With the advent of of Black 2 and White 2, it may seem like sand teams have gotten the short end of the stick. Rain teams got many new toys to play with, such as Keldeo, Tornadus-T, and Thundurus-T in addition to old threats like Starmie and Gyarados. Although Sun teams haven't gotten nearly as many new things to play with, they've still received some noteworthy tools in the form of Pain Split on Ninetales and Giga Drain becoming compatible with Chlorophyll on Venusaur. Because of this, Drizzle, and to a much lesser extent, Drought teams have started to overshadow Sandstorm teams, leaving them with lower usage stats than before, although they havenít been forgotten.
Sand teams are far from useless, however, even with the pressure from all the new threats. Sand has even gotten a new abuser of the weather, which is the focus point of my team - Sandslash. Now that it has access to Sand Rush from the Dreamworld, Sandslash has become a powerful offensive spinner, revenge killer, and late game sweeper, getting enough power after one Swords Dance to rip through teams, and even beat OU's premier spin-blocker, Jellicent. This is an offensive team that aims to either sweep with Sandslash by removing physical walls and wearing down the opposing team with sandstorm and entry-hazard damage. The team has done well for me, but it can always use improvements. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, allow me to present my new team, Adrenaline Rush.
Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Atk / 136 SDef
- Stealth Rock
The support Tyranitar provides for the team is absolutely crucial to its success. The most important, and obvious, is that it sets up sand. This is great because it activates Sandslashís ability, which it depends on to sweep. The passive damage is also very nice for wearing the opposing team down. It also sets up Stealth Rock, which is great for any team when it comes to taking down Rock weak Pokemon like Dragonite, or just wearing the opposing team down in general to increase the likelihood that a sweep will be successful. Finally, Tyranitar becomes a great specially defensive tank with the boost it receives from Sandstorm. This allows it to check many special attackers, most notably Latios, as itís scarf set revenges Sandslash. Tyranitarís EV spread makes use of its excellent special defense, while powering up its attacks to give it much more of a punch. Chople Berry is especially important for Tyranitar, since it has a crippling 4x Fighting weakness. With a Chople Berry, itís able to take fighting attacks more comfortably, which can be important when facing special attackers running Focus Blast. In addition to Stealth Rocks, this set sports a physical move-set over a mixed one, as the mixed set isnít particularly effective against rain teams. Crunch and Pursuit are powerful STABS, allowing Tyranitar to trap and take out Psychic and Ghost types. Superpower gets great coverage alongside Tyranitarís Dark attacks, and allows it to hit things like Ferrothorn and Blissey.
Thundurus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Focus Blast
Thundurus-T is the teamís main revenge-killer, and also provides offensive momentum for the team. With its excellent attack and useful speed stats, it makes an excellent revenge killer, s itís able to outspeed and KO essentially the whole metagame. Itís ability to do this is greatly appreciated, as although Sandslash reaches a great speed level when Sandstorm is up, the opponent may have a weather inducer of their own, preventing Sandslash from outspeeding opposing Pokemon all of the time. Thundurus also appreciates the Rapid Spin support that Starmie provides. A Choice Scarf increases Thundurusí speed, allowing it outspeed pokemon such as Volcarona who use boosting moves to increase their speed. The EV spread gives it maximum power and speed, while the remaining 4 EVs are used to slightly increase its defense. Volt Switch is great on a Scarf user, as it reduces the need to predict if an opponent will switch Pokemon. Thunderbolt is the obvious STAB move, while Hidden Power Ice gives nearly unresisted coverage alongside it. Focus Blast hits Pokemon that resist or are neutral to the other moves, such as Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, and Lanturn, much harder.
Heatran @ Air Balloon
Trait: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Fire Blast
- Earth Power
As Scizorís replacement, Iíve found Heatran to be much more useful in its place, as it provides great offensive and support abilities to the team. The most important thing Heatran does for the team is beating Steel types. This is crucial for the team to function, as common Steel types such as Ferrothorn and Skarmory take a pittance from Sandslashís attacks. Due to its good bulk and typing, Heatran can also serve as a pivot, switching into resisted/immune attacks and hitting back hard or allow a double switch with prediction. Finally, the fact that itís most common moves for the last slots would provide redundant coverage freed room to utilize Heatranís support movepool, letting it take advantage of my entry-hazards, as well as its ability to lure Water types, but more on that later. Air Balloon is very useful for this Heatran set, temporarily removing its crippling Ground weakness, and furthering its role as a Water lure. The EVs and nature increase its special attack and maximize its speed, which is teh obvious choice for an offensive Pokemon. Fire Blast and Earth Power are crucial STAB and coverage moves, letting it hit Steel types and many other threats. Roar takes advantage of the entry-hazards this team focuses on, forcing the opponent to take more damage than they would like. Toxic is what allows Heatran to cripple in water types that try to come in to wall it. Although Toxic isnít particularly uncommon on Heatran, the fact that Air Balloon indicates an offensive set, and the offensive nature of the team, will have the opponent often assume it carries its standard offensive set. This assumption will make the opponent think that bulky waters such as Rotom-W and, most importantly, Politoed are safe to switch in, when in fact, they will be cripples for the rest of the match by Toxic.
Sandslash @ Life Orb
Trait: Sand Rush
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
The teamís star and namesake, Sandslash is blazing fast under the sand thanks to Sand Rush, out speeding everything except base 110+ speed Choice Scarf users. This allows it to function as an effective revenge-killer, rapid-spinner, and late game sweeper. Although Sandslash no longer functions as a spinner for the team, its speed and offensive abilities are still appreciated by the team, especially when it has entry hazards to make getting KOs easier. This isnít too difficult to achieve thanks to the Ferrothornís durability and the switches Thundurus and Heatran force. Sandslashís speed makes it a good choice for revenge killing dangerous sweepers, as Volcarona is OHKOd, and offensive Dragonite is OHKOd after Stealth Rock damage. Once itís checks and counters have been removed by the rest of the team, Sandslashís good coverage and speed make sweeping the last few Pokemon on a team fairly easy. Life Orb gives Sandslash power it desperately needs due to its average attack stat, while itís attack and speed are maxed out so it can function properly as a sweeper. An Adamant nature could do things like guarantee a OHKO on Jellicent at +2 after Stealth Rock damage, but getting the damage anyway is relatively easy, and I become unable to outspeed Scarf hydreigon and +1 base 100 speed Pokemon, which contains several threatening sweepers such as Volcarona. Swords Dance is needed to boost Sandslashís attack, Earthquake and Stone Edge give it excellent coverage, and X-Scissor hits things like Slowbro harder.
Ferrothorn @ Rocky Helmet
Trait: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SDef
IVs: 0 Spd
- Leech Seed
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
In addition to entry hazards, Ferrothorn acts as a mixed wall for the team, and pseudo-spinblocker. Although Ferrothorn shares a similar typing with Scizor, I used it over Skarmory because it just canít wall like it used to. Physical attackers have found ways around it, and I felt like Ferrothornís resistances and mixed bulk would be more useful to the team overall. Spikes are a very exclusive move, and this team loves Ferrothornís ability to lay them down ue to Sandslashís meh base attack and Scizorís ability to force switches. The combination of Rocky Helmet and Leech Seed makes it a force to reckoned with for physical attackers, as factoring in sandstorm and Life Orb damage, they lost almost half of their health every time they attack, while Ferrothorn can comfortably stall if they lack a super effective move. Rocky Helmet also makes it a nightmare for spinners to face, as the amount of times they can sue Rapid Spin increase drastically, and they canít do much of anything back. Gyro Ball and Power Whip prevents Ferrothorn from being complete setup bait, and gets decent coverage, most importantly hitting Dragon types for neutral damage, and Water types for super effective damage. The EV spread and a Relaxed nature give Ferrothorn good mixed walling potential, while minimum speed IVs maximizes damage from Gyro Ball.
Starmie @ Leftovers
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 32 Def / 224 Spe
- Rapid Spin
Although I loved Slowbro on the team, the new changes to the team made me much weaker to Breloom, and I needed something to address that. The only reasonable change seemed to be to replace it with Starmie, so it had to go. Altough Starmie fares worse against physical attackers in general, it outspeeds Breloom and hits it hard with Psyshock, allowing me some way to beat it. Basically, defensive Starmie can take some hits, though nowhere near as much as Slowbro, and it serves as the teamís new spinner. Although I do miss Slowbroís bulk, most of the threats it beat can still be checked due to Starmieís speed. The EVs allow it to serve as a defensive pivot while retaining its great speed, allowing it to outpace everything up to Incarnate Tornadus, whikle the rest is put into defense to take hits better. Scald is great for a bulky water type, having decent power while giving a nice burn chance. Psyshock hits Fighting types, most importantly Breloom for ood damage. Recover allows it to regain any lost health, and Rapin Spin clears opposing hazards from the field.
Conclusion and Importable
And thatís the team. I really have fun using this team, as Sandslash is an underrated threat currently, and I love any advice I can get. Any rates, or even luvdiscs will be greatly appreciated. Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions for the team; your advice has made the team a lot better than it was originally. The importable for the team is below if anyone wants to test the team out. I was going to make a threat list, but decided not to since the notable threats to the team have been identified and taken care of already. Thanks for reading!
Formerly reserved for a threatlist
DrunkDemon Hi this is a beautiful time, I suggest you change your Slowbro for a Gyarados, Slowbro may be a better counter to most Terrakion Gyarados can also enter into Close Combat same as it has Intimidate is only needed to be very careful with Stone Edge, with Gyarados that you managed to make better use of entry hazards forcing the exchange of their opponent at all times with Dragon Tail.
Gyarados @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spd
- Dragon Tail
This is a great team, props to you for using Sandslash which tends to be fairly unpopular in today's Rain metagame. However, your team is heavily threatened by Swords Dance Scizor. While it's most commonly seen as a Choice Band version, Swords Dance Scizor is still fairly popular and very threatning because not a lot of people are well prepared to take it on. Scizor can very easily set up on your Ferrothorn, which lacks a move that can beat it or even force it out, or your Tyranitar which Scizor easily scares out, and then proceed to destroy the rest of your team with the combination of Bullet Punch / Bug Bite / Superpower. Bug Bite takes care of Slowbro, Ferrothorn and Tyranitar while Bullet Punch takes out your faster Pokemon, namely Salamence and Sandslash. Your own Scizor is outsped by the most common Swords Dance version and is OHKOed by +2 Superpower. One change you could make to fix that weakness is replace your Scizor with an Heatran. Heatran can outspeed and OHKO Scizor with Fire Blast, while having a x4 resist to Bullet Punch. You'll have to be careful not to switch into Superpower though. Besides, Scizor and Heatran have pretty similar defensive coverage, and while Scizor is much better at checking Latios, you have Tyranitar for that. Slowbro can also make up for the loss of a Terrakion check, and you can still beat it with Sandslash. Bullet Punch and U-turn are pretty big losses but it gives you an alternate check to Volcarona if Sun is up, which is always amazing, while also preparing you against most Scizor variants.
You should also use Power Whip over Protect on Ferrothorn. While Protect allows Ferrothorn to recover health with Leech Seed, Ferrothorn needs to be threatning to all the Water types it walls. Otherwise, stuff like Rotom-W could really be tempted to stay in to Will-O-Wisp Ferrothorn which really cripples it badly, while if it sees Power Whip it might be really afraid and try to switch out. Since your team doesn't really handle Rotom-W that well it would be a very worthwile addition. Starmie could also just Recover the damage and be alright. In short, Power Whip makes Ferrothorn a danger to Water types and really reduce the momentum they have by forcing them to switch out.
Cool team, here's the set you should use:
Edit: Yeah should've explained why you should use Toxic on Heatran. Basically, two of Heatran's most common switch ins, Politoed and Rotom-W, really hate Toxic. This is especially useful against Politoed since it's a good way to win the weather war if you catch it on the switch with Toxic, and you seem to rely on Tyranitar's Sand Stream for your team to work better, which is why you should use Toxic.
Thanks for the rate Jirachi! I like your suggestion of Heatran, as it would give me a better response to SD Scizor like you said, and would also help the team fare better against Sun teams. I know Toxic is really just filler since Heatran doesn't need SR, but is there any particular reason you recommend it over something like Taunt instead? As for Power Whip on Ferrothorn, I'm slightly reluctant to give up Protect since it helps make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery, but I'll try it out.
Your team looks really solid and handles a lot of the tier's prominent threats quite well. You're right- with Jellicent over Slowbro, Mamoswine is a huge problem with your team, so nice catch with that one. However, I don't think Mamoswine is the only pokemon that would give you problems- Gliscor seems as if it could hurt your sweepers a lot, especially because of it's great defnse and ability to Toxic stall Sandslash and Slowbro to death. If it has Ice Fang and or EQ, it can also dispose of Salamence and Tyranitar, and it doesn't care about Leech Seed because Poison Heal makes up for the lost damage. BoltBeam also does a number on your team, Tbolt OHKOing Slowbro and Ice Beam taking out Salamence and Sandslash.
Now, I know Salamence is part of your team's core, however I strongly suggest you switch Salamence with Life Orb Jolteon.
Jolteon @ Life Orb
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
~Hidden Power Ice
~Volt Switch / Substitute
~Thunder / Baton Pass
Your team is lacking a bit on the special side; you relied on a mixed sweeper with better Attack and a physical wall to dish out your special attacks for you. Well, with Jolteon, that's no more. The reason why I think Jolteon has more worth than Salamence here is because of it's Boltbeam coverage. Thunderbolt and Ice Beam take out most of Sandslash's counters, making it a great partner for Jolteon. Jolteon's high speed and pretty high special attack will also allow you to revenge kill a lot of threats, something that without Scizor you can not do anymore. The last two slots are optional; you can run SubPass to block status for Sandslash and allow it to have a free turn of setup. Or, you could run Volt Switch and Thunder; VS to force the opponent to make even more switches and take even more hazard damage, and Thunder to have a reliable answer to Rain.
After you implement Jolteon, there are a few minor changes I suggest you do. Tyranitar needs a Chople Berry so it can take fighting type hits, especially from Tornadus-T. In Jirachi's Heatran set, you could try Roar instead of HP Ice to do some phazing and weaken your opponent's team so Sandslash can sweep. I recommend you replace Slowbro's Slack off with Ice Beam so you can defeat Gliscor.
Jolteon is an interesting suggestion Electrolyte, I hadn't considered it before. It can take out most things that wall Sandslash, and things it doesn't do well against such as Ferrothorn are taken care of with the introduction of Heatran. Definitely deserves testing. I'll try out your other suggestions as well, although I'm uncomfortable about removing Slack Off on Slowbro; I'll probably use Ice Beam over Flamethrower since Heatran will have that covered. Thanks a ton for the rate.
EDIT: Now that I think about it, Thundurus-T seems like it may be a superior option over Jolteon, since it's special attack is much higher, and the SR weakness is taken care of. Any thoughts on this?
@tikidude Thanks for the compliment. If my opponent has a fighting type I will generally try to keep Slowbro away from powerful attacks before it comes out. He can take weaker ones easily thanks to Regenerator though. And if all else fails, Sandslash can take a +2 Extreme Speed and OHKO Lucario back, so it's not too big of an issue.
Hey guy, this is a pretty good team. I do not see many flaws, but I noticed that if your Slowbro goes down early, Lucario might be a problem. Other than that, nice job! And by the way, you are awesome for using Slowbro and Sandslash. Peace. ^_^
Man...i have a team pretty similar to yours... i created it like two weeks ago and i was going to make a RMT but...the team is really bad so i didn't make it (i mean my team).
Poison heal Gliscor is a great problem to this team...
He just substitutes, then taunts your walls, then spam earthquake or ice fang and then roosts.
Hello there. There's a lot that's great to say about the team, defining most of what's unique about new Sandstorm teams.
As for the threats that everyone mentioned, I would most definitely replace Pursuit with Quick Attack for Scizor, as you already have it with Tyranitar. This gives you more room for a move to hit Sun/Rain sweepers with a little more power than relying on a resisted Bullet Punch.
Admittedly, you do have quite a bit of a Lucario problem, with only Salamence being able to take it on reasonably if it carries Thunderpunch as its fourth move, which has gained quite a bit more distribution in the metagame because of the widespread of Rain teams notably for Tentacruel, Slowbro, Gyarados, and Jellicent. However, it is true that you can revenge kill with Sandslash if you haven't taken too much passive damage already. As silly as this may seem to you, Quagsire can also prove as a formidable replacement for Slowbro, as it can take on Lucario, Mamoswine, non-HP Grass Thundurus-T, Gliscor, and many other boosting sweepers quite well.
A Physically defensive set with Scald / Earthquake / Recover / Toxic along those lines would be best recommended if you choose so.
@LilOuOn and Agent Dell: Thank you for the rates, and sorry for not responding to your posts earlier. Gliscor is not a problem thanks to the new team changes, but I can see Lucario being problematic, not sure what more I could change without destroying the team at this point, though.
Anyways, the team finally got updated! here are all the changes I implemented:
Salamence --> Thundurus-T
Scizor --> Heatran
Slowbro --> Starmie
Tyranitar @Leftovers --> Tyranitar @Chople Berry
Sandslash @Rapid Spin --> Sandslash @X-Scissor
Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions for the team, i appreciate them all.
I really like this team, mainly because it has a sandslash.
Awesome job, keep it up! :]
You could make Starmie SLIGHTLY bulkier by giving it 216 speed EVs and 40 Def, so that it hits 352, theres nothing 354 outspeeds other than for not wanting speed ties at 352 lol.
Additionally I think you need to be more physically based for ferrothorn to take more hits on that side so you can really take advantage of iron barbs and rocky helmet. If you give it 252 HP / 168 Def / 88 SDef you can live a + 2 brick break from scizor after rocks damage so that its forced to hit you twice to KO you. In addition a sand force boosted EQ from ebelt lando does not 2hko you after rocks with this spread.
@TehLulleBulle: Cool to see you like the team, thanks.
@Chimpakt: The speed EVs do actually allow me to outspeed Tornadus-I. I know it's sort of irrelevant now but at least some people still use it, and the extra bulk doesn't seem to help Starmie survive anything. I'll test the EV spread on Ferro.
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