2nd Place at Anaheim Regs 2018 Warstory

Hey everyone, this is Ryan Schambers (DeagleBeagle). I have been battling competitively since 2010, really 2009 but the lottery system screwed me out of playing. Actually even before then I was competing, but it was in OU or one of the other tiers and starting with RSE even though I played RBY and etc as a kid. I was very successful my first year of playing, topcutting in regionals, nationals, and worlds. I have often bubbled out of topcut and haven’t had as much practice time since, or gotten unlucky/emotional and didn’t as much as needed to topcut tournaments.

I feel this generation is similar to 2010 and 2016 in the respect that it involves restricted mons. I believe I tend to do better in this type of format since it involves more power and speed control which is my playstyle. With that said I believe my team was very good, but I knew coming into the format that Groudon Yveltal would be the hardest matchup I could face.

Let me start by listing each person I played before Topcut and what they were using and how I reacted to it. I believe I was good at adjusting to their team and my team was very carefully built to be able to do this. I wanted multiple options for speed control and leading as well as mons in back to support.

Round 1: Vishy Vosudevan (FlyingFalcons7)

He had Kartana Palkia Whim Salazzle Ogre Lele



I was caught off guard by Scarf Kart and almost lost this. I took notes and noticed the Palkia was not Specs and wasn’t sure if it had Trick Room. I won the first match and he lead Kartana Palkia. Game 2 He lead Salazzle Whimiscott and the Protect Salazzle caught me off guard. His Whim also avoided my E-Web vs. its sash and those two turns cost me the match. G3 I don’t remember his lead but he brought Whim Lele Kart Ogre. I believe I set up Trick Room and was able to sweep his team with Kyogre.

Round 2: Joseph Baria

He had Groudon Yveltal Incineroar Koko Nihilego Amoonguss



He lead Nihilego Yveltal the first two games. His Groudon got a Pblades crit on my Lunala and I ended up losing partly because of that and his team in general counters mine. I should have switched in Incineroar for Fake Out in Tailwind to stop Yveltal from Sucker Punching my Ogre. G2 I accidentally switched in Ogre as I Flare Blitzed Yveltal, but still won that match because he misplayed and should have Sucker Punched Ogre but instead went for Lunala since he thought Ogre would Protect and I won that. G3 I believe he led Groudon Koko. I ended up getting speed control up and Water Spouting his team iirc with Lele in the back to stop Sucker Punch and won.

Round 3: Kyle Hudson

Tsareena Metagross Yveltal Incineroar Fini Ogre



He lead Tsareena Ogre and Helping Handed with Scarf Water Spout. My Koko fainted and Lunala was left with about half health. I kinda forgot about Helping Hand, but I felt that all I needed was speed control after that turn (I tailwinded) to come back. I ended up switching in Tapu Lele and used two Psychic Moves (Double Psyshock I believe). Then I switched out Lunala (or a mon mighta died, can’t remember) , and Ogre was able to clean house after with Water Spout. G2 he brought Ogre Yveltal Incineroar Tsareena I forgot in which order. All I think I remember is getting speed control up again (TW) and Water Spout spamming to victory with the same 4 in the same order. Wild Charge finished me off I believe after he Spouted which gave me a free switchin to Ogre and I switched Lunala out to Lele then my Water Spout was protected against the possible Sucker Punch again.

Round 4: Matthew Jackson

Kyogre Tornadus Tsareena Kart Xern Gengar



G1 he led Gengar and I believe Ogre. I ended up Sky Dropping Gengar and outsped it and got TW up I believe, either that or TR. Then I extended speed control by later Trick Rooming with Staka and Lunala and somehow Staka survived the Sacred Sword (probably AV low Atk Kart) and Lunala fainted. Then Staka swept his Xerneas along with my ally. G2 I can’t remember the lead, but it might have been Gengar again with a different ally, or a Tsareena Ogre lead with HH. IIRC I set up speed control again and was able to pull off a win even though Lele didn’t finish off Tsareena and he got a Power Whip crit. I believe I Dazzling Gleamed that turn.

Round 5: Bridger Snow

Dusk Mane Ogre Incineroar Hydreigon Lurantis Koko



G1 he led Hydra Koko and I led Lunala Koko. I Sky Dropped Hydreigon and set up Tailwind. Then he got TW up turn2 with Hydra. I then E-webbed twice while Lunala attacked the Koko slot. He switched in Lurantis on the 2nd E-Web and it got a speed boost. But somehow I outsped even though he had a turn of TW up and I didn’t and Sky Dropped it. I believe I had Ogre in at this time and Water Spout Ohko’d the Dusk Mane (after E-Web damage), preventing TR. G2 I lead Lunala Lele because I felt even if Lunala died I could just Specs Gleam do a ton of damage. I believe he Dark Pulsed Tbolted Lele, but mine was bulky so it survived. Next turn he Volt Switched it with his Specs Koko (might be another item) vs. Lunala I believe and now DM Incineroar was in. I Dazzling Gleamed MGB’d and both berries activated. He then doubled up on Lunala, I switched out my ally to Incineroar and barely survived. I still outsped him and Moongeist Beamed again, fainting Dusk Mane. After this I finished off Koko with my Koko’s Wild Charge after leaving it with about 10% from the earlier Dazzling Gleam. Then Ogre finished off Incineroar iirc.

Round 6: Raghav Malaviya

Koko Yveltal Venusaur Groudon Incineroar Staka



G1 he Volt Switched Lunala and Snarled which finished off Lunala before I could do anything iirc. I accidentally Sky Dropped Yveltal that turn. Later Groudon came in after I sent Ogre in and it outsped with Pblades and I lost. G2 I led Staka Incineroar and set up Trick Room vs the same lead, he kept Koko in. Then I was rock sliding and doing damage with Incineroar. Unfortunately I missed a Rock Slide, but at least I flinched his Yveltal with RS. I Gyro Balled Groudon later and it barely survived. I should have went for the Rock Slide flinch. I also thought my Specs Lele would finish off Yveltal, but AV one was too bulky vs. Moonblast. I lost this set.

Round 7: Rajan Bal

Kyogre Tornadus Incineroar Lunala Tsareena Staka




G1 he led Lunala Ogre and I sky Dropped and Tailwinded. Then I doubled Lunala turn 2 to finish off. Both my mons died then I switched in Lele Ogre and had 2 more turns to finish off his 3 and was able to do it since his Ogre was Scarfed. G2 he led Ogre Staka and I MGB’d Staka and Wild Charged. He switched in Tsareena and Trick Roomed. I then did not expect Tsareena to be faster than my Ogre outside of TR and when I reversed the TR with Lunala my Ogre got outsped. I then lost mostly because of that. G3 he led Tsareena Ogre and Helping Handed Water Spouted OHKO’d my Koko and left Lunala at around half. I got up Tailwind iirc and it was almost over by the time Staka came in. I had switched Ogre in and baited Tsareena into Power Whipping, and switched in my Staka as I predicted he would TR with his. Turns out he had Superpower and he outsped and OHKO’d my Staka. I thought it was over after that, but I was able to bring in Ogre in TR with E-terrain still up. I ended up Thunder OHKOing his Ogre while his Lunala Protected. TR now was over and rain as well as E-terrain. He Psyshocked and outsped me and I Spouted Single Target and finished him off. If he had Psyshocked instead of Protecting the turn before I believe he woulda won.

Round 8: Zheyuan Huang (Ken)

Tornadus Xern Ogre Incineroar Amoonguss Kart



G1 he led Ogre Amoonguss. I lead Koko Lunala. He OHKO’d Koko with Water Spout, so it had to be Mystic Water I believe (I use AV Koko) while I Tailwinded. Then I sent in Lele and Psyshock OHKO’d and outsped his Ogre. I can’t remember if he Spored me or not (don’t think so). But somehow I cleanly won with Ogre in the back of TW, I probably Water Spouted the Amoonguss the same turn as Psyshock from Lunala. G2 he lead Incineroar Xern with Amoonguss Ogre in back. He U-turned with Incineroar and brought in Amoonguss and Geo’d. I did not prepare for Amoonguss with redirection with Xern and Amoonguss countering TR in back of Koko since I never had remembered losing like this before with that kind of team. G3 I led Lele Ogre to try to counter what he led with last time, but he led Kart Xern this time. I had to switch out Lele to Koko and Water Spout did decent damage to both mons, but Xern Geo’d. I later sent in Lunala and TR’d and he brought in Amoonguss after he finished off Koko with Dazzling Gleam. Without being able to prevent Spore now, he put Lunala to sleep and then tried to Spore Kyogre but I protected. I eventually woke up with Lunala and Psyshocked but it was not enough to win. He stalled TR out to make it a 1 vs 1 fight of Ogres at full HP. He Thundered, and got a fully para and para the same turn and then Thundered again and won.

TopCut R1: Alejandro Jimenez (LegacyVGC)

Groudon Venusaur Xerneas Lele Incineroar Ferro



I only knew 3 of his mons before topcut from talking to him. G1 I believe he led Incineroar Xern and I switched out Koko to Staka while TRing. I don’t remember much besides Gyro Ball doing about 40% to Groudon even after my Staka was Intimidated. Ferro came in later and kept Leech Seeding. I ended up winning somehow, I believe because I was able to Flare Blitz Ferro and Knock Off Xerneas making Geo last 2 turns. I brought Staka Incineroar every game in the set with Koko Lunala lead iirc. G2 he ended up missing Snarl with Incineroar and led Incineroar Xern. I had to keep positioning with U-turn and trying to predict switch-ins. I didn’t conserve Incineroar though and he finished it off I believe with Moonblast, then Ferro beat the rest of my team. G3 I positioned better by really trying to control speed and switching out Lunala out at one point to the back to control speed in the back later. I kept doubling slots that I knew couldn’t protect and switching up my moves a lot to not get predictable. I got Ferrothorn on the switch-in finally with Flare Blitz. I also let Koko die and Protected with Staka so I could bring in Incineroar and set up another Trick Room. Once Ferro died it was over since he had just Xern left without Geo and I had nearly full health.

Topcut R2: Bridger Snow

Dusk Mane Ogre Incineroar Hydreigon Lurantis Koko



I am glad I faced him earlier so I knew somewhat of how his team worked. G1 he led Hydra Koko and I led Incineroar Lunala. I Fake Outed and Tailwinded while I believe he Tbolted Lunala. I then believe I either U-turn Moongeist Beamed Hydreigon or instead attacked Koko with Psyshock and switched in Lele, can’t remember. But I maintained speed control and was able to OHKO Dusk Mane and finish off the Lurantis (I think I Wild Charged it as it switched in earlier) after hitting it with my ally with Water Spout later and outsped him. G2 he led Hydra Ogre and I led Koko Lunala again. I Sky Dropped the Hydra slot and Psyshocked the Ogre. I believe he Dark Pulsed + Water Spout for the 2HKO on Lunala. I now lost speed control and iirc he set up TR with DM and Photon Geysered my team with Lele’s terrain up so I lost. G3 I led Lunala Incineroar iirc because I realized that not Tailwinding Turn1 was why I lost Game2. I can’t remember his lead (Ogre Hydra iirc). I then sent in Specs Lele and Moonblasted the Ogre and Psyshocked iirc. Then Dusk Mane came in and I MGB’d and MB’d it, but it protected and Hydreigon Dark Pulsed. Next turn I Moonblasted the Hydreigon and MGB’d the DM. Hydra never got TW up and DM had about 30% left. I then sent in Ogre later and finished off both his mons with Water Spout to win the set.

Topcut R3 (Finals): Raghav Malaviya

Koko Yveltal Venusaur Groudon Incineroar Staka



G1 I led Incineroar Lele vs his Incineroar Koko. He Volt Switched and I Moonblasted the Koko slot. He Knock Offed and later Snarled outspeeding my Lele with Yveltal. I could not recover from that and Lunala took too much from Snarl and couldn’t be powerful enough either in back. I did not bring Koko so I had nothing for Yveltal anymore. G2 he led Yveltal Incineroar and I led Lele Ogre iirc and Water Spouted and as well as Moonblasting the Incineroar Slot as it switched to Groudon and his Snarl missed, and Moonblast Water Spout killed Groudon. Then kept targeting the allies of Yveltal until they fainted. I had Staka in back and ended up Rock Sliding or Gyro Balling Yveltal I believe ‘til it fainted. G3 I really don’t remember much, but I believe he led Incineroar Yveltal again with Koko Groudon in back. I managed to take out Groudon by doubling it again, but I had to predict later with Staka and mispredicted. I Protected while Kyogre went for another Thunder on Yveltal. Raghav must have saw this coming or actually he told me he thought Staka might be the pinch berry and he Tbolted the Ogre and switched Yveltal out to Incineroar. Psychic Terrain was still up. I thought he would try to prevent TR at all costs because I could possibly win by setting up TR and flinching. Overall it was a great set and was glad at least to take it to G3 by taking the 2nd match from him. It was very difficult to face his bulky Groudon Yveltal team and I told everyone I knew that he and his team would be the hardest matchup. 2nd place is not bad though!

I went with this team because it did well in the IC. I was going to use Lunala Groudon, but the matchup vs. Yveltal was almost an instaloss so I went with Lunala Ogre instead and got 227th in the IC.

I want to thank Danish Ali, my family (especially Alan or Metabou for getting the team), the Utah Crew (specifically Matthew Jackson, Matthew Greaves, Bridger Snow, Emilio) for hanging out with me and supporting me all the way through. There were some others on Twitter like UncleLou who was rooting for me, possibly because he had used a similar team and thought that people had been excessively hateful towards me getting Topcut in Anaheim. I also want to thank the people that made friends with me on Showdown or online/in person in general, like LegacyVGC or FlyingFalcons7, sorry if I forgot to mention you.

I understand the hate, as a few mentioned that my personality is a separate issue from how well I battle. To that I agree and you can ask anyone and they will say I have improved in that area over time, especially recently. I don’t talk on Showdown as much or joke around like I used to. Unfortunately pretending to be someone I am not too often makes people think I am really like that to which is only partly true. I felt like I had to keep playing that role as that seemed to be my niche in the community. But I realized recently that nearly everything is pointless when it comes to politics or worrying about or trying to control my relationships with people. For some reason now I have been not trying to purposely go against the grain and instead just have fun and battle. I believe I am improving in my relationships with people, trying to focus on the positives instead of cherry-picking the negatives.

I understand if you still dislike me, and in the past I would have been really negative about that, but now I am at the point where it barely bothers me. Hopefully my success in this regional and my attempts to change my behavior/personality will make people see me in a different light as well as transform my character back to what it was in 2010 (chill and not toxic at times). I was planning on perhaps quitting VGC after this and trying to focus on things that matter more in my life like getting a girlfriend, but perhaps I will do both now.

Congrats Mudhiman for your win and you definitely earned it in a hard-fought set! No hard feelings and I wish you the best of luck in the future!

Now I have pasted the team here, with some very minor changes so that my exact speed EVs are not revealed (feel free to adjust them up or down slightly). I will just put 12 evs in Speed on Kyogre and Lunala and Incineroar. On a few pokemon like Kyogre and Lunala I used more speed than minimum, but I regret not making Lunala Max HP, because it really did not seem to need the Speed EVs. I was going to use Tbolt Lunala right before Regionals, but I decided Psyshock was better as it worked in Psychic Terrain, but more importantly helped vs Geomancy and could be used vs mons to hit harder neutrally too, as well as hitting Croak hard.

I tested Special Koko and Tbolt was not strong enough to OHKO max HP Kyogre and Thunder missed outside of Rain. My Koko normally walls FO + Spout. To beat the non-bulky Groudons typically I would Nature’s Madness MGB outspeed them and knock them out. I made Incineroar max offense to hit as hard as possible since I always felt like they were barely surviving and that my bulk didn’t really matter when I could have used more power as speed control turns were being stalled. Sky Drop + MGB would always OHKO Kartanas and outspeed them. Kyogre’s Mystic Water helped me barely nab many more OHKOs like on Dusk Mane or Grass mons that were chipped. I picked Ice Beam for Groudon and Grass Types or when Spout was weakened. I went with Psychic on Lele even though I never used it because I figured I could use it vs. Groudon and get locked into a high-powered move and wasn’t really using Shadow Ball.

My Lele was bulky so it could wall Ogre and then OHKO back with Psyshock. It also usually walled MGB. Almost all the attacks vs it were special so it worked out great and no one expected it to be EV’d that way. Lastly, Staka was very useful in Topcut, but didn’t happen to pick it much before Topcut. I used it a lot vs Xern, Incineroar, Yveltal, Groudon, etc teams. If it doesn’t super affect anything then I typically don’t pick it. Kartana looks better on paper since it also can hit Xern hard and hit through Rage Powder as well as prevents another Ground weakness. But I felt that a 2nd Trick Roomer especially in case they got a fast Taunt was very useful, especially versus Crobat or Gengar which I saw a lot of recently. I never got to use Mental Herb, but I think this was just a coincidence. Had I known no one would use Taunt I would have likely used a pinch berry, defensive item, or an offensive item instead.



Lunala @ Electric Seed
Ability: Shadow Shield
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 12 SpD / 12 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moongeist Beam
- Trick Room
- Psyshock
- Tailwind

Tapu Koko @ Assault Vest
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 220 HP / 92 Atk / 4 Def / 100 SpD / 92 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Sky Drop
- Electroweb
- Nature's Madness

Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Knock Off
- Flare Blitz
- U-turn

Kyogre @ Mystic Water
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 12 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Water Spout
- Thunder
- Protect

Tapu Lele @ Choice Specs
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 SpA / 60 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Moonblast
- Dazzling Gleam
- Psychic

Stakataka @ Mental Herb
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 12 SpD
Lonely Nature
IVs: 15 Def / 0 Spe
- Rock Slide
- Gyro Ball
- Protect
- Trick Room
 
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