23rd July 2011, 7:04 PM
Pivot Magic -- [BW OU]
OK, I'll try not to bore you all with long introductions and stuff as I'm so fond of doing, but this team really deserves a long into, haha. It's been possibly my favorite BW OU team for quite some time, and it's been responsible for some pretty decent ladder peaks (I was 5th on PO's Smogon OU ladder just the other day, though that doesn't mean anything, and I was also around 10th or so on Smogon's OU ladder when the server went down, using this team). The team has also netted me some wins against really solid players, and overall I consider it to be probably amongst the best BW OU teams that I've ever made since suspect stage one (and we all know that suspect stage one sucked because it was basically just Darkrai/Shaymin/Inconsistent Octillery/Fillers). Anyways, I'm rambling now, so back to the team.
The base for this team originally started when I read a very old team from Godzilla, one team U-Turn me on, a team focused around a Flygon/Scizor/Celebi U-Turn core. Godzilla dubbed U-Turn as "the best move in the metagame at this time", and IMO he couldn't have been more right. It helps keep the offensive pressure against stall, keeps the momentum on your side against offense, and is in general simply a great move. And thankfully, Gen V gifted us with another, similar move -- Volt Switch, which is defined as,
"After making its attack, the user rushes back to switch places with a party Pokémon in waiting".
This would become the basis for this team. At this point, I was struggling a bit on the ladder, which was really pissing me off. I was only at like 1350 or 1400ish and I was winning only about half my battles, so I basically scrapped the team I'd been using for a while and decided that this team would work, and it'd be worthwhile to make. And I'm damn glad I decided that, since this has been undeniably one of my best BW OU teams.
Teambuilding (warning, tl;dr, just skim it if you want)
This team started around a basic core that's been quite common lately; Rotom-W + Scizor, which pivoted in and out against each other's counters very well, and overall complimented each other very nicely. Simple, yet efficient. However, pretty standard, as expected, and from there on, I wanted something that worked very well as an anti metagame Pokemon, and yet also provided U-Turn or Volt Switch for the backbone of the core of the team. I was on IRC at that time, #teamuber or something, and Yondie or Xtrashine made some complete ******* comment about CBApe and this weird team he recommended that I use. However, the mention of Infernape stuck, as it rather amusingly seemed to perfectly fill the niche that I wanted -- something that hits hard against Rotom-W, revenges common threats well, and has U-Turn. Perfect. Also it hits ridiculously hard with CB Close Combat, and Iron Fist Mach Punch is pretty awesome.
At that point, arguably the greatest issue with the team was the fact that Rocks and Spikes heavily damaged the core of the team, as I was constantly switching out throughout the game, and in general was sort of weak to stall if I couldn't break through it with Specs Rotom-W or CBApe. At that point, I also felt that I needed something that offered either dual screens or Wish support, preferably the latter, though they both complimented the team very well. Thankfully, DW Female Espeon had just been released, so Wish + Magic Mirror was allowed! Espeon seemed to fit that niche role perfectly, and thus found a spot on my team alongside the core.
At that point, I was experiencing another little issue with the team -- I realized that I had no way to pick off any weakened Pokes, like Lati@s, for example, who switched in on Ape's U-Turn or something like that, and then was still capable of launching a Draco Meteor or something like that before death. I was also ridiculously weak to NP Thunderous, which would be a major issue, I knew. In the end, I decided to fill the remaining role with another sort of anti metagame Pokemon, Scarftar, who works perfectly in conjunction with my three U-Turn/VoltSwitch Pokes. At that point I still needed a switch in to a lot of Dragon Types and had only one pretty frail ground resist, so I sort of just tossed Bronzong onto the team for Rocks and for the resistances he offered.
The team sucked. It proved to be too weak and almost incapable of dealing with certain Pokemon. Hippowdon, for example, was really irritating for the team, since nothing could KO it barring Rotom, who couldn't keep switching in easily. Skarmory was a pain in the *** to get rid of as well. Etc, etc. So I opened up the teambuilder again and started talking with some people (DC and Zeph helped a ton here, since I tested the team a lot against the two of them).
Pretty soon, I could see that Bronzong was easily the most replaceable Pokemon on the team. In easily more than half of my games, he was a complete dead weight, or just sat there while a Dragonite or something DD'd up and then proceeded to KO. He just wasn't pulling his weight, couldn't do anything to the Pokes who gave me troubles, and just was generally pretty bad. In the end, i decided to replace him with Thunderous, who basically dealt with Skarmory pretty well, but didn't really do much else. This left me without a solid switch in to Dragon moves (Scizor really couldn't handle everything, especially considering that I was using a primarily offensive spread), so I decided to replace Espeon with Jirachi, which left me without a spinner, but gave me a Wishpasser, which was really helpful and worked pretty well.
From there on, the team worked sort of well, but I really disliked not having a spinner. It's probably from all the time I spent playing stall back in Gen IV or something, but I just really hate having hazards up on my side of the field. This, in the end, led me to replace Thunderous with Starmie, who basically did the same stuff but had the added bonus of revenging opposing Thunderous and Tornados, as well as spinning. Another thing that was plaguing me at this point was how Excadrill weak the team was. All the opponent really had to do to sweep me with it was kill Infernape, and then boom, I can't revenge it. Of course, I usually managed to keep Ape alive if I saw Excadrill in team preview, but still, I was pretty weak to it. At this point, since I'd gotten a spinner, Jirachi seemed to be pretty much the most replaceable Pokemon, as I didn't really need the wishes anymore. I had to consider for a while what to use here, for I needed a scarfer that could beat the genies, beat Excadrill, and keep the offensive momentum on my side. In the end, I discovered that Landorus would be perfect.
And that's where the team has left off.
Scizor (M) @ Choice Band
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SDef
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Bullet Punch
- Quick Attack
Scizor fills one of the most important roles on the team, dealing with a wide variety of setup Pokemon that would otherwise be able to severely damage the team, and revenging a ton of Pokemon weakened by repetitive switch ins to U-Turns and Volt Switches. Scizor also begins the main core of the team with U-Turn to start off the battle, and has excellent synergy with Rotom-W, as the two can deal with each other's counters very well, and Rotom's ability to cripple Scizor's counters is really helpful. Overall, Scizor is also just a really great Pokemon, and helpful in a ton of situations. He also is my "counter" to OTR Reuniclus.
The set's pretty much standard, barring Quick Attack, which may seem kind of weird, but actually is kind of necessary, and ridiculously helpful. It, unlike Bullet Punch, is capable of revenge killing offensive Rotom (at about 30-40%ish) and Thunderous, both two Pokemon that are real pains in the *** for this team to deal with. Pursuit, which would normally go in that moveslot, is really unnecessary when I have Tyranitar, and simply because of the way this team works, with it being almost completely dependent on having the offensive pressure, I usually would rather use U-Turn that Pursuit as is in many of the situations where Pursuit could potentially come in handy (against CM Latias, for example). I put the extra 8 EVs in Special Defense rather than Speed, as I've never really seen the purpose in outspeeding other Scizor -- all it means if you outspeed them is that you U-Turn before they do and thus lose the momentum, making the slower Scizor essentially win the matchup, even if they deal less damage to your switch in.
Rotom-W @ Choice Specs
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Rotom-W synergizes beautifully with the rest of my team, and is key in taking out a ton of offensive and defensive threats that would otherwise completely mess up the team. Rotom is, for example, my best switch in to opposing Rotom, a solid pivot into stuff using Earthquake, etc. It also takes out a ton of Scizor's counters, can really mess with stall if I Trick the Specs onto something important, and possibly most importantly takes out Gliscor, Skarmory, and Hippowdon, all of whom are sort of pains to deal with, and all of whom are common switch ins to Scizor (often I can play a situation like, Scizor U-Turns, they switch in Glis, Rotom-W Volt Switches back to Scizor, I U-Turn as they switch to Glis again, then I Hydro Pump as they stay in expecting the Volt Switch).
Anyhow, I run pretty much a standard specs set, and most of the time I'm only using Volt Switch or Hydro Pump. I've considered switching to a set with Lefties and Pain Split, but I really like the ability to Trick a Scarf, and the offensive pressure that specs Volt Switch offers. Also, just to note, despite Scizor being first in Team Preview, I usually find myself leading with Rotom-W, simply to scout for counters and such.
Infernape (M) @ Choice Band
Trait: Iron Fist
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Flare Blitz
- Mach Punch
- Close Combat
Infernape is probably my favorite Pokemon on this team, and is so anti metagame that it's ridiculous. Almost anything that switches in expecting a mixed set gets completely wrecked by CB Close Combat or U-Turn. Every single bulky water other than Jellicent, for example, is 2HKO'd by CC, with the less bulky switch ins (opposing scarf Rotom-W, for example) being OHKOed with ease. Other common switch ins include Reuniclus, Sigilyph, and the Lati@s twins, none of whom like eating a U-Turn, and are all KOd by TTar afterwards.
Infernape's set allows it to fill several important jobs within the team. First off, U-Turn obviously lets me pivot to around to the appropriate counter, and is almost always the first move I lead with. It also usually leads to me starting the match with an early advantage, both in momentum, and possibly in Pokemon, if the opponent errs when trying to figure out what to switch in against Infernape. Flare Blitz and Close Combat form the obligatory STAB moves (iirc Fire Punch is illegal with Iron Fist, otherwise I'd use that), and Mach Punch rounds off the set, KOing weakened Excadrill, Tornados, and other assorted stuff (it actually hits really hard with the Iron Fist boost).
Starmie @ Leftovers
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Hydro Pump
- Rapid Spin
- Ice Beam / Recover
When you saw this team, you probably thought something along the lines of, "lolwhat, five choiced Pokes? Complete setup bait for hazards...". However, that's really not the case at all. First off, the extreme offensive nature of the team and the fact that I'll almost always be controlling the pace of the match means that the opponent will have hardly any opportunities to set hazards. Secondly, even if they do manage to set up any hazards, the combination of U-Turner/VoltSwitcher + Tyranitar will let me remove any spinblockers early in the game, allowing Starmie to spin easily. That's pretty much Starmie's main job on the team, though proving a Fire resist is nice, as is Starmie's ability to counter Skarmory and Hippowdon, and also importantly, check the genies.
The moveset is pretty simple, though I've been trying to work Recover onto it somewhere, over Ice Beam, most likely, though that'll make it a bit harder to check the Genies. Rapid Spin is really the crux of the set, and is undeniably crucial to the team's success. Starmie is just a really central cog on the team, and it wouldn't be able to function at all without Starmie.
Landorus (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Sand Power
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Stone Edge
Landorus is the newest addition to the team, and has worked great, dealing with a wide variety of Pokemon that my team has trouble with. Landorus also works very well in conjunction with my other U-Turners, though wasn't originally placed on the team for the benefit of U-Turn, but rather for the abilities to revenge kill Excadrill and lure in Gliscor and then beat it with a (hopefully) well predicted HP Ice. In addition, Landorus is actually ridiculously anti metagame. You'll be hard pressed to find a team that isn't a little bit weak to it, since Sand Power Earthquake is just so damn strong, and it can easily scout for counters early game.
I run the standard set, with HP Ice in the filler slot, as Landorus (especially choiced Landorus lures in Gliscor extremely well, and my team really doesn't like the opponent having Gliscor around, as he stops Infernape and Scizor from killing everything just by throwing around U-Turns at random and hoping to hit something of importance, haha. Also, HP Ice lets me revenge kill opposing Landorus, who are a bit annoying to deal with, though priority moves and Rotom help a ton. My IVs are 31/30/30/31/31/31, giving me max speed at the cost of a tiny bit of attack and defense while still letting me use HP Ice. Finally, Earthquake and Stone Edge hit a lot harder than one would expect.
Tyranitar (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Stone Edge
- Superpower / Stealth Rock
Tyranitar rounds off the team as that sort of "catch all" Pokemon, and synergizes absolutely beautifully with all of my U-Turn and Volt Switch pivots. Pursuit lets me deal with pretty much anything that switches into one of the U-Turners. Jellicent? Pursuit/Crunch. Lati@s? Pursuit/Crunch. Gengar? You can probably figure it out. Tyranitar also plays a part in letting me revenge kill a ton of stuff, like opposing Rotom-A, the genies, and Sigilyph and Reuniclus, all of whom would be rather irritating to play against if not for Tyranitar. But in addition to that, Tyranitar is a ridiculously good defensive pivot, taking pretty much all specially based attacks with remarkable ease thanks to Sand Stream. Speaking of Sand Stream, Tyranitar offers me a solid chance against opposing Sun and Rain teams, since TTar is sturdier than either of their setters, and I have tons of opportunities to bring TTar in unscathed thanks to U-Turn and Volt Switch.
I run a pretty standard scarftar set, with Superpower and Stealth Rocks both angling for the last slot. Superpower hits a ton of stuff, like Heatran, Terrakion, and opposing Tyranitar really hard, and is in general a really useful move to have. Stealth Rock, on the other hand, is less central to the meta this gen, imo, but still really useful to have, and is really helpful. However, I'm not really dead set on either of them, and kind of dislike using choiced Rocks, though I do have a number of opportunities to do so. Other moves are basically standard stuff, with Pursuit as the crux of the set. Jolly > Adamant to outspeed base 111s (the genies).
This has been a really successful team, and I have a lot of people to thank for that. I guess I kind of have to thank xtra (or yondie, I literally can't remember) for making a dumb comment about CBApe over IRC which led me to creating the team, but I also really want to thank Ciele and Zeph, both of whom played against this team several times and offered suggestions on it (zeph, we still need to finish our bo15. ;D ). DC and EspyOwner from Smogon and TU respectively were both also really helpful in the creation of this team, and are both really cool guys. Finally, I want to thank Folgorio for giving me a good idea of what to ladder as (betterthanfolg) for part of the suspect period. ;D