This is a team for the Smogon Overused tier. It began as a Battle Maison team, actually, but grew from there. Like my UU team, it is a bulky offense team. The team is based around two cores, the offensive core and the defensive one. Every member of the team can apply some level of offensive pressure at all times, but there is built in redundancy defensively so losing a member at any given point theoretically should not open me up to being swept by the thing they checked.
Three Dog (Terrakion) @ Choice Band
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Sacred Sword
Terrakion is my primary physical sweeper / wallbreaker. With the addition of the Choice Band, Terrakion is the hardest hitting attacker on the team. When something just needs to be dead now, I call in Terrakion.
Close Combat and Stone Edge are the obligatory powerhouse STAB attacks. With the boost from Choice Band, Close Combat can one-to-two-hit nearly everything it can safely manage to hit. Stone Edge is slightly less powerful and accurate, but it is also STAB and doesn't drop his defenses. Earthquake, while a foolish thing to run alongside CC last generation is now basically a requirement this generation to hit things like Aegislash or Mega Mawile. The last spot I've given to Sacred Sword. While this may seem like an odd choice combined with Close Combat, I find that having a Fighting-type attack that I can use without being forced to switch on the next turn is very useful. You don't always need the full power of Close Combat, such as against Smeargle, Bisharp or Mega Tyranitar. This can also be useful for finishing off weakened threats like Ferrothorn. Having a decently strong Fighting STAB that you can use safely is extremely valuable.
The EVs and item are fairly standard for Terrakion. I'm choosing to boost his power over his speed, as I think Terrakion is better suited for being a wallbreaker than a revenge killer. The 4 Defense EVs are to prevent Genesect from getting an Attack boost from Download. Specially-based Genesect can't touch Terrakion, and a physically-based one can only OHKO him if he's at +1 Attack. Terrakion can always OHKO Genesect with Close Combat however. Jolly is preferred over Adamant because it allows him to outspeed Lucario, Genesect, Salamence, Megazard, Volcarona, Garchomp, Mega Pinsir, Infernape and other Terrakion.
Firehawk (Charizard) @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze --> Drought
EVs: 4 SDef / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Dragon Pulse
My mega, and special compliment to Terrakion. While Terrakion is meant to be an entirely offensive presence on the physical side, Mega Charizard Y is an enormous offensive presence on the special side. However, while Mega Charizard Y doesn't quite hit as hard as Choice Band Terrakion, he comes really close under the sun, and he has the luxury to switch moves and heal himself.
Fire Blast is standard fare for STAB of choice on Mega Charizard Y. Fire Blast is the strongest special Fire-type attack Charizard can get that isn't Blast Burn (lol) or Overheat. Mega Charizard Y wants to stay in as long as he can once he gets in, so dropping his Special Attack from his primary STAB makes Overheat undesirable. Given his role as as large of an offensive presence as possible, Fire Blast is preferable to Flamethrower also. Solar Beam is also pretty standard and is nice coverage against Rock, Water and Ground. Because Mega Charizard Y is going to be playing under sun the majority of the time, Solar Beam will also have the advantage of being a one-turn move. Dragon Pulse is the only move he can reasonably run that has perfect accuracy. This means it can be used to finish off already weakened threats, similar to Sacred Sword on Terrakion. It also hits Dragon-types who would otherwise wall all of his moves. Roost rounds off the set allowing him to restore his HP and prolong his sweep, or to bounce back from Stealth Rock damage. However, without Focus Blast he would be walled by Heatran and Tyranitar, so I would be open to switching Roost for Focus Blast.
EVs, nature and item are all standard. Not investing in HP leaves him at a Stealth Rock number, so the leftover EVs are put into his already decent Special Defense. Timid is preferred over Modest to outpace Genesect, Lucario, Excadrill and other base 100 Pokemon.
Starbomb (Latios) @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Draco Meteor
Latios was actually the most recent addition to the team. When you look at the other five members, my assessment was that I needed something specially defensive, that resists or is immune to Ground, Water, Grass and Electric, is a special attacker, and can reliably check Garchomp. Latios is capable of doing all of those things, and I liked using him last generation, so I added him.
Draco Meteor is the preferred Dragon-type STAB for the crazy amount of damage it can rain down. Latios is also tanky enough to not mind switching after using it. Dragon Pulse could be used on a Choice set for a similar reason to Sacred Sword on Terrakion, but I'll talk about that later. Psychic is the safer STAB option and pairs well with Dragon for coverage. It can hit the likes of Mega Venusaur, Keldeo or Conkeldurr harder than Draco Meteor can. Psyshock is usually the go-to Psychic-type move on Latios to hit the blobs. However, even with Psyshock, Latios can only beat Blissey if she's already weakened, and still can't stand up to Chansey. Because virtually all of the other Pokemon I'd be hitting with Psychic instead of some other attack tend to be physically bulkier than specially, I prefer Psychic over Psyshock. Surf is standard fare for hitting things like Tyranitar or Heatran. Roost allows Latios to heal off Life Orb recoil and prolong his time on the field. Due to the fact that I'm using him for his special bulk in addition to his power and speed (recall the reasons why I added him in the first place), being able to recover health is very important.
EVs and nature are standard. In Latios' speed tier, he can't afford to not run a speed boosting nature. I'm choosing Life Orb for his item to give him power without sacrificing his coverage. However, as I'll talk about later, Choice Scarf Garchomp is probably the best check for my team, and without a Choice Scarf of his own, Latios can't check this kind of Garchomp. I used a Choice Scarf on my Latios last generation, but because of how I'm using him, losing Roost could be crippling. I would be open to convincing arguments to change his item, but I think Life Orb is probably the best I can do.
Note: When Mega Latias becomes available, I will probably use her in this spot. However, then I would need to replace Mega Charizard Y as well, and I don't know what else could take his spot.
Bloodwing (Gliscor) @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 12 Atk / 252 Def
- Ice Fang
Terrakion, Charizard and Latios form the primary offensive core of the team. Spearheading the primary defensive core of the team is Gliscor. It functions as a dedicated physical wall, with its main vehicle for damage being Toxic stalling.
Toxic and Protect are Gliscor's main means of doing damage. Protect allows it to safely activate its Toxic Orb early game, restore HP, and advance the opponent's poison timer. It can also be used as a scouting move to discover sneaky Ice Punches or mixed attackers. Earthquake is its STAB attack and actually does a fair amount of damage to most things. If an opposing team lacks heavy special hitters or they can be taken out early game, Gliscor can actually sweep in the proper sense with surprising frequency. Ice Fang is useful as a coverage move, but not for doing any real damage. There are quite a few good Pokemon who are immune to both Earthquake and Toxic; other Gliscor, Gengar, Balloon Heatran, Bronzong, some Magnezone, Skarmory, etc. There's not much that can be done about them. However, there are a lot of things which are immune to one and at least resist the other; Heal Bell/Aromatherapy Blissey/Chansey, Conkeldurr, Roost Dragonite, Ferrothorn, Forretress, Scizor, Reuniclus, all manner of Rotom, Scrafty, Hydration Vaporeon, Breloom, Talonflame, Landorus, Mandibuzz, etc. Ice Fang deals with more of these things than any other coverage move it could learn.
The item and nature are standard and wouldn't make any sense to change. The EV spread maxes Defense and puts its HP at a Poison Heal number. At 244 HP EVs, it hits 352 HP, which is evenly divisible by 8. The remaining 12 EVs are put into Attack to try and bolster Earthquake and Ice Fang. Putting them into Speed wouldn't make any difference, and the Attack boost will help more than a small Special Defense boost would. Last generation I ran Gliscor with some Speed EVs, but contrasting the two, I prefer it being better at walling physical hitters than outrunning a marginal amount of already slow threats.
Turing (Metagross) @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SDef
- Meteor Mash
- Bullet Punch
- Stealth Rock
In honesty, Metagross first joined the team because I have always wanted to have a shiny one and I taught myself how to RNG in order to create this team, so I could finally have one; I initially put him on the team and tried to find a use for him later. However, he has turned into a very useful utility Pokemon and primarily specially-defensive tank. He is also my only real means of dealing with Fairies, but he can destroy any Fairy in the game besides Mega Mawile.
No Metagross set would be complete without Meteor Mash as a terrific way of dealing STAB damage and potentially boosting his Attack. I use Metagross primarily as a pivot and as a status sponge, so I rely on his bulk more than anything else, but with the given Attack investment, his attack stat ends up at 405; his Meteor Mash can actually surprise OHKO quite a few unsuspecting things. Earthquake is on Metagross for the same reason it is on Terrakion: Aegislash and other Steel-types who have become so popular this generation, as well as grounded Fire-types. Bullet Punch is the team's only priority attack, and can allow him to overcome his poor Speed against already weakened targets or things that don't need the full power behind Meteor Mash such as Fairies. Stealth Rock rounds off the set to grant him some utility. I could see myself removing this in favor of something like Zen Headbutt or maybe Hammer Arm and giving him an Assault Vest depending on how things go when Mega Latias is released however.
On that note, because he doesn't have an entirely offensive moveset and because I'm using him primarily as an offensive pivot and therefore need at least some way for him to restore health, the item of choice for him is Leftovers instead of an Assault Vest. 244 HP EVs very nearly puts him at a Leftovers number, and the rest is dumped into his Attack, along with an Adamant nature. The remaining few EVs are put into Special Defense to help him tank the Water-, Grass-, Ice- and Dragon-type attacks that plague the offensive core.
Crimson (Rotom-Wash) @ Assault Vest
EVs: 252 HP / 48 SAtk / 208 Spd
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]
Rotom-Wash concludes both the defensive core and the team itself. Similar to Metagross, he is a specially-offensive pivot and primarily specially-defensive tank. While he lacks the utility and power of Metagross, he is faster, bulkier by merit of the Assault Vest, and plays the pivot role better thanks to Volt Switch.
Hydro Pump and Thunderbolt are his main STAB attacks. Water/Electric is pretty good offensive coverage and they hit a lot of things hard enough to force them out at least. I prefer Thunderbolt over Discharge because I don't want to accidentally paralyze something and rob Gliscor of his ability to damage it should that need arise, and because Thunderbolt is more powerful. I use this team for doubles sometimes in-game as well, and Discharge would be more trouble than it's worth there most of the time. I also prefer having Thunderbolt and Volt Switch alongside one another instead of only having one Electric STAB because I frequently want an Electric attack that doesn't force me to switch after using it. However, on that note, Volt Switch is a staple on Rotom to function as a pivot. Rotom-Wash is of course widely regarded as the best Pokemon for this role in the game. Hidden Power Ice finishes off the set to hit Dragon-types such as Garchomp or Salamence, or Grass-types such as Trevenant. It does however noticeably lack the power it use to, being next to useless against things like Goodra or Mega Venusaur.
Given Rotom's entirely offensive moveset, he is a very adept user of Assault Vest. I prefer him as a specially-defensive tank more so than a physically-defensive one, so I like the idea of him having Assault Vest and Metagross having Leftovers more than the other way around, but I can foresee Will-o-Wisp and this reversal of items potentially being a popular suggestion. Timid and 208 Speed EVs outpaces max speed Mamoswine, who Rotom can destroy with Hydro Pump. It also conveniently puts him above Heatran, Tyranitar and Gyarados (among other things), all of whom Rotom either counters or counters better than anything else on the team. After that, I max his HP and dump the rest into Special Attack so that he can actually maintain somewhat of an offensive presence.
Spoiler'ed for those who don't care and don't want to see the text.
Spoiler:- Name Origins:
- Link -- An example of how the cores work together to set up opportunities for each other.
- Link -- A good example of detecting and responding to Scarf Garchomp, and then bouncing between the cores to turn around the pressure.
- Link -- Short battle showcasing why Metagross is such a valuable member of the team. There's an unfortunate mispredict in here between Starbomb and the Weavile however; I was expecting Pursuit, so I stayed in.
More references coming soon...
- Scarf Garchomp: Choice Scarf Garchomp can take out large portions of the team single-handedly, and can at least 2HKO everything except Gliscor. The scarf allows it to outspeed the entirety of the team, so I can't revenge kill it. Earthquake can take out Terrakion and Metagross, Outrage can beat Latios, and Stone Edge maims Charizard. Rotom comes out on top thanks to Hidden Power Ice if it catches Garchomp on the switch, but Garchomp takes about 70% of Rotom's HP with Outrage, and because of its increased speed, Rotom can't hope to beat it down from full health. Gliscor manages to avoid the 2HKO from Outrage and can heal off damage with Poison Heal and Protect, making the calculation more complicated, but if my opponent recognizes this and takes out Gliscor early in the game, Garchomp can then walk all over the team similarly to a DragMag strategy.
- Greninja: Water is the team's biggest type weakness; Terrakion, Charizard and Gliscor are all weak to it. Dark Pulse would beat Metagross and Latios, and that only leaves Rotom who could beat Greninja. It wouldn't be that hard to take out Rotom early-game, and that would leave me open to a Protean-boosted sweep. Greninja is just a very good Pokemon in general, and is hard to counter. When Mega Latias comes out, I think he might be the thing which replaces Charizard.
- Aegislash: This bastard just kind of ruins the tier in general, so I wouldn't call him a weakness of my team in particular. However, if I don't handle him properly (i.e. mispredict even just once) and allow him to set up, he can still take huge chunks out of the team before I can shut him down. Iron Head destroys Terrakion and Shadow Sneak beats out Latios and Metagross. Gliscor can deal with him thanks to Earthquake, but mixed Aegislash can do serious damage with Shadow Ball. Rotom has a 12.5% chance to OHKO with Hydro Pump, but only if he's in Blade-forme and has no defensive investment. It drops to the mid 80's if he maxes HP, and Shield-forme laughs at Rotom. Charizard can also deal with Aegislash effectively if he can get a safe switch-in, but at +2, Shadow Sneak 2HKOs him, so anything less than ideal conditions won't cut it.
- Trevenant / Sub-Seed: I've noticed I seem to have a problem dealing with Sub-Seed in general. Trevenent is the worst abuser of it, but even things like Gourgeist and Mega Venusaur have given me grief with it. Charizard can theoretically deal with it, but his middling speed combined with Fire Blast's poor accuracy and PP sometimes leaves him in a bad spot against it. Terrakion, Gliscor and Rotom are all weak to actual Grass-type attacks, and Latios lacks a way of reliably breaking the sub of more specially defensive things without dropping his Special Attack. Poor Metagross just can't out-muscle something that resists his STAB and restores its HP fairly substantially every turn, and can move faster than him to set up a new sub before he gets a chance to attack once it is broken.
- Entry Hazards: I don't actually consider this to be much of a threat, and I'm not going to do a big analysis of it, but I'm sure people will see Charizard and say I need a spinner. While Charizard is very weak to Stealth Rock, I'd like to point out that Terrakion and Metagross resist it, and Latios, Gliscor, Rotom and Charizard are immune to all other entry hazards, including Sticky Web. There are no spinners besides Excadril that would fit with the rest of the team, and Defog is out of the question since it would remove Metagross' hazards too.
I've been playing by Smogon rules since Generation 4, but I've never really enjoyed playing OU until I developed this team. This is the product of learning and observing people who actually know what they're doing for about 7 years. In terms of actually playing competitive Pokemon very well, I would not consider myself particularly talented, and yet I still win about 2/3rds of the time with this team. I think it can really stand on its own, and I'm curious to see what holes can be poked in it. Thanks for reading.