Hi guys. This is my first team posted to Smogon, although I have laddered on the servers and lurked on the forums for quite awhile. This team peaked around #30 on Smogon DW Ladder (I forget my exact rank), which while not pants shittingly good, I think is still pretty decent.
The title is taken on a whim, from a story arc in the Sandman comics. Give them a read if you haven't yet!
INTRO/TEAM AT A GLANCE
What if I could switch in Chandelure or Breloom for free using volt turn? This is the entire principle that my team is based on. Chandelure and Breloom are such powerhouses in the metagame - Chandelure's ability and sky-high special attack practically guarantees a KO everytime its switched in, while Breloom needs just a single turn to set up before taking a huge dump on the opposing team. The only weaknesses for these pokemon are their relative frailty, meaning that they can usually only be safely switched in after another team member dies, or in Chandelure's case, bringing it in on a predicted fighting move. But this problem is ELIMINATED with volt turn, giving me endless opportunities to switch in one of these two menaces unscathed and being a pain in the ass to my opponent.
TEAM IN DETAIL:
Chandelure (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Shadow Tag
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Energy Ball
Nothing much to say, everyone on the DW ladder is familiar with this guy. Basically nothing is safe from Chandelure besides pink blobs, as STAB overheat takes a big chunk out of everything, and the other moves provide coverage that is only resisted by a handful of pokemon. This guy nets me multiple kills each match unless I do something stupid. Occasionally Chandelure will double as a spin blocker for me, but usually I will let the opponent spin away hazards since if I mispredict and let Chandy die, half of my offensive presence is gone. HP Ice is invaluable as it gives me a good answer to dragon types, and also kicks Gliscor's ass, who would otherwise walk all over this team. Energy ball is for coverage (sup Gastrodon), while Shadow ball is a nice spammable attack late game.
Breloom (M) @ Leftovers
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Mach Punch
- Bullet Seed
I was kind of on the fence about technician Breloom, but boy was I wrong. Yeah, poison heal is awesome and protects from status yadda yadda, but technician just turns Breloom into an absolute offensive killer. Give it one turn to set up (hi walls!) and it will go on a fucking rampage. Its mediocre speed is kind of a letdown, but usually in matches Breloom will be behind a sub if it's against something that outspeeds it. Breloom's bullet seed decimates most pokemon on rain teams, while on sand teams, Breloom's mach punch checks Tyranitar and Excadrill. Leftovers on this guy to give it more survivability - the extra power from life orb is not needed as I want to keep it alive as long as possible.
Scizor (F) @ Choice Band
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SDef
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Bullet Punch
Your basic CB Scizor and the first part of my volt-turn core, unchanged from diamond/pearl. What can I say about him that hasn't been said before? It makes for a fantastic pivot, boasting resistances to 10 of the 17 types. In particular, it is invaluable in tanking outrages, and in a pinch it can also take a draco meteor too if its at full health. Most of the time I am either U-turning or bullet punching - I only use Superpower or pursuit on rare occasions (to trap fleeing Latios/latias/choice scarfed chandelure, or if Blissey is the last pokemon for example). Scizor and Breloom make a fantastic late-game cleaning duo, with technician boosted bullet punch and mach punch doing ridiculous amounts of damage.
Chansey (F) @ Eviolite
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Stealth Rock
- Seismic Toss
The glue to my team, whenever I think a high-powered attack is coming my way 90% of the time I switch to Chansey. It is my wall for both physical and special attacks, barring fighting moves which are taken with ease by both Xatu and Chandelure. With its beastly bulkiness, it is almost guaranteed to have a chance at some point during the game to set up stealth rocks for me, which are important since my volt turn strategy causes lots of switches. Softboiled and seismic toss are self-explanatory, while wish gives me a chance to keep the rest of my team members healthy. I am too lazy to do damage calcs, but eviolite chansey is roughly 100000000x bulkier than its evolution Blissey (scientifically speaking, a metric shit ton bulkier), and if played properly, just does not die. I wish I could fit in toxic somewhere to increase its offensive presence and maybe deal with last pokemon stat uppers though. One last thing - Chansey is usually my #1 switch in to Chandelure. If its choice scarfed, fine, but if its the calm mind variant then I am completely fucked.
Xatu (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SAtk
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
Dopeyness aside, Xatu counters a whole slew of random pokemon, including (but not limited to), Breloom, Ferrothorn, Forretress, etc. In addition, its 4x fighting resistance makes it a perfect switch in to fighting attacks aimed at Chansey. A bit about how I play with Xatu: My first priority is to keep hazards off my side - if I deem it necessary, I will sacrifice Xatu to achieve that. This means for example, that against lead Tyranitar, I will always switch in Xatu to reflect back stealth rock. If Tyranitar uses crunch instead and KOs Xatu, I can switch in Scizor and nab momentum.
If I play correctly, Xatu will keep hazards off my side of the team and still be in commission during midgame. Once that happens, its u-turn works in tandem with Scizor and Rotom, slowly chipping off my enemies health or giving Breloom or Chandelure a free switch in. In particular, u-turn also allows me to escape enemy Chandelure that think they can trap Xatu and nab a quick KO off shadow ball. Reflect is indispensable for Xatu, enhancing its survivability and allowing it to wall tons of physical pokemon (it even does fine against lead Tyranitar behind a reflect!). Psychic is purely to deal damage and takes a chunk out of some random pokemon. I primarily use it to deal with enemy Conkeldurr.
I have tried using a rapid spinner in Xatu's place, but it did not meet my expectations and did not fit into the overall offensive playstyle of the team. First, I need u-turn to keep momentum, which all rapid spinners lack, and second I don't have a turn to waste rapid spinning when I could be doing something else.
Rotom-W @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Sunny Day
My ace in the hole. Nobody expects this moveset, and to be honest maybe its because its a little dumb, but I think the surprise factor more than makes up for it. Volt switch is obvious and completes my volt-turn core. Hydro miss I barely ever use, usually only when I predict that a electric immunity is switching in to take my volt switch. Trick is indispensable, and helps me take out threats that would otherwise kick my ass (stat uppers such as CM Keldeo come to mind). Finally, sunny day is what makes this set unique. Usually my opponent will see that I don't have a weather inducer and sacrifice their own, only for me to take away their weather with sunny day afterwards. With rotom's fantastic set of resistances and (sometimes) blazing speed thanks to his scarf, it can usually find an opportunity to change the weather. Unfortunately against sunny day teams this trick doesn't work, but the upper echelons of the DW ladder usually run sandstorm and rain. This guy is ALWAYS my lead.
Maybe I'll go through a complete threat list when I have time, but for now I'll just list out the problem pokemon:
DD Dragonite: In order to counter this badass, I have to a) break its multiscale, either with U-turn, volt switch, or SR, b) switch in Chandelure and hope it's not a CB variant, and c) risk the speed tie to take it out with HP ice. Sometimes HP ice doesn't KO bulkier versions, meaning I have to revenge with Scizor's bullet punch. I can also trick scarf onto him, although if it runs substitute I am boned.
Chandelure: Breloom, Scizor, and Xatu are easily taken out by this guy, while Chansey is taken out by CM versions. If I see enemy Chandelure on team preview, I play very cautiously, as my only hope is to catch Chandelure on the switch with u-turn. Luckily CS versions are worn down by stealth rock, which Chansey sets up easily and 90% of all the Chandelures I've seen run scarf.
Keldeo: CM versions are "countered" by tricking Rotom's scarf onto them. If that doesn't work I am fucked since water/fighting takes a big chunk out of everything. If I am backed up against a wall, I can take it out with a combination of Rotom's volt switch, chandelure's energy ball, and mach punch Breloom, but obviously if I'm sacrificing 2 or 3 pokemon to KO this guy, it does not fit under the definition of "counter".
Morning sun volcarona: Usually I bring in Chansey against Volcarona. Without morning sun, Chansey narrowly beats it. If it does carry morning sun though, it can easily continue boosting and by the time I figure out it is a morning sun variant it is too late to disable it by tricking a scarf onto it.
I'm really proud of this team, and I think the premise behind it is very powerful. This team is played very offensively with the exception of Xatu and Chansey. Roughly, the gameplan is as follows: In the early stages of the match, I try to set up Stealth rock and keep enemy hazards off my side of the field. In mid game, I volt turn to slowly whittle down my opponent's pokemon, although if there is a chance to switch in Breloom or Chandelure, I usually go for it as usually it means that I can take out a pokemon or two and put my opponent too far behind to catch up. Finally in late game, I attempt to sweep, depending on who is left. This is not a problem, as 4 of my 6 pokemon can function as late-game cleaners. CS Rotom and Chandelure naturally have high speed and spatk, while Breloom and Scizor can put severe hurt on the opponent with their technician boosted STAB priority moves.
Finally as a side note, it is usually not the end of the world if the opponent manages to get a few entry hazards up: 3 of my pokemon are immune to toxic spikes, 2 are immune to spikes, and stealth rock is super effective on 2 of my pokemon. However I would like to disregard Chandelure in these calculations. Yeah its opportunities to switch in become more limited, but the way I play it, I only switch in Chandelure if it is for free and if it is guaranteed to take out the opposing pokemon. If I really get the opportunity to only switch in 3-4 times, that's ok because it means that I'm taking out 3-4 of the opponent's pokemon putting me in the lead anyways.
That being said, this team does have definite problems. In addition to the threats I covered above, I find sometimes that the team is too reliant on prediction (read: luck). Feel free to suggest any changes you want, in keeping with the theme of the team. I would love to tinker with it more. That's it, and thanks for reading!