Some successful teams are the product of a long initial team building process, some just happen to be a bunch of good-looking stuff you’ve always wanted to use that ends up working well together. This team is largely the latter, a happy coincidence of my desire to jump into NU and to play with a lot of the newly released dreamworld abilities Black 2 and White 2 brought to many NU Pokémon before those Pokémon possibly jumped to higher tiers. A few weeks ago, I threw together a team of Alomomola, Amoonguss, Cinccino, Swoobat, and Ditto, with Murkrow added in because Prankster-krow always intrigued me. A few modifications later, the biggest being switching out Swoobat for Absol, and I was 85-27 under my laddering name “cerenoezone”, having peaked possibly as high as two, but at least as high as four (I don’t really remember, and that time at two might have been due to people messing with the rating formula). However, as much as I’d love to say I blindly stumbled onto a great team like the inventor of the potato chip unintentionally created one of the world’s most popular snacks, this team is not perfect, and recently it’s seemed the things it struggles against have become more prevalent. However, unfortunately, I feel the team’s initial success has left me unable to view its flaws as objectively as a fresh pair of eyes could. This is why I’m here, apart from showing off my most successful team in a while. This team has served me well and has really demonstrated to me the boost a good ability can bring, but I feel like, without too major alteration, it could be better. I view nothing as sacred, and, no matter what my comments below might imply, I'm open to hearing any thoughts or suggestions.
The team has been updated with the addition of Camerupt and other alterations FLCL suggested, which has solved most of the problems the team had earlier. The team has unfortunately acquired a greater susceptibility to strong Earthquakers that either crit or can beat Alomomola. It's also, oddly enough acquired a weakness to Bulk Up Rest Throh. These are much smaller problems than the team had earlier, but they still are out there, so I figured I should point them out.
Added text is in bold with the exception of the threat list which has simply been updated to reflect the new team. Moves, Abilities, and Items removed from movesets have been crossed out.
The Team in Depth:
Choice Band Life Orb
Trait: Super Luck
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 SAtk
- Sucker Punch
Psycho Cut Pursuit
- Night Slash
I switched from Choice Band and Psycho Cut to Life Orb and Pursuit at FLCL's suggestion, and so far it has worked well. I've shied away from Life Orb in the past because I didn't like losing health when resists are switched in, but the sheer utility has more than made up for this, especially with Wish support from Alomomola when possible. I still have some tantalizing thoughts of using Foul Play. However, Absol has power enough as is, and I don't feel the increase is really necessary with the unpleasantness that would accompany it. The only problem I can see with the new set, is that I no longer can deal nearly as much damage to hazard setting Garbodor since Life Orb Adamant Night Slash only has 71.5% as much power as Choice Band Jolly Super Effective Psycho Cut (same deal with enemy Amoonguss, but that's not really that big a deal since it just went from a near perfect counter to a hard one). Other than that and a general overall increased problem with Bulky Rest Bulk Up Throh last mon sweeps, I'm liking Absol much more after the update
As I mentioned above, I used to use Swoobat in this slot, but it kept dying when I tried to set up or instantly after it killed something or… well really pretty much after attempting to do anything. I was probably using it wrong, but for whatever reason it didn’t work for me. More importantly, I disliked Scarf Braviary outspeeding both it and Cincinno, leaving Alomomola as my only answer to it and meaning Braviary could blow a hole in my team whenever it got worn down or U-turn to an electric type to force me to lose momentum. Thus, I switched to Absol for his massively powerful Sucker Punch and never looked back. Absol’s role on the team is relatively simple. It comes in, usually on the revenge but sometimes on the switch (such as when Amoonguss puts something to sleep or is threatened by powerful Psychic attacks), and deals a lot of damage to something before generally getting forced out for one of my Regenerator walls. 75 Speed also isn’t horrible, and Absol can still often clean up late game if I can’t stall out the last few mons and Cinccino is dead. Absol is also part of the reason special Psychics aren’t a big threat like other special attackers Amoonguss is weak to. While Amoonguss and Alomomola can’t sponge their blows, Absol provides an offensive check which has largely prevented them being an issue. Recently I’ve considered swapping Night Slash for Foul Play because, since PS hasn’t programmed it properly and doesn’t seem to consider doing so high priority, it currently acts as a standard 95 power physical dark STAB. However, I’m hesitant because doing so doesn’t seem exactly ‘Kosher’.
Cinccino @ Choice Band
Trait: Skill Link
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 SAtk
- Bullet Seed
- Rock Blast
- Tail Slap
The set hasn't changed at all, so it's still the same powerhouse it always was. The only difference between its role on the team before and after the update is that Absol might have started to overshadow it a little offensively, which isn't a problem at all.
Cinccino is the team’s primary offensive power, being able to outspeed almost anything (unlike Absol) and deal substantial damage consistently (unlike everyone else). Thus, it does what all Choice Band Cinccino do: smash shit for massive damage then GTFO. Though standard, the most important part of Cinccino’s moveset is Rock Blast by far. My Alomomoonguss core (or Amoongamola if you prefer) has big problems with powerful special attacking fire, flying, and ice types (basically any special attack type Amoonguss is weak to), especially if they run Substitute, and Rock Blast provides an escape valve. I used to run Aqua Tail in the last slot, but I I never used it, so I switched to U-turn… which I don’t find myself using very often either. I don’t think there’s anything better for that last slot however since Cinccino, while having everything needed to abuse Skill Link, doesn’t exactly have the most expansive movepool.
Amoonguss @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 SAtk
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sludge Bomb
- Giga Drain
Just like Cinccino, completely unchanged, but has had it's role slightly shrunken by updates to the rest of the team. Camerupt has taken away some of its special walling responsibilities, but, again, I really don't see a problem with that.
Amoonguss forms the first part of the defensive core this team is centered around, and, along with Ditto, caused me to make this team and jump into NU so I could use them here before their expected jump to OU. Amoonguss largely stops status bothering the rest of the team. It prevents Toxic Spikes crippling Alomomola and greatly annoying everyone besides Murkrow, and can generally absorbs any other pesky status (being immune to Toxic and not threatened by most users with Cryogonal in RU, not caring much about Paralysis, being only slightly annoyed by Burn, and usually making good Sleep fodder). However, Murkrow can sometimes be better for taking Paralysis and sleep, since it cares even less about speed and I sometimes have team matchups where it can’t trap much.
Furthermore, even though it’s weak to them, Amoonguss can act as a decent check against some weaker special fire, flying, and ice moves my core hates (such as Eelektross’s flamethrower). This was less viable when Magmortar was NU due to Vital Spirit and how common it was, but, if the sole opponent’s Pokémon with Fire, Flying, or Ice type moves that isn’t Magmar and can’t OHKO switches in against Amoonguss, I will sometimes leave it in to Spore since disabling that team member quickly is often essential. This is partially why I run a Specially Defensive spread instead of the physically defensive standard. My other reasoning was that Amoonguss has 10 more base Special Defense than Defense, even if NU has more good physical than special attackers a team only has six spots, and additional physical walls seem unnecessary when Alomomola can stall out Rampardos’s Head Smash (though, admittedly, I’m not sure if the one I battled was Scarf or Band). Specially defensive Amoonguss is also even better at taking special Grass and Electric attacks for Alomomola.
Amoonguss is the team member whose moveset I’ve played with most. Initially I ran Spore/Clear Smog/Giga Drain/HP Fire. However, HP Fire never did enough to what I used it for, which was really only other Amoonguss since Clear Smog outdamages against other Grasses, Giga Drain outdamages against most Steels, and Ice Types are scary. Moreover, I didn’t face enough set up sweepers to make Clear Smog worth it, and a lot that I did were Calm Mind Psychics I couldn’t threaten anyway. Accordingly, I switched to Spore/Sludge Bomb/Giga Drain/Foul Play to try going Pseudo-Mixed. However, this became much less viable when I learned Foul Play doesn’t work right on PS. That’s where the current set of Spore/Sludge Bomb/Giga Drain/Substitute comes from. I’d heard good things about Substitute preventing wasting Spore unnecessarily and so far this has worked decently. However, I’m still not sure this is the best fourth move.
Quick Claw Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Hp / 252 Def / 4 Atk
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 Def
Ditto is now the Standard Choice Scarf set so all the stuff below about the benefits of Quick Claw and what Quick Claw Ditto does is no longer relevant. I'm not upset about this however, because if Ditto wasn't Choice Scarf, I wouldn't only be vulnerable to Circle Throw-Rest-Bulk Up Throh destroying my team if it's the last Pokemon standing. Ditto is still useful for scouting movesets and stealing Spikes against Spike stacking teams so they have to deal with enormous hazard levels too, and it can still steal moves like Heal Bell if need be all be it less effectively. This is really the only situation where I miss Quick Claw however apart from maybe when I manage to steal boosts that include speed from a sleeping opponent.
No Longer Relevant Information From Back When I Ran Quick Claw
The first thing you probably notice about Ditto is it isn’t holding Choice Scarf. The next thing you probably notice is what it is: Quick Claw, one of the infamous noob hax items. Now before you call me crazy, there is actually a method to my madness (and I did run Scarf Ditto initially and for a large portion of this team’s history). For one, I already have two powerful revenge killers in Absol and Cinccino and several methods to stop setup sweeping before it gets out of hand in Amoonguss’s Spore and Murkrow’s Perish Song. What I don’t have is any utility mons for doing little things like setting up hazards crucial to victory. Scarf Ditto can’t do that as effectively as mine because it gets locked into the hazard and becomes setup fodder. Furthermore, I already have two choice mons in Absol and Cinccino, and, while I once tested a gimmicky and ultimately unsuccessful team featuring three Trick Scarfers and three Trappers, I generally try to avoid three Pokémon that can’t change moves. Moreover, Ditto is actually really good against stall teams since it has infinite PP and can actually take their weak attacks, and in these cases running Scarf can actually be counterproductive since it prevents fully attaining the benefits of the moveset you steal. Back when Cryogonal was in the tier for instance, choosing between Ice Beam, Recover, and Rapid Spin was always a tough call. Lastly, the ability to bluff Choice Scarf can be beneficial, though admittedly this isn’t the most important reason I run Quick Claw, since the activation message ruins the illusion.
So why Quick Claw and not something more conventional like leftovers if I’m going to be contrary and not run the same item as everyone else? My reasoning stems from a post I saw somewhere on Smogon extolling two key benefits Quick Claw alone has for non-Choice Scarf Ditto. It means I win 60% instead of 50% of speed ties, which is much bigger for Ditto than other Pokemon, and I still have an, admittedly haxxy, 20% chance to outspeed anything within my priority bracket, meaning, for instance, Paralyzed Ditto isn’t useless 100% of the time. Also, leftovers wouldn’t let me temporarily bluff Choice Scarf. I acknowledge Choice Scarf is Ditto’s best item, but I would definitely put Quick Claw in the discussion for second best.
Anyway, Ditto has two main roles, Scouting movesets and stealing utility moves. I’ve had long games I probably only won because of Ditto’s ability to steal Heal Bells, Wishes, Toxics, etc. Ditto is my hazard setter if my opponent has hazards and rapid spinner if my opponent has a rapid spinner. Depending on Ditto for all this is not riskless and unfortunately generally assures my opponent has at least as many hazards as me, but it means I don’t have to use multiple moveslots for those moves and Ditto generally gets at least one hazard up since most hazard setters can’t OHKO (even Golem’s Earthquake recently only did 88%). I often lead with Ditto not only to set up hazards but also to scout the other guy’s lead’s set. For instance, I can check if Eelektross is physical or special and whether it’s running flamethrower, so I can figure out how to wall it and take it down.
Camerupt @ Leftovers (Added In Team Update)
Trait: Solid Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
- Earth Power
- Lava Plume
- Stealth Rock
Specially Defensive Camerupt as recommended by FLCL has solved almost all of the problems this team had before the update (though Linoone and Drifblim are still problematic). Unfortunately, while this isn't as big an issue as the previous ones the team had, it has made the team more ground weak, and made Toxic Spikes marginally more problematic (though still not very much unless I get outplayed). Camerupt covers most of the special Electric and Fire types Alomomoonguss has a problem with, meaning the team is much stronger defensively. It also provides me with a reliable way to set up hazards, which the team was sorely lacking before, as well as a replacement method of forcing out set up sweepers for Murkrow's Perish Song, which has the benefit of forcing out the opponent immediately but the disadvantage of not being effective no matter how many boosts the opponent has. Overall, it's been a great addition, though the flaws of a fully grounded team are unfortunate, and there have been certain situations where I've missed the benefits of priority Perish Song.
Alomomola @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd
IVs: 0 Atk
- Knock Off
Like Cinccino and Amoonguss, Alomomola is pretty much unaffected by the team update. It has to wall a bit more with Murkrow gone, but otherwise it's pretty much unchanged. Other than still considering swapping Knock Off back for Scald I'm still very happy with it's role on the team.
Alomomola is why my team doesn’t fear unboosted physical attacks at all. With Wish and Protect meaning it regains 62.5% of its HP for any attack it takes, it can even stall out many physical electric types relying on Wild Charge for STAB, as its insane recovery combined with the recoil its enormous HP causes means they die first. Alomomola allows me significant wiggle room even with banded physical attackers with a move to beat Alomomola despite Wish/Protect stalling, since, even if I mispredict, if they can’t OHKO, Wish+Protect+Regenerator gives back over 95% of Alomomola’s health. Toxic is very useful to the team, as, because I don’t have a reliable way to set hazards, it’s sometimes the only passive damage I have. I replaced Scald with Knock Off after being really annoyed by an Eviolite Tangela that put Amoonguss to sleep and proceeded to wall or scare out the rest of my team. It has been helpful in certain situations such as taking away Choice Scarfs from things that otherwise outspeed Cinccino, but I often miss the ability to deal a little damage and potentially status things immune to Toxic and getting completely screwed over by Substitute is never fun. Switching back is something I’ve considered as a possible means of improvement. The only real problem with Alomomola is, because of it’s awful Special Defense, it can’t cover Amoonguss’s weaknesses like Amoonguss can cover Alomomola’s. I don’t think that’s someting modifying Alomomola could fix though.
Former Members of the Team
Threats to the New Team (Generally Much Less Common or Threatening Than The Threats To The Old Team):
Murkrow @ Eviolite
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SDef
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 SAtk
- Perish Song
- Mean Look
Ah Perish Trap Murkrow, one of those annoying as hell sets to play against I’ve always wanted to try yet never got around to. Murkrow provides the team with three valuable functions. It provides an unstoppable win condition once my opponent has one Pokémon left if I have four other Pokemon alive (two if Alomomola is) or the ability to otherwise stall three turns, stops really strong walls and other troublesome things, and allows me an escape at least once if set up gets out of hand. With its 323/301 defenses, Murkrow also takes some pressure off Alomomola, and, as the only airborne member of the team, Murkrow also gives me someone to switch to if my opponent starts setting up Toxic Spikes while Amoonguss is out, allowing me to absorb them without getting anything poisoned. Moreover, it relieves pressure on Absol by giving me something else to switch in on strong predicted Special Psychic attacks. However, it’s not all positives for Murkrow. As the only Stealth Rock weak Pokémon, it’s ability to take hits or live the turns needed to Perish trap can be compromised to a degree I don’t like especially with Sub taking another 25% off his health. Moreover, against opponents that know what they’re doing at best Murkrow gets a kill before they figure out the set and a stop against the last Pokémon (often less). Moreover, he’s ruined by Taunt and Encore and useless against VoltTurners. I’m thinking of testing an obnoxious Gothitelle set in its place (Trick, Torment, Protect, and either Thunderwave, Low Sweep, or Trick Room), but until Shadow Tag is released I don’t really know what if anything I could use in this spot to better the team.
Throh - Thank God people haven't used this right against me, by which I mean holding it in reserve and just wearing me down as best they can after they get hazards up until Throh is the only one left, and sweeping me with Bulk Up-Circle Throw-Rest-Sleep Talk (the one's I've run into thankfully aren't even running Sleep Talk). Most people invest in special defense I assume, so it's defense is hittable pre-boost but if I don't get it Spored and kill it before it sets up too much, it can quickly turn 1-6 into 1-0. I may be overreacting because I'm used to having Perish Song Murkrow just in case I screw up against it, but it's a big threat, and, like Linoone, I'm just glad it's not super common. Outside the last mon standing position, it's eminently handleable, but if it gets in on the right last mon, it can be a pain to take down. Maybe not the hugest threat in the world, but definitely hard to take down in the last mon slot.
Pretty Sure It's A Big Threat That Can Beat My Team, But It's Not Like I Have No Way To Handle It (Even If My Way To Handle It May Necessitate Sacking Something)
Drifblim – I actually haven't ran into any since the team update, but I don't think any of the changes really fully address my issues since it has so many sets that play very differently. Alomomola can wall AcroBlimp especially after it uses its gem, but it can't really do anything back so I'm going to be burned and then have to deal with PP stalling, which is annoying. Plus ChestoRest and SubCM flat out beat it, and it has no way to stop the Baton Pass set. Cinccino can beat it, but if it gets in without Cinccino also in and able to hit it with Rock Blast, the threat of Will-O-Wisp keeps it at bay. Same goes for Absol, though it is also slower, and is accordingly hindered by the need to play mind-games with Sucker Punch. Also, neither Cinccino nor Absol can switch in safely against any set but Baton Pass. Amoonguss is murdered by the AcroBlimp set, and can probably be beat by the others after enough boosts (or be unable to stop the Baton Pass set from passing). Ditto might be okay against special sets lacking Sub, but AcroBlimp outspeeds, and I'm not sure how much damage Drifblim's Shadow Ball does to itself if its Special Attack and Special Defense are at the same level. As for Camerupt, I haven't had a chance to test it out, but I think it should be a decent stop to the special sets if they haven't acquired too many boosts, and Roar shuts both them and the Baton Pass set down.
Torterra - With Murkrow's departure (even if it did fear stone edge), I now have no one who resists Earthquake. This usually isn't an issue since most Earthquakers don't threaten Alomomola in the slightest, but Torterra's grass STAB alters this calculus. However, it's weak to Cinccino's U-Turn, so if I can get it in enough times I can wear it down, or get it low enough that a more powerful neutral Tail Slap can finish it off.
Zangoose - The self imposed timer from Toxic Orb means it's dying fast, but I recently saw it OHKO Alomomola with Facade after a Swords Dance, so I probably need to stall its HP down to a level where Ditto can OHKO with Quick Attack and sack something to get it in or else it's going to cause problems since I have no Rocks, Ghosts, or Steels.
Other Occasional or Minor Threats
Kadabra – With Murkrow gone, it's a slightly bigger issue since Absol is the only thing immune to it's STAB. However, this isn't that big a deal, since now Absol has Pursuit for if I predict it Choice-locking itself into Psychic, and Cinccino and Ditto outspeed even in a worst case scenario while I believe Amoonguss can live one Psychic and Sludge Bomb does a ton.
Golurk - Normally hard countered by Alomomola, but, if Alomomola is low enough on health to be OHKO'd or 2HKO'd on the switch or gets critted on the switch in, I will have to sack something to bring in Absol, Cincinno, or Ditto to revenge.
Linoone – As FLCL pointed out, Scarf Ditto makes this much less of a threat than I though it was. I still might have to sack something to get it in though, or if it's some incredibly strange variant with Sub that manages to set that up. Not that big a deal however since I'm probably getting at worst a 1-1 tradeoff in that situation.
Threats to the Old Team
Emboar – Special Sets can destroy both halves of Alomomoonguss, and the other members of the team have trouble switching in.
Rotom-S – Like Emboar, can break both sides of Alomomoonguss, and scarf sets outspeed the rest of my team and aren’t threatened by Murkrow.
Drifblim – Just a problem in general, the different sets in different ways.
Zebstrika – Overheat + Thunderbolt/Volt Switch makes Alomomoonguss sad, but Ditto can come in on its Electric moves (though this is no longer as safe with Sap Sipper released) and, even in the case of misprediction, at least cause it to weaken itself if it uses Overheat. I can also stop it with prediction if it’s choiced, but, if it’s not, luring an Overheat can be key.
Linoone – If I let it set up, I’m screwed. Not even Murkrow can stop Extremespeed’s +2 Priority.
Charizard – Using this team has made me seriously hate Charizard, specifically all sets but Bellyzard. If I don’t manage to sleep it on the switch in, I have no way to beat it other than Cinccino’s Rock Blast (if it’s not Scarf) or Absol’s Sucker Punch (if it doesn’t run Sub). Honestly, I’m just glad that Stealth Rock exists, since, though I don’t explicitly use it, Charizard would be so much more common if it didn’t.
Other Threats I Can Think Of
Tangela – Absol and Cinccino struggle to break it, it can outspeed and put Amoonguss to sleep and beat Alomomola, it really isn’t threatened by Ditto, and Murkrow can’t do much to it if it plays smartly or carries HP-Ice or -Rock. If Amoonguss has a turn awake against it however, Spore or Sub+Sludge Bomb spam can take it down.
Weezing – Annoying to face since Absol and Cinccino fear Will-O-Wisp and it generally doesn’t take much damage or resists the moves used by the rest of the team.
Kadabra – Can be an issue if Absol and Murkrow can’t beat it or are out of commission.
Eelektross – Special sets that carry flamethrower can be annoying, but Absol and Cinccino can generally deal with it.