When the Playtesting period began, I wasn’t sure what to expect of Cyclohm. On one hand, I was familiar with the idea of a Dragon/Electric Specs Tank because of mention of such a concept’s implementation on the server since some time in CaP 5. On the other hand, Cyclohm had such a spectacular movepool with access to move like Thunder Wave and Slack Off. Its capabilities on the Support side were suspected to be good, but turned out not to match its Special capabilities. It was also quite difficult to find solid answers to Cyclohm rather than Blissey. However, in the end, I found my solution. I decided to use an endgame cleaner variant, taking advantage of its ability to recover as well as its gargantuan Special Attack. Another factor in building this team was the omnipresence of Toxic Spikes. Because Blissey and Swampert were made even better by Cyclohm’s presence, Toxic Spikes’ ability to deal with them as well as other Cyclohm made it almost indispensable on most teams. The basic idea behind the team was to use Roserade’s Toxic Spikes to wear down opposing Stall and Bulky Offense, while my offensive core whittled away at them. Once their Pokemon were sufficiently weakened and the counters were removed, Cyclohm showed its face for an endgame sweep. To keep my Pokemon safe from entry hazards, I used what is arguably the best spinner in the game, Starmie, to clear them away and allow me to have a much easier time against Stall. Without a spinner, my team suffers a good deal from the two combined. Its record is 30-6. Team at a glance: The Support Roserade (M) @ Focus Sash Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 4 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk Modest nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Toxic Spikes - Sleep Powder - Leaf Storm - Rest When I made the team, I determined that I would need Toxic Spikes to help deal with opposing Cyclohm, Blissey and Swampert, and I can’t say I was wrong to include it. Its ability to cripple opposing leads and set up Toxic Spikes to deal with Stall is simply tops. Natural Cure+Rest+Sash lets it come back in and deal with pests like Swampert and inflict sleep on levitators. Turn one it sleeps opposing lead. Then, set up a layer on the switch. If I can survive the hit, then I set up another layer and then Rest or switch. If my sash has been used, I switch out or rest, depending on whether it can survive another hit or not. Basically, this is not a suicide lead, and is a team member that is just as important than all the others. Roserade is great at getting my offensive momentum going, which would lead me to my offensive core. --- The Glue Starmie @ Leftovers Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 236 HP/20 Def/252 Spd Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Surf - Thunderbolt - Rapid Spin - Recover Starmie serves as the “glue” of the team, so to speak. Its ability to come in and spin away entry hazards without fear is amazing. It can heal away any damage inflicted by Spikes or Stealth Rock, while Natural Cure rids it of Poison or Paralysis. The fact that it can deal damage as well is a plus. Furthermore, it serves as a check towards Heatran, Infernape, and Gyarados, all of which are threatening in Cyclohm's playtesting metagame. When I bring in Starmie, its primary function is to Spin. If it cannot spin, then I will either Recover or switch out, depending on the Pokemon it is dealing with. Without Starmie, stall teams may as well trample me with Entry Hazards. Starmie allows my team to live, moreso than even a wish user. --- The Offensive Core Salamence (M) @ Choice Band Ability: Intimidate EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Outrage - Fire Fang - Aqua Tail CBMence is incredible. With Adamant nature, Salamence’s damage output becomes enormous. Outrage 2HKOs most Pokemon, including those that resist it. Even Skarmory is hard-pressed to beat Salamence thanks to its excellent attack score and the BP of Outrage. Unfortunately, Mence is very easily revenge-killed as a result of this. 9/10 times when I bring Mence in I will Outrage for a 2HKO on the opposing Pokemon and am then quickly revenge-killed. If the opponent’s physical wall is down, this can take out their entire team. When played correctly, Salamence can take down at least 2 pokemon per game. As long as Salamence can take down what Cyclohm can't otherwise, it is game over. Mence is also invaluable for its ability to lure in threats like Latias and Cyclohm, Pokemon which otherwise can cause my own Cyclohm a good deal of trouble. My offensive core of Snorlax, Salamence and Scizor serves as a group of pokemon that can not only demolish the threats Cyclohm has, but lures them in as well. Because my core lures in these threats, I will almost never see Cyclohm's threats late game. --- Scizor (M) @ Choice Band Ability: Technician EVs: 244 HP/252 Atk/12 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Bullet Punch - Pursuit - U-turn - Superpower Scizor’s ability to scout opposing teams while still hitting for a lot of damage is very potent. Scizor’s powerful U-Turn and Bullet Punch make him an indispensable asset to the team. Early in the game, Scizor will continually U-Turn to another Pokemon. Once the opponent’s team has sufficiently been scouted, Scizor can begin using Superpower to his the inevitable Magnezone switch-in, Blissey and others. Pursuit lets it deal with runaway Gengar, and Bullet Punch lets it clean up threats once Zone is down. Most notably, Scizor cleans up Dragons such as Salamence, who would pose a threat under a Dragon Dance. As soon as these dragons are eliminated, Cyclohm's biggest fear is gone. --- Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers Ability: Thick Fat EVs: 156 HP/140 Atk/212 SDef Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Selfdestruct - Earthquake - Crunch - Body Slam Snorlax is very bulky and very good. It has superb attack in addition to this bulk, allowing it to whittle away at opposing Pokemon. Perhaps the most useful asset to this team is its ability to wall almost all special threats like a Blissey, yet hit back at full force. Ghosts are Crunch fodder, most steels fall to EQ and Body Slam hits everything else. Once Snorlax is no longer useful, Selfdestruct allows it to, almost always, clear the field for the next Pokemon.Snorlax contains the ability to kill off anything when used correctly, although this comes at a price. Selfdestruct, my last resort button, in a way, can clean up what others have failed to do otherwise. --- Late Game Cleaner Cyclohm (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Shield Dust EVs: 6 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Hydro Pump - Slack Off - Thunderbolt - Draco Meteor The star of the team. Cyclohm is usually only seen towards the middle or end of the game, once the opposing Dragons and Blissey are down. I often bring Cyclohm in midgame to hit hard with a powerful STAB Draco Meteor or Thunderbolt to finish off an opponent. Maximum speed allows it to outspeed other Cyclohm that are running less and easily kill them. Slack Off lets it restore Life Orb recoil when it is busy pounding away at the opponent, as well as just adding to its defensive aspect in general. Hydro Pump is a 2HKO on Tyranitar with maximum Special Attack, who otherwise can cause the team problems. --- Team BuildingWhen building this team during playtesting, my obvious focus point of the team was Cyclohm. I wanted to run a more offensive focused team, so I ran an offensive Life Orb set. At this point, I knew I needed the following things to allow a late game clean up from Cyclohm: Pokemon to wear the opponent down Pokemon to destroy Blissey and Dragons Pokemon that could outlast others Without going defensive, my Offensive core was the first place I started. If I wanted to wear the opponent down, I needed some support as well as some hard hitting pokemon that can guarantee some kills. Salamence and Scizor cover each other's weaknesses very handily, while Snorlax adds the extra bulk and compliments the team with enormous Special Defense and Health to withstand opposing Cyclohm. In order to constantly scare the opponent in and out without getting worn down, I opted to run Toxic Spikes which would keep teams at its feet as well as running Rapid Spin Starmie, in order to keep threats in check and allow my core to switch in and out at will. With both Support and an Offensive Core, late gaming with Cyclohm is simple. By simply bringing it in lategame, after a teammate has fainted, victory is within reach. Threat List Metagross - Metagross is taken down by CB Salamence Earthquake, and can be slept by Roserade if it is a lead. Cyclohm can also outspeed Metagross and 2hko with Thunderbolt. Latias - Scizor can switch into a Dragon Pulse and either U-turn or Pursuit Latias. Snorlax, who packs massive specially defensive stats can hold against Latias and retaliate with Crunch or Body Slam. Scizor - Standard CB Scizor are met with CB Salamence, Cyclohm, and Starmie to an extent, depending on what Scizor is locked in on. Furthermore, my Scizor EVS outspeed others by 1 point, effectively Superpowering them for a kill. Salamence - For Salamence, Snorlax can still take on most of its hits, although a Dragon Danced Outrage will kill it. However, if this is the case, Scizor comes in handy with Bullet Punch, which can 2HKO Salamence. Jirachi - Jirachi as a lead are usually quite annoying if they are scarf. Otherwise, I can Sleep Lead Jirachi, while Cyclohm can take Jirachi on like a champ with Shield Dust. Cyclohm - With Toxic Spikes in play, dealing with Cyclohm is relatively easy. I can switch in Snorlax and Earthquake it, or I can also bring in Salamence safely and Outrage it. Starmie - Starmie is met by Scizor and Snorlax, where Snorlax can switch in with ease and Crunch, while Scizor can come on a Rapid Spin and Pursuit/U-turn. Tyranitar - Scizor and Salamence work well to take down Tyranitar. Scizor can Bullet Punch or U-turn out of Tyranitar, taking a massive chunk of health out of it, or Salamence can easily put a dent using Earthquake. Heatran - Starmie, Salamence, and Snorlax can all kill off Heatran, although Starmie is the most reliable thanks to Natural Cure in case of Toxic, and recovery to compliment it. Infernape - Starmie deals with Infernape, and also has recovery. Cyclohm in case of emergency can beat an Infernape 1 on 1, although it has difficulty switching in. Snorlax can fight off an intimidated LO Infernape if need be. Zapdos - Snorlax can wall its moves as well as Body Slam. Cyclohm and Salamence also kill off Zapdos. Machamp - Machamp is tough to deal with; however, Salamence can Outrage Machamp, killing it off, as well as Roserade Leaf Storm and Cyclohm ripping large amounts of Machamp's health off. Breloom - Breloom is quite annoying, although Salamence and Scizor can beat it off after it has slept something. Skarmory - Cyclohm and Starmie can kill off Skarmory, while Starmie can also spin away any Entry Hazards Skarmory may bring into the battle. Celebi - Scizor and Snorlax can fight off Celebi, depending on the set. If it is offensive, Snorlax is usually the best bet. If it is defensive, both will work, although Scizor is much preferred. Flygon - If it is choiced, luring an Outrage into Scizor and Bullet Punching is the easiest method to kill Flygon. Otherwise, Snorlax can check it. Snorlax - Opposing Snorlax are dealt with by Scizor and Salamence, who can take down Snorlax after two hits. Magnezone - Snorlax is able to kill Magnezone quite easily. However, if it has magnet rise, the best option is to explode and get a more favorable matchup. Vaporeon - Cyclohm and Roserade can kill of Vaporeon with Thunderbolt and Leaf Storm respectively, while Starmie can also wear it down with Thunderbolt. Blissey - Scizor, Salamence, and Snorlax can fight off Blissey. Most of the time, Blissey will be poisoned due to Toxic Spikes, so it has lots of trouble switching in and out, especially when the offensive core kicks in for most of the battle. Gyarados - Starmie can come in on Gyarados and Thunderbolt, as it is defensive enough to withstand a hit from Gyarados. Also, Roserade and Salamence hit Gyarados quite hard. Cyclohm can also kill off Gyarados, as long as it does not pack a Dragon Dance already. Azelf - Azelf are mostly leads, but I mostly play around them using Snorlax and Bullet Punch Scizor. I also have Starmie to spin away rocks. Lucario - Cyclohm and Salamence can outspeed most Lucario and hit back with a strong attack. Since most Lucario tend to hide until late game, Cyclohm is a good candidate to both outspeed and kill Lucario. If it manages to get a hit in, Cyclohm's Hippowdon like defenses can take some hits. Gengar - Scizor Bullet Punch is the best way to deal with Gengar, as it OHKOs most. Snorlax is another option to kill off Gengar, although doing so would leave you cautious of Hypnosis. Rotom-a - Salamence and Snorlax will usually deal with Rotom, with Outrage and Crunch which would dent Rotom pretty hard. Snorlax also takes on most of what Rotom has to throw at it. Mamoswine Scizor can Bullet Punch Mamoswine. In the case that it is a lead, Roserade can Sleep it and Leaf Storm. Starmie can take hits from Mamoswine and hit back with Surf. Swampert - Swampert leads are dealt with by Roserade, who takes down Swampert easily. If it happens to come in late game, however, I will attempt to kill it off with hard hitting moves from Scizor and Salamence. Bronzong - Bronzong leads are slept by Roserade, although Lum Berry Zongs are quite annoying. Scizor can U-turn and chip off Bronzong's health easily, as it can't do much out of setting up Rocks and Hypnosis anyways. Jolteon - Snorlax can take Jolteon's attacks and Body Slam/Earthquake. Empoleon: Empoleon is no problem for Salamence, Starmie, Snorlax, or Cyclohm. Earthquake or Thunderbolt from them will easily dispatch it without a sub. If it does have a sub, then Starmie can still beat it with Thunderbolt/Recover. Scizor can also beat it with Superpower if need be. Dugtrio: Scizor revenges Dugtrio with ease. Starmie and Cyclohm outright beat it with powerful water-type moves. Snorlax is bulky enough to take a hit and then kill it back. Thanks to flying type, Mence can safely switch out if it is not locked into Outrage. Roserade’s Leaf Storm is also a possibility to deal with Duggy. Togekiss: Cyclohm beats this, period. Resists Air Slash and is immune to flinch or any other nasty Serene Grace side effects. Scizor’s Bullet Punch is also quite painful, and Snorlax can usually kill it in-between flinches. Kingdra: Without Rain Dance, Salamence soundly beats this. Scizor can switch into Outrage and U-Turn it for a lot of damage. If they are running a primarily special set, then Snorlax can outright beat it. Hippowdon: Starmie and Roserade both pack sufficient power to beat Hippo with SE STAB moves. If they are both down, then Cyclohm can deal with it using Hydro Pump or Mence can score a 2HKO with Aqua Tail. Forretress: Fire Fang from Mence sends this packing. Despite resistance and physical bulk, Mence’s Outrage also causes this guy problems. Cyclohm’s Thunderbolt and Hydro Pump hit it hard, while Gyro Ball and Payback do little. Gliscor: Starmie’s Surf kills Gliscor no problem. Mence’s Aqua Tail and Outrages can also cause problems for it, though Stone Edge will usually beat Mence. Ohm can kill it with Hydro Pump if need be, but Earthquake can cause it difficulties. Roserade: Mence cleans this up pretty effectively, as does Snorlax. Cyclohm’s Draco Meteor also takes a huge chunk out of it. Suicune: CMCune can sometimes cause trouble. Snorlax can sometimes beat it and Mence’s Outrage takes a huge chunk out of it. If it doesn’t have Ice Beam, all the better. Aerodactyl: Starmie spins away rocks and Surfs it to death. Cyclohm’s Thunderbolt kills it straight off. Bullet Punch from Scizor does it no favors, either. Tentacruel: Thunderbolt from Starmie and Cyclohm kill it. Snorlax’s Earthquake is also problematic. Like everything else, Mence’s Outrage will hit it hard. EDIT: I know Cyclohm isn't on the same line I can't help it.