Rain offense has been one of the most prevalent playstyles in Ubers for a long time. This is of course no surprise, since Kyogre is the king of Ubers, but what exactly makes rain offense so viable? Today we're going to take a closer look at rain offense, how it works, what its weaknesses are, and how to beat them.
First, a quick run-down on some (keyword: some) rain offense Pokemon.
If you're using rain offense, you're using Kypogre, period. Often one of the big decisions when building a rain team is what kind of Kyogre set to run. Generally rain offense will choose between Kyogre's two Choice sets, but there are certainly other options.
- Choice Scarf: Choice Scarf Kyogre is used primarily for revenge-killing Mewtwo, Darkrai, and a host of un-Scarfed Pokemon. It can also sweep lategame on its own thanks to its powerful Surf, or in the more unlikely case that its HP and PP have been conserved, the devastating Water Spout. Generally rain offense teams with Choice Scarf Kyogre are less likely to run Swift Swimmers.
- Choice Specs: While Choice Scarf Kyogre plays more of a reactive role, Choice Specs Kyogre is proactive in that it just smashes things in. Water Spout does absolutely devastating amounts of damage now, 2HKOing Ferrothorn and Chansey. Palkia must be wary of Thunder, while Giratina and Lati@s do not want to switch in on Ice Beam. Crippling safe switch-ins to Water-type attacks makes cleaning up with a Swift Swimmer, etc. much easier. Crippling Ferrothorn also makes it more difficult for the opponent to handle Dragon-type attacks.
- Other: Thunder Wave / Restalk / Calm Mind, etc. Thunder Wave has become much more relevant with the reintroduction of Soul Dew, as Latias is one of the best answers to Kyogre available. Crippling her makes things much easier for an un-Scarfed Palkia, Dialga, Rayquaza, etc. Calm Mind is a less common option but very threatening, providing much of the same power of Specs Kyogre, with the freedom to switch moves. Restalk is a bit out of place on rain offense, but keeping Kyogre alive is essential to a Swift Swimmer's utility, so a team dependant on those might find the longevity of the set to their liking.
Palkia is an iconic Choice Scarf user. Its base 100 Speed and quadruple resistance to Water-type attacks make it very easy to slot into a team. The introduction of Genesect has placed its ability to revenge kill Dragon Dance Rayquaza in lower demand. However, Palkia's single higher base Speed point makes it able to revenge kill Choice Scarf Genesect itself. Palkia's also quite the powerhouse, making excellent use of its signature Lustrous Orb or a pair of Choice Specs.
- Choice Scarf: Palkia's most identifiable set. Its ability to revenge kill Rayquaza and Genesect is quite beneficial, and its resistances make it easy to slot into teams other than rain offense. With rain support Palkia can function as a cleaner with double-STAB Surf. While BW Scarf sets have historically been special attackers, the return of Soul Dew has caused some to start running Outrage again.
- Lustrous Orb: Due to the widespread use of the Scarf set, Palkia can bluff very well with its signature item. Palkia can net surprise KOes on Pokemon thinking they are safe against a Palkia locked into a resisted move. The Orb's boost to Water-type attacks amplifies Palkia's rain-boosted power, making tanking Surfs from it even more daunting, especially when a good portion of the Dragon-types in the metagame are slower than it. Lustrous Orb Palkia is quite effective at combating other weathers, sun in particular. Removing Ferrothorn from the game can also be a great boon.
- Choice Specs: Similar to Specs Kyogre, this set aims to bludgeon opponents with absurdly powerful Draco Meteors and rain-boosted Hydro Pumps. While its power is nothing to scoff at, the allure of this set has diminished ever since Kyurem-W hit town, and overall Lustrous Orb Palkia is probably more effective.
Ferrothorn has deeply ingrained itself in the BW Ubers metagame. Its advantageous typing, access to Spikes, and very good bulk all make it an appealing team player. Rain teams value its services moreso than most others. Ferrothorn provides entry hazards to wear down the opponent, and it itself greatly appreciates having its Fire-type weakness decreased. Its Grass-STAB canbe used to smash Kyogre or Swift Swimmers, or it can use Gyro Ball to nail Kyurem-W and others. Thunder Wave is a very helpful option, slowing faster threats such as Lati@s, Rayquaza (very helpful when using Swift Swimmers), or Palkia. Rain is a slight double-edged sword though, since it makes Water-type attacks a little bit harder to switch into.
Kingdra functions similarly to Palkia. It loses out on a fair amount of power, but the doubled Speed can make it difficult for offensive teams to handle, although it dislikes the prevalence of Ferrothorn. Kingdra can go mixed, use Dragon Dance, or use Choice Specs. it can be quite deadly once resistances are worn down, and can act as a potent revenge-killer.
Kabutops's primary advantage over most other Swift Swimmers is its Rock-typing. It grants it a resistance to ExtremeSpeed, allowing Kabutops to revenge kill weakened EXtreme Killer Arceus. Rock-typing also grants Kabutops a useful secondary STAB in Stone Edge. Kabutops is primarily a revenge-killer, but it also has access to to the coveted Rapid Spin. Choice Band is the safest revenge-killer due to the increased power and lack of recoil, but a Life Orb makes Kabutops far more threatening late-game and gives it more freedom to use Rapid Spin.
This list is by no means all-inclusive (intentionally), so if there's a Pokemon not listed here that you want to talk about then by all means go ahead.
Some more things to talk about
Three kinds of rain offense execution:
: Focuses on wearing down Water-type resistances and then finishes off the opponent with Water-type Scarf users or Swift Swimmers.
: Takes advantage of the prevalence of Ferrothorn, and wears down both Water-type resists and Steel-types (both in the case of Ferrothorn), and eventually takes advantage to punch holes in the opponent's team. This kind of team can include Dragon-types that don't directly benefit much from rain, such as Kyurem-W or Rayquaza.
: This denotes teams that aren't overly focused on abusing rain but feature Kyogre and perhaps some Pokemon equipped with Thunder, etc. Should these types of teams be labeled as rain offense? Discuss.
Threats to rain offense, such as: Groudon, Ferrothorn, Palkia, Dialga, Arceus formes, etc. What kind of Pokemon or playstyles do you feel rain teams struggle against? How can rain teams get around these threats?