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    Default The Serebii Journal




    Welcome to The Serebii Journal, Serebii's own web-zine. This will be a monthly thing and be brought back if enough people enjoy it so be sure to stop by the input thread and give us your input of the articles and idea as well as suggest new ideas.

    Index

    Metagame Articles
    Birds in OU

    New Faces in XY UU

    Featured OU RMT

    Spotlight Threat in OU - Aegislash

    Battle Strategy
    The Art of Lures and Luring

    Current and Upcoming Events in Serebii Competitive Community

    2/1/14 - Masterclass
    BGP has revived one of the biggest tours we have again so be sure to stop in to see Masterclass

    Credit
    Credit for the banner goes to EmeraldGoblin, articles are written by McDanger and checked over by Ragnarok.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:27 PM.



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    Birds in OU




    The XY meta has brought about a lot of changes to OU, one of the biggest being the weather mechanic changes making mindless rain teams a thing of the past, while allowing other sweepers to bloom. Fairies have come about and limited the effectiveness of dragons such as Moxie Salamence and Dragon Dance Dragonite while also helping with the infamous Kyurem Black. The meta has changed into a more bulky game, rather than the speed war BW was, giving rise to some new and old pokemon, some of the best being birds. Old threats like Zapdos and Mandibuzz are back with vengeance standing tall in OU while the creation of Talonflame has created a powerful bird core of Talonflame and banded Staraptor. No matter where you play, you can’t go more than a few matches without seeing a bird pokemon making them a dominating force in OU.

    Talonflame



    Talonflame is the most common bird pokemon in OU, being used on 16% of teams on pokemon showdown, and its easy to see why. Being the only pokemon to have Gale Wings, Talonflame stands alone with its priority flying moves, giving it the most powerful priority in the game, coming in at 180 base power with stab. Backed by another 180 base power stab for steels, Talonflame is very dangerous. However, Talonflame struggles with its movepool, having nothing to touch rocks outside hidden power. This makes it generally easy to stop Talonflame, but also hard to stop at the same time as most teams only carry one answer to the bird, meaning once its down, its basically over. Finally, Talonflame has a horrible weakness to stealth rocks, making it very important to keep the field clear, especially when using a banded set as it can not recover. Its also helpful to stagger evs so that Talonflame has an uneven number of hps, allowing it to switch into rocks twice and live.

    Talonflame @ Sharp Beak / Life Orb / Choice Band
    Ability: Gale Wings
    EVs: 168 Spd / 252 Atk / 88 HP
    Adamant Nature
    - Brave Bird
    - Flare Blitz
    - Swords Dance / Bulk Up / Return / Will - o - Wisp
    - Roost / U turn / Return

    The more common set for Talonflame, this set aims to clean with swords dance and then spam Brave Bird. Swords Dance will bump Talonflame up to 574 attack, allowing it to deal massive damage to near everything with its stabs, making it hard to stop outside set counters as Talonflame can just swords dance up on checks. However, Talonflame isn’t limited to just Swords Dance, having access to Bulk Up as well, allowing the bird to take a more defensive approach to sweeping, giving it more staying power on physical threats that would normally force it out such as Dragonite and Zygarde. Roost is also nice on the set as a way to have priority healing due to it also being a flying move, allowing Talonflame to get around super effective damage, similar to Ho-Oh in Ubers with roost. Return or U turn are both options, Roost is generally superior to heal off damage done with its suicidal attacks. A life orb may be used as an item, but sharp beak is also nice to avoid the 10% recoil from the orb. A choice band can be used with Talonflame to allow it to sweep like choice band Scizor in BW. This makes U turn and Return more viable as it allows Talonflame to weaken its most common checks, Tyranitar and Rotom Wash. Despite it being a choiced set, Will o Wisp is a nice addition to cripple Tyranitar that tries to check it as well as Landorus Therian, but forgoes Return making it harder on the set to deal with Rotom Wash.

    Mandibuzz



    Mandibuzz has risen to favor because of its ability to shut down Aegislash, being the only pokemon that really can. With the new mechanics for both Defog and Knock Off, Mandibuzz furthers its use on teams being able to cripple other walls or remove hazards from the field. This makes the turkey vulture a nice choice for balanced and stallish teams being able to switch into big threats such as Keldeo and Landorus Incarnate without to much concern with a special defense spread, while deter physical boosters with Foul Play. With Roost to heal and Toxic to further cripple walls, Mandibuzz often can’t fit everything it wants into a moveset making it excellent when in need of a team support pokemon.

    Mandibuzz does have some problems, the biggest being it can’t really do much to nasty plotters and calm mind users. This makes it easy for special boosting pokemon to make use of Mandibuzz, examples being Manaphy and Thundurus Therian. Next with a weakness to stealth rocks like the other birds, Mandibuzz sometimes has difficulty effectively walling due to losing 25% of its hps coming into stealth rocks, making hazard support for the support helpful. Finally, fairies generally laugh at Mandibuzz, able to shrug off Foul Play and retaliate back hard with Play Rough making Mega Mawile and Azumarill both problematic for the vulture.

    Zapdos



    Zapdos returns to OU with its bulk to stop steel and fighting threats. Zapdos does a solid job stopping big threats such as Scizor, Genesect, Landorus Incarnate, Keldeo, and Aegislash with is special defense. Zapdos also stands out against its fellow birds with stab volt switch, allowing it to be a more effective scout than some of its brethren. Zapdos also has access to Heat Wave, the only other non fire bird to have this is Honchkrow who isn’t to good in OU due to its low speed and ability to be revenged easily. Lastly, Zapdos has high special attack plus access to Toxic and Thunder Wave, allowing it to pressure a lot of walls even as a wall itself as well as sweepers, making Zapdos easy to use on most teams no matter the style.

    Zapdos, like its other bird brothers, dislikes stealth rocks as it limits Zapdos’s effectiveness as a wall, especially with the powerhouses it checks. Zapdos also has competition offensively with its genie double, Thundurus and its other form Thundurus Therian who are both faster and more offensive then big bird here. Zapdos has less of an ability to pressure physical threats then Mandibuzz, making it easier for physical sweepers to boost up on it or scare it off with powerful attacks. Finally, Zapdos actually has competition as a wall with Rotom Wash who can handle some of the threats Zapdos can, Genesect is a risky one to check with Rotom as is Aegislash, but can also stop Talonflame and Azumarill, two powerhouse threats in OU.

    Skarmory



    Skarmory has fallen from favor with the changed mechanics to steel types in favor of Mandibuzz or Rotom Wash. However, Skarmory is the only bird that has access to hazards, making it a nice choice when in need of a solid wall and hazards. With decent special defense, Skarmory can also act as a mixed wall, arguable its best set now, allowing it to come in with a little less worry of special attackers such as Aegislash, but fails to do much back. Lastly, Skarmory is the best stall breaker of the birds, being able to stop others from stacking hazards, phasing, or healing and setting up hazards or phasing itself.

    Skarmory does struggle with how common fires have become. Heatran, Talonflame, or Charizard are on every team, as well as a ghost or dark threat. This makes it harder for Skarmory to do its job as a wall as its now easier to stop. Furthermore, now being forced to run mixed a lot, Skarmory has a bit of a harder time with physical threats such as Mega Lucario due to the evs being funneled into its special defense. Finally, much like Zapdos, Skarmory has to compete with Rotom Wash as a physical wall who can handle fires that Skarmory can’t, tho Skarmory can handle Mega Gyarados unlike Rotom Wash.

    Staraptor



    Staraptor is still a niche pokemon, but is more effective now than before as it baits in the exact same threats as Talonflame, allowing it to weaken then with is choice band Brave Birds or Double Edges allowing Swords Dance Talonflame to easily clean with Brave Bird. Without this, Staraptor is a powerful wall breaker having access to Reckless for its hidden ability to back its most common stabs, Double Edge and Brave Bird making them hit threats that resist it for massive damage. Staraptor can also scout with U turn or use Close Combat to destroy steels and rocks that come in expecting a stab move.

    Staraptor has some problems in OU however, the first being its defenses. Staraptor has such crappy defenses, its extremely easy to KO. Add this with its suicidal moves and Staraptor can sometimes be a liability rather than an asset. Next is its speed, having only average speed, Staraptor struggles to outpace threats and often has to hit and run rather than stay in and fight threats. Finally, working as a core with Talonflame, the duo lack the ability to switch into threats easily as well as very short life spans, making the core rather ineffective against stall teams or bulky teams due to their ability to slowly wear down the birds.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:15 PM.



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    New Faces in XY UU

    With the generation shift, not only did we gain new pokemon, we also saw changes and improvement to older pokemon. Ones once buried in the depths of NU are now amazing in OU due to a mega form, while others got stat changes or hidden ability changes, allowing them to function better in their roles and gives some different functions. With UU forgoing the bans of last generation, a lot of new stuff has dropped to UU, creating a broken meta when it first opened. However, as threats have been picked off such as Kyurem Black, Manaphy, and Terrakion, the meta has stabilized to a degree, but there are going to be several new powerful threats staying in UU. While there isn’t enough space to do all, we’ll cover the top ten in order of their effects on the metagame.

    Number 1: Keldeo



    Keldeo is an interesting pokemon having the ability to function as a mixed wall breaker without splitting its evs like others due to its unique move, secret sword. This makes Keldeo the best wall breaker in UU at the moment, having access to calm mind to boost its special stats. Backed with 108 speed, Keldeo is hard to outpace, plus has good bulk making it hard to revenge as well. Keldeo is also able to forgo calm mind and make use of a choiced item, add a scarf and its a powerful revenger able to check big threats like Bisharp, Mega Houndoom, and Meloetta once it form changes, or it can use a choice specs to act as a wall breaker with more immediate power, as well as one more coverage move. This makes Keldeo decently unpredictable but no matter the set, it struggles with grass/poison with decent special defense such as Amoonguss and Roserade, as well as Latias making handling Keldeo decently easy within UU, as well as the fact it generally is choiced making it able to be set up on depending the move such as with Bisharp if its locked in icy wind.

    Number 2: Ninetales



    Ninetales has been pushed from OU with the change in the weather mechanics as well as Charizard Y setting up sun and piling on offensive pressure. Ninetales does a nice job in UU where the tempo is a tad slower and there aren’t as many powerhouses, allowing it to spearhead some of the most offensive teams in UU. Ninetales earns the number two spot due to its ability to provide massive support with drought as well as setting up weather without the use of a mega form. This allows the use of Mega Houndoom, easily the most powerful sweepers in UU under the sun with solar power giving it what other megas would love, an effective life orb to deal massive damage with its 140 special attack. Other fires benefit from the sun as well such as Victini and Darmanitan, both of who are massive powerhouses and solid revenge choices. Not only that, but chlorophyll users benefit from the sun getting a plus two speed. This makes Victreebel and Sawsbuck powerful threats with high offensive stats and decent speed allowing them to outpace most choice scarf users. Ninetales can finally make use of a heat rock and prolong the sun for three more turns, allowing it to cause a lot of destruction for an extended span of time.

    Number 3: Latias



    Latias has fallen from grace in OU due to fairies being common as well as Latios defogging more offensively than itself while breaking fairies easier. Latias brings something completely new to UU, a good defensive dragon. Having better typing than Altaria and access to recovery unlike Druddigon, Latias plays a huge part on any team having solid bulk to act as a pivot on defensive and the offensive stats to function on offensive teams. Latias brings a lot to the table aside from its bulk and offensive stats, one being its movepool, having access to a wide array of coverage moves to function with a set of choice specs, as well as the defensive movepool to play a huge support role with defog, roar, and healing wish. With Florges in UU, as well as Metagross now, and with the old dark types as well as new ones, Latias has a few ways to be handled within the tier through common threats.

    Number 4: Deoxys

    Currently both legal Deoxys forms are in UU, but as they are affected by the species clause, they only get one number on the list.

    Deoxys Defense



    Defense has a bigger impact than its Speed form, having more bulk allowing it to act as a wall and abuse its double hazards making it nice on stall teams as a hazard stacker, or on bulky offensive teams for the same reason. With recover and access to thunder wave, Deoxys Defense deters boosting sweepers in fear of being crippled with thunder wave and being unable to sweep. This makes Deoxys Defense easier to fit on a team due to its ability to be flexible in its roll as and as such has a bigger impact as well as being more common.

    Deoxys Speed



    Deoxys Speed functions as a lead for hyper offense teams due to its high speed, allowing it to always get up at least stealth rocks, generally a layer of spikes as well. However, Deoxys Speed can also function as a lure with its reasonable offensive stats and wide movepool, allowing it to catch common pokemon such as Bisharp, Keldeo, and Haxorus off guard and removes them from the game. Because of this, Deoxys Speed is harder to use than its Defense form due to its frail and aggressive nature, but is extremely effective at its job as both a bait or hazard stacking lead.

    Number 5: Haxorus



    Haxorus has finally dropped to UU, sitting just in OU for all of BW2 by the skin of its axes. Haxorus was known in BW as one of the most offensive dragon dancers in OU with is massive attack and ability, mold breaker allowing it to rip through levitate users and the filter of Mega Aggron. Haxorus struggles form a shallow movepool however, but can make due with earthquake and low kick or superpower to work with its dragon stabs. As stated above, Haxorus is a solid dragon dancer, especially in UU without much competition but is able to function as a choice scarfed revenger or sweeper making use of dual chop to break focus sashes, as mold breaker stops sturdy. Haxorus can make use of a choice band, but is often not that good due to its rather low speed, but is possible.

    Number 6: Zygarde



    Much like Haxorus, Zygarde struggles to make its claim in OU with other dragon dancers, despite its bulk. Zygarde is a solid choice in UU with bulk to rival another drop, Hippowdon, allowing Zygarde to easily boost on physical threats and sweep, having solid coverage with its stab earthquake and outrage. Zygarde also has access to extreme speed, effectively making it like Dragonite without multiscale and lacks the weakness to stealth rocks, but is vulnerable to spikes. However, Zygarde can also make use of coil on defensive teams, using it with some special bulk and dragon tail to rake up hazard damage or just sweep with and live its bulk and beat common threats and easily shrug off physical attacks. This also makes stone edge more viable as the accuracy increase makes it far easier to hit threats, making it easier to beat flying and levitate threats such as Rotom Heat.

    Number 7: Metagross



    Metagross finally drops to UU, much like Haxorus. Metagross is finally able to function as a sweeper effectively again with agility. Meteor Mash also gained an accuracy increase allowing Metagross to sweep easier and without as much concern of missing the punch. Metagross also has four move slot syndrome, meaning it wants to carry more moves than it can, including Thunder Punch for bulky waters, Ice Punch for dragons and grounds, zen headbutt for Rotom Heat and Keldeo, and Earthquake for steels. Metagross can also act as a bulky pivot, having high physical bulk and access to stealth rocks and Bullet Punch to revenge threats, which is also viable in a choice band set using it to act as a powerful wall breaker. Metagross is also the first pseudo legend to drop to a tier lower than OU in the 6 generations of competitive tiering, just a worthy note.

    Number 8: Hydreigon



    Hydreigon is hands down one of the best wall breakers outside ubers, being impossible to switch into without decent damage with the correct move. However, with the rise of fairies, Hydreigon took a massive hit, being quadruple weak to their stabs while they resist its. However in UU, the only common fairy that Hydreigon has to compete with is Florges. This allows Hydreigon to once again act as a powerful wall breaker, making use of Flash Cannon to deal some decent damage to Florges. Hydreigon is also has some niche sets, such as a choice band set meant to break special walls such as Florges and Chansey with its powerful physical attacks. Hydreigon can also make use of a choice scarf set with its 98 base speed and U turn to scout and act as a revenger with its powerful attacks. Finally, Hydreigon can also use choice specs to pile on immense pressure to the opponent, mostly through Draco Meteor and Dark Pulse dealing massive damage to anything that doesn’t resist, while again U turn can scout and maintain momentum.

    Number 9: Chansey



    Chansey makes its return to UU since the early days of BW, still being a bulk blob. Chansey now has competition in its role with Florges who is more offensive, better typing, and more defense. This give Chansey a run for its spot on teams, especially with the amount of dragons that have dropped into UU such as Haxorus and Zygarde. Chansey generally doesn’t do much but support, and very defensively making it really only common on defensive teams which are making a rise with new threats in UU such as Chesnaught and Hippowdon. Chansey however struggles with the new fightings in UU such as Chesnaught and Keldeo as well as old threats such as Scrafty and Cobalion, making it harder for the pink blob than last generation.

    Number 10: Kyurem



    Rounding off the list is the legendary ice dragon Kyurem. Kyurem sat neglected in BL last generation, edged out by its other form, Kyurem Black. Kyurem can finally stretch its legs again in UU with its famous Substitute Roost set, making use of Ice Beam and Earth Power for near flawless coverage, resisted only by a few pokemon such as Rotom Heat. However, Kyurem is also capable of using different sets such as a choice scarf set using its powerful dragon stabs to punish switch ins and sweep with ice beam, while a life orb wall breaker set makes use of Kyurem’s 130 offensive stats and movepool to pressure walls with moves like Outrage, Draco Meteor, and Rock Slide to beat common switch ins such as Chansey and Rotom Heat that would normally stop it. This makes it seem that Kyurem outclasses Hydreigon, but its weakness to stealth rocks as well as Hydreigon’s access to U turn makes it different enough to not be outclassed.

    And this rounds off the list. There are other threats that are honorable mentions that are good but just not as good as the list threats such as Hippowdon, Florges, and Magnezone. It should be noted that dragons are making a rise in UU, falling a bit from grace in OU with the rise of fairies such as Sylveon and Mawile. How will this effect UU, only time will tell.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:15 PM.



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    Featured RMT - Dragonuser's Fairyuser

    Generation: 5th

    Dragonuser has made a large name for himself both on Serebii and Smogon as an extremely good battler and his latest RMT shows it. Dragonuser makes use of the overlooked Drag Mag style, using Magnezone to trap and remove steels that stop his dragons from spamming their powerful stab moves. Using some of the most powerful threats in OU as well as some unorthodox choices, Dragonuser has successfully made a team that can overwhelm most teams through raw power and a bit of surprise. Now lets look closer at the team.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonuser™ View Post


    BKC (Kyurem-B) @ Life Orb
    Trait: Teravolt
    EVs: 56 Atk / 208 SAtk / 244 Spd
    Naughty Nature (+Atk, -SDef)
    - Ice Beam
    - Earth Power
    - Fusion Bolt
    - Roost

    This set has honestly never let me down. Its almost ridiculous how strong it is, and how easily it tears apart common Stall cores. The EVs are rather simple, it has just enough Speed to Speed creep the 286 benchmark, with the offensive EVs being a variation of the onsite ones. The coverage that this guy has is honestly perfect, hitting nearly everything needed Super Effectively, while boasting incredible base stats. Dragon Claw is an option over Earth Power, but I have found that the coverage offered is generally better, as Ice - Electric - Ground can be very difficult to switch into. Kyurem-B not only plays an important role as a wallbreaker (which it is near perfect at doing), but also serves as a very crucial Water-Type resist and Scald switch in. This set can very easily make defensive Politoed/Tentacruel/any other Scald user regret staying in as they are essentially free switches for this guy, which is something no team really wants to let happen.


    SIU (Aerodactyl) (M) @ Focus Sash
    Trait: Unnerve
    EVs: 212 Atk / 112 SAtk / 184 Spd
    Hasty Nature (+Spd, -Def)
    - Stealth Rock
    - Taunt
    - Stone Edge
    - Fire Blast

    I really don't understand why Aerodactyl isn't used more in this metagame, its pretty much one of the best leads in my opinion. It easily stops SR Garchomp and Terrakion from setting rocks, and can just SR the next turn as they bring him to his Focus Sash. Unnerve is also really nice for the insane amount of Custap leads used in the metagame currently. Not only can I taunt Custap leads, but I don't have to worry about them switching in on moves and trying to activate Custap berry before I can taunt. Unnerve is also pretty useful for if Aerodactyl doesn't get suicided and can be switched in as a Terrakion or Garchomp Substitute down into Salac Berry range, only to negate its activation. Aerodactyl also beats the common Magic Bouncers like Xatu and Espeon, further guaranteeing Stealth Rocks on your opponents side of the field. The moves on Aerodactyl are picked with popular spinenrs in mind. Fire Blast absolutely destroys Forretress (and Custap Skarmory), while also doing a large amount to Donphan in the Sun. Stone Edge is a useful STAB, while hitting Starmie and Tentacruel decently hard if needed. The EVS allow Aerodactyl to always OHKO certain variants of Scizor and Forretress, while giving Fire Blast more power vs Donphan. Since the team does have Magnezone, Tailwind is a viable option over Fire Blast, but due note that this will make it harder to guarantee Stealth Rocks on your opponents side of the field.


    Badass (Jirachi) @ Choice Scarf
    Trait: Serene Grace
    EVs: 144 HP / 252 Atk / 112 Spd
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
    - U-turn
    - Iron Head
    - Fire Punch
    - Ice Punch

    Its pretty much undeniable that Jirachi is the king of BW2 OU. I think it was used on something like 60% of Wcop teams, and is such a versatile and amazing Pokemon. Jiraci really serves as the main revenger for the team, serving as my primary Swords Dance Lucario and Swords Dance Scizor check, while also giving my team a large boost in both momentum and Speed. The EVs on Jirachi are fairly simple, it has just enough speed to beat Scarf Politoed and any scarfer below that range, while putting the rest of its EVs into Attack and HP. The extra bulk really helps on Jirachi, as this is my primary switch in to all Dragon-Type moves. So while Scarf Jirachi was originally intended to be another Keldeo check, I wasn't able to fit Zen Headbutt on the moveset itself, but Jirachi can still work in a pinch by U-turning mid-game or Iron Heading Keldeo for the final hit. The moves give Jirachi arguably the best overall coverage for the team. U-turn and Iron head are obvious necessities, one providing momentum, while the other being the main move to spam once Steel-Types are removed. Fire Punch lets Jirachi serve as a very reliable check to Jolly SD Scizor and Adamant SD Lucario, as both beat my main answer to Steel-Types, Magnezone. Ice punch is arguably the least needed move, but the insurance it provides against Dragon-Types is just too good to pass up. Once again, if you really feel that Keldeo is an issue that you cannot play around, Zen Headbutt is an option on Jirachi, but the trouble is finding a place to fit it.


    CTC (Magnezone) @ Choice Specs
    Trait: Magnet Pull
    EVs: 144 HP / 212 SAtk / 148 Spd
    Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
    - Volt Switch
    - Flash Cannon
    - Sleep Talk
    - Hidden Power [Fire]

    Magnezone's role on this team is pretty self apparent. It is here to trap all the Steel-Types that could potentially stop my Dragon-Type's sweeps. I opted for a Choice Specs set so I could hit Ferrothorn in the rain as hard as possible, limiting the hazards it got up on my side of the field. The Speed EVs let Magnezone outspeed 4 Speed Specially Defensive Heatran, and the many Steel-Type Pokemon below it. I don't remember exactly what the HP EVs do, but Magnezone comfortably lives a Breloom Mach Punch and can tank Dragon-Type moves in a pinch. The reason why living a Breloom Mach Punch is so important is because I have Sleep Talk on this set. I remember TGMD used this set a really long time ago, and I thought it was a pretty innovative way to deal with Breloom (and Amoonguss consequentially). Nothing on my team, bar Lum Berry Dragonite, really wants to take a sleep so I knew fitting Sleep Talk somewhere would be really helpful. It came down to either Latios or Magnezone, but as you will see later, I decided to fit another surprise on Latios so Magnezone ended up getting Sleep Talk. Sleep Talk actually works really well on Magnezone, as I have a 2/3 chance to outright KO Breloom, and if I do roll Volt Switch then I can just switch into something like Latios or Dragonite which doesn't mind taking on Breloom. The other moves are fairly standard, getting the necessary coverage to make Magnezone work optimally.


    Stone_Cold (Dragonite) (F) @ Lum Berry
    Trait: Multiscale
    EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spd
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
    - Dragon Dance
    - Outrage
    - Earthquake
    - ExtremeSpeed

    Multiscale Dragonite is one of the best gifts given by Gen 5. Its an outrageously good Pokemon, that can really setup vs nearly anything. I am pretty much using the standard set here, because it is just so amazingly good. Earthquake is chosen over Fire Punch to deal with Heatran, who is one of the few Steel-Types that can beat Magnezone, and Fire Punch isn't really needed given the rest of my team. The EV spread is slightly different than the standard spread, and thats really just because BKC gets a bit crazy about optimizing EV spreads and assures me this is the best EV spread for DD Dragonite. It hits 250 Speed, meaning it still outspeeds everything relevant at +1, so I don't see any harm in adding a little bit more bulk. I mean the only relevant thing really between 250-259 speed is Jolly Scizor, which will be Bullet Punching you anyways. Lum Berry is nice for ending Outrage confusion and clearing Sleep induced by Breloom. Really the set is quite standard, and for good reason, as this guy is just an amazingly great Pokemon.


    IDM Hugo (Latios) (M) @ Choice Scarf
    Trait: Levitate
    EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Draco Meteor
    - Surf
    - Psyshock
    - Sandstorm

    Just like Hugo, this guy is one of the most crucial members on the team. He is absolutely amazing vs other offensive teams, and gives me a solid way to hit opposing Scarf Jirachi incase Magnezone somehow goes down. The EVs are pretty standard, just maximizing damage output and ensuring that he outspeeds Adamant Stoutland and Scarf Keldeo/Terrakion. The moveset is fairly standard, Draco Meteor being the main revenging and powerhouse move. Psyshock and Surf mainly being there for coverage, with Psyshock being a nice guaranteed KO on Calm Mind Keldeo. The last move, Sandstorm, probably requires a bit of explanation. While I do have Dragonite, Kyurem-B and Latios, I still feel somewhat vulnerable to a Venusaur at +2, or a Tornadus spamming Specs Hurricanes in the rain. Also when seeing this team, opposing players don't think its necessary to really save their weather inducers, and would much rather sack them to a powerful Outrage or Kyurem-B. As such, it is pretty easy to bring in Latios mid-game and fire off a SandStorm, permanently disrupting their weather abusers and almost guaranteeing the win in most cases. Vs Sun, the second Ninetales goes down I try and get a SandStorm off, as +2 Venusaur is a notable threat.
    Kyurem Black is the first pokemon in the lineup and is not to big of a surprise. Being of the most offensive pokemon in OU, Kyurem Black really likes steels being removed that would interfer with it using its powerful stab Ice Beam’s, but on the other hand, doesn’t mind them being around to much. With Earth Power, Kyurem Black can rip apart defensive threats like Rotom Wash as well as pressure Jirachi and Scizor, while Fusion Bolt intimidates Skarmory from coming in. Kyurem Black’s main goal tho is to act as a way to destroy stall teams, as its incredible hard for stall to stop Kyurem Black from removing a wall every time its in, 2hkoing all common stall pokemon, while also providing a water switch in, as well as a burn absorber due to its more special nature, but is generally a second choice for that. Kyurem Black also destroys Landorus Therian that stops or hinders Dragonite from sweeping, as well as pressure other dragons. Kyurem Black makes it hard on the opponents team overall, forcing them to basically sac something just to force it out, allowing it to come in a lot early and mid game to pick off threats and make it even harder for the opponent late game when Dragonite or Latios come in.

    Next we have Aerodactyl, one of the unorthodox choices on the team, but plays a very important role, stopping and setting up stealth rocks. WIth its 130 base speed, nothing is going to outpace it to set up stealth rocks unless its scarfed which are nearly never seen, allowing Aerodactyl to prevent them from going up all the time 1 v 1 while a focus sash ensures Aerodactyl can provide the team with hazards of its own. Dragonuser chooses Unnerve as an ability instead of the standard Pressure to stop Custap Berry leads that spear head offensive teams, while using Fire Blast to 2hko them due to Sturdy. Fire Blast also has a double purpose of stopping some spinners such as Donphan in the sun and Forretress, stopping hazards from being removed, while stone edge acts not only as a stab, but a way to beat magic bouncers that try to stop stealth rocks from going up, furthering the chances of maintaining hazard pressure. Dragonuser also uses a unique ev spread to guarantee kills on some versions of Scizor as well as deal more damage to Donphan while using just enough speed to outpace the needed threats and stop stealth rocks and funnels the rest into Aerodactyl’s attack to increase the damage of Stone Edge.

    Jirachi acts as the glue of the team, being the answer to threats that would otherwise cause a lot of damage such as Swords Dance Scizor, Swords Dance Lucario, and + 1 dragons with its choice scarf. Jirachi acts as a scout as well, using U turn in shacky situations to maintain momentum or using Iron Head and leaning on the 60% flinch chance to incapacitate opposing threats. Evs differ from most scarfed Jirachis, instead of going for max speed, Dragonuser only runs enough to outpace positive base speeds of 70 at +1 and puts the rest into hps to allow Jirachi to better live hits, mostly dragon attacks as its the main line of defense against Latios, Latias, and Dragonite for the team. Jirachi can also act as a way to handle Keldeo, mostly through Iron Head when its low, or baiting it to use a water move and escape with U turn allowing Dragonuser to gain a better stance in the match.

    Magnezone is the pokemon behind the strategy, using Magnet Pull to trap steels and picking them off with Hidden Power Fire. Unlike most Magnezones that use a Substitute set with Charge Beam, Dragonuser chooses to use choice specs, giving Magnezone more fire power when trapping Ferrothorn within rain which is oh so common. Magnezone has just enough speed to outpace 4 speed special defense Heatran and lower, which includes most steel threats. This allows Magnezone to get some extra bulk, allowing it to stay in on threats and act as a resistor in a pinch. Sleep Talk is an unorthodox move here, allowing Magnezone to act as a sleep fodder for the ever common Breloom and then fire back when the opponent thinks it out of the game. This is extremely helpful as all of his pokemon play such a key role that none want to be put to sleep making Magnezone extremely important for not only trapping steels, but ensuring that the team can function to the best possible ability.

    Dragonite is the big sweeper of the team, and is one of the best sweepers in the BW 2 metagame thanks to Multiscale. Dragonuser again uses unique evs, having enough speed to outpace relevant threats at +1, but needs +3 to outpace scarfed Keldeo and Terrakion. The extra evs are funneled into Dragonite’s hps to give it more bulk, while the rest are used to max out Dragonite’s attack. Aside from sweeping, Dragonite provides the team with priority, helping in a pitch against some boosters like Agility Thundurus Therian and Landorus Therian. However, this is generally saved for picking off faster threats that try to stop Dragonite from boosting with dragon dance. With steels being removed thanks to Magnezone, Dragonite doesn’t have to worry about Skarmory, allowing it to run Earthquake without much concern tho the main move it will be using on nearly every case is Outrage due to its massive power and by the time Dragonite hits the field, all steels should be removed and physical walls weakened to the point where they can’t do much to stop the slaughter from the smiling dragon.

    Latios rounds off the team playing a key role as the way to handle offensive teams. Scarfed Latios is the fastest relevant threat in the metagame, hitting 525 speed allowing it to outpace everything except Agility and Rock Polish users. Latios mostly plays mid game, revenging threats or double switching in and firing off its stab moves, but also plays another role, a weather check. Dragonuser chooses to use Sandstorm over Trick in order to beat weather teams that often allow their weather inducer to die early on due to the team lacking one. This allows Dragonuser to effectively break sun teams as well as rain teams while not effecting half his team, Aerodactyl actually benefits from it. This allows Dragonuser to patch up some weather holes his team has such as +2 Venusaur and choice speced Tornadus making it harder for the opponents team to gain ground and win. Latios also gives a way to beat scarfed Jirachi should Magnezone die to soon so that it doesn’t flat out sweep his team, as well as an answer to Keldeo.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:19 PM.



  5. #5
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    Spotlight OU Threat - Aegislash



    Intro/Qualities

    Unless you’ve been under a rock, or never touched Serebii or Smogon forums till now, you’re going to have heard of Aegislash. Aegislash is a new pokemon, spearheading the charge of offensive ghost pokemon with its unique ability, Stance Change. This allows Aegislash to go from a defensive behemoth to an offensive powerhouse before it moves, combo that with a unique version of protect, King’s Shield, and some new ghost mechanics and you have one of the most powerful pokemon in the current metagame. Aegislash has a large enough offensive movepool to back its huge stats, tho all it really needs is a ghost move and Sacred Sword and it has flawless coverage, the rest is just icing on the cake to say. Aegislash is blessed further in its movepool that is has good physical AND special moves to choose from as it’s capable of being physically or specially based unlike some pokemon with mixed stats such as Kyurem whose physical movepool is close to nonexistent. Aegislash can also act as a sweeper with one of two, or both, boosting moves, Swords Dance and Autotomize. This allows Aegislash to either outpace non scarf users and clean, or revenge with Shadow Sneak, or use a combo of the two to flat out sweep. Aegislash also baits in a lot of bulky pokemon, making it extremely effective as a wall breaker on offensive teams as it will take a chunk out of everything that doesn’t resist it, while its capable of using a choice band to function similar to a bait for its most common answer Mandibuzz.

    Playing With Aegislash

    Aegislash is the hottest wall breaker in OU, making it at the front of most peoples minds when building an offensive team. Most commonly, Aegislash can get this done via three attacks and King’s Shield, King’s Shield being arguable the most important move as it allows priority switching between forms and blocks an attack. This allows Aegislash to stall for leftover recovery or block attacks and force out the attacker due to the -2 stage drop King’s Shield does when the opponent makes direct contact, allowing Aegislash to block threats such as Tyranitar, Talonflame, Scizor, and Conkeldurr that all hit it with a direct contact move. As stated above, two of Aegislash’s attacks will generally be predetermined, using Sacred Sword to hit dark and normal types that resist its ghost stabs while Shadow Ball is your most common ghost stab, hitting physical walls hard. The other move is more open, often being used for Shadow Sneak to revenge threats as well as pick off ones that live a Shadow Ball, while Iron Head is a nice second stab from the physical side, better at removing fairy walls than Shadow Ball is, while Flash Cannon hits physically defensive darks harder than Sacred Sword does for neutral, ex Mandibuzz, while finally Hidden Power Ice is nice to always OHKO Landorus and Landorus Therian as well as pressure dragons such as Dragonite and Garchomp that try to force Aegislash out.

    Aegislash can also make use of a boosting move in favor or along side King’s Shield to sweep or pill on more offensive pressure. This is generally seen with Aegislash’s Swords Dance set, using Swords Dance and King’s Shield to go to Shield Form when needed and then use Shadow Sneak to pick off faster threats, while Sacred Sword is there to hit darks and normals again, giving it flawless coverage. With Autotomize, Aegislash forgoes King’s Shield to gain enough speed to outpace most non scarfed pokemon and focuses on dealing massive damage quickly with a life orb or weakness policy. This makes Autotomize Aegislash better at cleaning late game when most faster threats will be removed from the game. This set runs the exact same offensive moves as its wall breaker version, only difference is Autotomize is used over King’s Shield making the ability to switch between forms much harder to do and less focused on unlike Aegislash’s other sets.

    Finally, Aegislash can bait in its number one counter Mandibuzz and slaughter it with Head Smash on its choice band set. This gives Aegislash more immediate power than its other sets, making use of its wide physical movepool and access to priority to wall break or clean. Head Smash is the main reason to use the set, to get around Mandibuzz, while Shadow Sneak is used as a ghost stab and form of priority, running Sacred Sword right next to it for coverage. The final move is more open, including Iron Head for a more powerful stab, Shadow Claw for again, another stab, or Pursuit to trap psychic pokemon like Latios.

    Playing Against Aegislash

    Playing against Aegislash is a bit tricky due to the amount of offensive power that Aegislash has. For defensive teams its a bit easier as they make use of a lot of bulky threats such as Mandibuzz and Hippowdon that can stand up to Aegislash and force it out or KO it with their stab moves. Offensive teams often utilize Aegislash’s low speed to force it out with fast fire or ground pokemon such as Landorus Therian and Mega Charizard Y. Another big part of handling Aegislash is knowing its set. Aside from Mandibuzz who stops everything but the choice band set, most checks vary depending on the set. Hippowdon can deal with the choice band and Swords Dance sets with its massive physical bulk, but its intimidated but the special based wall breaker set. For offensive teams, Landorus Therian with an assault vest does a nice job checking Aegislash as most don’t run Hidden Power Ice anymore, but it needs to watch out for that while Mega Charizard Y is vulnerable to the Swords Dance set more so than the special based mixed set.

    Adding Aegislash to Your Team

    Now before you just randomly add an Aegislash to your offensive team, there’s some things to be noted. While Aegislash is a team player, it does like some support to help it do its job better than it can solo.

    Hazards

    Aegislash loves spikes, absolutely adores them. Spikes weaken a lot of pokemon that come in in hope of stopping Aegislash such as Hippowdon and Conkeldurr, losing 25% of their health with three layers up. This pushes them within the 2hko range for Aegislash a lot, allowing it to break through some of its checks without to much effort of concern. Aegislash also appreciates stealth rocks, as they weaken his nemesis, Mandibuzz as well as Zapdos who can handle Aegislash pretty well. While this won’t allow Aegislash to KO Mandibuzz, it will push Zapdos closer, as well as other threats that come in such as Scizor and Heatran, both losing 12.5% and are also vulnerable to spikes, furthering their usefulness to Aegislash

    Red Light

    Aegislash’s low speed often forces it out a lot, meaning if you can lower the speed of your opponents team, Aegislash can stay in without to much concern. There are a few ways to this, first is with the new hazard, sticky web playing on Aegislash’s love of entry hazards. This drops the opponents speed one stage switching in, allowing Aegislash to more pokemon that don’t carry a choice scarf, as well as some that do with the Autotomize set. Another way is with support from Thundurus and its Prankster Thunder Waves, spreading paralysis to everything that isn’t ground or electric typing. This ensures Aegislash will outpace nearly everything on the opponents team. Finally, Tornadus works nicely providing Tailwind giving Aegislash an effective +2 to its speed, allowing the Autotomize set to outpace basically everything in OU for a few turns, while it gives the wall breaker or choice band set speed to hit before the opponent can and avoid being weakened.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:22 PM.



  6. #6
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    The Art of Luring

    Lures, and idea not common among some people. Before I get into explaining what a lure is, you have to understand the concept of what a lure does. To do this, you need to think of one simple question, “What stops a sweeper from sweeping?” While this answer varies from pokemon to pokemon, the general answer is walls, checks, and revengers. Focus sash users can also stop most sweepers and retaliate back. For those that that don’t know the difference between a counter and a check, we’ll address it now before we get further in. Counters are pokemon that can switch into any of the pokemons common moves live and beat said pokemon. An example of this is how Gliscor counters Terrakion while checks can come into some moves and beat the pokemon. An example of this is Landorus Therian checking Dragonite through intimidate and its bulk, allowing it to live a hit and KO back with Hidden Power Ice or Stone Edge.

    Lures are pokemon that are made to bait in specific threats and KO them with an unorthodox move or two, making it easier for your sweeper. Now its not as simple as slapping Hidden Power Fire on a Kyurem Black and call it a lure for Scizor, theres more thought that goes into it.

    For a lure to be truly effective they have to be able to KO or cripple the things they are meant to bait in, otherwise its near ineffective. As such, most lures are custom with moves and evs, meant to specifically bring in and KO specific pokemon, making it comparable to fishing, using a specific lure for a specific fish. Lures are can also make use of status moves to weaken or slow down threats with moves such as Toxic and Thunder Wave depending on the common sets such as choice scarf users and walls. An example of this was used by Ragnarok’s archived team, Don’t Use Toxic Starmie, running toxic to bait in walls for Gyarados such as Rotom Wash and Quagsire and cripple them with Toxic.

    How to Build a Lure

    Before you just randomly make a lure, you need a sweeper and need to know what stops it from sweeping. Lets say you want to use Swords Dance Talonflame



    Talonflame @ Sharp Beak
    Ability: Gale Wings
    EVs: 64 Spd / 252 Atk / 192 HP
    Adamant Nature
    - Brave Bird
    - Flare Blitz
    - Swords Dance
    - Roost

    Now before we start creating a lure, we need to think about what will stop Talonflame. Stealth rocks are a big thing, and most ground pokemon have the bulk to live hits from Talonflame such as Landorus Therian and Hippowdon, while Rotom Wash and Rotom Heat can come into Talonflame’s attacks without much concern. Rock pokemon such as Tyranitar can also stop Talonflame as well as Heatran. Bulky waters can also wall Talonflame and give it some trouble such as Azumarill. Finally, faster threats such as Thundurus that resists Brave Bird can stop Talonflame and due to Talonflame’s speed being enough to only outpace jolly Excadrill,88 base speed, this includes Thundurus Therian, Jirachi, and, despite its speed, Aegislash. While a single lure won’t be able to cover all of these, we can cover a few.

    Now looking at the list, theres a trend of physical walls or bulky threats was well as very fast threats, while most are weak to or vulnerable to water moves, Heatran, Landorus Therian, Tyranitar, making the lead we’d want be something that plays physically but doesn’t have stab water moves as it will make the opponent hesitant to switch the threats in. Looking at the moves and thinking about coverage, Tyranitar is a nice choice.

    Now using Tyranitar, we’re going to need enough speed to outrun defensive Heatran for a benchmark. Defensive Heatran comes in at 191 speed, making it needed to run 136 speed evs on our Tyranitar. Downside is that it takes away from evs for bulk, but we don’t need to use a speed boosting nature allowing Tyranitar to use a offensive boosting one. Now we won’t be able to outrun Landorus Therian and even sinking 252 evs into speed, Tyranitar could only outrun 0 speed ev Landorus Therian. This makes it a nice idea to use a Focus Sash or a Shuca Berry to weaken Earthquake, tho most Landorus’s will also switch straight into Tyranitar or stay in and set up stealth rocks. Now by putting 160 evs into special attack, Tyranitar can OHKO Landorus Therian 50% of the time when it runs 252 hps. which depends on the speed it runs. This means that with stealth rocks up, Tyranitar will always KO Landorus Therian. However, the same doesn’t hold true for Hippowdon who’s only 2hkoed 2% of the time. By increasing the special attack evs by 12, it allows Tyranitar to 2hko Hippowdon 53% with stealth rocks. Next we address the physical side, Heatran. Earthquake is nice here as it deals a lot of damage to Heatran, while hitting Aegislash’s that try to come into Tyranitar without worry of King’s Shield. Heatran requires no attack investment to OHKO, but 160 evs allows Tyranitar to 2hko Aegislash in Shield mode with the same percentage as Hippowdon. Now we get to the trickery part, we need to have enough moves to convince the opponent its a normal Tyranitar set. Crunch and Stone Edge are two of Tyranitar’s most common moves and are on every set, making at least Crunch mandatory. Crunch helps Tyranitar further by baiting in fighting threats that Talonflame can use as boosters or remove them such as Mega Lucario. Due to most of the moves being physical and the special defense boost Tyranitar gets from its sand, Lonely nature is a nice choice and with Lonely, Tyranitar has a 50% chance of OHKOing Mega Lucario. The last move should be Stone Edge, and while Thunder Punch has some appeal, it does the same damage to Azumarill as Stone Edge, a guaranteed 2hko making it not to useful. Now for an item with everything put together, a Focus Sash is the best way to go as Talonflame requires hazard support, allowing Tyranitar to make use of it, but a Shuca Berry is also a good choice to stay in on Landorus Therian and Garchomp and pivot a bit.

    This makes out lure set



    Tyranitar @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Sand Stream
    EVs: 136 Spd / 172 SAtk / 160 Atk / 40 HP
    Lonely Nature
    - Crunch
    - Stone Edge
    - Ice Beam
    - Earthquake

    And this allows us to pressure a lot of what threatens Talonflame with stealth rocks up, allowing Tyranitar to OHKO Landorus Therian, 2HKO Hippowdon, OHKO Heatran, and 2HKO Azumarill, Aegislash, and other Tyranitars. And what about faster threats that didn’t get a mention in the ev deciding process?

    160+ Atk Tyranitar Stone Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 462-546 (154 - 182%) -- guaranteed OHKO
    160+ Atk Tyranitar Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 276-326 (80.9 - 95.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

    Now a lot of people will, “No one will switch a Thundurus into Tyranitar” and you’d be right, no one would, if they knew what the item was.

    How to Effectively Use a Lure

    One of the biggest things with lures is using them correctly. You can be eved to KO whatever you want, but if you can’t move it just right, no fish will bite. The key to lures is to bluff a choiced set, by that I mean using standard moves and switching out, appearing as if you are locked. This will lower the opponent’s guard and make them more risky, switching Landorus Therian straight into Tyranitar always and going for the switch because hey, its choiced right? And then you use your moves. No one would switch a Thundurus into a Tyranitar, but if they think its a choice locked Tyranitar in Earthquake then they will and then you KO it. Same with Jirachi, if it thinks your locked in stone edge it will come in, then you Crunch. Which leads to the next section,

    Jumping the Gun

    An effective lure is all about timing, use it to early and your cover is blown, use it to late and it has no effect. Using lures is all about risk vs reward, not prediction. A basic rundown of risk vs reward, as its worth a whole section itself, is to think is the risk worth the reward? Is it worth your opponent to switch Landorus Therian into Tyranitar to take Crunch while they have a fighting? Is it worth risking Tyranitar early game to hit Landorus thinking it will set up stealth rocks? You need to weigh how much it would benefit for not just you, but your opponent and then decide on how to act.
    Last edited by McDanger; 1st February 2014 at 5:24 PM.



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