Mimicking the Meta! Ryan Coverdale’s International Challenge Squad!

Ryan Coverdale is a competitive VGC player from the United States and has penned a report on a very interesting team featuring Ditto which was used in May’s International Challenge!

*featured image was created by Chewy-Meowth; check out the rest of their artwork by following this link!*

Due to how many reliable ways there are to set it up this season, I feel Trick Room is one of the strongest strategies available; as a result, I assumed the majority of teams would be built around using or trying to hard counter Trick Room. The Hatterene Indeedee strategy was a particular composition I expected to see as it practically guarantees Trick Room against the majority of teams. I don’t like to be caught fighting over setting speed control against other teams, so I decided to build a team which wouldn’t rely on setting up a speed control & instead allow me to be aggressive straight out the gates.

Click this link for the full Poképaste!


Bisharp @ Assault Vest
Ability: Defiant
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Dig
– Iron Head
– Brick Break
– Sucker Punch

At the time of this tournament, Bisharp was a fairly unusual pick for the meta. With fighting type attacks being very common Bisharp’s low base defenses and 4x weakness creates a bit of difficulty in allowing a Bisharp sweep; however, the combination of Ally Switch and the boosts Dig & Iron Head provide whilst Dynamaxed can make its life easier. The Defiant ability also deter opposing intimidate Pokémon from leading or switching in to preserve our physical attackers stats.


Chandelure @ Air Balloon
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Heat Wave
– Ally Switch
– Energy Ball
– Shadow Ball

I was torn between Chandelure & Dragapult for the slot of my team’s Ally Switch mon. The immunity to Fire type attacks and being able to hit Gastrodon with Grass type coverage gave Chandelure the edge. At the time, the majority of Chandelure ran sets with Trick Room & Imprison which could deter opposing Trick Room teams from attempting to twist the dimensions mindlessly on turn one.


Togekiss @ Scope Lens
Ability: Super Luck
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Def / 180 SpA / 4 SpD / 52 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Yawn
– Air Slash
– Follow Me
– Dazzling Gleam

Togekiss is one of the standout Pokémon of the VGC 20 format; its place was earnt on the team by boasting immunity to both Dragon & Ground attacks,  great stats and access to Follow Me to divert attention away from my sweepers. Yawn rounded out the set nicely as a way to force opponents to waste a turn of Dynamax.


Darmanitan-Galar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Gorilla Tactics
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Icicle Crash
– Rock Slide
– Flare Blitz
– Superpower

With it’s Gorilla Tactics ability effectively granting it a free Choice Band, Darmanitan is an insanely powerful revenge killer. It’s also a very effective lead due to the sheer amount of offensive pressure STAB, Gorilla Tactics boosted scarf Icicle Crashes exerts over opposing leads.


Conkeldurr @ Life Orb
Ability: Iron Fist
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Ice Punch
– Fire Punch
– Mach Punch
– Drain Punch

Conkeldurr was added to the team primarily as a tool to deal with opposing Trick Room squads, however it’s bulk and typing also helps deal with Excadrill/Tyranitar teams. The Conkeldurr I used ran Iron Fist with Life Orb which offered a strong Mach Punch immediately rather than having to wait for Flame Orb to activate Guts. In retrospect, I would’ve preferred to use the Flame Orb/Guts combination to avoid opposing status (primarily being put to sleep by Venusaur).


Ditto @ Focus Sash
Ability: Imposter
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 30 Atk
– Transform

And last but not least, the MVP of the team, Ditto!

Over the course of my first 30 matches, Ditto copied many weakness policy boosted Pokemon, Boosted Coalossal or previously Dynamaxed Pokemon with boosted stats from max moves, often this would change the tide of battle in my favor. Imposter Ditto is difficult to utilise successfully as you need to switch it into the correct slot to copy the intended Pokémon; otherwise, Ditto would just be wasted by copying a support Pokémon which provides little benefit to my team. Overall, if executed correctly, I believe ditto is an insane way to turn the tide of battle, especially with how polarizing the double battle fights can be.

I finished the three day tournament with a 32-13 record and a 1623 rating. I learnt a lot from the battles and look forward to competing in future online VGC events.

And that’s the team! Feel free to utilise the comment section to let us know how your test battles with this team go!

Thank you to Ryan for providing the site with this extremely interesting team; if you would like to see your team featured, pop me a message over on Facebook or Twitter!


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