Hey serebii! So, I've been doing a bunch of battles with this team on the SkarmBliss server, and it has been doing relatively well. With the actual tournament coming up in January 20th, I thought it'd be a good time to share a team that has worked for me to maybe give you guys ideas. On top of that, I could really use some advice to help me improve this team for the Regionals coming up in April. Anyway... let's start with the Team building process!
The Team Building Process
I wanted to really build a team that I've never really played before, and thought sand would be a good way to go at it. To start off, I went with a Tyranitar and Excadrill core.
Since this is going to end up being a weather team, I wanted something that could check Abomasnow and Politoed (Ninetales is easy to handle with Tyranitar). At the same time, I really didn't want Sand to be able to kill me, so a pokemon that can resist rock and ground would be a good start. Virizion was always a Pokemon I wanted to try out, so I went ahead and added him in. He does a decent job checking weather starters.
I saw myself becoming weak to Hitmontops, and other fighting types. Virizion is ok, but he can't take a Close Combat... so, I decided to go with a more specially based Pokemon since the team is looking a bit physical heavy.
Although I've got a good amount of speed in my team, I really wanted some means of speed control. The first Pokemon that really came to mind was Thundurus. I figured he'd be pretty good with Excadrill since I don't need to protect every other turn to use EQ.
Opposing ground types are still not fun to go up against. Since you are now allowed to use Therian forms, Landorus-T became a huge problem. He intimidates my main core, and stops them cold. He doesn't get scared of Volcarona since Volcarona is more scared of the Rock Slide or Stone Edge, and Virizion can't hurt him too hard after an Intimidate. I wanted a defensive Pokemon to be able to take out Landorus-T and other Ground types. Gastrodon seemed like a nice idea at the time, so I went ahead and added him in.
And, there was my initial team. I went and started testing this team out. It was an awful experience. Regardless of what I tried, I couldn't use Excadrill at all. He simply died, and Cresselia + Hitmontop completely shut me down, and left me with no where to turn. This was around the time everyone started running Stone Edge on top, which made Volcarona completely useless against the duo. I finally replaced Excadrill with Metagross to have some way of checking the combo. He didn't mind HP Fires from Defensive cresseials, and offensive ones generally died to Volcarona. And, at this point, I started to win a little more battles here and there.
At this point, Garchomps were completely killing me. Even Gastrodon can't get away with Ice Beaming it since all of them carry Yache Berry. Also, Landorus-T started being able to kill me, so I needed a way to get rid of them. Someone suggested Intimidate support for my team, which can help me check Chomp and Landorus. After a little bit of thinking, I finally came up with Gyarados. Since Gyarados did the same thing as Thundurus (Taunt, Thunder Waver, check Steel Types (mainly scizor)). After a little bit of testing and tweaking, the team is where it is now.
Tyranitar (F) @ Focus Sash
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Rock Slide
- Fire Punch
To start off, we have Tyranitar. This Tyranitar usually manages to OHKO or 2HKO most of the metagame, and can check the 2 most common speed control/support Pokemon: Cresselia and thundurus. Tyranitar is my main answer to checking Thundurus-T, who can sweep my team with Grass Know/Thunder Bolt/ HP Flying. Tyranitar can manage to live Grass Knot and OHKO back with Rock Slide in Sand. Since Tyranitar tends to draw out opposing Scizors, Fire Punch can put them in their place. He can take a Bullet Punch and OHKO back with Fire Punch. I simply maxed out his Attack and HP because I couldn't think of a better spread. I want Tyranitar to hit as hard as possible, and take as many hits as possible. Yet, Tyranitar is still vulnerable to and gets OHKO'd be Quiver Dance Volcaronas and Swords Dance Scizors, which is where The Focus Sash comes in handy. He can still manage to OHKO them by living with the sash.
Metagross @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Rock Slide
- Meteor Mash
- Ice Punch
Scarf Metagross is uncommon in the VGC Metagame. Metagross generally checks many of the faster threats roaming the metagame like Latios and Terrakion. But with the addition of Scarf, Metagross isn't as scared of many other faster threats and can OHKO them, which he couldn't do with a more defensive set. This includes Volcarona, Heatran, Garchomp, Landorus, and Thundurus. All of whom are common checks for Metagross. Volcarona is OHKO'd by a Rock Slide, Garchomp and Landorus are OHKO'd by Ice Punch, Heatran is OHKO'd by EQ, and defensive Thundurus are 2HKO'd by Ice Punch (even after Sitrus Berry). In most cases, Meteor Mash is the general move I go for. With continuous use of the move, you are going to get an Attack boost somewhere along the way, and can use that to OHKO and 2HKO most pokemon, even some that resist it.
Virizion @ Grass Gem
EVs: 140 Atk / 156 Def / 212 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Leaf Blade
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
Virizion is one of my more favorite Pokemon for checking Rain and Sand. However, this is more of a situational Pokemon, whom I really don't use unless more than 1/2 my opponents team can be taken out with Leaf Blade and Close Combat, or unless they are running rain or Sand. Grass Gem Leaf Blade OHKOs Gastrodon, Politoed, and Rotoms, and 2HKOs defensive Rotoms. The EVs allow Virizion to take 2 Dragon Claws from garchomp, and 3 X-Scissors from Excadrill and 2HKO/OHKO them (respectively). 212 EVs allow me to outspeed Jolly max speed Garchomp. Stone Edge is really more of a coverage move. In a tight spot, Virizion can OHKO Volcaronas, and hurt Thundurus and Zapdos. The high critical hit ratio comes in handy when I'm pretty much pushed up against the wall. Also, Virizion is able to check Landorus-T since he resists EQ, Stone Edge, and gets hit normally with U-Turn, and damage him back with Leaf Blade.
Volcarona (M) @ Bug Gem
Trait: Flame Body
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 248 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Bug Buzz
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power [Ground]
A Bug Gem Boosted Bug Buzz pretty much dents any Pokemon in VGC 2013. Since I really don't bring in Virizion that much, I am vulnerable to HP Grass Rotom-W, and a few other bulky waters. With a Bug Gem Bug Buzz, they are generally OHKO'd or are generally dented far enough for another one of my Pokemon to take them out. Also, with the Bug Gem boost, Volcarona can OHKO Physically Defensive Cresselias after Sand Storm damage, and can dent Specially Defensive ones enough to be killed by another attack. One of the main checks to Volcarona would be Heatran, who is outsped by and OHKO'd by with HP Ground. Most of my team is Scizor weak. Scizor can 2HKO or OHKO most of my team, and one of the ways I can manage to take him out is by scaring him with Volcarona. As for the EV spread, it maximizes the SpA that it can have with HP ground, and allows me to invest 4 EVs into Defense. This may seem useless, but in tight spots, living a Bullet Punch from a steel type with 1 HP would make it worth while.
Gyarados (M) @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 52 SDef / 44 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Thunder Wave
- Ice Fang
I've been really liking Gyarados in this team. Gyarados does a really good job plugging up some holes in this team. He does a good job trying to stop TR from going up, cripple faster foes, take hits like a boss, and hit rather hard all at once. Gyarados is a Pokemon I can trust to switch in on most physical attackers carrying a rock move since Intimidate and 160 Def EVs allows it to take those attacks with little to worry about. He takes around 25% damage from a fight gem Close Combat from Hitmontop after Intimidate, he can take up to 3 rock slides from T-Tar and 2HKO back with Waterfall. He can even tank a Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Latios and 2HKO back with Ice Fang. With Gyarados as an Intimidate support, my fear of Garchomp is reduced. On top of that, Gyarados can get himself out of tight situations using Paraflinch. Although a long shot, it really helps when you have no other options. The 44 Speed EVs allows me to outspeed 4 EV cress and taunt her before she can Thunder Waver or Trick Room. Gyarados also makes a nice Volcarona partner.
Gastrodon (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Trait: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 SDef
Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)
- Earth Power
Gastrodon is one of the best Pokemon I've added onto this team. If your opponent doesn't carry a grass attack Gastrodon tends to become one of the greatest threats in the metagame. Gastrodon can absorb water attacks fired at his partner and use it for his own power. I usually switch into Gaastrodon if I see a Thundurus out to take the Thunder Wave. Gastrodon does a good job scaring steel types with Earth Power, and physical attacker with scald. I used to run Ice Beam on Gastrodon, but after being set up fodder for a Suicune, I decided to test out Toxic as a move to check bulky waters. And, it worked really well. This gastrodon can go up against opposing Gastrodons 1 on 1 and come out victorious thanks to Toxic. Cresselia becomes less of a threat when it keeps losing its HP every turn, and Gastrodon keeps recovering its health back. The EV spread is designed for a Gastrodon to take a Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from a Timid Latios, and recover most of its health back as if nothing happened (Thank you, sitrus berry). On top of that, when Gyarados and Volcarona are facing down an opposing Rotom-W, return Gyarados and sending out this guy will leave the Rotom vulnerable for a bug gem bug buzz. Also, there are times when Gastrodon used Gyarados' Waterfall to deal important KOs.
Although the team did bring my a good amount of success, there are still a couple issues I'd like to cover up:
Somehow, in most battles, I always find a way to end up with Gastrodon and Gyarados together on the field. Most of the time, I wish I wasn't in this situation. Gyarados' Waterfall ends up powering up Gastrodon, but most of the time, that Waterfall would have been a better option to hit opponents than scald. I need to find a way to fix this...
Garchomps. Still a problem. He can still hit Gyarados for consistent damage, and with an Electric type partner (especially Thundurus-T), I'm dead. I have no way of stopping them except Metagross who can't OHKO Thundurus, and can't OHKO Yache Garchomps.
Thundurus-T. One of the most feared Pokemon that can come up against me. a Timid + Speed Nature can outspeed Volcarona and take it out with HP Flying.
Rain. Regardless of me having many counters to rain, I still manage to end up in extremely tight situations, and I have trouble fighting back against them.