, especially considering the lack of practice and preparation in the build up to the tournament. I’d like to take a moment to give a special thank you to Daniel for allowing me to use his team, Tournament Center for granting me access to the creator’s lounge and Ayleigh & Helen for being the most amazing travel companions!
Feel free to test out the team for yourself and let me know how it works out for you!