Series 10: (3rd in LRQ #8, 1st on In-Game Ladder, 1st in AlchemistVGC’s Ladder Tour, Top 8 Desafio, Top 16 Mt. Silver, Top 500 on Showdown Ladder)
After hearing about Series 10 and the majority of the community’s decision not to play the rest of Series 9, I personally didn’t know how to feel. No more Dynamax seemed cool! But I also grew attached to Coalossal, and I didn’t want to let go of it so soon. I focused on testing out Yveltal and VenuDon with Icy Wind Nature’s Madness Fini in many ladder tournaments, and even winning one during the beginning of the format, but eventually took a small break to focus more on my job since my boss had decided to promote me. After hearing about the SoCal Grassroots and the news of my friend getting an apartment an hour away from the event, I was ecstatic. However I didn’t have a team due to spending the last few weeks learning how to be a manager for my co-workers, so me and Conkledonk spent the last 2 days seriously trying to crack the format. We ended up with this, going back to the roots with Reshiram, working to improve the inherent issues we already were aware of. Sadly, an emergency came up and I ended up competing in a Rose Tower Open instead, going x-3.
I looked into my losses, and admitted I really hated Landorus-I, Shadow Rider and Zacian. With the knowledge of the games, my friend and I built a Scarf Entei team inspired by the team that won the grassroots. We wanted sun because of the calcs with Scarf Flare Blitz, and because I always wanted to use Groudon in series 8. We ended up with this which I felt was very, very strong. I ended up going x-3 at multiple events with this while attempting to figure out how to cover the insane amount of shared weaknesses.
I felt very confident with the final version, blazing my way from x-1 to a Top 4 finish at another LRQ. The final team looked like this going into a Mt. Silver weekly (on my birthday which was also cool), and I managed a top 16 finish after an x-1 record in swiss. After that and the Rose Tower LCQ, I looked into my games and noticed that Groudon’s inconsistencies likely can’t be fixed. It heavily relies on speed control, using Entei to cover most of the Restricted brings about too many weaknesses and not using Entei makes the team too reliant on Tailwind/TR while losing a way to scare off Zacian and Shadow Rider immediately. The endgame against Zacian teams can also sometimes come down to hitting a Precipice Blades, which is certainly never fun, and it’s not even that great against Incineroar and Rillaboom (to an extent).
After losing to a Landorus-I that was EV’d to survive a 252+ Sun-Boosted Flare Blitz, I knew I’d need to make changes. I scrapped everything but Scarf Entei, Amoonguss and Gyarados, this time looking into a way to steal games quickly to have more time to recover in between tournament sets. As usual, I wanted more answers to Landorus. This was the result, and by now I wanted to stress the commonalities in all teams so far. Whimsicott eventually took the place of Gyarados to support Urshifu and help against Rain with Tailwind, and Weavile was removed for Nihilego to deal with Flying types and Xerneas, while also having the ability to OHKO Landorus-I. I really liked Amoonguss’ slow speed to help in TR but after a lot of convincing from Polaroid and Dreadmambo, turned it into Rillaboom because of its Fake Out, Repositioning and Priority for mons like other Rapid-Strike and Regieleki. Finally, my Fire Type of the format wasn’t pulling its weight. I also knew that Intimidate would immensely help out the team with its defensive calcs, as the entire team was very frail. I needed something to check Zacian and Rillaboom while also OHKO’ing Shadow Rider and Intimidate, and after using Gyarados for so long, I decided to test out Fast Incineroar. At first, it was designed to outspeed Shadow Rider at +2, then it slowly ramped up to give myself more tools to pivot and reposition out of unfavorable turns while also allowing me to steal or maintain momentum.
Before we get started into the team, I’d personally like to thank everybody for keeping me motivated to continue playing and giving me the courage to keep my head up despite my inconsistency in tournaments. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you! Now, let’s get into the team.