Rain has always been a powerful weather across the generations, although it suffered in ADV when the powerful Tyranitar gained the ability to set up permanent sandstorm upon switching in, which made it difficult for rain to have lasting effectiveness. Things shifted in DPP when hail gained a permanent weather inducer in Abomasnow and sand gained Hippowdon as an alternative weather inducer if Tyranitar was unsatisfactory. That said, rain did get boosts as the likes of Kingdra became more powerful, but despite this, rain struggled with the ubiquity of sandstorm and instead became dominant in UU.
BW, however, gave rain a massive boost with the introduction of Dream World abilities. Suddenly, rain has a weather inducer of its own in Drizzle Politoed, letting it keep its weather up for longer periods. In addition, more Pokemon received abilities such as Dry Skin, Rain Dish, and Swift Swim. These abilities give rain an excellent niche as rain teams can run both defensive and offensive playstyles which other weathers struggle to match.
However, rain teams do have their problems. After the ban of Drizzle and Swift Swim on the same team, massively powerful users such as Kingdra suddenly suffered. In addition, BW brought a powerful threat to rain teams in the Grass / Steel Pokemon Ferrothorn, which can threaten to paralyze, weaken teams with Leech Seed, set up entry hazards, or even strike back with a STAB Power Whip. Virizion also poses a threat to rain teams with its excellent Speed, Special Defense, and ability to use Calm Mind to boost its impressive Special Defense stat to high levels. Lastly, rain still has to compete with other weathers such as sun and sandstorm, creating "weather wars" as both sides struggle to keep their weather up for the duration of the battle.
Here is a list of the basic effects rain brings to the table:
Politoed is the thing rain teams needed. With its ability, it summons permanent rain, making it a key member of any rain team. Politoed has well-balanced stats, giving it some nice bulk while also granting it the ability to hit very hard with a Choice Specs Hydro Pump. Politoed also has a fair amount of coverage options, such as Focus Blast, Ice Beam, and a generic Hidden Power to hit opposing Water-types. Lastly, Politoed has the option of running a support move instead of an offensive attack if it wishes.
Furthermore, Politoed has a myriad of options in the support department. While not strictly a "support move," it can use Scald for a STAB attack that has a nice 30% chance to burn. It can run Perish Song to crush any Baton Pass chain or to force out a dangerous boosting sweeper. It can also run Encore to lock an opponent into an attack, giving you a free turn to begin to set up. Politoed also has a nice variety of status attacks, such as Toxic and (if it's feeling lucky) Hypnosis. Toxic can be further used with Protect to help stall out certain Pokemon. Politoed lacks in the recovery department, but it can always run Rest with a Chesto Berry which can aid it in outlasting the other weather starters.
In the item department, Politoed has a large range of options. If it wants to be defensively focused, Leftovers is the best option for it, though as explained above, Chesto Berry can be used if one wishes to run Rest. Politoed can also run a Choice item such as Choice Scarf, which patches up its average Speed, allowing it to act as a revenge killer to get a few surprise KOs on your opponent expecting a slightly slower Politoed. Politoed can also hit extremely hard with Choice Specs. Its rain-boosted STAB Hydro Pump deals massive damage even to Pokemon that resist it!
In conclusion, Politoed is an excellent rain inducer. It caters to rain's style of play as it can run both offensive and defensive sets to suit your team's needs. Politoed also has a nice bonus of getting super effective hits on other common weather inducers, such as Ninetales, Tyranitar, and Hippowdon. Its solid bulk lets it take a hit if needed which is very important in cases of weather wars.
Under Aldaron's proposal, Drizzle and Swift Swim cannot be used on the same team. This has the unfortunate result of limiting the effectiveness of powerful Swift Swim users such as Kabutops, Ludicolo, Omastar, and Kingdra. To get around this, it is possible to build a rain team without Politoed. Instead, you can run Rain Dance and Damp Rock on many of your Pokemon in order to keep your rain up for as long as possible. This has the benefit of being able to use some extremely powerful sweepers that become tough to revenge kill at the cost of struggling with teams with weather inducers of their own. More amusingly, teams of this nature have an advantage against other rain teams with Politoed as they can benefit from the Speed boost which the other team lacks.
If you are building a rain team without Politoed, you need to have a large number of rain inducers to prevent your opponent from switching in their weather inducer to remove your rain. There is no "perfect number" of Rain Dance users to go for, but having at least half your team able to set up Rain Dance is a nice benchmark. Generally, you will also want to have a fast lead; something such as Zapdos or Azelf is a good choice due to their high Speed. Tornadus is also a good option as thanks to its Prankster ability, Rain Dance will have +1 priority. Espeon is also nice for its Magic Bounce ability, which prevents many non-damaging moves from affecting it and reflects them back at the opponent. Magic Mirror renders Taunt ineffective, as well as preventing your opponent from setting up hazards on Espeon, as they too get reflected back.
Once you have your lead, you need a good, solid core of bulky Pokemon that can take a hit and refresh your rain. Deoxys-D, Bronzong, Cressilia, Uxie, Celebi, Rotom-W, Scizor, Slowbro, Latias, Dragonite, Mew, Jirachi, Zapdos, and Porygon2 are all examples of such Pokemon. Usually, these Pokemon set up rain and then attempt to support the team in another way, such as setting up hazards (with Pokemon such as Jirachi and Deoxys-D) or dual screens (with Pokemon such as Bronzong and Latias). Some might even run U-turn or Volt Switch to refresh the rain and then use the next turn to get a sweeper in safely.
Lastly, you need a strong offensive core of rain sweepers. They don't need to all be Swift Swim users—although if you don't carry many you're better off running Politoed—but they need to hit hard and hit fast. Pokemon such as Kingdra and Ludicolo are excellent choices as they can threaten many teams once rain is up. Sometimes, your opponent might switch a weather inducer in and then double switch it out, making your Pokemon easier to revenge kill. In this situation, it's sometimes a good idea to have Rain Dance on one of your sweepers to constantly refresh rain and to prevent permanent weather inducers from getting the upper hand.
Damp Rock rain teams have both pros and cons. On the positive side, it's more difficult for opposing teams to win the weather war as you have more opportunities to set up Rain Dance. In addition, you have a very large advantage against opposing rain teams as your Swift Swim users enjoy the Speed boost. Other teams are also less prepared to face a Damp Rock team, making it possible for you to enjoy a slight advantage. However, Damp Rock teams do have disadvantages; the most pressing problem is that your own rain is on a timer. 8 turns might seem like a lot, but in a metagame where Pokemon that resist Water-type attacks and weather inducers are everywhere, it's not too difficult for your opponent to aim to stall out your rain long enough to counterattack. When using a rain team based around Damp Rock, you need to play the game like you would with a hyper offense team. As you're on a timer, utilizing prediction to hit your opponent's Water-type resists on the switch-in, or sacrificing a sweeper to weaken a wall such as Jellicent or Ferrothorn are things you should bear in mind when trying this style of play. Damp Rock rain can be very rewarding to use, as well as being hard to stop; however, it still boils down to how well you use it.
Offensive teams are easily the most commonly seen examples of rain teams. The basic principal is to get rain up by either using the move Rain Dance or using Politoed, and then to take advantage by spamming powerful Water-type attacks to blast through your opponent's team. Any Water-type resistant Pokemon gradually get worn down by repeated assaults, meaning that offensive rain teams can quickly power through the opposition. This is a very easy style of play as all the rain user has to do is spam Water-type attacks until all members of your opponent's team have fainted.
Kingdra is the premier Swift Swim user. With the fantastic coverage of Water- and Dragon-type STAB attacks, only Pokemon such as Empoleon and Ferrothorn can switch in safely. Under rain, Kingdra hits a mind-blowing 590 Speed. It is also exceptionally difficult to revenge kill Kingdra, as it has decent bulk for a sweeper and packs 1 weakness to Dragon-type attacks. With excellent resistances to Water- and Fire-type attacks, it is very easy to switch Kingdra in safely and start unleashing its powerful attacks.
Kingdra might not have the biggest movepool, but its offensive stats are good enough to hit most opponents exceptionally hard. It can run Dragon Dance sets with moves such as Outrage and Waterfall, or it can take a special route, abusing Hydro Pump and Draco Meteor with Choice Specs to do massive damage to your opponent's team. To give you an example of the sheer power Choice Specs Kingdra can wield, 252 HP / 252 SpD Sassy Ferrothorn gets 3KOed by Hydro Pump under rain. Kingdra also has the rather useful ability to go mixed, allowing it to act as a powerful wallbreaker to smash through a team's defensive backbone.
Omastar is a rather odd case. In DPP it suffered from severe competition with Kabutops for a place on a rain team, and it was often relegated to Spiking duties. However, everything has changed in BW, as Omastar was given one of the best boosting moves available: Shell Smash. Shell Smash raises a user's Speed, Attack, and Special Attack 2 stages while lowering its Defense and Special Defense 1 stage. This excellent move patches up Omastar's rather lackluster Speed and turns it into a threatening sweeper. The bonus of running Omastar on a rain team without Politoed is that you can freely take advantage of Swift Swim, giving Omastar a Speed boost to help it get off that crucial Shell Smash. If rain is up and Omastar sets up a Shell Smash, its Speed gets a massive 4-stage boost. After a Shell Smash, Omastar also hits like a truck. For example, a Modest Life Orb +2 Hydro Pump 2HKOes Blissey without a rain boost. With exceptional Speed inside rain as well as the ability to blast through many walls, Omastar is an excellent choice on a rain team that lacks Politoed.
Gorebyss is pretty similar to Omastar. It too can use the absurdly powerful boosting move Shell Smash, and like Omastar, it can aim for a sweep once it gets that Shell Smash off. It can even hit just as hard as Omastar if it wants, but is a little bit slower and slightly less bulky. However, Gorebyss has access to the move Baton Pass, letting it pass a Shell Smash—a term often referred to as SmashPassing—to some other powerful sweeper, giving it that massive boost. Swift Swim gives Gorebyss an initial Speed boost before it uses Shell Smash, which can aid it in outspeeding a few threats before it sets up. Swift Swim also allows one to run a slightly slower, more bulky Gorebyss, as Swift Swim allows it to fix its Speed problem. With the ability to pass Shell Smashes, Gorebyss can very easily turn the game on its head by giving a powerful boost to another team member, putting your opponent under real pressure.
Kabutops is one of the old classics of DPP rain teams. Kabutops packs a base 115 Attack stat, as well as having access to Swords Dance to boost that Attack even further. With Swift Swim taking care of its average Speed, Kabutops can pile on the hurt very quickly, making it tough to deal with.
Kabutops has excellent STAB moves to rely on, such as Waterfall and Stone Edge, which cover a wide range of Pokemon. It also has the ability to do severe damage one of the major problems to rain teams: Ferrothorn. With Low Kick in its arsenal, Ferrothorn cannot risk switching in for fear of being crippled, thus forcing your opponent to find alternative means of bringing it down. Kabutops also has access to moves such as Aqua Jet to bypass opposing super effective priority moves, such as Conkeldurr's Mach Punch, as well as X-Scissor, which it can use to take down Celebi, another common counter to Kabutops.
However, despite its widespread coverage, Kabutops has an unfortunate case of four-moveslot syndrome. This means that no matter what moves you put on Kabutops, something will always wall it. For example, a moveset of Swords Dance, Stone Edge, Waterfall, and Low Kick makes Celebi a severe problem, while running X-Scissor over Low Kick causes Ferrothorn to become an issue. In addition, the shaky accuracy of Stone Edge can easily let you down in a battle. In an ironic twist, Kabutops now struggles with Omastar for a spot on rain teams as they share similar weaknesses. Kabutops certainly has some problems, but it still works just fine on a rain team provided you have methods to take down the bulky Grass-types that threaten it.
Ludicolo is another DPP rain classic. It has a rather modest base 90 Special Attack stat, but it has an excellent Grass / Water typing which allows it to fear Ferrothorn much less than many of its rain brethren. Its typing also grants Ludicolo an awesome STAB combination, giving it wide coverage and the ability to check many bulky Water-types that can be problems to other rain sweepers. Not being weak to Electric- and Grass-type moves is a great advantage, as well as having a nice Special Defense which let it take a few hits. Ludicolo might not have the highest attacking stats around, but it does have nice versatility in running either physical and special sets, making it tough to counter as it can hit very hard.
Ludicolo also is blessed with the ability to use a few Fighting-type attacks, letting it defeat Ferrothorn, an eternal pain to rain teams. It also packs Ice-type attacks to scare away other bulky Grass-types that are problems to rain. In a metagame where Gastrodon is a common rain check, Ludicolo can force it out with the threat of a powerful STAB Grass-type attack. To this end, Ludicolo shines at checking many threats to rain teams, as well as abusing rain very well with Swift Swim and its STAB Water-type attacks.
With high Speed and Special Attack, as well as superb coverage, Starmie is an excellent sweeper on a rain team. While BW gave Starmie a new counter in Ferrothorn, it is still a fearsome sweeper once Ferrothorn has been sufficiently weakened. Its base 115 Speed lets it outrun most of the metagame, making it tough to revenge kill. Starmie is blessed with excellent coverage moves in Ice Beam and Thunder; in combination with Surf or Hydro Pump, there are very few Pokemon that can switch in safely on Starmie.
Starmie has a few options it can run on a rain team. It has access to Recover, which allows it to heal Life Orb damage easily and continue to threaten your opponent's team. Starmie also has Trick to cripple a wall such as Blissey with a Choice item and Psyshock to deal with special walls.
As Ferrothorn walls many members of a rain team, it has several opportunities to set up Spikes, which can be a major issue to rain teams. Starmie helps fix this as it has access to Rapid Spin, giving it the opportunity to remove those hazards while your other team members concentrate on wearing down Ferrothorn. The ability to spin is excellent on Starmie as it is one of the few Pokemon that can both spin and scare away common spinblockers that fear being KOed by Starmie's powerful attacks. For example, one of the more common Ghost-types, Jellicent, finds it difficult to spinblock against Starmie as it hates getting smacked with a Thunder. Starmie can run Life Orb or Choice Specs to hit foes even harder, or Leftovers if you want extra survivability on Starmie. If you need a spinner, a catch-all revenge killer, or a powerful sweeper—or any combination of these—Starmie is the perfect choice.
With its awesome Electric / Water typing, as well as excellent bulk and power, it's hard to ignore Rotom-W when considering Pokemon for a rain team. Under rain, its Hydro Pump does massive damage to anything that does not resist it, making it exceptionally difficult to switch into. Rotom-W also has access to some powerful Electric-type attacks, such as Thunder-which reaches 100% accuracy under rain-and Volt Switch, an Electric-type version of U-turn which turns Rotom-W into an excellent scout.
Rotom-W has access to a few support moves which help it be a pain to many opposing teams. For example, Rotom-W can run a Choice Specs or Choice Scarf set with Trick, crippling special walls such as Blissey and Chansey. Rotom-W also has access to Pain Split which provides a nice method of recovering health. When combined with Rotom-W's excellent bulk and typing, Pain Split lets it stay around for quite a while. Lastly, Rotom-W has access to Will-O-Wisp, which discourages Pokemon such as Ferrothorn or Tyranitar from switching in for fear of being burned. All in all, Rotom-W is an excellent Pokemon that functions exceptionally well both inside and outside rain.
At first glance, Azumarill doesn't look like much. It has nice bulk but pretty poor offensive stats. However, Azumarill has access to an excellent ability in Huge Power which doubles its Attack, transforming it into a terrifying physical sweeper in rain.
Azumarill doesn't have a massive movepool, but it doesn't really need one. Holding a Choice Band, its Waterfall is boosted to incredible power, and when rain is active even Pokemon such as Latias, which can usually shrug off Water-type attacks, take massive damage switching in. Azumarill can bypass its low Speed by running Aqua Jet, which lets it act as a powerful revenge killer. As far as coverage options go, Azumarill has access to Ice Punch to hammer Pokemon such as Celebi on the switch-in, or Superpower to maim Ferrothorn. It can even run Toxic to handle Water Absorb Jellicent, which can otherwise wall Azumarill easily. Azumarill is lacking a little in coverage moves, but packs enough of a punch in rain that you won't miss them.
Gyarados plays a very similar game to Azumarill, so be careful when deciding spots on your rain team. Unlike Azumarill, Gyarados lacks the ability Huge Power; however, with a base 125 Attack stat, it hardly needs it. Gyarados also struggles to overcome Ferrothorn, as well as being weak to Stealth Rock, which costs it 25% of its health when it switches in. Azumarill can nail Ferrothorn with a well-predicted Superpower; however, Gyarados is forced to batter away at it with Waterfall or resort to using Bounce to try and win.
However, it's not all bad for Gyarados. It has the powerful boosting move Dragon Dance, which boosts its Attack and Speed stats one stage each, making it very threatening very quickly. Gyarados also has access to two wonderful abilities: Intimidate and Moxie. Intimidate lets Gyarados switch into physical blows more easily, which can aid it in getting a free Dragon Dance. Moxie increases Gyarados's Attack one stage every time it gets a KO. When combined with Dragon Dance, it can be very difficult to stop.
Gyarados also has enough coverage options to run a Choice Band set in a similar fashion to Azumarill. Waterfall packs huge power under rain, 3HKOing certain versions of Ferrothorn and potentially 2HKOing some Rotom-W sets with Stealth Rock damage. Gyarados can run Earthquake and Stone Edge as coverage options on a Choice set, with Payback and Outrage both working in the last slot. In short, Gyarados is an excellent physical sweeper in rain, hitting like a truck with a Choice set, or threatening a sweep with Dragon Dance. If you can keep Stealth Rock off the field, Gyarados will rarely let you down.
When picking Pokemon for an offensive rain team, Vaporeon is often ignored. Vaporeon is often used as a physical wall, so when your opponent sees it in the Team Preview, it's often underrated as an offensive threat. However, it is often forgotten that Vaporeon has a massive base 110 Special Attack—the same as Latias. Vaporeon might not have great coverage options, but in rain with either a Life Orb or Choice Specs, its STAB Water-type attacks will hurt. Vaporeon also has access to the ability Hydration which heals status effects while rain is active, letting Vaporeon use Rest to fully heal itself while Hydration will cure it of sleep. Low Speed tends to prevent Vaporeon from utterly sweeping a team, but it can still be very effective at quickly breaking down your opponent's team with its boosted Water-type attacks.
Lapras is an often overlooked threat under rain. BW gave it the wonderful Hydration ability, which lets Lapras use the same HydraRest combo as Vaporeon. Lapras, however, has access to an excellent boosting move in Dragon Dance, which boosts its Attack and Speed stats one stage each. When combined with Rest and Hydration, Lapras can fully heal itself, as well as having no problems with status. Lapras also has a few other options, such as running a Curse set to increase its bulk and Attack, or running a special set with Thunder to take advantage of rain. However, Dragon Dance in combination with Hydration and Rest is Lapras's best shot in OU, and is something that should be remembered if you use Lapras.
Ludicolo was mentioned above thanks to its awesome Swift Swim ability. However, Ludicolo also functions very well in rain with its secondary ability: Rain Dish. Rain Dish recovers 6.25% of Ludicolo's HP per turn while it's raining. When combined with Leftovers, Substitute, and Protect, Ludicolo functions very much like your average Substitute Gliscor, in that—thanks to the recovery it receives—Ludicolo can keep creating Substitutes in an attempt to stall your opponent out. Ludicolo has the great healing move Leech Seed, which drains health from the target while healing even more of Ludicolo's HP. The end result is that with a combination of Rain Dish, Leftovers, Protect, and Leech Seed, it's possible for Ludicolo to gain more health than it loses creating a Substitute. This set is vulnerable to opposing Grass-types, including Ferrothorn, but Toxic Spikes can help wear down Pokemon such as Shaymin, while Magnezone could trap Ferrothorn.
Ludicolo can always take an offensive route, even on a Drizzle team, but it really suffers from competition with other Water-types which hit harder or faster. Despite its great typing, losing the Speed boost from Swift Swim to work in a Drizzle team really hurts Ludicolo's chances, and there are usually better Pokemon to use in an offensive role.
Tentacruel also gets Rain Dish, which makes it exceptionally popular on rain teams for its ability to regain free health. Toxic Spikes help Tentacruel wear opposing Pokemon down, letting your team slowly stall them out. Tentacruel also has as nice base 100 Speed, so it can run an offensive set with Hydro Pump and Giga Drain in order to surprise would-be counters and hit exceptionally hard. Tentacruel also has access to Rapid Spin, which lets it help rain teams with the ever-annoying Ferrothorn by spinning away the hazards it sets up.
As far as STAB moves go, Tentacruel has the awesome Scald, which comes with a 30% burn rate which is useful for crippling physical Pokemon. Surf is also available if Tentacruel wants a little more power, but Scald's burn rate is hard to pass up. Tentacruel is an underrated Pokemon; Rain Dish and Leftovers greatly help its vitality on defensive teams, while Rapid Spin, Toxic Spikes, and Scald are excellent moves on it. If you're looking for Pokemon for a rain stall team, then look no further, for Tentacruel will rarely let you down.
Tornadus is an excellent offensive threat in rain. Its biggest selling point is its exceptionally powerful STAB Hurricane, which does massive damage to Pokemon that do not resist it. Hurricane has 100% accuracy in rain, and also comes with a handy 30% chance of confusion, which is a side effect that could help you out in a close battle. Tornadus also has powerful Fighting-type attacks such as Hammer Arm and Focus Blast to hurt Steel-types that hope to switch in on a resisted Hurricane. Hammer Arm and Focus Blast also maim Tyranitar, dissuading it from switching in and removing rain.
Other than Hurricane and Fighting-type attacks, Tornadus lacks decent attacking moves. However, it doesn't need much as Focus Blast and Hurricane cover most threats and it can always resort to Hidden Power to cover something crucial. Tornadus makes a great transitional Pokemon in rain teams as it can run U-turn to ensure that you maintain momentum, and it can even set up rain itself. This makes it a great choice on Swift Swim teams too, as priority Rain Dance is exceptionally useful. Lastly, Tornadus can run Tailwind, which has been boosted to a duration of 4 turns in BW. Tailwind could be used in a late-game scenario or in emergency situations to allow a teammate to get a crucial Speed boost, letting it revenge kill something it otherwise could not or sweep late-game. All in all, Tornadus is very useful on rain teams, and should be considered for a spot on your offensive rain team.
Toxicroak is another one of rain's powerful physical sweepers. Toxicroak has an excellent ability in Dry Skin which lets it recover 12.5% HP each turn in rain. This is a pretty significant amount when you factor in Leftovers as well, making it exceptionally difficult to take Toxicroak down.
In BW, Toxicroak received the move Drain Punch, which is excellent in conjunction with Dry Skin. Drain Punch was also boosted to 75 Base Power and, coming off Toxicroak's base 106 Attack, is bound to hurt. Toxicroak also has access to the boosting move Bulk Up. When used in conjunction with Substitute, Toxicroak can attempt to create unbreakable Substitutes on the physical side while simultaneously boosting its Attack stat. For maximum devastation, Toxicroak can drop the reliable Drain Punch for the slightly less accurate but more powerful Cross Chop. Running Cross Chop also frees up a moveslot to run Ice Punch to hammer Gliscor. A simple Swords Dance set with Cross Chop, Ice Punch, and Sucker Punch can be a real problem for many teams. Toxicroak's Fighting-type STAB moves allow it to bust through the usual rain annoyances Blissey and Ferrothorn, a feat that makes it exceptionally valuable for many rain teams.
The old RBY Dragon-type is back with the massive boosts it received in BW. Dragonite received the awesome Multiscale ability, which cuts the damage Dragonite takes in half, provided it is at full health. This excellent ability can make it exceptionally difficult to defeat Dragonite, especially as it has access to Roost to heal off any damage it takes. Dragonite also has excellent bulk, which means it can act as a nice pivot for rain teams, switching into Pokemon such as Celebi that usually give rain teams trouble.
Multiscale is not the only thing that Dragonite received in BW. Dragonite also received the powerful STAB move Hurricane, which has 100% accuracy under rain and also comes with a 30% chance to confuse the opponent. This, combined with Thunder and Aqua Tail, can turn Dragonite into a very effective wallbreaker under rain. Dragonite can also run its bread and butter Dragon Dance set to quickly attempt a sweep. Being on a rain team makes Waterfall a viable option on a Dragon Dance set, letting it blast past Gliscor which usually prevents Dragon Dance Dragonite from sweeping.
Raikou is a very underused Pokemon, and is often considered not quite good enough in OU. However, Raikou can really shine in a rain team. With its exceptional base 115 Speed, it outspeeds most of the metagame quite easily, while it can also hit hard off its base 115 Special Attack. Raikou has access to some very powerful moves in Aura Sphere and Weather Ball. In rain, Weather Ball turns into a Water-type attack which gets a powerful boost. Aura Sphere maims Tyranitar and Ferrothorn, which are both common annoyances to rain teams. There is a catch, however; both Aura Sphere and Weather Ball are event moves that force Raikou to run Rash as its nature, lowering its Speed quite a bit; it still outspeeds base 100s, however, which is a nice benchmark to hit.
Raikou has access to Calm Mind which is an excellent boosting move for it, letting it run either an offensive Calm Mind set or a slightly more defensive set with Substitute and Calm Mind. Both sets have the potential to be equally devastating with the right support. Packing nice Speed and power, as well as the opportunity to spam STAB Thunder under rain, Raikou can be a very strong member on a rain team.
Jolteon works in a similar vein to Raikou in that it packs incredible Speed and decent power. Jolteon is naturally faster than most of the metagame, which lets it check Pokemon such as opposing Tornadus and Starmie. Jolteon can run a Life Orb set with Charge Beam to hit many Pokemon exceptionally hard, or a Choice Specs set with Volt Switch to retain the ability to scout while hitting hard with its STAB Electric-type attacks.
Rotom-C suffers from severe competition from Rotom-W, which has a STAB Hydro Pump that is boosted by rain. However, Rotom-C can smash Gastrodon-a problematic Pokemon for Rotom-W and rain teams in general-with a STAB Leaf Storm, forcing it to retreat. Rotom-C is also an excellent check to Rotom-W on opposing teams, which can become very threatening when rain is up. Rotom-C boasts a 4x resistance to Electric-type attacks and threatens to smash Rotom-W with a Leaf Storm; however, a STAB Hydro Pump in rain will do a fair amount of damage to Rotom-C, so be careful switching it in.
Rotom-C has access to many of the same moves as Rotom-W, such as Will-O-Wisp and Volt Switch, which really help its hit-and-run playstyle. While Rotom-C is a very useful Pokemon under rain, it is often outclassed by Rotom-W, so if you are choosing a Rotom forme for your rain team think carefully about what is best for the team.
Jirachi is a premier Pokemon for all styles of rain teams. To begin with, Jirachi has base 100 stats across the board, as well as a very useful Steel typing, which lets it serve as an excellent check to Pokemon such as Reuniclus, Latios, and Latias. Defensive teams really appreciate its ability to act as Wish support while also spreading paralysis with a 100% Thunder which, thanks to Serene Grace, has a 60% chance of paralyzing the opponent. Furthermore, Jirachi can become exceptionally threatening if it takes an offensive route. Sets with Calm Mind and Wish have both offensive and defensive value, passing Wishes to keep members of your team alive while also healing Jirachi and turning it into a threatening sweeper.
Jirachi can also run a fearsome Substitute + Calm Mind set. Although this set lacks recovery, it can be very devastating to many teams. Commonly, Jirachi runs Thunder for its previously mentioned ability to paralyze foes, and either Flash Cannon or Water Pulse as its other attacking option. Flash Cannon comes with a 20% chance to lower the opposing Pokemon's Special Defense, as well as critically wounding Tyranitar that hope to switch in and lower Thunder's accuracy by removing rain. On the other hand, Water Pulse has a 40% chance to cause confusion, as well as picking up a rain boost. Water Pulse also forms a very effective parafusion combo with Thunder, making it a large annoyance to many teams, as giving Jirachi free turns can be very devastating.
When all's said and done, Jirachi is an outstanding Pokemon to use on a rain team. With its excellent typing, stats, and movepool, Jirachi is very good at what it does, making it hard to pass up on any rain team.
Ferrothorn is a wonderful Pokemon on a rain team. Its outstanding Grass / Steel typing lets it stand up to powerful Water-types without fear. It also has amazing 74 / 131 / 116 defensive stats which let it take repeated punishment with little fear. In rain, its weakness to Fire-type attacks is halved, which means certain threats that frequently run Hidden Power Fire to handle it, such as Celebi and Latios, struggle to hurt it.
However, Ferrothorn has more than just amazing stats and a great typing; it has access to an awesome supporting movepool. With moves such as Leech Seed, Spikes, and Stealth Rock, as well as great status moves such as Thunder Wave and Toxic, Ferrothorn is one cool customer. Hazard support is very important to many teams, and Ferrothorn remains one of the best Pokemon to set up hazards in rain.
On the offensive front, Ferrothorn has access to a decent base 94 Attack and powerful STAB moves in Gyro Ball, which is boosted by Ferrothorn's pitiful Speed, and Power Whip, which maims Water-type Pokemon such as Rotom-W. Ferrothorn can even run a Choice Band set, which can surprise many Pokemon and deal massive damage.
As far as item options go, Leftovers is the best option for Ferrothorn, although Shed Shell can be used if you are particularly worried about Magnezone. Rocky Helmet also gets decent utility with Ferrothorn's Iron Barbs ability; together, they take off a massive 25% of your opponent's health if it uses a contact move on Ferrothorn, which can be very annoying to teams that rely on Outrage as Ferrothorn can quickly take away 50% of their health. Rocky Helmet and Iron Barbs also severely hurt Pokemon attempting to use Rapid Spin Ferrothorn to remove hazards it sets.
Bronzong is another Steel-type that loves having its Fire-type weakness removed under Rain. It has an excellent Psychic / Steel typing, as well as great 67 / 116 / 116 defensive stats. Bronzong is exceptionally useful to rain teams as it serves as a check to Pokemon such as Landorus and Gliscor, both of which are annoyances if sandstorm is active. Bronzong can switch in on these Pokemon without fear and scare them away with the threat of Hidden Power Ice or Earthquake. Bronzong also serves as an excellent Pokemon to set up Stealth Rock or dual screens if needed.
Latias is an excellent Pokemon in rain. With a great typing, an excellent base 110 Special Attack stat, and an impressive base 130 Special Defense, Latias can switch into Pokemon such as Rotom-W in the rain without fear, shrugging off a Hydro Pump and recovering the damage. Latias can be exceptionally deadly with a Choice Specs set, firing off a powerful Draco Meteor to batter down your opponent's defensive Steel-types, opening the way for a fast, powerful Water-type such as Starmie to clean up late-game. Latias can also run a defensive set with Roar and Reflect, perhaps suitable for a rain stall team, which enjoys having an extra phazer.
Finally, Latias can be exceptionally threatening with a Calm Mind set. With Calm Mind, Recover, and Dragon Pulse, Latias can become very threatening to many teams due to its impressive bulk combined with its nice Speed and power. In the last slot, Latias can run Roar to phaze out Pokemon such as Jirachi or Reuniclus who might try to set up and win the Calm Mind war. Substitute can also be used as a protective buffer to prevent being revenge killed, as well as allowing Latias to set up on Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Bronzong by stalling out their Gyro Ball PP while Substitute prevents Leech Seed from affecting it. Latias does suffer from a bit of competition from its brother, Latios; however, Latias's extra bulk is really useful on balanced and fully defensive teams.
While Latias is traditionally run with a more defensive mindset, Latios is all about offense. With a massive base 130 Special Attack, its Choice Specs set is far more damaging than Latias's. Draco Meteor will smash anything that doesn't resist it while Surf under rain can deal with most Steel-types. Latios can also forget about Choice Specs and just run a Life Orb set with 3 attacks and Recover, crushing Pokemon without needing as much prediction and opening up holes in your opponent's team for another Pokemon to clean up. Under rain, very little can switch into Latios safely, with Tyranitar really being the best option. This can work out very well on a rain team as Latios can be sacrificed to cripple Tyranitar enough for Politoed to win the weather war.
Latios also has a nice attacking movepool. Psyshock can dent Blissey switching in to sponge a Draco Meteor, while also allowing Latios to check Pokemon such as Calm Mind Virizion, which can be rather threatening to a rain team. Latios can also run a Calm Mind set if it needs to, but a Life Orb set with 3 attacks is just as destructive.
Scizor, which was one of the top Pokemon in DPP, retains its high usage in BW. Rain weakens the Fire-type attacks it dislikes, but at the cost of Scizor taking a lot more damage from Surfs. That said, Scizor can be very useful on a rain team by checking Pokemon such as Latias which can be destructive to your team, as well as revenge killing Pokemon with its powerful STAB Bullet Punch. Scizor can also be useful to rain teams in that it can set up a Swords Dance on Ferrothorn and, taking advantage of the weakened power of Fire-type attacks under rain, attempt to sweep your opponent's team. Scizor is perfect on rain teams as common threats such as Celebi and Virizion hate switching into Choice Band Scizor. It's also very effective partnered with a Rotom-W with Volt Switch, as together they can force each other's counters out while weakening your opponent's team.
Parasect is often regarded as pretty pathetic; however, on a rain team, Parasect can enjoy a rather nice niche. Dry Skin lets it recover its health every turn while it's raining, and Parasect can further exploit this with Leech Seed and Leftovers. Thanks to Parasect's low base HP, Leech Seed can often recover more health than Parasect needs to make a Substitute, which makes it similar to Ludicolo in that respect. Parasect also has access to the 100% accurate sleep move Spore which, thanks to BW's sleep mechanics, effectively puts one opposing Pokemon out of commission. Parasect can also use its STAB X-Scissor to slam Grass-types such as Celebi that switch in hoping to absorb a Leech Seed. A rather unusual Pokemon, Parasect can be very effective on a rain team with the right support.
Jellicent is the new premier spinblocker in BW, and it's excellent at what it does. Jellicent has a wonderful Ghost / Water typing, as well as nice defensive stats that can let it take a few hits. Jellicent also has the useful Water Absorb ability, which is perfect on rain teams as it gives them a pivot to switch into opposing Water-type attacks. Jellicent can ward off many physical sweepers with the threat of Will-O-Wisp, or it can spam Scald which has a 30% burn rate. Jellicent also has access to the wonderful healing move Recover, which allows it stay alive longer to spinblock.
Thanks to Jellicent's defensive stat spread, it really enjoys being on balanced or wholly defensive teams as it can prevent your entry hazards from being spun away. Jellicent can also manhandle opposing defensive teams by utilizing Taunt, which prevents your opponent from setting up Spikes against Jellicent.
Despite predominantly being a defensive pokemon, Jellicent also has an option of running a Choice set and spamming a powerful Water Spout to catch its counters by surprise and act as an unexpected wallbreaker. Shadow Ball smashes Celebi, Latios, and Latias, making Jellicent an excellent lure.
A common opinion of Gastrodon is that it is only used to counter rain teams; with its new and improved Storm Drain ability letting it absorb Water-type attacks and its sudden jump from NU to OU, this isn't an unreasonable assumption. Like all Water-types, it is gifted with an excellent defensive typing; however, its unique immunities to Electric- and Water-type attacks and natural bulk make it especially talented at taking all kinds of attacks. Factor in its access to Recover and you have an excellent option to prevent opposing Water-types from using the rain against you.
Gastrodon isn't limited to holding off other Water-types; it can also become a very threatening attacker itself with Choice Specs equipped. With its resistances and bulk, Gastrodon gets plenty of chances to switch in and blast the opponent with rain-boosted Surfs, which are nearly as powerful as Draco Meteors from Latios. STAB Earth Power and Ice Beam provide excellent coverage, with Hidden Power options available to nail any normal counters other than Blissey and Chansey. Furthermore, Gastrodon has the option of running Recover, which it can impressively pull off even with a Choice item. If your opponent makes the mistake of using a Water-type attack on Gastrodon they will be in for pain, as there is no Pokemon that can switch into a Choice Specs Surf boosted by Storm Drain and rain without an immunity. Even Blissey and Chansey risk being 2HKOed by it, and standard Latios is almost OHKOed, pushing the limits of how a powerful a Surf can become in OU.
The release of BW not only surprised us with a Pokemon besides Kyogre getting Drizzle, but it also went ahead and handed us a Fire-type that can fit well in rain teams. Volcarona brings a lot to a rain team, taking care of threats such as Nasty Plot Celebi and Calm Mind Virizion that generally trouble them and providing firepower against sun teams. Volcarona also benefits from rain, with access the move Hurricane and a boosted Hidden Power Water to maintain coverage against Steel-types such as Skarmory and Heatran. Don't underestimate the power of Volcarona just because it's raining; it still has Quiver Dance and enough coverage to run through teams.
Tyranitar is always going to be a rather large problem for a rain team thanks to its Sand Stream ability, which creates a sandstorm the moment it enters the battlefield. This, combined with its massive bulk and the Special Defense boost it receives in sand, makes it a tough Pokemon to take down. Tyranitar also has a rather large Attack stat, as well as access to Pursuit, letting it do severe damage to Politoed, assuming it can catch it fleeing.
Luckily, Tyranitar is weak to Water-type attacks, which means that it cannot realistically switch into powerful Water-type moves from Pokemon such as Choice Specs Politoed without taking massive damage. A physically defensive Politoed can also stand up to most Tyranitar without fear, utilizing Protect to scout Tyranitar's move, Toxic to gradually wear the beast down, or Scald to threaten it with a burn. Tyranitar also has 4x weakness to Fighting-type attacks, so a well-timed Focus Blast from Politoed can nail it, winning the weather war for you instantly. Furthermore, you can use to a few other Pokemon to deal with Tyranitar. For example, Toxicroak can switch into Tyrantiar and force it out with the threat of a Cross Chop or Drain Punch. Tornadus can use Hammer Arm or Focus Blast to KO Tyranitar or use a priority Rain Dance as it switches in, nullifying its attempt to set up sandstorm. In short, dealing with Tyrantiar is not as tricky as it appears thanks to its weakness to Water-type moves, as well as many rain sweepers hitting hard enough or possessing certain moves that deter it from switching in. Tyranitar's biggest asset is the enormous unpredictability it brings to the table, so if you sort out its set, dealing with it becomes much easier.
Hippowdon is another weather inducer that removes the rain which Politoed sets up. It's far less unpredictable than Tyrantiar, and is also much rarer. However, never underestimate Hippowdon; thanks to its massive bulk, as well as Slack Off, bringing it down can be a large problem.
Like Tyranitar, Hippowdon suffers from a weakness to Water-type attacks. In addition, its Special Defense is much lower than Tyranitar's as it does not receive the Special Defense boost under sand that Tyrantiar gets. This gives rain teams an exceptionally large advantage, as it means that Hippowdon will rarely be switching into your rain sweepers in fear of taking critical damage from a STAB Water-type attack.
Hippowdon commonly carries moves such as Stealth Rock and Slack Off, as well as offensive options such as Earthquake and Ice Fang. This makes Rotom-W an excellent option to deal with it, as it can threaten to cripple it with a Will-O-Wisp or KO with a STAB Hydro Pump. Politoed itself can also go toe-to-toe with the mighty Hippowdon, dealing massive damage with a Choice Specs set or crippling it with a well-timed Toxic if running a defensive set. Politoed can also Rest off any damage it might take by running a ChestoRest set.
In addition to Politoed, specially-based Water-types are your best bet to take down Hippowdon. Certain phyical powerhouses under rain, such as Choice Band Azumarill, can also do okay, but target Hippowdon's much higher Defense stat. Starmie and the previously mentioned Rotom-W are excellent options, with the latter walling every common move Hippowdon runs, and the former having access to Recover to heal off damage as well as Rapid Spin to remove Stealth Rock.
Landorus is another popular threat in sandstorm that can hit extremely hard thanks to its Sand Force ability, which effectively gives its Rock- and Ground-type attacks a Life Orb boost if sandstorm is in play. With a Ground / Flying typing, Landorus is weak to Water-type attacks; however, it can switch into Electric-type attacks for free and then threaten a team back with its STAB Earthquake.
While Landorus struggles to switch in cleanly against a rain team, what makes it so dangerous is its versatility. For example, Choice Scarf sets can outspeed your rain sweepers and revenge kill them, while U-Turning on the popular Starmie for easy momentum. Landorus can also run a Swords Dance set, as well as Substitute, which can prevent it from being revenge killed as easily.
In order to deal with Landorus, you first need to find out its set. Choice Scarf sets can be played around with prediction, while Swords Dance sets can be revenge killed by fast Pokemon such as Starmie and Jolteon. Sets with Substitute are a little more troublesome, but Rotom-W works very well, as does Gliscor if Landorus lacks Hidden Power Ice. Azumarill is also an excellent check to Landorus as it can revenge kill it with a powerful Aqua Jet.
Ninetales is a rather large threat to rain teams. Merely switching in causes Drought to activate, which is immeasurably crippling to a rain team, as Thunder and Hurricane become inaccurate while Water-types have their STAB attacks halved in power. The real problem that sun brings, though, are the powerful Grass-types, all of which can be a handful if sun is up. In practice, fighting a sun team is more about eliminating the sweepers such as Venusaur than it is about eliminating Ninetales, due to Ninetales being a rather subpar Pokemon.
In terms of beating Ninetales, however, you have a few options. Politoed can do massive damage to it with Hydro Pump if it's a Choice Specs variant or just has high Special Attack investment, even with Drought reducing its Base Power. Defensive Politoed can freely switch in on Ninetales, only fearing the rare Energy Ball, and can Refresh or Rest off any status that Ninetales throws at it. Speaking of status, hitting Ninetales with Toxic is a great way to deal with it as it will be gradually weakened. Powerful Pokemon such as Choice Band Gyarados can still smash Ninetales with Earthquake or Stone Edge even if it's burned, and Stealth Rock will also cripple Ninetales whenever it switches in. Ninetales has only average bulk, so a few hard hits should be enough to take it down.
Venusaur is one of the most common Grass-types seen on sun teams and can be exceptionally threatening. What makes it a problem is the unpredictability in its moveset, which can make it slightly tricky to deal with. Venusaur also resists Water-type moves and can often quite easily switch in against certain rain sweepers even if sunlight is not up, forcing a switch. Its STAB Grass-type attacks also threaten Politoed, the centerpiece of a rain team, while its Poison typing absorbs any Toxic Spikes that more defensive Rain teams might employ.
In order to counter Venusaur, you have to scout its moveset. In general, many Venusaur run a Grass-type attack such as Energy Ball or SolarBeam, as well as Hidden Power Fire to hit opposing Grass-type Pokemon such as Ferrothorn. The final two attacks, however, can be rather tricky. Venusaur can run moves such as Growth to increase its attacking stats under sunlight, Sludge Bomb for an extra coverage move, or utility moves such as Synthesis to heal itself, Sleep Powder to cripple a counter, and even Sunny Day to set up sunlight when it scares Politoed away.
Despite its rather wide movepool, Venusaur does struggle with a few Pokemon. For example, Venusaur struggles against certain Grass-type Pokemon such as Ferrothorn if rain is active, as it can only fire off a weakened Hidden Power Fire while Ferrothorn can Thunder Wave in order to cripple its Speed. Jirachi, too, can deal with it rather well if rain is active, also threatening to paralyze with Body Slam or Thunder, while some Wish + Calm Mind sets can simply hit Venusaur with a super effective Psychic. Latias is also an amazing counter, and can shrug off an attack or two while threatening to set up a few Calm Minds. In a similar vein, Latios can take a hit (although a Sludge Bomb will hurt), will outspeed if rain is up, and can hammer Venusaur with a Draco Meteor. Dragonite and Tornadus can also threaten to OHKO Venusaur with their STAB Hurricanes, although both require rain in order to avoid Hurricane's poor accuracy under sun. In addition, Venusaur is not particularly bulky, so a few powerful neutral hits will bring it down.
Sawsbuck is another one of those tricky Grass-types that rain teams hate to face. Sawsbuck has the stats of a physical sweeper, which means that it commonly runs a Swords Dance set. It's Grass / Normal typing gives it pretty solid coverage, and it can run through a weakened rain team with ease.
The first step to beating Sawsbuck is taking away the sunlight which activates its Chlorophyll ability; this is not essential, but it does make it slightly easier to revenge kill. Sawsbuck also really hates Steel-types such as Skarmory, Bronzong, and Ferrothorn, as most run Nature Power, which transforms into Earthquake when used in simulator play. The aforementioned three Pokemon do a pretty decent job at walling it and can set up hazards or cripple it with their STAB attacks such as Brave Bird (for Skarmory) or Gyro Ball (Bronzong and Ferrothorn). Dragonite can try and revenge kill it if its Multiscale is intact, smashing Sawsbuck with a STAB Hurricane. Tornadus can do the same, although it has to be noted that rain needs to be up for Tornadus to outspeed and then KO with Hurricane. If you can predict a Swords Dance, Choice Scarf Politoed can switch in and launch a well-timed Ice Beam to cripple Sawsbuck, but it really needs to watch out for a STAB Horn Leech on the switch.
Tangrowth is another dangerous Chlorophyll user that gives rain teams trouble. Like Venusaur, Tangrowth can also be slightly unpredictable in that it can hit either physically or specially due to its excellent offensive stats. Tangrowth also has excellent physical bulk, which lets it switch into Pokemon such as Azumarill with little fear. Once in, it can use Growth to boost both of its offensive stats and then hit back with a STAB move of choice.
Despite Tangrowth looking rather threatening on paper, in practice it's not so difficult to deal with. Tangrowh is rather slow, even after a Chlorophyll boost, so Choice Scarf Pokemon such as Rotom-W can still outspeed and KO with Hidden Power Ice. Choice Scarf Politoed can also remove the sunlight and revenge kill Tangrowth with Ice Beam, making it a decent check. Dragon-type Pokemon such as Latios or Latias are also good bets as both resist many of the common moves Tangrowth runs.
When dealing with Tangrowth, remember that it has a pathetic Special Defense stat, which means that it cannot really switch in on special attacks. Even Water-type attacks will hurt if rain is up, and Ice Beam will cripple it. Tangrowth will likely switch in when sun is up, so use this to your advantage when dealing with it. Winning the weather war will greatly weaken Tangrowth's potential to hurt your rain team.
Being a Fire-type, you would hardly consider Volcarona as a threat to your standard rain team. Volcarona also packs a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock, which limits its opportunities to switch in. However, it can be exceptionally difficult for rain teams to deal with, as it puts significant pressure on Politoed to keep it in check, and its movepool isn't quite emptied as it can use Hurricane in rain.
Stat-wise, Volcarona is blessed with great Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed, while in other areas its stats are sadly rather lacking. Volcarona did, however, get one of the greatest stat-boosting moves of all time in Quiver Dance, which boosts its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by one stage each. Combined with excellent STAB options in Bug Buzz and Fiery Dance—which boosts the users Special Attack stage one stage 50% of the time—Volcarona is very hard to handle. Considering the fact that Volcarona is often used on a sun team, it can be a headache for rain teams to deal with.
Like Venusaur, Volcarona can be rather unpredictable with its moveset. While Quiver Dance, Bug Buzz, and a Fire-type attack are standard, Volcarona can choose to run Hidden Power Rock or Ground, Morning Sun, Rest with a Chesto Berry, or Substitute. It can also run slightly different EV spreads, sometimes going fully offensive, while other times gravitating towards bulk. These subtle changes limit what counters Volcarona and what doesn't.
On a rain team, the best weapon against Volcarona is Azumarill. Azumarill has priority Aqua Jet, which bypasses any Speed boosts Volcarona might have obtained, as well as hitting Volcarona's weak Defense stat. It can OHKO so long as sun is not up, although Substitute Volcarona can be irritating if Flame Body kicks in and burns Azumarill. Gyarados, Salamence, and Dragonite are also excellent bets to beat Volcarona. All of them greatly dislike Hidden Power Rock and the possibility of Volcarona's Flame Body ability kicking in, but they resist its STAB options and can hit it hard with their STAB attacks. Defensive Politoed can attempt to switch in and Toxic Volcarona variants that run Morning Sun, or use Perish Song to limit the amount of turns Volcarona is in play and force it out. Choice Scarf Landorus and Terrakion also outspeed Volcarona even after a Quiver Dance and can OHKO with Stone Edge, although neither of them like switching into Volcarona if it chooses to scout with Substitute.
When facing Volcarona, perhaps the important thing is to keep Stealth Rock up on the field, which really hurts Volcarona and makes it much easier to handle after it has lost 50% of its health. Preventing sunlight and keeping up Drizzle is also recommended, although be warned that many smart players may bring in Volcarona early, forcing Politoed in so they can weaken it with STAB Bug Buzz before switching back out. Volcarona is very likely the strongest and most dangerous threat a sun team can unleash against a rain team. Underestimate it at your peril.
Abomasnow is very likely the most annoying weather inducer that rain teams will have to face. Upon entering the field, it calls forth a hailstorm, removing the rain that Politoed sets up. To make matters worse, Abomasnow resists Water-type attacks thanks to its Grass / Ice typing, which means that it can switch in on Pokemon such as Starmie, resisting their attacks and threatening to hit back with one of its powerful Grass-type STAB moves.
Abomasnow commonly runs two sets: a defensive set with Leech Seed, and an offensive Choice Scarf set, which can hit extremely hard with STAB Wood Hammer and Blizzard. These two sets often have slightly different counters; however, in general, Steel-types are your best weapons against Abomasnow. Pokemon such as Jirachi and Bronzong are excellent initial switches into Abomasnow, while Ferrothorn and Scizor also work well provided they avoid a Hidden Power Fire from the Choice Scarf set. Defensive rain teams can switch in Tentacruel, who can Rapid Spin away Leech Seed and set up Toxic Spikes, which will make dealing with the support variant of Abomasnow much easier. Speaking of hazards, Stealth Rock will really hurt Abomasnow whenever it switches in. If you have Spikes support, it will only make things more difficult for Abomasnow. Abomasnow's only method of recovery is Leech Seed, so if you can limit it from healing and then force it out, Abomasnow will struggle to keep up for the rest of the match so long as Stealth Rock is present. Lastly, Abomasnow possesses rather average defenses, so powerful neutral hits will gradually take it down.
Virizion can be exceptionally irritating to rain teams. With a massive base 129 Special Defense, it can easily shrug off most of the attacks that rain teams can level at it. It also possesses powerful STAB attacks which can rip through rain teams very easily. When combined with Swords Dance and Calm Mind, Virizion can be a handful to deal with.
The best way to deal with Virizion is to inflict it with status. Paralysis hampers its Speed and burn cripples physical sets that run Swords Dance, while Toxic wrecks both sets. Once statused, Virizion becomes much easier to deal with. Failing that, there are a few other Pokemon that can take on Virizion and eliminate it. Latios and Latias have bulk similar to Virizion, and can win a Calm Mind war barring an untimely critical hit. Both also have access to STAB Psyshock, which hits Virizion's weaker Defense stat, making it much easier to deal with. Dragonite can handle Virizion so long as Multiscale is active, and can OHKO with Hurricane. Tornadus hates switching into a Hidden Power Ice, but can switch in on most of Virizion's other attacks, outspeed, and then hit it with a STAB Hurricane as well. Specially defensive Jirachi can play the odds and aim for a paralysis so it can flinch Virizion to death, while Forretress is not weak to Fighting-type attacks, has Sturdy, and can strike back with Gyro Ball, doing massive damage.
Virizion has a rather weak Defense, so powerful priority attacks will also do a lot of damage. For example, Choice Band Scizor can deal significant damage to Virizion, taking out weakened ones. Virizion also cannot switch into certain physical attacks such as a Choice Band Azumarill's Waterfall, which will flat-out cripple it beyond measure, nullifying it as a threat.
Ferrothorn, the most popular Spikes user in the game, is also a menace to rain teams. Ferrothorn can turn the rain against you, as rain reduces its weakness to Fire-type attacks, making it much harder to deal with. In addition, Ferrothorn can scare away Politoed with the threat of a Power Whip, and can cripple fast Pokemon with a well-timed Thunder Wave. Leech Seed makes dealing with it even more of an annoyance, as it can heal itself while setting up hazards to further hurt your team.
Despite being an extreme annoyance to rain teams, Ferrothorn can be dealt with. The first and often forgotten method is to spam high-powered Water-type attacks at it. People tend to forget that while Ferrothorn might resist Water-type attacks, they still deal solid damage. Throwing out Choice Specs-boosted Hydro Pumps and sacrificing a Water-type to cripple Ferrothorn might not be a bad idea; furthermore, Fire- and Fighting-type attacks still deal quite a bit of damage. Ferrothorn also hates being burned, and Rotom-W can make an excellent lure for Ferrothorn, burning it as it tries to switch in. A burn will make dealing with Ferrothorn much easier, as it gradually loses health each turn and its offensive capabilities will be significantly hampered. Defensive rain teams can also attempt to burn Ferrothorn by throwing multiple Scalds at it, while Tentacruel can safely spin away any hazards it might set up.
The final way to deal with Ferrothorn is to include Pokemon in your rain team that can set up on it, and then eventually beat it. This actually forces the Ferrothorn in question to become a hindrance as you can use Ferrothorn as a free tool to set up on and then break down your opponent's team. Pokemon such as Substitute Calm Mind Jirachi, Swords Dance Toxicroak, and Subsititute Calm Mind Latias can all set up on Ferrothorn and threaten a sweep. Reuniclus has Magic Guard and therefore is unaffected by Leech Seed, and if all else fails powerful Fighting-types such as Conkeldurr or Lucario will force Ferrothorn to switch out. Lastly, Magic Bounce Pokemon such as Xatu can switch into Ferrothorn, reflect its hazards right back at it, and set up screens during the turn it switches out, preventing it from being a threat.
Kingdra is a rather rare threat to rain teams. It's mostly chucked onto certain teams just because it can screw over rain teams thanks to Drizzle activating its ability, Swift Swim. This makes it near impossible to revenge kill and quite difficult to take down. Kingdra can run many sets, but chances are you are going to see a Dragon Dance set, as it works best on the teams that use Kingdra and gives it a niche when not battling a rain team. Usually, it runs Outrage and Waterfall as its primary STAB attacks as, thanks to its awesome coverage, it doesn't need really to run anything else. Rest is usually a common option for Kingdra, so paralyzing it is not usually recommended as Kingdra can just Rest off the paralysis and reawaken with a Chesto Berry.
Your best way of beating Kingdra is to switch in Ferrothorn and wear it down with Leech Seed and Power Whip. Gyro Ball also works as Kingdra gets that powerful Speed boost under rain. Skarmory can also phaze away certain sets provided it avoids Waterfall's flinch chance, while Jellicent can play mind games with Will-O-Wisp and Taunt (preventing Rest). Empoleon is another excellent choice that walls Kingdra, but it has a limited niche outside of this. All in all, it's pretty tough for a rain team to handle Kingdra; however, on the bright side, it's quite rare, so you shouldn't have to face it often regardless.
With access to Calm Mind and powerful Electric-type attacks, Raikou is already a difficult prospect for rain teams to handle. Raikou also has base 115 Speed, which Speed ties with Starmie, making it somewhat difficult to revenge kill was well. Raikou can get pretty decent coverage with Hidden Power Ice, and can also run Aura Sphere if it wants to; however, it should be noted that this lowers its Speed as Aura Sphere locks it into a Rash nature. Despite being fast, Raikou can get worn down gradually, and it cannot really switch into boosted Water-type attacks, as it does not resist them and needs all of the health it can get. Special walls such as Blissey and Chansey handle Raikou very well, as do Choice Scarf Pokemon such as Landorus, which outspeeds Raikou and can KO with Earthquake. Latias can also get into a Calm Mind war and then Roar Raikou back out. Lastly, Raikou has an average Defense, so powerful physical attacks such as Choice Band Azumarill's Aqua Jet can do heavy damage.
Toxicroak is a perfect example of a Pokemon that works both for and against rain. With Dry Skin, Toxicroak heals 12.5% of its HP each turn. When you add in Leftovers recovery, Toxicroak can become a difficult Pokemon to beat down, especially when it has tools such as Drain Punch to heal itself even more.
Toxicroak is commonly seen running either a Bulk Up or Swords Dance set. Each of these sets has slightly different counters; however, they both love setting up on some of the more defensive Pokemon seen on rain teams. For example, Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Tentacruel lack the effective means to hurt Toxicroak and must switch out, giving Toxicroak the free turn to set up. The Bulk Up set usually has Substitute as well as Drain Punch and Sucker Punch to deal with teams. This means that Gliscor can wall it, Taunting it or setting up a Swords Dance while scaring it away with the threat of a STAB Earthquake. Dragonite also works well as it can make use of a STAB Hurricane and can always Roost off any damage taken from Sucker Punch at a later time.
Swords Dance Toxicroak is far more threatening, since it commonly runs Ice Punch to hammer Gliscor and Dragonite. It's harder to wall as well, with your best bets being Pokemon such as Skarmory, who can OHKO with Brave Bird. When dealing with Life Orb Toxicroak, remember that it lacks Substitute, which makes it a lot easier to wear down and deal with. Choice Specs Starmie, for example, can bypass Sucker Punch and Trick Toxicroak into it, and powerful priority such as Dragonite's ExtremeSpeed will take away a significant portion of Toxicroak's health. Choice Scarf users that don't mind Sucker Punch can also revenge kill Toxicroak. Terrakion needs Earthquake, but gets a Justified Attack boost if Toxicroak makes the mistake of Sucker Punching it. At +2, Sucker Punch will hurt Landorus, but it still outspeeds Toxicroak and nails it with Earthquake; it can also play mind games with Toxicroak if it has Substitute, which lets it shield itself from Sucker Punch to some degree. It should be noted, however, that many of these Pokemon have to be careful not to switch in on the wrong move.
Rotom-W can be a real pain for rain teams. Volt Switch is essentially an Electric-type U-turn, which means that Choice Scarf Rotom-W can gain some excellent momentum against rain teams, as Volt Switch forces switches and hits many rain Pokemon hard. A STAB Hydro Pump in the rain also hurts, and Rotom-W can always cripple a defensive Pokemon with Trick or Will-O-Wisp.
To deal with Rotom-W, you're usually better off with a bulky Grass-type that doesn't mind Will-O-Wisp. Something such as Celebi is an excellent choice, as it can switch into Rotom-W without trouble, fearing only the rare Signal Beam. Shaymin and Roserade also do pretty well, although unlike Celebi, they lack Recover and thus have to rely on Natural Cure and Rest for healing. Gastrodon also walls Rotom-W's STAB attacks and doesn't mind holding a Choice Specs; it can also hit hard under rain and can Toxic to cripple Rotom-W while mitigating possible burn damage with Recover. Ferrothorn is also a decent counter, resisting Rotom-W's STAB moves; however, it doesn't really enjoy being tricked a Choice item, and a burn from Will-O-Wisp will gradually wear it down over the course of the match.
Dragonite can be a rather annoying Pokemon for rain teams to face. Its impressive bulk and Multiscale let it survive an impressive amount of punishment. In particular, it loves switching in on Rotom-W, as it fears only Will-O-Wisp and the rare Hidden Power Ice. From there, Dragonite can use a free turn to set up a Dragon Dance, and then either go for a sweep or set up a Substitute and attempt to stall the opponent out while constantly boosting. Dragonite, however, does have a large amount of versatility, which lets it run other sets such as Choice Band or mixed sets.
Because Dragonite has many sets it can run, it's very difficult to counter. Setting up Stealth Rock is one of the best ways to handle Dragonite, as it breaks Multiscale, which means that Dragonite often needs to Roost back up to full health or risk having a harder time setting up. Scouting Dragonite's set is also something that should be done. In general, Steel-types such as Ferrothorn are good bets, as rain halves the damage of Fire Punch. SubDD sets can, however, set up on Ferrothorn, so again, scouting Dragonite's set is heavily recommended. A fast Choice Scarf user with access to Ice Beam can usually revenge kill Dragon Dance sets. Cloyster can also do quite well against Dragonite as it can bypass Multiscale with Icicle Spear, and thanks to its impressive physical bulk it can take an attack if needed. Choice Band Dragonite has massive physical power, but can be dealt with by prediction.
Latias is always going to be a Pokemon rain teams need to be prepared for. With its massive Special Defense as well as an excellent Dragon / Psychic typing, Latias resists the STAB attacks from your rain sweepers and can Recover off damage without trouble. Latias also has Calm Mind, which increases its Special Defense to astronomical levels as it slowly boosts itself up before sweeping a team. The tricky thing about Latias is that it can actually set up on common Pokemon seen on rain teams, such as certain Politoed sets, Ferrothorn, and Rotom-W, which can make it somewhat of a handful. Latias often runs Substitute or Refresh to prevent status from affecting it, which means your best bet at handling it is hammering it with powerful physical attacks, which is easier said than done.
However, Latias does have problems with Steel-types, as it mostly relies on Dragon Pulse to do damage. Pokemon such as Jirachi and Scizor can force Latias out, and Politoed can scare it away with Perish Song. Special walls such as Blissey and Chansey can recover off a +6 Dragon Pulse and can usually beat most Latias that lack Refresh, while Dragonite can survive a Dragon Pulse provided Multiscale is intact and that Latias has not amassed enough Calm Mind boosts. Quagsire also ignores any boosts Latias has received thanks to Unaware and can stall out Dragon Pulse's rather average PP.
Latios is one of those Pokemon that is a terror to counter, and rain makes it even harder. Traditionally, one of the best counters to Latios has been Tyranitar, which is off-limits when using a rain team. Life Orb Latios can almost 2HKO the entire metagame thanks to Surf receiving a boost, smashing past any specially defensive Steel-types that get in its way. That said, Latios does not have the bulk of its sister, which means that powerful, boosted Water-type attacks, while resisted, can quickly wear Latios down. In addition, Life Orb recoil damage will slowly eat away at its HP, making dealing with it an easier task.
Latios possesses an excellent base 110 Speed stat; however, fast Choice Scarf users can revenge kill it, and certain Pokemon such as Starmie naturally outspeed it and can aim for a quick revenge kill. Ferrothorn is also a decent way of checking Latios as it resists Surf and Draco Meteor, while Hidden Power Fire has its damage output halved if rain is up. Latios is best dealt with via prediction; as long as you play carefully around it you should be fine.
Jirachi is an exceptionally versatile Pokemon that can cause a significant amount of damage to rain teams. Jirachi packs excellent bulk and Speed, which means that a Calm Mind set with Thunder or Thunderbolt can rip through an unprepared rain team with ease. Calm Mind Jirachi usually runs an Electric-type move and either Water Pulse (if used on a rain team) or other moves such as Psyshock or Flash Cannon. Commonly, Jirachi chooses to run Substitute or Wish as its last option, which actually has a rather large impact on countering Jirachi.
Wish Jirachi sets can heal off damage but can be statused or hit with Leech Seed. This is one of the best ways of handling Jirachi as residual damage will eventually stack up, allowing you to muscle through it. Wish Jirachi can also be handled by Trick, locking it into an attack, which can then be played around. Substitute + Calm Mind Jirachi is trickier to handle for rain teams; however, it cannot repeatedly switch in and out of boosted Surfs and it lacks recovery. Latias can boost up alongside Jirachi and Roar it out, making it a decent Pokemon to handle it. Quagsire is an excellent option for more defensive teams as it ignores any Calm Mind boosts Jirachi has accrued and can threaten back with Earthquake.
Gastrodon is rather odd when discussed with rain. During the Thundurus era, it received a massive boost in popularity, as it could handle both rain and (sometimes) Thundurus. Even now, Gastrodon is a rather strong check to rain thanks to its ability to absorb Water-type attacks, taking no damage and receiving a Special Attack boost. Gastrodon's Water / Ground typing lets it wall powerful rain sweepers such as Starmie and Rotom-W, and it also hinders Pokemon such as Calm Mind Jirachi.
Lures are always going to be the best way of handling it. Gastrodon will often switch into Starmie and Rotom-W as it walls common sets. A surprise Hidden Power Grass will smash Gastrodon aside and let Starmie or Rotom-W sweep. Besides a surprise Hidden Power Grass, Pokemon such as Virizion, Celebi, and Ferrothorn will all make Gastrodon switch out, and they all can take advantage of the free switch by either boosting or setting up entry hazards such as Spikes. In addition, hitting Gastrodon with a Toxic will greatly weaken it, making it much easier to deal with.
Jellicent is in a similar boat to Gastrodon in that it's very good at walling select rain sweepers. With Water Absorb, Jellicent can switch into Water-type attacks with ease, and threaten to burn common Pokemon on a rain team such as Toxicroak, Ferrothorn, and Azumarill. Jellicent can even be a pain to non-physical Pokemon, as Politoed will not appreciate getting burned if it's attempting to win a weather war.
Jellicent's access to Recover, great bulk, and Water / Ghost typing combine to make it an excellent spinblocker. This can make it a significant problem to rain teams as it forms a dangerous duo with Ferrothorn, which can prove exceptionally difficult to handle. Jellicent even has access to Taunt, and can therefore cause rain stall a large amount of problems, burning members and slowly weakening them.
To handle Jellicent, a special sweeper is usually best. For example, Celebi can scare off Jellicent with the threat of Giga Drain and use the free turn to set up Nasty Plot. Virizion can do a similar job, but must watch out for Will-O-Wisp if running Swords Dance. Both of the above Pokemon are excellent choices for handling Ferrothorn, limiting the effectiveness of the aforementioned combo. Besides Grass-types, Rotom-W and Starmie can do excellent jobs of scaring away Jellicent with a powerful Thunder, making them somewhat useful options.
Celebi was an excellent Pokemon in DPP and not much has changed in BW. It has excellent base 100 stats across the board, and access to Recover to further increase its defensive abilities. Celebi has experienced an upsurge in popularity because it can switch into top-tier Pokemon such as Rotom-W and Ferrothorn freely and set up a Nasty Plot, instantly making it a powerful threat if you are unprepared for it. Against rain teams, Celebi can be a rather large hassle since it can shrug off boosted Water-type attacks and Recover off the damage, while threatening any Water-types with a STAB Giga Drain.
Thankfully, Celebi has many weaknesses and it's not too difficult for rain teams to deal with provided they prepare for it. Celebi hates Flying-type attacks, so Pokemon such as Tornadus and Dragonite can smash it with little effort. Latios and Latias also resist most of Celebi's attacks and can threaten to smack it with a Draco Meteor or set up with Calm Mind against it. Scizor also doesn't really fear Hidden Power Fire so long as rain is up and can gain free momentum, forcing it out with U-turn and gaining an advantage. While somewhat uncommon on a rain team, Volcarona doesn't fear much from Celebi and has a fair amount of options available to it: it is able to either boost with Quiver Dance or just smash Celebi with either Hurricane or Bug Buzz. Lastly, for more defensive rain teams, Chansey or Blissey do an excellent job of dealing with the Nasty Plot set, hitting it with a Toxic and slowly wearing it down with Seismic Toss.
Though Shaymin is a rather uncommon sight in BW OU, it plays very similarly to Celebi but without access to moves such as Nasty Plot and Recover. It can threaten Politoed and other Water-types with a powerful Seed Flare while still retaining excellent coverage attacks, abusing Leech Seed to give it a fighting chance against special walls such as Chansey, and being generally annoying against anything else.
When dealing with Shaymin, remember that—by and large—it's less threatening than Celebi and that similar counters for Celebi also work well against Shaymin. As such, Scizor, Volcarona, and Latias all do well against Shaymin. Tornadus and Dragonite are also good choices, although Shaymin sometimes runs Hidden Power Ice to deal with them. Although not exactly "beating" Shaymin, Ferrothorn can wall it if it lacks Hidden Power Fire (and under rain Hidden Power Fire doesn't hurt too much) and set up hazards against it. Shaymin also lacks recovery besides Rest and Leech Seed, which means that it's slightly easier to wear down than Celebi, especially as Rest usually forces it to switch out.
Blissey and Chansey are always going to be a slight problem to rain teams due to their impressive HP and Special Defense stats, letting them wall the common special attackers used in rain.
Blissey and Chansey usually rely on Softboiled or Wish to heal themselves, and Toxic and Seismic Toss to handle Pokemon that switch into them. Their Defense is quite low, so Pokemon such as Toxicroak can switch in, shrug off almost everything they can throw at it, and threaten to use them as setup fodder.
Calm Mind variants of Reuniclus and Jirachi don't tend to worry about them either, slowly setting up and then gradually blasting through them with their Calm Mind sets. Ferrothorn might not directly threaten to KO them, but it can prove an annoyance with Leech Seed and threaten to use them as fodder for it to set up Spikes. For more defensive teams, Jellicent can Taunt them and gradually wear them down with Will-O-Wisp, or Tentacruel can set up Toxic Spikes to wear them down.
All in all, it's not particularly difficult to handle the special walls of OU; most physical attackers will do the job nicely if you want to take them down.
Porygon2 is a rather underrated Pokemon that can prove a real hassle to certain rain teams. BW introduced the fantastic Eviolite item, which significantly boosts the defenses of NFE Pokemon. This item lets Porygon2 take some massive hits, while being a general annoyance with Thunder Wave.
Porygon2 has access to Recover, as well as its marvelous ability in Trace, which means certain Pokemon such as Gyarados have their abilities used against them, making them less than ideal choices to handle Porygon2. Water-types are a little tricky to use against Porygon2 as well, as it often runs Thunderbolt as a coverage attack along with Ice Beam. Therefore, something such as Ferrothorn can work well against Porygon2, Leech Seeding it before using it as Spikes fodder. Hitting Porygon2 with Toxic or a burn is also an excellent way of wearing the cyber duck down, since it forces it to use Recover in order to tank hits better. Powerful Fighting-types such as Toxicroak (although it greatly dislikes Thunder Wave) can also threaten Porygon2 enough to force it out.
In general, Porygon2 can and will be an annoyance to a rain team, but it cannot reliably switch into powerful Water-type attacks from Pokemon such as Choice Specs Politoed. Don't let it switch in easily, and force it out with powerful Fighting-types or Pokemon not vulnerable to its special attacks such as Calm Mind Reuniclus and you should be fine.
When building a rain team, there are a few things you have to bear in mind. Most of the below tips are essential for a rain team to function to its fullest potential, so be sure to keep these points in mind when building a rain team.
Offensive rain teams were once a commonly seen force, and although less popular in the post-Deoxys-S metagame, they are still one of the most powerful team archetypes around. They make use of Pokemon such as Starmie and Gyarados to take advantage of the extra 50% boost rain provides to Water-type attacks, as well as Tornadus and Jolteon for the boost in accuracy to Hurricane and Thunder. The power boost is so significant that when the weather war is won—either by Politoed outlasting the opposing weather inducers or by Dugtrio trapping and killing them—the game is almost always won as well.
Politoed @ Leftovers
EVs: 200 HP / 56 Def / 252 SpA
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power Grass
- Perish Song
While it may seem like Politoed should be holding a Choice item on an offensive team, Leftovers is one of the best choices available: it is vital that Politoed lasts long enough to win a weather war, and Leftovers makes sure of that. On this team, in addition to summoning rain, Politoed also plays the role of a bulky attacker. Hidden Power Grass hits Gastrodon to prevent it from absorbing Water-type attacks all game, and Perish Song helps combat Baton Pass chains.
Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 224 HP / 32 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
- Stealth Rock
- Gyro Ball
- Power Whip
Ferrothorn is almost as much of a staple on offensive rain teams as Politoed is. Early-game, it holds off powerful Dragon- and Water-type attacks with its typing and huge defenses while stacking Stealth Rock and Spikes. While it often takes these hits and faints in the process, Ferrothorn almost always leaves the opponent's field littered with hazards, and it can hit back with either Gyro Ball or Power Whip. The only spinner that Ferrothorn has a lot of trouble stopping on its own is Forretress, which in return has to contend with Starmie, which is almost impossible to spinblock: in rain, no Ghost-type can both block Starmie from spinning and be able to keep up with the offensive pace of this team.
Scizor @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 8 HP / 252 Atk / 248 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
- Bullet Punch
Choice Scarf Scizor is a rare sight on rain teams, because Choice Band and Swords Dance sets are usually preferred. Scizor is normally used as a backup Steel-type for these teams, but if weakened, the other sets can't check fast and bulky threats such as Latias and Celebi, making Choice Scarf Scizor the more practical choice for the team. U-turn is a standard move on any Scizor wielding a Choice item and helps you get into a more favorable position, while the other moves enable Scizor to revenge kill or trap Pursuit-weak threats.
Starmie @ Life Orb
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Rapid Spin
With base 115 Speed, base 100 Special Attack, Natural Cure, and excellent coverage, Starmie is a no-brainer as the Rapid Spin user of this team. With Hydro Pump and Thunder boosted by rain, Starmie can blast its way through any Ghost-types attempting to block Rapid Spin. This helps Scizor and Tornadus in particular by allowing the former to U-turn many more times throughout the game, and by preventing the latter from losing a quarter of its health from Stealth Rock alone. Starmie isn't bad as a sweeper either, with Life Orb stacking with rain to send Hydro Pump's power to incredible levels, and BoltBeam coverage to complement it.
Tornadus @ Choice Specs
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Focus Blast
Tornadus is one of the scariest Pokemon to face in all of OU because of one move: Hurricane. Tornadus's Hurricane is one of the hardest moves to switch into in the entire metagame, because not only is it ridiculously powerful with excellent neutral coverage, even its best counters have to deal with the 30% confusion chance; in rain, there's no chance of it missing either. Focus Blast complements it perfectly coverage-wise, and U-turn can put Tornadus's team in a good spot against the very few Pokemon that can actually tank a hit. Tailwind is a good closing move with Prankster to ensure that the team will always have the Speed to revenge kill any threat that comes up.
Azumarill @ Choice Band
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Aqua Jet
- Ice Punch
Azumarill is another one of the most powerful Pokemon a rain team can use. It is normally chosen to patch up weaknesses to Pokemon such as Landorus and Terrakion with its extremely powerful Aqua Jet, but its utility goes further than that. Azumarill's powerful Waterfall hurts any Pokemon that isn't immune to Water-type moves, and with the listed coverage moves rounding out the set, only Jellicent can comfortably take it on. Azumarill serves as a powerful late-game cleaner with Aqua Jet finishing off weakened Water-type resists, and with Tailwind support, it can potentially finish a team by spamming Waterfall.
Rain stall is a very uncommon playstyle, but it can be very effective in the right hands. The basic idea is to utilize Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Tentacruel to their fullest potential with the benefits that rain gives them. For example, in Ferrothorn's case, the decreased power of Fire-type attacks gives it greater staying power, which in turn grants it more opportunities to set up hazards and wall threats with Leech Seed. Rain stall teams are by their namesake very defensive, so be sure to bear this in mind when building one.
Rain! (Politoed) @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 156 Def / 64 SpA / 40 Spe
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Perish Song
Politoed often leads the team due to its Drizzle ability, which activates rain upon entering the field. For a rain stall team, Politoed is essential for the permanent rain, which improves the stalling abilities of the Pokemon chosen. The set is defensive to maximize Politoed's durability and ability to keep rain up. The defensive EVs give it enough physical bulk to survive Haxorus's Choice Band-boosted Outrage, letting Politoed safely use Toxic on it, and enabling the team to efficiently combat Dragon-based offense teams. The Special Attack EVs give Politoed a better chance of OHKOing Gliscor and Landorus with Scald. Toxic combines with the Speed investment to let Politoed outrun and hit Jellicent before it is Taunted, which in turn lets the team force it out—or KO it—and spin away hazards. Perish Song acts as a check to Baton Pass teams and serves a back-up check to other stat-boosters.
Sushi (Tentacruel) @ Black Sludge
Ability: Rain Dish
EVs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 Spe
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Toxic Spikes
- Rapid Spin
With Drizzle support, Tentacruel becomes one of the scariest forces of a rain stall team. With both Rain Dish and Black Sludge providing recovery and Protect letting it safely recover even more health, Tentacruel can heal off residual damage quickly. Tentacruel provides valuable Toxic Spikes support, which greatly helps its team win the weather war. Toxic Spikes are generally useful for stalling too, putting defensive pressure on stallbreakers trying to break through the team. Tentacruel is also an ideal user of Rapid Spin due to its ability to remain healthy easily, beat common hazard setters, namely Forretress and Skarmory, and spin easily against teams lacking Jellicent.
Rain Dogs (Quagsire) @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 10 SpD
Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
Quagsire is a very rarely seen Pokemon; in fact, it had made its home in the NU tier during the time this team was made. However, its niche ability, Unaware, easily separates it from any other physical wall available. Pokemon such as Landorus, Toxicroak, and Dragonite have the power and coverage to break through the rest of the team with Attack boosts; however, none of their popular offensive sets can 2HKO Quagsire. In fact, this holds true for almost any non-Grass-type boosting sweeper; as they will rarely be able to 2HKO it, Quagsire's presence provides the team with a safety net. Toxic and Scald let it spread damaging status, while Recover enables it to outstall its burned or poisoned foes. Finally, Earthquake provides another reliable STAB move with which to hit Toxicroak.
Old Times (Dragonite) @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 108 SpA / 148 SpD
Calm Nature (+SpD, -Atk)
- Dragon Tail
This variant of Dragonite takes advantage of the rain very well while helping the team defensively. Pokemon such as Celebi and Virizion, which rain stall teams would normally be hard-pressed to directly take out, don't take Hurricane too well. Thunder provides a way to heavily damage Jellicent without relying on Toxic. With Multiscale and Roost, Dragonite is capable of taking extremely powerful hits multiple times; for example, Choice Specs Latios can't 2HKO a full health Dragonite with Draco Meteor. Lastly, Dragon Tail lets Dragonite force out dangerous boosters that Chansey can't beat, such as Reuniclus, early on; it also helps immensely against Baton Pass chains, because it is extremely hard for them to avoid being phazed while taking Hurricanes and Thunders.
JoyToy (Chansey) @ Eviolite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 SpD
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Seismic Toss
Chansey is the premier special wall of the team, easily sponging the most powerful special hits in the game while not being overly bothered by status thanks to Natural Cure. It is chosen over Blissey in this team because of its incredible ability to take physical hits too—for instance, mixed Salamence can't 2HKO it with Outrage! The vast majority of special attackers are easily beaten with a combination of Toxic, Seismic Toss, and Softboiled, while Wish provides a massive amount of recovery for the rest of the team—it will almost always bring each member back to full health when successfully passed.
BS (Ferrothorn) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spe)
- Stealth Rock
- Gyro Ball
- Power Whip
Ferrothorn is the main entry hazard stacker of the team, and for good reason. Grass / Steel typing combined with excellent mixed defenses let it easily survive many hits under rain, giving it plenty of time to set hazards up. It is also capable of functioning as a pseudo-spinblocker, as Iron Barbs and Rocky Helmet do over 29% to any Pokemon using a contact move on Ferrothorn. This is also especially useful for wearing down Pokemon using U-turn; the combination of entry hazards, Iron Barbs, and Rocky Helmet quickly whittles down the foe's health, breaking down common VoltTurn chains. Power Whip and Gyro Ball are two powerful STAB moves that let Ferrothorn fight back against Pokemon it is capable of walling, particularly bulky Water-types and Dragon-type foes, which can't bring down Ferrothorn with Fire-type attacks as effectively in rain.
One last note: for those who want to use this team, keep the nicknames for its creator!
Hopefully this guide has given you all some inspiration in order to build your own rain teams. Rain still remains one of the strongest team archetypes in the game due to not only the sheer power it brings to the table, but also the defensive possibilities it opens up. Remember that this is first and foremost a guide; therefore, its purpose is merely to give you an idea of what to do. Feel free to try out new Pokemon or sets not already explored in this guide; a little variation in a rain team never hurts! Hopefully you have enjoyed this guide; now go out and have fun with rain!