Nintendo / Pokémon

My favourite Pokémon VGC teams from the 2022 Japanese National Championships

Japanese teams just hit different.

The 2022 Japanese National Championships took place on 11–12 June and Victory Road compiled a list of the top 32 teams and I’m going to pick out my favourites.

Sho Ito’s team (finished 2nd)

Team members: Yveltal, Kyogre, Raichu, Kartana, Shedinja, and Zapdos

Raichu has been common in patches on the ladder thanks to its Lightning Rod ability, which would divert Electric damage to Yveltal and Kyogre, Nuzzle, and Fake Out. Then you have Shedinja for its Wonder Guard tactics.

Kaoru Ueki’s team (finished 4th)

Team members: Eternatus, Dialga, Umbreon, Whimsicott, Urshifu, and Salamence

Three dragons? You don’t see that everyday but that’s why Japanese teams are the gold standard for experimentation and top finishes at Worlds. This team also features Umbreon and Whimsicott to frustrate the opponent with bulk and speed control.

Tatsuya Watanuki’s team (finished 8th)

Team members: Groudon, Kyogre, Incineroar, Golisopod, Indeedee-F, and Tornadus

Golisopod with dual weather? Sure, why not. It got Tatsuya Watanuki to 8th and in the match above, we got to see Kyogre and Groudon out together which I’ve never actually seen in this gen. The interesting thing about Groudon, however, is the moveset: Precipice Blades, Protect, Thunder Punch, and Giga Impact. And as for the Golisopod, that was holding a Silver Powder and it was running Drill Run. Gotta love those Japanese teams.

Yuki Kishida’s team (finished 24th)

Team members: Calyrex-S, Groudon, Incineroar, Tangrowth, Porygon2, and Regieleki (Poképaste)

Ah, Tangrowth. I wanted to run one with Chlorophyll a while back but realised it was a futile endeavour very quickly. But here we are with a team that got to Worlds Day 1 and top cut at the Japanese Nationals. Its use of Chlorophyll allow it to outspeed Calyrex-S ever-so-slightly according to James Baek (above) and that helps surprise the opponent. Otherwise, it’s a relatively standard team that packs a punch.