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Who needs Weather when you have Poison?: Weatherless Stall
Hey guys, 2sly4u here with a team I’ve been using for a while. Recently on the OU discussion page, someone started a thread about the viability of non-weather teams. I’d been successfully running a weatherless stall team for a few weeks, and thought it would be fun to post it with some of in depth thoughts on why I built it the way I did. I also included a quick segment at the end on how I deal with opposing weather teams. This took me a long time to write up, but I had fun doing it and hope that people find it interesting. Without further ado, here’s my team!
Team Building Method:
My team is somewhere in between pure stall and bulky offense, but is much closer to the former. The primary goal for this squad is to spread enough poison around the enemy team that Gliscor can stall them with SubProtect. Because of how important Poison damage is to me, not only am I packing Toxic Spikes but I also have two Pokemon with Toxic. In the spirit of this status-spreading strategy, three of my pokemon pack Protect to stall for time while the opponent loses health. Protect also lets me play around Choice users, who normally can bust through defensive teams. If the Toxic strategy fails, the team has enough strength to cause some damage with their STAB attacks, with Alakazam cleaning up late game.
The first thing that should pop out is my lack of a Spin Blocker. This is pretty odd for a team that depends on Hazards as much as I do, but it’s actually not too problematic. Ferrothorn and Heatran both have enough bulk to set up multiple times, and Tentacruel can usually get his layers up twice in a game as well. Because most Spinners are slow and lack recovery, forcing them to switch into hazards twice while eating an attack usually finishes them off. Beating Rapid Spinners in this way can be annoying, but it frees up a team slot for Alakazam, who patches up this team’s huge weakness to set-up sweepers.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Ferrothorn, and use him on most of my teams. Since I was using him as a starting point, it made sense to go for a defensive team. I needed Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes still and didn’t want Ferrothorn carrying two hazards, so I added Heatran and Tentacruel, two reliable Hazard setters (who also gave me a FWG core, albeit an unintentional one)
I had a huge problem now: two Ground weaknesses and no resists. On top of that, I had no reliable recovery. I added Latias to fix these problems, since she has Levitate and can pass along Wish to my other team members.
Even with Latias, I still wanted another Ground immunity. Gliscor is an excellent pokemon for any team with Toxic Spikes, and gave me a 100% counter to Scizor and Terrakion. He was an easy choice.
For my last pokemon, I started off with Jellicent to block Rapid Spin. However, I found that I was getting set up on and swept. It wasn’t too hard to set up hazards multiple times if they got spun away because my core was solid, so Jellicent was expendable. In its place I put in one of my favorite pokemon, Focus Sash Alakazam, and haven’t looked back.
Careful Nature, 252 HP / 204 Att / 52 SpD
Ferrothorn was the pokemon that inspired me to build this team, but he’s hardly the focus of it. In fact, Ferrothorn’s role is much more specialized than the standard set, but it’s also perhaps the most important, countering CM Jirachi while setting hazards and forcing switches with Leech Seed. With heavy investment in Attack, Bulldoze has enough power to break Jirachi’s Substitutes, giving her no time to set up. Besides beating the Steel pixie, Ferrothorn acts as a hazard setter and provides some team support with Leech Seed. Because he has so much investment in Attack, he sacrifices bulk so my Ferrothorn can’t serve as a defensive pivot and still get up Spikes multiple times in a match. However, I don’t really need him to do that since Latias and Gliscor already fill that role well. (Latias gets special mention for her excellent defensive synergy with Ferrothorn).
With the obvious exception of Bulldoze, my Ferrothorn’s moveset looks pretty standard. However, because of the alternate EV spread they serve slightly different roles. Leech Seed is used to provide healing for Ferrothorn and his teammates. This is especially important for me, because my Ferrothorn gets worn down quickly. Unless my opponent has a Breloom, I usually use Leech Seed the first turn Ferrothorn is in to provide a steady flow of health. Spikes is also pretty much standard fare for Ferrothorn. My team is very defensive, so Spikes gives me a way to penalize my opponents for switching when walled. However, because I lack a Ghost, I try to avoid setting up too many layers at once if my opponent has something that can remove my hazards. (unless their Spinner is weakened enough to be killed before they can Spin). Bulldoze is used to beat Jirachi, but has some extra utility besides that. First off, it lets Ferrothorn wallop some things that otherwise counter him, such as Heatran and Magnezone. Second, its Speed lowering effect lets Ferrothorn slow something that could otherwise sweep my team, meaning something else can safely revenge kill. Power Whip is my STAB move, but is far from filler. A 120 BP move coming off a heavily invested 94 Base Attack is going to hurt, and lets me use Ferro to heavily damage things that think they can get an easy switch in.
Calm Nature, 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
Heatran is my Stealth Rock setter and final part of my completely unintentional FWG core. His only important job is getting up Rocks, but he does it extremely well since he has the bulk to take even Super-Effective hits and the raw power to dissuade Taunt users and Espeon. Once SR is up for good, I can use Heatran more liberally, using him to tank hits and fire off Lava Plumes. He’s also my best answer to airborne Steels like Skarmory and Bronzong, and is a good secondary check to Scizor if Gliscor dies early. Last but certainly not least, Heatran stops Sun teams from being super threatening, and also walls most Volcarona completely.
Heatran’s moves are completely standard and you’ve seen this set a thousand times. Stealth Rocks are the most important hazard, hitting everything in the game while neutering Multiscale Dragonite, the Genies, and Volcarona. Toxic lets Heatran put his counters on a timer, and has great synergy with Protect. It lets Heatran serve as a backup plan for poisoning the opponent (along with Gliscor) should Tentacruel not set up Toxic Spikes. Protect is a very important move for Heatran. It lets him scout for Ground moves and lock in Choice pokemon, It also lets him recover some extra health with Leftovers and possibly Leech Seed while stalling for damage from status. Lava Plume gives Heatran some offense, which helps him serve as a more offensive tanking role later in the game. Most importantly, it roasts Ferrothorn, who would be very annoying otherwise.
Bold Nature 252 HP / 240 Def / 16 Spe
Tentacruel is my Spinner and Toxic Spikes setter, two vital jobs for any stall team. It’s probably the best user of Toxic Spikes in the tier right now and the second best Spinner after Starmie, who doesn’t really fit the play style of my team. Tentacruel carries a key resistance to Ice attacks, which is important because they maim both Latias and Gliscor and Heatran can’t do much to the numerous Water types who are firing off Ice Beams. That said, Tentacruel isn’t overly useful once Toxic Spikes are up for good (and two pokemon carry Toxic in case they aren’t) and he’s spun away hazards, so he tends to be my sacrificial lamb when I need a free switch. Overall Tentacruel isn’t spectacular but it fills its role very well.
Toxic Spikes are a staple on most stall teams, and for good reason. With them set up, handling threats such as Haxorus, Politoed, and Keldeo becomes much easier. They’re a nice luxury, but they’re usually less important for me than SR or Spikes because they affect so few pokemon in OU. Rapid Spin is another must-have, but you all know what it does. Half my pokemon are immune to Spikes and none are hit by TS or are weak to SR , but keeping everything healthy is important so firing off a Rapid Spin is usually Tentacruel’s first move. Scald is the obligatory STAB, but I don’t use it unless I have nothing to do. Knock off is filler, but it’s useful for wearing down bulky pokemon like Ferrothorn and scouting the sets of other pokemon. I’ve experimented with Toxic and Protect in that slot as well, but didn’t use them nearly as much.
Timid Nature, 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Latias is the glue that holds this team together, and does a ton of important things for my team. First off, she’s my main defensive pivot, boasting excellent synergy with Heatran and Ferrothorn. She also passes Wish along to the rest of the team, giving them a second wind in longer matches. She’s also my main Phazer, forcing out things that try to set up on her. Because of her great mix of bulk, Speed, and power, she serves as an emergency revenge killer as well if Alakazam has fallen. On top of all that, she’s my main check to her brother, Latios and Breloom. Even though she fills so many important roles, Latias has the stats to pull them all off at the same time, and because of that’s she’s indispensable.
Latias’ most important move is Wish, which provides healing for both her and my FWG core, all of which lack recovery besides Leech Seed. Because of the multitude of powerful offensive threats, it’s very hard to keep walls in tip-top shape just through smart switching. I need Wish support to give my walls a second chance at life should I make a poor prediction. In addition, passing health along to my core usually gives it enough time to set up hazards again should the get spun away. Protect is a great utility move, letting me scout Choice users, stall for Toxic damage, and make Wish more reliable for recovery. If Latias gets poisoned, it’s a huge hindrance for the rest of the team, so Protect is important so I can check for it. Roar lets me force out pokemon that try to set up on Latias, such as Gyarados, Jirachi, and anything with Substitute. It doesn’t get used much, but it’s a lifesaver every now and then. If I get hazards up, I can shuffle things to rack up passive damage, if I have time, but usually I have better things to do. Dragon Pulse rounds off the set, and ensures I have a way of actually damaging things. It packs great neutral coverage and does surprisingly decent damage even without investment.
Gliscor@ Toxic Orb
Impish Nature, 252HP / 184 Def / 72 Spe
Gliscor is my main switch-in to Fighting-types and Scizor, and also my end game checkmate. Once Gliscor is behind a Substitute, he’s incredibly hard to take down, and he forces a ton of switches to capitalize on the entry hazards I set up. While the opponent switches out and loses a ton of health, Gliscor is free to set up a Substitute and begin stalling. As something is breaking his sub, he can fire off a Toxic to begin wearing out his checks. From there, he can switch to a teammate. Once everything is poisoned or at least weakened, Gliscor can start his cycle of SubProtect to stall out the remaining pokemon. This set works because most teams don’t carry more than one pokemon that counters Gliscor, which means it’s not that hard to put my opponent in a 100% loss situation. That said, there are some pokemon that completely stop Gliscor in his tracks, mainly opposing Gliscor, Skarmory, Bronzong, and most Gengar. I depend on Heatran and Alakazam to eliminate those four to secure a winning condition later.
Gliscor’s moveset is completely standard, so there’s not much to explain. Substitute and Protect let Gliscor stall like crazy without losing any health. Toxic lets him whittle away at things he walls, such as Dragonite, that don’t mind Earthquake while also crippling most pokemon who force him out, such as Tornadus-T. Earthquake is STAB, and lets him hurt anything grounded. I’ve thought about Ice Fang so he can damage Gengar and Gliscor on his own, but since this team is so dependant on getting the opponent poisoned, I decided to stick with Toxic.
Alakazam@ Focus Sash
Timid Nature, 252SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
If Latias is the glue of this team, that would make Alakazam the safety net. He has one job: to shut down opposing pokemon who have set up. Of course, I’ll take a late-game sweep with him if the opportunity presents itself, but that’s not why he’s on the team. With a team as defensive as mine is, it’s hard to stop opposing setup completely. Alakazam gives me the luxury of being able to set up as hazards as my opponent is acquiring boosts, since he can just come in and revenge kill thanks to his Focus Sash. Even if I need to sacrifice a pokemon, my opponent is usually left with a field full of hazards and the daunting task of taking down Alakazam without their sweeper. Besides taking down set up sweepers, Alakazam is also my check to Scarf MoxieMence and Gliscor, while acting as a backup answer to most pokemon in the metagame. Because my five other pokemon have good synergy with each other, there are plenty of times Alakazam isn’t even used. However, in games where my opponent has managed to set up he’s a lifesaver.
Alakazam’s main job isn’t to sweep, but to patch up my weakness to set up pokemon. His very specialized moveset reflects this, giving me better coverage against setup pokemon at the expense of coverage overall. Psychic is for STAB, chosen over Psyshock because the blobs are beaten by Toxic Spikes and Alakazam needs the extra power to compensate for his worse coverage. Shadow Ball handles opposing Psychics, mainly Alakazam, Ditto, and non-CM Reuniclus. It also hits Jellicent hard, but I tend to not keep Alakazam in on things it won’t OHKO to keep his Sash intact. The last two moves aren’t standard, but let me beat key threats I couldn’t otherwise handle. Hidden Power Ice nabs OHKOs on the Dragons and Gliscor, while finishing off any Specs Tornadus-T who think I can’t survive a Hurricane. Charge Beam is in the last slot, and is exclusively for Gyarados, who otherwise would destroy this team. I only have one Flying resist and he’s weak to Water, and Gyarados can survive a Psychic easily, even after SR damage. It’d be nice to carry something like Focus Blast for more general coverage instead, but because of the roles I need Alakazam to fill there just isn’t room for it.
Sun isn’t as common as Rain, but it can be just as threatening. When facing a Rain team, it’s usually a safe bet that Ninetales will be coming in turn one. This gives me a chance to either set up Toxic Spikes or Stealth Rocks, depending on whether my opponent has a Venusaur or not. Either way, Heatran becomes my VIP, since it absorbs Fire attacks and can damage any Chlorophyll sweeper trying to switch in. As long as I can keep TS up, I can win easily. This makes Venusaur a big problem since it’s extremely powerful, absorbs Toxic Spikes, and can put something to sleep. The best way to defeat it is to lure a Sleep Powder by switching in Heatran, then switching to Ferrothorn to activate Sleep Clause. This switch also scouts for Earthquake. These rare physical sets are stopped by Latais. If something is already asleep, Alakazam beats it as well, but loses his Sash in the process. Poison and Stealth Rock wear out almost every other common Sun threat, and the multiple pokemon I have with Protect negates the effectiveness of Sun’s multiple powerful Choice users. Overall, not that scary.
I don’t see Sand very often, which is too bad because it’s extremely easy to deal with. Hippodon and Tyranitar both hate Toxic, as do many of Sand’s biggest threats. It’s pretty easy to set up all my hazards as well, since Ferrothorn and Tentacruel are both hard for common Sand pokemon to switch into. The only pokemon that’s slightly problematic is Scarf Landorus, who outspeeds everything and hits hard with EdgeQuake. As long as I scout with Protect, I can wear it out. If I’m feeling gutsy, I can send in Alakazam if it kills something with EQ or Stone Edge, and hope it stays in so I can OHKO with HP Ice. Stoutland can also be annoying, but can’t switch into hazards too many times and is also easy to scout with Protect. I haven’t seen Sandslash at all, but I imagine it’s also worn down by hazards. On top of that, only two of my pokemon are hurt by Sandstorm. Gliscor can be a headache if Alakazam is dead I guess, but Sand really isn’t a problem at all.
Hail isn’t that common either, but it’s the most difficult weather for my team to face. Everything except for Alakazam is hit by Hail, and Latias has trouble passing Wish because of its Ice weakness. This wears my team down quickly, forcing it into a less defensive game plan. Most Hail teams also use Kyurem and Mamoswine, two pokemon that threaten my team a ton. Both of those two are easy to wear down with hazards, so killing my opponent’s Rapid Spinner is priority number one so they don’t get removed. Stealth Rock is less difficult to keep up because Heatran 4x resists Ice and scares away Hail threats like Abomnasnow and Froslass, and they are another important way to wear my opponents out. Keeping Tentacruel and Ferrothorn alive and healthy is key as well, so I can keep setting up Toxic Spikes and Spikes, which forces my opponent’s Spinner in to remove them. Once Toxic Spikes are up for good, Hail becomes much less threatening. However, If I can’t get enough hazards up, I depend on Heatran and Gliscor to wear things down with Toxic, but I’m probably fighting a losing battle at that point. It’s winnable with smart switching and good prediction, but it’s much harder to beat than other weathers.
That just about wraps it up. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by 2sly4u; Jul 30th, 2012 at 7:20:16 AM.