Originally Posted by Fat Pocket
Jimbon - that's a really interesting team, and i'm surprised that Lanturn even works in OU (I recently rejected an OU Lanturn analysis ;o). I'm also really interested in the Mew set you used, and I'd like to hear more about it - Tailwind is a really nice touch to the suicide lead set :d Specs Keldeo seems a bit dangerous with only Lanturn as your defensive pivot, though - it still worked as effective as ever?
Yeah, Lanturn is slowly becoming one of my new favourite 'mons, you should try it. It covers all of Keldeo's weaknesses pretty nicely (flying, electric, etc) and being able to deal with Keldeo's most common checks such as the therians and Genesect is amazing. People have been arguing that the combination of those Rain abusers is "overpowered", but Lanturn beats all three easily and even checks Keldeo to an extent. On an offensive team such as this where momentum is helpful, Lanturn fills a much needed role on an offensive team. A great pivot with ResTalk + Volt Switch, a phenomenal counter to the aforementioned trio of Rain abusers while still providing the team with a (usually) slower Volt Switch which is great for switching into more frail members of my team such as Terrakion and Keldeo. Also something with recovery on a team with no spinner is also nice, especially against Rain Offense trying to stack hazards and such.
As for Mew, that was also something I wanted to try out. I didn't actually realize it's also a Dark Horse until just now, aha. But yeah, it's probably one of the most underrated leads for Hyper Offense, and filled a vital role in the team. It sets up hazards pretty easily against most opposing leads, while the leads that can actually beat Mew (Deoxys-D, Genesect, etc) are beaten by other team members pretty easily. The main thing that I liked about Mew was how expendable it was. There were so many situations where it did so well, like being able to OHKO Latias as it Calm Minds or pretty much any other stat booster who will try to use Mew as setup fodder. It's also great because Normal Gem Explosion does around 35-45% to standard Ferrothorn, putting it into easy KO range for Keldeo. Tailwind was just a filler move, but turned out to be arguably the best move on Mew. There were so many situations where Tailwind has been helpful, in paving the way for Keldeo and friends to simply plow through an opponent's team. A common strategy I used was setting up Stealth Rock, using Tailwind and then Exploding on whatever came in. It didn't matter if it lived Explosion, because you could be sure as hell a Specs +2 Speed Keldeo is gonna kill whatever comes in. Tailwind in general just made it a lot easier to setup with numerous 'mons, especially Terrakion who can Sub on a Latios Draco Meteor and get a free Substitute as Latios dies to a Stone Edge. Due to the offensive nature of the team, something was guaranteed to die every time I got Tailwind up. Keldeo destroyed Rain Offense, while Landorus mauled Sun. Other weathers/playstyles were usually beaten by just hitting every thing hard and not giving your opponent a chance to setup anything, while Mew is great for catching surprise kills.
But yeah, I've rambled a little bit too much - I guess I'll answer these questions.
How did you choose your Dark Horse Pokemon for this project? What lead you to choose the Pokemon you did? Did you have regrets or were you happy with your selection?
Choosing my Pokemon really wasn't difficult. I had used Lanturn pretty extensively before this project, and I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to use it. Given the way the current metagame is, it has a certain niche being able to beat Rain spam teams pretty easily. The only regrets I had were choosing a set quicker. I had tried Choice Specs Lanturn prior to the current set due to just how my team played out, and relied on offensive momentum, however I lost to Rain Teams pretty easily. The extra bulk really was notable and I actually lost 3/4 of the first matches I played using Specs Lanturn. I hated not being able to switch into Genesect with hazards up, or not being able to sponge a Hurricane quite so well, so I shifted back pretty quickly to the old set. I guess there are just some Pokemon that have a certain niche for something, and in this case, Lanturn just performed well against a lot of the most common teams in this metagame.
How did you go about building a team for your Dark Horse Pokemon? Which kinds of teammates did you consider? What factors contributed to the team you created?
When I chose to use Lanturn, I wanted to try something new. I didn't want to mess around with stall, as that really isn't fun to play. Hyper Offense was a playstyle I never really tried before, and was intrigued. Given that Lanturn already has Volt Switch, there was no reason why I couldn't use it on such an offensive team. I quickly added a Mew lead, followed by Scarf Genesect + Specs Keldeo which is a combination I use on a lot of my teams. Given that Genesect beats everything Keldeo can't (Tornadus-T, Latias, Celebi) it was only logical to use those two together, not to mention that Lanturn beats everything that Keldeo loses to. Landorus was added to help against Sun which heavily crippled Lanturn's effectiveness, while Terrakion was just a filler mon I needed for stall as choice Keldeo has trouble breaking through common stall cores as opposed to any other Keldeo set. When teambuilding, my main focus was beating weather, as that was what I faced 75% of the time.
Do you think it is more difficult or less difficult to ladder with a Dark Horse Pokemon? Why? Does the element of surprise play a factor in your battles? Is it easier to fight with a "highly used"" team or with Pokemon that are less common?
I'd probably say it was less difficult laddering with a Dark Horse Pokemon. When making a team, I always try to implement something that makes it different from any other team whether it be an underrated Pokemon or set. A lot of people had trouble against Lanturn in matches, as they didn't really know what to expect. Whatever they tried to switch into to beat Lanturn, I could just Volt Switch out and kill their switch-in with any other member of my team. Standard Rain Offense teams usually struggled, as I could easily keep switching into Lanturn to buffer literally any hit. It had a nice surprise factor that really kept my opponent in the dark until I revealed the set. Lanturn didn't work as well when I played people more than once due to PS's weird ladder, as they knew the set. But still, I found it effective in a large percentage of my matches. I'd say the element of surprise plays a huge factor, you literally do not know what to expect. One move or play that your opponent does not expect can completely mess with their head, and completely disregard any momentum they have prior.
(For Hall of Fame members only) How did you reach the Hall of Fame? Was it easy or difficult? Did having a Dark Horse Pokemon on your team benefit you? What advice would you give to those laddering with Dark Horse Pokemon?
Completing the challenge itself wasn't so hard, but trying to make an effective team was. Like I said before, I lost 3 matches right from the get go due to a bad set, which messed with other elements of my team. That bad set meant I lost a huge defensive member of the team, which left me wide open to offense. Every time Genesect switched in, something died, which really annoyed me to no end. Once I changed the set, I won over 95% of the matches I played with this current version of the team which really goes to show how important good teambuilding is. As for the actual laddering etc, it really wasn't difficult. My team had a pretty neutral matchup against most teams, meaning if I played smart I would win pretty convincingly. Under the radar sets like Normal Gem Mew really played a big part in my success, as I could easily remove one Pokemon instantly with no trouble. Should this Pokemon be a good answer for Keldeo / Landorus, then I can sweep easily when they're removed. If you want to do well on this challenge, I'd highly recommend making a team solely based around your Dark Horse. Providing it with correct team support is necessary, as you may find that in most matches you start at a 5-6 disadvantage as your Dark Horse cannot do anything. There is no other Pokemon in the game that could do what Lanturn does for this team, and that is what sets it apart from all the other Pokemon I could've used. Find something with a niche, something unique and go for it.