A Midwest Hurricane – Top 16 Collinsville Regionals Report

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Hey, everybody! My name is Andy Anderson (TwiddleDee) and in this report, I’m gonna show you guys the team that I used to get 140 CP from getting Top 16 in Collinsville, Illinois and Top 32 in Greensboro, North Carolina. This report will be focused mainly on my finish in Collinsville, but I will briefly run over Greensboro as well!

Teambuilding Process

Just a few days before Collinsville, I was completely lost on what team to bring. I messaged my friend Brianna Birt (TheRealTRJessie) to see if she had any ideas for Xerneas / Yveltal teams. She made some suggestions, but I was unable to bring the ideas together into a team that I could play well with. I was starting to panic and give up on getting points at the regional so I could focus on just hanging out with the Chicago crew. After a few weeks of stress evolving into accepting my fate, Ben Tan (TheRealMination) sent me this team for the regional. I’ll highlight the few changes that I made. I played one best of 3 with the team and lost and said “good enough.” I packed my things, drove from North Carolina to Atlanta to catch a flight to Chicago where my good friends Kolten Pope and Nate Innocenti picked me up to road trip the rest of the way.

The Team

tippy toes (Xerneas) @ Power Herb  
Ability: Fairy Aura  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes  
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 196 SpA / 28 SpD / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
– Moonblast  
– Geomancy  
– Substitute
– Protect

This is a relatively standard Xerneas. The original paste had Dazzling Gleam, but it was changed to Substitute because otherwise, Zygarde and Solgaleo teams are incredibly difficult to beat. The spread is very basic, max speed with enough bulk to survive 252 Special Attack Modest Kyogre Water Spouts in the Rain.

bel oo ga (Kyogre) @ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Drizzle  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
– Water Spout  
– Scald  
– Thunder  
– Ice Beam

People often ask me and say, “Hey, Andy. Why do you run Timid Kyogre? Isn’t that bad?” And that’s when I say, “Yes.” My reasoning for max Speed Timid Kyogre is that in a Choice Scarf mirror, I would rather have the chance at a speed tie than knowing that I’m not going to get an attack off first. My friend and NPA teammate Tamtam suggested that I run enough bulk to survive a +2 Moonblast from Xerneas, but on this team, I refuse to use Modest, and bulky Timid doesn’t do the damage that I would like it to. There were some battles that I wish I had heeded her advice, but overall it comes down to personal preference. 

Toadette (Amoonguss) @ Coba Berry
Ability: Regenerator  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 SpD  
Sassy Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  
– Grass Knot  
– Clear Smog  
– Spore  
– Rage Powder

The spread that Ben had given me originally was much different. For starters, his Amoonguss had Payapa Berry and was much more physically bulky than mine, being Relaxed and not Sassy. I’ll be honest, I was really lazy when changing the spread. The main benchmark I wanted to hit was having Modest Kyogre Water Spout be a 3HKO while surviving max attack Groudon be a 3HKO. I’m sure the spread can be optimized, but I was lazy and didn’t have much time. I settled on Kyogre being harder to deal with immediately, so this spread has a 6.6% chance to get 2HKO’d by Groudon, which was good enough for me. I went for Coba Berry over Payapa because I was more concerned about the Tornadus Kyogre mirror than I was with Lunala and Tapu Lele.

Will Smith (Tornadus) @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Prankster  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
– Hurricane  
– Tailwind  
– Taunt  
– Rain Dance

This is just a really standard Tornadus, nothing special about it. 

ketchup mayo (Incineroar) @ Figy Berry  
Ability: Intimidate  
Level: 50  
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 188 HP / 252 SpD / 68 Spe  
Careful Nature  
– Flare Blitz  
– Snarl 
– U-turn
– Fake Out  

Usually, people prefer slower Incineroar so that they can get the last U-turn, however on a team that has some very hyper offensive modes, the faster Fake Out is something that I prefer. I’d rather pressure an opposing Incineroar with a faster Fake Out + Water Spout or Geomancy set up in most situations. The spread isn’t anything special, the speed is just something extra. This Incineroar lives the +2 Moonblast from Timid Xerneas 14/16 times. Ben’s paste originally had Knock Off, which could’ve been helpful in some situations, but Snarl improved the matchup against the Xerneas Lunala team that Eduardo Cunha (EmbC) won the Oceania International Championships with right before Collinsville. 

Cersei (Tsareena) @ Fightinium Z  
Ability: Queenly Majesty  
Level: 50  
EVs: 164 HP / 220 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 116 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
– Power Whip  
– High Jump Kick  
– Feint  
– Helping Hand

Ah yes, the Queen herself. Tsareena was mostly underwhelming, unfortunately. This Tsareena was added to help in the mirror since the mirrors almost always had Assault Vest Kartana in this slot. Fightinium Z was a nice way of checking that, but also a nice way of getting rid of Incineroar and Stakataka if I wasn’t Intimidated. Unfortunately, in Collinsville, I saw 2 Kartana that were both Focus Sash, and in Greensboro, I saw 0 Kartana. I feel like across both tournaments, if I had either used Kartana in this slot or if I had gone with a bulkier set with Assault Vest or a 50% berry, I would’ve been able to handle some matches a lot easier. I don’t know much about the spread, but I know that it outspeeds the common Assault Vest Toxicroak by 1 point so that I can usually focus on the partner if I need to get a KO before Toxicroak can get rid of Tsareena.

My Tournament Run

After the Chicago crew and I made it to the venue, I look at my round 1 pairing and become heartbroken to learn that it’s my very good friend Ethan Simpson. We sit down, and then it is discovered that the judges accidentally made it VGC Singles, so that was exciting. The staff was very quick at correcting the error, and pretty soon we were heading into round 1.

Round 1 – vs. Ethan Simpson (PacoTaco)
LWW | 1-0
kyogre.png     mewtwo.png     tapu-lele.png     accelgor.png     amoonguss.png     kartana.png
Game 1, I lead Xerneas and Amoonguss into his Kartana and Tapu Lele. I can’t remember what exactly happened, but I do remember that the game came down to me having to make an assumption about his Kyogre. I was looking at the situation and I thought that it might be Waterium Kyogre, so I almost went for Substitute. I talked myself out of going for Substitute because I assumed his Z move was on Mewtwo. I go for the Moonblast into Kyogre, it lives and then goes for Waterium which KOs my Xerneas. Game 2, I believe I led Tornadus and Incineroar with Xerneas and Kyogre in the back into Tapu Lele and Accelgor. Here is a fun fact for those of you unfamiliar with how stupid fast Accelgor is. If your Kyogre is Modest Choice Scarf and you are under Tailwind, Accelgor will still outspeed you. However, if you are Timid Scarf under Tailwind, you outspeed Accelgor. I knew this before going into the set, so I had that benefit. Game 2 ended when Ethan saw my Kyogre was Timid and he couldn’t recover from there.

My philosophy in game 3 was to play as poorly as possible, which sounds silly. Ethan knows that I tend to make reads, but most of the time I try to make them when it is safe to do so. I led Xerneas and Amoonguss into Kartana and Tapu Lele. I think that the Protect + switch into Incineroar was really obvious, so I just went straight for Rage Powder and Geomancy as Kartana goes for Tailwind and Amoonguss eats a Psychic. I decided to once again not protect my Xerneas and instead I went for Moonblast into Kartana and Spore into Tapu Lele, expecting to eat a Smart Strike into Xerneas and catch a switch in, since I figured Ethan would want to preserve Tapu Lele for my Kyogre. Instead, he once again didn’t target down my Xerneas but used Sacred Sword into Amoonguss, expecting Incineroar to come in as I get a free Moonblast to activate Kartana's Focus Sash. I can’t remember how the rest of the game went, but due to my risky turns early in the game, I was able to command the game fairly safely from there on out.

Round 2 – vs. Nick Navarre (Nails)
LL | 1-1
groudon.png     xerneas-active.png     incineroar.png     talonflame.png     venusaur.png     tsareena.png
I wasn’t looking forward to this because Nick was coming off of a regional win from Dallas, and I had no idea how to play against his version of this team. Game 1, I got outplayed really hard and couldn’t position myself well. Game 2, I played pretty poorly throughout, and I almost brought back. Unfortunately, his Xerneas got a turn 1 wake up in a 1v1 with Amoonguss to seal the set. I can’t complain about that RNG, because I played poorly enough to put myself into that situation in the first place.

Round 3 – vs. Calvin Chan
WW | 2-1
kyogre.png     xerneas-active.png     incineroar.png     tornadus.png     metagross.png     amoonguss.png
I don’t remember a lot about this set, as it was pretty quick. It wasn’t quick because I crazy outplayed Calvin, but because of a speed tier interaction, we both learned that ended up costing him the set. Game 1, from what I remember, I pretty safely just led Kyogre Tornadus, I believe. I was able to get consistent damage off, because from what I remember his lead was put on less pressure than mine was. In-game 2, I led Tsareena and Tornadus I believe into Kyogre andMetagross. I was looking at Metagross and I thought, “either that is going to be very fast and it’s going to kill my Tsareena, or it’s going to be very slow and very bulky.” I took a gamble because I trusted my speed investment, and I managed to get off a Power Whip onto his Kyogre before he got a Life Orb Iron Head onto my Tsareena. Calvin was very confused that I outsped him, and I was a little bit too. He told me after the game that he wasn’t very fast, but he was EV’d to outspeed the common bulky variants. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the speed tier in game 1, and most Tsareena is usually slower and bulkier, so his assumption there wasn’t a bad one at all. From this point in the game, I pretty much just click Water Spout and clean up with Kyogre and Xerneas.

Round 4 – vs. Patrick Finney (Aricin)
WW | 3-1
kyogre.png     lunala.png     tapu-koko.png     incineroar.png     ditto.png     kartana.png
This was the second consecutive person from Chicago crew I was forced to play, and he was even in my room for the weekend. Patrick is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, and his love for the game is contagious. I knew pretty much all of the info about his team just based on the mons themselves. I knew Ditto would be Red Card, so I wanted to be careful with how I positioned Xerneas. Game 1 was pretty quick, but at one point there were 3 Incineroar and a Xerneas on my screen, and if that doesn’t scream VGC 2019, I don’t know what does. I remember I was able to bait his Red Card with my Incineroar at one point. He also went for Grass Knot with Tapu Koko onto my Kyogre at one point, and it did a solid 20%, which was way lower than I expected. This was also the first time I clicked my Z-Move so far. I went for a double-up into his Kartana, to be safe in case it had been Assault Vest. So I Water Spout, activate Focus Sash, and then All-Out Pummeling a 1 HP Kartana for what I can only assume was a damage roll. 

Round 5 – vs. Alex Arand (AlexTheRNGLord)
LL | 3-2
solgaleo.png     zygarde.png     tapu-fini.png     incineroar.png     toxicroak.png     venusaur.png
Oh look, Chicago crew again. I hit team preview and my brain is screaming every obscenity known to man because I had no idea how to play this matchup. Alex trashed me game 1, and Game 2 was a bit closer because Substitute Xerneas was able to give me a little room to take advantage of his pivoting. In the end, it didn’t really matter. I just couldn’t figure out how to play the matchup as best as I could and Alex positioned himself phenomenally. 

Round 6 – vs. Adam Nguyen (Oblivion)
WW | 4-2
xerneas-active.png     lunala.png     incineroar.png     smeargle.png     tsareena.png     stakataka.png
It only took me six rounds to face the one matchup that I knew how to play. It was also being piloted by somebody that I knew was a competent enough player to make me work for it, even if I knew how to play it. Game 1, I went all-in with Tsareena and Kyogre into Stakataka and Xerneas. I knew Stakataka didn’t have Wide Guard, so I just went for Helping Hand Water Spout to pick up both KOs. Tsareena and Lunala come in and the game becomes pretty tense, as I don’t have any options there but to Feint Tsareena and Water Spout. I do this, and it becomes Lunala vs. the world. I can’t remember what exactly happened, but I do know it came down to an Amoonguss KO’ing the Lunala. Going into game 2, I knew he was going to lead Tsareena and Lunala, so I think I led Incineroar and something I can’t remember. I think it was Kyogre and I called the Wide Guard with a U-turn + Scald. After Tsareena was KO’d, he couldn’t stop late-game Water Spout anymore. That’s all I really remember about game 2.

Round 7 – vs. Dylan Salvanera (SkillScarlet)
WW | 5-2
kyogre.png     xerneas-active.png     incineroar.png     tornadus.png     tsareena.png     ludicolo.png
Oh, look. More Chicago crew. I knew Dylan was a skilled player, but I was determined to win and pray that I could scrape top 16. The mirror wasn’t that difficult, primarily because of Amoonguss having Coba Berry. In-game 1, Dylan positioned himself a bit better than I did, but I managed to get a double protect to stall his Tailwind and that was the game. Game 2, I led Tsareena and Xerneas into Ludicolo Tornadus. He goes for Rain Dance + Hydro Vortex into my Xerneas which did just over half, I believe. I went for Feint to break the Focus Sash on Tornadus, because I didn’t want to give him a free switch in for the Ludicolo slot if Power Whip KO’d that slot, assuming he was going for Tailwind. I also got to use my Z-Move for the second time during the tournament. I went for it into Tornadus because I wanted to put it into Feint range and Tsareena was just kind of existing at that point and not really doing anything. The game was over when his Hurricane couldn’t KO my half HP Amoonguss through Coba Berry. I was able to take enough calculated damage and KOs during his Tailwind that the game ended with me sending him my full HP Kyogre against a low HP Xerneas that was no longer under Tailwind and hadn’t used Geomancy.

And with that, the tournament was over. I was looking at my resistance, which I felt was good enough to have a chance at Top 16, but I wasn’t sure how it would be compared to everybody else. Luckily, I managed to actually have really good resistance and I ended up in 11th place overall, which put me at 330 CP total. My Greensboro run was less impressive, as I started 4-0, faced 2 almost autoloss matchups in a row, and then another Zygarde Solgaleo team in round 7 that I couldn’t play around. Anyone of those three wins guaranteed me top 8, but it wasn’t meant to be. I decided to run this team at the very last minute, so everything was the exact same. In Greensboro, I ended up at 22nd place, which now puts me 6 points away from my invite!

Conclusion

The first shoutout I have to give is to everybody in Chicago crew that made the weekend so incredible. Nate Innocenti, Nate Engstrom, Patrick Finney, Nick Sefranek, Trevor Rosberg, Kolten Pope, Kamaal Harris, Jake Hockemeyer, Logan Mazur, Adam Baltrusaitis, Calvin Chan, Dylan Salvanera, Greyson Garren, Alyssa Smith, John Mills, Justin Frys, and everybody else from the group that was there! 

I also wanna shout out the homies Ben Tan for the team, and the various friends who helped me prepare like Louis Millich, Sam Temple, Patrick Donegan, Calvin Nisson, Eric Hogan and all of my Blizzards and Blizzards-B NPA teammates like Tamtam, Benster, SwaggyMcBuckets, MattieMooMoo, Nvidius, Hobbit, SableyeVGC, Jono, Chef, Sebby, Alfredo, Pontus, Pephan, Puddles, Owe, Alesko, nerd of now, Whitney, Tikkibikki, Ryan Hebert, Mr. GX, Pd0nZ and JeanMarc!

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to see everybody in DC!

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