Not at all my friends! In fact, Politoed-less OU Rain has a distinct advantage over Drizzle teams: Swift Swim. None of the other weathers have a reason to make a team without their inducers. Sun? Ninetales is meh, yeah, but Sun is allowed to use Chlorophyll with permanent sun and Harvest basically requires it, sorta like Hydration and permanent rain. Sand? Sand Rush is legal with Sand Stream (Excadrill isn't legal in OU but Sand Rush is). Sand Force, same thing. Sand Veil is banned regardless. And Sand's inducers are pretty solid anyway, no reason to worry there. Hail? Nah. Blizzard is legal with Snow Warning, Ice Body is legal with Snow Warning, Snow Cloak is banned either way. I don't even think Hail has its own prolonging item like the others do. Further, this team wrecks Sun with the right prediction. It doesn't even need the rain to take out Ninetales - Kingdra's done that every time I've come up against one. Rain? LOL, thanks for doing my work for me! Sand? If it's T-Tar I run into some issues but Hippowdon's pretty manageable. Hail? Haven't fought one yet, but I don't imagine it'd be all that tough between Kabutops and Scizor, far less so one my Rain becomes the only weather factor. Kingdra or Kabutops can outright sweep most Hail teams I've seen in the past, or at the very least severely dent them. Stallrein and Tentacruel can probably take a hit or two unboosted.
Anyway, that was getting kinda rambly so on to the team! The sets were ripped from the importable file so Spd, SDef and SAtk are used over Spe, SpD and SpA, but y'all can read it fine, I know.
At a glance:
Tornadus (M) @ Damp Rock
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Rain Dance
I typically lead with the genie here. Tornadus makes a pretty good lead for a Damp Rock rain team for a couple of reasons. It has access to Prankster, meaning my Rain Dance gets the drop on most opposing leads, or my Taunt if need be. It also gets STAB Hurricane and a monster SpA stat to use it with, meaning it can abuse the rain it sets as well. Finally, I have U-Turn here to get Tornadus out, scout the switch and bring in the appropriate Pokemon, preferably Kingdra or Kabutops. Tornadus is something I really want to keep alive against weather teams because its Rain Dance is Prankster-backed, which means I can count on Tornadus to get it off against almost anything and Tornadus outspeeds the other Pranksters you often see in OU, Whimsicott and Sableye, which I'd Taunt anyway.
Jirachi @ Damp Rock
Trait: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 224 SDef / 32 Spd
- Rain Dance
- Stealth Rock
- Iron Head
Jirachi is my second Rain setter and hazard carrier. The idea is that it's got some reasonable bulk to it and can probably come in more than once in a game. So it also gets the important job of hazard setting. Thunder and Iron Head troll like nothing else can and even when I don't go paraflinch Thunder hits hard and the 60% paralysis helps a lot. It deals nicely with HydraRest Vaporeon, against which I ony had Thundurus before. Iron Head gets STAB and isn't really something they expect after seeing Thunder. The EVs used to be physically-inclined but after removing Espeon I've gone the standard SDef route here.
Thundurus-Therian (M) @ Life Orb
Trait: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
- Nasty Plot
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Ice]
At mcdanger and Atrocious's suggestion, I canned Espeon for this behemoth. The Electric immunity (and 25% recovery) is really nice (and the recovery can offset LO recoil, to a degree). Main reason for Thunderbolt is that after Nasty Plot, I've got 5 turns tops of rain to play with and I don't want to be missing out on my STAB move afterwards. Nor do I want to switch Thundy out and lose my Nasty Plots. Also, with Thunder my only real chance of beating Ninetales with this is to let Focus Miss rip and pray it hits, but with Thunderbolt it's a 2HKO, OHKO after a Plot boost. Otherwise, Ninetales can switch in and pretty much force me out. However, using Thunderbolt and Nasty Plot makes eliminating Ninetales much easier - I lead Tornadus, my opponent leads Tales. I use Rain Dance, then follow it with Taunt. Then I U-Turn out for a win-win situation. Thundurus comes in and scares him into changing the weather, fearing Thunder. Nasty Plot on the switch, positive-natured Base 101 outspeeds all non-Scarfed Tales, and +2 LO Thunderbolt OHKOs. This has happened way too many times. This isn't meant to abuse Rain. It's here to absorb Electric moves for my sweepers and punch its own holes in my opponent's team. Thunderbolt is STAB and my main attack. Backed by LO and positive-natured Base 145 SAtk I don't really even need Thunder's power. Focus
Blast is here for Steels like Ferrothorn and HP Ice hits opposing Dragons and Gliscor. It's also very nice for Grass-types.
Kingdra @ Life Orb
Trait: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef
- Rain Dance
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Draco Meteor
This was another suggestion from mcdanger. Originally, I had a physical DD Kingdra here and while it was an absolute monster, this has been better. It can set its own Rain for 4 turns of fun. It packs even more power than the physical set I had. It has better coverage. And there is no downside, nothing the old set did better. Having Kingdra set its own Rain (and being Special) meant that there was a lot less Ninetales could do to it (although before Ninetales checked at best, it needed Will-O-Wisp to do so. All other variants lost to DD Kingdra without even one boost. The thing is, not even Will-O-Wisp stops this set and it hits Ninetales back even harder). Hydro Pump is a tad unreliable, but the sheer power it brings to the table is unrivaled. The equivalent of 240 Base Power after STAB and the Rain, and that doesn't even account for Max. SAtk or Life Orb. Or type modifiers. That's obscene. Ice Beam destroys Dragons and Gliscor. Draco Meteor is mainly used when I just want the quick kill without dropping Rain, or when I face Gastrodon. The only problem is I pretty much have to switch after using Draco Meteor, which was the one thing DD Kingdra had over this - the ability to fire one off and stay in. Nonetheless, this has been fantastic, thanks mcdanger!
Kabutops @ Life Orb
Trait: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 HP
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
- Low Kick
Another suggestion from mcdanger here, but I found Rapid Spin was getting next to no use, whereas Swords Dance was leading to sweeps. so I went back to Dance. Anyway, Waterfall gets double STAB with the rain up and pretty much murders anything that doesn't resist it, especially at +2. Stone Edge wrecks quite a bit as well and serves as a secondary (if unreliable) STAB. Low Kick is here for the Steels mostly, although with Rain up I generally use Waterfall. Without Rain, Low Kick. Unless there's a secondary resistance to one, in which case I use the other.
Scizor @ Choice Band
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spd
- Bullet Punch
Finally, CB TechniScizor is something we all know and love/hate. It's saved me in a fair few tight spots. Most of you probably already know exactly what this beast does, but I'm going to go over it briefly anyway. Bullet Punch gets STAB and a Technician boost, effectively raising its Base Power to 90. Stronger than Extremespeed. Now factor in the Band-boosted Atk stat and you have a very dangerous move. U-Turn gets good synergy with Choice items in general, grants Switch initiative and gets me around Magnezone if I catch it on said switch. Superpower provides another means of wrecking Steels, although again Ferrothorn is quite problematic. Pursuit is great for trapping and KOing things, like opposing Espeon and the Latis.
I've been playing Rain since the very start of BW. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, there was a time when Hydration Swanna was used in OU. I used it. It messed things up because no one knew how exactly to handle Hydration/Rest, having never seen it in OU before. Only Manaphy and Phione had that combination back in DPPT, and let's face it, Phione sucks. That is the only reason it actually worked though, and now Swanna is stuck in the depths of NU. If it showed its face in OU today, it would be pretty handily destroyed. In all that time, I have never once tried a Rain team like this. Never once used one without a Politoed. But I was pretty impressed with its performance and now I wonder if I'll actually use the little toad again, given that this team counters rather well about a third of the OU ladder, the third that uses more or less the same Drizzle team, and does pretty well against the rest too.
Some (er... One, only one I have for the new team atm) replays before I sign off on this:
This is what we do to Sun