【VGC2018 International Challenge March 1806 rating 8th place team 】Hyper Offensive Koko + Gross 【Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon Doubles】

Hi, my name is Rising (@light_Ragnaros), the ex-representative of EMOLGAME. I performed very poorly during the previous International Challenge and as I self-examined my errors and took VGC seriously, I’ve managed to perform well in the March International Challenge and would like to present the team that I used.


INC March 〇〇〇〇×〇×〇×〇〇〇〇〇〇〇〇〇×〇〇〇××〇〇〇〇〇〇〇〇×〇〇 
28-7 Rating of 1806

Team building Flowchart

The brainstorming of the team initiated from Mega-Metagross, the most valuable Mega-Slot within the current meta-game. For its partner Tapu slot, I chose Tapu Koko for its capability to create an advantageous board positioning from the beginning of the game and therefore Mega-Metagross + Tapu Koko as a lead became the core of the team. Although I also had Mega-Metagross+ Tapu Fini as an alternative plan, it didn’t have any offensive pressure as a lead and thought that it’s incompatible for a BO1 format, because the lead also required a delicate playstyle. When brainstorming the movesets and items for these two mons, I thought that people can easily predict the moment when Mega-Metagross uses protect and if the opponent predicts the Protect within that turn, I was more likely to be placed in a disadvantageous position and therefore I decided to remove Protect and instead gave it a role to devastate the board position.
Afterwards, I immediately chose Iron Head/Ice Punch/Stomping Tantrum, which are all orthodox moves and chose Bullet Punch as its last move slot. You may realize when you try out the team but Mega-Metagross’s Bullet Punch is something that not everyone is prepared for and it has the potential to ruin the opponent’s game plans. (Not sure whether it will stay the same after the revelation of this team) As the movesets were chosen and during the brainstorm for Mega-Metagross’s EV spread, I thought having it as “Max-Speed” was unnecessary and instead thought that surviving attacks that people often assume to be able to OHKO Mega-Metagross was stronger as it can ruin their gameplan. Therefore, I’ve built a HP, Sp.Def and Speed invested Mega-Metagross that is capable of surviving: • 172+ SpA Gengar-Mega Shadow Ball (Pamera’s Gengar Spread) • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) in Electric Terrain Bullet Punch was able to cover up the reduction in attack hence both the moveset and spread have demonstrated a great synergy. After deciding on the moveset and spread for Mega-Metagross, I began my brainstorm for Tapu Koko’s item. As the combination of Bullet Punch + Gigavolt Havoc widened the capability of threatening opposing pokemon’s, the speculation of Electrium Z Koko initiated. Although I also had Choice Specs Tapu Koko in mind, I ended up turning it down because it cannot threaten the opposing non-defense invested Mega-Metagross’s. Three of its moves are self-explanatory: Thunderbolt/Dazzling Gleam/ Protect. For the final move slot, I chose Volt Switch for its capability of scouting the opponent’s movements and bringing out the Pokemon reserved in the back by using it on mons such as Cresselia. Next I brainstormed of what to choose in the back for the core combination. I wanted a combination of mons that is capable of a late game sweep after Koko and Metagross cause havoc within the board position and after some speculation, I paid attention to the duo of Porygon 2 and Araquanid. Porygon 2, not only it functions for speed control but it also has above average firepower despite its immense bulk and able to hit a wide range of things. Thereby, Porygon 2 is able to do a certain movement where it tanks hits from mons that Koko+Gross haven’t finished off and by reversing the speed order with Trick Room, Porygon 2 can threaten the opposing mons due to its low speed. Cresselia, another Trick Room setter is uncapable of doing such movement and dealing with Aegislash becomes much more easier for this team. As I wanted a Trick Room Sweeper for a slow mode playstyle, I examined Araquanid, which was also a big threat back in VGC 2017. The assets that I required for the final slot of the core combination is: • Ability of dealing good damage to fire types (especially Charizard, which threatens Metagross) but also having resistance to fire • Being able to do something against Cresselia+Snorlax • Something that can resist Ground moves Due to the above three reasons, I chose Araquanid as it won’t dysfunction even without Trick Room because of Wide Guard, and gave it Bug Bite to check Cresselia and Snorlax. I had trouble thinking of a suitable item for Araquanid but gave it Waterium Z despite the team having a double Z-move slot alongside with Koko. Its item had to be Waterium Z for the following reasons: • Hydro Vortex’s capability of OHKO’ing Mega Charizard Y even under harsh sunlight • As many people who use the currently popular Mega-Gengar cores lead with Incineraor + Gengar, leading with Araquanid significantly threatens them both even after an Intimidate (If the Mega-Gengar is a bulky variant, the chances of OHKOing is dependent on damage rolls but Metagross’s Bullet Punch can finish it off even if it survives) After choosing the four main mons, I wanted the remaining 2 slots to be able to cover up the above four. For the fifth slot, I needed something that has Intimidate. Within the current meta, the choice of a consistent Intimidate user is either Landorus or Incineroar but I required an Intimidate user that have the following attributes: • Resisting every common moves of Mega Charizard-Y as it threatens Metagross • Capable of hitting against Steel types (especially Ferrothorn) • Capable of dealing with Snorlax+Cresselia as Araquanid alone cannot single handedly check them Therefore, Incineroar was chosen as it filled up the above requirements for the team. Although Landorus has its own merits such as being able to cover up the consistency of Ground moves and checking opposing Tapu Koko’s, Ground moves weren’t too much of a problem because of Araquanid’s Wide Guard and I can also just simply play around it. In regards of Tapu Koko, my Metagross’s set is strong against opposing Koko’s hence I didn’t have a reason to choose Landorus. Finally, the last slot of the team. Although it’s embarrassing to say it, the final slot was chosen during the final day of the International Challenge. Initinally, I was considering to use Kartana for its ability to set up Tailwind and OHKOing Tapu Fini which only Tapu Koko can OHKO within the team. Having the ability to easily vreate winnable game-plans, Kartana is very well adapted within these types of online tournaments and if it has Sash, the matchups against Rain teams will be somewhat better as the team so far struggles against it. However, its shallow movepool drags it down and most Tapu Fini’s are paired with Charizard and Zapdos, which Kartarna significantly struggles against. Kartana will easily die when Fini switches or Protects whilst the above two uses their respective fire moves and even if I knew such things would occur, Kartana’s lack of offense towards these two makes it useless. Although it could just be me not playing well, I felt that Kartana was unfitting for the team. However, when using Kartana I’ve realized that having Grass coverage was very suitable for the team. Other than what I have outlined about Tapu Fini in the above section, I also needed something to deal with Milotic as I had Incineroar and Metagross that lacks coverage against Water types. My only answer to Miltoic so far is Tapu Koko and therefore I needed:
• A grass type that is able to deal good damage towards Charizard and Zapdos • Something that can function both with and without Trick Room • Something that can cover for the weak matchup against Rain
After some speculation, I had a choice of either Waterium-Z Serperior or Assault Vest Tapu Bulu. In regards of Serperior, I’ve never used such set and Araquanid already has the Waterium Z so I immediately chose Assault Vest Tapu Bulu as the last slot. Although we had different things in mind during brainstorming, I knew a player who achieved various accomplishments with the same team so therefore I used the same six in the International Challenge. Sorry for the very long explanation but now we will get into the Individual Analysis.

Individual Analysis

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite Ability: Tough Claws Level: 50 EVs: 156 HP / 12 Atk / 4 Def / 116 SpD / 220 Spe Adamant Nature - Iron Head - Ice Punch - Stomping Tantrum - Bullet Punch • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 156 HP / 116 SpD Metagross-Mega in Electric Terrain: 153-180 (87.4 - 102.8%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO • 176+ SpA Gengar-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 156 HP / 116 SpD Metagross-Mega: 146-174 (83.4 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO • Outspeeds Max Speed Jolly Landorus-Therian Metagross’s HP could also be set to 177 in order to maximize recovery from Grassy Terrain. As max speed Groundinium-Z Landorus was problematic for the team, I invested a lot of EVs towards speed but having enough speed to outspeed max speed Timid Heatran could’ve been an option as the team is already capable of dealing with Landorus. Although slow and bulky variants of Mega-Metagross are everywhere right now, such sets were uncommon before and during the beginning of the INC (although people could’ve just been hiding it). When perceiving the current state of the metagame during the INC, I thought that bulky Mega-Metagross was the call, thinking that everyone who used the set had qualified for nats. Moreover, Tapu Koko’s that were capable of surviving Mega-Metagross’s Stomping Tantrum were lurking everywhere, influenced by Pamela and thereby Metagross’s set allowed me to deal with those specifc Koko’s and the currently popular Bisharps, by finishing it off with Bullet Punch which prevents it from using Sucker Punch. By taking advantage of the opponent’s assumption that Metagross doesn’t have priority moves, I was able win many sets. Although I’m not sure whether it will still be beneficial after people began to realize its existence, having a priority move covers many things so therefore I would recommend this move. . When the opposing Tapu Koko faces my Koko + Gross, I have a 50% of gaining a huge advantage if I combine Bullet Punch and Gigavolt Havoc towards the opposing Koko. Without hesitation I took this specific action during mirror leads between Koko + Gross. The opposing Metagross either switches out to Landorus or protects so it didn’t affect the game too much even if I lost the speed tie. • Iron Head Main means of offense. By having this move, Metagross becomes somewhat similar to a mix between Mega Kangaskhan and Thundurus Incarnate when it was still good. • Ice Punch To handle Zapdos which resists Iron Head and to check Landorus and Mega Salamence. 
• Stomping Tantrum To check Heatran, Incineroar and Aegislash as they all resist the above two moves. Although Hammer Arm was another option, I didn’t have the courage to keep using 90% accuracy moves during the INC so settled with this move. 
• Bullet Punch A move that takes advantage of the BO1 circuit. The number of players who can recognize Metagross’s Bullet Punch were quite low during team preview. Tapu Koko @ Electrium Z Ability: Electric Surge Level: 50 EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Thunderbolt - Volt Switch - Dazzling Gleam - Protect An orthodox set. Having max speed was necessary to threaten Alolan Persian that attempts to check Mega-Metagross but to also push through the 50% movement that I outlined above. There is nothing to be said about the moveset and spread. Using Volt Switch into Cresselia allowed it to be in KO range of Araquanid’s Hydro Vortex. Volt Switch as the final move slot was a correct decision and as it allowed me to bring out the Pokemon in the back after dealing chip damage and alternating the terrain, hence widened the range of useful playstyles. • Thunderbolt Main means of offense. • Volt Switch Often used when predicting the opposing Lele and Bulu’s switch or when aiming to win by defensive pivoting. If used against defensive mons such as Cresselia, Araquanid’s Waterium Z or its own Electrium Z can then put a lot of pressure to it, demonstrating its utility. • Dazzling Gleam Coverage of Kommo-o. The only spread move within the team. • Protect Initially, it was a choice between Hidden Power Ice and Taunt, but I needed at least one of the leading mons to be able to protect in order to prevent myself from having to play passively.
Porygon2 @ Eviolite Ability: Download Level: 50 EVs: 244 HP / 28 Def / 36 SpA / 196 SpD Sassy Nature IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe - Ice Beam - Thunderbolt - Recover - Trick Room • HP set to reduce residual damage • 36 SpA Porygon2 Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 60-72 (33.8 - 40.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO • 252+ SpA Kingdra Helping Hand Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 244 HP / 196+ SpD Eviolite Porygon2 in Rain: 163-193 (85.3 - 101%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO The speed controller, which later became the main component of the team. Porygon 2 is aimed to endure hits from various teams raning from rain, Charizard teams, Fini-Gross teams and to also check lower ladder teams. I’ve chosen this mon within almost every match because of its utility. Its main use revolves around pressuring opposing mons after Metagross deals damage or vice versa. I originally had Foul Play for Mega-Metagross and Snorlax, Thundebolt for Tapu Fini in order to deal some damage when facing Fini with Incineroar + P2. However, I struggled dealing against Mega-Salamence under Trick Room (especially the Japan Sand variants) and Snorlax was checkable with Incineroar and Araquanid so I gave it Ice Beam. • Thunderbolt To deal damage towards Tapu Fini, Charizard and the increasing number of Incineroar • Ice Beam I need this move in order to win against Mega-Salamence teams that Metagross struggles dealing against. Sometimes used for simple chip damage. • Recover A move that becomes essential when considering a consecutive Trick Room mode. The move is also essential to check stall out Aegislash and personally I think this move becomes crucial within Metagross teams. • Trick Room A move that defines the reasoning for using Porygon-2. Without Trick Room, there are many teams that I would struggle against (Japan Sand, Rain, reverse Trick Rooming against Mega Camperupt teams etc) blog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png Araquanid @ Waterium Z Ability: Water Bubble Level: 50 EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD Brave Nature IVs: 0 Spe - Protect - Substitute - Bug Bite - Liquidation A simplistic spread is the strongest for this mon. Araquanid corresponds well with Metagross both offense and defense wise, and was easy to play with. It’s extremely strong against the currently trending Incineraor and Knock Off will only have a base power of 65 because of the Waterium Z. Thereby the only move that has the potential to pick up a KO on Araquanid is its Z-Move. As long as Trick Room is set up and the opponent didn't have Amoonguss (even if it was there, I can just steal and recover from its berry), its destructiveness is overwhelming. Although selecting both Z-move slots (Koko and Araquanid) in a match isn’t too much of a problem, you need to examine when the best moment to fire off a Z-move is, or else you could lose your win condition from that. • Liquidation Main means of offense. Water Bubble intensifies its firepower and also uses it as the base move for Hydro Vortex. • Bug Bite Often used on mons that could be holding a berry. When facing berry holders such as Snorlax, Cresselia, Amoonguss and Tapu Fini, if they seem not to be in KO range of Hydro Vortex, I would use Bug Bite first. •Wide Guard I didn’t want to lose against Potential Rock Slide flinches, especially for P2 so chose Wide Guard to cover that. The movement of recovering from Bug Bite after setting up Substitute is also strong, its a choice between Substitute and Wide Guard. If you’re confident in your own luck, you may as well as use Substitute. • Protect Used when combining Protect and Trick Room during a winnable condition.

Incineroar @ Figy Berry Ability: Intimidate Level: 50 EVs: 236 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 148 SpD / 4 Spe Adamant Nature - Fake Out - Knock Off - Low Kick - Flare Blitz • HP set to activate berry when hit by Guardian of Alola • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 236 HP / 148 SpD Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 169-199 (84.5 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 236 HP / 148 SpD Incineroar: 84-99 (42 - 49.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO The savior against Charizard-Y teams. The fact that it also checks Cress+Lax makes it strong against potential sweepers in the back. Since mirror matches between Incineroar occurs frequently, I have considered changing Low Kick to Superpower as Metagross’s Stomping Tantrum combined with Incineroar’s Superpower even after an Intimidate can potentially KO the opposing Incineroar. As everyone knows how good this mon is, I will skip my overall impression from using Incineroar. Although there are often debates between AV and Pinch Berry for Incineroar’s item, I preferred having a Pinch Berry to synergize it with Flare Blitz. • Flare Blitz Main means of offense. Considering the success of Pinch Berry Arcanine back in VGC 2017, I was convinced that a Pokémon with recoil moves + Pinch Berry is extremely strong. • Knock Off The second main weapon of Incineroar. Since I often choose it against Charizard-Y teams, I want to assure that I can also punish the potential Cress+Lax within these teams. • Low Kick I was using Low Kick during the INC but now I would rather use Superpower instead. A Fighting move was needed in order to deal with Tyranitar and Porygon 2 and thereby neither Protect or U-turn were needed for this team. • Fake Out Essential to assist Porygon 2 to activate Trick Room. The strength of Intimidate + Trick Room has been proven with mons such as Hitmontop and Scrafty.

Tapu Bulu @ Assault Vest Ability: Grassy Surge Level: 50 EVs: 252 HP / 20 Atk / 236 SpD Adamant Nature - Rock Tomb - Horn Leech - Wood Hammer - Superpower • HP set to maximize recovery from Grassy Terrain • 252+ SpA Pelipper Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 236 SpD Assault Vest Tapu Bulu: 92-110 (51.9 - 62.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO • 252+ SpA Ludicolo Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 236 SpD Assault Vest Tapu Bulu in Rain: 57-67 (32.2 - 37.8%) -- 94.7% chance to 3HKO This mon was chosen to check Rain teams, for Grass coverage which this team must have and to prevent the team from being destroyed by Earthquake spams. Although I’ve selected this mon the least amount of times, whenever I did it always did something useful during the battle. With this slot, I’ve actually test various things other than Kartana (such as banded Self destruct Snorlax) and Bulu’s role functioned perfectly to check specific archetypes and to lead my opponents to choose specifc mons to counter it. Hence without Bulu, the team wouldn’t have had its flawlessness. • Wood Hammer Main means of offense. Used against mons such as Ludicolo that needs to immediately KO’d. • Horn Leech Used against mons don't need to be KO’d too quickly (although it depends on the situation) such as Tapu Fini. Recovering and dealing a good amount of damage at the same time is always useful so there was no reason to remove it. • Superpower Often used against Incineroar and also to hit and run when predicting the opposing Incineroar to switch. • Rock Tomb Coverage against Charizard-Y and to seal up the game. Chose this move over Rock Slide because of the low accuracy and low damage output, whereas Rock Tomb can also be used for speed control.

Team Selection

Core Combination Lead 376-m (1)785.png Back blog_import_58d21b972b760.png+
I will choose the @1 Pokémon that I feel is essential. Its usually either Araquanid or Incineroar. There weren’t too moments when I felt Bulu was in need. For example: If Heatran is present→ Araquanid If Ferrothorn is present→Incineroar If Intimidate seems to be effective → Incineroar If the chances of Milotic being chosen were high→ Tapu Bulu Either way, you can honestly choose anything for @1 slot due to the overall high firepower of the team so the best is to start testing the team to sense what works against what.
V.S. Gengar Incineroar Kommo-o Bulu teams Lead 376-m (1)blog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png Back 785.png+orblog_import_58d21b972b760.png The opponent will often at times lead with Incineroar to prevent Trick Room from being set up (usually paired up with Gengar). In order to check that, you will need to lead with Araquanid, immediately fire off Hydro Vortex to OHKO either slot. The opponent will most of the time Fake Out the Araquanid, fire off Shadow Ball against Gross but Gross will survive the attack and can counter it with Stomping Tantrum so it’s an advantageous matchup from the beginning. After that, you will be able to win by playing around with the opposing Kommo-o.
V.S. Fini Gross T-tar Zapdos @2 Lead 376-m (1)785.png Back blog_import_58d21b972b760.png+orblog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png I’ve faced this core countless times and it always took the same movement countless times. The main win condition is to begin causing havoc with Koko + Gross and alternate into Trick Room mode with Porygon 2. Against obscure teams without Amoonguss, you’re almost guaranteed to win if you have P2 + Araquanid in the back. Sometimes there are weirdo’s who chose Mega Tyranitar and set up DD after surviving an Iron Head, but it will still die from Bullet Punch the next turn so it isn’t much of a problem.
V.S. Chari-Y Cress Lax Lead blog_import_58d21b972b760.png Back 376-m (1)blog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png Although I want to say that you can just simply begin by Fake Out + Trick Room, if you face Cresselia from the start, use Knock Off to scout its movement and either fire off Thunderbolt or switch into Araquanid. They can potentially reverse Trick Room or switch out Chari into Snrolax, which can makes things difficult. As long as you play cautiously against Snorlax, it’s a highly advantageous matchup.
V.S. Rain Lead blog_import_58d21b972b760.png
Back blog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png+or376-m (1)
If there’s Ferrothorn in the opposing team, please choose Incineroar. Begin by Wood Hammering Ludcolo and Trick Rooming with P2. There are certain damage rolls that KO P2 when it’s double targeted by Hydro Vortex and Brine. The team selection isn’t too much of a rain counter so if Pelipper has Brine, you can potentially lose from damage rolls. But if it doesn’t have Brine, you can possibly win, so it’s completely dependent on matchups.
V.S. Japan Sand Lead blog_import_58d21b972b760.png Back 376-m (1)blog_import_58d21c26d7ca4.png Dealing with Amoonguss within these teams is annoying so you would want to immediately finish it off with Incineroar. Common win conditions include removing Amoonguss quickly and setting up Trick Room to cause havoc, or stall out Sandstorm turns and allow Metagross to sweep. If there’s anything you’re curious of in terms of team selection, feel free to contact me on Twitter. Also, I haven’t implemented any checks for Chansey teams but they’re somewhat checkable.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I’ve also shared this team with Shiranui (@rena__poke), who qualified for nats by placing 1st in the March INC. Hence the strength of the team should be relatively high. Bulky Mega-Metagross was extremely powerful and although some of my friends criticized that slower variants of Metagross are weak, I’m glad that I trusted its potential and kept using it. Metagross’s set should be changing as the meta keeps developing and I would like to produce another Mega-Metagross that fits with the meta. Moreover during this months INC, I’ve realized that if you’re confident in your level of concentration, it’s worthwhile laddering for all 45 matches during the final day of the INC. I was busy both Friday and Saturday and had to ladder on the final day but I kept matching up against 1600s when I just began on the 1500s, which was really good. A 28-7 record from someone who laddered from the first day and a 28-7 record from someone who began laddering on the final day is significantly different so I hope this becomes handy. Although I’ve always managed to perform extremely well during the Japan nats online qualification tournaments, this is my first-ever time to be competing in nationals so I would like to do my best in that too. Despite the lengthiness of this article, thank you very much for reading this far.

About the writer


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