Last week the Rise of Galar circuit had its first major, the Cavalier Clash of the Blu Series. Many players shined but one stood up on top and won it all, Ciemmelle. Today we present you a spotlight on the winner’s team.

The Coal Age

After winning my first Galar Carousel, I was standing at 28 Knight Points in the rankings. For this reason, I decided to take part in the Cavalier Clash and try to collect as many KPs as possible to earn my Finals invite.

My thought process in deciding which Pokémon to use went as follows:

  • With little time available to practice, I knew I wanted to use an archetype I already felt confident with, possibly a team composition which was already popular in Series 8.
  • As I didn’t have the opportunity to experiment much in the new Season, I intended to only use Pokémon that were already proven to perform greatly in Series 7/9.
  • No matter what, my team had to be optimized for a best-of-three, open Team Sheet environment.
  • My final thought was that, if I wanted to play in an Italian tournament, I’d have to make sure my team had at very least neutral matchup against the most popular archetype among my nation’s player base, that is, Screens Control.

The only Pokémon that met all four requirements was Coalossal.

I really enjoyed using Coalossal teams in Series 8. I loved its versatility and the ability to Dynamax both Coalossal and Dragapult. I feel that, in open Team Sheet sets, offensive Dragapult can easily exploit the pressure Coalossal will always be making during Team Preview and start snowballing with Defense drops from Max Phantasm. Building this team was straightforward, as Rillaboom, Incineroar and Rapid Strike Urshifu make up an incredibly solid supporting trio for both my main Dynamax recipients: this is due to double Fake Out pressure, repositioning through U-turn and Parting Shot, two powerful priority moves in Grassy Glide and Aqua Jet and, of course, the sheer pressure Urshifu can exert in lategame thanks to Unseen Fist. My pick for the last slot was Togekiss, as it can disrupt Trick Room-based strategies with Yawn and provide some precious support in lategame against opposing Rillaboom and Urshifu.

The Team (https://pokepast.es/a680941aa90e91b5)

Dragapult @ Assault Vest
Ability: Clear Body
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Phantom Force
– Dragon Darts
– Fly
– Surf

One of the two stars of this team, Dragapult can either Dynamax and take the stage itself or step aside and pave the way for Coalossal with Surf. I went for a Jolly Nature because I wouldn’t be able to outspeed Spectrier otherwise, a Pokémon that has enjoyed large usage in recent tournaments. I ran Life Orb for a while, then I switched to Assault Vest, as I felt that this team was extremely weak to Modest Life Orb Regieleki and Kingdra. With that Special Defense boost, Dragapult can now take even a Max Phantasm from Life Orb Spectrier. This little tweak has been a real lifesaver in many situations, even with open Team Sheets.

A little fun fact: the ability to change weather with a (weak) Max Geyser is not to be overlooked: it can turn tables in your favor against Sun- and Sand-based teams!

252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Dragapult: 135-160 (41.1 – 48.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Kingdra Max Wyrmwind vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Dragapult: 234-276 (71.3 – 84.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Spectrier Max Phantasm vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Dragapult: 265-315 (80.7 – 96%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Togekiss @ Razor Claw
Ability: Super Luck
Level: 50
EVs: 180 HP / 4 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Air Slash
– Dazzling Gleam
– Yawn
– Follow Me

A surprisingly good and versatile compromise between offense and support, Yawn Critkiss can be used either in the first turns of a match to disrupt the opponent’s strategy with Yawn and Follow Me or in lategame, where it can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome for the opponent’s Urshifu and Rillaboom. I’ll admit Togekiss is my go-to lead whenever I’m unsure of how my opponent is going to play the game, as this Pokémon can provide a huge number of options to counteract almost anything I’ll be facing. A well-timed critical hit can poke holes through opposing Screens, while Follow Me and Yawn allow me to reposition and stall out Trick Room. Against some specific matchups, it can be even a solid Dynamax recipient.

252 SpA Life Orb Kingdra Max Geyser vs. 180 HP / 4 SpD Togekiss in Rain: 153-183 (83.6 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Venusaur Sludge Bomb vs. 180 HP / 4 SpD Togekiss: 151-179 (82.5 – 97.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Rillaboom @ Miracle Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
Level: 50
Gigantamax: Yes
EVs: 164 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 132 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Grassy Glide
– Fake Out
– U-turn
– Wood Hammer

Just your standard Rillaboom set. With Coalossal forcing Water-type Pokémon to Dynamax, sometimes even turn one, and G-Max Volcalith racking up passive damage, a hard-hitting, Grass-type priority move fits like a glove. U-turn and Wood Hammer were both crucial during the tournament. I decided to invest as may EVs in Speed as possible to always be faster than Rotom and Tapu Fini and strike with Wood Hammer in case Grassy Terrain is over.

196+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom-Gmax Wood Hammer vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Tapu Fini in Grassy Terrain: 290-344 (82.3 – 97.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
196+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom-Gmax Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Dynamax Rotom-Wash in Grassy Terrain: 306-360 (97.4 – 114.6%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO
196+ Atk Miracle Seed Rillaboom-Gmax Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 52 Def Regieleki in Grassy Terrain: 150-177 (96.7 – 114.1%) — 75% chance to OHKO

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike @ Focus Sash
Ability: Unseen Fist
Level: 50
Gigantamax: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Surging Strikes
– Close Combat
– Aqua Jet
– Detect

I think standard Rapid Strike Urshifu is a great Pokémon in the current metagame, as it can threaten a potential one-hit knockout against non-Dynamax Landorus-T and fares much better than its Dark-type counterpart against Grimmsnarl. It also has the upper hand against Single Strike Urshifu.
Of course, Side Aqua Jet is still a great option to activate Coalossal’s Weakness Policy. Yes, it costs around 33% of Coalossal’s health, but it’s definitely worth it.

-1 252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. -1 0 HP / 0 Def Dynamax Landorus-Therian on a critical hit: 324-384 (98.7 – 117%) — approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO

Coalossal @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Steam Engine
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
Gigantamax: Yes
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Heat Wave
– Meteor Beam
– Earth Power

Another plain and boring standard set. Coalossal matchups well against several common archetypes. It can either be used as a turn-one wallbreaker to set up G-Max Volcalith and sweep with Rillaboom and Urshifu in lategame or enter the field later when the opponent has been weakened enough. Sometimes, I even faked going for Gigantamax just to force an early Dynamax from my opponent. With Timid Nature, +6 Coalossal reaches a sky-high 360 Speed stat, allowing it to outspeed Kingdra in Rain and even Landorus-T, Terrakion or Thundurus in Tailwind.

Incineroar @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 140 SpD
Careful Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Parting Shot
– Fake Out
– Taunt

Incineroar is an invaluable supporting option to face all those matchups against which an early Steam Engine setup is impossible. With Taunt, it can shut down opposing Dusclops or Porygon2 and prevent Trick Room from going up, while Parting Shot allows me to reposition. Intimidate is crucial if I want to beat powerful physical Pokémon such as Glastrier, Garchomp, Landorus or Stakataka. This set is very similar to Wolfe Glick’s Players’ Cup 2-winning Incineroar; I only swapped Sitrus Berry for Safety Goggles as I was a bit worried of Amoonguss and Venusaur. This comes, however, to a price: I can no longer take three Max Quakes from Landorus or Venusaur before fainting, so I must play a little more carefully against such matchups.

Popular Matchups
Best leads: Dragapult+Coalossal and Urshifu+Coalossal

You should always lead Dragapult+Coalossal or Urshifu+Coalossal whenever it seems possible. If you start racking up passive Volcalith damage from Turn 1, chances are high you’ll end up winning the game with Rillaboom and Urshifu.

Recommended leads against Trick Room teams: Rillaboom+Incineroar or Togekiss+Incineroar

Rillaboom can Fake Out the opposing redirector while Incineroar is free to Taunt the opposing Trick Room setter. When using Togekiss, try to press Yawn as many times as you can, as this will stall out Trick Room turns, and take advantage of Tapu Fini being forced to come in to set up Misty Terrain. Keep in mind that Misty Terrain doesn’t prevent the opponent from becoming drowsy, so you may even send Rillaboom in to erase it!

If you are facing Glastrier, do anything in your power not to lose Incineroar: the entire game relies on it.

Recommended lead against Grimmsnarl teams: Urshifu+Togekiss

Many Series 9 Grimmsnarl teams do not include Tapu Fini, so Yawn can be a real nuisance for this archetype. Surging Strikes and Dazzling Gleam can both crit through screens; taking out Grimmsnarl before it can set up both Reflect and Light Screen may open up a hole for a Coalossal or Urshifu sweep. Porygon2 might Dynamax turn one if it is running an offensive set, so using Yawn on it might be a good idea. On a side note: if you are hard reading your opponent to start with Entei+Metagross, you might consider leading Urshifu+Coalossal to seal the deal on Turn 1.

My Run
Day 1, Swiss
R1vs Max RohckfallWW
R2vs Fragash  WW
R3vs Reew LL
R4vs Tosahka LWW
R5vs NikyuAlex WLL
R6vs Iava95 WLW
R7vs IlPeacock   WW

   

Day 2, Top Cut
T16vs NikyuAlex WW
T8vs Zenzero LWW
T4vs Gabriel WW
Finalsvs Giulio   WLW

That is all for now. Thanks to all the people who cheered for me and thank you for reading and if you need information, feel free to DM me on Twitter (@Ciemmelle_VGC).