I'm glad that you had the opportunity to test Analytic Magnezone, jc104!
Charge Beam is meant to work in conjunction with Substitute & Leftovers, or at least with Leftovers - please make this clearer on the main set descriptions, Afti:
- It goes without saying that you never, ever, ever use Substitute with Specs. Leftovers/Substitute gives Magnezone more survivability, and it still hits like a freight train.
Follow this statement with Charge Beam should only be used with Leftovers, as it is too weak to be used on the Specs set. Charge Beam allows non-Specs varaint to hit as hard as Specs Magnezone after a single boost with the ability to change moves and leftovers recovery.
a Charge Beam-using Specs variant could break through Thorn over a few turns.
No, don't say this; Specs Charge Beam is pitiful. You're better off using Thunder to 3HKO Ferrothorn or let other mons handle it.
I find HP Ice useful as a sole coverage move on SubCharge variants and for finishing off Dragon-types (most notably Dragonite). The extra power difference allows non-Specs HP Ice to possibly score a 2HKO (with Rocks) on even Latias when she switches in; Flash Cannon misses out on this chance to 2HKO. HP Grass deserves an AC mention on non-Sub Charge Beam sets for taking out Gastrodon, though.
If you want to check out Sub Magnezone in action, look at my replays - I think the last 2 replays use this particular Magnezone variant. I personally find Analytic Magnezone kicking more ass with Sub Charge Beam strategy than the standard Steel Killer set. Substitute comes in handy, because it protects Magnezone from revenge-killers, often netting an additional crucial kill. Subs unbreakable by U-turn & Volt Switch makes it just that much harder to finish Magnezone without sacrificing something. Specs & Volt Switch is definitely NOT the only way to make use of Analytic Magnezone.