Sup guys, my names Preston, I’m 25 and from New Orleans. I got into VGC in December of 2016 with my 1st event being the NAIC 2017, where I went 5-4. It was a mediocre record yes, but coming from someone who literally had no competitive experience, that was an alright record. Anyways…onto the team!
- Top 8 Dallas regionals
The team literally has only that one accomplishment because it wasn’t built until Thursday afternoon, a day before I flew to Dallas. Lee Provost and I talked on discord to see what we could come up with in terms of a team for me to run, and once I mentioned XY this is what we came up with. Shoutout to my friend from the UK Connor Johnston for the team idea and an even bigger thank you to Lee Provost for helping build it and flowchart my matchups. The guy is a great teacher and I certainly recommend becoming a patreon of his if you’re trying to improve as a player like I am.
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 44 HP / 148 Def / 60 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
This spread was made by Lee. It is max speed as Xerneas should be, and this set also emphasizes on Xerneas’s physical bulk. I never needed to put myself in a position to have to take a full powered Water Spout in Rain. The moveset is standard, although at times I’d have appreciated Substitute… however Dazzling Gleam turned out to be the better call in the end and if anyone decides to use this team I’d recommend you keep it on there.
- -1 252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 44 HP / 148 Def Xerneas: 92-110 (44.4 – 53.1%) — 22.7% chance to 2HKO
- -1 252+ Atk Stakataka Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 44 HP / 148 Def Xerneas: 170-204 (82.1 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Honestly, these were the only calcs I was worried about and Lee’s spread covered it perfectly. Nothing more needs to be said about it. The offensive calcs are unimportant for the most part because with the way the team plays you’ll hopefully have chipped everything into range anyways.
Yveltal @ Assault Vest
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 108 HP / 20 Atk / 4 Def / 252 SpD / 124 Spe
– Foul Play
– Oblivion Wing
– Sucker Punch
If I’m not mistaken this was Raghav’s spread. I chose to use it because the set allowed Yveltal to tank attacks for days while snarling away and slowing down games, giving me the advantage. It’s an excellent Scarf Kyogre counter. The moveset is just the standard AV set
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 108 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Yveltal in Electric Terrain: 176-210 (81.8 – 97.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
This never came into play but it was nice to have this in my back pocket if need be.
- 20 Atk Dark Aura Yveltal Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Solgaleo: 234-276 (109.8 – 129.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
Landorus-Therian @ Groundium Z
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Swords Dance
At this point do I really even need to explain my Landorus-T?
- -1 252 Atk Landorus-T Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 236 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 240-284 (120 – 142%) — guaranteed OHKO
This came into play frequently during swiss. Being able to nuke Incineroar on the switch in makes anyone’s life so much easier.
Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 4 SpA / 84 SpD / 116 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Icy Wind
– Nature’s Madness
– Heal Pulse
Another one of Lee’s spreads. This is Tapu Fini’s best moveset by far unless you’re running Zygarde… Then you run Light Screen over Haze. Tapu Fini was definitely one of my MVPs coming in clutch with Heal Pulse (which won me game 2 against 2thyfor in Round 1 when I kept heal pulsing my Xerneas while boosting to +6 after I brought it down to Fini/Xern vs a -3 or -4 Ho oh. Needless to say that game went to timer which I won because I had more Pokémon left. GGs Tre.
- +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 84+ SpD Tapu Fini: 147-174 (83 – 98.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
That’s a nice boosted Xernaes you have there. It’d be a shame if someone tanked a moonblast and hazed it 😉
- -1 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 52 Def Tapu Fini: 114-134 (64.4 – 75.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
You could conceivably bump the defense down so you can guarantee the berry proc but I don’t like to live that dangerously.
Incineroar (M) @ Figy Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 236 SpD / 28 Spe
– Low Kick
– Flare Blitz
– Fake Out
Standard Incineroar spread but this bad boy was my Raghav team killer. As you saw on stream, I was well prepared for Stakataka and once I removed it, the matchup was free…
- 4 Atk Incineroar Low Kick (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Stakataka: 112-132 (66.6 – 78.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
As you saw on stream, boosted Dazzling Gleam + Low Kick= dead Wall. This is a very important calc especially with all the sitrus stak that were running around.
Amoonguss @ Payapa Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 76 Def / 196 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 2 Spe
– Grass Knot
– Clear Smog
– Rage Powder
I just slapped on a random spread that I found, and it did what I needed it to do. Not much to say to be honest.
- 0 SpA Amoonguss Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 90-108 (51.1 – 61.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
This is another very important calc. If your opponent decides to lock themselves into scarf Spout then you have free reign to double that slot because they are more than likely gonna swap it out
- 4 Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 236 HP / 76 Def Amoonguss: 186-218 (84.9 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Being able to take a neutral Flare blitz and then put it to Sleep is nice.
This team is designed to slow the game down to where you can make safe plays while minimizing the damage you take. Chipping everything down to set up a Xerneas sweep is basically what you do in most matchups, and you’d be surprised at how well such a simple strategy does against most of the current meta. However, if your opponent has scarf Kyogre you always bring Yveltal. It’ll make your life so much easier and you’ll effectively remove a check for the team out of the equation which makes it easier for Xerneas to do Xerneas things.
Core Combinations and Common Leads
This was by far my most common lead and in most cases you can’t go wrong with this lead.
If you know your opponent has Scarf Kyogre always lead this no matter what. It forces them to choose between going to Sleep/taking a Grass Knot or getting Snarled.
This is a rare lead, but I won a game 3 because I forced my opponent to choose who to Fake Out and unfortunately for them they chose to Fake Out the Yveltal slot and Taunt Xerneas. I protected Xerneas and swapped out Yveltal into Amoonguss, setting up the free Geo/Rage Powder play the next turn which won me the set.
In the mirror, this lead is important.
As far as Team preview goes the first thing I’m doing is looking at my opponent’s restricted Pokémon because it determines whether or not I bring Yveltal and play the long game, bring Xerneas and play protect the deer, or both because my opponents team calls for it (like Zygarde teams for instance). Next thing I’m looking for is if they have Amoonguss because for the life of me I can’t figure out why Amoonguss gave me so much grief this weekend despite having multiple ways to hit it. Just goes to show that positioning is key in this format. Once I’ve figured out which of my restricted Pokémon I can bring, if not both, then I select the Pokémon needed to support them. I had a set amount of leads pre-planned so that made this process a lot less stressful and a lot easier to determine.
These are the 4 matchups you absolutely have to know:
This one isn’t that hard you just need to get Xerneas in a position to sweep. Lead Fini/Incin with Lando/Xern in the back and you should have the upper hand as long as you keep your end game in mind.
This matchup is the easiest matchup for the team as long (as long as you’re not playing Gavin Michaels lol). Lead Fini/Incin with Lando/Xern in the back and you just cycle intimidates and position Xern next to Incineroar with Fake Out pressure for the Freeomancy. After that you just systematically break down the entire team minus Stakataka and Venusaur but you have Incini/Lando to deal with them.
This can be more stressful than it needs to be, but you lead as you always do against Scarf Kyogre, Yveltal/Amoon with Xern/Fini in the back unless they have Kart then you sub Tapu Fini for Incineroar. Don Czech used this against me and it was really close but in the end, I got Amoonguss in next to Xerneas for the Freeomancy and it paid off in the end. In this match up, you’ll probably be Heal Pulsing your restricted, ESPECIALLY Yveltal.
The mirror sucks and is very stressful. As you can see in top cut I wasn’t prepared and paid for it big time. How you approach this matchup up depends on the team comp.
Josh’s team: You always lead Incin/Amoon with Fini/Xern in the back don’t make my mistakes… Then you get ready to constantly position yourself to set up your own Geomancy while denying your opponent the same which is easier said than done.
XY with Amoon no Kart: Lead Fini/Incin with Xern/Yveltal in the back. That’s what I did game 1 in top 8 and Kartana was the bane of my existence. I overcompensated for Amoonguss and Kartana did its thing but here you should be able to get away with it as long as you position yourself correctly.
XY with Kart no Amoon: This one is a bit easier, you lead Shroom/Incin with Xern/Yveltal in the back. As long as you keep Yveltal and Incineroar alive long enough to deal with Kartana while denying the opposing Xerneas Geomancy there’s no reason you shouldn’t win.
Rundown of Tournament
R1 vs. Tre’ Hoard (2thyfor) LWW
The homie almost haxxed me out so I took him to timer and won based on the amount of Pokémon I had. GG buddy (1-0)
R2 vs Nathaniel Munroe (NateTheDyno) WW
I beat Bird Up get rekt Wil :p (2-0)
R3 vs Kyle Hudson WLL
R3 I got to face someone I was rooming with in an AV Yveltal mirror and it ended just how you’d expect… Timer. This was my first loss and it came down to him capitalizing off my passive play. (2-1)
R4 vs Logan Woodal WW
It was an interesting team but Yveltal cleared the way for Xerneas and I just won. GGs Logan it was good meeting you. (3-1)
R5 vs Don Czech WLW
This was another example of a team that mine has a good matchup against but because of the player I faced it became a lot harder. I had to improvise game 3 and lead both of my restricted Pokémon and I correctly calling him faking out my Yveltal and taunting Xerneas. I protected Xern and swapped out Yveltal into Amoonguss and was able to set up Geomancy and win from there. That was a very intense set GGs Don it was nice meeting you. (4-1)
R6 vs Jake Muller WLW
I faced Chansey and my day was made. However, apparently that thing took like 25% from boosted Moonblast and made my jaw drop so he took a game off of me. Game 3 I was able to boost up Xerneas safely and preserve Incineroar so I could deal with Shedinja which he brought over Chansey in game 3 so I wound up winning the set. Jake has inspired me to use Chansey at my next Regional so look out 😉 (5-1)
At this point, I started feeling the pressure of being close to not only possibly being streamed but also cutting so when the pairings were up my heart sank because I pulled Gavin.
R7 vs Gavin Michaels WLW
This was by far and away the most difficult set I had in swiss and it was against Yveldon which my Team pretty much autowins against but because it was against Gavin it was way harder than it should have been. After I won g1 he adjusted for game 2 being able to KO my Xerneas and bring it to game 3. I played out of my mind on game 3 and despite being down 4-3 early due to him calling a switch I was able to make my way back into the game, I took a free KO on his Yveltal when he switched out Incineroar to preserve Intimidate right into a low kick which I think was a roll based on previous damage. It all came down to Stakataka/Incineroar vs Fini/Yveltal/Incineroar and I thought I lost when he flinched my Tapu Fini and knocked it out but I got bailed out with a Rock Slide miss on one of my Pokémon which allowed me to stall out Trick Room and Oblivion Wing Low Kick to win the set. At this point I’m almost in shock having defeated Gavin and improving to (6-1). GGs Gavin
That was literally my favorite set of the day and I learned a lot from. I hope to play him again sometime hopefully on stream if I can duplicate this run again.
As my friends crowded around me giving me encouragement I realized that my 1st top cut was right there and all I had to do was reach out and grab it. When the pairings were put up and I realized that I was playing an exact Yveldon mirror for the 2nd round in a row I knew it was my time to shine, and shine I did.
R8 Stream Match vs Jeremy Gross WW
It wasn’t my 1st time being streamed but it was my 1st Regional stream so the pressure was on, but because I knew my flowchart I knew I could just fall back on that. Also, because I saw people telling Jeremy my team after watching my set with Gavin I decided to play Protect the deer because I figured that he would play the matchup differently than Gavin and it worked out exactly how I flowcharted it. I still had to play great because Jeremy is a great player, but I had the matchup and I was in my zone so it was a perfect storm that carried me through the set sealing my 1st regional top cut. I was feeling a sense of relief that finally all the practice I’ve done, all the hours that I’ve spent improving, and all the money I spent traveling last year culminated into it all paying off. (7-1)
The next morning as I got up to go to the venue for top cut I felt great. I was happy that I had finally broken through that funk I was in and finished as strong as I started. Here I was going into cut against a 5 Pokémon mirror with speed tying Incineroars…nothing could go wrong right?
Top 8 vs Joshua Meacham LL
This set right here is exactly why I say that this team is hard to pilot unless you know exactly what you’re doing. I came in having forgotten to read my notes on the flowchart for the mirror and ran into the better player. After a not too bad game 1 I got severely outplayed in game 2 and just lost the set from turn 1 game 2. All I had to do was lead Amoon/Incin and the matchup would’ve been way more manageable but my nerves got the best of me and Josh capitalized on it. At least I learned the flowchart for the mirror I guess. (7-2)
In conclusion, I think this team is still good and can be improved enough to where it is viable for a decent portion of Moon Series. I have a few changes I’m looking to make, but I’ll keep those to myself for now. If the right person takes this team or a similar one I think they can win a Regional easy because it has so many good matchups it just takes patience and skill to use it to its full potential. To finish I’d just like to thank Lee Provost for the team building help. He’s been such an amazing resource I highly recommend his Patreon if you’re feeling as lost as I do. Also, shout out to the SoCal Discord and the Flinch Squad discord, you guys are my rock that I lean on when I doubt myself and you guys keep me wanting to get better. Final shout out to my first VGC friends Wil Marks and Irving Johnson. I met these guys at NAIC 2017, and quite frankly I made friends for life. Thanks for reading my report, see you guys again real soon.
Credit to ID Zeta for the featured image