Utilities for Specific Teams: Spikes
There are three types of entry hazards, Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes, and each has their advantages. This post is going to be about one of the most useful and arguably most dangerous of the three. Spikes has advantage of hitting all grounded Pokemon for 12.5%, 16.67%, or 25% depending on one, two or three layers, respectively. Pokemon that avoid Spikes damage are Flying-types, and Pokemon with Levitate and Magic Guard abilities. The biggest difference with Spikes and Stealth Rock is that Spikes has the potential to cause a constant amount of damage, and possibly outdamage Stealth Rock, depending on the opposing Pokemon's typing. Toxic Spikes is a more slow-working hazard, and benefits slower, more defensive teams, whereas Spikes are useful, predominately, for offensive teams. Additionally, hazard damage is how Stall teams beat the opposition, as the constant damage count can easily stack up.
The main users of Spikes in RU are: Accelgor, Crustle, Ferroseed, Qwilfish, Roselia, Scolipede, and Smergle. There are other viable
Spikes users, but the ones listed have the most utility-value in RU. As you can see, there is about a mix of offensive and defensive setters, which means that offensive and defensive teams alike can take advantage of this great attack.
A general strategy is to stack Spikes as fast as possible and start with the offensive pressure. This is typically done using Smergle, Scolipede, Accelgor, or Crustle, as they can provide pressure. Smergle can use Spore and guarantee at least one layer of Spikes. Crustle has the benefit of being able to lay down Stealth Rock and Spikes, and has Shell Smash to be an instant fierce attacker; Sturdy lets Crustle live at least one attack and do what it likes. Scolipede is a quick Pokemon that can set both Spikes and Toxic Spikes and provide an offensive presence, which means that it is a great lead, or mid-game setter. Accelgor has a blazing fast base 140 Speed, so it almost always be able to set up Spikes, in addition, Accelgor has a modest Special Attack so it's no slouch either.
There are slower, yet more reliable Spikes setters as well. Crustle has the ability to set up hazards multiple times thanks to its high base Defense. Ferroseed has excellent defenses, and a great defensive typing so it can reliably set up Spikes, Stealth Rock, Leech Seed, you name it. Qwilfish is a great defensive tank thanks to Intimidate, which lets it switch into physical attackers with ease, and setup Spikes. Roselia is similar to Qwilfish, but tanks special attacks with ease, thanks to her high Special Defense.
There is no use to having Spikes if the opponent just uses Rapid Spin and ruins many turns of setup. To help combat this, a Spinblocker is needed or in other words, Ghost-types. Predominate Ghost-types in RU are: Rotom, Misdreavus, and Spiritomb. Rotom is better suited for an offensively inclined team, as its defenses are as high as the other two, but as a great special attack prowess. Misdreavus is on the other side, as her Evolite-boosted bulk lets her tank any hit with ease, and make sure Rapid Spinners don't get past her. Spiritomb is a mix of both; it can take the defensive route with RestTalk, or a support set, or go offensive with a Choice Band or Calm Mind set. In the end, their primary job on a Spikes-team is to keep Spikes down!
Also keep in mind that there are other Spikes setters too, but they typically need more support than the ones listed. Pokemon that fall in this category are: Garbodor, Glalie, Cacturne, Maractus, and Omastar; each has their own niche that only they can fill!
Does everyone think that Spikes are important, or a waste of time, and rather attack in the turns they are being set up? Or is their important diminished due to good Rapid Spinners like Kabutops and Cryogonal?