Team Analysis – Duck a l’Orange, on a bed of Aegislash

Hi, I’m Matthew Jackson, I go by Swaggy McBuckets online.

Team’s Achievements

The team reached Top 10 on the Pokémon Showdown VGC18 ladder in December on 3 different accounts and I finished 3rd in the United States for Battle Spot Season 7(IGN Natsuki). Also, if you look at the Pikalytics website, my team had the highest Win % on Pokémon Showdown in December.

Other players who have also run similar teams include GalacticVGC (2nd Dallas Regionals, Seniors) & SaagAlooVGC (5/6 Pokmon identical, Top 16 Dallas Regionals).

The Team

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Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 148 HP / 148 Atk / 212 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– U-turn
– Superpower
– Rock Slide

Choice Scarf Landorus-T essentially served as the fast mode on the team. With Earthquake you could go for a late-game sweep or you could defensively pivot with U-Turn early in the game allowing you to repeatedly Intimidate the opposing team. Speed EVs allows Landorus-T to outspeed Mega Manectric by a point and underspeed our Tapu Lele by a point after Z-Ally Switch. The HP investment allows for Landorus-T to have a strong chance (87.5%) of surviving a Zen Headbutt from a Jolly Mega-Metagross in Psychic Terrain, while the remaining EVs were dumped into Attack.

Landorus-T was probably the Pokémon I brought the least, but it was useful option to have for Best-of-3s and gave the team some flexibility.

Charizard-Mega-Y @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 196 HP / 140 Def / 12 SpA / 4 SpD / 156 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Flamethrower
– Protect
– Heat Wave
– Hidden Power [Ground]

Charizard was very handy to have against opposing weather teams (especially rain) and as another answer to Ferrothorn. The EV spread allows it to survive a Zen Headbutt from Mega Metagross and also has a favorable chance (69.7%) to survive Rock Slide from Landorus-T. The speed investment allows Charizard hit a 140 Speed stat, which outspeeds Smeargle and Breloom. Both of these Pokémon can be really annoying for this team to face, so having a Charizard that was both faster and able to pick up the KO was really handy at times.

  • 252 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Zen Headbutt vs. 196 HP / 140 Def Mega Charizard Y in Psychic Terrain: 150-177 (84.2 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 196 HP / 140 Def Mega Charizard Y: 156-188 (87.6 – 105.6%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO

Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 76 SpA / 92 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 8 Spe
– Psychic
– Moonblast
– Ally Switch
– Protect

Tapu Lele is by far the best Pokémon on the team, and I brought it to every game. With the right EVs it can be surprisingly bulky and with Z Ally Switch you can outspeed and OHKO a lot of opposing Pokémon with Psychic Terrain up. This particular Ev spread allows you to survive a number of common attacks in the current meta, with even attacks such as Z-Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko & Overheat from Charizard-Y being a damage roll in your favour. The speed may seem a bit weird, but it allows you to underspeed 0 Speed Tapu Fini by 1 point, guaranteeing you Psychic Terrain. This helped make Tapu Fini & Porygon2 one of the best lead combinations for this team.

Some additional damage calculations;

  • 252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs 252 HP / 84 Def Tapu Lele: 157-186 (88.7 – 105%) — 25.8% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Mega Gengar Sludge Bomb vs 252 HP / 92 SpD Tapu Lele: 152-182 (85.8 – 102.8%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 244 HP / 108 Def / 156 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Ice Beam
– Recover
– Trick Room
– Ally Switch

This was just a super niche pick. I ran Porygon2 over Cresselia because at the beginning of the format there were so few Pokémon that could really damage Porygon2, even with a Z move. The EV spread was one I carried over from VGC17 and saw no reason to change it. Ice Beam serves as the sole attacking move and with a Download boost, it can deal significant damage to Assault Vest Landorus-T. I used Ally Switch as the last move, because after testing a number of secondary attacks (Foul Play, HP Ground, Return, Tri Attack, etc.) I found that I wasn’t really using them. With Ally Switch, I can almost guarantee Snorlax a free setup in Game 1 while under Trick Room.

Snorlax @ Figy Berry
Ability: Gluttony
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Def / 12 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Belly Drum
– High Horsepower
– Return
– Recycle

This Snorlax was built to be as physically bulky as possible in order to survive and get off a Belly Drum. Looking back, I look to increase Snorlax’s Special Defense a bit more because the damage output from Tapu Koko and Charizard-Y can be an issue. After a Belly Drum, Snorlax can OHKO most of the format. However, due to not having a +Attack nature it is possible for some opposing Cresselia, Snorlax and Porygon2 to survive.

Aegislash @ Life Orb
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 228 SpA / 28 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Sacred Sword
– Wide Guard
– Shadow Ball
– King’s Shield

The money pick, and in my opinion probably one of the best and most underrated Pokémon in this format. Aegislash had remarkable synergy with Tapu Lele, and was an excellent defensive pivot for the team. Aegislash + Ally switch was an effective check against Final Gambit and with the Life Orb equipped it could deal good damage to Heatran (~60% vs most sets) among other things.


  • 4 Atk Life Orb Aegislash-Blade Sacred Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Tyranitar: 187-224 (90.3 – 108.2%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
  • 228+ SpA Life Orb Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 134-160 (91.7 – 109.5%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO

Team Play

The team primarily functions in its Trick Room Mode, with the core of Tapu Lele, Porygon2, Snorlax, and Aegislash having a strong matchup against most opposing archetypes. If the opposing team looks weak to Charizard, especially while under the Trick Room (e.g. opposing hyper offense teams) I may switch the team up to bring Charizard, otherwise I tend to leave it and Landorus-T on the bench.

Core Combinations and Common Leads

In the majority of matches, I lead Tapu Lele + Porygon2 as this combination covers most opposing leads, allowing me to safely set up Trick Room for the Pokémon in the back. Landorus-T + Charizard-Y is another option if you want to go with the team’s faster mode as it can be pretty flexible and U-turn on Landorus-T allows you to pivot to Aegislash or Porygon2 in the back. Snorlax + Porygon2 is actually a fun and effective lead if they don’t have an adequate way to stop Trick Room. Finally Aegislash + Porygon2 are a good lead vs Tapu Lele and Metagross. Turn 1 you can Ally Switch +  King’s Shield to take the Shattered Psyche and Zen Headbutt, or retaliate with a Shadow Ball from Aegislash to pick up the knockout. Even under Psychic Terrain, Aegislash can tank both of those attacks easily.

Team Match-ups

Most of the time I maintain the terrain control due to running a very slow Tapu Lele. If the opponent has Pokémon that are weak to my heavy hitters (Landorus-T, Snorlax, or Aegislash), I try to position myself to get them in safely and starting dealing out the damage. Normally I prioritize setting Trick Room up ASAP so Snorlax can sweep – the plan normally is to let Tapu Lele go down and bring in Snorlax or Aegislash on the free switch in.

Against rain, I normally opt to go with the Trick Room mode and lead Tapu Lele + Porygon2, with Charizard and either Snorlax or Aegislash in the back. When facing a lead of Ludicolo + Pelipper, I go for the Shattered Psyche with Tapu Lele and Trick Room with Porygon 2. If they target Tapu Lele, then Porygon2 gets Trick Room up. If they double into Porygon2, then Shattered Psyche will KO Ludicolo and I remove a threat to my team. Ludicolo is normally the biggest threat in the matchup, so removing it allows you to play more aggressively with Charizard-Y once it’s KOed after that. If I’m playing the Gothitelle/Mawile variant of rain, I bring the same core but pick Aegislash over Snorlax.

Manectric/Tapu Fini/Snorlax/Celesteela/Gothitelle/Landorus-T Team:
Unless they are a hybrid mode with Taunt or Choice Specs + Trick on Tapu Fini, Porygon2 + Snorlax is a very safe lead. Unless they lead Landorus-T, they can’t stop you going for Belly Drum + Trick Room on Turn 1, allowing you to sweep from then on. I always have Charizard-Y and Tapu Lele in the back. Main thing to avoid is letting the Celesteela boost up, because it’s really hard to kill and you take major damage from Acrobatics.

Carson Confer’s T4 Dallas Team (Tyranitar, Kartana, Tapu Koko, Porygon2, Landorus-T, Charizard-Y):
Aegislash is key to this matchup and can deal major damage to most of the opposing Pokémon, OHKOing Kartana, Tyranitar and Tapu Koko. Tapu Lele + Porygon2 is a good lead, because the opponent can’t easily overwhelm you to prevent Trick Room from being set up. If you can get off a Shattered Psyche and take an early Pokémon lead, you prevent them from being able to pivot safely. The Tyranitar on this team runs minimum speed, so Life Orb Aegislash underspeeds by one point and we can OHKO it with Sacred Sword. Snorlax is the last Pokémon I bring because it’s our most reliable way of KOing Porygon2. Teams like these tend to lead Charizard-Y + Landorus-T and try to double up on Porygon2 for the KO with Overheat + Superpower or Knock Off + Overheat so keep that in mind!

Accelegor + Tapu Lele (Hyper offense in general)
This matchup is horrible for this team. You have a couple of options, but I normally lead Tapu Lele + Aegislash and go for a Protect + Shadow Ball into Accelegor Turn 1. After that you need to switch Tapu Lele out (to not get encored) or Ally Switch and launch another Shadow Ball from Aegislash. You could also lead Tapu Lele +  Porygon2 and just get the Trick Room up for free, but this is less reliable in a Best-of-3 because you reveal a big part of the team. Hyper Offense teams in general can be scary to face.

You normally can overwhelm teams with your bulk. They can’t KO you, but you can normally shuffle back between Shattered Psyche, Belly Drum Snorlax and Life Orb Aegislash. Ally Switch is good.


To Galactic for being a good pilot and SaagAloo for using something similar and doing well at Dallas with it! You can also follow myself and Tyler Bennet (AtTehCross) on youtube for daily VGC videos on our channel The Metamon!

Credit to AutobotTesla for featured image

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