The Mantle of Hyper Offense is Trades – Top 16 Champions Cup Report

File:Ninetales BW135.png

Hello. My name is Adrien Hurley (ColdingLight) and I recently finished top 16 at the Champions Cup. I’ll start by naming some past accomplishments, how I felt during the lead-up to the tournament, and the team itself. My most notable placing was 2nd at the Washington D.C Open, followed by a 3rd place finish at the 2020 Pax East grassroots tournament with a Pikachu team (Thanks Maxdeese!) and a handful of MIT/Fall River local Premier Challenge and Midseason Showdown tournament wins.

Teambuilding Process

After a strong Series 2 run with a Durant control team that allowed me to lock up my invite to Worlds, I walked into this new Series 3 meta with something similar but faced a whole new set of problems. The Durant team that I was piloting didn’t feel as strong anymore, so I moved on to other teams. For a while, nothing felt right, so I decided to go back to basics and figure out what kind of theme I wanted. What have I not tried? Maybe hyper offense?

Enter Markus Stadter (13Yoshi37), a man who needs no introduction but will briefly mention the team he used to top cut the Spring VGC Victory Road tournament. The team consisted of Charizard, Ninetales, Scrafty, Venusaur, Rhyperior, and Dusclops and I remember playing something similar during Abdul Barrie (Big Slim)'s weekly tournaments in finals. And lost horribly to it.

The Team

Charizard-Gmax @ Life Orb
Ability: Solar Power
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Blast Burn
– Hurricane
– Solar Beam
– Protect

Charizard is disgustingly powerful. It just melts everything in its path, and I really wanted something that can overwhelm my opponent from the get-go with raw strength. Much like Aaron Traylor (Unreality) and his Dallas winning team, I opted for Blast Burn over Heat Wave since I knew that nearly every time I brought Charizard, I’m Gigantamaxing it.

I choose Hurricane over Air Slash purely for raw power. Solar Beam is a must for coverage and to synergize nicely with its fellow teammate Venusaur giving it the boosted Leaf Storm it wants.
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard G-Max Wildfire (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Rotom-W in Sun: 156-183 (99.3 - 116.5%) – 93.8% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard G-Max Wildfire (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Dusclops in Sun: 134-160 (91.1 - 108.8%) – 50% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard G-Max Wildfire (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine in Sun: 196-231 (99.4 - 117.2%) – 93.8% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard G-Max Wildfire (150 BP) vs. -2 252 HP / 4 SpD Rotom-W in Sun: 309-365 (98.4 - 116.2%) – 87.5% chance to OHKO (Same calcs for Rotom-H)
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard Max Airstream (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 96 SpD Incineroar in Sun: 203-239 (100.4 - 118.3%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard Max Overgrowth (140 BP) vs. 68 HP / 188 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in Sun: 499-589 (125.3 - 147.9%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard Max Overgrowth (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Tyranitar in Sun: 273-322 (131.8 - 155.5%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Solar Power Charizard Max Overgrowth (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Jellicent in Sun: 263-309 (127 - 149.2%) – guaranteed OHKO

Ninetales @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Overheat
– Heat Wave
– Fake Tears
– Hypnosis

Here is the lifeblood of the team with probably the most eye-raising item. Originally, I saw people opting for either Focus Sash or Choice Specs. Choice Specs was interesting since it allows Ninetales to hit hard, but I wasn’t a fan of it; it does fit the style of the team here, however. A friend of mine named Nightfront, an old school VGC player, recommended Sash with Power Swap, Overheat, Hypnosis, and Protect. The idea was to use Overheat to lower the Special Attack of Ninetales and trade it off with my opponent (Just like what Wolfe Glick did on his Exeggutor.) It was an interesting idea, but a bit too defensive. I really like Choice Scarf more. I liked how it just says “No” to Durant. It’s faster than Charizard, which is a big deal since the two Pokémon are both 100 base speed and I don’t want them speed tying each other. Thanks to Choice Scarf, Ninetales can fire off Fake Tears allowing Charizard to melt everything in its path. It can even help Venusaur do that outside of the sun, which is admittedly rare. And lastly… a blind Hypnosis can be crippling for my opponent to surprise them and stop their progress.

Drought is so important for this team. Activating Charizard's raw strength and Venusaur's incredible speed to get the jump on my opponents. Often when dealing with another weather setting, I would hard switch Ninetales in and let the other two Kanto starters do what they do best: sleep on the competition and or destroy. I don’t really have any significant calcs for Ninetales but just know it brings down Durant and hits other Steel-types like Duraludon hard.

Venusaur @ Wide Lens
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Leaf Storm
– Sludge Bomb
– Earth Power
– Sleep Powder

Venusaur is the stuff of nightmares. Even outside of the sun, its base speed of 80 allows it to outspeed a lot of Pokémon; namely Dracazolt, Dracovish, Incineroar, and Tyranitar, which this team can sometimes struggle with if they're played well. Often when I go for the Trick Room mode this team has, I would lead Venusaur and Dusclops together since Venusaur is relatively fast on its own and can get the jump on my opponent with Sleep Powder. Or, I can allow my opponent to knock it out so that I can safely bring in my Rhyperior with Dusclops alongside it. I opted for Wide Lens because Venusaur needs to hit its Sleep Powders and 75% accuracy is unacceptable. With Wide Lens, Sleep Powder moves from an unreliable 75% accurate move to 82%. Also, with Wide Lens, this allows Venusaur to hit its Leaf Storm more, changing it from a 90% move to 99%. Sludge Bomb was added for additional coverage and to boost Special Attack when I Dynamax it and Earth Power was added over Protect for more coverage and to get the jump on things like Excadrill, Raichu, Duraludon, etc.
  • 252 SpA Venusaur Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Duraludon: 210-248 (118.6 - 140.1%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Venusaur Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Incineroar: 94-112 (46.5 - 55.4%) – 99.6% chance to 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Venusaur Leaf Storm vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in Sand: 297-351 (133.7 - 158.1%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Venusaur Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 116+ SpD Togekiss: 96-114 (50 - 59.3%) – guaranteed 2HKO

Conkeldurr @ Choice Band
Ability: Iron Fist
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Mach Punch
– Drain Punch
– Thunder Punch
– Ice Punch

Originally this slot was occupied by Scrafty. I understood Scrafty’s placement on the team that Markus ran and having an Intimidator with Fake Out pressure is always tempting. The main problem I have is that it’s a Dark and Fighting-type, which has a crippling weakness to Fairy, and it doesn’t have the offensive pressure I want. When thinking of some mons to replace it, I humored Machamp who I was looking into, but then settled on Conkeldurr. Since this format has begun, I’ve gotten a lot of experience with Conkeldurr. It did well at the NYC OS Midseason Showdown, landing me a top 16 placement with a Life Orb set, and Flame Orb has been pretty good in practice, but it wasn’t enough because I need more power. I consulted my friend Nightfront about this and he originally recommended Choice Band, which got my brain ticking. I think he almost immediately regretted that suggestion since Conkeldurr likes to use both Drain Punch and Mach Punch and not be stuck on just one move but the damage was done, and the damage dealt is so good!

It should be worth noting that this team has a bit of a Dragapult weakness. If left unchecked, (Or miss a Sleep Powder/Hypnosis) it can run through this entire team. So, I need anything that can try to stop it. Which is why I choose Ice Punch. When Dragapult Dynamaxes, Ice Punch doesn’t OHKO even with Choice Band, which is unfortunate, but it's still necessary to have for damage. It should be noted that it does get the jump on Togekiss. (That obviously goes for Thunder Punch too).
  • 252+ Atk Choice Band Iron Fist Conkeldurr Ice Punch vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Togekiss: 184-218 (114.2 - 135.4%) – guaranteed OHKO

Dusclops @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Night Shade
– Bulldoze
– Trick Room
– Will-O-Wisp

I wanted to work more on this Dusclops spread. Unfortunately, I didn’t give myself enough time to optimize it, and if you go Relaxed nature, it allows it to live anything from Dragapult when it’s not boosted from Weakness Policy. But again, I just didn’t have enough time to fix it.

Night Shade was chosen because on a personal note, I despise running Pokémon with no offensive attacks. Will-O-Wisp was chosen to slow the game down. What I mean by that is other Pokémon like Rhyperior, Dragapult, Tyranitar, and Excadrill can tear through my team if played well, but having the option to slow that offense down is imperative. Originally, I had Ally Switch over Will-O-Wisp, but it was too gimmicky for my liking. Bulldoze was chosen primarily for Rhyperior to activate its Weakness Policy in (and rarely out) of Trick Room and to break Focus Sashes. And of course, Trick Room for speed control.
  • 252 Atk Dragapult Max Phantasm (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 60 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 108-128 (73.4 - 87%) – guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 Atk Tyranitar Max Darkness (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 60 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 116-138 (78.9 - 93.8%) – guaranteed 2HKO

Rhyperior @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– High Horsepower
– Superpower
– Protect

Last but certainly not least, we end with Rhyperior. I needed something powerful to Dynamax and play brilliantly within Trick Room. Rhyperior’s the Pokémon. There really isn’t much to say when it comes to Rhyperior since this Pokémon has been pretty popular ever since this format has begun. Rock Slide was chosen because it’s literally on every Rhyperior set and it is the best move in the game. After getting boosted, it just starts knocking out things like Togekiss, Incineroar, and Lapras (Before the Aurora Veil). High Horsepower was used because I didn’t care about hitting myself with Earthquake. I found myself either bringing Charizard or Rhyperior, so it didn’t make sense to me to run Earthquake. Bear in mind, you should also be hitting this thing with Bulldoze. So, you should still be picking up KOs. Protect is important because it’s Protect.

And finally, I have Superpower. I spent some time thinking about which move should the last slot be. Before, it was Fire Punch to help reset the sun, which ultimately became pointless; then Poison Jab for additional coverage and to help out Venusaur; then Brick Break, which I ran at the latest Rose Tower tour, to shatter shields, which didn’t come to play at all; and finally Superpower. I just wanted a move that wouldn’t miss like the other two that could. Plus, when Dynamaxed, I get Attack boosts, which both Rhyperior and Conkeldurr love.
  • +2 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 196 Def Lapras: 494-584 (104.2 - 123.2%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • +1 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 416-492 (102.9 - 121.7%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Togekiss: 384-452 (100 - 117.7%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Dracozolt: 396-468 (100.5 - 118.7%) – guaranteed OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Rhyperior Max Quake (130 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 325-384 (99 - 117%) – 93.8% chance to OHKO

Playing the Team

ninetales Victory Road+
Charizard and Ninetales offer immediate pressure on my opponent with Venusaur and Conkeldurr in the back. Even redirection leads won’t get your opponent too far unless their goal is to set up Trick Room, in which case, you shouldn’t have lead this core anyway. The only real problem is if your opponent leads something faster than Charizard. A great example is my first match in top cut against Brady Smith (Bsmiffy). In Game 3, he leads Raichu and Lapras. This allowed him to Fake Out pressure to disrupt Ninetales, or Nuzzle my Charizard to paralyze it, crippling its speed allowing Lapras to potentially outspeed. Given that the Raichu was Sash, it meant that it wouldn’t go down in one hit. So, what can I do? Hypnosis into the Raichu!

Having your opponent outspeed you and potentially disrupt your offense is bad. This is largely why Pokemon like Whimsicott is so scary. It has the potential to shut down Dusclops with Taunt, Give the team speed control with Tailwind, and even set up Safeguard to safely stop sleep.

+ninetales Victory Road
Another lead I would often use is Charizard/Venusaur lead with Ninetales and Conkeldurr in the back. It basically serves the same function as the previous lead except it grants me two options: Sleep? Or power? What do you like more about this situation?

If my opponent has Excadrill and Tyranitar, I always lead Venusaur and Dusclops. Since Venusaur naturally outspeeds Tyranitar, I can go for Sleep Powder into it. If Excadrill Dynamaxes and takes the KO on Venusaur, that’s a good thing, because now you can safely bring in Rhyperior in Trick Room. Tyranitar no longer has the offensive powers it needs to knock out Dusclops and once Trick Room is set up, you can even opt for Will-O-Wisp to slow the game down. And thanks to Dusclops' ability Frisk, you can see what items your opponent has and act accordingly to them. If you ever want to set up Trick Room, that’s usually the lead I start with. Often, there really isn’t much your opponent can do to stop it.


This is my first time writing a team report and I don’t read team reports often. But hopefully, it was insightful and of course, I’d love to hear any feedback or constructive criticism for my report. 

Anyway, I'd like to thank several people: Nightfront for helping me practice against your crappy Blastoise team (You know I'm messing with you); Bubs for the additional practice with the Dragapult matchup and recommendations; Big Slim, ConicSansDomarp, and Spencer Hu for report's main quote and everyone else in the Nonsense 101 Discord group; Wolfe Glick, aDrive, and the rest of the tournament staff unprecedented tournament. Everyone I played against during the tournament, GGs! Finally to all the readers reading this report. I hope you guys have a good rest of the day!


  1. Nice team! I've been looking for a sun team to pilot and yours is the best I've found so far. With that said, I was wondering what kind of changes u made for the VR May Tournament?


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