Published on June 9th, 2015 | by Sogeking


Burn It to the Ground: UK Regionals 5th Place Report

Hello everyone! My name is Yan Sym, better known on Nugget Bridge as Sogeking. I’m a 21-year-old Brazilian player who recently moved to the United Kingdom to finish my Master’s degree. I’ve played competitive Pokémon since 2007 and VGC since 2011. My accomplishments include winning Smogon Superstars V, a 3rd place in the Official Smogon Tournament #10, and winning a big non-sanctioned VGC tournament the Brazilian Pokémon League hosted in 2014.

The Quest for the Best VGC Team

When the rules for the season was announced in December, I soon began looking at statistics and team-building. Those who know me are aware that I am a very methodical person, so I enjoy developing general guidelines and team-building patterns for every format. In January, after playing extensively on both Pokémon Showdown and Battle Spot, I came up with some guidelines to help me out with building teams for the format.

Over the next few months, I went through several teams to find something that fit my play style. These teams ranged from speed control as a central role for the entire team, to teams that were built around defensive synergy, re-direction and general bulk. In total, I used teams that were based around four of the most popular Mega Pokémon in the format; Kangaskhan, Metagross, Salamence and Venusaur. While there were some teams I liked using, I felt I was not winning consistently enough with any of them.

With only about a month before the United Kingdom and Italy Regionals, I was frustrated I couldn’t find a team that fit my play style in the format. That was when I decided to give Mega Charizard Y a try, and fell in love with it!

Building The Team

I believe Mega Charizard Y is one of the best Mega Evolutions in the format. I knew that most players would be over-prepared for Kangaskhan, so I was expecting to see numerous Landorus-T, Terrakion, Amoonguss and Mega Metagross. And guess what beats all that? Mega Charizard Y + Wide Guard Aegislash does! The synergy of this pair meant that Aegislash could protect Charizard from any Rock Slides. I then decided to try Landorus-T and Thundurus in the team more out of convenience than anything else. To finish the team, I needed two Pokémon that were able to hit Heatran hard so I could safely use Heat Waves and Overheat with Charizard. I decided to add Hydreigon, providing another Ground-type immunity to the team so Landorus-T would be able to use Earthquake more freely. In addition, Hydreigon is an excellent Pokémon in the format, being able to hit everything pretty hard. To finish the team, I thought it would be a good idea to add a Focus Sash Terrakion, providing me with a reliable answer to Mega Kangaskhan as well as a check to both Rain and Sun playstyles. The first iteration of the team looked like this:


Still not good enough. Having both Terrakion and Landorus-T in the team seemed redundant to me, and I needed something to safely sponge special attacks when I U-turned out with Landorus-T. Thundurus was also fainting very quickly before it accomplished much, so an alternative was needed to provide the team with speed control. After about a week testing in the Pokémon Showdown ladder, I finally came up with this:

The Final Team

Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 220 HP / 148 Def / 4 SpA / 12 SpD / 124 Spe
Modest Nature
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Overheat
– Protect

  • Outruns Jolly max Speed Breloom by two points
  • Survives Adamant Landorus-T spread Rock Slide 93.7% of the time
  • Survives Jolly Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge 93.7% of the time
  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor 87.5% of the time
  • OHKOs 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Kangaskhan with Overheat 100% of the time
  • OHKOs 4 HP / 0 Def Terrakion with Solar Beam 87.5% of the time
  • OHKOs 252 HP / 84 SpD Amoonguss with spread Heat Wave 81.3% of the time

Charizard’s move-set is the most standard possible but it’s simple and effective. Heat Wave is the spammable STAB move that hits hard and gets around redirection, Solar Beam offers coverage mainly against Terrakion and bulky Water-types in general, and Overheat in the Sun hits like a truck, knocking out just about any non-resist to open up exploitable holes in the early game. The difference here is the EV spread. After weeks brainstorming about it, me and my Portuguese team building partner, Ricardo Pinto (RpIndaHouse), finally came up with this one, which I liked a lot. Being able to survive a Rock Slide from an Adamant Landorus-T most of the time means that in situations where I have a full health Charizard and Aegislash in the field against a Choice Scarf Landorus-T and its partner, I am able to freely attack with both of my Pokémon, which ended up being extremely helpful and key for this team.

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 52 HP / 220 Atk / 52 Def / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Superpower
– Rock Slide
– U-turn

  • Outruns Timid Mega Gengar and Jolly Aerodactyl by 1 point
  • Survives Hidden Power Ice from 84 SpA neutral Thundurus 100% of the time
  • Survives Jolly Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge 56.2% of the time
  • Survives Modest non-boosted Hydreigon Draco Meteor 100% of the time
  • Survives Sucker Punch from +1 Life Orb Adamant Bisharp 87.5% of the time
  • Survives Ice Shard from -1 Life Orb Adamant Mamoswine 93.7% of the time
  • OHKOs 4 HP / 0 Def Terrakion with spread Earthquake 81.3% of the time

Landorus-Therian is a really great Pokémon and there is a good reason it’s consistently among the Top Five on most ladder and tournament statistics. Intimidate is really nice to suppress enemy physical attackers, although I have to watch out for Bisharp. The moveset is pretty standard once again, but it works. There wasn’t really a point where I felt like I needed another move to win. Some players like to run Knock Off in the last moveslot, but U-turn is amazing because it allows me to switch Landorus’ partner out and then U-turn out to bring it back out again. This came in handy for setting up the sun again on the field without wasting two turns. Landorus did its job on the team really well.

Landorus-T provides Charizard with an amazing synergy by intimidating threats like Kangaskhan, Terrakion and other Landorus-T. Charizard and Landorus-T was by far my most common lead because Landorus-T can get a fast U-turn in, letting me bring Aegislash or Conkeldurr in to fulfill necessary roles. Landorus-T is also amazing for finishing off weakened Pokémon with spread moves in the late game.

Zapdos @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 244 HP / 120 Def / 116 SpD / 28 Spe (IV: 0 Atk / 30 Def)
Bold Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Heat Wave
– Thunder Wave

  • Outruns Adamant Bisharp by 2 points
  • Survives Fake Out + Double-Edge from Adamant Mega Kangaskhan 100% of the time
  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor 81.2% of the time
  • Adamant Landorus-T spread Rock Slide is a 4HKO most of the time

Zapdos offers me speed control while also being my main check to Mega Salamence and Rain teams in general. I tried to run Tailwind at first, but it really didn’t work for this team. Thunder Wave is fantastic for slowing down threats like Kangaskhan and Hydreigon which allows Conkeldurr to clean the field later. It’s also awesome when my opponent thinks we are both going to use Tailwind and I end up paralyzing his sweeper.

Thunderbolt is there as a reliable STAB move and Hidden Power [Ice] is pretty useful to hit Landorus-T and most Dragon-types for super-effective damage. For the last move, I considered Roost and Detect at first, but Heat Wave boosted in the Sun is really good, and having a spread damage attack negates any redirection concerns.

Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 12 HP / 4 Def / 236 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Draco Meteor
– Dark Pulse
– Earth Power
– Protect

  • Survives -1 Jolly Terrakion Close Combat 75% of the time
  • Survives Jolly Garchomp Dragon Claw 75% of the time
  • Survives Helping Hand boosted Ice Beam from Modest Ludicolo 93.7% of the time

Another pretty standard and straightforward moveset. Draco Meteor is an obvious choice, being STAB and hitting like a truck everything that doesn’t resist it. Dark Pulse is the other STAB move and also deals a ton of damage even to neutral targets. Earth Power was the perfect way to dispatch Heatran, which totally walls Charizard. In the last slot, Protect was the obvious choice which allows me to stall Tailwind or Trick Room as well as seeing what moves choiced Pokémon will lock themselves into.

I opted to run max Speed otherwise bulky Hydreigon would be a threat to the team. However, instead of running 252 SpA as most people do, I chose to use 12 HP, 4 Def and 4 Sp Def. This gave me a better chance to survive moves like -1 Close Combat from Jolly Terrakion, Dragon Claw from Jolly Garchomp, and a Helping Hand boosted Ice Beam from Ludicolo. A useless defensive investment, you might say? Well, in the Italy regionals, it allowed Hydreigon to survive a -2 Life Orb Draco Meteor from a Timid Hydreigon with 2 HP!

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 204 SpA / 52 SpD (IV: 0 Spe)
Quiet Nature
– Shadow Ball
– Flash Cannon
– King’s Shield
– Wide Guard

  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Dark Pulse 63.5% of the time
  • Survives 100 Spa Modest Mega Charizard Y spread Heat Wave 87.% of the time
  • Survives Modest Heatran Fire Blast 96.7% of the time
  • OHKOs 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross with Shadow Ball 87.5% of the time

Aegislash supports Charizard with Wide Guard, resists Dragon-type and Fairy-type moves, and is also my main answer against Trick Room teams. Using 0 IV Speed was really useful against Noah Fuchs (Daydreaming Ninja) in the Italy regionals where it used Flash Cannon against his Sylveon and got the KO after Conkeldurr’s Ice Punch damage, whilst under Trick Room. Aegislash’s moveset is also pretty straightforward. Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon are its STAB moves and offer a decent coverage. King’s Shield allows it to go back into Shield form and Wide Guard blocks spread moves like Rock Slide, Heat Wave and Earthquake for its ally.

Conkeldurr @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 212 HP / 84 Atk / 124 Def / 88 SpD (IV: 15 Spe)
Adamant Nature
– Drain Punch
– Ice Punch
– Knock Off
– Mach Punch

  • Underspeeds minimum Speed Aegislash by 1 point
  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor 100% of the time
  • Survives Modest Mega Charizard Y Overheat 81.2% of the time
  • Survives Brave Bird from Life Orb Jolly Talonflame 87.5% of the time
  • Survives Zen Headbutt from Jolly Mega Metagross 81.2% of the time
  • After Intimidate, Ice Punch puts a non-bulky Landorus-T in Mach Punch’s KO range most of the time
  • OHKOs 4 HP / 0 Def Terrakion with Drain Punch 100% of the time
  • OHKOs Alex Ogloza’s Hydreigon (84 HP / 12 Def) with Drain Punch 75% of the time
  • OHKOs 252 HP / 4 Def Aegislash-Blade with Knock Off 100% of the time

Conkeldurr was the last addition to the team, but it definitely pulled its weight. Drain Punch and Mach Punch are its staple STAB moves. While the former hits harder and provides Conkeldurr with the ability to recover health, the latter is a priority move able to finish off weakened targets. Ice Punch hits common Pokémon like Landorus-T, Thundurus-I and Mega Salamence for Super Effective damage. Knock Off hits Aegislash, Cresselia and Jellicent, while also having the useful side-effect of removing items from opposing Pokémon.

I believe Assault Vest Conkeldurr is an extremely underestimated set in this format. Most players prefer using Sitrus Berry to tank Mega Kangaskhan better, but this spread can do that while still taking special attacks and effectively hitting back. This Conkeldurr can easily survive a Double-Edge from an Adamant Mega Kangaskhan, as well as a Zen Headbutt from a Jolly Mega Metagross most of the time.

You might have noticed that I chose Iron Fist over Guts for the ability. The reason is that whenever my opponents had a Pokémon with Will-O-Wisp, they would often fear Guts and prefer not using status on it. The only real reason I would want to run Guts would be to safely take Scalds on the switch. But we are taking about a 30% chance and Zapdos, Charizard and Hydreigon can take care of bulky waters. For this team, I wanted Conkeldurr to be bulky in order to sponge moves on the switch while still being able to get most of the knockouts that Guts Conkeldurr with max Attack investment does, so this makes Iron Fist my best choice and I don’t regret using it.

You might have also noticed that I am running a 15 IVs in Speed instead of just a standard 31 or 0. I wanted Conkeldurr to just under-speed minimum Speed Aegislash while still out-speeding Amoonguss, minimum Speed Scrafty and most paralyzed Pokémon.

Before the Tournament

I had the opportunity to test this team out at three Premier Challenges before the regional events. The first, held in Dublin, I managed to go undefeated until finals, where I lost to Kelly Mercier-White (KellsterCartier) in three intense games which you can watch below:

The following weekend I was over in Crawley where I went 3-2 in Swiss. Unfortunately I failed to reach the top cut, and only earned 14 CP from the event. The last Premier Challenge was in Glasgow. I went through Swiss with only one loss, which meant I was able to top-cut. I then managed to win through to the finals where I played Rachel (SPEevee) winning the set in three intense games. You can watch them below:

Going to the Tournament

It was literally a Pokémon quest to get to Sutton Coldfield, a very lovely town where the United Kingdom regional was hosted. After getting a bus, a plane, a train and finishing off with a short walk, I reached the venue at around 8:40 am, a short time before registration started. Here are some pictures of the venue:


The organization of the event was incredible. Huge shout-outs to Suzie Masters (Arono) and Ian Fotheringham (NoPoke) for their incredible performance during the event, the whole competitive Pokémon community really appreciates your efforts to make things work. The staff at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall were also very helpful and the breaks between rounds were very generous. The tournament even finished hours before the expected time, a real rarity!

The Tournament

Heading into the first round of matches, I was pretty confident with my team. During the week, I managed to put two accounts into the top 10 of the Pokémon Showdown ladder with this team. My only concerns were facing Rain teams with manual Rain Dance setters and Kangaskhan + Shuca Berry Heatran, both of which give my team a hard time. The tournament had 154 Masters, which meant at most only three people with a 6-2 record would be able to make it to Top Cut.

Round 1 vs James Bishop

His Team:

I brought:


In team preview, I saw Hydreigon would put a lot of work against his team. I left Zapdos out of this match because I didn’t feel like playing mind-games with a Lightning Rod Manectric potentially switching in and Aegislash matched up poorly to most of his team, so I also left it behind. He led Manectric and Talonflame, while I led Landorus-T and Hydreigon.

In the first turn he uses Tailwind with his Talonflame while I use U-Turn on Landorus-T to switch into Conkeldurr. James then uses Snarl with his Mega Manectric. However, Hydreigon still knocks out Talonflame at -1 with Dark Pulse, giving me a 4-3 lead. He replaces his fallen Talonflame with his own Hydreigon.

In the next turn, he doubles into my Conkeldurr with his Mega Manectric and Choice Specs Hydreigon. Conkeldurr though takes both hits and takes down Manectric with a Drain Punch, while my Hydreigon goes to -3 after using Draco Meteor on his Hydreigon.

The match is pretty much over at this point, I just had finish off the weakened Hydreigon and Earthquake Arcanine with the Landorus-T in the back. My opponent was a really nice guy and we talked a lot between matches.

Win | Score: 1-0

Round 2 vs Arron Hollands

His Team:

I brought:

In the Team Preview, I saw that Charizard would be key in this match. With Intimidate control to stop Talonflame and a bit of caution to play around Hydreigon, Charizard would definitely win me the game. Aegislash and Hydreigon wouldn’t do much in this matchup, so they sat on the bench for this one. I led with Charizard and Landorus, while Arron led with Serperior and Hydreigon.

On the first turn, I opted to U-turn Hydreigon, hedging my bets in case of a Talonflame switch. If he stayed in, like he did, Charizard could take anything Hydreigon could throw against it. U-turn did about 65% to his Hydreigon and I bring Conkeldurr in, while he uses Leaf Storm on the Conkeldurr and Hydreigon uses Dark Pulse on the Charizard. Charizard didn’t flinch and I got a double knock-out with Heat Wave, getting a 4-2 start.

He revealed his back line of Blastoise and Klefki to the field; it surprised me that he decided not to bring Talonflame to this match. I decided to focus on taking Blastoise down first, as it was the major threat on the field. After that, I just had to finish off Klefki with a Heat Wave and victory had been achieved. My opponent was also pretty chill and I respect for him for having such an unusual team.

Win | Score: 2-0

Round 3 vs Philip de Sousa (P3DS)

His Team:

I brought:

I wasn’t aware he was P3DS when we played. He was a very chill guy and played really well during the whole tournament. He went 7-1 in Swiss and was the winner of the first ever United Kingdom Regional. Good job, bro! You can watch the match below:

He had a Gengar, a Charizard and a Bisharp, so it really wouldn’t be a good idea to bring Aegislash here. I also didn’t want to bring Zapdos because it wouldn’t do anything against a very likely Lum Berry Terrakion. Although it wouldn’t be ideal to bring Landorus-T to this match, I really needed it to avoid being destroyed by Terrakion. Even if he decided to bring Bisharp, I would have Hydreigon, Conkeldurr and Charizard to play around it.

I lead Hydreigon and Conkeldurr while he lead with Charizard and Whimsicott. I had to Draco Meteor the Charizard in case it decided not to Protect. And even if he did, I still had no reason to target Whimsicott, as turn stalling Tailwind was what I had in mind to win this game. I get an Ice Punch off onto the Whimsicott, which did about 70%.

In the following turn I decided to just protect with Hydreigon, just in case Whimsicott turned out to have Moonblast. I thought Hydreigon was too important to take unnecessary risks so early in the game, and I knew that if Whimsicott didn’t have Moonblast he would want to switch it to Terrakion to abuse the Tailwind turns. He expected Overheat to take down my Conkeldurr, which survived with 27 HP and got the OHKO in his Terrakion in the switch with Drain Punch. From there the game was pretty much over for him, and he forfeited a few turns later.

Win | Score: 3-0

Round 4 vs Matthew

His Team:

I brought:

In the team preview I knew that although Conkeldurr seemed to be a good Pokémon to bring, it would be killed by any double target my opponent made. Zapdos also seemed bad in this matchup, being threatened by both Terrakion and Hydreigon. I also noticed that this team seemed very similar to what Zach (Braverius), Jake (MajorBowman) and Kelly (KellsterCartier) used to top cut a Regional, with Feraligatr as bulky water and Zapdos instead of Thundurus-I.

I decided to lead Landorus-T and Hydreigon as my opponent did the same for a mirror lead. In the first turn, I tried to scout for a Choice Scarf Hydreigon and decided to Protect my own. My Landorus-T used U-Turn on his Hydreigon and brought Aegislash onto the field while he revealed to be Choice Specs and went for the Dark Pulse into the Aegislash slot, which survived with 29 HP. Looking at the damage from my U-turn into his Hydreigon and the small damage of Dark Pulse into the Aegislash, I realized he was likely Jake’s spread. If that was the case, I knew my Hydreigon could survive a Superpower from a Jolly -1 Choice Band Landorus-T without max investment in Attack and decided to stay in with Hydreigon to use Draco Meteor on his Hydreigon. My Hydreigon survived the Superpower from his Landorus-T with 21 HP and got the KO in his Hydreigon, and then my Aegislash got the KO with a +2 Shadow Ball on his Landorus-T, allowing me to get a 4-2 start!

He sent his last two Pokémon, Terrakion and Zapdos. I thought I would still need Aegislash around to Wide Guard for my Charizard to clean the game, so I decided to switch Aegislash for Landorus-T and just Earth Power the Terrakion with Hydreigon in case he went for a non-attacking move. However, he does get the knockout on my Hydreigon with Close Combat and Zapdos used Thunderbolt onto my Landorus-T.

I brought Charizard into the field and then took a lot of time to decide if I should Rock Slide or just Superpower the Terrakion with my Landorus-T. I believe the former would have been better (because I would need one out of two flinch chances to win) if I was 100% sure his Terrakion had Focus Sash and that his Zapdos was faster than my Charizard, but as I was not sure about either of them and just needed one to be false for Superpower to be my optimal play, so I just went for Superpower…right into Terrakion’s Focus Sash. I thought it would be game over when Terrakion survived the Superpower with the Focus Sash and Zapdos went before my Charizard, but he went for the Hidden Power Ice into my Landorus-T instead of Thunderbolt in my Charizard, and having Aegislash with Wide Guard in the back guaranteed me the win.

Win | Score: 4-0

Round 5 vs Matt

His Team:

I brought:

In team preview, I knew that if I could take Cresselia down, my Conkeldurr would put a lot of pressure against his team, so I focused my game plan around taking it out. I knew Zapdos and Aegislash wouldn’t be too great in this matchup, so I left them behind.

The first turn couldn’t have gone better for me, as I got the turn 1 K.O. into the Cresselia with U-turn and Overheat, while his Heatran switched fearing an Earthquake, and I got the 4-3 lead. He sent out his Kangaskhan and I thought it would be pretty obvious if I switched my Charizard into my Landorus-T, so I decided to switch Hydreigon into Landorus-T instead, just leaving Charizard to eventually die as I wouldn’t need it anymore. He went for the Hidden Power Ice into the Charizard and a Double-Edge into the Landorus-T, while Charizard got an Overheat off against his Kangaskhan and is now at -4 SpA. This turn was key for me, as I found out that he was running a very slow Kangaskhan, so Hydreigon would be able to seal the game for me later.

He knocks out my Charizard and his Heatran got a Heat Wave Critical Hit Single Target in the Sun against my Conkeldurr, which was able to survive and hit it back with a Drain Punch. I thought the game was pretty much under control at that point because I just needed to send Landorus-T and go for the Rock Slide. For my surprise, his Thundurus-I survived with 2 HP and knocked out my Conkeldurr while fainting from Life Orb recoil thus making it 2-2. He revealed a Protect Kangaskhan, which surprised me a lot. However, in the end Hydreigon was able to seal the game anyway, and make me one victory away from a guaranteed Top Cut!

Win | Score: 5-0

Round 6 vs Daniel Oztekin (Necrocat219)

His Team:

I brought:

In team preview, I thought my opponent would either lead Politoed and Kingdra or Kangaskhan and Smeargle, and obviously have Talonflame in the back. I gambled that he wouldn’t want to lead with Smeargle and rely on a 80% accuracy move at this point in the tournament, so I decided not to bring Conkeldurr to this match. For obvious reasons I decided not to bring Landorus-T too.

I pretty much sealed my win in the first turn of the match, as he used Rain Dance with Kingdra and I protected my Charizard without Mega Evolving, using Thunder Wave on his Kingdra. He switched Politoed for Mawile while I put the Sun in the field and used Heat Wave, and from there the game was over. I got very excited after this win, because as all my previous opponents had positive scores, I was guaranteed Top Cut.

Huge shout-outs for my opponent for being the Runner-Up of the Regional.

Win | Score: 6-0

Round 7 vs James Boyt (MrJellyLeggs)

His Team:

I brought:

I had already a guaranteed Top Cut even if I lost my next two games, and this was when I believe I let my guard down a bit. In team preview, I thought this was just another Mega Charizard Y Tailwind based team. As he seemed not to have any Physical Attacker, there was no reason for me to bring Landorus-T to this match. Conkeldurr also didn’t seem very effective, so it also remained on the bench.

I lead with Zapdos and Charizard while he lead Togekiss and Thundurus-I. Fearing an offensive variant of Thundurus-I, I switched Charizard into Aegislash, as he revealed the Life Orb and went straight for the Thunderbolt against it. I tried to use Thunder Wave in his Togekiss, which flinched my Zapdos and was likely a Choice Scarf set.

He then switched his Togekiss into Suicune, which I found to be a pretty weird play. My Aegislash used Shadow ball on his Thundurus-I, and it survived with around 30% HP. On the following turn, I lost a 50/50 with Aegislash and he got a Tailwind off with his Suicune which pretty much sealed the victory for him. He totally caught me off guard with his strategy, and he was also the only unbeaten player in Swiss. I really liked his Mega Charizard X team, so we spent the following 20 minutes discussing about how he built it.

Lose | Score: 6-1

Round 8 vs Kelly Mercier-White (KellsterCartier)

His Team:

I brought:

I lead Charizard and Landorus-T against his Rotom-H and Landorus-T. When I saw my Intimidate going before his, I thought he was running the same spread from Arnhem (bulky Choice Scarf). I thought I had the edge on the first turn when his Landorus-T used Rock Slide, because I thought he was locked into it. However, when he knocked out my Aegislash and I didn’t target the Landorus-T with an Ice Punch, predicting a switch to Metagross, I thought it was game over for me. I didn’t play well in this battle, and I would have lost without the two 90% accuracy moves missing. I’m sorry, Kelly!

Win | Score: 7-1

It was a relatively short wait for the final results to be posted after the conclusion of Swiss. I knew that my record meant I guaranteed my place in the top 8, but I still was eager to find out who my opponent would be. When they were published, I saw I was the second seed! Andy Waddell (Peng) who I had gotten to know during the event, had also made the cut using his own Mega Charizard Y team, and I couldn’t help but get a small celebration picture with him!

d e

Top 8 vs Daniel Oztekin (Necrocat219)

His Team:

Game 1:

I brought:

He brought:

This was a rematch of our earlier swiss encounter, but this time over three games, so we both had an idea of each others’ team heading into the first game. I definitely wasn’t expecting him to lead Kangaskhan and Smeargle, which caught me off-guard. Although I got a 4-3 lead, his Smeargle got Speed boosts thanks to Moody, his Dark Voids didn’t miss and my Pokémon were tired from all the battles so far. Despite the unorthodox strategy, Daniel played well and really deserved to win.

Lose | Score: 0-1

Game 2:

I brought:

He brought:

I responded by trying to get a better lead matchup against the Smeargle in this game, but Daniel wisely didn’t bring Smeargle to the match. I made a wrong prediction in the first turn of the game, expecting his Kingdra to use Rain Dance, and that basically cost me the game.

Lose | Score: 0-2

Final standings after Top Cut:

  1. Philip de Suosa (P3DS)
  2. Daniel Oztekin (Necrocat219)
  3. Jamie Boyt (MrJellyLeggs)
  4. Stephen Gibbon (Stegibbon)
  5. Yan Vianna Sym (Sogeking)
  6. Baris Akcos (Billa)
  7. Andy Waddell (peng)
  8. Eden Batchelor (Xenoblade Hero)

Top Cut Players (Billa had to leave before the presentation)

After the tournament, a few other players and I went to a nearby pub to have some food and drinks. After that, me and William (StarKO) got a train to Manchester Airport. There we would get a flight to Italy, where we were going to play another Regional!

We all slept in the airport for a few hours and woke up at around 5 am to get our flight to Rome’s Ciampino Airport.

From left to right, representing UK in the Italian Regional, meet Team Fruitcake: Kay (Cambria), William Tansley (StarKO), Steve Edgson (SirSmoke), Ben Kyriakou (Kyriakou), Yan Sym (Sogeking)

We touched down in Rome about forty minutes before registrations for the Rome Regional ended. When we were about to leave the airport, I couldn’t help but notice the message on the signboard:


Of course by that point this sign wouldn’t stop me from playing the Regional. As soon as we left the airport, we got a taxi to the venue, arriving about 10 minutes before registrations ended. We made it!

The Regional was held at a store called Dark Side, close to the center of Rome. There were 89 Masters attending the tournament.

Dark Side store

First round of Swiss getting underway.

After some unfortunate misses and getting demolished by Matteo Gini’s powerful Trick Room team with a Timid Choice Specs Zapdos, I finished 28th. I had earned 90 CP from the weekend, which put me in 5th on the European ranking for the Master division. Ben Kyriakou and William Tansley also finished 4-3, while Steve Edgson finished 3-4.

Team fruitcake sadly had to split up right after the tournament. I spent the rest of the day and the beginning of the following to visit the beautiful city of Rome.

Me and Zapdos in front of the Roman Coliseum

Me taking a scenic tour in Rome

Closing Thoughts

I’m very happy I finished as well as I did in the United Kingdom Regional. Aside from the competitions, I had such a great time in both Sutton Coldfield and Rome. Everyone I met was really friendly. This tournament was very important to me, because it helped me boost my confidence during the rest of the season, and now I can finally accomplish my dream of playing in the World Championship! I also used this team to go 6-3 in both Germany and United Kingdom Nationals, and I believe the main reason why Charizard Y is not the best Mega Pokémon in the format is its disappointing 90% accuracy STAB moves. The search for the best VGC goes on I suppose! Before I sign off, I want to give a few shout-outs:

  • The Brazilian Pokémon community (LOP-BR and PokéEVO) for being cool and enthusiastic people who always give me support. Whether I am playing decisive tiebreak matches of the Smogon World Cup of Pokémon or playing VGC tournaments around the World, thank you guys!
  • The Glasgow Pokémon community for hosting fun tournaments and being funny people full of creativity. I hope to see the Glasgow Pokémon league growing even more.
  • Team Fruitcake for being crazy and going from Sutton Coldfield to Manchester, and then to Rome, getting to the venue 10 minutes before the deadline for registrations. Let’s do it again next time.
  • Suzie Masters and Ian Fotheringham for hosting an amazing Regional in the United Kingdom.
  • Lorenzo Belleffi for hosting a cool Regional in Italy and extending the registration deadline for half an hour so team fruitcake could get to the venue in time.
  • Daniel Veras for letting me borrow his 3DS and Omega Ruby game every weekend and ruin his plans of playing Pokémon Rumble. I’m Sorry!
  • Júlio Eller (HaxBroKoga), Bruno “DK” and Hector for always providing me Pokémon with the nature, spread and moveset I want. Thanks!
  • Peng for being my Smogon buddy #teamZardY.
  • RpIndaHouse for helping me team build.
  • Keonspy for creating the banner image for this article. Isn’t it awesome? Jip is the best. 🙂
  • StarKO for not letting me get lost in the super confusing British rail system.
  • Matthew King (MSK) for being our make-shift travel agent, showing us how to get from Sutton Coldfield to Rome in time.
  • Wyrms Eye for being a cool guy and volunteering to edit and revise my article.
  • Gustavo Braz for recording my matches and uploading them in YouTube. You’re the best! Please make sure you take a look at his channel.
  • The Nugget Bridge staff for giving me a chance to write this team report.

And finally, you for reading my report! I hope that this was helpful to you! Should you have any questions, just ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to give a good answer.

About the Author

started playing competitive Pokémon in 2007. He dreams of competing in the World Championship and wants to find the best VGC team. He also likes to spread love wherever he goes.

26 Responses to Burn It to the Ground: UK Regionals 5th Place Report

  1. Gonzo says:

    great read, thanks for sharing oo

  2. I’ve been looking forward to this report for a long time. Well done Yan! Looking forward to playing against you a lot more this year! oo

  3. WackaboomVGC says:

    Best VGC… oo

  4. RpIndaHouse says:

    Im glad i managed to help with the CharizardY EV spread, but please, you have to lose this thing that you have of risking unsafe damage rolls on every defensive calc you make xD Well done with the team and congrats on the Regional cuts and PC wins, hopefully we’ll see you play on stream at worlds oo

  5. aerodactyl says:


  6. Sam says:

    Great report, glad I’ve been able to talk to you more lately, we should definitely do some more testing for nationals oo

  7. LightCore says:

    Soge best VGC yn? oo

  8. StarKO says:

    Finally oo

    Cool report, man. This team is really strong and deserved to go further in nationals, tbh, but it sucks that you got so unlucky. Best of luck in Milan this weekend where hopefully both of us can get our paid trips 🙂

    The double regional weekend was definitely an unforgettable experience, even though I only slept around 30 minutes in ~40 hours 😀 Totally down to do it again. #TeamFruitCake

  9. Keonspy says:

    O its finally up!
    Cool report, nice team.
    Back then, best VGC.
    Also glad you got your revenge on Kelly in UK regs on that PC of yours!
    And if you need dating advice ask me 🙂

  10. HaxBroKoga says:

    Nice bro!
    I hope you’ll your best at World Championship 😀
    And i’ll be here to help u and breed any poke u want 😉

  11. Daydreaming Ninja says:

    awesome report 😀 see you in italy this weekend!

  12. Garchamp says:

    Those last few moments between you vs Kelly in Dublin will be forever etched in my brain.
    Great report and really solid team!

  13. MrJellyLeggs says:

    I love what you have done to the top 8 players picture haha.

    Perhaps I should become LordJellyLeggs from now on?

  14. MSK says:

    Awesome report, cheers for the shout out ;) I seem to have been unofficial Pokémon travel agent for numerous people this year lol, perhaps I should set up a business for next year!
    I hope you manage to get one of the paid trips to World’s this year so we can hang out in Boston!! :)

  15. Sorry you couldn’t find best vgc, but only good vgc.  :(
    I believe in you! Find it by Worlds!  :D

  16. kalarse says:

    Good to always read southamerican reports, specially brazillians one. I hope at least pokemon makes one vgc tournament either in argentina or brazil (no one would care bout uruguay 🙁 ) so i could travel and play. That would be utopic but who knows…
    Nice report dude!!

  17. Steelicanth says:

    Nice report and nice team – I still remember how terrifying it was to face at that Glasgow Premier Challenge! Good luck for the rest of the season!

  18. P3DS says:

    It was a pleasure battling you. My team didn’t have the best of match ups at all vs yours.

    Also, nice to see I wasn’t the only one running 124 spe charizard

  19. CSFlare says:

    Great job, great report! Good luck at worlds, I’ll be watching it on stream!

  20. Freckles666666 says:

    I totally agree with iron fist instead of guts. It’s more consistent and you win the mind game anyway as most players don’t want to take the risk. It is a win win!

  21. Zekira Drake says:

    This is disturbing me… this is almost the same team I made right before I switched my mega and effectively the entire team… the difference being that I failed at using it and I had Sylveon over Hydreigon. Almost the exact same Charizard EV’s too. I’m so mad at myself right now, haha… Maybe I just suck at using Conkeldurr.
    Would you say that your choice of Thunder Wave over Tailwind was the better choice in the end?

  22. Sogeking says:

    This is disturbing me… this is almost the same team I made right before I switched my mega and effectively the entire team… the difference being that I failed at using it and I had Sylveon over Hydreigon. Almost the exact same Charizard EV’s too. I’m so mad at myself right now, haha… Maybe I just suck at using Conkeldurr.
    Would you say that your choice of Thunder Wave over Tailwind was the better choice in the end?

    For this specific team yes, as paralyzing stuff is really helpful for Conkeldurr and Aegislash to finish the game sometimes.
    I tried to use both Thunder Wave and Tailwind (over Heat Wave) at some point, but I wasn’t using Tailwind much.

  23. Necrocat219 says:

    Great report, really did enjoy our battles and it was great to get to know you better at Nationals 🙂 Good luck in Milan!

  24. Wyrms Eye says:

    Can’t believe I forgot to say great report Yan! I know I helped to edit it in the first instance, but it still was really interesting to learn how you were approaching the game, why you made specific choices for your team and generally how you approached the matches as well. I was also pleasantly surprised in the forethought into the damage calculations on some of the various choices, particularly the Zapdos which I stole borrowed for UK Nats, and I was really impressed with it, even though I ran the set slightly differently to cater to my team needs. I’m also sorry for the pestering about various things, but I think at the end, the report is much better for it and it was worth the wait.
    I do wish you the best of luck at worlds mate, hopefully you will prove to us all exactly what ‘Best VGC’ is!

  25. Zekira Drake says:

    For this specific team yes, as paralyzing stuff is really helpful for Conkeldurr and Aegislash to finish the game sometimes.
    I tried to use both Thunder Wave and Tailwind (over Heat Wave) at some point, but I wasn’t using Tailwind much.

    This is tempting me to try and pick up this team again but with T.Wave over Tailwind. Hope you don’t mind if I copy some other things from here…
    Also I’m one of those idiots who always paired Aegislash and Charizard but never used Wide Guard. I probably should do that now.

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