VGC17 Pick Up and Play #1 – Japanese Bonsly

We of the VGC community are afflicted by a plague. An age-old problem: the lack of motivation to seriously team-build for minor events. Every weekend I imagine the same dialogue arises from the home of a bad player in suburban Melbourne.

“Boysssssss, send me a team for this weekend’s PC”
“k brah here ya go lmoa”

The aim of this series is to provide two things. Firstly, for new players with little team building experience: to provide them with a somewhat playable team, alongside a brief guide on how to get started playing with it. Secondly, for the more capable but pathologically lazy: somewhere to grab a Pastebin with an outline of what to do to net themselves SOME CP with minimal effort. We hope to equip you with the minimum amount of knowledge required to make use of these teams, with the rest open to your own interpretation.

Without further ado, with the kind assistance of James Katsaros (@ChosenFutureVGC) and Nick Bingham (@Ludicolopatrol) we bring you THE BONSLY MEME TEAM. This team was used by themselves and some other Plum players to do badly at Premier Challenges in Victoria. Nick also recently came runner-up in EXP Grinder #6 with a variation on said team.

All You Need to Know:

Bonsly @ Normalium Z
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Psych Up
– Rock Slide
– Sucker Punch
– Low Kick

Z-Psych Up copies the stat changes of your partner as well as fully restoring your HP. With Sturdy, it gives Bonsly a much better chance of successfully copying a Belly Drum boost from Snorlax. The effect it creates could be described as a “double Focus Sash” if that explains it any better. Z-Psych up also cannot be prevented with Taunt. Sucker Punch is for functionality outside of Trick Room. Low Kick is to handle opposing Snorlax and Gigalith. Rock Slide is Rock Slide. The advantage of Bonsly over Sudowoodo is that with Trick Room up, Bonsly is slow enough to beat opposing Torkoal.

Lucario @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Close Combat
– Follow Me
– Metal Sound
– Final Gambit

Lucario is a counter-lead to a lot of things that would otherwise shut down this team. Close Combat exists for basic damage should no other use for Lucario be apparent. Follow Me is to redirect Taunts to allow a turn of setup for other members of the team, particularly Mimikyu. Metal Sound is to increase the damage output of your physical allies. Final Gambit is to delete low base HP opponents or bring other annoying Pokemon like Porygon2 or Arcanine into close range of knockout by an ally.

Tapu Koko @ Choice Specs
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Thunderbolt
– Electro Ball
– Volt Switch
– Dazzling Gleam

Choice Specs Tapu Koko’s purpose is to form an endgame if Trick Room has expired and the main win condition in Bonsly has been weakened. Electro Ball is a tech of mine to deal significant damage to opposing Trick Room teams, though Discharge also functions just as well here.

Snorlax @ Figy Berry
Ability: Gluttony
Level: 50
EVs: 20 HP / 252 Atk / 228 Def / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 1 Spe
– Return
– Rock Slide
– Belly Drum
– Recycle

Snorlax is a critical part of the setup process of the team. By boosting with Belly Drum, you allow your Psych Up users to copy it and hence begin a sweep. Recycle is critical; if your opponent thwarts your opportunity to boost early game, Recycle allows you to recover health to have a second chance at setting up. Rock Slide could also be replaced with High Horsepower, though this goes against the team goal to be dealing huge spread damage under Trick Room.

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Atk / 20 Def / 184 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 8 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Bonemerang
– Perish Song
– Protect

Marowak is an alternate win condition, either by damage output under Trick Room or by Perish Song. Extremely bulky teams with Celesteela, Gastrodon or Porygon2 may prove difficult to manage. Perish Song is insurance against stall tactics, ending the game if you can keep your Pokemon count high enough to facilitate switching.

Mimikyu @ Mental Herb
Ability: Disguise
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Shadow Sneak
– Play Rough
– Trick Room
– Psych Up

Mimikyu is the speed control of the team, allowing Bonsly and Snorlax to move first and use Rock Slide. Shadow Sneak was chosen over Shadow Claw, as Mimikyu is still very fast even at minimum speed and priority helps it damage much slower targets. At +6 Attack after copying Snorlax, the damage from Shadow Sneak is still enough to pick up KOs on most targets with a Ghost Weakness. Everything else gets a Play Rough. Play Rough could also be dropped Taunt, complemented by 252+ speed.

The all-important Showdown import

How to Use the Team:

Core combination:

// + X

This is the primary mode of the team. The objective is to eventually have 2 physical attackers at +6 Attack under Trick Room. With Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak, this isn’t necessary and the team CAN function after Trick Room goes down. Ideally, you’d like to have ~3 turns of this huge offensive capability to punch big enough holes to end the game with priority moves.

The most basic flowchart goes as follows:

LEAD: / VS  [insert non-threatening leads lol] T1: –> Belly Drum  / –> Trick Room
T2: –> ((attack)) / –> Psych Up
T3: ((attack)) / ((attack))
T4: Psych up switch ins when something goes down.

This presents the fastest way for the team to operate and end a game against a totally unprepared team. This is super rare, as most teams these days have answers to hard cheese.

Obviously, this can be easily disrupted by opposing Taunt on Snorlax, or a Roar/Whirlwind user at any point. Enter Lucario. Lucario allows redirection and usually gets at least 1 turn of setup for its partner. Lucario’s Final Gambit also allows you to attempt to eliminate a problematic Taunt user with low base HP (eg. ALL Island Guardians), or at least allow for a double up. The following turn allows a free switch into an attacker also!

Another example play:

LEAD: / VS  (example Taunt/Roar user) / X
T1:  –> Final Gambit –> / –> Trick Room
T2: –> Belly Drum / –> Psych Up
T3: ((attack)) / ((attack))

Other Important Situations:

Stally teams:

In this situation, Marowak is your out. Early game, you’ll do your best to set up the combination to rip away at the rest of the team. In the back, you’ll have Marowak. Late game when your opponent has two or less Pokemon remaining and you have 3 or more Marowak can be brought in on a safe slot or after a KO. At this point, use Perish Song. As long as you can stall for 3 turns, which shouldn’t be difficult as your opponent has minimal offence, you win. This can be achieved reasonably easily with Recycle on Snorlax, or by switching defensively and cycling Protects.


The most common Haze user in the format is Drifblim. You can use Tapu Koko to handle this, usually with Choice Specs Volt Switch and the terrain in your favour. Volt Switch then allows you to bring in one of your combo Pokemon and begin setup.


Hopefully, this gives at least SOMEONE out there something fun to use on the lower ladder or even something to bring to a Premier Challenge. We are very much looking for feedback on the format of this article. Tell us what you think and how we can improve (aside from featuring better teams, I definitely realise this). These articles are a great way to feature a team you like on the site without the need to write a full report. If YOU have a team you would like to donate to this article format, please DM me @CappaVGC on Twitter and I’ll help you get it on the site.

About Cappa

Nathan is really, really bad at Pokemon, despite having played for a fair time. During the week, he spends lots of time with sick people and learning about why they are sick. Nathan is supposed to enjoy VGC, and pretends not to enjoy Love Live and distasteful memes. To listen to Nathan complain about life regularly, follow on Twitter @CappaVGC.
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