VGC Rocks fall, everyone dies (1700+ on Battle Spot)

Hello, Smogon!

This is a team that I made shortly after Intimidate Incineroar became legal, and for the most part it built itself. It's centered around setting up Dragon Dance Tyranitar while protecting and supporting it with Incineroar, Amoonguss, and Zapdos. Choice Specs Tapu Fini synergizes well with Mega Tyranitar and works as a Special spread attacker. Milotic originally served as the team's sixth Pokemon in order to discourage Intimidate, but was changed to Mega Gardevoir at the urging of my friend who is way more experienced in VGC than I am.

Team at a Glance


Rakshasa (Incineroar) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Brave Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
IVs: 0 Spe
- Fake Out
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- Snarl

Like I said in the introduction, if my memory is correct, this team was made the day that Intimidate Incineroar was released. And if everyone else is going to be using a Pokemon this good, I may as well too, right? Anyway, I can definitely say that there's a reason this thing is so popular. Joining Hitmontop and Scrafty in the Intimidate + Fake Out club, Incineroar can take hits well (unlike Hitmontop), and hit hard (unlike Scrafty). Anyway, I'm using Incineroar on my team mainly to support the Pokemon that set up, since Fake Out neutralizing a threat for a turn is usually all that's needed for me to start sweeping. Flare Blitz and Knock Off are obligatory STABs; I'm using Knock Off instead of Darkest Lariat because pinch berries are the bane of my existence. I chose Snarl as the fourth move over Low Kick because Tyranitar is weak to a few common Special attacking types, and even with Sand it takes fairly heavy damage. Tapu Koko OHKOs Zapdos with Z-Thunderbolt but not at -1, which is also a plus. I'm running Assault Vest to improve Incineroar's bulk, since it usually switches in and out a lot to recycle Intimidate and Fake Out.

Tarrasque (Tyranitar) @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
Jolly Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Dragon Dance
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Protect

Tyranitar is the team's main win condition. After watching Aaron "Cybertron" Zheng use Dragon Dance Mega Tyranitar on his Youtube channel, I knew I had to try it out for myself, and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. With turn 1 support from either Incineroar or Amoonguss, if Tyranitar gets up a Dragon Dance without being Intimidated, the game is effectively over since even if Tyranitar goes down later in the match, it will have dealt enough damage that its partners can clean up. A Jolly nature with maximum Speed investment means it reaches 201 Speed after a Dragon Dance, edging out Tapu Koko and other base 130 Pokemon by one point. Rock Slide is the bane of everyone's existence, doing great damage while also having that sweet, sweet 30% flinch chance. Crunch is a secondary STAB that actually OHKOs most Mega Metagross at +1.

Myconid (Amoonguss) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SDef
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Sludge Bomb
- Protect

Amoonguss is quickly growing to be one of my favourite support Pokemon. Rocky Helmet might seem to be a bit 2015, but I have appreciated the chip damage from it too many times to count. It redirects attacks away from the offensive Pokemon, and... well, there's not much else to say, really. I use Spore less often than you might expect, but that might just be because of habit. Hard to say, really. I picked Sludge Bomb over Giga Drain as an offensive move because it OHKOs Tapu Bulu, a Pokemon who otherwise gives this team a huge amount of trouble. The EV spread is one I picked up from... somewhere, and it gives good all-around bulk.

Zappy Bird (Zapdos) @ Electrium Z
Ability: Pressure
Modest Nature
EVs: 180 HP / 116 Def / 164 SAtk / 4 SDef / 44 Spe
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Tailwind
- Roost

Zapdos is my primary method of speed control, as well as being the Z-move user on this team. I bring it to most games that I bring Gardevoir, since Mega Gardevoir in Tailwind is terrifying if not dealt with properly. I'm opting for Heat Wave over Hidden Power Ice because without it, my team crumples to Kartana and Ferrothorn (I still have trouble with them, but not as much). Roost is used over Protect so that Zapdos can stick around for longer and keep Tailwind up.

Merrow (Tapu Fini) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Misty Surge
Modest Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 124 SAtk / 4 SDef / 100 Spe
- Muddy Water
- Scald
- Dazzling Gleam
- Ice Beam

After a year and a half of having no idea how to use Tapu Fini, I think I've sort of figured it out. Specs Fini deals (85%) consistent spread damage with Muddy Water, and is bulky enough to take a few hits as well. In Tailwind it becomes an awesome sweeper since its average Speed is patched up. I like to bring Fini to most battles that I use Tyranitar, since Tapu Fini hits Landorus and Incineroar (the two most common Intimidators) super-effectively and can finish off Pokemon that Tyranitar has damaged. The other three moves are mostly filler, but Dazzling Gleam is a good button to push against Kommo-o.

Deva (Gardevoir) @ Gardevoirite
Ability: Trace -> Pixilate
Modest Nature
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SAtk / 12 Spe
- Hyper Voice
- Psychic
- Trick Room
- Protect

Gardevoir is my secondary Mega Evolution. I usually bring it instead of Tyranitar if it doesn't look like I'll be able to setup Dragon Dance against a given team but just need to hit hard immediately. I went with a bulkier spread over my usual preference of 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe to reflect the overall bulkier nature of VGC 2018, and to make better use of Trick Room, which is a good option to have if the opponent's team is primarily faster Pokemon or relies heavily on Tailwind. Hyper Voice, despite the Pixilate nerf, still hits incredibly hard against anything that doesn't resist it, while Psychic is the same strong STAB move it's always been.

Lead combinations


Incineroar + Tyranitar is my favourite lead. On turn 1, try to Fake Out + Dragon Dance, and then click Rock Slide. It also has the benefit of both Pokemon being Dark-types, which foils Whimsicott + Gengar shenanigans.


An alternate lead if the opponent has a lot of Pokemon that threaten Tyranitar, Amoonguss can Rage Powder attacks away while Tyranitar sets up. Amoonguss is also better at protecting Tyranitar after turn 1, since Rage Powder can be used every turn.


Might seem counterproductive since Misty Terrain cuts off Spore, but like I said in Amoonguss's description I don't rely too much on Spore as it is. This combination puts on more pressure on turn 1, and usually has Amoonguss spam Rage Powder while Tapu Fini spams Muddy Water.


A leftover from my glory days of 2015, Tailwind + Hyper Voice continues to be a strong combination. Zapdos also has Gigavolt Havoc if I want to nuke something that would survive a Hyper Voice

) +

If I want to go with Trick Room mode, this is the go-to lead.


Grass-types, especially these three, are a huge pain to deal with. Kartana and Ferrothorn resist basically all of my attacks except Heat Wave, while Mega Venusaur straight up never dies. In addition, Rage Powder can't redirect their attacks.

Tapu Koko isn't as major of a threat as the above, but it's still annoying because it's often seen on the same team as them and OHKOs Zapdos with Gigavolt Havoc. It also outspeeds my entire team, forcing me to play around it for the most part. Amoonguss shuts it down pretty well with Rage Powder and Sludge Bomb, though.
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Bump, since it's been a couple weeks now.

I''ve laddered to about 1700 on Battle Spot with this team so far. Right now I'm testing Clefairy in place of Amoonguss, since it can redirect Grass-types and can passively protect my sweepers with Friend Guard. Of course, it means no Spore (not a huge deal since I run Fini); no Sludge Bomb (which is nice against the Tapus); and that now I have 3 Fairies on my team.

Even though it's one of my favourite Megas, I'm still unhappy with Gardevoir's role here since it takes the Mega slot and I always bring Tyranitar anyway. I feel like a fast, hard-hitting single-target attacker could work well in its place; does anyone have suggestions? (EDIT: Excadrill?)
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