After coming up short yet again at the Brampton Regional Championships, Alessio Yuri Boschetto claimed his first major win this season at the Bolzano Special Event. This was Boschetto’s third regional-level finals appearance, and with no Kyogre/Tornadus team in sight, Boschetto was able to overcome the late Moon Series metagame with a team that dominated in its earlier days.
Bolzano was Italy’s biggest event of the 2019 season, and the Italian VGC scene was ready to defend their home turf. Five Italian players in Top 8, three of which reached the Top 4 with one being crowned champion.
Results and Teams
1. Alessio Yuri Boschetto
2. Alex Gomez
3. Lorenzo Semeraro
4. Marco Bertoni
5. Fevzi Özkan
6. Marco Menoncello
7. Luca Lussignoli
8. Jamie Boyt
Groudon and Yveltal Return
What was once the most hyped up team in VGC 2019 going into Moon Series faded in and out of relevance over the course of Moon Series. Despite its up and down placements, it was never a bad team, and Groudon/Yveltal teams still had impressive results throughout Moon Series. It seemed that Boschetto had been a fan of the Groudon/Xerneas archetype, which he led to two regional finals appearances, but made the adjustment to Yveltal for this tournament.
The final stretch of Moon Series has been plagued with Xerneas hate, and this Groudon/Yveltal archetype seems well-equipped to deal with the anti-Xerneas teams that have risen in popularity. Yveltal has always been an effective counter to the seventh generation’s legendary duo, Solgaleo and Lunala, while Tapu Koko and Stakataka can make easy work of Ho-Oh.
Alex Gomez’s Kyogre/Ho-Oh team managed to make finals interesting by taking the set to a game three, but after a long game of switching and positioning, Boschetto’s Venusaur managed to score a crucial KO on Gomez’s Kyogre with a Bloom Doom. Despite taking an early burn from Ho-Oh’s Scared Fire, Boschetto’s Groudon was enough to clean up the endgame against a heavily weakened Ho-Oh and Incineroar.
Shedinja and Ditto Find Success in Europe Again
Two of the most feared Pokemon in VGC 2019 managed to reach the Top Cut of yet another European major. After the Cannes Special Event many players thought that Forest Aurelien’s Shedinja/Ditto squad with Groudon and Kyogre as the team’s restricted duo was an anomaly of a result. Since then, this team has been sneaking in results at local tournaments and proving that it can perform well. Groudon and Kyogre can effectively dispatch the majority of Shedinja’s weaknesses present in VGC 2019 which makes this unlikely combination make a lot of sense.
Then there’s Ditto. Ditto is another Pokemon that has always been seen as a gimmick, but in a format containing the immensely powerful restricted Pokemon, Ditto’s ability to transform into an opponent’s Pokemon can easily turn the tide of a game. Ideally, Ditto’s usefulness comes in the most handy against opposing Xerneas so that you can turn your opponent’s set-up attempt against them. In addition to that, many Ditto like to carry the Red Card item which can force said Xerneas out and remove its boosts if they decide to attack the transformed Ditto. Ditto is a much more versatile addition to teams, and could be a much more common threat in the near future as the impending power creep of Ultra Series approaches.
Looking Towards Ultra Series
Speaking of Ultra Series, that is the next order of business for the VGC community. This past weekend was the final weekend of major Moon Series tournaments, as the format is set to switch over on April 2nd. With the mixed reception of VGC 2019’s first two iterations, there is already a lot of hype surrounding the Ultra Series as many players have already begun practicing for it. The Ultra Series looks to be the “final form” of VGC 2019, and with the addition of Mega Evolution and other powerful items, Ultra Series looks to reinvent everything that was established by the Sun and Moon series.
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International