TOC Trick Room in the Fifth Generation Trick Room may seem like the perfect anti-metagame style, as it reverses the speed oriented standard play. However, theorymon is often dashed in practice. The powerful threats, both new and old, can plow through Trick Roomers and leave them unable to twist the dimensions. One must play Trick Room strategically for it to be a truly potent anti-metagame threat. Facts First: -5 PP, with a maximum of 8 This is rarely an issue for Trick Room teams, as using Trick Room more than 8 times is nearly impossible. -lowest priority at -7 This is a huge part of why Trick Room is hard to pull off. With Trick Room going after every move in existence, even Roar and Whirlwind, Trick Room users must be sturdy enough to take a few hits. -speed inverted for 5 turns This is the reason to use Trick Room, turning the fast paced metagame on its head and rendering many offensive threats dead weight for 5 turns. However, 5 turns is another reason it is so hard to pull off; you have to constantly switch and subject your setters to wear and tear. Furthermore, no items can boosts the effects to 8 turns, like Damp Rock and Heat Rock do for Rain Dance and Sunny Day. -priority unchanged Another issue to the success of Trick Room, priority remaining the same means certain sweepers can still be revenge killed. -any Pokemon with 1809 speed or higher goes first, even under Trick Room This is an interesting glitch discovered by our researchers, and no one knows why this is the number. Just watch out for the Choice Scarf Ninjask! Pokemon: Arceus -versatile, Extremekiller doesn't care about speed Deoxys some forme -probably D Dialga Dialga is perhaps the best user and abuser of Trick Room in the Uber tier. Base 90 Speed means that with a negative nature and 0 IVs, Dialga can "outspeed" most of the tier under Trick Room. Those that are slower, such as Ferrothorn, can do little to hurt this steel dragon. It has stellar bulk and decent typing (weakness to Ground-type moves is the most problematic), meaning it has plenty of opportunities to sponge hits aimed at your other members: Grass Knot aimed at Kyogre, for example. It can then proceed to set up Trick Room and fire off powerful attacks from its base 150 Special Attack. Because of its threatening presence with a variety of coverage moves such as Fire Blast, Thunder, Earth Power, and Draco Meteor, Dialga can force switches, giving it an essentially free turn to set up Trick Room or throw up Stealth Rock. So long as you watch out for powerful Earthquakes and Fighting-type moves, Dialga can stick around and function effectively both in and out of Trick Room. Kyogre Possessing perhaps the largest damage output in the game, Kyogre is no stranger to Trick Room teams. The main problems of that insanely powerful Water Spout are Kyogre's lack of Speed and two Water Absorb Pokemon, Gastrodon and Quagsire. The latter two are not issues, and Trick Room essentially fixes the former. Without needing to worry about annoying Choice Scarf Zekrom, Kyogre can safely spew its Water Spouts to eliminate tough walls, paving the way for others to sweep. That isn't all, however. Kyogre has great coverage in two other moves, Thunder and Ice Beam, and has reliable back-up Water-type moves in Surf and Hydro Pump. Furthermore, its special bulk means it isn't out of the water when Trick Room is down. Without the need for Speed, Kyogre isn't forced to run Choice Scarf to outpace Arceus formes, other Choice Scarf users, Deoxys, and Mewtwo, among others. The item can then further power up Kyogre's moves; Choice Specs is great for raw power, while a Water-type boosting item can feign a Choice and catch the opponent off guard. If you're fishing for a Trick Room abuser with immediate raw power, great coverage, and little drawback, reel when a huge shadow presents itself beneath the surface. Reshiram With celestial dual-STAB in Dragon and Fire and Turboblaze, which leaves its coverage unresisted, it's a shame Reshiram doesn't have base 150 Attack to annihilate Chansey and Blissey. Base 150 Special Attack is by no means bad, however, even if the two pink nurses sponge such hits. Combine this with a signature attack, Blue Flare, and Draco Meteor, and you have one dragon that has virtually no problems sweeping under Trick Room. With Groudon as a partner, Reshiram receives not only a boost to its Fire-type moves, but also a partner to take down specially defensive walls and vice versa. Reshiram's base 120 Attack is not horrible either, meaning a mixed set is viable if special walls are really a problem. While a weakness to Stealth Rock takes away from its par-Uber bulk, Reshiram doesn't need many turns or many switches to raze the fields. Palkia Palkia is an odd choice for Trick Room given its base 100 Speed. However, being that "slow" does not hold it back noticeably: with 0 IVs and a negative nature, Palkia will not be "outsped" but anything of importance. With great dual STAB and a base 150 Attack, Palkia's average damage output will end up being higher than that of Dialga's if simply because Hydro Pump has great coverage with Draco Meteor or Spacial Rend. Palkia also has an array of coverage moves as well, its coverage complemented by Thunder. With base 120 Attack, moves such as Outrage don't look bad either. Because this legendary beast's defenses are not horrible, and because Water / Dragon is has decent resistances, Palkia isn't necessarily reliant on Trick Room, and can pull a "quick" KO in a tight spot. So while Dialga can fill your hard hitting hazard supporter, Palkia can be the one attempting the sweep. Excadrill Excadrill is the last Pokemon you would expect to be on a Trick Room team. After all, a large part of its banishment was its overwhelming Speed under sandstorm. However, remember that Sand Rush is not Excadrill's only ability; Sand Force, base 135 Attack, and that base 88 Speed (two points slower than the numerous base 90s!) mean Excadrill can dish out scary amounts of damage without speed, especially in the presence of sandstorm. This mole also possess Rapid Spin and decent bulk, helping massive Trick Room threats such as Water Spout Kyogre and Reshiram switch in unharmed. Furthermore, Excadrill can be the fast, insurance Pokemon on your Trick Room team, outspeeding all the common Choice Scarf users when Trick Room is not active—should you be in this situation at all. Otherwise, it can act as a clean up sweeper, using powerful Earthquakes to destroy weakened beasts. Giratina-O While its other forme is more focused around defense, Giratina-O possesses great bulk, with resistances to Grass-, Water-, and Fire-type moves, as well as an immunity to Ground-type attacks thanks to Levitate, and awesome mixed attacking capabilities. It's Ghost typing allows it to spinblock, should your team require that trait. Furthermore, its Ghost-type STAB moves allow it to defeat the Psychic-types roaming Ubers. It even has Shadow Sneak, nailing the frail Deoxys formes among others; priority is very useful on Trick Room teams to recover from a pinch. With command over Draco Meteor and other powerful Dragon-type moves, Giratina-O is stopped by only the sturdiest of walls. Griesious Orb even boosts the Base Power of its moves by 20%! However, nuisances such as Lugia, Dark Arceus, or Ho-Oh under the right conditions can still stop Giratina-O, so it is best to leave it for after one of its teammates has left its mark. Groudon Groudon is really given a chance to shine under Trick Room, no longer needed to rely on Rock Polish or paralysis support to sweep. Trick Room makes two notable changes to Groudon's playing: one turn, which would have been used to set up Rock Polish or use Thunder Wave, is freed up, as is one moveslot. Thus, Groudon has both more chances to deal damage and a better degree of coverage, using some Fire-type move along side EdgeQuake coverage in the case of a Swords Dance set, or the Speed advantage on a Choice Band set. Alternatively, you can choose to run support moves such as Stealth Rock with attacking moves, giving you another team supporter. Groudon even doubles as a physical wall with stellar base 100 HP and base 140 Defense, and it brings in sunlight for other monsters such as Reshiram and Ho-Oh. Do not overlook Groudon when selecting member, as it can easily pull its own weight. Ho-Oh Ho-Oh is known for its lack of Speed—most of its sets hinge around boosting said Speed before attempting to sweep. Therefore, this phoenix is a prime option for Trick Room, especially considering its great dual STAB—not to mention its STAB moves in Sacred Fire and Brave Bird. Furthermore, since Ho-Oh does not need that Speed boosting move anymore, it has a free slot to augment its coverage. With Roost and great bulk, there is little to fear if Trick Room is down, as Ho-Oh will likely be able to pull out of trouble. If unboosted special attacks are flying around, it is likely Ho-Oh will be able to come in with relative safely and begin its destruction. However, there is a rather poignant issue: Stealth Rock. Stripping away 50% of Ho-Oh's health, this entry hazard can cut short Ho-Oh's offense—especially when stacked atop Brave Bird recoil. There is really only one way to prevent this, since a fast Taunt user is an oddity, and that is Rapid Spin. That is the dilemma with using Ho-Oh: provide a Rapid Spin user, which requires a rare "free" turn where the momentum will not shift against you, or deal with the recoil. Rayquaza Rayquaza's devastating dual base 150 offensive stats allow for amazing mixed capability, especially under Trick Room, where the EVs can be fully distributed into each stat. [this is not a long sentence, it's two. Stupid Word.] Base 95 Speed is still slow enough that Rayquaza can always "outrun" most threats under twisted dimensions, especially its usual Dragon Dancer checks, namely Choice Scarf Palkia, Terrakion, and other revenge killers. From there, it can proceed to tear holes in the opponent's team, taking down physical and special walls alike. For example, 252 Attack and Special Attack EVs ensures both Groudon and Blissey will be 2HKOed with Draco Meteor and Outrage, respectively. While a Stealth Rock weakness is sad, it is not troubling since Rayquaza's wallbreaking prowess means it doesn't need to switch. So long as you don't try to get fancy with Rayquaza's bulk, it will relinquish its awesome power to you. Zekrom The other legendary of BW, Zekrom may not have the awesome coverage of Reshiram, the sleekness found in a snow-white design, nor the fire-breathing powers of the archetypal Dragon. However, it does have great and powerful STAB moves such as Bolt Strike and Outrage. The raw power alone allows Zekrom to defeat—hardly with any problems—Kyogre, a Pokemon used on almost 50% of all Ubers teams. Furthermore, Electric STAB means Zekrom can tear through Lugia and Ho-Oh, two Pokemon that might leave you wishing walls didn't exist. Zekrom also adds a balance of physical and special attackers—this is important since some of the most appealing attackers are specially based, and you wouldn't want your team walled by Chansey or Blissey. So long as you don't try to Bolt Strike Groudon, all should be well with Zekrom. Bronzong Already known in OU for providing Trick Room support, Bronzong is no less viable in Ubers. With a Steel typing and either Levitate or Heatproof (and sometimes even rain), the coveted Dragon / Ground or Dragon / Fire coverage is hardly threatening. Sometime considering rain, Bronzong can stop a Mewtwo, Palkia, Arceus, or Groudon rampage and turn the tables. Having a defensive pivot like Bronzong gives you a reliable option to set up Trick Room, best case scenario even forcing the opponent out to twist the dimensions unscathed. Access to Stealth Rock and decent attacking options such as Gyro Ball mean it is not completely set up fodder, though having another Stealth Rock user can be redundant. Bronzong is also somewhat prone to find itself in sitting contests with opposing walls, and a wrong switch could spell trouble. Just don't expect Bronzong to do any sweeping and you won't be let down. Heatran Heatran has an unfortunate case of Freak Disease—an illness that has spread slowly but surely—where Game Freak decides to throw the player-base a juicy upgrade to a Pokemon, only to have attached said upgrade with a virus. In this case, the upgrade is Eruption, and the virus is a required Quiet nature. Obviously, no one was going to try to attach a Choice Scarf, so Eruption was left, locked away. Luckily, Trick Room is perfect for a Quiet nature, and with base 77 Speed, Heatran can finally use its gift. Both Choice Specs and Life Orb are limiting options, so perhaps the most effective item is one that boosts Fire-type moves by 20%, namely Charcoal or Flame Plate(?). Similarly to Water Spout Kyogre, Heatran probably only needs Eruption to decimate opponents. This does not mean other moves are unavailable; Earth Power, Dragon Pulse, and various Hidden Powers provide supplementary coverage—useful in a tier where Dragon-types reign. For example, in unfavorable conditions Zekrom and Reshiram will have no problem stopping Heatran. However, a well placed Earth Power will leave these two weakened. Jirachi Though a bit on the fast side, Jirachi has many options for a supporting Trick Room role. Stealth Rock and Wish are the most notable; the former can provide crucial damage for OHKOes and 2HKOes, while the latter can heal certain whales that spam Water Spout—not to mention other Trick Room users without recovery such as Dialga and Palkia. A balanced stat spread and great typing, especially in rain, mean Jirachi has little to worry about, much like Bronzong. A specially defensive spread can shake off Draco Meteor from anything—Giratina formes, Reshiram, and Palkia, to name a few—while still leaving room to tank Outrages from the likes of Garchomp and Zekrom, locking them and giving a free opportunity to set up. Serene Grace graces Jirachi, as Iron Head flinching can not only immobilize opponents, but also stall out your Trick Room turns in case you need a fast Pokemon to dance. Just note that Jirachi isn't the best choice to center around offense, since it only has base 100 attacking stats. Magnezone It's all about the Dragon-types, and Magnezone, for all intents and purposes, is a Dragon. With and already low base 61 Speed, good 130(?) Special Attack, and Magnet Pull, this electromagnetic magnet provides perhaps the best support for monsters such as Dialga, Palkia, Reshiram, and Zekrom. Trapping Ferrothorn, and to a lesser extent Forretress, these Dragon-types can go all out—with no counters nor checks, and most revenge killers useless due to Trick Room, they will have no trouble cooking the opposition in Kirby's pot of soup. Having another Steel-type on your team is not bad either, acting as a nice pivot against the onslaught of Dragon-type attacks. Rain may prove a problem for Hidden Power Fire (if you don't want Spikes setting up as Magnezone Charge Beams), but the most important topics are 4x weak anyway. Victini Victini should have been a natural choice for Trick Room in OU. V-Create lowers Speed by one stage with each use, and Victini has great coverage (not to mention moves), leaving it walled by few. However, OU contains Pokemon of vastly different Speeds, some so slow that they will "outspeed" Victini—this is a problem since damage taken, on top of possible passive damage, shortens Victini's lifespan drastically. Luckily, the base Speeds in Ubers are a bit more regular: most are base 90 and faster, meaning a minimum Speed Victini can outspeed them. Then we come to V-Create. In the case that Victini is providing its own Trick Room support, it will not be able to indulge in a Choice Band, and will be slightly weaker. But not too much weaker—with Stealth Rock 200 HP / 44 Def Giratina-O is still 2HKOed by a Flame Plate, sun-boosted V-Create, meaning offensive versions don't stand a chance. <em>Fully physically defensive</em> Groudon is cleanly 2HKOed, no mean feat. And if you thought a certain whale would ruin your fun, Kyogre is helpless to Victini's Fusion Bolt (also why Choice Band is not recommended). Notable Mentions These Pokemon are not quite good enough to be considered usable on general teams, but they can fit in if you decide to construct your team so. Alakazam Alakazam is an odd option, and gimmicky. Because of Magic Guard, Alakazam with a Focus Sash guarantees Trick Room—provided it isn't Taunted. Essentially, you sacrifice Alakazam for one last run, which could be all you need to clean up. However, the fact that Alakazam is on your team to be fodder is why it is only a notable mention. Metagross Sure, Metagross doesn't need much Speed to function in Ubers, and can even set up Trick Room itself. However, it lacks a really stellar role since Steel-type STAB is not the best to work with in a limited amount of turns. Its coverage moves also lack power, namely the elemental punches. Hammer Arm is a nice power choice, but Fighting-type coverage doesn't have the greatest utility. Reuniclus The main issue with Reuniclus is lack of power; Focus Blast as a coverage move doesn't help either. Simply put, there are other Pokemon that could do more damage in 3 turns in the Uber tier, so they are generally better choices. Scizor Scizor is good without Speed, and has a powerful Bullet Punch to back it up. Furthermore, it can stop Normal Arceus that don't carry a Fire-type move. However, Steel / Bug coverage is not the greatest in Ubers, especially considering there really isn't time to use Swords Dance for more power—being walled is the least favorable thing in Uber Trick Room. Tyranitar Tyranitar provides sandstorm support, but really only one Pokemon, Excadrill, really uses it. Sandstorm usually interferes with the bolster in Fire- or Water-type moves sun or rain, respectively, brings, and therefore could cause problems on such teams. That isn't to say Tyranitar is bad in Trick Room—base 61 Speed and great Dark / Rock dual-STAB is great. Wobbuffet Wobbuffet is a bit of a gamble—though it has absolutely no offensive capability, and has the potential to be OHKOed, it offers unparalleled support for Pokemon to set up Trick Room. Like all Wobbuffet plays, you lock something with Encore and set up. Lower Tier Trick Room Sweepers These Pokemon form the offensive base of Trick Room in lower tiers. While usable in Ubers, they usually lack the bulk to work as well as some of the other options. Marowak is one of these Pokemon, with massive 568 Attack and great coverage. Its flaw is its low HP, holding back its decent base 110 Defense. Rampardos is another—Head Smash from base 165 Attack is one of the most devastating attacks in existence, but Rampardos absolutely cannot switch in. Level 1 Pokemon These Pokemon take advantage of their "blazing fast" Speed and Endeavor to KO themselves, an opponent, and leave a few turns of Trick Room left. Smeargle Essentially a FEAR, Trick Room, Spore, Endeavor, ExtremeSpeed Smeargle can knock a non-Ghost-type out of the game early, crippling another Pokemon with Sleep in optimal conditions. However, entry hazards breaking its Focus Sash, Ghost-types, multi-hit moves, and priority spell doom for this level 1. Duison With Magic Guard, Duison can come in at any time during the match for the strategy. Trick Room and Endeavor weaken the opponent, and an attack of choice finishes it off. It generally faces fewer problems than Smeargle, but is helpless to priority without a +2 priority ExtremeSpeed. Threats Threats fall under three main categories: walls, priority, and passive. Walls are opponents that take minimal damage from your sweepers' moves, priority is priority moves, and passive refers to Taunt, Roar, Whirlwind, and other non-damaging moves that go before Trick Room, as well as entry hazards. Walls Walls are the most common, and thus probably the most annoying. There is no real foolproof way to deal with them except prediction and power. Blissey and Chansey are perhaps the biggest problems, however, since many appealing Trick Room Pokemon are special attackers, and thus are completely walled. The simple fix is to run a powerful mixed attacker that can lure these two out and destroy them. However, you can opt to overpower them is rain boosted Water Spouts or sun boosted Blue Flares, though if you fail know that problems will be imminent. Packing a strong Fighting-type can work, but doing so only scares Blissey and Chansey off (though seeing Their Annoyance flee may be satisfying as well). Wobbuffet is an option to punish their sorry faces, turning them into set up fodder—just note that Wobbuffet is incapable of doing much attacking. Other major walls include Lugia, Ho-Oh, Arceus formes, and Giratina formes. However, a well-timed HADOKEN™ or repeated assaults will wear them down. Priority Priority moves are rather common in Ubers, but they are much easier to play around than walls are. The first thing to do is to identify what Pokemon could have priority moves and which of those would be threatening. For the moment, sweep Extreme Killer and ExtremeSpeed in general under the rug. The only other common move is Shadow Sneak, used by Giratina and its counterpart. Though it receives STAB, it is still rather weak and will only pose trouble to a weakened Victini since the majority of other Trick Room Pokemon are bulky enough or resist it. Bullet Punch sees its uses as well, mainly from Scizor and some Metagross. The latter is rather underwhelming, since, once again, very few Trick Room Pokemon are threatened. However, Scizor is another matter, with both Technician and Swords Dance. Since Scizor does not care about Speed like other set-up sweepers do, it can make use of the turn one of your Pokemon tries to set up Trick Room. From there, it can maim most switch ins—at neutral Speed, Scizor actually speed ties with minimum Speed base 90 such as Kyogre and Zekrom and outspeeds Palkia, so Scizor can use Bug Bite to take a chunk out of them. So ironically, Bullet Punch is not much of the problem. Now there is ExtremeSpeed, which is a problem. Swords Dance Rayquaza, though relatively rare, will undermine the precious dimension twist and hit most of your sweepers hard. It can do upwards of 90% to Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyogre, and Palkia, meaning they are in trouble if the game has progressed to its later stages. Luckily, Dialga resists ExtremeSpeed and can KO Rayquaza with Draco Meteor—the Steel- / Dragon-type is your best answer, and should not be too far out of reach since it is so good. Other options are using Bronzong as a setter, as it can tank Rayquaza's moves and retaliate with Hidden Power Ice. Giratina-O is another option since it is immune to ExtremeSpeed and has enough bulk to check an unboosted Rayquaza outside of Trick Room. The general method to keep Rayquaza in check, then, is to stop it from setting up in the first place, or tanking its ExtremeSpeed and hitting back: you don't need to worry about being hit by Outrage or coverage moves since Trick Room should cover that. More pressing is Extreme Killer Arceus, which has significantly more bulk and fewer weaknesses than Rayquaza. Thus, it is harder to OHKO, meaning your checks could be on the receiving end of one of its coverage moves. Furthermore, while Steel-types such as Bronzong can wall Arceus pretty well, they cannot damage it significantly, giving it the opportunity to Recover or set up even more. Such Steel-types can defeat it with Toxic, although it will take a few turns to fall, giving it time to crush the opposition. Regardless, Dialga can check the Extreme Killer, smacking it with Aura Sphere. This tactic crumbles if Trick Room is down, however, as Dialga will be outsped and KOed. Giratina-O also works decently, though it will be hard pressed to 2HKO Arceus, and once it's stalled out of its Trick Room turns, Arceus can KO with Shadow Claw. There are ways to play around the Extreme Killer, though. Perhaps hardest is to save one of your Pokemon to tank a +2 ExtremeSpeed and KO back. The reason this is hard is that for one entry hazards can bring your Pokemon into KO range, and second that it is very hard to not use a Pokemon until a later point in the game, especially for Trick Room teams. If conditions are optimal, Kyogre and Palkia can survive a +2 ExtremeSpeed (with less than 10%!), and KO Arceus with a powerful move. Another way to deal with the Extreme Killer is with Choice Scarf Terrakion—a lategame sweeper / revenge killer once Trick Room has run its course. Likewise, Scizor is an option, though it fails against any variant with a Fire-type move—the uncertainty makes it deadly since you could potentially lose a Pokemon. Ultimately, the best advice to give against the Extreme Killer is play diligently, and save the Pokemon that have a chance until it comes out. "Passive" It is quite unfortunate that Trick Room has –7 priority, meaning everything goes before it. Taunt, Whirlwind, Roar, and Dragon Tail all disrupt Trick Room 100%, making it hard against certain teams. Luckily, you can simply attack the Pokemon using Taunt or phazing, and Taunt is also somewhat uncommon. The Pokemon that do use it are generally frail and fast, making eliminating them not a problem. However, phazers are a bit trickier, since the nature of phazing requires them to be bulky. With continual pounding, though, the opponent will have the think twice about phazing when you are about to use Trick Room. This will eventually allow you to set up Trick Room without being phazed out, so you can quickly eliminate the phazer and continue to sweep. Building a Team The best team will have the perfect balance of offense and supporters. A common mistake to making teams is not having enough offense. This is worse than not having enough setters, since most Trick Room Pokemon can outspeed walls without Trick Room up. For a full team, a good guideline is to have three offensive Pokemon, two offensive supporters, and one primarily defensive supporter. The number of offensive supporters is variable depending on the synergy with the sweepers, of course, since it may be advantageous for your setter to attack when a sweeper is frail or of the same typing. Whether you select sweepers or setters first is up to you, just realize that some sweepers will want other sweepers: Reshiram and Groudon, for example. Checklist Don't fret if you don't have everything on here, as it is quite possible your team can function without all the components. The best way to assess your team is looks at this and your matches. -Do you have enough setters? ---Basically, this means is your sweep cut short, and you are left with only your attackers when the opponent has their offense still alive? -Do you have enough attackers? ---Alluded to above, this basically means are you left with you Trick Room setters at the end of the game, unable to significantly damage walls such as Blissey? -Do you have an Extreme Killer check? ---This is best to answer after playing, since you might be adept at playing around Normal Arceus and defeating it without a real check. In any case, it is best to start your team with some that at least resists ExtremeSpeed. Example http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3454956 by Enroyalle though idk if I can get permission he hasn't logged in for a while if I don't hear back I'll post one of my own (though I don't want to be like I made this it's the bestttt) And maybe a teambuilding process? Final Thoughts Trick Room is an uncommon playstyle, and can be tedious at times for the diligence required. However, it should not be dismissed as a gimmick, as it is a very potent strategy in an environment where everything is bulky and fast.