Alolan MythBusters – A 10th Place Georgia Regionals Report

Hello everyone, Hambrick here. I’m writing this report to inform you about the team that I used at the VGC 2017 Georgia Regionals. I finished with an 8-1 record in Swiss rounds.This earned me the 7th seed for the top 16 cut, where I lost to Rajan Bal to finish in 10th place. This finish netted me $250 and 80 championship points. Throughout this report, I’ll go into detail of my team building process, explanation of sets and spreads, and finally a warstory where I detail my matches, matchups, and memorable plays.



I started using the core of my team around mid-December. I really liked what I was seeing in practice, and tweaked it as the meta rapidly progressed week after week. By the week of Georgia, I had four Pokémon I really liked and two that I was ‘meh’ about. I messaged Stephen Brown III (pyromaniac720) and he helped me theory-out the last two Pokémon that helped lead to my success. I also want to thank Andy Anderson (TwiddleDeeVGC) for levelling and bottlecapping my Celesteela, Pheromosa and Persian on the ride down.

Lapras was the first member of the team. I wanted to start with it because ducks (Pelipper and Golduck) was still a big archetype at that point in the metagame and Lapras dealt with them super well.

Tapu Bulu was also a concern, so I added Goodra next. Goodra basically hard counters Tapu Bulu and has a great matchup vs Koko if it’s not running Fairium Z. Lapras also supports it well because it can deal with Salamence and Garchomp, both of which threaten Goodra.

Next were Pheromosa and Persian. Persian was originally a Weavile, but I liked Snarl and Foul Play over throat chop and icicle crash. Persian also provided Feint support for Pheromosa so I could High Jump Kick relatively safely.

Lastly, I added Celesteela and Golem. I originally had Tapu Bulu and Magnezone in this slot, but after Tapu Bulu started having a tough time in the metagame, I thought it was time to change. Pyromaniac720 and I theoried Xurkitree and Gigalith, but I found that I was still losing to Tapu Lele. Stephen was telling me how he’d liked Golem as of late, so I condensed Xurkitree and Gigalith down and added Celesteela.

Spreads and Explanations

A comprehensive spreadsheet of damage calculations can be found here.

Asuka (Pheromosa) @ Life Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
– High Jump Kick
– Poison Jab
– Ice Beam
– Protect

There wasn’t much thought behind this spread. 4 HP gives it an odd HP number to reduce damage taken when High Jump Kicks missed or landed into a Protect. Ice Beam and Poison Jab pick up KOs on Garchomp, Salamence, Tapu Lele and Tapu Koko. Pheromosa was also my only way to prevent Trick Room, by OHKO’ing almost all Porygon2 with High Jump Kick. I opted not to run Bug Buzz/Lunge/U-turn because the bug coverage didn’t really hit very much, and I used every move multiple times. 10/10 moveset, would recommend.

Gaghiel (Lapras) (M) @ Waterium Z
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 92 Def / 116 SpA / 44 SpD
Quiet Nature
– Ice Shard
– Hydro Pump
– Freeze-Dry
– Protect

Lapras was the first member of the team, and I started with it when ducks were popular. It has a special place in my heart, as I made day 2 of nationals with it in 2014. I love the way it just absolutely walls rain modes, though they have since died down in popularity, and the only rain team I ran into had HP grass. I opted for Waterium Z over Leftovers as there were times when I couldn’t afford to miss Hydro Pumps, and Hydro Vortex does pick up some nice KOs. The special attack investment was to KO 4hp Gyarados with freeze dry and it also KOs Tapu Koko with Hydro Vortex 93% of the time. The special defence EVs were to live Tapu Koko Discharges in Grassy Terrain back when the alpha version of the team had Tapu Bulu and Marowak. If I were to do it again, I’d probably take some of the points out of defence, because they were mainly there to make Garchomp EQs 4HKOs, but it just runs Groundium Z now. 

Ramiel (Goodra) (F) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 52 SpA / 36 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Draco Meteor
– Flamethrower
– Thunderbolt
– Sludge Bomb

Goodra was the second member of the team, added right after Lapras. I also have a fondness for Goodra, as I won a PC back in 2015 with it. Assault vest is the go-to item for Goodra, and this spread lives Z-Draco Meteor from modest Salamence, as well as Tectonic Rage from Garchomp. I opted for Draco Meteor over Ice Beam, because I wanted a way to hit Torkoals, as Goodra was my only way to deal with sunflower (Torkoal and Lilligant). Goodra also has a decent matchup vs Kartana and Celesteela so I wouldn’t auto lose those matchups. Though I didn’t face a sun team the whole tournament, Goodra performed solidly in its role, acting as the defensive pivot my team needed.

Mari (Persian-Alola) (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Technician
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Fake Out
– Foul Play
– Snarl
– Feint

Persian I came to kind of late, as I was looking for a way to deal with ghost types that supported Pheromosa well. Persian fit the bill perfectly, giving me Fake Out, Feint, and Snarl supports. I already had the Assault Vest on Goodra and I didn’t want a third Z-move, so I just put a Focus Sash on it. Fur Coat would be basically useless on a sash set, only helping with Marowak Bonemerangs and some attacks after the Sash had been broken, so I went with Technician. Technician turns Snarl from a support move into an attack capable of dealing lots of chip damage. It 2hko’s most Marowak, non-Assault Vest Kartana, and does a good amount to anything that doesn’t resist it. It also helps augment my team’s bulk, even allowing my Pheromosa to take a -3 Moonblast from a Tapu Fini at one point. Foul Play has some good calculations, and KOs stuff like Raichu, and gives me a decent stab to take advantage of physical attackers.

Sachiel (Celesteela) @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 52 Def / 4 SpA / 196 SpD
Relaxed Nature
– Heavy Slam
– Flamethrower
– Wide Guard
– Protect

Celesteela is the most boring Pokémon in the format, but it did what I needed it to. I put it on the team to deal with scarf Tapu Lele, but the only Tapu Lele I faced all day wasn’t scarfed and had Thunderbolt. I’ve since changed to scarf Kartana and am liking that a lot better. The spread is only calculated for Arcanine Burn Ups and Flare Blitzes, anything else you find from it is purely coincidental. I had Leech Seed on the set, but was never using it, so I switched to Wide Guard and never used that either, Seed Bomb or Substitute might have been a better option.

Eva Unit 05 (Golem-Alola) (F) @ Rockium Z
Ability: Galvanize
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Double-Edge
– Stone Edge
– Explosion
– Protect

Finally, the star of the team herself, Golem. The most important part of my conversation with Stephen about the team went like this:

Me: hm… I could combine with the xurk slot and use alolan-golem
Stephen: I started using that today and it’s sick
Me: Do you recommend explosion on golem? I feel like I need it to beat eevee.
Stephen: Explosion is hype.

And just like that, we were on the Golem hype train. Golem isn’t a perfect Pokémon by any measure, and from watching Pokémon Showdown and hearing people talk about the Golems they face on Battlespot, everyone seems to think Explosion is the reason to use it. I’m here to tell you DO NOT EXPLODE UNLESS YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION OR IT IS THE SAFEST PLAY. I’ll get into this more in my round 6 and 8 analyses. I went Rockium so I can KO Arcanine and Marowak, and follows a similar train of thought to Lapras, when I just couldn’t afford to miss a Stone Edge. Heavy Slam was an option over Explosion, but Double Edge did about the same amount to most of the stuff I’d want to hit with it. If I had to do it over again, I’d probably go Passho Berry over Rockium Z. It’s almost impossible for me to bring Golem against CM Tapu Fini and I thought most of the ones I’d see at Georgia would be Choice Specs, but I was wrong. I don’t think I faced a single Specs Tapu Fini the whole day. I went with max speed to outspeed most Celesteela and to speed tie jolly Marowak at the worst, as I got outsped by multiple Marowaks when I still wasn’t jolly max speed.

For anyone wanting to test the team on Battle Spot, the QR code is available here.


Last but not least, my tournament run itself. My friends and I arrived on Friday after a 4 hour drive, where my friend Andy (TwiddledeeVGC) levelled up my Pheromosa and Celesteela so I could bottle cap them, and checked into our hotel room. Through group chat, we learned that our friend Ed Glover (_Lusamin) hadn’t gotten far enough in the game to get his Groundium-z yet, so I loaned him my main Sun cart, since I had already decided to play on my Moon cart as a kawaii animu grill. We hung out for a bit before my roommates and I went back to our room in order to get a good night’s sleep the night before. I woke up at 3:30am to the realisation that I’d forgotten to give my Persian Snarl. I quickly defeated all the trainers on the route so I could get Snarl, and went back to bed with a clear mind. The next day when we got to the convention centre and had gotten through the monstrous line, I had a sense of nervous optimism running through me, professing multiple times in group chat “Did I really just bring f-ing Golem to a Regional?”

Round 1: Jordan Nwanagu

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2: vs

My round 1 opponent was a man by the name of Jordan Nwanagu. He remarked that it was his Birthday and his first tournament and was worried the tournament would take too long. He ended up dropping after 3 rounds so it didn’t help my resistance, but he was really nice and friendly. His team consisted of Aerodactyl, Primarina, Arcanine, Garchomp, Tapu Bulu, and Muk. I thought I had a good matchup and led Persian, Lapras, both games, with Goodra and Golem/Pheromosa in the back. My main obstacle I felt would be KOing the Muk, and I was also able to catch his Aerodactyl’s Protect with a Feint/Freeze Dry turn 1 game 1.

Win 1-0 (2-0)

Round 2: Bryan Johnson

Opponents Team:

Game 1: vs

Game 2: vs

I went into round 2 1-0 but concerned about my future resistance. I was matched up against Bryan Johnson, who had a ducks team with Tapu Koko, Togedemaru, Kartana and Porygon-Z. The team looked really threatening to play against with two electric-types and Kartana, but I felt that if I could break the ducks then I could deal with everything else. He revealed the surprise HP grass on his Golduck, which I thought was a neat tech for Gastrodons, but my Lapras only took about 30% from a crit.

Win 2-0 (4-0)

Round 3: Ed Oehmler

Opponents Team:

Game 1: vs

Game 2: vs

Game 3: Vs

I was starting to feel confident at this point, and would face Ed Oehmler in the next round. He had a team of Marowak, Salamence, Tapu Koko, Porygon2, Ninetales and Metagross. He remarked that he was a Smogon player who had just picked the game back up after not playing since Black and White. I felt my best play here was to deal as much damage with Persian and Pheromosa as possible, to get Golem and Goodra in good positions. I went with this setup all 3 games. I won game 1 because his Porygon2 got an attack boost, and my foul play + sludge bomb was able to out damage his Recovers, though he was super salty that I got 1 crit in like 20 attacks. Game 2 he called my Pheromosa target and then rekt me, but game 3 I called my Pheromosa targets correctly, and he got up and left before revealing his 4th mon, almost without signing the match slip.

Win 3-0 (6-1)

Round 4: Megan Chipman

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2:

Slightly taken aback by the events of the previous round, I went on to my next round vs Megan Chipman. She had a team of Vikavolt, Arcanine, Tapu Fini, and Celesteela. I knew my matchup was terrible, as Golem was my only way to hit Vikavolt for a lot of damage. She won rather handily, as I didn’t have enough resources to deal with everything, and she was able to manoeuvre herself into positions where she always had her Garchomp in when my Golem was in.

Loss 3-1 (6-3)

Round 5: Damien Lopez

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2: vs

My next round was against Damien Lopez, who had a team of Porygon2, Arcanine, Muk, Vikavolt, Kartana, and Nihilego. I saw the Vikavolt again and was slightly dismayed, though I noticed he had little to hit Golem outside of the Kartana. My strategy was to deal with the Kartana as soon as possible in order to put Golem in a good position.

Win 4-1 (8-3)

Round 6: Robert Kenny

Opponents Team:

Game 1: vs

Game 2: vs

Game 3: vs

Round 6, I was up against Robert Kenny. He had a really cool team that produced a whole bunch of interesting turns. His team consisted of Arcanine, Ninetales, Koko, Marowak, Fini and Snorlax. I’d run into similar teams a bunch before and knew he was trying to set up his Snorlax. Much like Amarillo in 2014 however, he kept his ace in the back and never led with it, whereas all the teams I’d faced led with it. This led to a pretty funny turn in game 1, where he switched his Arcanine out against my Golem in order to bring in Lax after he’d set aurora veil up, with electric terrain on the field. I went for a hail mary explosion that nearly KO’d his Snorlax through aurora veil, and he remarked that he was 244 HP/252+ defence and was surprised at how much it did. Overall my most enjoyable set of the day.

Win 5-1 (10-4)

Round 7: Alex Peak

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2:

Game 3:

Round 7 I was up against Alex Peak, who I thought I had played last year, but I actually played Joe Peak last year. He had a team of Bulu, Lele, Pelipper, Golduck, Metagross, and Muk. Around this round I could taste top cut, but didn’t want to choke as I have in previous years, so I went into hyper focus mode, and forgot to write down what mons I brought for the last 3 rounds. Nevertheless, I thought I had this matchup on lock with Persian, Celesteela and Lapras, until he revealed thunderbolt on Lele. That made the matchup 10x harder than it normally would have been, but I was able to clutch it out with some Foul Plays and Snarls.

Win 6-1 (12-5)

Round 8: Chris Danzo (ChrisDanzo)

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2:

I was 6-1, but didn’t think I’d be safe on resistance, and learned I’d be playing Chris Danzo. I mentally prepared myself for a tough match, and it met my expectations. He had a team of Muk, Arcanine, Garchomp, Fini, Porygon2, and Celesteela. Game 1 came down to my Lapras vs his CM boosting Fini, and I eventually got the crit I needed to win. Game 2 was slightly more controversial, and I want to clear the air, because my friends thought I won in a disrespectful way. It came down to my Lapras and Golem, vs his Celesteela, Fini and damaged Porygon2. He made the smart play of not protecting his Celesteela and going for muddy water with Fini. He missed my golem. I went for a Double-Edge onto Fini, and I believe a Z-Hydro onto Celesteela. My Golem was left with low yellow HP, as he brought in his Porygon2. I thought his Porygon2 was in double edge range, and I couldn’t afford him to get TR up. I also couldn’t afford to make the wrong call on Celesteela Protect, and allow him to get the heavy slam boost by KOing my Golem. I knew I had to KO P2 and not let Celesteela get the attack boost, so I went for the Explosion/Protect as that would accomplish both and I thought I could 1v1 the Celesteela with Lapras as long as he couldn’t 2hko me with Heavy Slam. He didn’t protect Celesteela so I got the double KO and won. To be clear to Chris, I wasn’t trying to style, I thought it was my best play.

Win 7-1 (14-5)

Round 9: Rajan (Blaramons)

Opponents Team:

Game 1:

Game 2:

For my final round, I was playing Rajan. He had a team of Kartana, Marowak, Koko, Krookodile, Fini, and Porygon2. I took the match relatively easily 2-0, capitalising on his disregard for his Fini’s safety.

Win 8-1 (16-5)

Top 16: Rajan (Blaramons)

Opponents Team:

Game 1: vs

Game 2: vs

I was seeded 7th in the top 16 cut, so I would play the 10th seed, who turned out to be none other than Rajan. We theorised for a bit before we realised that I could have the matchup if he didn’t protect Fini well again, but he protected it well this time, and I didn’t capitalise on plays that I normally would have, and he was able to take the set.


My run was over, but I was slightly richer and had earned more championship points. I enjoyed seeing my friends, and Me, Jack (logilinkVGC), Andy (twiddledeeVGC), Ed (_Lusamin) and Holly went to eat at a delicious vegetarian restaurant named Clocked. Stomachs full and brimming with pride Andy, Jack and I set out on our journey home, but that was the least enjoyable part as not a single Taylor Swift song was on the radio.

A picture of all of Team Rank Up that made it to Georgia

from left to right: Ed Glover (_Lusamin), Jack Hatch (logilinkVGC), Me, Yan Rodriguez (Nucleose), Cameron Swan (DrizzleboyVGC), Andy Anderson (TwiddleDeeVGC), and Joseph Costagliola (LifeOrb_)


  1. oh nice we came up with the same goodra spread

  2. Not included in pictured: Eric Hogan (Me)
    As I had to bail the day before the event 🙁

    Seriously though, congrats on your regional top Jackson, it’s been a long time coming.

  3. Love the Evangelion nicknames…

  4. Goodra is one of my favs and it always has a spot on my team.

  5. I’m happy to see that teams that aren’t AFK or top6 are winning.

    I took a break from playing because it started feeling stale, but there’s a regional coming up and I need to start playing again lol

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