Reo’s Korean Winter League 1st Place Team Report

Hello to all of you, this is Wonseok Jung (@jungtendo1) Today, I’m here to show you the team I used to win the last Korean Winter League a couple weeks ago.

Last time, in Season 1 (the main Sun Series event in the Korean circuit), I felt sad after ending up as the runner-up, but now, I’m glad to write a team report as the Champion. To me, Moon Series has much more variables than Sun Series, and it doesn’t seem to have many fans within the community either, but I was nonetheless fortunate to win the title thanks to great planning and lots of revision and fine-tuning failure after failure.

Team Building Process

First of all, I thought about learning which cores were strong in the Moon Series, so I did some research about it. I felt like as we moved out from Sun to Moon Series, the reintroduction of Z moves brought along a big shift to the metagame, as there weren’t many strong moves in the first series, so it was almost impossible to threaten the bulky Legendary Pokémon with ease.

Therefore, cores like YvelDon (Yveltal and Groudon) worked well, as they focused their build up on enduring hits and resisting damage, but as Z moves were brought back to the mix, using strong moves to knock out bulky Pokémon made that approach harder to execute. Additionally, managing the opponent’s threats before and after each play and turn feels much more crucial.

Using Z moves on Groudon and Kyogrewasn’t something I felt comfortable with either, as to me they have to dominate the weather by staying healthy and switching in and out. If they can set the game up with help from regular Pokémon with Z moves, the game is an easy win. Finally, when thinking about the meta, the first Pokémon that came to my mind was Xerneas, and so my team building process began.

xerneas Victory Road
You might be wondering how does Xerneas benefit from Z moves if they are such a threat to it, but if you turn the reasoning around, knocking out potential threats for Xerneas with major ease can lead to stronger, safer Geomancy setups. Plus, if you look at recent Moon Series results, the Oceania International Championship last weekend had Xerneas in all top cut teams, therefore proving that it still has a fair impact to the game.

Now, my next question was, “Which legendary Pokémon best fits with Xerneas? The best cores, to me, were Xerneas/Kyogre, Xerneas/Yveltal, Xerneas/Lunala and Xerneas/Groudon. Of course, they all share the Deer, but the playstyle is different in each one, and so I wanted to identify the idoneous one for fighting any given matchups at the event.

xerneas Victory Roadkyogre Victory Road 
First, XernOgre (Xerneas and Kyogre) looked like two Pokémon struggling to show off one over another, and both needed to keep their HP, so it was hard to have safe plays. There are, of course, Z-Psych Up Kyogre variants aiming to help on that, but I didnt think it was good enough. Especially for Kyogre, it gets too weak against enemy Xerneas, not to mention Haze, Clear Smog, and Amoongus.

xerneas Victory Roadyveltal Victory Road
Then, XY seemed robust if strong field control was used, and the recent version using Landorus-T felt flexible aginst teams with Ground-type consistency. However, Xerneas is responsible for much of the team’s offensive output, up to the point that if you lose it or if Geomancy is denied, you straight up lose the game. Given that everybody has at least a couple answers to Xerneas, this was too bold for me. 

xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Road
On the other hand, XernAla (Xerneas/Lunala) relies heavily on the Lunalium Z and Xerneas, and if it struggles, it is quite hard to get back to the game. Besides, I thought the team was basically a Smeargle-reliant team. Theefore, I moved on to XernDon, because it was the most stable of all cores to me.

xerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Road
Xerneas/Groudon was the play: Groudon puts pressure on Kyogre (although it gets pressured back, too) and guards Xerneas from Fire and Steel-types. Also, if for any reason Xerneas can’t be brought to a game, Groudon was powerful enough on its own. It also is key the fact that Groudon is one of the few restricted Pokémon able to face Xerneas.

xerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road
After deciding to use Xerneas plus Groudon, Incineroar was an easy and mindless choice. Afterwards, I fixed and practiced so much changing the last three mons, but any combinations had glaring weaknesses, so I divided the three slots into three type of different roles I need to help my team in different situations, and struggled with it until the day before tour. 

tapu-koko Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Road
Island Guardians to prevent sleep being used against my team felt important, and in the end I decided on Tapu-Koko to threaten Kyogre while being able to reposition with Volt Switch in a wide array of scenarios.

volcarona Victory Roadheatran Victory Road
A Firium Z abusing of Groudon’s weather boost was something I was really keen on using. In the end, I took Volcarona to do some quick damage with Z-Overheat while still being able to redirect with Rage Powder and put some pressure as a speed controller with Tailwind.

venusaur Victory Roadtsareena Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
Grass-type Pokémon to help flexible movement of the team are essential in this metagame. Here was where I struggled the most, but in the end Amoonguss was my final choice, because I thought I need solid answers to Trick Room and Xerneas.

groudon Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road
After all, the team looks just as a standard XernDon team, but I guess there is a reason to call it standard. Now, onto the sets!

The Team

Groudon Victory Road
Groudon @ Figy Berry
Ability: Drought
EVs: 132 HP / 92 Atk / 4 Def / 252 SpD / 28 Spe 
Careful Nature
– Protect
– Precipice Blades
– Roar
– Swords Dance

Careful-natured Groudon is the ultimate version for the Moon seriesin my opinion. It takes special attacks with ease, and Roar allows to stop enemy Xerneas or obvious attempts at Trick Room from the opposing side, making it easier for my own attackers to sweep. As Roar isn’t the most common of fillers, the unpredictability played in my favor, as if my opponents were unaware of it, Roar disrupted their gameplans substantially.

In the other hands, Swords Dance is a good filler, especially against Incineroar trying weaken Groudon by cycling in and out, and Precipice Blades works well in this meta lacking of Ground-type resistances, although it is useless against XY teams, but I did not fight against any at the event, so Groudon was brought at every game. Lacking of any other moves besides Precipice Blades was scary, as if there was any opposing Pokémon flying or levitating, I had to knock it out beforehand, or I could just be bound for a loss.

The Item choice allowed Groudon to keep its HP as full as possible, as there is a lot of Pokémon that it needs to threaten. Regarding its EV spread, the speed EVs allow me to outspeed the common Groudon variants, so I could have the upperhand in case of a mirror.

Defensive calcs

kyogre Victory Road 202 SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 132 HP / 252 SpD Groudon in Sun: 84-102 (43.7 - 53.1%) -- 18.8% chance to 2HKO

Xerneas Victory Road
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 196 SpA / 28 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Protect
– Moonblast
– Dazzling Gleam
– Geomancy

Xerneas is the cornerstone of the team. There are different aspects of the team aiming to set Geomancy up with ease. Fake Out and Rage Powder, using Xerneas’ partner to put pressure on enemies and draw attention away from Xerneas, going for Geomancy in front of special attackers, and so on. If Geomancy is safely set, it’s too strong that every other Pokémon on the field needs to count Xerneas into every play. 

Because of the nature of the main Xerneas answers, it is important to use Volcarona and Groudon within the right timing to stop them. Plus, your opponent usually targets Xerneas down with a double target or uses its Z move before Geomancy goes up, so stable plays are required to set up safely. Do not just go for Geomancy without thinking twice, and if your board position feels awkward, just Protect and pull Incineroar out.

The EVs are pretty self-explanatory, and the impact it has after Geomancy is so immense that there is no need on explaining the set, as it is pretty simple, too. However, if I had to play this team again, I would revise the spread to invest more on defense.

Tapu-Koko Victory Road
Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe   
Modest Nature
– Protect
– Thunderbolt
– Volt Switch
– Sky Drop

Tapu Koko lets you to smoothly take control of the game’s pace by using Volt Switch to reposition and chip off at your opponents. I originally thought of Tapu Fini to stop Water-Fire-type consistency, but Tapu Fini’s best offensive move is Nature’s Madness, which does not actually pose any sort of menace, and Light Screen was mostly dragged along losing the game, so I chose Tapu Koko instead.

If my opponent has Smeargle and Venusaur, I mostly lead with Tapu Koko to have Electric Terrain right from the get-go. I run it Modest-natured as I thought mirror matches didnt really matter and I wanted to have as much damage output as possible.

With Focus Sash, Tapu Koko is more stable to use Sky Drop to support Xerneas and Groudon upon boosting, especially when the opponent had Amoonguss to Clear Smog Xerneas, as Sky Drop and then Protect in the next turn could be the right play. While this scenario didn’t happen once to me, it was still useful to count on having a plan. Grass Knot and Taunt were also feasible options on the last slot.

Incineroar Victory Road
Incineroar @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 236 HP / 236 SpD / 36 Spe   
Careful Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Snarl
– U-turn
– Fake Out

Incineroar is a Pokémon that lets you win Double Battles. One of the reasons why it is used so much, in my opinion, is the typing it has. Fire/Dark allows for multiple valuable resistances in the meta, and when Groudon and Xerneas are threatened, it can come out to sponge crucial Z moves like Inferno Overdrive and Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom. It especially deals well with opposing Lunala thanks to Snarl.

For a slight tip on how to play Incineroar, use Fake Out only when it is needed, and try U-turning out, stacking Intimidate and change options as much as possible.

There are variety of ways where Incineroar can help you, like leading it together with Tapu Koko, immediately switching Incineroar out, then Volt Switching back into Incineroar, which re-enables turn 2 Fake Out pressure while stacks intimidates up. I also found useful leading Groudon and Incineroar, which leads to your opponent double protecting on Turn 1 expecting Fake Out, so you can punish that by switching Incineroar out and self-Roaring the slot to bring it back on turn 2.

Defensive calcs

xerneas Victory Road (+2) 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 236 HP / 236+ SpD Incineroar: 169-199 (84.5 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Volcarona Victory Road
Volcarona @ Firium Z
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe 
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Overheat
– Rage Powder
– Tailwind

As Ive mentioned on the team building process, Volcarona nails the fast Z-move abuser on the team. In some cases, it works as pseudo-Amoonguss, too. Whats different from the mushroom is how strong it is against the Steel-types aiming at Xerneas. It also shows so much strength against Solgaleo, which was an issue to the team. While Volcarona was only used in specific match-ups, combining a quick nuke with support moves on speed and redirection proved to be key for the team.

Offensive calcs

groudon Victory Road 252+ SpA Volcarona Inferno Overdrive (195 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Groudon in Sun: 217-256 (104.8 - 123.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Amoonguss Victory Road
Amoonguss @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 212 HP / 60 Def / 236 SpD   
Sassy Nature   
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe 
– Protect
– Clear Smog
– Spore
– Rage Powder

Amoonguss is a long-seen friend in VGC, and its success throughout the years clearly means that it’s fit for doubles. It is usually used against teams with no answer to sleep (without Island Guardians), to fight against opposing Xerneas, and to take incoming Water-type moves aiming at Groudon.

To me, it was a struggle deciding what the last slot should be. But there were lots of cases where Amoongus was double targeted, so using Protect to block those was important. Incineroar and Amoongus bouncing in and out is a wall for Trick Room teams, and as Xerneas cannot move with ease in front of Amoongus, Amoonguss is actually capable of exerting pressure under specific conditions. Sitrus Berry was also a nice choice since there were many cases where Amoonguss was damaged at around 50%, and having Sitrus rather than a pinch berry was clearly superior.

Defensive calcs

groudon Victory Road 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 212 HP / 60 Def Amoonguss: 115-136 (53.2 - 62.9%) -- 1.6% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

kyogre Victory Road 252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 212 HP / 236+ SpD Amoonguss in Rain: 74-87 (34.2 - 40.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

xerneas Victory Road +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 212 HP / 236+ SpD Amoonguss: 90-107 (41.6 - 49.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

lunala Victory Road 252 SpA Lunala Psyshock vs. 212 HP / 60 Def Amoonguss: 174-206 (80.5 - 95.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

Team Match-ups

Looking for a pasteable version of the team? Click here!

Xerneas + Kyogre
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
xerneas Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road+amoonguss Victory Road/tapu-koko Victory Road

 

Try to stop Xerneas with Amoongus and Roar only when your board position is safe, as if you Roar every time their Xerneas comes out, the opposing Kyogre could come in, and that leaves you in an uneasy position. Play the game around preserving Xerneas and setting Geomancy up. Groudon isn’t much of a damage source, but it's useful for setting Sun up against Kyogre.

In Bo3 sets, I tend to hide Roar on game 1, and use Koko on game 2 to pressure Kyogre while keeping Roar to pick up Xerneas by surprise and disrupt their momentum after they Geomancy.

Groudon + Venusaur
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
groudon Victory Roadvenusaur Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road*amoonguss Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Road+tapu-koko Victory Road

 

Lead Volcarona and Tapu Koko to put pressure on both Venusaur and Groudon while also blocking sleep-inducing moves. You also got Roar against opposing Xerneas, and that’s about it.

In Bo1 games where you are not sure of Roar on their side, go with Incineroar instead of bold Geomancy. If you know they aren't using Roar on any Pokémon, you could go with your own Xerneas as well. 

Xerneas + Lunala
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
xerneas Victory Roadlunala Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road+incineroar Victory Roadgroudon Victory Road+tapu-koko Victory Road

 

In Bo1 games, your opponent will likely try to to nuke Xerneas down with Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom before Geomancy is executed. If they lead Lunala with Incineroar, it’s pretty obviously Fake Out and Z move on Xerneas, so go Protect turn 1, and switch Incineroar to Groudon. With the Z move already wasted, your opponent's only answer is Psych Up, so Roar Geomancy to rip their dreams at doing so. As Incineroar is threatened by the clean Groudon switchin, chances are you'll get it. In case of a Bo3 set, on Game 2, your opponent will try to Geomancy before you do by how game 1 went, so lead Groudon to punish it.

Xerneas + Yveltal
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
xerneas Victory Roadyveltal Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road+amoonguss Victory Road

 

Going Volcarona is good most of the time, but it depends, as XY is a weird matchup where you win off of board control, but you lose because of it as well.

If there isnt a clear answer to Spore as Tapu Fini, set Xerneas with the help of Amoongus, and send Volcarona in before opposing Landorus-T comes out to threaten you. Opposing Amoongus can be dealt with Incineroar/Volcarona, so have Xerneas + Fire-type set on field to win. 

Groudon + Volcarona
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
groudon Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Roadincineroar Victory Road+volcarona Victory Road

 

Your opponent usually leads Incineroar and Volcarona, which is one of your safer options as well. Check out the speeds with Intimidate activation and, if your Incineroar is faster, go Fake Out-Tailwind; and if slower, go Snarl-Protect (although frankly speaking, it is a safer option regardless).

Next turn, switch Incineroar for Groudon and Firium Z opposing Volcarona. Even if it protects, it gets in rage of Precipice Blades on the following turn. Focus on baiting your opponent's Firium Z with Protect.

Whenever that happens, Xerneas is free to set Geomancy, but that of course leaves that window open for our opponent as well. However, we have Roar, and chances are they don't. If youve gone Geomancy before the opposing Groudon comes out, or if a bit of damage has been done to it already, send Volcarona in and that’s it for the game. 

Lunala + Kyogre
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
lunala Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadxerneas Victory Road+groudon Victory Road/tapu-koko Victory Road

 

Lunala/Kyogre teams usually have slow Kyogre and Lunala with Trick Room, so leading Xerneas and Groudon and going for Roar+Geomancy could work. Opponent usually leads Lunala with Tapu Koko to stop Amoonguss from denying Trick Room, so if the Pokémon that comes in after Roar is Kyogre, switch Groudon to Amoongus, and if Stakataka comes, pick Incineroar instead.

And then the rest of the game is Xerneas stuff for the most part, you just have to play around your opponent's threats. As of Bo3 sets, the opponent usually leads with Kyogre at some point, so leading Tapu Koko to put pressure works out fine.

Kyogre + Solgaleo
ArchetypeAlways bringNever bringCommon leads
kyogre Victory Roadsolgaleo Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadgroudon Victory Road+tapu-koko Victory Road

 

Lead Groudon and Tapu Koko to set up the sun, and use Volt Switch to try to position as flexible as possible for a Geomancy setup. As soon as Xerneas is out, your opponent will fret of having Solgaleo out, so have your Volcarona out ready. Geomancy + Volcarona is the game plan.

The Tournament

Swiss Rounds

Round 1 vs KOR Junha Choi | L
kyogre Victory Roadmandibuzz Victory Roadtapu-lele Victory Roadtogedemaru Victory Road

My opponent played a XernOgre team built around Tapu Lele + MandibuzzI have to admit that it looked like a gimmick rather than a Moon Series serious team.

At the beginning, I was snarling off slowly with Incineroar, but I missed on my opponents last turn of Tailwind, and went for Geomancy in the Sun assuming his Kyogre and Togedemaru couldn’t KO my Xerneas. But Super Fang + Waterium Z came in killing Xerneas, and that finished the game along with a critical hit message.

Back then, I thought the crit mattered, but calculating in retrospect, it actually didnt. I needed Incineroar to get rid of Mandibuzz, but afterwards Tapu Leles crit Moonblast knock it out, thus losing the game for me.

After losing the first round, I had to win every round, and it definetly made me feel pressured. As you’re soon to withness, I had bad luck on the first round, but in the rounds that followed, the Pokémon God was smiling at me. 

Round 2 – Forfeit

My name was at the bottom of the parings board and my opponent didn’t show up when the round began, and so the event’s moderators told me to wait. Few minutes later, they checked the win for me and I walked over. Its good to have a free win, but if I ended up 4-2, resistance wouldn’t be good for me. This made me worry even more.

Round 3 vs KOR Juyoung Hong | W
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road

Juyoung was a rival of mine since we both were Seniors, and we also went to Worlds together twice already. He didnt seem to have prepared much for Moon series, but hes got skills, so I got nervous.

In the beginning, I misplayed and got hit by Firium Z on Xerneas by his Volcarona while not knowing whether it had Whirlwind or not, so using Geomancy was tough, but also my only hope, so I went for it. The following turn, I expected an attack and protected, but Juyoung read the play, letting Volcarona die and having Incineroar out again by U-turn. My only chance was to double protect, and I got it, thus winning the game. This was pure luck, so I have nothing to say if anyone blames me for that. I was nonetheless relieved, as after all, I couldnt afford losing any of the rounds!

Round 4 vs KOR Ryuna | W
lunala Victory Roadxerneas Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadlandorus-therian Victory Road

At Round 4, I played against Ryuna who used Xerneas/Lunala. As I expected, he led Incineroar+Lunala, threatening Xerneas, but I switched in Groudon while protecting Xerneas, and with Geomancy next turn, Xerneas finished the game with ease.

Round 5 vs KOR U-dong | W
xerneas Victory Roadgroudon Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadvolcarona Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadamoonguss Victory Road

Yet another mirror match, and looking back on how I did against Juyoung, I could easily win the game. As my mirror match plan, I shot Firium Z onto his protecting Volcarona who was then on Precipice Blades KO range. Then I roared the opposing Xerneas to finish off the game with mine.

Round 6 vs KOR Enq | W
kyogre Victory Roadsolgaleo Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadkartana Victory Roadhydreigon Victory Roadtoxicroak Victory Road

He seemed to have brought along the team Donguk Jung (SpringsVGC) used in AustraliaI expected Kyogre as a lead, so I led Xerneas and Groudon. I did not know if his Tapu Koko had Grass Knot or not, and if Solgaleo was at the back, it would be hard to switch in resisting Precipice Blades. If Hydreigon switched in, then it’d be free for Xerneas, so I expected Grass Knot + Water Spout in Sun. He did so, but I switched in Koko and went for Geomancy right away. Dazzling Gleam at the following turn knocked both of enemy Pokémon, and it was indeed Solgaleo and Hydreigon in the back, so I just Volt Switched into Volcarona, and Rage Powder finished the game. Enqvgc still had nice resistence and top cutted.

Top Cut

Top cut seeding after Swiss rounds

Top 16 vs KOR Jaeheon Lee | LWW
reshiram Victory Roadzekrom Victory Roadhitmontop Victory Roadcrobat Victory Roadbisharp Victory Roadtapu-fini Victory Road

Looking at the team preview, I was awed by it I havent met or even thought of such a team, and Im not that good with new stuff, so I was worried of this. He obviously had some plans as he had come on top 16. 

Reshiram obviously had Firium Z to threaten Groudon, and it got access to Tailwind, too, so Precipice Blades wasnt the play. Furthermore, Hitmontop has Wide Guard to stop Groudons only weapon. Bisharp seemed to be protected by Focus Sash, so I couldnt set up Geomancy boldly. Crobat revealed Cross Poison and Life Orb, and since my Tapu Koko was Modest rather than Timid, it could get KOed easily. As you might have guessed, top 16 match was such a hard one. To win this I needed: 

  1. Breaking Bisharp’s Focus Sash without giving it more than one Intimidate
  2. Intimidating Crobat
  3. Reading feint from Hitmontop 
  4. Baiting Reshiram’s Inferno Overdrive with Protect

On the first game, I learned all that as I got hit by it, but it was worth to scout his plans. 

On game 2, Tapu Koko did its job, so I had Reshiram vs Incineroar in the end. Reshiram had Earth Power, but I had Snarl to decrease its offense, so I kept using it until it came into KO range. I was praying for Snarl not to miss and Earth Power not to lower my Sp.Def., which fortunately didn’t happen.

Finally, on game 3, I did everything written above, reading his plays, and shot Moonblast after Geomancy to Crobat, which knocked it out as it wasnt bulk-invested. 

Top 16 matches are always the hardest it seems. In game 2, when Xerneas fainted, I thought it was an end and almost cried, but luckily I pulled through!

Top 8 vs KOR Dong-Jin Nam | WW
xerneas Victory Roadsolgaleo Victory Roadgengar Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadsmeargle Victory Roadtsareena Victory Road

I did not know back then, but he seemed to use what @CheongSuwoong introduced in his blog. The team looked to be favorable for my Groudon, so I went Groudon-Tapu Koko and avoided Fake Out pressure from his side. 

Solgaleo used Flare Blitz and therefore I assumed it had either Choice Band or Choice Scarf. I switched in Incineroar, and shot Precipice Blades. Next turn, both opposing Pokémon fainted, bringing Incineroar Gengar in the back. Ghostium Z was quite obvious, so I used Incineroar to soak it and had Groudon back out. The second game was pretty much the same and I went 2-0 here.

Top 4 vs KOR Jeong-Eun Lee | WW
lunala Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadtapu-lele Victory Roadhitmontop Victory Roadstakataka Victory Road

It was my first time playing against him, but I had already a bit of practice on how to handle his team, so I felt good about my chances. From Top 4 on, battles were also on screen.

By looking at the team preview, I guessed that Hitmontop would have Wide Guard, thus meaning that Lunala and Stakataka didn’t, and that therefore they would probably be having 2 attacking moves + Trick Room + Protect. Z move would be for Lunala, and I expected Kyogre to be a slower Choice Specs variant. I planned the first game by assuming all of this, and most of it was right, except for one thing. 

First game, we traded Xerneas for Lunala+Stakataka, and this led to Incineroar + Groudon + Amoongus on my end vs Tapu Koko + Kyogre on his. I switched Groudon in to have the sun back up, but his Tapu Koko suddenly went Z-Brave Bird on my Amoongus. The crowd went wild and screamed, but Amoongus didn’t have much usage at that point, and I had Groudon up right away on the field without any Z-move pressuring my side anymore, so it was quite a solid positioning. My opponent had no answer to Groudon and thus I took the game.

Then, on game 2, my opponent led Hitmontop to answer Groudon that did so much on the first game. This made him vulnerable to Xerneas, and Geomancy finished the game. 

Finals vs KOR Kyung-Ho Park | WW
lunala Victory Roadkyogre Victory Roadtapu-koko Victory Roadincineroar Victory Roadlurantis Victory Roadstakataka Victory Road

Before the game, I asked what his online name was, and I was amazed to find out that he was originally known for Battle Spot Singles and yet here he was, in the Finals of the VGC event! That is cool, as I only play doubles. I cant even win against a 1400s player in BSS…

On game 1, I lead Xerneas/Groudon vs his Tapu Koko and Lunala. This indicated to me that he weas willing to Trick Room, but didn’t want Amoonguss out, so he went Tapu Koko and had Kyogre and Stakataka in the back. So I went Roar+Geomancy, and Stakataka came out. Next turn, my opponent gave away Tapu Koko, bringing Lunala back in. I expected Kyogre to come along soon, so brought Amoongus in to Spore as Electric Terrain was gone during the Trick Room turns. I still had Xerneas out, too, and Groudon was awaiting in the back for the moment where his Stakataka finished my Xerneas. In the final two turns of TR, I had the chance to Spore both Lunala and Kyogre, and I finished the game snarling off them both.

On game 2, I expected him to move towards a non-Trick Room reliant gameplan, as he struggled with Amoonguss, so I led Xerneas and Tapu Koko and opponent led Lunala and Kyogre. I knew Kyogre had a Choice Item, and by how the ability activated, I could find out that it was Choice Specs. I went Thunderbolt thinking that anything at the back could be severly damaged, but Kyogre did not switch out, and my Xerneas went Geomancy getting hit by weakened Water Spout. And it was basically a Xerneas sweep after that, so I took the second game with much more ease.

Closing Words

Enjoying some post-tournament Korean BBQ!

After the tour, a short award ceremony was held, and then my friends and I went off to have some Korean barbeque. Sejun roasted them and Enq bought it for me, thanks!

After that, I got so tired that I went back home shortly after visiting some other players. Back home, my parents and other friends congratulated me, and while I was really happy to win the tournament, I still thought I should be working harder.

I finally have the champion title I’ve been craving for. I do have 170 KP (points under the CP system in Korea), which allows me to stand at 1st place for the National ranking as of now. However, the season is still ongoing, so I will do my best in tours coming along, as well as on Ultra series, earning as much points I can. I wouldn’t want to lose the heat this win brought to me, so in Ultra, and at Worlds, I will try my best!

Thanks to everyone who congratulated me and cheered me on. And to all participants, I praise your effort, and I hope to see you next time! Thanks to you all for reading as well!

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