I used DeepL to translate most of the sentences from the Chinese version and I found it so much better than my own translation. But if you find anything weird please let me know. 😂
Hello everyone, this is Sunoru. NAIC is the last and largest tournament this season before worlds, and I finished with 7-2 (Day 1) and 3-2 (Day 2), placing 9/318. Four Chinese players made it to Day 2 and we were all in the Top 12. This weekend might be the most satisfying and rewarding experience I've had since I began to participate in official VGC tournaments, and it was very, very fun and memorable. Unfortunately, I don't know how to write a good diary or team report, so I'll have to post a running summary of what came to mind like this (this post is really stinky and long, so sorry in advance). But since I won't be going to London for WCS, I'll share every thought I have without holding back. If you just want to read the team details, you can skip to the second part.
- Background / Team Preparation
(A lot of crap, sorry)
- Team Details
- Tournament Experience
1. Background / Team Preparation
(A lot of crap, sorry)
One thing I can't help but write at the top is that I was particularly happy with my team and most of the games I played in this tournament, my head was in good shape, and I wasn't overly influenced by luck. If I hadn't made the stupid mistake of filling out the wrong team sheet on Day 0, I'm pretty confident that I would do much better than just the 9th.
To be honest, like many people, my mental state has not been as good as usual during these two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially since I haven't been back to my hometown for three years, and I'm concerned about what's going on there every day, I'm especially tired lately. Even going out for a little bit makes me feel a little bit guilty after reading about what happened to my friends in Shanghai recently. Since the cancellation of all the offline tournaments in the United States, my enthusiasm for VGC has also declined very much. I probably only played in ranked battles for two or three months (and then was easily beaten at 2:0 by MeLuCa in last year's friendly tournament between China and Korea). Since I couldn't go back home to renew my US visa, my hopes for WCS London were dashed, and I didn't bother to go to online INCs to get some CPs. But when IRL tournaments resumed this year, I was eager to play, especially to get to a streaming table I'd never been to before. Two years ago, I went 8-0 in the Dallas Regional and still wasn't selected to play streamed, which made me hope that this time the NAIC could fulfill my dream.
Since I couldn't put together a satisfactory team no matter what I tried, I finally went to my favorite and most admired player LYL (@Ariamizumiya) for advice. Without hesitation, they immediately sent me their latest Kyogre-Zacian team. This team is the Inteleon team I brought to the Secaucus Regional:
Similar to what was also mentioned in one of the articles on vgcguide.com (I forget which one), there is no shame in using someone else's team. While teambuilding is important, it's the ability to win in an actual battle that makes the most sense. Probably that's my excuse for giving up on all the teams I had previously made.
This team only has one different poke compared to ユウキ (@yuki_rotom)'s Inteleon team (we have Grimmsnarl in place of Shedinja). Though there's a lot of difference in the details, their team report is still very valuable. If you are interested:
Thanks to Inteleon, this team was able to win almost 90% of the matches against the most popular Rinya Sun team then. But unfortunately, this kind of anti-meta seemed a bit behind the times in that tournament, as I didn't meet one single Rinya Sun in 8 Swiss rounds, and was a little too unlucky. Not bringing Shedinja also made our team a bit tricky facing a mirror Kyogre-Zacian team. I ended up with a 5-3 record and didn't make the Top 32.
Inteleon had become almost entirely just a mascot. This team was equivalent to having only 5 Pokémon most of the time, and there were basically only one or two strategies, which felt like cutting myself off before the game even starts. So I am definitely going to prepare a much more comfortable team this time.
Ah, firstly, I'd also like to share this article that Aaron Traylor (@TBFUnreality) shared on Reddit:
In fact, it is only a summary of some truths that we all understand. I strongly agree that there is no "strongest" or "unbeatable" team, only a team that can take advantage of what it can do and a player who is confident and experienced. My choice is to have a team that is flexible enough in terms of play style and has enough room for adjustment during a game. Kyogre + Zacian has apparently been one of the best restricted combinations in the current metagame, while Grimmsnarl is also one of the strongest unrestricted Pokémon, so I kept these three as the core.
By the way, the team above is modified from the relatively traditional Kyogre-Zacian team created before by LYL. The original version of the team is as follows
The more traditional Kyogre-Zacian team is to bring Rillaboom + Incineroar, which are also in the class of unrestricted pokes that are very valuable without need of Dynamax. The fact that they both learn Fake Out is also so impressive. A good reference is Liangliang (@tsltang0508)'s team report (also in Chinese) https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7858743741
But in my own opinion, they're just too common, and it's easy to predict what's coming next basically by seeing the leads and a turn or two of actions. One may feel easy about using this pair of Pokémon, but it's actually challenging for one to read (especially against high-rating players). Liangliang themself described their team as the "most boring" team they had ever made. This Grass + Intimidate position may be more suitable for the current metagame if replaced by Kartana + Landorus (like the team used by Agati (@AgatiGa) and Animus (@AnimusVGC) in NAIC), and these two also give a team more options for Dynamax.
In fact, without thinking about Inteleon, this team had a great advantage over sun teams after bringing Landorus alone. Together with the immunity to Electric that the Ground type brings, I was very satisfied with this member, so I also kept it. As for the position of Inteleon, I temporarily changed back to Thundurus to try out.
The main play style of this team is basically to use Grimmsnarl to set up the screens while using AV Kyogre's high stats to attack. After the way is paved, Landorus or Thundurus go for Max Airstream, and finally, Zacian will come to pick up the rest.
Considering that sometimes it is very appropriate to leave the opportunity of Dynamax to Kyogre against some teams, we still need a supportive Pokémon to join as the sixth member. Incineroar, Porygon2, and Amoonguss are all quite good choices. But I could not make a final decision. We decided to get more inspiration from the teams that performed well in various tournaments. Since at that time in the western tournaments Carylex-Shadow-Rider + Zacian were so popular among high-rating players, I found myself especially liking the idea of Porygon2 + Moltres-Galar like Pado (@PadoVGC) used to win the Milan Special.
Until the weekend that was two weeks before NAIC, when three national championships (Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) were happening at the same time (the live stream was simply too much to watch Orz... Actually, there are many other Asian regions also competing in that weekend, but I didn't pay attention to them...). Two of the three championships were won by Kyogre-Zacian teams. I mostly watched the Japan Cup live stream and really got a lot of inspiration. Of all the players, SNOW (@BlueYossi), who was on the stream several times and finished with third place, was my favorite. Their team style was also the closest to our team. Very luckily, SNOW blogged about their team and shared (in Japanese):
The idea really seems similar to ours! The difference mainly lies in the fact that their Kyogre has almost no Special Attack EVs, and carrying Icy Wind makes it less suitable for Dynamax. Because I'm not very good at writing team reports, you can also read more of their post for reference.
I also started using Amoonguss which looked good but found that I couldn't play it very well. Or perhaps it wasn't a good choice with Landorus (it fits more with Incineroar?). That's when LYL reminded me that Hong Kong champion 蓝宝石 (@ChinaSapphire) used an interesting Celesteela. Its types and moveset are really good for a slow-paced team like ours.
As a result of trying different combinations and various other teams, I was down to 1500 on the ladder of Pokémon Showdown at some point, with only 60+% GXE. I knew this was the Pokémon I wanted to play when I tried to switch to Celesteela and got a winning streak to 1900.
VGC Tools Sharing / Data Analysis
I've been playing a lot on PS since then, and I'm slowly getting my GXE back (only 75%, but I've always been using the same username to play...). PS has a very nice API for the replays, and I couldn't resist writing myself a little tool to keep track of my matchups. If you are interested, you can also try it. But because this tool is mainly for my own use for fun, and is not completely done, it may be difficult to use...
The tool is located at https://vgc.sunoru.com/ and is a pure frontend and static page (and a PWA, so you can install it for offline use). It is also very simple to use: just paste replay URLs into the Replay Importer. If you have more than one replays, you can add them by including one URL on each line, and each URL can be followed by some notes/remarks about that matchup.
After importing the data you can do some simple filtering and sorting. For example, the chart is filtered to show all the matchups where I used the six final Pokémon, sorted from highest to lowest rating. Each game can be clicked on to find the original replay for review.
On top of having a lot of data, you can also do analysis. My own favorite is to analyze how my opponents would lead based on their restricted poke combinations. An example:
As the screenshot shows, this analysis also reveals the distribution of usage in the environment. Sure enough, Kyogre + Zacian is the most common, followed by Groudon + Lunala and various Calyrex-Shadow-Rider teams. My team can maintain a decent winning rate in most cases (especially against high-rating opponents), and the trickiest of the common combinations is Palkia + Calyrex-Ice-Rider. Using these results, I can reflect and think about my own actions in the matchups, trying to find better actions and make adjustments to the team. Please see the two sections that follow for details.
Continuing the crap
Anyway, after a series of reflections and adjustments, I managed to find a team to play with in the last week before the tournament, and all I had to do was hoping for a clear mind and good luck in the tournament. There was actually one round in the Secaucus Regional that I should not have lost, and that was totally because I was not in a good state of mind + too tired to think clearly. I decided to sleep well and have a good breakfast and lunch for this time.
Speaking of which, an annoying thing about the tournament was that registration opened too late. I didn't start booking my flight until I had successfully registered and found out that it was $100 more expensive than the price I had been looking at. I ended up taking a Day 0 flight that left at 5 AM and went to stay at the airport overnight to try and get a good sleep the next night.
It's been a long time since I've been to a place with such a high concentration of Pokémon. The atmosphere at the venue was really good, despite of the fact that it made people (i.e., me) a little nervous.
After successfully meeting up with (most of) the other Chinese players, we decided to get together for some good food. Unfortunately, there weren't too many good things to eat in Columbus, or they were all a bit far away. We ended up choosing a Japanese restaurant.
One of the most regrettable moments of this competition is probably the night of Day 0, when I returned to the hotel after dinner. My roommate Gary saw me lying in bed preparing the team even though I was sleepy as hell, and reminded me many times whether I should sit at the table to prepare. Stubbornly, I refused the suggestion, finished adjusting the effort values in bed, and turned on the computer to submit the team online. After submitting the team I repeatedly confirmed that there were no wrong numbers, but I actually missed a wrong move...... I had brought Sacred Sword in the last tournament but forgot to change it to Play Rough in the team sheet this time.
Day 1 came. I had a very satisfying breakfast because there was a McDonald's next to my hotel, and I even felt confident that I could do better than I did in NJ. I'll review the details of the game in later chapters, so I'll just put a few photos here.
2. Team Details
The next is finally some useful share. I will first introduce the team members. Since most of the EVs and moves are the same as the original "optimized attack & defense" team, I will quote some of their team report's original words (translated into English), and add some explanation according to my own experience. By the way, because this team really needs the user to think in a battle, it is difficult for me to write a simple manual. I will share my thoughts on the matchups during the tournament in the next chapter, and I hope it will be helpful to everyone.
Serious Rental Code & PokePaste：
■ Kyogre @ Assult Vest (Drizzle)
Thunder / Origin Pulse / Water Spout / Ice beam
Attack IV 1
Now you understand that optimizing attack and defense just means we don't need speed.
A value of 112 can outspeed Charizard / Zapdos with a +1 boost, and outspeed Zacian and Calyrex-Shadow-Rider when it's +2.
There are several other benefits from slow speed, such as being easier to set up rain when opponents lead Groudon, and being slower than our own Zacian when getting copied by a scarf Ditto.
The rest EVs are just maximizing HP × Spa × Def × Spd / (Def + Spd), and is not very specific.
There is actually a small mistake in the original post. The real speed value is 113 instead of 112. Many bulky Kyogre have 112 speed, and there are a lot of pokes like Thundurus that may set their speed to 168, which is max speed Charizard + 1. And then the benefits of 113 are self-explanatory.
Unlike SNOW's Kyogre, our bulky Kyogre still adds as much Spa as possible. One obvious benefit is that we can be more aggressive to Dynamax this Kyogre. That's also why we chose Ice Beam instead of Icy Wind (which has a power of 110 in Dynamax).
Not bringing Hyper Beam is mainly because of no extra moveslot. Max Hailstorm + Geyser can reset Rain turns, which is really helpful during battle. The effect to lower the speed with Max Strike is not so useful for such a slow team, and we have other ways to hit Gastrodon. It is also very necessary to bring Thunder, plus Kyogre is often not for Dynamax, so finally, we choose no Hyper Beam.
■ Zacian @ Rusted Sword (Intrepid Sword)
Project / Behemoth Blade / Play Rough / Quick Attack
Quick Attack is a very important team for our team.
As a team that puts lots of effort on defense, a strong priority move can significantly increase the team's fault tolerance. But since there is no other suitable candidate, the responsibility falls on Zacian.
In addition, because the team does not have a reliable electric resistance, experienced players often choose to use dynamaxed Regieleki to open a few big holes on our side. Quick Attack can effectively limit the number of actions of Regieleki, and thus turing the tide against it.
With Quick Attack, I can more confidently give up the speed tie with others' Zacian, which seems so uninteresting to me, and make it bulkier.
We only adds speed to the minimum degree - faster than max-speed Thundurus whose base speed is 37 lower than Zacian. And its special defense is so considerable that makes it survive 2 Astral Barrages and some Kyogre's Max Geyser if RNG is on our side.
As for the last move, Play Rough is a little better for Kyogre's weaknesses, such as Palkia, Gastrodon and Kyogre itself. Sacred Sword is also a great choice since it can deal with the pokes that are tricky for our team, including Dialga, Ferrothorn and Kartana.
After the addition of Landorus, that "no electric resistance" mentioned in the original post no longer holds. But Quick Attack still has a high value. In addition to the above-mentioned Regieleki, the most common scenario is to have a 40% chance of being able to take it away with Behemoth Blade + Quick Attack + Life Orb against an ordinary Thundurus.
In the previous Inteleon team, I used Sacred Sword since the three Pokémon mentioned at the end of the quote were too difficult to deal with. But after bringing Celesteela, I changed it back to the more useful Play Rough. By the way, this is the reason why Zacian was later banned in the tournament - the team sheet is now submitted online, and I directly used the one I used in the last tournament with changing the stats and forgetting to change the move.
■ Grimmsnarl @ Babiri Berry (Prankster)
Spirit Break / Scary Face / Reflect / Light Screen
Very ordinary Grimmsnarl. The original Light Clay + Thunder Wave was changed to Babiri Berry + Scary Face as the kind in SNOW's team. Besides the ability to use against electric/ground types, the main difference between Thunder Wave and Scary Face is whether the status will be kept after switching out. As mentioned in SNOW's team report, it is more important to survive to set up two screens than the number of turns of those screens. Before switching to Babiri Berry and bringing Celesteela, Grimmsnarl looks more like a disposable Pokémon. But now it's easier to switch out to keep it for later use. Carrying Spirit Break instead of Foul Play is mainly for dealing with Yveltal better.
■ Landorus-Therian @ Life Orb (Intimidate)
Earthquake / Fly / Rock Slide / Grass Knot
As a Pokémon that can use both STAB Max Quake and Max Airstream, Landorus is a little underrated in Series 12. Maybe it's because there are just too many Kyogre, plus it's still easy for Landorus to get over half damage by Behemoth Blade though it has Intimidate. The usage rate is quite a bit lower than it used to be (Series 9 in around the third position, and then it drops right out of the top 10).
As a matter of fact, Landorus in this team can even be selected against Water-typed Pokémon such as Kyogre and Blastoise. On the one hand, it can be used as an electric immunity to prevent the team from being run through by Regieleki, and on the other hand, it can deal tons of damage as long as it can move. Without being intimidated, this Life Orb Landorus' power is close to that of Zacian's Behemoth Blade. And because Flying / Ground is not resisted by Water, it can easily solve various Water Pokémon that has about 80% HP left (something that the more common white herb Landorus cannot do).
Moreover, as a result of carrying Life Orb, Grass Knot also becomes more reasonable. Though its special attack is not as high as Thundurus, the damage Max Overgrowth deals to Gastrodon is pretty similar. They can both one-hit KO max special defense Gastrodon, but not Rindo Berry or Dynamaxed ones. It is also much easier to send out Landorus than Thundurus against Sun teams, so we choose it to bring Grass Knot.
Since it has no Max Guard, misactions will make it vulnerable against +1 Attack Zacian, which needs attention when using. It is generally recommended to use Max Airstream at least once before showing Max Overgrowth.
■ Thundurus @ Sharp Beak (Defiant)
Protect / Fly / Wild Charge / Brick Break
Since it doesn't have Assult Vest, we can bring Protect, which is very useful.
If possible, use Max Airstream before Zacian is switched in. Zacian boosted by a fast Max Knuckle is much stronger.
Another Max Airstreamer, probably one of the best in the metagame. Its combinations with both the restricted are very powerful. Sometimes it can even form a classic combination with the above Landorus, which makes opponents have to guess which side we will Dynamax, and it also has some "maybe I am Prankster" confusion. The item choice is like what the original post mentioned:
As for the item of Thundurus, I've been on a rocky road, trying Lum Berry, Safety Goggles, Electric Seed and Rocky Helmet, etc. But they all suffer from a really low activating rate: in 16 matches of 6 swiss rounds in last Gu tounament, Lum Berry was only activated once.
So I just had to lower my expectations. Considering that Thundurus was Max Airstreaming at least half of the turns, I switched the item to the more stable Sharp Beak, which had a good effect.
With Sharp Beak, I was able to put more effort into making it bulkier, because even though I had reduced Thundurus' attack to a pathetic 150, it was still at the max-attack level of 180 with the 1.2x modifier. Thus the loss of defense from not carrying Assault Vest is also slightly compensated. It's so true that offense is the best defense.
This team has a hard time against sleeping moves, so Lum Berry is actually a good choice. But after experiencing so many times that a Max Airstream cannot break Zacian's Substitute, I decisively switched back to Sharp Beak. Thanks to no Life Orb plus so many EVs on HP, with Light Screen / Reflect this Thundurus would really surprise you.
Usually, Thundurus is used as a Dynamax user to send out from the back, but it is perfectly OK to lead it, especially with Zacian, which is really a powerful leading combination a lot of players will also recommend.
■ Celesteela @ Leftovers (Beast Boost)
Protect / Substitute / Leech Seed / Flamethrower
Attack IV 1
While it's impossible to be perfect and invincible, I'm quite happy with this last member's choice. The addition of this Pokémon directly enhances the team's flexibility, and at the same time solves the most common weaknesses of Kyogre-Zacian teams: Kartana, Shedinja, and Dialga. The first two also happen to be the most popular Pokémon used by high-rating Kyogre-Zacian teams to deal with similar teams (in fact, it also incidentally solves the high-rating team's Landorus). Even if Dialga has Max Lightning, with some switches in a match, it is also easy to let the opponent's Dynamax turns be wasted.
The EV spread is also very ordinary. After playing for a while, I found boosting special defense very satisfying, because, on the physical side, the most common moves are Sacred Sword, which ignores defense boosts, and Max Lightning, which is so painful even if the defense is boosted. Besides, the most common Pokémon Celesteela knocks out are physical ones like Zacian and Kartana, boosting special defense makes it easier to face the remaining special attack Pokémon (Carylex-Shadow-Rider, Kyogre, etc.). I also tried Air Slash on the slot of Flamethrower. Occasionally its Max Airstream is also quite useful. But in line with the principle that the fewer moves you can miss the better, plus Flamethrower can hit Zacian and more stably deal with Kartana, so it was my final choice. Zacian also gave up Sacred Sword because of this decision (just mentioning it kind of makes me feel regret……).
Celesteela is so bulky (especially when screens are set up) that there are hardly any moves that can deal 50+% damage to it. A simple Leech Seed + Protect makes it recover at least 1/3 HP. Sometimes I can use the HP absorbed to calculate their stats spread. In the tournament most of the players are taking notes, my notes contain a lot of multiplication equations 😂.
The only point making it difficult to play Celesteela is that different opponents have different opinions about how taunting this Pokémon is. Some players want to solve this annoying Pokémon as a priority, and some regard it as something to leave for the last turn. We also need to adjust based on opponents' thoughts (mainly for deciding whether to use Protect in some situations).
When Celesteela joined the team, I chose Wide Guard instead of Substitute, for it could help the teammates to face the spread attack from popular Groudon, Kyogre, two Calyrex, etc., and could force them to Dynamax by the way. Especially for Calyrex-Ice-Rider, if it is Dynamaxed in the final turns of Trick Room, it cannot set up Trick Room again. However, Wide Guard in practical battles is like Lum Berry on Thundurus. It is too rare to use this move, and Celesteela has that look that you would think it's gonna use Wide Guard, so many people will be wary. The choice of Substitute brings back dreams of VGC 2017, and it is so useful to stall turns of Trick Room and Dynamax. It also helps Celesteela avoid some Spore.
Another interesting point is that since I had tried many, many games on Showdown, and basically all the high scorers had played me at least once, many of my opponents remembered that I have Celesteela with Wide Guard. It is like having a fifth move in the tournament: I don't have to do anything and the opponent will be too wary of Wide Guard to not choose spread attacks.
3. Tournament Experience
Because I took so many detailed notes, I'd love to share the exact process of the tournament, and by the way, show how this team plays in battles. The same point that I mentioned before: because it is a team that values defense, there is a lot of room for adjustment in the game, so you can play more flexibly.
One thing I'd like to share is that I like to keep track of damage values in matches, so if you remember the stats of your team members well, it's easy to use them to figure out other damage. Of course, it is difficult to quickly calculate some particularly detailed damage in the game, but for example, it is worth calculating for the most common ones, such as spread -> single targeted, attack +/-, etc.
Round 1 vs. Zach Gary (Moone)
Well, I lost in the first round.
To be honest, I was afraid to see Porygon2, especially if they lead Grimmsnarl + Zacian to set up screens and exchange damages, and then use Porygon2 to set up Trick Room and let Dynamaxed Kyogre attack. But except for this, I have advantages facing other Kyogre-Zacian teams (as long as my head is clear though, of course).
In game 1, I led Grimmsnarl + Kyogre and choose Thundurus + Zacian in the back. It is the most ordinary option when battling Kyogre-Zacian teams. Moone chose to use the same leads. I was relieved when I found out their Kyogre had Life Orb since it was so fast that Porygon2 won't come to set up TR. The advantage AV Kyogre has over LO Kyogre is particularly great.
After 2 × Thunder (through Light Screen) + 2 × Life Orb knocked out their Kyogre, Zacian + Incineroar in the back could not handle my Dynamaxed Kyogre. I won this game relatively easily.
Since I feel like I want to Dynamax Kyogre, I changed Thundurus to Celesteela in the back. Moone used the same leads, but instead of using Water Spout, they also chose to exchange Thunder with my Kyogre. My Kyogre couldn't move because of paralysis in the Dynamax turn. And my full-health Zacian didn't take their Max Qayser, so lost. By the way, it is a 25% chance to KO my Zacian through Light Screen if their LO Kyogre is 252+ Spa.
I chose the same Pokémon in the third game. In the end, I have Kyogre and -2 speed Zacian, with a full HP Thundurus in the back, and they only have the last two Pokémon, Incineroar + Zacian, which just came into battle. Neither of us had used Dynamax.
Considering Zacian being intimidated and its speed lowered, the most ordinary option is of course Dynamax my Kyogre and switch in Thundurus. However, they hid two really important sets before game 3. First, Incineroar was faster than my Kyogre, so it could first use Max Flare to make my Max Geyser hard to damage. And second, Zacian used Swords Dance. Suddenly, my large advantage became a large disadvantage, and I lost. Afterward, I reflect that it was my own action that went wrong, perhaps because I had just started the tournament and was not thinking clearly. After Grimmsnarl fainted, I should directly switch in Thundurus instead of Zacian. Even if it might get Scary Faced, I could still choose Protect and wait for Incineroar to give it a boost. Anyway, the opponent played very well, GG.
Round 2 vs. Cody Searle (Cody)
A quite standard Calyrex-Shadow-Rider + Zacian team. No Gastrodon was a good news. I only needed to use the simplest play style: Set up screens, exchange some HP using Kyogre, and Dynamax a backline Pokémon. Especially, it would be very comfortable if I could Dynamax Landorus in front of Regieleki, which had been so scary for ordinary Kyogre-Zacian teams.
Game 1. When I saw Blastoise + Calyrex, I was so afraid if they would use Fake Out + Life Orb Max Starfall to knock out my Grimmsnarl, so I chose Behemoth Blade (targeting Calyrex) and to switch Kyogre in. My reading was wrong. Kyogre gave Blastoise a chance to use boosted Max Geyser, and Calyrex used Will-o-Wisp (it had been a 2-hit KO though, thanks to Focus Sash). Protect (Zacian) + Thunder (Kyogre) stalling the second turn, Landorus could easily Max Airstream their whole team later.
It was much easier after knowing their playstyle. Though they didn't send out Regieleki, Landorus still knocked out a lot after Zacian exchanged with Calyrex. The only point to pay attention to is that Grimmsnarl must set up Reflect to ensure Landorus wouldn't be knocked out by Zacian before boosting speed. This match also showed how powerful Life Orb is on Landorus. It could confidently knock out a 3/4 HP Blastoise. By the way, Blastoise's attack was so weak that G-Max Cannonade only damaged my Grimmsnarl 79 in this game.
Round 3 vs. Karan Samtani
Kyurem-White is actually a very difficult Pokémon to use. It looks powerful but it's too relying on Dynamax and support from its teammates, otherwise, it could do little damage to AV Kyogre, and could be easily knocked out by Behemoth Blade.
In game 1, I switched in Zacian to handle Fake Out + Max Hailstorm (in total 100 damage), and switched it back with Grimmsnarl to get Quash + Max Quake, in the meantime my Kyogre got their Sableye. In the third turn, seeing Regieleki come, I chose to Scary Face their Kyurem to let Landorus in the back move before it. The three Dynamax turns are just all stalled and Dynamax Landorus swept the field. Regieleki + Groudon in the opponent's back could do nothing to Dynamax Landorus.
I didn't read in game 2. Facing such a team without any Intimidate Pokémon, just knocking out Sableye and setting up Scary Face could make it comfortable to Dynamax Landorus. In fact, the result of this game is that Grimmsnarl + Kyogre almost defeated everything.
Round 4 vs. George Tifverman (PeoplesChamp)
In fact, Slowbro is very difficult to deal with for my team.
In the first game, when you see a player leading Incineroar, you can usually default to them bringing Burning Jealousy (which they did). Although the opponent set up Trick Room, my slow Kyogre could move before the opponent's Groudon. And I could even use Scary Face to outspeed their Incineroar. Though Iron Defense Slowbro is very powerful, because many don't have much Special Defense, Kyogre's Max Lightning could deal 75%, even if the opponent used Max Quake to boost its Spd. As long as I could correctly make use of the timing of the end of Trick Room, two consecutive Max Lightning could defeat it.
The opponent selected the same Pokémon in Game 2. But I read wrong in the first turn. Wild Charge + Max Lightning directly hit the switched-in Groudon. I did not expect this Shuca Berry Incineroar to dare to stay on the field and use Burning Jealousy against +1 Atk Thundurus and Kyogre... By the way, a damage value I recorded was Max Geyser in Sun deals just over half to the Incineroar. It was too helpless.
The third game was probably the one that was going to give you the biggest heart attack during the tournament. Since the opponent had been using the same send-outs, and I successfully found out that the Groudon has Bulk Up and no Fire moves, I chose to replace Landorus with Celesteela, who was more suitable in TR. As a result, I felt like I was going to lose when I saw Venusaur + Regieleki (without Landorus this team is run through by Regieleki). But the result was good, Helping Hand + Life Orb Max Lightning was Protected by Thundurus, and Max Geysey successfully defeated Regieleki. Thanks to the Electric Terrain, my Kyogre had no pressure at all against the Venusaur.
In fact, Assault Vest Kyogre is so defensive that can stably take the first Max Lightning of LO Regieleki:
252+ SpA Life Orb Transistor Regieleki Helping Hand Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 180 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Dynamax Kyogre: 320-377 (80.8 - 95.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (320, 322, 328, 330, 335, 338, 343, 346, 351, 354, 359, 361, 367, 369, 374, 377)
Round 5 vs. Aaron Brok (Clipperz1235)
A Trick Room team with Amoonguss was also the kind of teams that I found tricky, especially because my Grimmsnarl didn't bring Thunder Wave. But still, as mentioned above, my team is so offensive/defensive by giving up speed that would not lose many advantages in Trick Room.
In the first game, as I expected, the Lunala couldn't help itself setting up Trick Room, seeing my Thundurus + Kyogre. My way to deal with Spore is to wait for my Kyogre to wake up. It slept for three turns, which was equivalent to the whole period of Trick Room being stalled. I was lucky since it woke up in the last turn of Trick Room and Amoonguss was unable to use another Spore. After Groudon came to the field, Aaron (incorrectly) chose to set up TR again, and their team was beaten up by my Dynamax Kyogre.
They learned from the first game and didn't set up Trick Room in Game 2. But since Amoonguss could do nothing to Celesteela, and they didn't want to waste Dynamax turns for breaking Substitute, my Celesteela made it to stand on the field from the beginning to the end. In the last turn of this game, I still had a full-HP Celesteela with a Substitute on. Another thing I have to mention is that Landorus did have a great combination of types. Both the two Pokémon in my opponent's back (especially Tapu Koko that was selected to hit Celesteela) could not deal with Landorus.
However, one thing that is a bit thrilling for this round is that I let Lunala move too many times, just so in one round I actually recorded "+1 Meteor Beam damaged Kyogre 64, damaged Celesteela 109; +1 Moongeist Beam knocked out Thundurus, hit Kyogre 73; +1 Max Phantasm hit Zacian 180, hit Landorus 168" so much damage values……
Round 6 vs. Gabriel Berrios (Tomoko)
It's my favorite mirror time again, since Thundurus is very powerful against such Grimmsnarl + Kyogre-Zacian teams.
In fact, I wouldn't lead Zacian in such a mirror matchup, unless they also had a Tailwind user in the team, so their decision of leads in the first game was so terrible. Using a straightforward Water Spout + Spirit Break knocked out their Grimmsnarl and activated Incineroar's Focus Sash. A lot of Focus Sash Inceneroar have 252+ Spe, but this one was even slower than my Grimmsnarl... With such a large advantage it was hard to lose. Later in this game, I found out both their Kyogre and Zacian were faster than mine, and recorded some damage values by the way: Water Spout 46 to Kyogre; Max Geyser 56×4 to Zacian, 312 to Thundurus. I even accidentally let Zacian use a second Protect for timed-out. Though it failed, I was so sorry...
In the second game, they led Zapdos instead of Incineroar. I chose the typical action: lead Kyogre but switch to Thundurus to take the Eerie Impulse. But it really was not that easy to succeed. Thundurus took a Thunderbolt (only about 30+% thanks to Light Screen...). Zapdos was Dynamaxed, but Max Airstream had no way to defeat Grimmsnarl, and it had to take a Spirit Break. I also successfully use Brick Break to clear the two screens, which gave me a lot of advantages later. By the way, Max Lightning from the -1 Spa Zapdos only dealt 23×4 to my Thundurus...
Round 7 vs. Allan Martinez (Mando)
Finally! So lucky to match a team with both Shedinja and Kartana at the same time, and it was the time to show the power of Celesteela.
Seeing Kyogre + Yveltal, I usually prefer leading Thundurus to force them to Dynamax in the first turn, and then I can use Protect to waste two Dynamax turns. I did it in Game 1. My Thundurus was knocked out by two Max Geyser (damage: 102×4), followed by Turn 3 when my Zacian used Protect to take the third Max Geyser (71x4). My Kyogre easily stayed on the field to use a full-power Water Spout three times. Actually I was a little worried if they would switch in Shedinja to take my Behemoth Blade or Max Geyser, but they also seemed too worried about the three Flying Pokémon on my team and did not bring Shedinja. When Yveltal was in, Tailwind + Life Orb Thunder with a critical hit knocked out my 128 HP Zacian, but its Choice Scarf was then revealed. After my Dynamax Kyogre defeated my opponent's Kyogre, Kartana + Snarl Yveltal could do nothing to Celesteela. I also got the information that Kartana had a lot of Atk EV since it dealt an exact 198 damage to my Kyogre.
In Game 2, knowing the Yveltal held Choice Scarf, I chose to lead Grimmsnarl to set up screens. Two restricted Pokémon together could not deal with Assault Vest Kyogre, plus I was very lucky to inflict Paralysis with Thunder. Just with a Light Screen, Zacian could also easily solve them.
After 7 swiss rounds, I was at 6-1, which was the same as the situation when I played in the first EUIC in 2016. I only needed one win to make Day 2 in the following two rounds. Last time I lost both and didn't make it, so I really hope it won't be the case this time. I was so nervous...
Round 8 vs. Jesse Romolo (Jesse)
A Dialga + Kyogre team with Ditto! It is a team very powerful against conventional Zacian + Kyogre teams. But Dialga is similar to the Kyurem-White above in the terms that it is also a Pokémon that relies on Dynamax too much, and all its attack moves could be easily resisted and even immuned. It would be very hard for Jeese to deal with a defensive team like mine. The strategy for me was just to stall their Dynamax while setting up screens, and a later-Dynamaxed Kyogre could sweep the field.
It was nicely exemplified in Game 1. Dialga's Max Steelspike hit Celesteela, Max Wyrmwind hit Grimmsnarl and the final Max Steelspike activated Babiri Berry. The only Pokémon that was knocked out in the three turns was Grimmsnarl but it killed itself because of a Hurricane confusion. It's like Dialga did nothing and gave me the information that it didn't bring Max Lightning. I successfully used Dynamax Kyogre to defeat the red-HP Tornadus (in case it uses Protect) when Tailwind ends in Turn 4. Though I didn't have Sacred Sword on my Zacian, it was so satisfying when Play Rough did around 95% to their Kyogre.
I didn't play well in Game 2 though. They didn't bring Tornadus, knowing my team was slow. There was one turn that I would probably use Protect but I chose not to, which let my Celesteela faint because it was more taunting than Grimmsnarl. Luck was also a little not on my side. Grassy Glide dealt almost 80% to my Dynamax Kyogre through Reflect with a crit, which made it could not take a Roar of Time later. Finally, Ditto transformed into my Zacian and use its +2 Atk to beat my team up.
I was even more unlucky in Game 3. It was like whenever a crit could happen, it happened. But I'm sorry to say it again that Dialga is so helpless. It used Max Wyrmwind three times in that game, and hit Celesteela, Kyogre, and Grimmsnarl respectively. The second was a little painful though (around 60%).
They played pretty well, too, in the turns my Kyogre was Dynamaxed. My Max Hailstorm and Max Lightning were successfully stalled by switching in/out Kyogre and Rillaboom. One problem to use Rillaboom to take Max Lightning was that it lost Grass Terrain and I could see from the order of Hail damage that it was slower than my Kyogre. Therefore, even though my Kyogre was not in a good status, they had to predict correctly to stay on the field to hit it.
In the end, the healthy Ditto transformed into my Kyogre, and the Choice Scarf Water Spout nearly swept the field. At the moment it used a critical hit to KO my Kyogre, I had a feeling of losing the game, but then I suddenly remembered a very important thing... Finally, I won because their Choice Scarf Ditto is slower than my Zacian, and the crucial Play Rough didn't miss.
Since I was too nervous, plus it was indeed a little cold in the venue, my body was shaking during the match... Later some judges came to ask me if I felt well and I really appreciated it. Though I was a little embarrassed when their first words were repeatedly asking me if I could understand English...
Anyway, Day 2 was guaranteed. I could relax a bit for the final round.
Round 9 vs. Chongjun Peng (Nocturne)
And I matched Chongjun! I couldn't win against Chinese players the most... Whether it was on the ladder or in a tournament, my winning rate against Chinese players was always the lowerest. In the past (official) tournaments I had matched Chinese twice, Yihui and Bingjie respectively, and I lost both matches.
One positive thing though was that I had a great winning rate against Rinya Sun teams like the one Chongjun used. Besides, winning the last round put me in a good frame of mind.
Seeing Zacian + Gastrodon, Max Airstream + Earthquake is the best option. If Gastrodon didn't Dynamax, it could not take these two moves; even if it chose to Dynamax, I could simply give them the Landorus and let Thundurus carry Zacian. Chongjun was scary about a potential Max Overgrowth and chose to Protect the Gastrodon in Turn 1, but the Intimidated Zacian could not deal more than half to my Thundurus by Behemoth Blade. I knew that not bringing Grimmsnarl meant that they didn't have speed control, so I started Max Knuckle after Max Airstream once. Their Incineroar in the back couldn't come to the field with ease, and Gastrodon also couldn't do anything in front of Thundurus, so my Kyogre got the whether and sweep the field.
In Game 2 I used Max Overgrowth that was hidden in Game 1 to KO the Gastrodon. But since I didn't set up screens, Landorus could be OHKO by the Zacian in the back, it was the wrong selection. In the end, though luckily for me, their Play Rough missed, my Kyogre couldn't move because of Thunder Wave, and I lost.
I felt I was too inexperienced. I thought to myself that since I led Thundurus twice in a row, they shouldn't want to bring Charizard as well in Game 3, but as a result... Actually it's not so bad. I just needed to give the opportunity of Dynamax to Kyogre. In the end, it was my Kyogre + full-HP Celesteela vs. their Zacian + Grimmsnarl. I think lost to a Leech Seed miss. Since I was relaxed, letting my friend win one more round wasn't bad at all.
Day 1 ended. I was at 7-2 and placed 18th. Though I had achieved a better result than expected, I still felt a little regret for not being on a streaming table (in the last several rounds, many tables right next to me were selected to be on streaming 🥲). Grinding on Pokémon Showdown was very effective: I won Game 1 in all the rounds. I hoped I could keep it the next day and continue to win, so I could be on streaming sooner or later.
Round 10 vs. Guillermo Castilla (KastyTP)
This round was the most embarrassing round of the tournament for me... I have to say, by Day 2 there are no players for me to easily win, only unlucky ones.
Normally, a Kyogre-Zacian team does not have advantages against Groudon-Lunala teams. But as I met in Round 5, if they could set up Trick Room and let my Kyogre move first, I could first win a game.
But I met a Defiant Thundurus with Protect + Eerie Impulse! It is so targeting Kyogre. In Game 1, my Dynamax Kyogre was Eeire Impulsed. I felt like losing the game and began to think about what I should do in the second game. But as a result... my -2 Spa Kyogre knocked out their 3/4-HP Groudon with a critical Max Hailstorm. It made my Spirit Break touch their Thundurus and give it an Atk boost. I thought this crit was not very useful but then I managed to double critted their Pokémon by a -2 Spa Origin Pulse in Hail. Thundurus only used Max Airstream once and fainted, and I couldn't lose in such an advantage. By the way, I got the information that their -1 Spe Thundurus was slower than my Kyogre, which seems that it was a 168-speed one, putting many EVs onto defensive stats, similar to my Thundurus. It also showed the benefits of my 113-speed Kyogre.
In Game 2, I wasn't extremely lucky like above, but I was still very lucky. From the order of activation of weathers, we knew that their Groudon was faster than my Kyogre, so I simply used Scary Face (targeting Thundurus) + Water Spout. Even though I gave the Thundurus attack boost, as long as I could outspeed it, both my Landorus and Zacian could solve it easily. It was also especially useful because I could Water Spout once before the Eerie Impulse.
And they directly went for Dynamaxing the Groudon to use Max Flare, making my Kyogre powerless. In sun and having taken an Eerie Impulse, I had to switch out Kyogre (but it was still full HP, which is a great thing). Landorus is very advantageous in facing Groudon. Though Intimidate boosted Thundurus again, without Dynamax it was not scary at all. They very unstintingly switched out Groudon, giving up the final Dynamax turn, waiting for controlling weather later. That Incineroar was so bulky that -1 Max Airstream only did 45%...
I don't remember exactly what happened later. It seems to be that my Max Rockfall didn't KO the Incineroar, and Landorus was knocked out by +3 Atk Fly + Flare Blitz. Incineroar also fainted that turn. Anyway, Groudon and Kyogre came into the field at the same time again, and they activated the ability again so I got Rain. But in the next turn... My Kyogre moved first, Origin Pulse didn't miss, and Groudon + Thundurus were knocked out at the same time. Though I said I'm sorry so many times in and after the games, I felt if it was me to be so unlucky two games in a row, I would also be mad as hell.
Round 11 vs. Raghav Malaviya (love)
I won this round by serious predictions and actions. My opponent thought too much, or I read it correctly. Facing a Kyogre-Zacian team with Tailwind Whimsicott, I usually just use screens to support the attack moves and will get advantages. The regular strategy is to not let Whimsicott be too comfortable to set up Tailwind and switch to Dynamax users. The ideal situation is to not knock it out til the last turn of Tailwind. The only point to pay attention to is that I shouldn't let Dynamax Thundurus move too many times since its damage would be very difficult to take.
But I was too nervous in this round, and the situation was very complicated. I now don't remember the details.
Whimsicott was faster than my Zacian and it brought Charm, which makes it so tricky. In Game 1 I managed to send out Celesteela to Leech Seed a lot, and their Dynamax Thundurus had to Max Lightning it. But because there was no Tailwind left, after Scary Face twice, the Thundurus was outsped by my Celesteela (I even calculated on my notebook 186×2/5=74. I was too stupid when I was that nervous and wrote wrong numbers). My Dynamax Kyogre could sweep the field. Other damage values I took notes for are: Max Lightning + Leech Seed×3 + Hail = their Kyogre; Max Geyser only dealt 50% to my Grimmsnarl through Light Screen; Zacian's HP = 23×8=184~191, which is guaranteed to be OHKO by my Max Geyser; Sacred Sword dealt 79 to Celesteela.
I really don't remember Game 2 and Game 3. My notebook only tells me that I was paralyzed by a Thunder, their Origin Pulse never missed and mine missed, but I correctly read some Protect turns. In the end, my Thundurus' Wild Charge barely knocked out their 35% Zacian, and faced their healthy Kyogre + Whimsicott. Adding HP to Thundurus was so helpful that it still survived an Origin Pulse in Rain (from the damage to Grimmsnarl in the last game, I knew their Kyogre didn't have much Spa), and then knocked out Kyogre with Zacian's -1 Atk Play Rough.
Because this round was so thrilling, and I read correctly many times when I was not as lucky as my opponent, it gave me a confidence boost. I even felt that I could continue to win, "and I can make it to stream!", however...
Round 12 vs. Justin Burns (Justin)
Knowing that I was gonna play Justin Burns, I was very stressed. Not only because I knew they were strong, but also because I heard that they were using Palkia + Calyrex-White-Rider (they were on stream on Day 1) which I hated to meet.
It was when I was still thinking nervously about how to deal with this matchup. A judge (who was also the one coming to care for my health the day before) called me away and told me that I broke the rule. I thought there was no way I could break the rule since my whole team was prepared by my friends and me manually. I manually caught the Pokémon, manually leveled them up, and manually trained EVs. So I followed the judge to see what happened... And then I was told there was an incorrect move.
Well, it was indeed my fault. I had to accept the punishments: losing one game and cannot use Zacian in the following rounds. In fact, I was in a good mood at the time, not as regretful as I think of it now. Anyway, I wasn't punished to lose the whole round, so I still went back to have a try. Of course, in a format like Series 12, getting Zacian banned is like losing 50% power of my team. It was very difficult to win even one game next.
Not to mention against Palkia + Calyrex-Ice-Rider! The standard strategy to deal with this kind of team is to rely on my high defense Zacian to KO Calyrex. Bringing Play Rough is for putting pressure on Palkia, but I didn't expect it was also the reason my Zacian was banned...
But in Game 1, I successfully used a special strategy I came up with during practice. In front of Palkia + Amoonguss, letting Grimmsnarl use Max Starfall, together with Kyogre's Water Spout, would knock out most of Palkia if it didn't Dynamax. Dynamaxing Grimmsnarl also helped itself survive Max Geyser. In such first turns, Amoonguss rarely does not use Spore. And usually, opponents who see this play for the first time will be confused for a while. The rest of the story was Celesteela using Leech Seed to defeat all Pokémon other than Amoongus. I also tried to read for some turns since they might choose to switch out Calyrex to clear Leech Seed, but they didn't. I also missed Origin Pulse in this game but I still won, which showed more how powerful this strategy is.
In the second game, I played too bad. I was going for boosting my Celesteela's Spd with Dynamax Landorus and using Leech Seed to sweep again. But I couldn't deal with Dynamax Calyrex with White Herb and was easily beaten up. Forget it. It would have been hard to win, and winning one game had made me very satisfied.
Round 13 vs. Kyle Livinghouse (Animus)
We have a recorded video for this round!!! I really recommend you to watch it since I feel very good about this round. Last time in Secaucus Regional, I lost to Animus' that Zacian + Calyrex-Shadow-Rider team (with Gastrodon). We also played three games. I felt we both played pretty well, and I lost to some subtle luck (missing Origin Pulse made Calyrex survive for too many turns, and it used Will-o-Wisp to burn my Landorus and Zacian through a Paralysis status), so this time was a good opportunity to fight back. Unfortunately, I don't have Zacian this time...
But still, this was the most-wanted matchup for me. Because as you can see, as long as Kyogre was defeated, there was no Pokémon that could deal much damage to Celesteela. Losing a Zacian didn't hurt too much.
In Game 1, I didn't expect the Kartana moved before Zacian, Grimmsnarl didn't manage to set up Reflect because of a confusion, plus there was a crit, so my Celesteela couldn't use anything before it fainted, what a shame. But my strategy was still very clear: by letting the Tornadus faint in the last turn of Tailwind while dealing some damage to Kyogre, my Thundurus could come to Max Airstream (though I didn't make it). There was one turn when Thundurus used Fly, it was because I thought their Kyogre might choose to Protect.
My leading Thundurus successfully force their Kyogre to use Max Geyser in Game 2. My Thunder caused paralysis and Reflect was successfully set up, so I could win very comfortably. In fact, a careful thought will reveal that the Paralysis was actually less important and just made it easier for me to win. Knowing Pokémon in the back were all Physical attackers, Reflect was extremely important. Kartana without Dynamax could not KO my Dynamax Kyogre, even supplemented with a Behemoth Blade. A slightly dangerous point was that I worried too much about Kartana's Protect, and let it move too many times.
Thanks to Animus' different leads in Game 3, I also managed to get a comfortable environment by both screens were set up. Attempting and succeeding to activate Beast Boost, my Celesteela got so much more taunting that they had to Dynamax and double target it. In the end, I was again trying to read Kartana's Protect, so used Fly instead of Brick Break. That Kartana probably just didn't bring Protect. In the final turns, the damage from Hail, Water Spout and Origin Pulse, whether or not Origin Pulse could hit, and whether or not Thunder could cause Paralysis, are all so subtle and so interesting. Please check out the video :)
Ah. I didn't expect that at the end of this round I hadn't used one single Leech Seed.
Because we played this round near a side TV, the atmosphere really got me so excited. Since we were closer to the audience, this was probably more sensational than being on an official stream. People were all insanely cheering when they saw me winning with 5 Pokémon in such a close way.
Round 14 vs. Taran Birdee (Taran)
I couldn't win this without Zacian. Never mind - just send my opponent to the Top Cut.
But I think I can talk a little about what I could do if I had Zacian. Considering they had both Thundurus and Charizard (though it is unlikely they sent out Charizard), I would suggest leading Zacian, with Kyogre or Grimmsnarl. Similar to the last round, stalling the Tailwind and setting up Scary Face would earn a good chance for Dynamax. Without Zacian I could do nothing to Thundurus, so I really couldn't win.
When knowing their playstyle was to Dynamax the Thundurus in the back, not bringing Charizard, and Zacian not having Sacred Sword (OMG, why I felt a bit heartbroken just by writing this), in Game 2 I tried a strategy to optimize the use of Celesteela. But they played very well: Zacian was fearless in facing my Landorus (again, I incorrectly read Protect), one Max Geyser was Max Guarded by their Thundurus, and in the end, my Kyogre was knocked out by a critical hit. I just didn't know how to play at all.
I feel like sharing some more pictures here. After Day 2 ended, we went to have dinner in a nice Korean BBQ restaurant and sing in a Karaoke place (surprised there is one in Columbus!)
I finished Day 2 with 3-2. Both the two players who won against me made it to the Top 8. I actually regret a little bit for losing to Chongjun on Day 1. I ended up in 9th place because my opponent's win percentage was pretty good, but unfortunately, I had to go 11-3 to get into the Top 8. Everyone in the Top 8 was really strong, and I respect everyone who kept winning under so much pressure.
Before NAIC, I got 50 CPs for winning our local MSS, 80 CPs for Top 16 at 2019 Atlantic City Regional, and 40 points for Top 32 at 2020 Dallas Regional. I didn't play a single online competition because I knew I couldn't get out of the US to go to WCS. With the 200 CPs from Top 16 this time, I ended up with 390 CP points, exactly for which I didn't qualify. I hope WCS will be back in the US next year so I don't have to struggle with visa issues. Good luck to all of you who can go to London!
Finally, I would like to thank all kinds of friends for their support~ After all, I have played little in the past two years, and I have little communication with many new players, but there are still so many people cheering for me. I sincerely thank you and love you! I also want to thank LYL for preparing the team with me, kzd (@Klefki_22) and じぇらーる (@jeraru1105) and various other friends for practicing with me, and Solar (@Solarbeam1987) for lending me some legendary Pokémon. I will still try my best for WCS 2023!!!
If you have any questions welcome to contact me in every way. I will definitely reply!