Team Report The King's Cats: A Smogon VGC Major Top Cut Report


Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor

Hello, everyone. I’m Mohamed Nihal, more commonly known as Mr.GX online. I started playing competitive Pokemon in 2015 after watching the infamous Worlds 2014 finals, and have been a regular in the VGC scene since. Due to a lack of events in my region, I rely on online tournaments to play VGC competitively.

Recently, I managed to Top Cut the Smogon VGC Major, which had 615 players checked in, with a record of 8-2. Without further ado, let’s move onto the team building process

Team Accomplishments


The teambuilding process was a long one, essentially. The meta went through numerous changes from S7 to S9. We had a surge in offensive strategies like Life Orb Regieleki and Urshifu-Rapid Strike, Support Spectrier, and Prankster Thundurus. But before we move onto the final version, I would like to explain the process, and the different iterations of the team.

As many of you might already know, I am an avid Suicune lover and I wanted to have it used on the team. With this, one of the many challenges I face when team building is finding out how I can make Suicune work well. Suicune is my favorite Pokemon in the series, and it has a niche role in providing a unique set of support options. The original iteration of the team had Screens Regieleki with Focus Sash and Weakness Policy Regirock, which was effective against the Glastrier balance teams and the NUT core in S7.

:moltres-galar: :regirock: :Amoonguss: :Regieleki: :Suicune: :Incineroar:

However, as Series 9 rolled out, we saw a massive meta shift towards more offensive options and I realized that my team was too passive, capitalizing on safer plays and breaking through their defenses. Oftentimes, I found my defenses being broken apart by Pokemon such as Regieleki and Life Orb Landorus-T. Hence, it was necessary for the team to undergo a change to better match against the current meta.

While I was searching for some inspiration, I came across Jean Paul’s Players Cup II team, which had a similar team composition to mine. I was surprised by the amount of offensive pressure he had in Regieleki and Landorus-T. Furthermore, the usage of Landorus-T patched up the team’s Regieleki weakness, and the option of double Intimidate can also be used to severely deter opposing Landorus-T. Hence, we now come to the final iteration of the team.

:Amoonguss: :Incineroar: :Moltres-Galar: :Suicune: :Regieleki: :Landorus-Therian:


The Team:

Shroom (Amoonguss) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 224 HP / 164 Def / 108 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Pollen Puff
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect

An incredible mon that can pressure the opponent just by existing in team preview, and also my go-to lead against Sun archetypes. What’s more? It also can help set up both Galar-Moltres and Landorus-T, while soaking up Max Moves and forcing your opponent to lead their Taunt users. While I originally ran Coba Berry, I ultimately decided that Focus Sash was better at the moment, considering the offensive nature of the format.

The Mushroom People are an enemy in Dark Souls.

Gwyn (Incineroar)
@ Shuca Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 84 Def / 76 SpD / 108 Spe
Careful Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Taunt
- Parting Shot
- Fake Out

Effectively the glue of the team, Incineroar helps tremendously in practically every matchup. Shuca Berry helps it tank Max Quakes while allowing it to Parting Shot freely, while Taunt is used to shut down Amoonguss, Grimmsnarl, and opposing Incineroar. Something that helped a lot was the additional Speed EVs, which ensured my Incineroar speed creeped the other variants, allowing me to get the jump with faster Fake Outs and deter their Taunt/Parting Shots.

Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight - The very first Lord of Cinder who linked the First Flame.

Midir (Moltres-Galar) @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Berserk
Level: 50
EVs: 84 HP / 68 Def / 172 SpA / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fiery Wrath
- Hurricane
- Nasty Plot
- Protect

This slot went through a lot of changes, till I finally settled on Moltres-Galar. Safety Goggles G-Moltres is my primary answer to Sun Matchups. With Incineroar and Amoonguss ensuring that I can use Nasty Plot safely, it can afterwards run through most Sun teams with ease. In addition to being a Sun answer, G-Moltres was also used against certain Celesteela and Rain teams.

Darkeater Midir, arguably one of the hardest boss in Dark Souls. Meant to guard the Abyss, but eventually consumed by it.

Mew Mew (Suicune) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 12 SpA / 100 SpD / 68 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Tailwind
- Helping Hand
- Snarl
- Scald

One could argue the team was originally built to capitalize on Suicune’s niche support options. Snarl and Tailwind was extremely handy against a wide variety of teams, and matched well into passive playstyles. Suicune’s insane bulk also allows it to live a plethora of Max Moves. With access to Inner Focus, Suicune is also able to almost always set up Tailwind with ease. Helping Hand, on the other hand, gives me an offensive option to pressure my opponent while utilizing my Dynamax Pokemon, which is oftentimes a Landorus-T.

The iconic Suicune, Mew Mew. Nothing else to say.

Nameless King (Regieleki) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Transistor
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Electro Ball
- Volt Switch
- Electroweb
- Hyper Beam

Originally a Screens Eleki set, I realized the passiveness of the team was causing many problems as the meta became more offensive in nature. So, I ended up swapping to a Choice Specs variant, which is a decision I never regretted. Choice Specs Regieleki deletes so many Pokemon with Helping Hand support, and Electro Ball put in massive amounts of work, being capable of OHKO’ing Glastrier and Clefairy. Meanwhile, Hyper Beam allows you to clean up Ground-types like Landorus and Garchomp late game.

Speculated to be Gwyn's Firstborn, Nameless King is the heir to the Lightning. Also one of Dark Souls's harder bosses.

Zallen (Landorus-Therian)
@ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 148 HP / 12 Atk / 4 Def / 92 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Fly
- Rock Slide
- Swords Dance

After swapping Regirock to a Life Orb Landorus-T, the team became much more grounded (no pun intended). I now had a reliable switch-in to Regieleki, and can quickly catch some KO’s with Helping Hand support. Furthermore, Amoonguss and Incineroar provide the support to allow me to set up Swords Dance for more offensive pressure. The spread was directly stolen from Jean Paul’s PC II team.

One of the King's Pets, along with Lud.


Vs. :Coalossal:/:Dragapult:/:Urshifu:/:Rillaboom:

:Suicune: + :Amoonguss: -> :Incineroar:/:Landorus-Therian:

Tailwind is essential in this matchup. Leading Amoonguss forces your opponent to target it due to the threat of Spore, allowing you to often Protect and Snarl, and later on set up a Tailwind. This scenario here allows you to waste the opponent’s Max turns while your Dynamax is still intact, turning the momentum into your favour once Landorus-T switches in.

Vs. :Porygon2:/:Venusaur:/:Torkoal:

:Amoonguss: + :Regieleki: -> :Moltres-galar:/:Incineroar:

The matchup is fairly straightforward. You Volt Switch into G-Moltres while Amoonguss Spores Porygon2, which is followed by Nasty Plot set ups and Pollen Puff for recovery.

Vs. :Thundurus:/:Landorus-Therian:/:Urshifu:

:Amoonguss: + :Suicune: -> :Regieleki:/:Landorus-Therian:

Similar to Coalossal matchup, you have to rely on Tailwind. The catch here is, you often have to let Amoonguss get KO’d turn one to get a free switch-in to Landorus-T, after which you can use Helping Hand boosted Max Rockfall to OHKO Thundurus. Landorus-T and Eleki sweeps through the rest of the team.

Vs. :Celesteela:/:Nihilego:/:Marowak-Alola:/:Grimmsnarl:

:Suicune: + :Amoonguss: -> :Incineroar:/:Landorus-Therian:

Suicune is pivotal in this matchup to deny Meteor Beam boost on Nihilego, and to also deter Celesteela. Amoonguss can soak a Fake Tears + Meteor Beam, and Incineroar checks Celesteela and Rillaboom (Which is usually present in these team compositions). Positioning is key in this matchup to exploit your Dynamax.

Vs. :Clefairy:/:Regieleki:/:Glastrier:/:Rillaboom:

:Regieleki: + :Amoonguss: -> :Incineroar:/:Landorus-Therian:

A fairly even matchup, Regieleki and Glastrier should be handled carefully. Electro Ball Regieleki comes in handy here, being capable of OHKO’ing Clefairy and non-maxed Glastrier. Amoonguss’s Speed EVs lets it outspeed uninvested Glastrier, though they usually run Lum Berry. This can still work if they go for a Swords Dance, however. Landorus-T and Incineroar can clean up late game with Dynamax.

The Tournament

Due to the timezone, I was initially reluctant in joining the Smogon VGC Major, as I would have to pull an all nighter to play it. After some encouragement from The Boys discord, and considering how well I was doing on ladder, I decided to try my luck at this tournament after all. 600+ Check-ins was intimidating, and I was honestly expecting to go 0-x due to my lack of bo3 experience in S9.

The Boys insisted that my team was consistent enough and helped boost my confidence, after which we wished each other good luck and started the tour. We had 10 rounds in Swiss, so this was going to be a long tour.

Match 1 vs Sniperman - Match Score: 2-0


Round 1, I was paired up against a Whimsicott offensive team. Like my usual gameplan on ladder, I lead Amoonguss + Suicune, and landing a Spore on his Max Moltres turn 1 sealed the game. I followed the same gameplan G2, and made some reads to protect Amoonguss. After a few mindgames, I managed to put his G-Moltres to sleep once again, securing the win.

Match 2 vs Turbo1000 - Match Score: 2-1


The matchup wasn’t great. Mamoswine is hard to deal with. In G1, a well timed Dynamax on Regieleki onto a Fake Out put them in a much better position, allowing for a late game Mamoswine clean up. In G2, I had to use Amoonguss and Landorus-T to pick the KO on their Dynamax Regieleki, while Incineroar and Suicune cleaned up afterwards. In G3, they interestingly brought Kingdra and Dynamaxed it in turn 1, which was shut down by Amoonguss’s Spore. Landorus was free to set up and sweep afterwards, snatching the win.

Match 3 vs Papsy - Match Score: 2-1

:Tornadus:/:Regidrago:/:Heatran:/:Urshifu:/:Rillaboom:/:Tapu Koko:

Another HO team, with an interesting choice of Life Orb Tornadus. I ended up losing Amoonguss turn 1. However, G-Moltres with Helping Hand support manage to snag some KO’s and was bulky enough to tank their Max Moves, while Suicune and Incineroar were pivotal in controlling the board. In G2, they maxed Regidrago which dealt massive damage to my team, and thus allowed their Koko and Tornadus to clean up afterwards. In G3, I made a daring attempt and Dynamaxed Regieleki turn 1, and managed to deal a huge chunk of damage to their Max Heatran before going down. While I was in a bad spot due to losing my Dynamax without securing sufficient KO’s, a few reads with Landorus-T Fly helped me come back and get the KO on Rillaboom, and later on Heatran.

Match 4 vs EmbC - Match Score: 2-0


I was honestly quite scared to go up against such a strong opponent early on, and thought ‘Here goes my run’. After a bit of a pep talk from the Boys, I managed to get my bearings and challenged him.

Suicune ended up being the MVP of this matchup, pressuring his Nihilego lead with Snarl, and getting a quick OHKO on Grimmsnarl with Helping Hand support. He ended up Dynamaxing his Nihilego, which got OHKO’d by Landorus-T, despite being Tricked a Lagging Tail, allowing Incineroar get the KO on Rillaboom and Celesteela.

G2, I made a major misplay turn 1 reducing my Landorus-T down to around 10% HP. This made my Dynamax candidate effectively useless against a Rillaboom player. After a few turns of switching around, I managed to land a Spore on their Max Nihilego, and later KO it with Landorus-T. I quickly capitalized on this opening and Dynamaxed Incineroar, and essentially 1vs3’d his Grimmsnarl, Rillaboom and Celesteela, securing the win.

Match 5 vs TStorm - Match Score: 2-1

:Tapu Fini:/:Glastrier:/:Incineroar:/:Dusclops:/:Urshifu:/:Regieleki:

The matchup was favorable, and I did my usual bread and butter lead of Incineroar + Regieleki. In the game, my opponent made a misclick and accidentally reversed their own TR, allowing Regieleki to 3-0 their team with Helping Hand boosted Electro Balls.

In G2, TStorm Dynamaxed their Regieleki, and revealed Ally Switch on Dusclops. While I managed to KO their Regieleki with Landorus-T, it allowed them to get a free switch in to Glastrier while setting up TR, after which I had very little defensive options against it due to losing my Incineroar to their Regieleki.

They led Regieleki and Dynamaxed it G3 as well. However, I managed to land a Electric Terrain boosted Electro Ball onto their Dusclops, getting an OHKO, allowing my Dynamaxed Landorus-T to clean up their team with Helping Hand support.

Match 6 vs Swansperto - Match Score: 2-0


The matchup was heavily in my favor. Pivoting Regieleki and Incineroar allowed me to exhaust their Dynamax, and Specs Electro Web getting the KO on their Moltres allowed my Landorus-T to sweep unchallenged. In G2, I got an OHKO on their Moltres T1, and we both had to Dynamax our Landorus-T’s. Pivoting Incineroar once again proved invaluable, allowing me put their Landorus-T to sleep, and secure the win.

Match 7 vs Liakos - Match Score: 1-2


I never imagined I would be going 6-0 in the middle of the night. My round 7 opponent was the eventual champion of this tournament, Liakos.

G1 started with a Dynamaxed Regieleki about to run me down. Amoonguss came in handy here to redirect the Max Moves, and Landorus-T helped take it down. Eventually, my +2 Incineroar managed to take out a weakened Urshifu and Rillaboom, sealing the deal.

Liakos made some excellent reads in G2 with a Dynamaxed Glastrier, OHKO’ing my Landorus-T on switch in. The game quickly went downhill from there.

I was once again staring at a Dynamaxed Regieleki in G3, and made some misplays which came back to bite me in the back late game. One of my major mistakes was not OHKO’ing Regieleki when I had the chance, which would have put me in a much better situation. Rillaboom and a weakened Urshifu eventually cleaned up, giving them the win.

Match 8 vs marcofiero - Match Score: 0-2

:Thundurus:/:Landorus-therian:/:Urshifu:/:Tapu Fini:/:Kartana:/:Incineroar:

I didn’t have a gameplan against his team at that time, and ended up playing horribly. In hindsight, I should have relied on a Suicune + Incineroar lead. Prankster Thundurus was really strong in mitigating my strategies, and I quickly lost both the games without being able to do much, as both my offenses and speed kept getting shut down.

At this point, I was dead tired and just wanted to go to sleep, as my head was hurting and I was feeling nauseous. I was 6-2, and winning two more games in a row seemed unlikely. However, the Boys kept pushing me to finish it, as they were confident I could top cut this.

Match 9 vs intRodja - Match Score: 2-1

:Dragapult:/:Togekiss:/:Rillaboom:/:Urshifu-rapid strike:/:Coalossal:/:Incineroar:

I wasn’t too fond of facing a Coalossal, much less in the middle of the night. G1, I played my cards well, and was up against a Dynamaxed Dragapult. A late game Landorus-T ended up KO’ing it, but soon after succumbed to a critical hit from Rillaboom which lost me the game. My morale was devastated at this point.

G2, I went with my preferred gameplan of a Suicune + Amoonguss lead, which worked out great and allowed Landorus-T to sweep their team in Tailwind.

G3 ended in a couple turns after I successfully Spored their Dynamaxed Coalossal and brought in my Landorus-T, securing me the win.

Match 10 vs AlexAnzo - Match Score: 2-1

:Coalossal:/:Dragapult:/:Urshifu-rapid strike:/:Rillaboom:/:Thundurus:/:Celesteela:

The final game of the day, one which decides if I top cut or not. Naturally, I was nervous, and more importantly, tired. G1 revealed a Prankster Thundurus and a Celesteela mode. Landorus-T struggled against a combination of Celesteela and Urshifu-Rapid-Strike, costing me the game.

I went with the same lead in G2, and played around the Thundurus, eventually landing in a position where I Dynamaxed Landorus-T in Tailwind and picking up some important KO’s on Rillaboom and Urshifu, allowing me to win game 2.

G3, I decided to bring G-Moltres, only to find out my opponent had gone for the Coalossal mode. I was pretty much convinced I lost. However, a well timed read allowed me to Parting Shot their Coalossal and bring in Suicune. This helped me survive their Dynamax, and eventually allowed my G-Moltres to go through their team with little resistance, snagging me that one last win.

Top Cut at 5:30 am! It was an insane run. But I was too tired to celebrate. I thanked everyone for the support, and went straight to bed, deciding to practice for Top Cut the next day.

Top Cut

The next day, me and my friends discussed the recently published Open Teamsheets and matchups. My opponent was Midnight, a Mamoswine player. The matchup wasn’t favorable to me. We discussed various gameplans and had numerous practice games, and eventually figured out a gameplan. It was time to hit the road.

Top 30 vs Midnight - Match Score: 0-2

:Moltres-galar:/:Mamoswine:/:Amoonguss:/:Tapu Fini:/:Incineroar:/:Regieleki:

Top Cut started, and when we were told to post our games in the chat, I made an enormous blunder. My web page URL bugged out, and it wasn’t updating. The URL I copied and pasted in chat was one of my practice games. My game plan was out in the open. Realizing what happened, I went into panic mode. Nevertheless, it was time for the match.

I do not know if my opponent saw the practice game or not, so I decided to ditch the game plan of Dynamaxing Incineroar T1. My opponent played really well, and I made some poor reads regarding the Mamoswine.

Even though I got a Scald burn on Mamoswine G2, it still managed to obliterate my Dynamaxed Landorus-T, and Suicune plus a weakened Regieleki wasn’t enough to deal with Midnight’s Incineroar and Tapu Fini, thus losing me the game.


I never expected to Top Cut such a massive tour, that too in the middle of the night. While I quickly got demolished in Top Cut, I have no regrets. I did my best, and I enjoyed it. The team was really fun to use, and was consistent.

Shoutouts to The Boys server for having my back for the duration of the tournament, constantly pushing me onwards through the night. Thank you, HamstermaniaVGC and ApronVGC/Kotomi, for the numerous testing games prior to Top Cut. More importantly, thanks to the hosts, zeefable and Zelda, for hosting this incredible tournament. Staying up to play in it was well worth it.

Hope you all enjoyed the read. Adios!

Special thanks to Helios for editing the report since my English is horrible, and to Aapo for the Dark Souls themed names.
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