Four Pillars So here we have my first RMT, and my rather blandly named team, 'Four Pillars'. I named it so because it contains what I consider the staples of any self-respecting sand team in DWOU: Tyranitar, Garchomp, Excadrill and Chandelure. This team has a checkered past, beginning life in PO's DW tier with a slightly different lineup. I put it on hiatus after Excadrill was banned, as using Sandslash in its stead just didn't cut it. But after learning of Smogon's DW tier through the Smog, I quickly gave the team a second chance, and it's come back with a bang. I immediately substituted Gothitelle and Sand Veil Gliscor with their respective upgrades, Chandelure and Garchomp, and dropped Scizor as it was deemed surplus to requirements in such a demanding tier. I employed all manner of pokes in the vacant teamslot, even Insomnia Ariados as a counter to Breloom with limited success, before finally settling on Hitmontop. I admit it was rather underwhelming at first, but it's really come into its own since. ==================================== RAWR @ Focus Sash Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 208 HP / 44 Atk / 252 SAtk / 4 Spd Quiet Nature (+SAtk, -Spd) - Pursuit - Superpower - Flamethrower - Ice Beam ==================================== Ah, Tyranitar: the sinister instigator of all the carnage; the cornerstone on which my team's major threats rely on to function. There's no denying Ttar is first and foremost a team player, but it has no trouble dishing out the pain either. Which variant of TTar to use was never up for discussion - Mixtar is the most common and with good reason - which moves, nature, EV's and item to use, however, is up for debate. On that front I did a lot of tinkering: originally I had Stealth Rock and EQ beside the obligatory fire and ice coverage, then Thunderbolt over SR to hit Politoed on the switch-in, but currently I am using Pursuit and Superpower. Pursuit because I was getting sick of Chandelure picking off my team, and Superpower to OHKO Excadrill and opposing TTar. I customized the attack EV's to give me a good chance of achieving these OHKO's. I found that maximising SpA was the best option, as Flamethrower and Ice Beam get alot of use and it means I don't have to rely on Fire Blast to get a OHKO on Ferrothorn and Skarmory. 4 speed EV's are used to speed creep other negative speed TTar, and the remaining EV's go in HP, providing sufficient bulk. As long as it can take at least one Hydro Pump from Politoed, I'm happy. As for the held item, I experimented with Shed Shell and Chople Berry before trying Focus Sash, which turned out to be the most useful. While it seems contradictory to give it HP EV's as well, TTar is never going to survive something like a +2 Exca EQ anyway, and the sash is often the only thing preventing an opponent from sweeping. ==================================== SIRCHOMPALOT @ Salac Berry Trait: Sand Veil EVs: 240 HP / 16 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Substitute - Swords Dance - Earthquake - Dragon Claw ==================================== I'm sitting on the fence when it comes to whether Garchomp should be banned, or at least Sand Veil Chomp - being able to win a game solely because of some luck-based ability seems dubious to me. But as long as I can, I will keep using the best abuser: my Rough Skin plus Rocky Helmet version will have to wait. Other than sandstorm support, Garchomp is largely self-sufficient. How to use it isn't exactly rocket science: come in on something slower, fish for misses and hopefully pick up an SD and/or speed boost, proceed to sweep. This beast is more than capable of single-handedly turning a game around at the whim of the RNG. The EV's and nature are to maximise speed. I use 240 HP EV's so it can put up four subs before the Salac Berry activates, as well as keeping 101 subs. When it comes to Garchomp, bulky is better for me. The leftover EV's go into attack, giving it a nice round stat of 300. As for the item, I have to admit I saw some other high ranked player using it and decided to rip it off. At +1 speed Garchomp outspeeds pretty much everything bar Exca in sand, but the most important are Scarf Chandelure and Genesect. One thing I have to watch out for though is Ditto as I'm screwed if it copies the speed boost too, as I've found out to my dismay... ==================================== I EAT BABIES @ Air Balloon Trait: Sand Rush EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Swords Dance - Earthquake - Rock Slide - Rapid Spin ==================================== What's there to say really? Exca is an absolute boss that can sweep through a large chunk of the metagame and whatever doesn't gets trapped by Chandelure. There isn't much room for variation on Exca; the only choices I had to make was Rapid Spin in the last moveslot and Air Balloon as the held item, both of which have served me well up to this point. An intact Air Balloon is like a second life against EQ users, and Rapid Spin is doubly important now that I run Sashtar. ==================================== COMEATMEBRO @ Choice Scarf Trait: Shadow Tag EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Overheat - Shadow Ball - Hidden Power [Ice] - Energy Ball ==================================== Again there's not much to say about the ghoulish chandelier, other than that it's ruthlessly efficient at what it does. There's few discrepencies over the set either, although I changed Flamethrower to Energy ball; and in fact I have lost many a game due to an ill-timed Overheat miss since; but the trade-off of not packing Energy Ball or HP Ice is too great. Energy Ball is for the bulky Ground/Waters who I'd otherwise have trouble dealing with, and HP Ice is for Gliscor and Dragonite. ==================================== MAGCARGO @ Expert Belt Trait: Storm Drain EVs: 240 HP / 252 SAtk / 16 SDef Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Earth Power - Surf - Ice Beam - Recover ==================================== A stalwart on my team since its conception, Gastrodon plays a vital role, being my only poke with a water immunity, let alone a resistance. For that reason I have to use it cautiously against rain teams as it is the ace up my sleeve in the perpetual weather war. A rare sight in DW and totally underrated, the offensive variant is rarer still. With 240 HP EV's it's still pretty bulky, able to recover off Latios' Draco Meteors and seldom getting OHKO'd by random HP Grasses. I don't know why it has 16 SpD EVs, I just copied it off the Specs set on the Smogon page lol. It picks up Storm Drain boosts with alarming frequency - Ttar and Chandelure are absolute magnets for water type attacks. Between a Modest nature, maximum SpA EV's and Expert Belt, little can withstand a super-effective hit or even a neutral one from Gastrodon at +1. And it has fantastic coverage courtesy of its STAB attacks and Ice Beam. Expert Belt is used to bluff Specs, but mainly it's for giving Ice beam some much appreciated oomph against Dragon and Flying types. ==================================== CAPOEIRA @ Life Orb Trait: Technician EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Fake Out - Mach Punch - Low Sweep - Sucker Punch ==================================== Despite inhabiting the relative recesses of UU, the diminutive figure of Hitmontop stands tall, unfazed by the company of heavyweights it keeps in the heady heights of DWOU. Without a doubt, Hitmontop is my team's designated giant-killer. Armed with a deceptively strong array of Technician-boosted priority moves, he can take down rampant DW goliaths such as Excadrill and Blaziken with one fell swoop of Fake Out and Mach Punch. I can imagine these powerhouses wide-eyed and stunned, so accustomed to dominating the rest of the metagame, now powerless to resist the most unlikely of foes. For the second STAB move I opted for Low Sweep over Close Combat as I dislike the defense drop. 90 Base Power Low Sweep is nothing to be scoffed at either, and everything without a Fighting resist struggles to sponge a chain of Low Sweeps. A one-two punch of Fake Out and Low Sweep, for example, deals upwards of 75% damage to Genesect and Keldeo(!) - importantly putting them within KO range of Excadrill's and Garchomp's EQ's - as well as cooly dispatching Breloom. There is the added benefit of the speed drop Low Sweep induces, which keeps the plethora of setup sweepers in the tier from getting out of control, and sets up a routine revenge kill for Chandelure. Sucker Punch in the last slot is indisputable because it hits the likes of Alakazam, Latios, Gengar and Chandelure for super-effective damage, often netting a KO. While residual life orb and sandstorm damage quickly take their toll on Hitmontop, it still serves its niche incredibly well as a full stop to the mons who would otherwise plough through my team. It's amazing how perfectly Hitmontop has fitted into a teamslot I had so much trouble filling priorly. What I had initially thought to be an inferior alternative to Technician Breloom has turned out to far exceed it, due to its greater bulk and access to Sucker Punch. ==================================== Weaknesses ============== Although they may be few, my team has some very significant weaknesses. Since Chandelure counters threats that would otherwise wreck my team, Shed Shell variants of Skarmory and Breloom (yes it exists), and Agility Sand Veil Gliscor (the sole user of which has repeatedly thrashed me), trouble my team to no end. And once Hitmontop is down and Ttar has its sash broken, Excadrill and Blaziken (especially Air Balloon variants) are nigh-on unstoppable. Unfortunately for me, all the aforementioned weaknesses are seemingly exposed against the highest ranked players.