|Jan 13th, 2013, 10:16:30 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Rushing Through The Sand - A Smogon Doubles RMT
Rushing Through The SandImportable:
Obligatory reading: Smogon Doubles Metagame Info
Hey Smogon! I'm back with another RMT, and this time it's for the newly formed Smogon Doubles tier. Recently, Zarel added a Smogon Doubles ladder to Pokemon Showdown, and I decided to post a team I've been having success with to commemorate that, as well as to hopefully help bring attention to a fun and amazing tier, show that Sand is viable even in a metagame with weather threats like DrizzleSwim and Blaziken, and give players new to the tier an idea of what it's like (or a team to try it with if they so choose) while also featuring pokemon that I like and think and think should receive more usage. In terms of accomplishments, this team also took first place in a mini-tournament hosted by Articblast on PS! (too lazy to ladder with it, so it doesn't have any ladder peaks, but it is definitely capable of doing well on the ladder as) as well as doing well against higher-level Doubles players. I've decided to post this team so I could focus on trying other playstyles, as well as to give people an idea of what a solid Sand team looks like (and because I like making RMTs). The teambuilding of this team was fairly formulaic, with me simply choosing to go with the Singles Sand formula of 1 Sand Setter, 1 Sweeper, and 2 Water Resists and basing my choices around that. Anyways, onto the team:
The Team (Note: Changes in bold)
Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
IVs: 0 Spd
- Rock Slide
- Low Kick
Tyranitar was the first pokemon I went with for this team, since I obviously needed a Sand inducer to make a Sand team. Plenty of people have also been testing Hippowdon, but I think Tyranitar does multiple things that make it superior. It KOes Psychics and Ghost-types with it's powerful Crunch, which helps the team combat opposing Trick Room teams, since most common TR setters are Psychic and Ghost. One Psychic in particular it can help get rid of is Cresselia, which could potentially get in the way of Excadrill if left to do what it wants, as well as making life for the team hard through the use of support moves like Light Screen, Reflect, etc. Another thing it has going for it is higher attack than Hippowdon, letting it dish out more damage with its attacks. The EV spread is pretty basic, basically being designed for it to be as bulky and powerful as possible. Also, it can actually take advantage of the sand it sets with the 50% SDef boost it gets under Sandstorm. A Brave nature and 0 speed IVs help it get the jump on opposing weather starters if you lead with it, causing sandstorm to be put up. Chople Berry helps cover it's Fighting weakness, letting it check Psychics and Ghosts more effectively (as they usually have Focus Blast) and live through some weaker STAB Fighting attacks. Crunch and Rock Slide are the obligatory STAB moves, with Rock Slide giving useful spread coverage and a nifty flinch chance, Low Kick is to hit Steels that resist the first two moves, and Protect lets me scout moves, prevent Tyranitar from taking damage for a turn, and stalling out things like Trick Room and Tailwind.
Excadrill @ Life Orb
Trait: Sand Rush
EVs: 60 HP / 252 Atk / 196 Spd
- Rock Slide
Excadrill. The king, a generally badass looking pokemon, and this team's lategame sweeper. This was the second pokemon I chose for the team, and I have yet to regret it. Not only is Excadrill very powerful with it's 135 base Attack, it also gets its Speed doubled in Sand, which was why I chose to use it over other Sand sweepers such as Landorus and Terrakion. A LO boosted Earthquake is nothing to joke about, and can put lots of hurt on an opponent's team, as well as being a spread move. Although it hits every pokemon on the field, which include its ally, 3/6 pokemon on the team have Levitate anyways, so it rarely becomes a huge problem. Between Earthquake and its two other moves, not much can stand up to Excadrill's might, and the few things that can are eliminated by Excadrill's teammates. By the time the rest of the team is done with your opponent, they should be too weakened to stop an Excadrill in Sand. Rock Slide gives Excadrill EdgeQuake coverage and a way to hit things that are unaffected by Earthquake. X-Scissors hits things such as Cresselia and Latios that could otherwise halt an Excadrill sweep, thus its inclusion on the set. The EVs let it outspeed up to Scarf Terrakion in the Sand, with the rest being put into bulk and attack, and a Life Orb is used to ensure the maximum amount of power on for its attacks.
Cresselia @ Chesto Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 28 SAtk / 230 SDef
IVs: 0 Atk
- Icy Wind
- Helping Hand
Cresselia is easily one of the best pokemon in the tier right now. It's as good as it is beautiful (which is to say very very good). Outside of just being very bulky, it has a great ability in Levitate and a slew of great support moves, such as Helping Hand and Dual Screens. It checks many threats that could otherwise be tricky to handle, such as Fighting types, as well as just being a good mixed wall in general. Seriously though, if you're looking for a support mon, Cresselia should be one of your first choices. Levitate also helps it be a good check to opposing Sand sweepers as well as avoiding my Excadrill's Earthquake. Psyshock gives it a STAB attack and makes sure it can do something if it's Taunted, Icy Wind helps against faster teams by lowering the Speed of opposing mons so my pokemon can land a hit first, as well as hitting Dragon, Flying and Grass Types for good damage at the same time. Rest helps form the age-old ChestoRest combo, which cures Cresselia of status and brings it back to full health so it can keep doing its job, and since games are usually shorter in Doubles, getting off one Rest is usually all that's needed for Cresselia to continue doing its job of supporting the team. Helping Hand helps give its partner a 50% attack boost, which can be useful to get a KO you might otherwise not. The EVs allow it to be bulkier on the special side, with 28 SpAtk EVs being to ensure a 2HKO on 252 HP Hitmontop and Hariyama (why that's not standard is beyond me, because those are pretty important if something is to act as a Fighting check)
Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Thunder Wave
The little washing machine that could. This was originally added as a Rain check as well as providing a Water attack, and has become an incredibly valuable member of the team. Since it resists Water and Flying attacks while being able to hit back with powerful STAB Thunderbolts and crippling Swift Swimmers with Thunder Wave, it can easily threaten standard Rain teams. It also helps against Sun and Sand teams, as Levitate helps it dodge Earthquakes from sand and Hydro Pump hits common members of Sun and Sand teams for super effective damage. Outside of being an obligatory STAB move, Hydro Pump provides a water attack for this team, which is a great offensive type. I originally had Discharge > Thunderbolt, but it limited my offensive options too much so I switched to Thunderbolt and haven't regretted it. It serves as a secondary STAB and provides nice coverage, as well as being a more accurate option if I don't wanna gamble on Hydro Pump. Thunder Wave cripples a fast sweeper and stops them from outspeeding my team in their respective weather, as well as helping with the fact that this team has plenty of members with middling speed, and Protect is Protect (if you want a better explanation it's the same as for T-Tar). Sitrus Berry is very useful, as in Doubles games aren't lasting that long, so the 25% boost is always very useful to rejuvenate Rotom-W and allow it to keep threatening the opposing team.
Hitmontop (M) @ Fighting Gem
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Sucker Punch
- Wide Guard
Hitmontop is another amazing support mon. There's never a game where this doesn't put in work for me, whether it's through Fake Out, or wasting an opponent's attack through Wide Guard, this thing is consistently amazing. It's something to be considered on many teams, and it's little wonder it's so common in VGC, because it performs well in Doubles as well. Fake Out seems to be a waste of a slot to the inexperienced, but in reality it's one of the best moves in the tier. It lets you halt an opponent's move for the whole turn, which in the fast-paced world of Doubles can be enough to KO something. Fake Out can incapacitate a threatening pokemon and then let your opponent finish it off so it can't pose problems later, as well as forcing Protects and dealing that last bit of damage. Close Combat is the STAB move of choice, and does good damage to neutral targets, as well as threatening out things that are weak to it. Sucker Punch gives it even more priority, and hits faster threats as well as making sure this set isn't completely useless against Ghost-Types. Wide Guard is really useful on this team. It prevents Hitmontop and its teammate from taking damage from spread moves for the duration of that turn. Basically, your opponent can use something like Heat Wave or Rock Slide and nothing will happen to your Pokemon. Better yet, if they use Surf or Earthquake, only their mon will take damage. It helps protect things like Tyranitar from common spread moves that could otherwise deal large amounts of damage to it. Intimidate is also a useful ability to help cushion the blows of and potentially neuter the many powerful physical threats in the tier, and also helps mons like Cresselia survive for even longer than they otherwise would. 252 HP is to make it as bulky as possible and 252 Atk lets it hit as hard as possible. Fighting Gem replaced Leftovers since although the recovery every turn was useful, Fighting Gem lets a boosted Close Combat OHKO/Do significant damage to many things it hits neutrally, making Hitmontop a nuke for one turn, which can be very useful (An example is that it severely weakens Rotom-W, a major counter to Excadrill) .
Latias (F) @ Draco Plate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Dragon Pulse
Latias was the toughest member to put imo. I had two other mons before it, but neither did what I needed then to do. Latias was put here because the team needed a secondary Rain check, and it hasn't let me down yet. This thing isn't getting nearly enough use imo. It's just too great at what it does.Latias > Latios by a lot. It was chosen over Latios due to the fact that it has better bulk, which would allow it to stay in the battle for longer and better check the dangerous weather threats that it needs to. It also acts as a secondary check to Fighting-types and helps eliminate opposing Dragons. Thanks to the useful resists to Fire and Grass given by its Dragon typing, Latias can also effectively check Sun team as well, not taking much damage from the STAB moves of common Sun sweepers while being able to deal a lot of damage in return. Levitate lets it come in on opposing Earthquakes and be unaffected by those fired off by my own Excadrill. Dragon Pulse is used as its main STAB move. Psyshock is a secondary STAB and also served to let it muscle past mons with a higher Special Defense than Defense. Tailwind replaced HP Fire after DTC's suggestion since after a lot of time to test it, although life against Scizor did get harder, Tailwind significantly eased my matchup against opposing weather teams, helped keep speedy sweepers in check, and even netted me some surprise KOs if my opponent forgot Tailwind was active so I could outspeed and KO an important mon, making Tailwind a superior choice all in all. I used Tailwind when using this team in various tournamets and it has yet to disappoint.I needed an item to let it have increased offensive presence without having the one time effect of a gem or the recoil from a Life Orb + Sandstorm, so Draco Plate ended up being the best choice for my needs.
Vs Rain - Watch out for Kingdra/Ludicolo. A T-Wave from Rotom-W can put them in their place, and Latias can weather Rain-Boosted water attacks pretty well. Hitmontop is a great mon to lead with, since if they lead with Politoed you can Fake Out and then eliminate it with the other pokemon, as well as since it can use Wide Guard to make your opponent damage only their teammate with Surf, which comes in handy. That's also a good strategy to use against opposing weather sweepers, as most rain teams only carry 1-2 anyways, so once it goes down the match is alot easier. Keep Tyranitar in the wings until you've dealt enough damage to Politoed unless it's absolutely necessary. Things like Tornadus are easily dealt with through Tyranitar and Rotom-W scaring them out.
Vs Sun- Similar to the rain matchup in alot of ways. The fact that Fire-types are weak to Rock Slide and Earthquake make this easier. Rotom-W puts alot of pressure on them between being able to scare Ninetales out and being able to make Chlorophyll users useless with a T-Wave. Cresselia can also hit Grass types with Icy Wind for super-effective damage while also slowing them down and reducing the speed boost from Chlorophyll. Tyranitar is alot easier to switch around here since it resists Fire and forces Solarbeam to charge once it comes in (although watch out for Will-O-Wisp, as it will neuter its offensive presence). Also, changing the weather once puts alot of pressure on them, as their sweepers are typically pretty frail and are easy prey outside of their Sun based Speed boosts.
Vs Sand - This is the easiest matchup for this team to me, simply due to the amount of ways there are to threaten opposing Sand on this team. There are three Levitate mons, which makes life hard for Excadrill. Also, Rotom-W is a pretty good Excadrill and Landorus check, and Cresselia checks Landorus and non X-Scissors Excadrill as well. Rotom-W also KOs many members of Sand teams with its Hydro Pump, such as Hippowdon and Excadrilll, while being immune to their STABs. Hitmontop hurts the power of their sweepers with Intimidate, since Sand sweepers are all physically based, can block Rock Slide and Earthquake with Wide Guard, and it can threaten Tyranitar with Close Combat. Terrakion can be handled by Cresselia, and can also be outsped and KOd with Psyshock by Latias. Latias also outspeeds Landorus as well, and hits it hard with a Dragon Pulse. The only thing Latias has to watch out for on Sand teams is Tyranitar, since it can Crunch it for heavy damage (same goes for Cresselia). The fact that Sand will be up quickly also helps Excadrill, since when opposing weather sweepers are down, it can rampage through the opposing Sand team with its powerful Earthquake.
Vs Trick Room - This is the most difficult matchup for the team imo. Tyranitar and Cresselia become even more important here, as they're able to handle the Psychics, Ghosts, and Fightings commonly found on Trick Room teams. If they manage to set up Trick Room, Protect is very useful to limit the amount of turns they have to use it. Hitmontop is also very important initially as it can use Fake Out to stop your opponent from using Trick Room, allowing your partner to quickly KO it and deprive your opponent's team of it. Also, once Trick Room is gone and their setters are down, it's very easy to outspeed their members, so being ready to take advantage of turns when Trick Room is down is very important. This team also has a few slower members such as Tyranitar that can potentially take advantage of Trick Room, so trying to make the most of them is great. Being sure to be mindful of how many turns Trick Room is in effect and adjusting your strategy accordingly is also very important, as a mistake made forgetting that Trick Room is in effect can and usually will cost you the game.
Vs Hail - Hail is another tricky matchup. Abomasnow can deal good damage to most members of the team with Ice and Grass STABs (especially as Blizzard is a spread move) on top of the fact that Ice is already a fantastic offensive type. Kyurem can also threaten portions of the team with its STABs and various coverage moves. Hitmontop is important since most Pokemon that take advantage of Hail are Ice-Types and thus are weak to its Close Combat, as well as the facts that it can use Wide Guard to block Blizzards for its teammates. Tyranitar and Excadrill having Rock type spread moves comes into play as well. Latias can be useful as a player not expecting an HP Fire can end up losing their Abomasnow, making the match a lot easier for you. Basically, getting rid of the pokemon on the team that spam Blizzard is the easiest path to victory, as without them Hail teams lack alot of their offensive pressure for the most part.
Overall, I've enjoyed using this team, and it's helped expand my knowledge of the tier. I hope that this RMT helps get others to try what is a fun and enjoyable tier (there's a ladder now, so you have no reason not to). Any feedback on the team would be appreciated, so feel free to rate, hate, luvdisc, etc. Also, a shoutout to everyone on #doubles for making the tier that much more of a joy to play, for making it alot easier to test this team and get better at the tier, and for just being generally amazing people.
Intro to things I like/use:
Last.fm (new)| Pojo | Dueling Network | PS | Downton Abbey | Once Upon a Time | Cartoons | Movies | Harry Potter | Finance | #doubles | #neverused
PM/VM me for an NU rate! Also free Emboar. #banRU
Last edited by Audiosurfer; Apr 2nd, 2013 at 7:52:32 PM. Reason: Slight Team Changes
|Jan 15th, 2013, 10:00:30 PM||#2|
Join Date: May 2011
Solid team. I only have one suggestion.
Hidden Power Fire does not hit that much on Latias. While it does hit Scizor, who is pretty dangerous for this team otherwise, it does not hit much else, and there are a lot of other nifty move options that Latias has. I recommend Tailwind over it for another form of Speed control.
As of now, Latias is your best rain / sun check. Using Tailwind > Hidden Power Fire further exemplifies its prowess in this role, because it can boost the Speed of all your Pokemon in crucial moments where you cannot get Tyranitar in (or if it has fainted already) and there are Pokemon with Swift Swim/Chlorophyll out. I would say the easier match-up against rain and sun is worth more than beating Scizor without too much difficulty.
Good tier you are playing. ;) Cheers
|Jan 18th, 2013, 12:04:30 AM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Thanks for the rate DTC :)
Yeah, when I picked HP Fire I basically had Scizor weakness in mind. I didn't know Latias got Tailwind though, so I'll be sure to try that out since it seems like a cool idea. Having your speed doubled is always great, especially since this team isn't the fastest outside of Excadrill.