Top 16 NJ Regionals 2022 Team Report

Top 16 NJ Regionals 2022 Team Report

My name is Rowan Hall, I'm a software engineer who has been playing Pokemon since Red and Blue on the Gameboy, but only just got into VGC with the release of Sword and Shield. Until this point I had played almost entirely online, with my achievements including qualifying scores for Players Cups 3 and 4 with a 4-3 in bracket for the latter, two first place finishes in Littleroot Lessons qualifier and invitational tournaments, and a positive record on the Georgia team that made playoffs in the USPA league. The one exception was an unofficial local tournament with many of the same Georgia players, in which I managed to place second.

With all that said, the Secaucus regionals were my first major offline tournament, so I was really happy to finish 14th. Below are all the sets on my team, some common leads, and a quick summary of the sets on my tournament run. Enjoy!



Kyogre @ Mystic Water
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 76 HP / 12 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 220 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Water Spout
- Origin Pulse
- Ice Beam
- Protect

The whale's set is pretty standard, but the EVs are quite specific. Bulk is aimed at living Play Rough from highly invested Adamant Zacians and Max Lightning from Life Orb Modest Regieleki while under Max ourselves. The Zacian calc is just for generic endgame scenarios which happen fairly often, but the Regieleki calc is specifically for the variant that's popped up on Calyrex-Ice/Palkia or Reshiram teams. Max speed is the standard for Kyogre, but I got a bit greedy and went for 220/Timid, which puts us at 151 - this allows us to double creep the 149 breakpoint that many mons like Landorus-T aim for to outspeed Calyrex-S at +1 while still having a respectable SpA investment. It comes to almost every matchup.

Notable defensive calcs:
- +1 164+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 76 HP / 12 Def Kyogre: 159-187 (85.9 - 101%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
- 252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 76 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Kyogre: 320-377 (86.4 - 101.8%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO

Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 108 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Behemoth Blade
- Play Rough
- Sacred Sword
- Protect

My personal favorite Zacian spread built in a coaching session with Paul Ruiz. Adamant with 252 Spe investment allows us to outspeed other Adamant Zacian while still being stronger than any Jolly variant and still having considerable bulk. Several relevant calcs are relatively unreliable rolls, but they're ones that can (and did) come up in bo3 matches. Of course this mon is completely broken so it comes to most matchups, but we notably leave it behind against most sun teams.

Notable offensive calcs:
- +1 108+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Helping Hand Behemoth Blade vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Thundurus: 312-366 (100.6 - 118%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- +1 108+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 154-183 (87.5 - 103.9%) -- 25% chance to OHKO

Notable defensive calcs:
- +1 252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 140 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 157-187 (84.8 - 101%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
- +1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 140 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 153-180 (82.7 - 97.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Mystic Water Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 140 HP / 4 SpD Zacian-Crowned in Rain: 169-199 (91.3 - 107.5%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
- 252+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 140 HP / 4 Def Zacian-Crowned: 168-198 (90.8 - 107%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

Thundurus (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 204 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fly
- Wild Charge
- Grass Knot
- Eerie Impulse

Taking Thundurus over Zapdos was somewhat of a meta pick against Rinya Sun when it was still popular, being faster than Charizard and having Grass Knot for both Gastrodon and Groudon. Unfortunately Rinya had largely faded from the meta by the time Secaucus came around, so Protect may be a better pick over Grass Knot. That said, I still feel it is a legitimate alternative to Zapdos due to ability, its physical damage, and its speed. Eerie Impulse is also fantastic tech in both bo1 and bo3, and it actually won me a quick set at Secaucus, covered in the section below. We bring it to to most non-Trick Room matchups, sometimes as a lead and sometimes in the back after sacrificing Whimsicott for a Tailwind or Taunt.

Notable offensive calcs:
- +1 204 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Max Airstream vs. 236 HP / 28 Def Incineroar: 200-238 (100 - 119%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 204 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Max Lightning vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Dynamax Charizard: 312-369 (101.2 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 0- SpA Life Orb Thundurus Max Overgrowth vs. 188 HP / 180 SpD Gastrodon: 265-317 (126.1 - 150.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 0- SpA Life Orb Thundurus Max Overgrowth vs. 236 HP / 4 SpD Groudon: 148-177 (72.1 - 86.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Notable defensive calcs:
- 252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Max Lightning vs. 36 HP / 12 SpD Dynamax Thundurus: 251-296 (78.9 - 93%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Whimsicott @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Tailwind
- Helping Hand
- Taunt

Nothing particularly interesting, but necessary for a number of matchups, particularly against hyper-offensive Calyrex-S/Zacian and the Lunadon teams that have become more popular as of late. Almost always brought as a lead that dies relatively early, but sometimes we swap it out to something bulkier to have lategame Tailwind/Taunt available.

Incineroar @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 124 Def / 100 SpD / 36 Spe
Impish Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Parting Shot
- Throat Chop
- Fake Out

A fairly standard Shuca Incineroar, but notably it is physically defensive to deal with Calyrex-Ice disabling its berry. This was absolutely instrumental in my Secaucus sets as I went up against a large number of Trick Room matchups.

Notable defensive calcs:
- 252+ Atk Calyrex-Ice Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 124+ Def Incineroar: 170-200 (84.5 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 244 HP / 124+ Def Shuca Berry Incineroar: 127-151 (63.1 - 75.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- +1 252 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Max Airstream vs. 244 HP / 124+ Def Incineroar: 173-204 (86 - 101.4%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
- +1 164+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Sacred Sword vs. 244 HP / 124+ Def Incineroar: 170-202 (84.5 - 100.4%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Rillaboom-Gmax @ Miracle Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 196 Atk / 12 Def / 52 SpD / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Grassy Glide
- High Horsepower
- Protect
- Fake Out

Also relatively standard, but important for a number of matchups including Trick Room, sun, and bulky Pengy-style rain teams. The Adamant breakpoint plus Miracle Seed allows for surprise Drum Solos into Palkia or Calyrex-I that want to set Trick Room, and Helping Hand + Quake can be a great surprise move into physical Regieleki leads that want to kill with their own Helping Hand + Airstream in preparation for special threats like Calyrex-S in the back. While there is a case to be made for Assault Vest to better tank Wyrmwinds from Palkia, I felt Protect was a more powerful tool for stalling Trick Room turns.

Notable offensive calcs:
- 196+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom-Gmax G-Max Drum Solo vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Palkia in Grassy Terrain: 214-253 (108.6 - 128.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Notable defensive calcs:
- 252 SpA Yveltal Oblivion Wing vs. 236 HP / 52 SpD Rillaboom: 170-204 (82.9 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252 SpA Turboblaze Reshiram Max Flare vs. 236 HP / 52 SpD Dynamax Rillaboom-Gmax: 330-390 (80.4 - 95.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252 SpA Turboblaze Reshiram Max Flare vs. 236 HP / 52 SpD Rillaboom-Gmax in Rain: 164-194 (80 - 94.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252+ SpA Turboblaze Reshiram Blue Flare vs. 236 HP / 52 SpD Rillaboom in Rain: 168-198 (81.9 - 96.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252+ SpA Turboblaze Reshiram Max Flare vs. 236 HP / 52 SpD Rillaboom in Rain: 180-212 (87.8 - 103.4%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

Common Leads

Zacian/Whimsicott - Great against fast rain, Lunadon, and balanced Caly-S/Zacian teams. Tailwind and Taunt give the flexibility to handle both Trick Room and speedy teams, and Helping Hand + Behemoth Blade can just nuke potentially problematic targets like Thundurus. Usually has Kyogre and either Thundurus or Incineroar in the back.

Kyogre/Rillaboom - Extremely flexible anti-Trick Room lead. Relatively speedy Fake Out + Water Spout or just Max the Rillaboom to take out any Palkia brave enough to try setting TR with no redirection. Generally keep Incineroar and Zacian in the back as extra Fake Out/Protect to stall TR turns and keep Calyrex-I in check.

Thundurus/Incineroar - Go-to lead against sun teams that don't include Lunala. Max Overgrowth handles Gastrodon, Shuca lets us get a Parting Shot into Groudon, and Fake Out + Airstream scares Venusaur away from using Sleep Powder. Usually keeps Kyogre and Rillaboom in the back unless it's very non-standard sun like Nontaro's Xerneas squad.

Kyogre/Whimsicott - Tailwind + Water Spout, what else is there to say? Helping Hand + Spout or Geyser is also very potent if you already have speed control. Useful against teams depending heavily on redirection.

Thundurus/Whimsicott - Least common lead but still useful against teams that require excessive speed control, i.e. Torviv's dual weather squad. Immediate Airstream + Tailwind or Taunt can be very strong, and Life Orb on Thundy means we don't lack for offensive pressure. Generally keeps Zacian and Kyogre in the back.

Tournament Run

Hariharan Mathavan (WLW) - Zacian/Palkia/Incineroar/Porygon2/Amoonguss/Indeedee-F

My first match against Hariharan was interesting because it was hard Trick Room with Zacian - this thing was incredibly bulky, barely took 50% from my Kyogre's Origin Pulse in rain. Luckily I was able to win using my standard anti-Trick Room game plan, opening with Kyogre and Rillaboom with Incineroar and Zacian in the back. A surprise Gmax Drum Solo from Rillaboom put an end to their Palkia trying to set Trick Room in game 1, and my Kyogre was able to use their Trick Room against their Zacian in game 3.

Marissa Lawrence (WLL) - Zacian/Groudon/Regieleki/Charizard/Gastrodon/Grimmsnarl

My second match against Marissa was one of my two losses during the tournament. All three games I took Thundurus and Incineroar in front with Kyogre and Rillaboom in back. Game 1 was a nailbiter where I predicted a Max Lightning from their Eleki and wasted my first Thundurus Max turn on Guard, but managed to pull it back thanks to their Electroweb proccing my Defiant. Game 2 I got to show off my Max Overgrowth tech, but their Gastro turned out to have Rindo so it was pointless! I almost pulled it back, but a triple T-wave para on Kyogre and a Play Rough attack drop on Incineroar ended it for me. Game 3 they just outplayed me by wasting my Max on good protects with screens, so I can't be too mad. Good games to Marissa, they definitely deserved it.

Richard Macey (LWW) - Lunala/Groudon/Charizard/Venusaur/Umbreon/Incineroar

My third match against Richard was a fairly standard Lunadon squad. Zacian/Whimsicott was the lead of choice here, with Kyogre and Thundurus in the back. With this I was able to stop Trick Room and Sleep Powder while outspeeding Chlorophyll Venu and setting up for lategame Airstreams next to Kyogre. They played quite well, but I had practiced for this specific matchup, and I think game 1 would have gone better had I not timed out on the turn I intended to Max. Games 2 and 3 were both decided by reading Groudon switch-ins with a Helping Hand Max Geyser, which still OHKOs Groudon in the sun and granted me full weather control against a team that was slower than me.

Thomas Cooleen (WLW) - Palkia/Calyrex-I/Gothitelle/Rillaboom/Incineroar/Alcremie

Now my fourth match was against Thomas, who you might know by the tag Tman. I didn't know them because they were active pre-gen 8, but they team-built with Adi and Justin Burns, so apparently they were pretty prolific. Their Trick Room team with Alcremie for Decorate support is really cool, but I was ultimately able to clutch it out with my standard Boom/Ogre/Incin/Zacian lineup despite them getting a crucial double Trick Room in game 3.

Thaison Hugh (LWW) - Palkia/Calyrex-I/Incineroar/Tapu Fini/Amoonguss/Porygon2

Round 5 was definitely the scariest Trick Room set I faced against Thaison, who some of you in the community may know better as CharismaCheck. I used my same anti-Trick Room gameplan, but a super close game 3 made my heart stop when I barely missed an Ice Beam KO onto their Amoonguss only to get a freeze! I'm not sure if it mattered, but I absolutely take RNG when I can.

Foster Hughes (WW) - Dialga/Yveltal/Latias/Landorus-T/Zapdos/Grimmsnarl

My round 6 match against Foster was just really cheeky. In Game 1 I was able to cripple their Dialga with Eerie Impulse as it Maxed turn 1, but they still OHKO'd my Thundurus with a Helping Hand Hailstorm, so they had no reason to suspect it was actually Defiant rather than Prankster. In game 2 they led with their Yveltal believing it would be immune, but I still just clicked Eerie Impulse as it Maxed. To make things even better, they missed a KO with Max Darkness, allowing me to take it out with Wild Charge and sweep. I'd have loved to see more of the Latias, but when you get a chance to take a quick win you take it.

Justin Burns (WLW) - Palkia/Calyrex-I/Incineroar/Rillaboom/Gothitelle/Alcremie

Round 7 is absolutely the one I'm most proud of. Justin Burns is a two-time regional champ who top cut this event, and I was able to take the set using the same Trick Room gameplan I'd been using all day. No hax or weird plays, just pure positioning, and we managed to pull it out in the end. Not too bad!

Emilio Forbes (LL) - Calyrex-S/Zacian/Gastrodon/Incineroar/Rillaboom/Thundurus-I

Finally, my run ended by getting quickly 0-2 swept by Emilio Forbes. Honestly Emilio is a god who went undefeated the entire event, so I don't feel too bad. Game 1 I gambled everything on them using Fake Out on my Zacian rather than my Whimsicott, and it quickly ran away from me when they got a free KO plus Grim Neigh boost turn 1. Game 2 I actually got to use my Overgrowth tech to OHKO their Gastrodon turn 1, but I badly targeted a Parting Shot while getting crit with Sacred Sword on my physically defensive Incin later in the game, so they managed to pull back into it. I'd definitely love a chance to play this set again, but I was thoroughly outplayed, and I know firsthand that Emilio definitely deserves this regional title.

Blandit semper duis vulputate fermentum mauris aliquet netus volutpat. Vivamus nibh aliquam venenatis rhoncus integer amet. Nisl mi tempus ipsum aliquam fames eros, fringilla porttitor. Id diam amet amet, bibendum ipsum mattis nunc. Pellentesque consectetur tortor vulputate tellus sed erat non integer ut. Netus felis suspendisse accumsan