Having originally developed a weird sort of rain dancing SmashPass team as my first foray into the OU meta, without even the inclusion of a Megamon or even Politoed, it was no surprise that things were...difficult. Wins were made, primarily thanks to the centerpiece baton pass recipient Kingdra, but overall it just wasn't satisfactory. Since I wanted this particular party to showcase the newfound viability of the Sniper ability, using guaranteed critical hits which ignore all stat changes, it struck me as silly to pass a move that potentially crippled Kingdra's moderate-at-best defenses for an attack and special attack boost when they wouldn't matter much and the only thing Kingdra misses about Swift Swim is the buff to its poor speed.
Thinking about how to more safely and reliably send Kingdra some speed so it could set up Focus Energy and sweep, I first wanted to use the fast but frail Ninjask, before discovering that the somewhat bulkier and actually offensively usable Scolipede had its Quick Feet ability changed to Speed Boost. Things were...better, but Baton Passing into a hit because of Scolipede's blazing base 112 speed with free boosts every turn followed by a turn setting up with Focus Energy just left Kingdra too low on HP to knock out more than one or two opposing Pokemon before succumbing to priority attacks or even the occasional Toxic. Scolipede was able to occasionally offer a Substitute, but in general was too fragile itself for its substitutes to take a non-Fighting- or Poison-Type hit.
THEN, after a few days tweaking and playtesting, the all-powerful Google informed me that there was such a thing as a Lansat Berry. This glorious baby replicates the effects of Focus Energy once per match as soon as the holder reaches 25% HP or less. It all just sort of snowballed from there.
Regarding team objective, I obviously want to be able to get my LansatPass over to Kingdra for a ridiculous and amusing sweep, or even just to punch as gigantic a hole in the opposing team as possible (something I've found it does exceedingly well), but I understand there are difficulties involved in achieving this. Most particularly priority attacks, boosted or otherwise, Prankster Taunt, and the loathsome Infiltrate, so I wanted to be able to function decently even without it going as smoothly as I might hope. There have been ups and downs, and I decided that I would take it to you lovely fellows to give a look over and see if it couldn't be made just a bit more consistent.
Please keep in mind that at its heart this is all about abusing an amusing gimmick, which at the top level of play WILL hold it back. I don't deny this, I'm not terribly surprised by it, but I also have no intention of changing that. For more "legit" teams, I can just make another team entirely.
Poseidon (Kingdra-Male) @ Scope Lens
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpAtk
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpAtk / 4 Def
- Draco Meteor
- Focus Energy
- Hidden Power Fire
Kingdra is the centerpiece and inspiration for this whole mess I've gotten into. A special sweeper / wallbreaker by trade, when set up by Scolipede with a Focus Energy boost its guaranteed critical hits courtesy of the Scope Lens hit very hard, with the side benefit of ignoring stat changes. ALL stat changes. Including the Special Attack drop incurred by Draco Meteor. A 130 BP STAB being fired off repeatedly with a 2.25x modifier for no penalty whatsoever is nothing to sneeze at.
Fairies being immune to Draco Meteor is a bit of a letdown, and for a while I ran flash Cannon over Focus Energy since I was baton passing a lansat berry anyway, but ultimately flash cannon wasn't pulling its weight even against Azumarill (who now resists or is immune to everything kingdra can do) So I brought it back. The last slot is Hidden Power Fire to deal with nudges like ferrothorn and scizor.
That actually explains my less-than-stellar IVs - 2 Atk is the lowest possible score for hidden power fire to take out Ferrothorn and Forretress with ease, while 30 SpAtk is the highest. The reason I wanted to gimp my Atk stat as hard as possible? Confusion. It happens, and it can be a nuisance, or it can be downright crippling depending on your Atk stat. So as a Special attacker with no Physical moves at all, a minimum Attack IV and Attack reducing nature makes sure you take as little self-inflicted harm as possible. As a side benefit it reduces the power of incoming Foul Plays as well. That's always nice.
The EVs and Nature were chosen to give much-needed bulk and offer as much power as possible to Kingdra's special attacksas possible, especially with an imperfect SpAtk IV, leaving it to Scolipede to patch that fairly low base 85 Speed.
Train (Scolipede-Male) @ Lansat Berry
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 Spe
- Baton Pass
The main focus is stalling out Speed boosts to pass around to the other members of the team until its HP gets low enough to activate the Lansat Berry, signalling a pass to Kingdra for an attempt to wreak as much havoc as possible. Megahorn means it isn't COMPLETELY shut down by Taunt-users, and hits a few of them actually fairly hard since they tend to be frail and/or weak to bug. Also it's 4x effective on Malamar, who's Contrary Superpowers could make it a problem if not OHKOd ASAP. Thankfully Topsy-Turvy doesn't go through protect. I don't know if it goes through Substitutes, but I really hope not.
Even with his species' fragility, I have to admit I'm slightly impressed by what a great counter to physical fighting and grass types he is, while his immunity to Toxic is just more goodness on the gravy train. I recently tried to forgo the lansat pass in favor of leftovers recovery so he could pass speed multiple times, but i ended up wanting the berry back, making him a one-use trick once more without Wish support.
Reptar (Tyranitar-Male) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpDef
- Stone Edge
A weather canceler and ex-rock setter who traded in the pointed stones for a ton more special bulk. The Assult Vest on Specially Defensive Tyranitar is insane, taking only 30% from +2 Espeon's Dazzling Gleam. The attack EVs give it just enough power to squeeze by in a theoretically offensive role, given Tyranitar's already respectable base Attack stat, while the rest goes into HP for a remarkable special bulk in a sandstorm (generated upon switching in)
Big Bird (Talonflame-Male) @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Spe
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
Fast and frail, without an Adamant nature Talonflame just wouldn't pack enough of a punch to do the job right. A physical wallbreaker and my secondary counter to Mega Pinsir and Mega Mawile, Talonflame is able to do a lot of damage. Unfortunately, it also does a lot of damage to itself as well, as is so fragile it goes down instantly to Thundurus-T's Thunderbolt from full HP after a roost. The 208 speed EVs allow it to outrun Max Speed Jolly Mega Pinsir by a single point, reliably striking with Brave Bird to OHKO before it can use its powerful +2 Quick Attack. Merely the psychological pressure of the matchup has forced out Mega Pinsir several times, leaving Talonflame safe to U-Turn away to try again later. It also has the benefit if utterly annihilating Ferrothorn with its maxed out 4x effective Flare Blitz, though Rocky Helmet variants put a severe dent in the bird in the process.
I decided on Life Orb because in a metagame where Choice Band Talonflame is so incredibly common, I valued the ability to switch between my STABs depending on the target or even U-turn out of an unfavorable situation more highly than an additional 10% damage and the lack of additional recoil. Priority Roost is a fun idea for mitigating otherwise effective hits by removing the Flying type temporarily and to help shrug off Life Orb damage, but even with the remaining EVs going into HP it takes so much damage from even neutral hits that it's basically on a counter to wreak as much havoc as possible before it falls without Wish support. Wish from Vaporeon does allow it to come in on rocks relatively unharmed thanks to baton pass, but ultimately that only delays the inevitable.
Really, Talonflame functions at its best with help from Vaporeon and Scizor as Wish and Defog support makes it significantly easier to switch in and out. Once in a while, Talonflame also makes for an entertaining offensive lead, as it doesn't need to worry about stealth rock just yet and can immediately set to smashing holes in the opponent or else U-Turning to a more appropriate choice while still doing some damage. Even with the help and some support however, Talonflame is almost always a suicidal pick, doing as much damage
Medi (Vaporeon-Female) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
IVs: 0 Atk
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpDef
- Heal Bell
- Baton Pass
Still party cleric, whose job is to spread burns when possible, while healing status and tossing decent-size wishes around, occasionally taking a hit in place of the recipient with its slow baton pass. It's been more useful than Blissey at times, but other times I really miss the big pink blob.
Reaver (Mega Scizor-Male) @ Scizorite
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpDef
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
My mega of choice and physical wall able to take some hits from the special side and perform respectable retaliations even with only 4 EVs invested into Atk. Bullet Punch is almost mandatory on any Scizor, mega or otherwise thanks to STAB and Technician boosting it up to around 90BP on a priority attack, while Bug Bite hits a bit harder and has a chance to snatch any berries being held by an opponent, though I've considered Knock Off despite the loss of STAB damage and now the loss of Technician boosting thanks to being buffed to over 60 BP just to have the ability to get rid of EVERY item rather than only berries. With its solid bulk in the defensive build, Roost allows it to last a long time against anything not packing fire-type moves, while Defog makes it easier for the rest of the team to switch in (particularly Talonflame - that 50% loss of health, ouch) and as a side benefit make it easier for low-accuracy attacks like Stone Edge or Fire Blast to hit their mark. Offensively, he does have trouble breaking through anything that resists both of his STABs (non-Mega Gyarados, for example), but that's to be expected from a defensive pokemon.
Amusingly, with this EV spread and Nature, prior to Mega Evolving Scizor has precisely equal Def and SpDef at 259 each.
I've saved more than a few videos of the various incarnations of this team at work over the last week or so, but I'm going to just go with the 5 absolute most recent.
1- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-99777703 - Scizor so bulky
2- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-99767686 - Reaver putting in work
3- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-99063715 - Dat Deoxys Doe
4- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-98449106 - Sashtar New Meta
5- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-98460278 - Talonflame Being Useful
6- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-101331030 - Proof that wild cards are annoying, and that outrage is insanely strong. Also: Scolipede is a boss.
7- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-101335676 - A tough match that was won through sheer luck. Everybody was vital, except Tflame, who was useless.
8- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-103008701 - Getting Lucky Against a Stall Team
1- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-100422823 - Poor Play Around Megazard-X
2- http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-101332789 - Massacred by Shell Smash Cloyster
As this list has been expanding and contracting rapidly as I make adjustments to my team, the information on my list may be slightly outdated.
1- Infiltrate: Completely invalidates Scolipede, and in so doing makes life just a bit more difficult for Kingdra and Tyranitar
2- Priority Moves (especially boosted): Tyranitar and Blissey are week to a lot of it, and Scolipede can find it to be aggravating as well. Priority Brave Bird he has no business being around, so that's less big of a deal.
3- Scarfed Kyurem-B: Can be a lot of trouble Outraging everything if Scizor is too low on HP to wall it or even already down.
4- Excadrill: Little bastard seems to have a 50/50 chance of being utterly trivial or else the bane of my existence. It doesn't help that he LIKES the sandstorms Tyranitar summons.
5- Yanmega: Bug Buzz hits like a truck, and passes subs. Big trouble if Talonflame is down.
6- Offensive Scizor and Mega Scizor: Again, without Talonflame these can wreak havoc on my team by virtue of their infuriating Steel typing and exorbitantly powerful priority moves. Hidden Power Fire deals hefty damage if Kingdra can survive a hit, though.
7- Chesnaught: I'm a little surprised this guy is so much trouble based on his typing, but that Hidden Ability is something special I have to admit.
8- Clefable: Dazzling Gleam variants can destroy anything in my party other than Blissey, TrickScarf variants cripple Blissey herself, Magic Guard means no Stealth Rock or Toxic damage, it's Fairy typing means it can come in on Draco Meteor laughing, Cosmic Power variants are impassible walls, and heaven forbid it all show up on the same hellish set. Seriously, to hell with Clefable.
9- Ferrothorn: This guy is such an aggravating wall that I devoted much time and energy to devising new ways of setting it on fire in a hurry. Rocky Helmet variants can potentially cripple Talonflame in an act of sacrifice to one of the Mega Bugs (Heracross and Pinsir) that the firebird counters so handily.
10- Mega Bugs: Heracross and Pinsir left unchecked can absolutely devastate this team, Heracross even doing so right past any substitutes that may be in the way.
11- Mega Charizards: Always had to play careful around X, but after trading Blissey for Vaporeon (not entirely bad, given how handy a slow wishpass is against stall) Y gives me trouble too, as nothing short of Talonflame on my team can handle both one-turn Solarbeams and Sun-Boosted Flamethrowers, and Talonflame is so fragile the resistances dont really matter.
Dishonorable Mention- Physical Fairies: While outsped and 2HKO'd by Tyranitar and OHKO'd by Talonflame, Mega Mawile still deserves recognition as a Fairy-Type capable of devastation on a massive scale with its monstrous Atk stat and high-powered STAB Play Rough. Similarly, Azumarill can spell trouble after a Belly Drum boost, almost guaranteeing the loss of at least one mon dealing with it.