【VGC2019 1st Place Japan Nationals】Solga-Ray

Hello, this is Ka・El.
I was able to win Japan nationals again this year and would firstly like to thank those who cheered and congratulated me for my second victory.  

I went 5-2 during swiss, making it to top cut by 17th place and finished 1st with 10 wins and 4 losses, with the overall win rate being 15 wins and 6 losses. Although I was able to win last year with an incredibly high win rate, I had to go through numerous wins and losses, thus winning this championship was not easy as all of my matches were close games.


Team Building Process

◆In aim to complete the team

To prepare for nationals, I first aimed to build a team that have an advantageous matchup against X-Ray, Rayogre and Xerndon. These 3 archetypes were very common both in battle spot and international tournaments, and since these teams have made strong finishes in past tournaments, I assumed many players would bring these archetypes to nationals as well.


◆Choosing the core Pokemon

When brainstorming the core Pokemon I shifted my focus in countering Xerneas. Reflecting back at the results from VGC2016, and my own results from Sun and Moon series, I have reached the conclusion that “a steel type which can set up Trick Room is the most suitable counter”. (I used a team with Stakataka in Sun and Dialga in Moon Series)

For the steel type Trick Room setter, Bronzong and Stakataka initially came up in my head but I decided not to use them because:

・Bronzong always gets its firepower lowered by Incineroar’s Intimidate and often becomes useless. It also gets KO’d easily from Incinium Z.

・Although Stakataka does have substantial firepower, Incineroar’s Intimidate again diminishes it. More Pokemon with ground moves such as Rayquaza increased in usage and becomes difficult to maneuver. Shuca Berry makes it vulnerable to Amoonguss.

From this I had to choose a steel type from the restricted legendary slot, with choices being Solgaleo, Dialga or Dusk Mane Necrozma. If Dusk Mane Necrozma was physical, Incineroar cripples it with its firepower lowered and the special variant cannot hit hard against Xerneas so it won’t function as a counter. Thus Dusk Mane Necrozma was dismissed because of this. 。

I initially chose Dialga. Although this was partially due to my fondness of Dialga since I used it in both Sun/Moon series, its typing makes it strong against Rayogre and I considered it as the most suitable meta towards the 3 archetypes. After some testing with the Dialga team, I decided to dismiss it because of Tapu Fini which can set up screens and lower down Dragon moves via Misty Terrain. For reference, the team I was testing back then will be posted down below.


From these testings, the only slot left was Solgaleo. I was reluctant in using it because of its difficult matchup against Non-Xerneas teams but after some testing, I have discovered the following attributes:

・It’s not only strong against Xerneas but also good against Rayquaza

・A physical attacker which doesn’t get its firepower lowered is effective in the current metagame

・Easy to set up Trick Room due to its high defences and the lack of x4 weakness

The pressure it gives to opponents doesn’t change as Incineroar’s Intimidate gets blocked and the 3 top tier teams have either Rayquaza or Xerneas so I was convinced that Solgaleo was the call.

◆Choosing the other slots

Choosing up to the 5th slot went rather smoothly. First, I chose Rayquaza for the second restricted legendary slot because of its typing synergy with Solgaleo and its capability of switching into attacks from primals and being strong against them which Solgaleo struggles with.

Next, I chose Incineroar and Tapu Fini mainly because I’ve been using them since the beginning of Ultra Series but also due to their board positioning capability and typing synergy with Solgaleo and Rayquaza.

For the 5th slot, I chose Tapu Koko because of its capability in pressuring Rayogre and Yveltal, which the above 4 would struggle against. I have already experienced the strength of leading a TR setter + Tapu Koko from Sun and Moon series so this also became a factor in selecting Tapu Koko.

However, finding the most suitable 6th slot did take some time.


◆The process in reaching to Gastrodon

After testing the above 5 with a random Pokemon, I began to see the necessary role for the 6th slot.

・Strong against Mega Gengar + Primals

・Able to remove Mega Metagross and Solgaleo quickly. Especially at this stage nothing can hit hard against these two and the mirror match would be extremely difficult

So I had to find something that can fulfill the above requirements but I immediately knew choosing a ground type would be the best call as Mega Gengar, Primal Groudon, Mega Metagross and Solgaleo are all weak to ground moves.

I initially tested out Diggersby. By holding a Choice Scarf, I had the advantage of threatening Mega Gengars with Stomping Tantrum and also threatening Solgaleo and Mega Metagross with Huge Power boosted Foul Play. I can also OHKO most Ultra Necrozma’s.

But if I get intimidated not only I won’t be able to OHKO Mega Gengar but I will still be in a disadvantageous position against Gengar + Kyogre so I dismissed this slot.

Next, I tested out Landorus. By using a special variant I can ohko Mega Gengar regardless of Intimidate and can deal against Kyogres with Grass Knot.

Although it was indeed strong against Mega Gengar, I had to dismiss because it couldn’t do anything against Primal Kyogre which was often paired with Gengars. Despite Grass Knot’s capability of dealing chip damage, the fact that Grass Knot is a 3HKO against them while they can OHKO us back was too disadvantageous.

Based on these testings, I have reached the conclusion that a Pokemon with the following attributes will be qualified as the 6th slot: ①​a ground type ②​that’s also strong against Primal Kyogre.

It’s inevitable that ground slots will be weak to Water types so something that can cover it up with its ability was necessary and the choice was between Seismitoad and Gastrodon.
When comparing these 2:

・No significant difference between their firepower and defences

・When taking water moves Seismitoad recovers its health while Gastrodon increases its firepower

・Gastrodon will be stronger under Trick Room as it’s slower

As a result, I chose Gastrodon because of its benefit when receiving water moves. Both Seismitoad and Gastrodon’s Base Special Attack Stat is under 100 which is not very high, so rather than recovering from water moves, increasing in firepower can pressure the opponents even further. Moreover, Seismitoad’s mediocre bulk won’t be too reliable even if it gets recovered by 25%.


◆Completion of the team

By this procedure the team was complete. As a result, the team I was aiming for, being advantageous against X-ray, Rayogre and Xerndon had been made. The fact that this team counters major archetypes while the team itself was not too recognised signifies its high completion level.

Individual Analysis


Solgaleo @ Solganium Z
Ability: Full Metal Body
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 220 Atk / 252 SpD
Adamant Nature
IVs: 15 Spe
– Sunsteel Strike
– Superpower
– Trick Room
– Protect

This Pokemon is the core of the team and the only Trick Room setter. Being a physical attacker which doesn’t get hindered by Intimidate due to its ability demonstrates its excellence and the pressure it gives out to the opponent doesn’t change even if stays on the field.
Since it’s a Pokemon which often becomes a primary target, you must preserve it well via Protect and switching out. However even if it receives damage, you can heal it via Tapu Fini’s Heal Pulse so you can move it aggressively at times.
Due to its excellent bulk it can set up Trick Room rather safely and by fully supporting with Incineroar’s Intimidate/Snarl and Tapu Fini’s Light Screen/Heal Pulse, removing Solgaleo will be very difficult for the opponents.

Important Calcs

・220+ Atk Solgaleo Searing Sunraze Smash vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Rayquaza-Mega: 190-225 (104.9 – 124.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
・220+ Atk Solgaleo Searing Sunraze Smash vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Yveltal: 199-235 (98.5 – 116.3%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

・0 SpA Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Overheat vs. 36 HP / 252 SpD Solgaleo: 182-216 (83.8 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
・+2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 36 HP / 252 SpD Solgaleo: 92-108 (42.3 – 49.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO

・-1 0 Speed EV Primals

I originally used it with a spread of 252HP 252Atk 4SpD, but after considering how:
・it often receives special attacks as I often bring it against Rayogre and Xerneas teams
・it’s clear which attacks I can and cannot survive in regards of physical moves
I’ve decided to invest the EVs towards SpD.
And by increasing its attack stat, I can OHKO bulk-less Mega Rayquaza with the Z-move and threaten Incineroars which have received chip damage from Koko’s Volt Switch. Since the process of removing these Pokemon’s are easily delayed for most teams, removing these with Solgaleo is important. For these reasons I have decided to invest the EVs in Atk and SpD.
I purposely slowed down the Speed IVs to make the Speed relations clear when facing primals and also to be able to hit them first.


As seen from the above damage calcs, the range of Pokemons it can OHKO by holding a Solganium Z will widen up. Being able to also OHKO extremely bulky Xerneas is also important to note.


– Protect
Protecting while switching the other slot into Incineroar will allow the Fake Out + Trick Room combo to work in the following turn and also a crucial move to preserve it against Xerneas teams.

– Superpower
Necessary move to hit hard against Incineroar and Stakataka. Although it cannot OHKO opposing Incineroar’s, this can be easily done via Tapu Koko’s Volt Switch and Incineroar’s U-turn.

– Trick Room
Not only for Gastrodon but the move is also necessary for Solgaleo itself to be the main attacker. Without this move you can easily lose to the pair of “a setted up Xerneas + something that can hit before Solgaleo” , so it is essential.

-Sunsteel Strike
Main means of offense. There’s no way an Intimidate hindering physical attacker which can spam a 100 BP STAB move is weak.



Rayquaza-Mega @ Assault Vest
Ability: Delta Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 196 HP / 44 Atk / 12 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
– Dragon Ascent
– Extreme Speed
– Earth Power
– Crunch

You will always bring this Pokemon as it’s both a Restricted Legend and a Mega slot. Not only it can deal with Primals which Solgaleo struggles against but can also deal with Lunala with Crunch, and has great typing synergy with Solgaleo being able to cover each other’s
weaknesses. Its bulky has increased thanks to the item so it can also join the pivoting war, thus I consider it as the best partner for Solgaleo.
From the beginning to mid-phase try to deal as much chip damage via Tapu Fini and Koko’s Nature’s Madness and sweep the rest with Rayquaza during the late-game.
As both its Atk and Sp.Atk stat are over 200 not only it can function as a fast attacker, but its Sp.Def is equivalent to 180 thanks to Assault Vest, so you can use it both as an attacker or a switch-in depending on the board position.

Important Calcs

・44 Atk Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 147-174 (100.6 – 119.1%) — guaranteed OHKO

・12 SpA Rayquaza-Mega Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 146-172 (100 – 117.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

・Max speed

I invested both the Atk and Sp.Atk EVs to the minimum benchmark it needs and invested the rest towards bulk. As this team is rather focused on pivoting, its defence will be prioritised than offence (also being able to benefit further from Heal Pulse).
In regards of its speed, you will need at least 181 when considering to hit against Mega-Metagross and Mega-Lucario. The former especially has a wide range of sets from Adamant Max HP and Atk Variants to Jolly Max Speed variants, so giving Max Speed to Rayquaza was essential in order to outspeed these.
The nature had to be Hasty, as I cannot hinder its Atk, Sp.Atk or Speed and Sp.Def was necessary in order to make switch-ins into Kyogre’s moves easier.


I gave it AV to increase its Sp.Def. By giving it AV, it will not have a disadvantageous matchup against Lunala, and its bulk will become insane when Fini set up the screen.


– Extreme Speed
Used to threaten opposing Pokemon’s at red health and being able to ignore Follow Me/Rage Powder is important to note.

– Crunch
You usually only use this move against Bronzong, Lunala or Dawn Wings Necrozma but as this team struggles against both Lunala and Dawn Wings Necrozma you need this move to deal with it as soon as possible. At times I will use it against Ultra Necrozma if I don’t want to lower my bulk.

– Earth Power
This moves allows Rayquaza to hit hard against a wide range of opponents: Primal Groudon, Incineroar, Metagross and Tapu Koko. Although it’s not STAB’d it can 2HKO almost any mons thanks to its high Sp.Atk.

– Dragon Ascent
Main means of offence. STAB move with 120 BP and 100% accuracy is broken.



Incineroar @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 236 SpD / 20 Spe
Careful Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Snarl
– U-turn
– Fake Out

The definition of a perfect Pokemon. It’s there to support Solgaleo and Mega-Rayquaza or to balance the board positioning with Tapu Fini. Intimidate and Snarl will further increase the team’s overall bulk.

It can also function as a switch-in against Lunala, Yveltal and Necrozma’s attacks which Solgaleo struggles dealing with, and has great synergy with Solgaleo/Rayquaza.

As it’s slightly faster than our Tapu Fini, you can do the combo of U-turn + Heal Pulse where Incineroar will try to receive the attacks directed towards it and can heal whatever switches in.

Important Calcs

・HP set to activate berry when hit by Guardian of Alola

・+2 min-speed Tapu Fini

The role of Incineroar in this team is to invest in much bulk as possible to increase its pivoting capability, support Solgaleo setting up Trick Room and Fini’s screen and Fake Out to stall the opponents Tailwind turns.

Intimidate increases its physical defence and covers for the moves you want it to live (e.g. Primal Groudon’s Precipice Blades) so I invested the EVs to its special spectrum. This allows it to easily switch-in to Lunala’s Z-move and forcefully take Earth Power so it will enable Incineroar to take more hits.

The speed stat was Initially 82, being +1 faster than our Tapu Fini but I increased it to 83 as speed ties often occurred and ruined game planning. As an 83 speed stat is not something many people will consider setting to, so it was the most suitable benchmark to avoid speed ties.


Due to its pivoting functionality, I gave it a pinch berry as it will receive more non-effective moves and chose Aguav to avoid my nature being scouted.


– Fake Out
By pairing it with Solgaleo Trick Room will be easier to set up. Its utility to infinite, being able to stall out TW/TR turns.

– U-turn
As I want Incineroar to bear as much targets from the opponent possible, this move is a must for it to switch-out after receiving attacks.

– Snarl
Unlike Darkest Lariat it can direct the battle to a pivoting war by decreasing the opponents firepower and it can indirectly increae Solgaleo’s Sp.Def, making it difficult for the opponents to defeat it and make Trick Room easier to set up.

– Flare Blitz
Used to hit hard against Ferrothorn and Celesteela. If rayquaza was there it can even used it under harsh rain.

Tapu Fini

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 188 Def / 76 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Scald
– Nature’s Madness
– Light Screen
– Heal Pulse

When used as a lead you would often lead it alongside with Incineroar and this Pokemon is there to control board positioning.

Its main role is to decrease damage output by the opponents with Light Screen, and continuously deal chip damage to opponents with Light Screen which ignores the effects of both screens and Intimidates. As this team forces opponents to pivot, it’s easier to land Nature’s Madness towards the opposing mons at full health, leading us in an advantageous position.

And due to the pivoting nature of the team, Solgaleo and Rayquaza will be receiving damage so Heal Pulse prevents them from being knocked out quickly.

As Japan nats used the old timer system, you can also timer stall them by spamming Heal Pulse to your own Pokemon’s.

​Important Calcs

・252+ Atk Choice Band Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 244 HP / 188+ Def Tapu Fini: 148-175 (84 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Min Speed

I invested thoroughly in its physical bulk, as its special spectrum can be covered via its own Light Screen and Incineroar’s Snarl. The defensive benchmark can also reduce the damage output from Incinium Z.

I made it min speed due to the reason I stated above in regards of combining Incineroar’s U-turn and Heal Pulse. You can also reduce the damage output from opposing Kyogre’s Water Spout with Nature’s Madness under TR.


Due to its already high physical bulk and special bulk increased from Light Screen, I gave Fini the pinch berry due to the frequent times it activates and chose Wiki to avoid my nature being scouted.


By having Rayquaza next to it, it can deal a ton of damage to Primal Groudon. Even if it cannot OHKO it, reducing its HP will be crucial so it will prevent further switch-ins. This can also allow Solgaleo to threaten it under TR too.

– Light Screen
All the teammate’s special bulk will increase. This move was the call since the current metagame is filled with special attackers (in fact this has been the case since the beginning) and special moves are more used to KO Solgaleo so it can excels in covering such option too.

-Heal Pulse
Since our teammate’s HP will decrease due to the constant pivotings, the move covers the decreased HP. It can also be used to timer stall as Japan Nats used the old timer.

-Nature’s Madness
This move allows the opposing Pokemon’s to be in range of Solgaleo and Rayquaza’s attacks. I personally think Tapu Fini that cannot deal significant damage is simply useless so the option of not using this move did not exist. Most opponents will be KO’d by Solgaleo/Raqyauza after their HP is halved.

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 100 SpD / 156 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Wild Charge
– Nature’s Madness
– Volt Switch
– Protect

Often brought against Rayogre and Yveltal teams. Having it bulky means it can survive multiple attacks and being able to join the pivoting war and pinch berry will allow it to stay on the field for longer. Although its mediocre bulk is concerning due to pinch berry not activating as frequently, this can be adjusted with the recoil damage from Wild Charge.

Furthermore since its speed is +1 max speed Mega Rayquaza, it can also threaten opponents with Nature’s Madness + Rayquaza’s attack. As Nature’s Madness is a Fairy type, even if the opponent tries to catch an electric move by switching into Togedemaru, it can still deal damage without any backfall.

​Important Calcs

・252 Atk Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 244 HP / 4 Def Tapu Koko: 74-87 (42 – 49.4%) — guaranteed 3HKO (4HKO after recovery from berry)

・252+ SpA Kyogre Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 244 HP / 100 SpD Tapu Koko: 130-154 (73.8 – 87.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Outspeeds max speed Mega Rayquaza

In regards of its EVs, I initially began thinking about its speed. As there’s no point in attempting to win a Koko speed tie, no point outspeeding Ultra Necrozma due to the lack of Dazzling Gleam I recognised having it max speed was pointless. There’s also not many Pokemon with a speed benchmark of 190-198, and even if there were such Pokemon’s, there’s no point outspeeding them with Koko so having 190 speed wasn’t an issue. Outspeeding max speed Mega Mence was pointless too due to the lack of fairy moves and how my Koko is physical. In fact it’s rather stronger to receive non-effective moves then Volt Switch after the opponents.

The 185-188 speed benchmark was the same condition as 190-200 speed, so I’ve decided to make sure it outspeeds Mega Rayquaza.

Since I want to invest the rest in bulk, I almost fully invested in HP, gave 4 to Def for it to cleanly survive Mega Rayquaza’s Ascent, the rest to SpD and gave the remaining 4 to Atk.

By investing quite a lot to its SpD, it can survive Scarf Ogre’s Water Spout under Air Lock and enables it play aggressively against Scarf variants when Rayquaza is next to it.


Although Koko is neither bulky or has a great defensive typing, I gave it a pinch berry since it can barely survive at least 1 hit from neutral attacks, or even if it doesn’t reach the berry range it can adjust its HP via Wild Charge. I chose Iapapa to avoid my nature being scouted and can also allow it to switch-in to Yveltal more frequently.


As Tapu Koko is naturally weak to being attacked beforehand, protect was necessary to either stall opposing TW or to not be in a disadvantageous position from our Solgaleo’s Trick Room.

-​Nature’s Madness
The pivotal reason why I chose Tapu Koko. As Rayogre users know Tapu Koko is a problem for them, Togedemaru is often chose to cover that. Tapu Koko only with electric moves is hindered by Demaru and cannot do anything even if Kyogre was next to it.
But Nature’s Madness ignores that situation and can deal damage to Demaru so there aren’t any issues even if they chose it.

-​Volt Switch
I don’t often use it if there was a Lightningrod user in the opposing team, but it’s a necessary move to maintain the pivoting.
There’s also a high chance you can KO Crobat with Volt Switch under Terrain combined with Mega Rayquaza’s Extreme Speed.

-Wild Charge
The main targets you want to deal super effective damage to such as Primal Kyogre or AV Yveltal are often bulky in the special spectrum so I decided to opt for Wild Charge over Thunderbolt. While it can ignore the effects of Light Screen, Intimidate hinders its damage output but in those situations you can deal damage and switch using Volt Switch or still deal damage with Nature’s Madness despite the hindered Atk stat.


Gastrodon @ Expert Belt
Ability: Storm Drain
Level: 50
EVs: 148 HP / 92 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Earth Power
– Ice Beam
– Surf
– Protect

It didn’t necessarily shine in the finals but it still did a lot of work by restricting the opponent’s movements. 

I often bring it against Mega Gengar teams and Rayogres. The ground typing makes it strong against Gengar and also strong against Kyogre due to Storm Drain.

Gastrodon is usually brought alongside with Solgaleo, used as a Trick Room ace attacker. The ground/ice moves allows is to super effectively hit most Pokemon’s so the lack of firepower wasn’t too concerning thanks to its item too.

Important Calcs

・252+ Atk Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 148 HP / 92 Def Gastrodon: 172-204 (83.9 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO

・252+ SpA Expert Belt Gastrodon Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Gengar-Mega: 166-197 (99.4 – 117.9%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

・4 SpA Gengar-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 148 HP / 4 SpD Gastrodon: 84-100 (40.9 – 48.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO

・Min speed

Its main role is to cause as much havoc under TR so I gave it max SpA. The benchmark for its physical bulk was set to this range. There were many moments when it received physical moves such as Mega Metagross’s Stomping Tantrum so I believe this was the correct choice.

In regards of its special bulk, I considered max SpA Mega Gengar is probably non-existent so I lowered its benchmark to what it is now. Primal Kyogre’s Ice beam is also a 3HKO so the special bulk’s benchmark should be enough as it is.

Min speed was necessary since it’s main role is to attack under TR.


I chose Expert Belt so it can OHKO one its primary targets Mega Gengar, and unlike Life Orb its defensive adjustments won’t decease. The pressure it gives out under TR further increases from its boosted firepower.


Teams which cannot OHKO Gastrodon often tries to double target it so if you protect it from such double-ups, you will gain significant momentum.

A move that covers up for the Follow Me + Primal Groudon combo. Unlike Muddy Water it’s accurate, and I often used it when Rayquaza was next to it so it wasn’t too concerning.

-Earth Power
Coverage moves that not only hits its primary target Mega Gengar, but also towards Metagross, Togedemaru and Solgaleo.

-Ice Beam
Coverage against Mega Salamence and Mega Rayquaza. Opponents which nullifies Earth Power are usually weak to Ice Beam so it has good synergy.

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Leads and Combinations

vs Xerndon


Must bring:


Don’t bring:


Common Lead:


It’s a rather favorable matchups. Check Xerneas and Salamence with Solgaleo, and use Mega Rayquaza against Primal Groudon and Incineroar. If you lose Solgaleo, Xerneas will cause havoc and if you lose Rayquaza, Primal Groudon will cause havoc so HP management of these two will be important.

For the fourth slot I usually bring Tapu Fini but if they have Mega Gengar I will bring Gastrodon.

vs X-Ray


Must bring:

Don’t bring:


Common Lead:


It’s a favorable matchup. Since Solgaleo is extremely good against their two restricted legend slots, you must preserve it even at the cost of sacrificing Mega Rayquaza. Make sure to fully support Solgaleo with Incineroar’s Intimidate/Snarl and Tapu Fini’s Light Screen/Heal Pulse.

vs Rayogre


Must bring:


Don’t bring:


Common Lead:


It looks unfavorable from first glance but it’s a rather favorable matchup. Lead with Solgaleo and Tapu Koko and after seeing the opponent’s lead you have the 2 options of
①Switch Koko into Gastrodon for the TR option
②Switch Solgaleo into Ray and start attacking
Which are both strong options. For the fourth slot if the opponent has a Ferrothorn or Celesteela, choose Incineroar and if they have Bronzong choose Tapu Fini.


 vs Gengar+Yvelogre


Must bring:

Don’t bring:

Common Lead:


It’s an unfavorable matchups. Their common lead is Inci+Gengar so you will lead Inci+Gastro to match theirs.

The ideal situation is to remove Yveltal quickly and to push through with Mega Rayquaza, but if Mega Gengar uses Perish Song to remove Rayquaza you will lose your win condition. So not only you will need an immediate removal of Yveltal but to put yourself in a position where you can remove Mega Gengar anytime is the ideal situation.

You may think Tapu Fini will be essential as both Yveltal and Kyogre cannot hit hard against but as Mega Gengar disables its pivoting functionality and can also remove Fini via Sludge Bomb, you must not bring it.

 vs Lunadon


Always Bring:

Don’t Bring:

Common Lead:


It’s a neutral matchup. Their two legend slots cannot easily pass through AV Mega Rayquaza and Rayquaza can 2HKO both of their slots so the way you play around it will be crucial.

These teams are often accompanied by Tapu Lele and Salamence, so I would sometimes bring Solgaleo as it’s not only strong against these two but can counter their TW option with Trick Room.


In Conclusion

Thanks to the Juniors/Seniors who practiced against me and those who gave me team advice before nats, I was able to become the consecutive Japanese champion. I never thought I would be able to reach the same stage again and I’m still surprised that I did.

I am not planning to bring this Solgaleo/Rayquaza team to this year’s worlds. During last year’s worlds I brought a similar team that I used at nats (although I replaced it with Nidoking), but I finished 1-3 which was a really devastating result for me. However this is quite obvious as worlds players will firmly try to counter teams that have made results so it’s not surprising if I cannot win from this.

I will be making a team from scratch and will complete the strongest team in the world.
I will do my best this year too!