This has become a relatively obscure battle category, but submitted for approval: As of September 2011, my Diamond Trade-Back Battle Tower doubles streak stands at 238*, with the following team:
Jolly; @ Yache
252 A 252 Spd 4 HP
Timid; @ Lum
252 SA 252 Spd 4 HP
252 HP 252 A 4 Spd
Timid; @Focus Sash
4 HP 252 SA 252 Spd
I produced this team for a young friend of mine who wants to get into the VGC this season, and I would recommend a similar team for any beginning player, as it provides a Master’s course in the important aspects of double battles. The team itself borrows heavily from Zerowing’s 2009 Phoenix Regional winning team, with small tweaks to deal with the battle tower. The genius of his original team is not just how simple it is to use, but also how effectively it deals with adversity.
Two special attackers, two physical attackers. Powerful spread moves, powerful STAB spread moves. Priority, disruption, protection… its all there, supplemented with the held items. A lot has been said about this quartet, but I’d like to explain the tweaks I made, and/or explain some choices.
Effective during the early rounds, when teams of under-evolved pokemon are trolling you with status moves… but really nice in the later rounds when you paralyze a Synchronizer and shed your status.
Yache vs Haban
There are far more Ice Beamers in the tower than there are overall dragon moves. Only a handful of pokemon use dragon moves, and aside from the dragons themselves, I’ve only run across a couple other pokemon that use dragon moves… Kangaskhan and Sceptile come to mind.
Opposing ice types, and ice beam users almost always target Garchomp first. In response, I protect and either Discharge/Heatwave with Zapdos to soften them up for the ensuing round’s Earthquake/Discharge/Heatwave. I’m loath to attach a resistance berry to a 4x weak creature, but with proper piloting, I can sidestep that first Ice Beam with protect and then come back next turn and finish the off the offending pokemon. If the targeted pokemon sheds its Paralysis, I’ll switch into ice-resistant Metagross. Speaking of T-wave…
Thunderwave over Thunderbolt/HP Grass
The team is far more effective when Garchomp survives into the late turns. T-wave is to help her get the crucial KO’s on things that ‘could’ outspeed her. I would definitely work in HP grass if Zapdos had a 5th moveslot. Opposing Wishcash, Quagsire, Swamperts, et al give the starting pair the fits.
Hammer Arm (Explosion) over Meteor Mash
The battle tower seems to favor themed teams, and Hammer Arm ruins cursing Snorlax’s, slacking Slakings, and bulky ice types. Really, when Metagross hits the field, I’ll sometimes need a filler move to offset a partner’s previous protect, so that they can protect next turn while Meta explodes. There’s nothing quite like a well-timed explosion in the face of the OHKO teams.
Focus Sash over Choice Scarf
It took a few soul-crushing streak loses to finally switch to the Focus Sash. Annoying Quick-Claw Stone Edges and fire moves were just like an ill-timed OHKO move. The sash gives the team more versatility, as well as guaranteed survivability. You can usually draw out an attack and protect, then swing back next turn for a KO.
A few things to remember when piloting this team through the Diamond Battle Tower, and please understand that the phrase ‘almost always’ does apply… the tower has been known to do some uncharacteristic stuff:
Rock and Fire Types Target Zapdos
Rampardos, Rhyperior, Golem, Arcanine, Typhlosion, and their like, will always target Zapdos. Detect and then Earthquake. If you’re confident that there’s no Quick Claw in play, EQ then Discharge/Heatwave the following turn.
Psychic Types Target Garchomp with… Psychic
The non Ice-Beaming psychics… Metagross, Alakazam, Gardevoir, and their like seem to always target Garchomp with Psychic.
The Tower Will Target the Pokemon with the Lower HP
You can count on the tower to double target a low HP pokemon, allowing you to protect, therein drawing out the attacks, and hit back in force.
The Tower Will Hit Its Own to Get to You
The tower will use Explosion and Earthquake, as well as Surf to get to you. Let it. Recognize those pokemon that would do this and take advantage of them.
A List of Problems
1. The Water-Ground types
You really want Abomasnow’s Grass Knot for these guys, but sometimes it’s difficult to switch him in… what with all the Fissures they pack. Protect with Garchomp and switch in Abomasnow for Zapdos… the tower won’t have targeted Zapdos with Fissure. Grass Knot the Fissure-mon, and switch in Zapdos for Garchomp. You’ll likely score a KO, as the tower may have targeted Garchomp.
2. Ice Teams
Worst. Case. Scenario. There’s nothing worse than seeing an Ace Trainer come out, wearing their snow-parkas, and they pack it all. Quick Claws, Bright Powders, Sheer Colds… not to mention that the Blizzard glitch is still in effect within the Diamond tower. It’s all bad, but you can overcome this with some luck, and your piloting skills. Try switching out Garchomp for Metagross, while you Heat Wave with Zapdos. Or if you want to scout, protect first turn with Garchomp. If you’re lucky, none of your team will have been OHKO’d, and you’ll be able to clean up with Heat Wave/Bullet Punch/Detect/Explosion.
3. OHKO Moves
There’s almost nothing you can do about these. The tower decides what to target, and when the moves will hit. You’ll have a harder time with Horn Drill, Sheer Cold, and Guillotine, as the tower won’t target Zapdos with Fissure. Use that to your advantage. Recognize pokemon like Gliscor and Crawdaunt will carry Guillotine. Ice types like Walrein, Lapras, and Glalie will carry Sheer Cold. Ground types and Tauros will carry Fissure, and pokemon with horns will carry Horn Drill. No joke. I’ve soaked up several from Rhyperior and Rapidash. Stupid OHKO moves.
Problems aside, this really is a good team for tower negotiation. I think any long tower streak is a product of several smaller streaks spent learning the tower’s tendencies… one day you’ll put it all together, avoid the crits and the hax, and find yourself sitting on a nice pile of wins.
The streak came to an end last night at 326, and here’s how, supplemented with ‘Should Haves’…
The tower started with Claydol and Bronzong… a combination that really doesn’t hurt my leads, but walls them at the same time.
Turn 1: Garchomp Dragon Claws Claydol, and Zapdos Heat Waves. Claydol goes just above 50 percent, Heat Wave misses Bronzong, and he uses Calm Mind. (!) Claydol Ice Beams Garchomp, and brings her to the deep yellow.
Levitate Bronzong is always a problem. It can do any number of things, but my feeling here is that I want to put as much damage on the board as possible to get rid of Claydol and allow Zapdos to Discharge away.
Claydol is also tricky… it can explode, and can target either of my leads with super effective attacks, (Ice Beam & Stone Edge) I should have protected Garchomp first turn, but I risked the 60/40 chance that Claydol wouldn’t target her.
Turn 2: Garchomp protects, Zapdos Heat Waves. Claydol goes into the deep yellow, and Bronzong goes to about 75 percent. Claydol’s Ice Beam is blocked by Garchomp’s protect, and Bronzong uses Calm Mind again. (!!)
Great. Barring a crit, Bronzong isn’t going anywhere. I should have brought in Abomasnow for Zapdos here, as the tower was ignoring it. But, this is where my sense left me…
Turn 3: Garchomp Dragon Claws Bronzong, Zapdos uses Heat Wave. Claydol = Gone. Bronzong in the deep yellow, Bronzong uses Psychic on Garchomp. Garchomp = Gone.
I should have switched in Metagross here to take that Psychic, and save Garchomp for another day, but the Bronzong had me rattled. With Garchomp gone… and really, being down one fodder pokemon is what hurt… with her gone, it forced my hand, but I’m still not in a bad place.
Turn 4: I send out Metagross, the tower sends out Slowbro. Metagross protects, Zapdos uses Discharge. Slowbro is at 40 percent, Bronzong into the DEEP red. Then…
Slowbro Twisted the Dimensions! (!!!) Bronzong used Rest + Chesto (!!!!),
I should have exploded right here. That would have left a full health Zapdos + a full health Abomasnow against the tower’s #4. Stupid human error. First turn of Trick Room.
Turn 5: Bronzong uses Psychic on Metagross leaving it at 60 percent. Slowbro Ice Beam’s Zapdos to 30 percent. Metagross Hammer Arms Bronzong, Zapdos uses Heat Wave. Bronzong = 70 percent, Heat Wave misses Slowbro. Second turn of Trick Room.
The damage to Slowbro would have been inconsequential. But I know now that the explosion won’t take down Bronzong.
Turn 6: Zapdos Detects. Ice Beam and Psychic from Slowbro and Bronzong are blocked, Metagross explodes. Slowbro = Gone, Bronzong = 30 percent. Third turn of Trick Room.
Zapdos is doomed. It can’t take another hit and hit back, and without the speed advantage, I’m just hoping that the tower sends out something weak to ice…
Turn 7: I send out Abomasnow, the tower sends out Gallade. Zapdos falls to Bronzong’s Psychic, Abomasnow goes to 60 percent with Gallade’s Psycho Cut. Abomasnow’s Blizzard does 49 percent damage to Gallade, and puts Bronzong in the red. Fourth turn of Trick Room.
To Detect or to not Detect, that is the question. If Zapdos gets off a second Detect, I win, because it’s being double targeted. But I chose to try to T-wave the Gallade (on the off chance that the fighter would have used a fighting type move on 'snow) to set up Abomasnow for post-TR. So now it’s Abomasnow vs. the World. But first…
Turn 8: Abomasnow uses protect. Gallade’s Psycho Cut and Bronzong’s Psychic are blocked. Abomasnow = 60 percent. After hail damage, Gallade goes to 40 percent, Bronzong in the DEEP red. The twisted dimensions returned to normal!
Sweet! I can take another psycho cut from Gallade, and they’ll both fall to Blizzard. So here we go!
Turn 9: Gallade uses Brick Break.
Wait, you mean a tower streak can come to an end NOT due to hax, but rather the gross incompetence of the human?
Why not explode? Why not protect Garchomp first turn? Why protect during the last turn of Trick Room?