Published on January 29th, 2015 | by Level 51


Moonlight Sonata: Singapore Asia Cup Qualifier First Place Report

Hi! I’m Level 51, or as I am sometimes referred to in real life, Guan Yang Ze. I recently participated in Singapore’s Asia Cup Qualifier. Attended by 92 players and a government minister, the tournament was comprised of seven rounds of Swiss and a top 8 cut. While I arrived at the tournament expecting to go 4-3 or something, I ended up winning the entire tournament after going 6-1 in Swiss and winning my Top Cut matches 2-1, 2-1, and 2-0.

For a while at the start of VGC ’15, I was running around on the ladder with a team that involved Forest’s Curse Smeargle and Mega Salamence. While this idea was funny and won me a couple of games, I realised that playing with setup moves was pretty much not my style. After chucking around various boring goodstuffs Pokémon for a while, I chanced upon a tweet from Scott Glaza (Scott) which pretty much gave me the entire idea for this team—the pairing of Rocky Helmet Moonlight Cresselia and Mega Charizard Y. While this arguably didn’t end up being the focus of my entire team, it was still a solid trick to have up my sleeve.

The Team

Charizard @ Charizardite Y***Turn↑TheHeat
Ability: Solar Power / Drought
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 44 SpA / 20 SpD / 188 Spe
Modest Nature
– Heat Wave
– Solar Beam
– Overheat
– Protect

  • Survives Jolly Garchomp and Mamoswine unboosted Rock Slide 100% of the time
  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor 100% of the time
  • Survives Modest Thundurus-I Thunderbolt 100% of the time
  • Outruns Adamant Landorus-T by one Speed point

This is about as standard as a (bulky) Charizard gets, so I guess I’ll talk a bit about what I didn’t use. There were a few options that I did consider using along the way instead of Overheat, but in general I found that the one-off power of Overheat to be really helpful, especially since the metagame in 2015 trends a lot bulkier than it did in 2014. Focus Blast was a very tempting option since this team has a bit of trouble with Heatran, with Mamoswine being Choiced and three out of the remaining five members being able to do literally nothing to Heatran. I briefly considered trying out Substitute, but I realised that my general lack of skill and prediction ability would hamper the effectiveness of this option. Finally, Tailwind was another option I considered, but apart from Kangaskhan (which couldn’t be used next to Charizard anyway), my team either didn’t care about being fast or was already fast enough to not require Speed control.

I also did not use a typical 252/252 spread as I found that Overheat picked up most of the KOs that I wanted, and besides the general playstyle of this team was not to dish out huge damage all at once with Charizard, but to deal chip damage with other Pokémon and bring Charizard in to clean up. Charizard did this much better with a bulky spread. As for the ability, I didn’t really have much reason for having Solar Power over Blaze — in fact, I think Blaze would have been a better option — but the one fully trained Charizard I had in my box had Solar Power, so I just rolled with that. I don’t think it ended up mattering too much anyway, since I didn’t face opposing sun during either of the two Premiere Challenges I attended with this team, and I always Mega Evolved before attacking anyway.

As I later found out, this Charizard spread also has a 75% chance to survive a Thunder from an unboosted Timid Thundurus, which was really pretty helpful in my finals battle against Max Goh (Evilwolf).

Cresselia @ Rocky Helmet***Crescenda
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 220 HP / 172 Def / 4 SpA / 92 SpD / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
– Psyshock
– Ice Beam
– Thunder Wave
– Moonlight

  • Adamant Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird is a 3HKO 100% of the time
  • Survives Life Orb Bisharp Knock Off 100% of the time
  • Outruns 4 Speed Rotom by one Speed point

The second part of the original core of this team. Again, this is a pretty boring Cresselia set. Psyshock can be really useful for getting chip damage in, especially since the team as a whole doesn’t pack that much offensive presence. Ice Beam is great for dealing with Landorus-T in particular, which is annoying since neither of my Megas have a great matchup against it. I chose Thunder Wave over Icy Wind for a few reasons. First of all, I didn’t want to accidentally Icy Wind into a Bisharp or Milotic switch-in. Cresselia also already has Ice Beam for an Ice-type attack. More importantly, my team tends to cause games to go on for slightly longer than normal, since it doesn’t really have a fast, hyper-offensive mode. This makes Thunder Wave an overall better option in my opinion, since this method of Speed control doesn’t get lost among all the switches that happen. I’m also likely to get at least a few full Paralyses in longer matches, and some of these can really swing the game in my favour.

The last moveslot is where things get interesting. Moonlight in sun heals Cresselia by — quite counterintuitively — two-thirds of its HP, which is an awful lot for a Pokémon as bulky as this lunar duck. A well-timed Moonlight midgame is usually enough to throw some opponents off tempo, opening up opportunities for me to get ahead in the match. Of course, there is also the whole Rocky Helmet thing, meaning that together with Ferrothorn, opposing Kangaskhan don’t have much of a fun time hitting things twice on my team.

In terms of EV spreads, I suppose a more physically bulky Cresselia with a Bold nature would be better in retrospect. As I was preparing the team, however, the only Cresselia I had were lucariojr’s Calm Cresselia and my own Modest HP Ground Cresselia*. I think you can guess which one I ended up using.

* Contact Level 51 today for great trading opportunities!!

Mamoswine @ Choice Scarf***SWINE FLU++
Ability: Thick Fat
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Icicle Crash
– Earthquake
– Iron Head
– Rock Slide

  • Wins

With the core as it was, I found that Landorus-T, Thundurus, and Heatran posed significant threats to the team, the former two because they dealt huge damage to Charizard, and Heatran because neither of the two Pokémon I had at this point could deal much damage to it. With this in mind, Mamoswine was a relatively natural choice for a third Pokémon. Thanks to its great combination of STABs, Mamoswine can deal with the three threats I mentioned rather well. In retrospect, perhaps Jolly would have been a better idea so that Mamoswine could outrun Adamant Scarf Landorus-T, but I feel as though Mamoswine’s solid damage output more than made up for its slight lack of Speed. Throughout the course of the entire tournament, I only encountered two Landorus-T (one of which I outsped anyway), so I guess my decision to be lazy and not breed a new Mamoswine turned out okay in the end.

For Mamoswine’s other two moves, I decided to move away from the beaten track a little. While Icicle Spear and Superpower would be nice on Mamoswine in theory, I felt like Icicle Spear was rather inconsistent and redundant since I wasn’t expecting that many Focus Sash Landorus-T. I also didn’t want Mamoswine locked into Superpower at any point in time, since lowered Attack and Defense are no fun. In the end, I decided to use Iron Head to give me another check to Sylveon, as well as Rock Slide to help against Talonflame, which is usually a headache for me on most of my teams. The fact that three of Mamoswine’s four moves had a 30% chance to flinch their targets was also nice, and often had the potential to bring back games off a flinch, or even to cause opponents to play differently due to the threat of a flinch.

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers***Free Hugs
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Atk / 108 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Gyro Ball
– Power Whip
– Leech Seed
– Protect

  • OHKOs 52 HP /0 Defense Azumarill 100% of the time with Power Whip
  • Adamant CB Landorus-T Earthquake is a 3HKO 97.4% of the time
  • Survives Adamant Mega Kangaskhan Low Kick 100% of the time

The team was starting to take shape, but it still looked rather weak to Rain. So, I just dumped on the best Rain check I could find. As it turned out, Ferrothorn was the primary win condition in most of the games I played with this team, both during practice and at the tournament itself. Ferrothorn just about single-handedly won me my finals match against a hard Rain team.

This set is about as standard as Ferrothorn gets, but I’m not too sure why I chose this EV spread. One theory that I came up with was that when I was EVing it, I accidentally missed the first digit of Azumarill’s HP EVs, thus EVing Ferrothorn to OHKO 52 HP /0 Defense Azumarill. Regardless, the spread worked fine for me. I didn’t see any need to invest past 252 HP /0 Defense+ in terms of physical bulk, and I didn’t really want to waste 4 EVs by investing in four stats as opposed to three.

Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 104 Def / 60 SpA / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Taunt
– Thunder Wave
– Hidden Power [Ice]

  • Survives fully invested Adamant Mega Kangaskhan’s Double Edge with Sitrus Berry 100% of the time
  • Outruns Adamant Landorus-T by two Speed points (and thus my Charizard by one point)

As I played a bit more with the team, I found that it was rather hard to rely on just Ferrothorn and Charizard to beat Rain teams, especially because Rain with Gothitelle could give me a lot of trouble. I added Thundurus for Prankster Thunder Wave, and never really looked back after that because Thundurus did just about everything I wanted it to. Thundurus does bring Pranskter Taunt too, which is always nice, especially for dealing with Mega Gengar / Whimsicott. Seeing as I was using a bulky Thundurus set, Taunt was probably the only reason I used it over Zapdos.

Although Calm or Bold would perhaps be more common options for a bulky Thundurus set, I found that there weren’t really any defensive benchmarks to hit on the Special side that I wanted to hit and which required more than 236 HP /0 Special Defense. Modest was pretty much the most obvious choice to take advantage of Thundurus’ pretty impressive Special Attack stat, which was helpful because a few of my team members have next to no offensive presence. Thundurus was handy for picking up the slack.

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite***#BANKANGA’15
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 108 Atk / 60 Def / 20 SpD / 108 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Fake Out
– Double-Edge
– Sucker Punch
– Low Kick

  • Survives Modest Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor 100% of the time
  • Survives Adamant Mega Kangaskhan Low Kick 100% of the time
  • Outruns Mega Gyarados and Milotic by one point after Mega Evolving

Kangaskhan was, interestingly, the very last Pokémon I added to this team. As a bulky Fake Out user to replace Hariyama, it does more or less everything I want it to, except perhaps ironically support Charizard with Fake Out. I tried a bunch of other Pokémon in this slot originally, such as Hariyama, Terrakion, and Greninja, but each of these either made my Rain matchup a lot shakier or were too slow to get the job done before they made a quick exit, courtesy of Talonflame. In the end, I decided to fall back on Kangaskhan simply because Fake Out was an amazing crutch to ease predictions somewhat. I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say about Kangaskhan, because it’s a pretty vanilla option and everyone knows what it does. Funnily enough, I did end up using Kangaskhan more than Charizard, my original mega, but I guess if you’re using Kangaskhan that’s somewhat unavoidable.

Closing Thoughts

As you may have noticed, the team has a rather poor matchup against Heatran. Three of its members cannot touch Heatran, and Mamoswine often can’t do anything to it if it’s Choice-locked into a move other than Earthquake or perhaps Rock Slide. Kangaskhan’s Low Kick was my only form of reliable offense against it. Overall, though, I’m very glad with how this team turned out, and even more so with the strong showing it managed to put up at the tournament itself.

Although the competitive Pokémon scene in Singapore is still rather green (to be quite honest, I credit my victory in part to the fact that not many people had access to troublesome legendaries like Landorus-Therian and Heatran), I have no doubt that the advent of Premiere Challenges in Singapore (and, for that matter, Southeast Asia as a whole) will cause significant growth in our region this year. In fact, as I write this, 18 Singaporeans will be travelling up to Malaysia to attend a Premier Challenge there!

I’d like to take a moment to thank a few people who have made an impression on this team and on my tournament experience this time round:

  • Zong Ying (tanzying) and Soon (Soon): Thanks for organizing this tournament! I thought it went really smoothly, and I’m especially grateful for the extra dinner time. Looking forward to more awesome tournaments from the two of you! Special thanks are also due to Zong Ying for getting me into the Singapore competitive scene as a whole and for encouraging me to participate in live events.
  • Luke (Dawg) and Shang (slyx183): Thanks for being sounding boards when I was making this team! I daresay without you two this team wouldn’t have been nearly as well-constructed as it turned out.
  • Joseph (lucariojr): Thanks for being so generous with your Cresselia! Getting it off you for free made my life so much easier, and I’m really grateful for that.
  • You, for reading this! If you skipped all the way here you should be ashamed of yourself, go read the article properly >:(.

About the Author

hails from the (usually) sunny island of Singapore. Although his Pokémon skills are currently mediocre at best, he hopes to one day compete in the Pokémon World Championships.

17 Responses to Moonlight Sonata: Singapore Asia Cup Qualifier First Place Report

  1. blutrane says:

    nice team;
    question – did you find iron head on mamoswine a decent sylveon check? i thought about using it but it’s not enough to KO and specs sylveon can KO back with hyper voice.

  2. Jayhonas says:

    Great team and well done! 😀
    A well timed Moonlight can definitely steal the wind out of the opponent’s sail.

  3. IP Ender says:

    What is Choice Specs Hydreigon? Remember that we are in a new mg :)

  4. shrop05 says:

    nice team fren^_^

  5. Moonlight in the Sun’s a clever move. Can I second the request to know how iron head worked out? I have my own scarf mamoswine and it currently has icicle spear, super power, earthquake, and rock slide. I might steal your thundurus set, I also use a bulky modest thundurus, but your evs seem to have better distribution. Mine are all over the place (actually, the last four points don’t make a difference anywhere I distribute them, I just wanted to be done making the spread…).
    Nice team and congratulations on first place.

  6. bargens says:

    Glad to see you win! Nice Thundurus too 😉

  7. Cypher says:

    n.n a team that doesn’t have bisharp or gengar or lando, and a team that has Cresselia, now that’s something that I like n.n
    time for osu!mania now!

  8. xGSx3ntr0py says:

    ^^^after 2012 and 2013 i never thought i would hear someone say “gee im glad to see cress”…

  9. TextFont says:

    Great report and a well-built team! Hope to see you (winning) in future events as well!

  10. 13ulbasaur says:

    <3 im sorry 51 <3
    gr8 team again but gee no battle reports pfff 
    also you forgot to mention that slyx is a monster who doesn’t like cute nicknames.

  11. slyx183 says:

    Hey man I’m not really sure how much help I was but it’s good to see you do well as usual! Looking forward to cast your games at the main tournament, and keep racking up those wins!

    I’m sorry I just can’t see myself walking into a tournament with a Terrakion named <3 Boo Gumdrop <3 😛

  12. Dawg says:

    Nice report ’51 glad to be as much help as possible , keep it up! 🙂

  13. Level 51 says:

    Thanks for the encouragement frens :> it’s nice to know other people like the team, I thought it was kinda boring compared to what other players got up to but I guess that’s because I’ve used it so many times haha.

    With regards to Iron Head on Mamoswine, I actually never used it on a Sylveon as far as I can recall in either of the two PCs I brought this team to :P I did bring it out a few times in practice though, I think. Still though, it was nice to have and worked well when I really needed to deal damage without missing or hitting an opponent. In that sense I still think it’s preferable to the yucky stat drops from Superpower ewwww >:[

  14. Shadyserpent says:

    A question about your charizard’s spread. You note that with the ev’s it has, it is able to survive unboosted rockslides from both garchomp and mamoswine. When I put the ev’s you had for zard in the damage calculator it said:

    252 Atk Garchomp Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 208-248 (112.4 – 134%) — guaranteed OHKO.
    252 Atk Mamoswine Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 208-248 (112.4 – 134%) — guaranteed OHKO

    Was that note a typo?

  15. lyingliepard says:

    A question about your charizard’s spread. You note that with the ev’s it has, it is able to survive unboosted rockslides from both garchomp and mamoswine. When I put the ev’s you had for zard in the damage calculator it said:

    252 Atk Garchomp Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 208-248 (112.4 – 134%) — guaranteed OHKO.
    252 Atk Mamoswine Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 208-248 (112.4 – 134%) — guaranteed OHKO

    Was that note a typo?

    Did you calculate it for single target? If so, that is probably why.

  16. Shadyserpent says:

    Did you calculate it for single target? If so, that is probably why.

    Really sorry about that! 

  17. qsns says:

    fren =] this team is missing some uh, level 51ish stuff (shoulda stuck with the smeargle team :()but I think it turned out really well. Heatran matchup is a bit shaky lol but nice job on the placing + report

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