I'm still riding in Pearl, keeping it old school and representing for all the players who were too cheap to buy Platinum and are now waiting for HGSS. Keep your heads up.
I'm using my Rain team, which got to 163 wins, with a few modifications. (This isn't a record post, this is a 'got my ass kicked, rethought my strategy' post.)
Something really caught me by surprise in a recent match: the AI's Metagross used Explosion from full health. I didn't realise it could do this - this makes all the QC Exploders a hell of a lot more dangerous for me.
Rain offence team
@ Focus Sash ** Mersenne
Timid, Natural Cure
6 HP, 252 SpA, 252 Spe
Rain Dance/Surf/Thunder/Ice Beam
- Rain setup, sweeper
@ Expert Belt ** Cerenkov
Adamant, Dry Skin
252 HP, 252 Atk, 6 Spe
Fake Out/Helping Hand/Low Kick (previously Brick Break)/Sucker Punch
- support, physical coverage
@ Life Orb ** Vela
Modest, Swift Swim
200 HP, 252 SpA, 56 Spe
Rain Dance/Surf/Draco Meteor (previously Dragon Pulse)/Ice Beam
- sweeper, secondary Rain setup
@ Leftovers ** Zeeman
Bold, Swift Swim
134 HP, 252 SpA, 124 Spe
Leech Seed/Surf (previously Protect)/Grass Knot/Ice Beam
- was a stall tank, now more of a sweeper. Thanks to Chinese Dood for the EVs: 124 Spe beats +Spe Electrode in the Rain
Battle 50-something, DP doubles
Psychic trainer somebody or other
Mr. Mime & Metagross
The safest thing to do is get the Rain. Croak is doomed if it stays in - both foes will be aiming Psychic attacks at it. Mime might have Filter; if not, Sucker Punch will probably OHKO. I Sucker Punch Mime, and sacrifice Croak to bring in Kingdra next turn.
- Starmie: Rain Dance
- Croak: Sucker Punch Mime, ~80% damage.
Filter. Otherwise it would have needed to be +Def to live, and damage fell squarely in the Filter range.
- Mime: Psychic Croak, kill
- Meta: Zen Headbutt Starmie, 20% damage
Starmie's Sash is broken. I bring in Kingdra. Should kill Mime and easily 2HKO Meta.
I can switch Starmie for Ludicolo so Kingdra can Surf.
Starmie would withstand Kingdra's LO Rain Surf on 80% HP, but if it crits, Starmie dies - and this has happened before. I weigh up whether or not to stay in - if Kingdra doesn't crit Starmie, then Meta dies (QC notwithstanding).
I don't know Meta's set yet, other than 'it's not the special one'. Meta won't use MM, but I've seen it ZH Kingdra before. If it EQs, Ludi gets in nearly for free.
- I switch Starmie out for Ludicolo.
- Kingdra: Surf: 10% Ludi, ~80% to Meta, kills Mime
- Meta: EXPLOSION, clean sweep
- o_O -
This is what caught me off-guard. I don't think I've ever seen the AI use Explosion from full health before - it was at 100% at the start of the turn, facing Kingdra and Starmie.
I thought the AI used Explosion like it uses HP-restoring moves - only once it was below 50% HP. Meta 4 has EQ, but it went for the boom, even though it was at full health and could hit both opponents neutrally.
Booming was obviously the best move to make - it's what a human would have done. Is booming this early common, and I just hadn't noticed? Was this a freak occurrence?
That's the interesting bit. The rest of the match is as follows:
vs. Starmie & Slowking
Balls. I'll attack Starmie in the hopes of parahax. Slowking is great for me - only one Slowking has a non-NVE move on Starmie, and that's lol Headbutt. So I'll attack Starmie and basically pray, since Thunder probably won't OHKO.
- My Star: Thunder Starmie, ~90% damage, paralysis
- AI Star: FP, thank god
- Slowking: Swagger my Starmie, so it's King 3
I got the parahax, which was nice. But now if I attack myself in confusion, I'm screwed, unless I get another FP, since all AI Starmies have either Thunder or Thunderbolt.
- My Star: hits own self
- Me: hits own self
- AI Star: Thunder, kill
And that's that. I was trying to Surf, to kill the AI Star and wear down Slowking. Meh.
The game was really over when Metagross exploded, taking out my two main sweepers.
Now, I'll switch Ludi into dual Psychic leads. Ludi can withstand two attacks, so Starmie keeps its Sash. This means it can't die from friendly fire, so I can Surf twice next turn. If something QC Explodes, then Starmie hangs on, and Surfs in case anything survives. Croak can come back later to Fake Out/Helping Hand/whatever.
That's how I roll - I try to work out 'protocols' for dealing with difficult combinations. Assessing threats for doubles is different from singles: I can deal with Meta if it's Raining, and I can deal with Mr. Mime - but both leading constitute a serious threat that needs planning for.
The AI Explodes from full health, even when it has other options? God, I hate Metagross.