Published on September 8th, 2014 | by tanzying


Scar’s Double Switch Trick Room: A Japanese Worlds 2014 Team

This is a translation of Daichi Kumabe (Scar)‘s team report for the 2014 Pokémon Video Game World Championships, where he placed 2-4. Scar qualified for Worlds by reaching the semifinals in this year’s Japanese National Championships. We would like to thank him for permission to publish this, as well as Yudetama who created the article art.

(Original article:


This is the team I used for the 2014 Pokemon World Championships. I had quite a lot of confidence in this team, but misfortune kept my record down to a mere 2 wins and 4 losses. As for the name of the team, it was already capable of 180-degree reversals of its battle style depending on the state of the match in the first place, and already had the capabilities of normal switch-style teams, so the name became ‘Double Switch Trick Room’.

Worlds matches, unlike matches within Japan, are played in the best-of-3 format and it was with that point deeply in consideration that I brainstormed for a team which could battle in multiple ways. Also, Rain teams were in vogue at the time, so in order to be absolutely sure I had the Rain matchup locked down I started off by including the two elements of:

  1. Tyranitar who could overwrite the weather and
  2. Trick Room to control speed.

For the Mega slot, due to the best-of-3 matches and the preliminary rounds using a Swiss format, I could make somewhat of an allowance for losses due to missed moves. Hence, I decided to use Mawile, of whom it is no exaggeration to say is the strongest Mega so long as its attacks actually hit.

With Mawile as the Mega and Tyranitar as the weather-setter settled, I went about removing obstacles in their way. After looking up various things relating to Trick Room teams containing Mawile and Tyranitar, I arrived at the team which was first mooted by Frederica and used by Alcana at the Touhoku Off(line tournament). It is hard to initiate Trick Room in Kalos Doubles, but Focus Sash Gengar struck me as the most appropriate setter because — besides the ability to play other roles besides setting Trick Room — no one would likely predict Trick Room without prior knowledge, it had a Ghost-type immunity to Fake Out, and it was capable of removing itself automatically via the weather chipping the hit point remaining from the Sash away (expounded on later). Garchomp was decided on because on top of it being easy to use with Gengar, it could bluff a Tyranitar-Garchomp combination as well.

At this stage, the members of the Trick Room mode were decided. The task then became to find Pokemon that could fight outside of Trick Room. The possibility of having to play an incredibly draining schedule of 8 best-of-3 sets (max 24 battles) existed, so I leaned towards a build that could still operate with my brain close to autopilot. Finally, Zapdos, which synergised with Garchomp and Mawile well, was chosen. Zapdos was the Pokemon I personally wanted to use the most, so I was happy that it found its way into the team naturally.

Below are the individual analyses.

Garchomp @ Life Orb
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 180 Atk / 76 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
– Draco Meteor
– Earthquake
– Rock Slide
– Fire Blast

  • OHKOs Hydreigon with up to 60 HP and 4 SDef EVs with Draco Meteor
  • High chance (14/16) to OHKO 252 HP 0 SDef Ferrothorn with Fire Blast
  • Max speed

The ace up the sleeve of this team, and its biggest land mine. Choice Specs Draco Meteor Hydreigon was extremely popular, and in order for Garchomp to execute its mission successfully against a Hydreigon + Intimidator line-up the Dragon Move was chosen to be Draco Meteor for a mixed set. This worked out so well that it was absolutely the correct choice. I managed to obliterate so many Hydreigons beneath those meteors. For Fire Blast, it had actually been Protect at first, but Ferrothorn tended to be difficult for much of my team and I had few ways to hit it; Garchomp doesn’t get many opportunities to Protect anyway so I went for broke and dropped it. With Zapdos holding a Scarf, it became easier to scout out enemy Scarfed Salamences so losing Protect didn’t inconvenience me. At Worlds, besides one-shotting a Ferrothorn, Fire Blast saw great use one-shotting a Bisharp instead of Earthquake after I had been Will-o-Wisped.

Tyranitar @ Iron Ball
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Atk / 4 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– Fling
– Fire Blast
– Taunt

  • OHKOs 252 HP 0 Def Aegislash with Iron Ball Fling, except with the lowest damage roll (15/16)
  • 9/16 chance to OHKO Ferrothorn with Fire Blast
  • Survives Play Rough from 252 Atk positive natured Mega Mawile at -1 except the highest damage roll (15/16)
  • Underspeeds minimum speed Amoonguss by 1 with Iron Ball

This Pokemon played an extremely important role. It got the weather for sure against opposing Rain teams and basically steamrolled alongside Mawile under Trick Room. It learns the Rock and Fire moves a Trick Room Mawile wants to have, and alongside Mawile in Trick Room achieves very wide offensive type coverage. With the Iron Ball, it underspeeds minimum speed Amoonguss, so for dealing with opposing Amoonguss under Trick Room I used Taunt instead of Protect. This worked wonders on Amoonguss, as well as on opposing Aegislashes. On top of that, Fling OHKOs 252 HP Aegislash even in Shield Forme.

Zapdos @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 76 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 184 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 30 Spe
– Thunderbolt
– Volt Switch
– Discharge
– Hidden Power [Ice]

  • 10/16 chance to OHKO 252 HP Smeargle with Thunderbolt
  • 9/16 chance to OHKO 0 HP 0 SDef Garchomp with Hidden Power Ice
  • Outspeeds Adamant Lucario by 1 (without Choice Scarf)

Zapdos is the strongest Electric type in Kalos Doubles in my opinion. Excelling in each aspect of bulk, firepower and speed, it also happens to be a big favourite of mine. To deal with Aerodactyl (Mega included) and determine whether Salamences were Scarfed, I had Choice Scarf as the item. Spamming Discharge alongside Garchomp or Gardevoir alone was ridiculously strong. Another option available was having Zapdos and Gengar on the field with Zapdos Volt Switching out as Gengar Trick Roomed. By spending lots of EVs in Special Attack, I increased the chances of OHKOing Garchomp and since opposing Scarfed Smeargles were quite problematic, I also aimed to be able to fell them in one hit with a faster Thunderbolt. Using its Scarf to determine the held item of opposing Salamence gave Garchomp much more breathing room when it was alongside it. No matter what set Zapdos runs in National Dex Doubles, it tends to get overshadowed by the similar Thundurus, but in this case it again proved its excellence to me.

Mawile @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Play Rough
– Iron Head
– Sucker Punch
– Protect

  • Simple max HP and Atk spread
  • Minimum speed

The star of the team. It can survive attacks and strike back outside Trick Room and corner things with Sucker Punch. When Trick Room goes up, Mawile can dish out a steady walloping of super high-firepower physical attacks before the opponent can move. Among the things that Mawile’s Play Rough’s unbelievable firepower can do is OHKO Ludicolo and Politoed with no defensive investment even at neutral effectiveness. The Rock and Fire type attacks were already taken care of by Tyranitar and Garchomp in and out of Trick Room respectively, so I was able to use the reliably accurate Iron Head. In my time playing Kalos Doubles, I’ve used the Megas Kangaskhan, Charizard, Gyarados, Tyranitar and Mawile before, and I think Mawile is definitely a contender for 1st or 2nd in terms of strength. The pressure a Mawile exerts in Trick Room is fantastic — absolutely deserving of its title as this team’s star I would say.

Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Shadow Ball
– Will-O-Wisp
– Trick Room
– Protect

  • Simple max SAtk and Speed spread
  • Maximum speed

My Trick Room setter. It got Trick Room up in almost every match in which I was aiming to do so. As expected, Trick Room Gengar was completely unknown overseas and elicited bitter smiles from every foreign player I fought. Surviving an attack with Sash -> set Trick Room -> remove itself via Sand damage -> get Mawile a free switch-in was an easy manoeuvre to execute and setting up Mawile and Tyranitar to be able to rampage for the entire 4 turns was extremely strong. Also, in situations where I did not Trick Room, I could assertively send it into fields where Gardevoir would be disadvantaged and spam Will-o-Wisp. This Pokemon was extremely strong for its ability to gain control of the opponent during the flow of a best-of-3 series.

Gardevoir @ Choice Specs
Ability: Telepathy
EVs: 236 HP / 116 Def / 20 SpA / 4 SpD / 132 Spe
Modest Nature
– Dazzling Gleam
– Energy Ball
– Psychic
– Moonblast

  • 13/16 chance to OHKO 4 HP 0 SDef Salamence with multiple target Choice Specs Dazzling Gleam
  • OHKOs up to 44 HP 0 SDef Mamoswine with Choice Specs Energy Ball
  • Survives Brave Bird from 252 Atk Adamant Choice Band Talonflame except for the highest damage roll (15/16)
  • Survives Shadow Ball from 252 SAtk Modest/Quiet Aegislash except for the highest damage roll (15/16)
  • Outspeeds 252 Speed neutral natured Tyranitar by 4

Out-of-Trick-Room attacker. Gardevoir is immune to Zapdos’s Discharge and Garchomp’s Earthquake with its ability allowing it to chip away with Dazzling Gleam, Moonblast, and Psychic. The 4th moveslot was given to Energy Ball to be able to OHKO opposing Mamoswine. I considered Focus Blast as well, but I chose Energy Ball in the end for reliable accuracy and the ability to bring Azumarill low enough that it couldn’t Belly Drum even with Sitrus included against an Azumarill-Kangaskhan line-up.

Basic Pokemon Selections

VS Standard (Non-Trick Room Approach)

Lead: +
Rear: +

Or, if the opponent has plenty of physical attackers, I would lead Zapdos and Mawile with Garchomp and Gardevoir in the back. My game plan would be to get off an Intimidate with Mawile and switch it out for Garchomp while Discharging with Zapdos.

VS Standard (Trick Room Approach)

Lead: / +
Rear: +

With Zapdos and Gengar, I would Volt Switch into Tyranitar while setting up Trick Room. Gengar survives an opponent’s attack with its Sash, Trick Rooms up, and because of the Sand faints and gives Mawile a free switch-in. This manoeuvre was easy to execute. If the opponent led with things like Kangaskhan and Garchomp, I would not stay fixated on setting Trick Room up, and instead spread Will-o-Wisps. If Gengar still had life left in it I could switch to the Trick Room mode from there.

VS Rain (Non-Trick Room Approach)

Lead: +
Rear: + /

After getting the weather on my side for sure, the battle plan would be to continue to deny the opponent hegemony over the skies by judicious use of Zapdos’ Volt Switch and the like. Basically, maintaining weather control while chipping away at the opposition with a fast Zapdos until they fall into KO range of Mawile’s Sucker Punch is ideal.

VS Rain (Trick Room Approach)

Lead: +
Rear: +

Basically the same as the Trick Room approach against standard teams.

VS Trick Room

Lead: / +
Rear: + /

Get the opponent to Trick Room for me and rampage with Tyranitar and Mawile, or predict Trick Room, counter with my own Trick Room and trample over them with Garchomp and Zapdos, etc.


Basically these selection orders cover almost everything. If the opponent’s team has Amoonguss or Rotom-H and the like I sometimes lead with Gardevoir as well.

In a best-of-three, I would play game 1 without using Trick Room, then spring it on opponents in game 2 except in cases where Trick Room would not be effective. This team had a phenomenally high game 2 win rate, such that if I managed to pick up game 1, game 2 would straight up close it or even if I dropped game 1 I could take the series on to game 3. When that happened the opponent would be wary of Trick Room, and I would counter-pick accordingly. In reality, even if I lost the first battle, so many of my Bo3 series were won by a Lose-Win-Win pattern.

One problem with this team though is that Mawile, when fighting out of Trick Room — or when facing opponents that it didn’t manage to take out within Trick Room — usually has to take an attack from opponents before hitting back. In those cases, being outsped by the opponent no matter what and opening up comeback chances for the opponent via Rock Slide flinches and the like was a glaring flaw. In reality at Worlds, I lost 2 matches to just that. “If only those flinches had not happened” …a regret that I will probably carry to my grave. But then some say luck is part of strength, and perhaps letting myself get hit by faster Rock Slides in itself was a problem, wasn’t it?

In any case, Worlds is over, so I think this is going to be my last Kalos Doubles team. Thank you very much for staying with me up until this point!

About the Author

is a VGC player hailing from the tropical island of Singapore. Previously involved mostly in translating Japanese VGC blog articles for the rest of the world, organising official VGC events and friendlies with other countries for Singapore has come to be his primary role.

20 Responses to Scar’s Double Switch Trick Room: A Japanese Worlds 2014 Team

  1. woopahking says:

    Oh no! We meet again.

  2. Scott says:

    Iron Ball Protectless Tyranitar is apparently the Corki of Pokemon…
    This team was really cool. I wish we could have seen some of his games in DC, as he had a lot of really interesting tricks here that would have been very exciting to watch. It was impressive to see that almost every Pokemon had something uniquely clever about it and that he had a really strong plan for best-of-three play. I would have been skeptical about how his plan might have had to adapt once players started hearing about the Gengar and he basically ended up having to play Game 3 three times instead of the way he’d planned it, but it doesn’t sound like that situation was too problematic for him based on the actual Game 3s he played. It was also interesting to see he sort of played the team with a few modes, as opposed to just planning on picking whichever four Pokemon that seemed to fit. Doing it more by modes was definitely the norm years ago, but most players tend to value playing a little more flexibly now. 
    Enjoyed the read, thanks for doing the translation.

  3. Zubat says:

    Is the 0 Speed IV on Gengar a mistake? The bulleted list states “Maximum Speed”, which kinda contradicts the speed IV.

  4. SirSmoke says:

    What him batter a total scrub here.

    (I mean seriously fire blast garchomp, who’d expect that :P)

  5. Luggy says:

    Very nice lad ! This mixed Garchomp is just incredible to see ! 😀

  6. Sprocket says:

    Hooray for yet another mixed Garchomp!

  7. Miner 751 says:

    At first glance it seemed like just a “standard” team. I’m glad I continued reading because your team really was special in all the cool little quirks that it contained :)

  8. Scar was one of my favorite opponents at worlds. He pulled out all the stops in our set. My Hydreigon got hit with a Draco Meteor, my Aegislash got KOed by fire Blast from Garchomp, and of course he set up Trick Room with Gengar. It was an honor to play Scar, it was a shame he couldn’t have done better. 

  9. Zekira Drake says:

    Is the 0 Speed IV on Gengar a mistake? The bulleted list states “Maximum Speed”, which kinda contradicts the speed IV.

    I checked the original article:


    There are two mistakes:
    1.) The translated article lists 0 Speed IVs, when this does not. (Scar denotes 0IV as “※最遅個体”)
    2.) In the original article, Scar said his Gengar reached 182 Speed (S182(252)) which is impossible because base 110s can only reach up to 178 Speed.

  10. Evan Falco says:

    A great example of going outside the box to try and find the right pieces for your team instead of sticking to normal sets and spreads. As soon as I saw the Garchomp and Tyranitar I knew I was really going to enjoy this article. Thanks for posting it for the rest of us!

  11. 13ulbasaur says:

    Absolutely amazing! The Japanese are as crazy in VGC as they are in Battle Spot, haha! Great inspiration, fun read. 

  12. Carl says:

    I love the concept behind Gengar. Very Huy circa 2010.

  13. tanzying says:

    The 0 speed IV on Gengar was indeed an error and has been removed, sorry!

    I can’t help but feel as if this is one of those teams where giving it international exposure like this probably destroyed a big part of its effectiveness, but oh well Scar’s not going to play much VGC14 anymore anyway :S

  14. RHunterN says:

    So this is the team from Worlds that inspired my new TR team with Gengar. Really well though out team!

  15. LB1993 says:

    For me this team’s just crazy! Reading reports like this I understand better how much this game is “personal”. I mean.. it’s too good that a team impossible to play for me is so good to use for the guy that created it. Good work ! 😀

  16. rapha says:

    This is… Way cool. Shame he didn’t do better, I definitely would have liked to see this on stream at some point.

  17. illuminatimon says:

    Do we know what nature Gardevoir is?

  18. smaugchar32 says:

    I think this team was at the top of the creativity list with Omari Travis’ at Worlds. I usually just skim through these articles and pokémon choices because they are usually generic, but this is fantastic. Every selection/moveset/IV spread, was fantastic and unique. I will definitely use this article and team as a learning experience for new teams I will build when VGC 15′ is announced.

  19. Pharmasynth says:

    “After getting the weather on my side for sure, the battle plan would be to continue to deny the opponent hegemony over the skies by judicious use of Zapdos’ Volt Switch and the like.”
    My favorite sentence in the report. In all seriousness, I absolutely love how tactical this team is, and all the little tricks you’ve employed. My favorite member of your team was that mixed Garchomp. It sounds like a very fun Pokémon to use!

  20. tanzying says:

    Do we know what nature Gardevoir is?

    It is modest, sorry for the omission.

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