Introduction Hi all, this is my Rain Dance team that I have been having decent success with (for a newbie) on PO and Smogon wifi. Reaching within the top 100 on PO. The aim of this team is to wear the opponents team down with entry hazards and remove key pokemon that can counter my set-up sweepers: Toxicroak and Whishcash. The first goal is usually to win the common weather battles that seem to occur this generation. The team heavily relies upon defensive synergy to check the opposing team's offensive threats, as well as being able to heal itself and not worry to much about status or entry hazards (with the unfortunate exception of spikes). Any suggestions you have about improving the team would be greatly appreciated =) If you're going to have a look at my team please take the time to rate it too =) The Team 1. Politoed @ Choice Specs Ability: Drizzle EVs: 248 HP - 252 SpA - 8 Spe Nature: Modest - Hydro Pump - Ice Beam - Focus Blast - Perish Song As with almost every 5th Gen rain team Politoed uses its awesome ability to keep enternal rain on the field. My particular politoed is designed to withstand powerful attacks and KO the opposing pokemon (much like bulky choice band TTar is used for). For example Modest Choice Specs Hydro Pump will Ko most types of TTar in a sandstorm and with 252 Hp will survive almost any attack being thrown at it (with the exception of Adamant Choice Band Stone Edge). It acts similarly towards other weather starters with or without rain. Furthermore choice Specs Politoed is used to hit opponent's switches very hard, often resulting in a ko or at the very least a crippled switch in. 8 Speed EVs are there mainly to outspeed tanky types of breloom. Politoed can also be used as a stall breaker (lol) being able to 1hko or 2hko most stall based pokemon not named Blissey or Chancey with one of its three attacking moves. Generally Politoed will net me at least one if not two kills and is very useful at letting me switch in one of my sweepers for free by sacrificing itself in the lategame. Politoed is the one member of my team that is affected by toxic but due to its nature of coming in blasting off one or two attacks and then leaving it doesn't really matter. Similarly Politoed doesn't particularly care too much about being burnt or paralysed. Like most of my team Politoed is not a fan of spikes, but does not worry about toxic spikes or stealth rocks. 2. Skarmory @ Leftovers Ability: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP - 252 Def - 4 SpD Nature: Impish - Stealth Rocks - Roost - Whirlwind - Brave bird Defensive Skarmory is quite simply a beast. In the rain it can easily survive and roost off almost all physical attacks coming its way even if they are super effective. It is very reliable at getting stealth rocks up and shuffling the opponents team about at will. Its bravebird attack is also very useful, letting me murder or at least check most WIFI Breloom which can sometimes cause my team troubles. If a sandstorm team manages to win the weather battle Skarmory is very important at checking most key sandstorm sweepers including Garchomp, Doryuzuu, Boroturoso, Tyranitar (without fire blast) and Hippowdon. If toxic spikes have been set up it can even stall those effected members out too. Skarmory also provides important defensive synergy; being immune to ground attacks that can cause this team problems, having a 4X resistance to grass types that murder Whiscash and taking those dragon attacks that can easily destroy 2/3 of my team. Skarmory does not care about status although getting burnt can be annoying in some instances. It is also the one member of my team who doesn't mind spikes, or any entry hazards for that matter. 3. Toxicroak @ leftovers Ability: Dry Skin EVs: 252 HP - 252 Atk - 4 SpD Nature: Adamant - Bulk Up - Drain Punch - Sucker Punch - Substitute Toxicroak is one half of my set-up sweepers and he is rather bulky with the EVs I have given him. He can set up on a large variety of powerful pokemon in the rain including Roobushin, Breloom, Scizor and even some varieties of Gliscor despite being weak to both stabs. Essentially after a few Bulk Ups all he has to worry about are Pyschic moves (which are rather rare) and extremely powerful special attacks such as choice specs draco meteors. His immunity to water attacks and resistance to grass attacks works well with my other set up sweeper Whiscash. Toxicroak can also defeat opposing rain teams almost single handedly. Toxicroak offers an immunity to toxic but does not really enjoy being paralysed or burnt. Substitute helps with this to some degree but it would be nice if I had another option to add in there. As with most of my team Toxicroak does not enjoy spikes but doesn't mind other entry hazards. 4. Whiscash @ Leftovers Ability: Hydration EVs: 148 HP - 252 Atk - 108 Spe Nature: Adamant - Dragon Dance - Waterfall - Earthquake - Rest The other half of my set-up sweepers, my team started around setting up Whiscash to sweep after his counters are gone (counters being all grass types and powerful draco-meteor type pokemon). 108 Spe EVs allows Whiscash to outspeed scarf TTar and positive nature base 115 speed pokemon after two dragon dances, Which helps it substantially against enemies such as Starmie, Gengar, Lati@s and others. Once all the opponents grass types are gone and powerful dragons are worn down enough Whiscash can often set up with great ease. The only entry hazard he does not like are spikes (as per usual) which can often turn opposing pokemon's 2hkos into 1hkos. Part of the success of this team is the wide range of opponents that both Whiscash and Toxicroak can set up on and the fact that both of them can set up on common counters to the other. This means that my opponent can often protect a counter to one of these sweepers but not both and with clever moves a sweep can be set up once they're down. 5. Nattorie @ Leftovers Ability: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP - 60 Def - 196 SpD (0 speed IVs) Nature: Sassy - Leech Seed - Spikes - Gyro Ball - Power Whip Typical Nat set, it gladly absorbs almost all special attacks and sometimes even weak fire attacks in the rain. It checks Lati@s sets that can otherwise cause this team large amounts of pain and kills outrage 'trapped' dragons with its powerful Gyro Balls. I originally ran a Nat set with curse instead of spikes, as it can sweep very well once its counters are checked but i found that spikes were a lot more useful in general as there are often a fair few counters to nat on a team. Nat is also used to take obvious paralyse attempts as this stops it getting burnt from a random boil over and powers up gyro ball. Again it does not like spikes similarly to most of my team. 6. Tentacruel @ leftovers Ability: Liquid Ooze EVs: 252 HP - 120 Def - 120 SpD - 16 Spe Nature: Calm - Rapid Spin - Rain Dance - Toxic Spikes - Boil Over Tentacruel is the member of my team that I am most doubtful of. I chose him for his ability to both rapid spin and use toxic spikes as well as being bulky and being able to burn random pokemon. He is also a decent switch in and counter to fire types that can cause strife if the rain isn't up. Tenta also does rather well against grass types who use leach seed and giga drain, wearing those checks down in order for Whiscash to get his sweep on. Rain dance can be useful if my opponent wins the weather battle, but i find that this does not often happen (usually due to poli destroying the weather starter) and is a wasted move if the opponent does not have a weather based team. 16 Spe EVs is to allow Tentacruel to outspeed adamant Breloom. However he does little for my teams defensive synergy compounding both the electric and ground weakness. For this reason I was thinking of using either Starmie or Claydol. While Starmie would not help the defensive synergy very much, it would provide my team with a solid check to Gyrados and would bring some much needed speed to theaten fragile life orb sweepers that can be a pain to otherwise take down. On the other hand Claydol provides great defensive synergy, being pratically immune to entry hazards and being a good switch in to electric and ground type attacks. However it has been rather underwhelming in the past so I am hesitant to use it. The problem being either of these options don't have toxic spikes that can be a vital part of my team, especially if my sweepers both go down as the team will then revert to stall in order to win. *** I would like some suggestions as to what Rapid Spinner I should have in this team. *** Offensive Threats Azelf - Life orb variants can cause a lot of problems but smart switches and healing can negate the impact. Birijion -Skarmory can deal with it if it doesn't get a boost, otherwise Toxicroak can deal with it (painfully). Blaziken -Tentacruel can deal with it as long as it doesn't run earthquake. Borutorosu -Nasty plot can be dangerous with the right moveset, usually have to sack a pokemon. Breloom -Once it has slept a pok Toxicroak sets up on it. Gyarados - Very dangerous after a few boosts, usually have to get nat in to wittle it down. Heracross -Can be punishing late game due to my slow speed. Hihidaruma - Have to be cautious and predict correctly. Infernape - Can be dangerous without Tentacruel. Jirachi - The main danger is not knowing its moveset, can counter once that is established. Jolteon -Can sweep half of my team with ease so I have to protect Whiscash and Nattorie while it is around. Latios - Very deadly without nat. Magnezone - Traps and kills two key members, limiting my switching power, whiscash can use it to setup though. Randorosu - Very painful if opponent wins weather war, politoed can kill it easily without sand up. Rankurusu - Calm mind variants can cause major problems but politoed can 1HKO most. Togekiss - Choice flinch hax types hurt as all the team is slow. Urugamosu - A few butterfly dances means death but whiscash can kill if he gets in early enough. Defensive Threats Celebi - Can be very annoying depending on the set. Gliscor - Walls a lot of the team but whiscash can set up on him. Latias - Very dangerous as it can set up on my main counter nat.