【KOJI Charizard-Venusaur Special 】9th place at Oceania International Championships

Hi, my name is Koji Morimoto (@rena__poke) and I have recently attended the Oceania International Challenge hosted at Sydney. Throughout the event, I finished 9th with a 6-2 record in swiss and barely missed cut as only 8-0 or x-1 were able to reach cut due to the lack of competitors.  In this team report, I would like to show the team that got me this far. 

Moreover, Shodai (@sho249962) got 2nd place at the side event “VG Premiere Challenge Sunday”, which was held during Day 3 of the tournament. 

This team was brainstormed with Akanuma (@akanuma_asn) and Sashisu (@sasisu_memo) and these two will be writing up some parts of this team report.


Flow to teambuilding (Akanuma)

A week before the tournament, Koji threatened me to give him a team and I decided to brainstorm a team based around Ally Switch + Belly Drum Snorlax, a top-tier threat within the current meta. 

I immediately chose Charizard as the mega-slot of the team as it checks Aegislash, which is the biggest threat to the Snorlax+Cresselia core. 

For the fourth slot, I chose Landorus-Therian as it can reduce the amount of physical damage that Snorlax will receive through its Intimidate ability and also creating positions where Snorlax can set up its Belly Drum through U-turn.  Within a Best-of-Three match, I personally considered Choice-Scarf rather as an inconsistent item because once the opponent identifies the Choice-Scarf, they can think of strategies to play around it during game 2 and onwards. 

After selecting the four slots of the team and discussing about the other two slots, the core was in fact similar to what Sashisu had comfortably used during the INC.(sasisu.png) These four mons had trouble dealing with Charizard mirror matches and the currently popular「Metagross+Tyranitar+Zapdos+(Lele or Fini)」cores and therefore Tapu Koko was chosen for the fifth slot as it can check both teams.
For the final lost, I knew that the opposing Landorus would heavily threaten the team if I do not select Snorlax, therefore something that can counter Landrous was in need and I was deciding between Kartarna and Tapu Bulu as a grass-type slot. However, I realized that Landorus’s intimidate will still nullify these mons and would not make sense to choose a physical grass-type attacker if I needed something to counter Landrous and I searched for a special grass-type attacker, settling into a choice between Venusaur and Liligant which both have Chlorophyll to take advantage of Harsh Sunlight. The difference between these two attackers is that Venusaur can check the popular Tapu Koko and Tapu Bulu because of its poison typing and Liligant can forcefully move Charizard or Snorlax before the opponent with its “After You”. As the tournament was held in a Best-of-3 format, I prioritized each Pokémon’s individual strength and chose Venusaur as the final slot. 

Within this process, the team was built around these 6.

Individual Analysis (Sashisu)

488 (1)
Cresselia @ Wiki Berry 
Ability: Levitate 
Level: 50 
EVs: 228 HP / 204 Def / 76 SpD 
Calm Nature
 IVs: 0 Atk 
- Icy Wind
 - Ally Switch
 - Helping Hand
 - Trick Room
•    252 SpA Tapu Koko Helping Hand Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 228 HP / 76+ SpD Cresselia in Electric Terrain: 186-220 (83 - 98.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

The central Pokémon of the team. To allow it to function as a consistent supporter, I invested a lot towards bulk. After giving enough bulk to survive a Helping Hand Tapu Koko’s Gigavolt Havoc Cresselia in Electric Terrain, I invested the rest of the EV to defense. With this much bulk, it decreased the chances of Wiki Berry failing to activate when it needs to and Ally Switch allowed it to adjust its HP by receiving resisted attacks. 

「Icy Wind」: Ice Coverage+ Speed control. Because of this move, it allowed Cresselia to play against “Taunt” users despites its supportive roles
「Helping Hand」: A move that assures Cresselia’s role as a supporter. Used to aid faster attackers such as Koko or Charizard, intensify Snorlax’s capability as a top-tier threat and increase the firepower of the bulky Landorus
「Ally Switch」: Another vital move for Cresselia to function as a supporter and to maintain the concept of the team. The move fits well with attackers that can cause a game-changing moment such as Charizard or Snorlax. It also widens the options of play-styles within a Best-of-3 format, which tend to last for a long time. 
「Trick Room」: Another option of speed control to support Snorlax and Charizard

143 (1)
Snorlax @ Figy Berry 
Ability: Gluttony
 Level: 50 
EVs: 148 HP / 92 Atk / 220 Def / 44 SpD 
Sassy Nature
 IVs: 0 Spe
 - Double-Edge
 - Earthquake
 - Belly Drum 
- Recycle

 •    +5 92 Atk Snorlax Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Cresselia: 240-283 (105.7 - 124.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 •    92 Atk Snorlax Helping Hand Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Blade: 170-202 (101.7 - 120.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 •    252+ Atk Water Bubble Araquanid Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 148 HP / 220 Def Snorlax: 216-254 (85 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

The other core member of the team and Cresselia’s partner in crime. This Pokémon aims to control the battlefield with its Belly Drum through Cresselia’s support.  If the Belly Drum plan becomes difficult to accomplish, another option is to damage the opposing Pokémon with Double-Edge and Helping Hand. In order to allow it to safely set up, the EVs were invested more towards bulk. 

「Double-Edge」: Snorlax’s prevailing STAB move. The benefit of this move is that when you’re in a difficult position to set up Belly Drum or necessarily do not need to, it can still deal a good amount of damage. For example, a helping hand boosted Double-Edge can OHKO a non-invested Tapu Lele. 
「Earthquake」: Spread-move to deal with Rock and Steel Type which both resist Normal-type moves. 
「Belly Drum」: The fundamental setup move 
「Recycle」: The move becomes very helpful  when paired with Figy Berry. Double-Edge Snorlax’s are more likely to be able to adjust its HP and therefore sometimes allow the users to choose the time to activate its berry

006-my (1) 
Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 100 Def / 28 SpA / 4 SpD / 140 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flamethrower
- Heat Wave
- Solar Beam
- Protect

28+ SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Helping Hand Solar Beam vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 182-216 (103.4 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Zen Headbutt vs. 236 HP / 100 Def Charizard-Mega-Y in Psychic Terrain: 157-186 (85.7 - 101.6%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
 •    Outspeeds max speed Kommo-o with neutral nature

As both Snorlax and Cresselia have trouble with dealing with steel types, (especially Aegislash with Ghostium Z), Charizard was selected as the mega slot due to its capability to counter these threats and able to function as the main attacker with its immense firepower. The EVs were mostly invested towards bulk because Koko and Venusaur can check faster attackers, Cresselia’s speed control will all

645-s (1)
Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 12 Atk / 84 Def / 4 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Tomb
- Superpower
- U-turn

-1 252 Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Ice Punch vs. 212 HP / 84 Def Landorus-Therian: 160-192 (83.7 - 100.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
 •    Outspeeds max speed Mega-Tyranitar 

Landrous was chosen as the corresponding factor of the team to deal with Electric-types and for Intimidate support. To flexibly cycle Intimidate, Assault Vest was essential and the EVs were invested towards defense to switch into Kangaskhan or opposing Landrous and to assure that Mega-Metagross’s Ice Punch won’t OHKO it after an Intimidate. I also invested a fair bit to speed to check Tyranitar, which threatens both Charizard and Snorlax. 

「Earthquake」: For STAB and spread coverage 
「Rock Tomb」:Used to deal with opposing Charizard or Volcarona and also to Dragon Dance setters. The advantage of this move was how it does not get prevented from Wide Guard and can speed control at the same time
「Superpower」: Used to hit against opponents such as Tyranitar, Heatran and Snorlax
 「U-turn」: A move used to establish an advantageous position

Tapu Koko @ Electrium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 212 SpA / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect

252 SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Heat Wave vs. 28 HP / 12 SpD Tapu Koko in Sun: 130-154 (87.2 - 103.3%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

Tapu Koko can check numerous things ranging from Charizard Mirror matches, Salamence teams, Metagross+Lele (Fini) cores, Tapu Fini which are often used to check Snorlax and also to switch into and deal with Kommo-o with its Fairy typing. This was the only slot that I felt comfortable giving a Z-Move to and Electrium Z will enhance its capability as a threat towards the opponents listed above.  For the bulk investment, I took in account of Wild’s (@ace_wild) spread. 

「Thunderbolt」: The most stable STAB move used for Gigavolt Havoc
「Volt Switch」: The other STAB move that is used to create an advantageous position, similar to Landrous’s U-turn 
「Dazzling Gleam」: STAB + Spread move coverage and used to deal chip damage in mirror matches and to remove Kommo-o 
「Protect」: This move is essential for the team in order to preserve Tapu Koko to deal with Kommo-o but Taunt could be another option

Venusaur @ Grassium Z
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Sludge Bomb
- Sleep Powder
- Protect

252+ SpA Venusaur Bloom Doom (195 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Tyranitar-Mega in Sand: 176-210 (100.5 - 120%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Venusaur was chosen as the final slot due to its compatibility as an attacker with Chlorophyll under Harsh Sunlight and capability to deal with grass moves towards Landorus and Tyranitar both which Charizard has trouble going up against.  Leaf Storm was selected for its slot for Bloom Doom as it can OHKO an non-invested Mega Tyranitar even under Sandstorm. Although this became the second Z-move slot of the team alongside Tapu Koko, there were barely any moments where both mons were selected and therefore having a second Z-move slot was not a problem. Sleep Powder is able to threaten opponents even after firing off a Bloom Doom or a Special Attack drop from Leaf Storm. Hidden Power Ice is also an alternative to deal with Salamence and Landrous without using a Z-move. 

「Leaf Storm」: STAB move and the 195 BP from the Z-move was necessary to OHKO opposing Mega Tyranitar’s 
「Sludge Bomb」: STAB move and used to deal with fairies and chip damage to anything that does not resist Poison
「Sleep Powder」: An effective move to be used after using a Z-move or receiving a special attack drop from Leaf Storm. Within long Best-of-3 matches, its ability to increase win conditions is to be noted 
「Protect」:  Used to gain the benefit from Chlorophyll and board positioning

Selections and play-styles

Lead 488 (1)785.png
Back 143 (1)645-s (1)

The central plan is to Volt Switch and set up Trick Room to allow Snorlax to use Belly Drum. By having Landorus at the back, it can cover Snorlax’s relatively lower physical defenses and establish a position where Snorlax can freely Earthquake. During the final turn of Trick Room, if you have Snorlax and Landorus next to each other Snorlax can either Double-Edge or Earthquake while Landours U-turns into Snorlax and judge whether you are able to send in Tapu Koko to maintain board positioning. 

Common 2
Lead 488 (1)645-s (1)
Back 785_2018042819072444a.png143 (1)

The movement does not really differ from the previous one but Landorus must be conserved carefully because it would want to scatter Intimidates to the opponents right from the beginning. Having Koko with the Z-Move at the back is exceptionally strong and it can sweep enemies that Snorlax had damaged before. 

V.S. Fini+Metagros+Tyranitar
Lead 006-my (1)645-s (1)
Back 003.png488 (1)

When facing these type of teams, I usually theorize that the opponents will not choose Zapdos (because during practice and facing strong players at the event, none of them chose Zapdos) and thus I will lead with Charizard and Venusaur which have a strong matchup against other leads. My opponents will usually lead with Fini+Lando and having T-tar+Amoonguss at the back and I will be able to create a position to fish for the Amoonguss whilst leading with Venusaur so that it cannot redirect Bloom Doom, thereby I have a relatively stronger matchup against these teams. 

V.S. Lele+Metagross
Lead 006-my (1)488 (1)
Back 143 (1)645-s (1)

My opponent will probably lead with Tyranitar but I decided to lead with Charizard incase if Metagross was chosen as the lead. Even if the Amoonguss is sent from the back, Charizard still outspeeds Mega Tyranitar and still do something to it and thereby these teams are relatively readable.

V.S. Steel Types (Aegislash Celesteela) 
Lead 006-my (1)488 (1)
Back 143 (1)645-s (1)

Wide Guard Aegislash is a huge issue for this team and immediately removing it with Charizard would be ideal.

V.S. Charizard (With Snorlax)
Lead 785_2018042819072444a.png645-s (1)
Back 488 (1)143 (1)

If you lead with Charizard against opposing Snorlax’s you cannot do anything against their setup plans and thereby this lead selection would be ideal. However, leading and setting up with Snorlax could also be a good idea. 

V.S Charizard (With Kommo-o)
Lead 488 (1)785_2018042819072444a.png
Back 006-my (1)645-s (1)

My team is rather built to check Kommo-o and as long as you play correctly you can win. As a plan, you can either set up Trick Room when Kommo-o fires its Z-move or to hit Icy Wind or Rock Tomb to lower its speed so that Koko can maintain board positioning. 

V.S. Rain
Lead 006-my (1)488 (1)
Back 143 (1) 785_2018042819072444a.pngor003.png(Tapu Koko if Salamence was present) 

Koko would be selected if the opponent had Salamence in their team but against other teams Venusaur would be good. Because of Venusaur’s presence, some people do not anticipate Charizard’s Solar Beam and often at times Swampert becomes easy to remove. 

V.S. Sand teams (Tyranitar, Excadrill, Salamence)
Lead 488 (1)645-s (1)
Back 143 (1)006-my (1)

I’ve never faced a sand team so I can’t really say much but if I ever faced one, I would ensure that Snorlax is able to sweep through. I also think that I have a matchup advantage against Sejun’s widespread sand team.

Final Thoughts

As the tournament was structured in a Best-of-3 format, my achievement could be due to the fact that I implemented factors within my team to direct my opponents to select specific mons during team preview and some good meta calls for the tournament. To those who helped build this team, I sincerely apologize for losing during the final swiss rounds. If I had a chance, I would like to rematch against Ashton who I lost during the final round to secure cut. Thank you very much for reading this far.

About the writer


The Translator of the Original Article

Lived in Sydney for 18.5 years, currently attending University in Tokyo, Japan



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