The Pokémon VGC Sun Series has been underway for about a month now, and the addition of cover legendaries has caused pandemonium within the format. With so many gods and elemental beasts running around, it can be hard to choose which two to use on your team. Before jumping in, here are the rules for VGC 2019 and the Sun Series:
- All battles will be Double Battles played in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.
- All Pokémon from National Pokédex No. 001 through 807 are allowed, with the following restrictions:
- Mythical Pokémon and Ash-Greninja are not permitted.
- Players may only include two of the following Pokémon in their teams: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala, Necrozma.
- Pokémon must have the Alola symbol, showing they were caught in the Alola region.
- Duplicate Pokémon are not allowed.
- Duplicate held items are not allowed.
- All Pokémon are set to Lv. 50, including Pokémon below Lv. 50.
- Players will have 7 minutes of Your Time, up from 5 minutes in 2018.
The following additional rules will be in place only during their respective series.
September 4, 2018–January 7, 2019
- Z-Crystals and Mega Stones are not permitted.
- Blue Orb and Red Orb items are not permitted.
- Rayquaza may not know the move Dragon Ascent.
Now that that’s out of the way, here are some of the best Pokémon in Sun Series so far.
5 Best Competitive Pokémon for VGC 2019 Sun Series
Incineroar @ Assault Vest/Figy Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
– Fake Out
– Flare Blitz
– Knock Off
The controversial heel wrestler absolutely dominated VGC 2018, and Sun Series looks no different so far, once again becoming the most commonly used Pokémon in the format. Incineroar’s monstrous attack stat and fantastic offensive typing allow it to hit opponents hard with STAB Flare Blitz and Knock Off. It’s bulky too, allowing it to survive a rain-boosted Origin Pulse from Kyogre while holding an Assault Vest.
Incineroar’s greatest strength, however, is its amazing utility with Fake Out and Intimidate. Intimidate is obviously one of the most broken abilities in doubles, lowering both of the opponents’ physical attack stats on a switch in. This broken ability combined with Fake Out pressure allows Incineroar to support its teammates, allowing them to set up utility moves like Tailwind or Trick Room. If you want additional utility, you can replace U-turn and your Assault Vest with a few different options. Roar can be used to phase out the terrifying threat that is Geomancy Xerneas, while Snarl does spread chip damage and lowers your opponent’s special attack stats.
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Dazzling Gleam
This roided-out Bambi is arguably the biggest threat in Sun Series so far. Once it gets its Geomancy up, there is very little in the metagame that’s able to stop it. The set is fairly straightforward: set up Geomancy, then win. While using Xerneas, you need to make sure you can get your Geomancy up safely.
Common anti-Geomancy Pokémon include the aforementioned Roar Incineroar and Haze Crobat, both of which can waste Xerneas’s Power Herb, making it significantly less effective. Make sure you support your Xerneas with Fake Out and Taunt users that can ensure your precious deer’s ascent into godhood.
Kyogre @ Choice Scarf/Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Origin Pulse
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
Even though it doesn’t have access to Blue Orb in Sun Series, Kyogre is still one of the best Pokémon in the game. If you can avoid Fake Out ruining your momentum, spamming scarfed Water Spout can net you a win. If you’ve been damaged a bit already, Origin Pulse still hits like a truck. Kyogre’s Drizzle ability also provides a lot of useful utility if you build your team around it. Swift Swim Pokémon like Ludicolo can run circles around the enemy team, abusing their blazing speed to remove threats to Kyogre and give you the win. Kyogre alone counters strong offensive Pokémon like Groudon and Incineroar, and if you can remove threats like Amoonguss and Ferrothorn, Kyogre should be able to clean up the enemy team easily.
Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpDef
– Photon Geyser
– Sunsteel Strike
– Trick Room/Earthquake
After making waves in Ubers, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane makes its VGC debut with a vengeance. Its amazing ability Prism Armor reduces damage from super effective attacks by 25%, allowing it to tank through common moves like Earthquake or Flare Blitz. After taking a super effective hit, NDM’s Weakness Policy will activate, allowing it to sweep. In order to make sure NDM can sweep, your team must utilize speed control. Either have another Pokémon set up Tailwind or have NDM activate Trick Room itself. NDM is arguably the most powerful Xerneas counter in the format. If you can establish speed control and eliminate threats like Incineroar, your NDM sweep will be extremely hard to stop.
Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
– Gyro Ball
– Power Whip
– Leech Seed/Thunder Wave
This thorny annoyance has made constant appearances in competitive play ever since its debut in Black and White. Ferrothorn’s insane bulk and fantastic defensive typing allow it to tank hits from some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game. The two most powerful Pokémon in Sun Series, Xerneas and Kyogre, both fear Ferrothorn. It can easily absorb hits from both of them and respond in kind with a Power Whip for Kyogre or a Gyro Ball to a boosted Xerneas. Depending on their set, Ferrothorn can one-hit-KO either of those two Pokémon.
It can also easily stall out enemy teams with Protect and Leech Seed, proving once again that it’s an unkillable parasite. If you come up against a Ferrothorn, break out the Incineroar and light it up with Flare Blitz. Just be wary of its Rocky Helmet.
Want to put these powerhouses into practice? Find an event near you with Game Freak’s official VGC event locator!