Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim and Report – Singapore Open II Top 4 Report


Greetings, readers!

This is Eugene Tan and I’m back writing a report on the Singapore Open II tournament. This team was built together with Martin back in February this year. In my opinion, it’s hard to pilot this team right now as it is outdated, though surprisingly, it was strong enough to take me to a Top 4 finish this tournament.

NOTE: The team’s dated origins unfortunately mean that I’ve forgotten some of the specific targets my EV spreads hit. Regardless, I think they’re mostly outdated and wouldn’t recommend ripping them anymore.  

The Team

Tapu Fini (Rusalka) @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Def / 148 SpA / 88 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Muddy Water
– Moonblast
– Protect
– Calm Mind

  • 252 Atk Garchomp Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Tapu Fini: 80-96 (45.1 – 54.2%) — 5.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 4 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 20 Def Tapu Fini: 150-176 (84.7 – 99.4%)(Assault Vest Kartana was still a thing back then)
  • +1 148+ SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 222-264 (121.3 – 144.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 88 Speed outspeeds most of the stuff in the metagame including Pheromosa with beneficial Speed nature when Tailwind is up (kinda redundant).

Let’s start off with Tapu Fini. Misty Surge I think is a fantastic ability as it protects Tapu Fini and any grounded allies from status conditions. Most notably from the Poisoned status, as it ensures that Garchomp’s Poison Jab has no chance of 2HKOing Tapu Fini barring a shift in terrains the same turn, since its added effect cannot kick in.

I ran a Calm Mind set which gives me the option to setup if Mandibuzz isn’t on the field to support Tapu Fini with Flatter. Protect, as usual, allows me to scout for moves and abuse Leftovers recovery at the same time. I decided to give it Moonblast as I don’t think it’s a good idea to run two spread moves which renders Tapu Fini useless if I’m facing a Wide Guard user. Unfortunately, my luck with Muddy Water wasn’t like with my Gastrodon back in 2012 and 2013, which was infamously known to hit and drop accuracy with exasperating (for my opponents) consistency.

Mandibuzz @ Misty Seed
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 252 HP / 124 SpD / 132 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Tailwind
– Flatter
– Foul Play
– Taunt

Mandibuzz runs a rather unorthodox moveset with Flatter which was used to support Tapu Fini under Misty Terrain. Mandibuzz’s speed was trained to be one point faster than Tapu Fini so she can boost Tapu Fini’s SpA before attacking the opponent. Most of my Pokemon in this team don’t really have that much speed. Therefore, Tailwind was chosen to support the team by doubling their Speed. Foul Play is my attack of choice as it punishes any attack boosts and usually hits harder than Knock Off. Taunt helps me to stop Trick Room setup as long as the target is not holding Mental Herb.

Fake Tears is probably a better option than Flatter, as it avoids the risk of Terrain changes confusing Tapu Fini. I chose to stick with Flatter for this event regardless, as I was (inexcusably) too lazy to chain breed Fake Tears onto Vullaby through Mawile and Woobat. I also saw merit in how Flatter’s boosts could not be negated by opponents’ switch-outs, and allowed a Tapu Fini + Mandibuzz sweep to snowball late-game, and thought it’d be good enough for this run.

Arcanine(Agni) @ Firium Z
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 76 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Protect
– Extreme Speed

  • -1 252+ Atk Arcanine Inferno Overdrive (190 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Celesteela: 206-246 (100.9-120.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 76 HP / 12 SpD Arcanine in Electric Terrain: 144-172 (82.2-98.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 76 HP / 12 SpD Arcanine in Psychic Terrain: 150-177 (85.7-101.1%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • -1 252+ Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 76 HP / 4 Def Arcanine: 144-172 (82.2-98.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

My Arcanine runs Sejun’s famous EV spread, which always did what I needed it to do, and was the only member on my team to hold a Z-Crystal. The calculations are all extracted directly from Trainer Tower’s EV spread compendium.

I ran Roar instead of Wild Charge, which Sejun’s original set has, because I needed a way to stop Eevee teams, which had seen some success locally earlier in the format. Although Espeon has since then started to see some use on Eevee teams to counter it, I decided to take my chances and ignore that specific matchup, which worked out fine since I did not encounter any Eevee teams during the tournament. Roar did however still prove useful, allowing me to Roar away a Substitute Kartana and stop a Porygon2 from setting up Trick Room in my games against Nelson Lim.

Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 116 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 132 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
– Night Slash

I emphasised earlier that I thought this team obsolete, and this Kartana is the main reason why. While I liked playing with this Assault Vest set earlier in the format, I no longer think it the best way to run Kartana. Losing the freedom to use Detect, and dropping that much Attack in exchange for an almost unsalvageable Special Defense is not a good idea. Kartana ended up the least valuable member of my team during the tournament and saw very little use, and had I more preparation time I’d probably have swapped it out for something else, or at least ran a different item and spread on it.

Togedemaru @ Focus Sash
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Zing Zap
– Spiky Shield
– Encore

Not really the star of the team (does this team even have a star? lol) but Togedemaru was easily my favourite Pokemon to play on it. Togedemaru’s value stems from its ability to protect Tapu Fini from Electric attacks with Lightning Rod, and take advantage of Electric Terrain from opposing Tapu Koko to do surprisingly sizeable chunks of damage with Zing Zap. This team’s tendency to lure out opposing Tapu Koko is also why I ran Max Attack instead of the bulkier EV spread some other players prefer.

I’ve always liked having Fake Out on my teams, allowing for easy early game plays with my opponent forced to Protect or play defensively. The combination of Fake Out and Encore is particularly powerful, making playing around Togedemaru’s Fake Out pressure even more difficult, since slower Pokemon will be forced to either switch out or expose themselves to potentially free damage, lest they be locked into Protect by Encore the next turn.

Snorlax (Yokozuna) @ Figy Berry
Ability: Gluttony
EVs: 68 HP / 196 Atk / 244 Def
Brave Nature
– Protect
– Curse
– Return
– High Horsepower

Snorlax is only here to counter Trick Room. During practice, Snorlax was almost never used as I felt I didn’t know how to use it outside of Trick Room. Though interestingly, I found myself picking Snorlax almost every round during this tournament, even in matches in which I wasn’t sure if my opponent would be going for a Trick Room mode, and somehow winging it. Curse was chosen over Belly Drum because my team don’t really have the Pokemon to support Snorlax to help him setup Belly Drum safely, while the defensive boosts Curse provided allowed Snorlax to boost more freely and flexibly, complementing my passive and reactive style of play. Snorlax was running Protect because Recycle wasn’t that big a thing when this team was constructed, and I’d grown comfortable with Protect and so decided to stick with it. It is another aspect of the team I would now consider obsolete. However, many people were caught off guard when Snorlax used Protect which won me momentum in a few games.

Team Weaknesses:

Given my playstyle, Muk is extremely difficult for me to eliminate due to Ground being its only weakness. The only way for me to eliminate Muk quickly is to Inferno Overdrive to OHKO or to bring Snorlax which gives me the option to hit it super effectively with High Horsepower. It doesn’t really help that Muk often carries the Figy Berry to increase its longevity.

Arcanine or any Intimidate Pokemon will hinder my offensive momentum quite significantly, with only one special attacker on my team. What makes Arcanine a particularly big nuisance is its ability to pack Snarl, which neuters my passive, boosting Tapu Fini and can potentially disrupt my entire game plan if timed right.

While I do have counter-measures to most Trick Room set-up scenarios, should Trick Room be set up in the late-game, most common Trick Room sweepers are capable of punching holes through my team fairly easily, since only my Snorlax is slow enough to really fight effectively under Trick Room. The combination of opposing Snorlax and Porygon2 is particularly annoying since I don’t have a strong Fighting-type move on my team, with only my Assault Vest Kartana’s Sacred Sword hitting them for super-effective damage.

Like many of the bulky offense teams I’ve built throughout the years, this team is very weak to Rock Slide pressure and the subsequent flinch hax that it can cause. Untimely flinch hax could spell doom for my team.

Closing Thoughts

I very much enjoyed making time to attend Singapore Open II, as I got to test myself to see where I stood even after six months of absence from the community, and was very pleased with my results. This tournament, I feel, taught me that experience is more important than sheer practice. Not in the way that suggests one shouldn’t practice, but that my success, despite an irregular practice schedule with only limited sessions, I feel, is attributed to my years of experience playing similarly functioning teams in previous formats, which allowed me to trump even opponents with more intensive recent practice when playing under pressure.

I apologise for the lack of a warstory this time, as I forgot most of the things that happened during my matches and made no record of them. I look forward to my next tournament participation and as for now… I’ll just fade away and classify myself as obsolete, like this team~