Hi everyone! My name is Gabriel Durán, also known as Gabo, and I’m a Peruvian VGC player. During 25th August, I was able to obtain a fourth place in the Pokémon World Championships in the Senior Division.

 I went 4-0 in Swiss (Day 1) and 4-2 in Day 2.

Although I had played at Brasil International Championships (with a disappointing result, 3-2), WCS 2018 has been my best tournament result I’ve ever competed on. Once I knew I had got my invite I decided to put as much effort as I could.

Gabriel Durán

After testing out some teams, I came up with one focused on Tapu Lele. A standard team those days that really fitted with my playstyle:


This was the first idea I had, however, due to its popularity I was 100% sure it would be counted so I tried to search again. During the ‘WCS quest’ I discovered Luca Lussignoli’s team which maintained the main general idea ‘M-Metagross, Lele, Lando and Amoonguss’ and added two new Pokémon.


This team, was able to have possibilities against almost every popular cores and Pokémon in the metagame. It was quite versatile and I was personally comfortable with it. So, at the end, I decided to bring those six to Nashville.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf 

Ability: Psychic Surge 

Level: 50 

EVs: 20 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 228 Spe 

Timid Nature 

IVs: 0 Atk 

– Psychic 

– Shadow Ball 

– Hidden Power [Ice] 

– Moonblast

Tapu Lele is a explosive Pokémon, its offensive power increased even more with the Choice Scarf. Thanks to it, it could OHKO a huge amount of Pokémon being the faster in the field. Shadow Ball is extremely important in this team due to Mega Metagross which could cause issues. Moonblast, almost essential in every Tapu Lele, is very useful specially for those Dragon and Dark types and those situations where cheap damage can decide a game.

Its nature, Timid, and HP Ice were specially thought for Landorus-T Jolly Scarf. Charizard and Nihilego are quite weak against this Pokémon. In addition, Tapu Lele could sometimes outspeed fast Pokémon such as: Pheromosa or Mega Swampert.

Offensive Calcs:

252 SpA Tapu Lele Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Landorus-T: 164-196 (100 – 119.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Nihilego in Psychic Terrain: 186-218 (100 – 117.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Tapu Lele Shadow Ball vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 86-102 (55.1 – 65.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs:

252+ Atk Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 20 HP / 4 Def Tapu Lele in Psychic Terrain: 96-114 (64.8 – 77%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 20 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele in Sun: 103-123 (69.5 – 83.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 20 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 134-162 (90.5 – 109.4%) — 50% chance to OHKO



Landorus-Therian @ Groundium Z 

Ability: Intimidate 

Level: 50 

EVs: 228 HP / 4 Atk / 92 Def / 60 SpD / 124 Spe 

Adamant Nature 

– Swords Dance 

– Earthquake 

– Rock Slide 

– Protect

Landorus Therian was the only Pokémon capable to face Incineroar. Even intimidated, Landorus could OHKO the king of VGC 2018. Furthermore, Intimidate was a helpful tool that made a perfect duo with Lele because its possibilities to die were reduced significantly. I could spam Tapu Lele’s moves while Lando put pressure on the enemy team.

The evs invested on the bulk are essential for faster Pokémon that can learn HP Ice or have a high Special Attack (Zapdos, Mega Charizard Y). In this way, Landorus could fight back and achieve more that 50% of damage on the opposite Pokémon.

Without a doubt, a very nice Pokémon that shined in bulk and pressure.

Offensive Calcs:

4+ Atk Landorus-T Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Metagross: 218-258 (116.5 – 137.9%) — guaranteed OHKO

4+ Atk Landorus-T Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Nihilego through Protect: 237-279 (109.7 – 129.1%) — guaranteed OHKO

-1 4+ Atk Landorus-T Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 4 HP / 4 Def Incineroar: 222-264 (129.8 – 154.3%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 228 HP / 60 SpD Landorus-T in Sun: 214-253 (110.8 – 131%) — guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

188+ SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 228 HP / 60 SpD Landorus-T in Sun: 229-270 (118.6 – 139.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Zapdos Hidden Power Ice vs. 228 HP / 60 SpD Landorus-T: 152-180 (78.7 – 93.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

-1 252 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Ice Punch vs. 228 HP / 92 Def Landorus-T: 160-192 (82.9 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Mega-Charizard Y

Charizard-Mega-Y @ Charizardite Y 

Ability: Drought 

Level: 50 

EVs: 28 HP / 156 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe 

Modest Nature 

IVs: 0 Atk 

– Protect 

– Tailwind 

– Heat Wave 

– Solar Beam

Charizard was extremely key due to its move Heat Wave which could pose some problems to the enemy team (this move worked specially well against Ferrothorn and Metagross). Tailwind helped me with speed control and Solar Beam was powerful enough to avoid water types such as Gastrodon or Tapu Fini.

Its other aspects don’t get left behind. Its high special attack and ability managed to get a huge amount of damage and was an alternative against Rain Teams that could cause several headaches. Its ev spread is focused on resisting opposing Rock Slides from Landorus Therian and outspeed Braviary under Tailwind Jolly 252 and some Leles.

Offensive Calcs:

116+ SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 112-134 (63.2 – 75.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Defensive Calcs:

-1 252+ Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 28 HP / 156 Def Mega Charizard Y: 104-124 (66.2 – 78.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 28 HP / 4 SpD Mega Charizard Y in Psychic Terrain: 114-135 (72.6 – 85.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Tapu Fini Hydro Vortex (175 BP) vs. 28 HP / 4 SpD Mega Charizard Y in Sun: 116-138 (73.8 – 87.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO


Amoonguss @ Occa Berry

Ability: Regenerator 

Level: 50 

EVs: 236 HP / 84 Def / 188 SpD 

Sassy Nature 

IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe 

– Spore 

– Rage Powder 

– Protect 

– Clear Smog

The main reason behind this Pokémon was its powerful match up against Trick Room. Spore and its low speed was very uncomfortable against the enemy Pokémon and Rage Powder could occasionally be a win-con when the main threat is a sweeper like Landorus (which could destroy my opponent’s team in a few turns with Sword Dance).

Probably the most significant thing about this Amoonguss is the item. It carries an Occa Berry (unlike the typical 50% Berries which was the most used during VGC 2018) that allowed Amoonguss resist Fire-Type moves and then put that Pokémon to sleep.

Defensive Calcs:

228+ SpA Mega Charizard Y Flamethrower vs. 236 HP / 188+ SpD Occa Berry Amoonguss in Sun: 129-153 (58.9 – 69.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Volcarona Inferno Overdrive (175 BP) vs. 236 HP / 188+ SpD Occa Berry Amoonguss: 150-177 (68.4 – 80.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 236 HP / 84 Def Occa Berry Amoonguss: 123-145 (56.1 – 66.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO


Mega Metagross

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite 

Ability: Tough Claws 

Level: 50 

EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe 

Jolly Nature 

– Stomping Tantrum 

– Ice Punch 

– Protect 

– Iron Head

Probably one of the best mons from the past metagame. High offensive coverage and incredible stats that improved the team a lot. The moves I chose, deal with almost every type and Pokémon in the format. Ice-Types were Landorus’s main weaknesses and likewise Mega Salamence, Zapdos or Amoonguss, because of that, I chose Ice Punch. The other two, Iron Head and Stomping Tantrum, combined with its high attack stat, could literally destroy more than one meta Pokémon in 2018.

Its ev spread is principally for outspeeding until base 109 the other evs were distributed for general bulk and avoid some rolls from Incineroar’s Flare Blitz.

Offensive Calcs:

-1 236 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Ice Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Landorus-T: 176-208 (106.6 – 126%) — guaranteed OHKO

236 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Stomping Tantrum vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Metagross: 86-102 (55.1 – 65.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs:

116+ Atk Incineroar Flare Blitz vs. 12 HP / 4 Def Mega Metagross: 132-156 (84 – 99.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 12 HP / 4 Def Mega Metagross: 108-128 (68.7 – 81.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO


Nihilego @ Adrenaline Orb 

Ability: Beast Boost 

Level: 50 

EVs: 44 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe 

Modest Nature 

IVs: 0 Atk 

– Power Gem 

– Sludge Bomb 

– Protect 

– Hidden Power [Ice]

Nihilego is one of the multiple reasons why I decided to come up with this team at the end. I focused on Luca’s Nihilego due to its item, adrenaline Orb, which worked extremely good against Pokémon with the ability Intimidation. Nihilego and Mega Charizard Y made a perfect duo that could wipe out the entire 4 enemy Pokémon.

Power Gem and Sludge Bomb, STAB, Fairy type Pokémon, Mega Charizard Y. As you can see there are plenty of reasons to bring those two. HP Ice is very related with Adrenaline Orb and its ability to counterattack the king because this move could defeat Landorus-Therian in one single turn.

Outspeeding Tapu Lele 252 Modest was one of the motives to the outcome of the ev spread. The remaining evs were invested in bulk.

How does the team work?

This special section is for a general view of the team where I would try to explain the main weakness and strengths.

Offensive pressure is the key in this team. Landorus and Nihilego could put plenty of pressure since turn 1 and sometimes this pressure produced some Protects on the enemy team. In this way, I could boost my Pokémon or even set up Tailwind with Charizard Y which favored my speed control and free damage onto the next turn.

Chip damage was another useful tool that allowed me at the end, be able to swipe the entire team. This was possible by specially Nihilego-Charizard lead. In many cases, I could boost Nihilego’s Speed and hit hard a threat and Mega Charizard Y could set up TW or even deal damage to both Pokémon.

At the back, I usually brought Landorus-T or Amoonguss to avoid risks either Charizard or Nihilego (weather Amoonguss’ massive bulk and Rage Powder or Lando’s Intimidation). Tapu Lele’s terrain was also a cool alternative that in some match-ups could be effective enough to decide a game.

Charizard Lando was also an excellent choice if I wanted to focus on pressure since the first turn. This pressure, usually allowed me to use Tailwind or even Sword Dance predicting some Protects on the enemy team.

In summary, pressure, pressure and… pressure. The main tool of the team that could provide me lots of different possibilities that could change the entire battle in one single turn.

R1 VS Claudio Giandomenico🇮🇹


There’s nothing to say here, the opponent predicted me several times and thanks to his tempo and his Special Landorus (which surprised me a lot) I finally lose both games.


R2 VS Jaymin Kim🇰🇷


Cresselia was a headache for the team for that reason, I had to think carefully about what my strategy in this match would be. I came up with Charizard, which (with TW) could literally destroy his Pokémon, Landorus-T to avoid Inci’s issues and Amoonguss. Surprisingly, his Cress had Psycho-cut and, due to this, amoonguss was one of the keys of the game.

Game 2 was stomped by Charizard and Lele with Heat Wave and Moonblast respectively and I managed to win the BO3


R3 VS Samuel Mowery🇺🇸


One of the hardest matches I could have ever played. His Snorlax was EXTREMELY bulky and combined with Goth and Incineroar, I lost game 1.

Once I saw his playstyle, I decided to come up with Lando and Charizard which allowed me to sweep the game 2, after predicting some Protects and switches (honorable mention to the crit with Tapu Lele). In Game 3 I was able to sweep again but this time, Landorus was the main star after a SD, and with Snorlax defenceless due to Amoonguss, I won the BO3.


R4 VS Enzo Reci🇺🇸


Enzo Reci was the runner-up from the IC for that year and, since the beginning, I knew It was going to be hard. I played well Game 1 however one crit from his Kartana Scope Lens tipped the scales in his favour.

I won Game 2 thanks to an overpredict which allowed me to easily sweep his entire team with Lele and Charizard under TW. I could have played better in game 3 (going for the risky plays) but he was able to sacrifice two Pokémon and bring Nihilego into a free switch sweeping my team.


R5 VS Nicholas Kan🇦🇺


Cresselia and Mega Salamence were hard to deal specially with my team. Therefore, Nidoqueen was a threaten, that combined with Ally Switch, could attack for free. Nicholas read every single turn and, as a result, he won game 1.

In game 2 Lele and Nihilego could defeat his Mega Salamence, and after some predicts, I managed to win the second game.

Game 3 was decided by one turn where I attacked with Psyquic instead of Moonblast (Mega Salamence, threatened by Tapu Lele’s Moonblast, was switched to Nidoqueen). In this way, I took advantage in the game and I won the match.


R6 VS Jeonghoon Jang🇰🇷


I was nervous because that round would decide who was going to make to the top. I played around Amoonguss which was the key of the match putting to sleep his Tyranitar and Cress. With the huge amount of damage of the team and some overpredicts, I finally won the bo3.


Unfortunately, I had to play another match to make Top 16 because only the first ten players could pass the next round.

Pre-top 16 VS Jeongso Ree🇰🇷


Since the beggining, I knew this game was going to be extremely difficult. In game 1 I leaded with Amoonguss and Lando and he brought Mega Gengar and Incineroar. I protected both Pokémon to avoid Inci’s Fake Out. Next turn, I was sure Lando was going to deal with Mega Gengar’s damage however Mega Gengar came up with a critical hit from Icy Wind which defeated my Landorus while Amoonguss was heavily damaged by his Incineroar. I tried to come back but unsuccessfully.

G2 and G3 were the same leads, fortunately these times Lando wasn’t crit and thanks to this, Mega Gengar was exposed to Tectonic Rage. In this way, Mega Metagross, could go ahead without any risks and Amoonguss sleeping each single Pokémon. As a result, I advanced onto TOP 16.


TOP 16 VS Cedric Derouchie🇺🇸


Cedric was a great player that had obtained a 4th place in NAIC, even so, I had prepared the match-up for ages since his team was a standard one.

Game 1:

I lead with Charizard Lele vs Gengar Fini. Scarflele, could Psyquic onto Mega Gengar and I decided to use TW predicting an Incineroar switching. Unfortunately, Gengar protected and although Fini used Muddy Water it failed onto Charizard. Gengar was heavily damaged by the consecutive pressure from Lele and Charizard. Landorus secured the game one with several Earthquakes and TW and Moonblast allowed me to win G1

Game 2:

I lead with the same Pokémon and he brought Landorus and Kartana. Scarflele with HP Ice was decisive (specially because it was completely unknown for my opponent) and Landorus fainted in turn 1.

Although it was a huge turn, the match wasn’t resolved until I managed to defeat his Tyranitar (previously damaged by Landorus’ Earthquakes) with Power Gem and his Kartana with Heat Wave.


TOP 8 VS Zach Kelly🇸🇬


Zach had won my friend Juan with the same team Juan had been playing in NAIC. I knew that if I was able to defeat his Bisharp and Lando, I could sweep his entire team. So I focused on the leads I was going to play.

Game 1:

I brought Amoonguss and Charizard Y and in the first turn I managed to put to sleep his Kanga and set TW. I consecutively used Heat Wave and Rage Powder in order to bring later Nihilego and kill both Pokémon. He had decided to bring Bisharp and Volcarona, for that reason once I saw them I knew Game 1 was finished.

Game 2:

I leaded the same and he brought Kanga and Volcarona and, although his Volcarona started to boost its statistics, Kanga was put to sleep again and I could deal with Volcarona at the end of the game. The game was secured after a predict onto his Lando where I used HP Ice instead of Power Gem onto his Volcarona.


TOP 4 VS Bram de Jonge🇳🇱


After 9 rounds of playing, I was very tired. It was the last match of the day and if I was able to win I would compete in my first World finals.

It was a difficult match due to Blaziken and Bisharp which both could cause more than one problem.

Game 1:

Charizard and Lele were my leads against his Blaziken and Bisharp. I predicted one Protect from his Bisharp to set Tw, however, he didn’t protect and Amoonguss (previously changed by Lele) was heavily damaged. Rock Slide, Sucker Punch and Scarf Bulu were enough to win the first game for my opponent.

Game 2:

I brought the same Pokémon because it was a good lead for this match up, but he leaded with Snorlax Bisharp. He had an ace up in his sleeve, Selfdestruct which literally destroyed my both Pokémon. Lando and Amoonguss weren’t able to deal with his remaining Pokémon (Bulu and Blaziken) and I said goodbye to Nashville with a TOP 4.


Global: 7-3 (15-9)

As I said I was very tired but happy because I did my best and I was very proud of my performance in my first Worlds.

The remaining time was spent with my friends enjoying the event. I met new people and obtained lots of cool stuff such as: all the merch from Nashville, an invite to Day 1 and obviously, my trophy from TOP 4.

I want to thanked God for blessing me along the tournament, my parents for supporting me and all my friends that helped me to test for this tournament. Specially to Matias Vivaceta, Juan and Joaquin Salerno, Sebastian Bisbal, Manuel Juarez, Jean Paul Lopez, Luca Lussignoli, Juan Pablo Naar, Ernesto Serpa, Diego Natividad, Sebastian Rivasplata, Sebastian Solari, Miguel Angel Colona, Carlos Andres Beingolea y Emiliano Reyes for their support at the competition and Manuel Rojas and Henry Laura for believing in me.

That’s all for me, thanks for reading!

Gabriel Durán

Edited by VGCpedia stuff.


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