A team going into early retirement [RMT]

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Hey guys! If you have been active on the server recently you should be familiar with me by now. If not, I have joined the CAP server just recently, and I have loved it so far.

Anyways, with the CAP Tournament coming up as well as the testing period for Kitsunoh ending soon, I feel that it is proper to retire this team and start working with the other six CAPs.

Onto the actual team however, it is based on a bit of a surprise factor, but even after that it has proven at times to be very effective. Let's have a look, shall we?

Team at a glance:

Notable aspects:
- No Pokemon is weak to toxic spikes
. I find this very important. Though not immune to Toxic itself, being immune to the spikes means I can keep the semi-defensive core I have longer, as well as free turns of set-up against unknowing Stall Teams. Celebi has Natural Cure, so that counts I guess?
- Two steels. With Flygon, Salamence, and Dragon Pulse Heatran going around, this is pretty important to me. Without Jirachi and Bronzong, I would not have had much success on this team.
- Everyone can serve a defensive or offensive role. All of the above pokemon have a good amount of bulk, but at the same time each one has served as an offensive threat to other teams at one time or another. This allows for me to adapt more easily to others teams. Granted, some pokemon are obviously geared towards one end of the spectrum than another, but resistances, abilities, and overall balance really help.
- I do not utilize Stealth Rock or any form of spikes. All of my offensive calculations and such do not factor in Stealth Rock.

A Detailed Look:

@ Expert Belt
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 200 Atk/252 Spd/56 SAtk
Hasty nature (+Spd, -Def)
- Iron Head
- Grass Knot
- Fire Punch
- U-turn
Jirachi has go to be one of the most versatile pokemon in the entire game, and the fact he is one of my favorites make using him oh so sweet. Alas, I cannot remember where I got this set from, but it has proven invaluable to me. MixRachi is so unexpected (even with Frisk Kitsunoh people don't expect it too often!).

Iron Head is there for a great STAB move to use against the likes of Tyranitar and friends, and the flinch rate is too hard to pass up <3. Grass Knot is there for pesky waters, especially Swampert, who is OHKOd with Expert Belt.

On that subject, the item choice is extremely hard for me here. Shuca Berry allows Jirachi to revenge Metagross and other physical attackers with Earthquake, whilst Expert Belt nets me crucial KOs. Both have had their uses in different battles, but I find it a coin flip. Nonetheless, with or without Expert Belt, Fire Punch can 2HKO Magnezone, which is really fun to see if the opponent will switch out thinking I am Scarfed or stay in hoping I would be 2HKOd by Thunderbolt (which only specszone does, and I outpace it). I can try to predict Scizor Switchins too, but a neutral CB U-turn hurts Jirachi alot, especially with the Hasty Nature. The extra burn chance thanks to Serene Grace is also very fun.

U-turn is there for scouting purposes, and can do a number on Celebi, especially with Expert Belt, but I forget how much it would actually do. Latias and other psychics don't like it too much either. If I had scarf, I would actually prefer to use Iron Head against the likes of Azelf, but revealing that my Jirachi isn't Scarfed to those leads is a bit of a liability, so I tend to either U-turn in the case the predict Trick and switch to something else, or just switch myself. I haven't seen much of them lately anyways, but when I do they can be tricky.

Update: I am essentially only using Expert Belt, now.
@ Kasib Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 130 HP/188 Spd/192 SAtk
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Discharge
- Will-O'-Wisp
- Overheat
- Shadow Ball
"Kasib Berry!? What the hell is that?"
In case you are curious, Kasib Berry is the Ghost-Resist Berry. Why this Berry you ask? I can give two reasons: Enemy Rotom, and Kitsunoh.
My Rotom is EVed specifically to OHKO the standard Kitsunoh with Overheat (but after I recalculated the damage after one match, there is a 2% chance of Kit surviving!). Choice Band Kitsunoh would OHKO me with ShadowStrike without Kasib Berry, and I wanted to make sure that Kit didn't cause problems for my team. Also, Rotom is EVed to outpace Adamant Lucario, seeing as I didn't expect too many Jolly ones to run Crunch after Ice Punch (though I have come across one such Lucario!).

When Splitting the remaining 130 EVs into the defenses, my main focus was physical defense. X-Act's Applet calculated an odd distribution for Rotom, but further calculations showed that 130 HP was the best possible for Physical and Special, so it worked out rather nicely for me, as I can take a few more non-STAB special moves.

Rotom also serves as my first screener (Bronzong as the second). Reflect allows for CBTyranitar's Pursuit fails to 2HKO, and I can Discharge for some paralysis (which has saved my team on more than one occasion). Rotom is quite a fun Pokemon to use, I must say, and the fact it is used by so many people so often isn't coincidence.

Update: WoW over Reflect. Superior as it does damage to random stuff too, and fun to use if people think I am scarfed due to lack of leftovers.
@ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP/252 Def/4 Spe
Bold nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Grass Knot
- Heal Bell
- Recover
- Thunder Wave

Replacing: Specs Latias
Celebi has proven to be immensly useful to my team. Not only can I pose a threat to more water types (albeit Ice Beam is still a risk), but spread around status and heal my own! Paralysis is something I need to get rid of on my team, and spread on others, as I have nothing that is very fast without Gliscor's help (Jirachi is the fastest at 328). Natural Cure means I can switch into status no problem, especially if I can't Heal Bell. Grass Knot over Energy Ball because Tyranitar is bitch.
@ Light Clay
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP/152 Atk/8 Def/96 SAtk
Sassy nature (+SDef, -Spd)
- Earthquake
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Explosion
Bronzong provides invaluable screens for my team. With Reflect and Light Screen up, it is so much easier to switch around, especially thanks to Light Clay extending the screens to a sexy eight turns each. Earthquake is because I hate other steels as well as Tyranitar, and Explosion is to have a fresh start for another one of my pokemon to come in with doubled defenses. In all my time using Bronzong, no one has used Earthquake against me, and I have managed to knock out a few Heatran thanks to Light Screen and Heatproof. Good stuff here.

Update: Levitate over Heatproof. Still survive nonspecs/lo Heatran Flamethrowers, and Light Screen means I survive most Fire Blasts still. I can switch in much more easily now, even though I do miss that bit of durability against fire =/
@ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Earthquake
- Waterfall
- Stone Edge
- Outrage
Gyarados is on of the top offensive threats, in both CAP and Standard, for good reason. With a top-notch movepool of argueably the best Physical moves, on top of great defenses, speed, and attack, this is not a force to be reckoned with. Earthquake, Stone Edge, and Waterfall are all the coverage I need for the most part, but the unique thing about this Gyarados is Outrage.

Though situational, Outrage is immensly useful, being able to take out dragons, and when steels are no longer a problem, late-game Outrage can serve as a great finisher if Waterfall is resisted by something else. I used to run Adamant, but I found that I really needed the speed to beat several more pokemon. The small lose in power isn't too substantial as it normally would be, thanks to Life Orb. This is the only pokemon where Stealth Rock is problematic, due to Life Orb, but it is a neccessary sacrifice as Gyarados needs it to perform at its best.
@ Leftovers
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 HP/60 Spd/196 SDef
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Earthquake
- Baton Pass
- Rock Polish
- Stone Edge
Gliscor is a rather huge help to this team, thanks to Rock Polish (sounds cooler than Agiligay) and Baton Pass. The fact that every pokemon on my team is a viable recipiant to Rock Polish boosts (even Bronzong!) is what makes Gliscor so fun to use on this team. Jirachi isn't the fastest pokemon, even with a Hasty nature, so I find a bit of extra speed useful. If I need Rotom to outspeed something and KO (it has great Special Attack and even better coverage), I can count on Gliscor. Latias can utilize it to outpace those pesky Scarf Flygons, as well as other Latiases (Latii?). Bronzong needs 2 Rock Polishes at least, but if I can pull it off I have at least one guarenteed screen or a fast explosion. Gyarados is the main recipiant however. I used to run Adamant on Gyarados just because of Rock Polish, but I found I could not depend on Gliscor all the time. Nonetheless, it helps in beating Scarfed pokemon, several of which are frail and can be KOd by any one of Gyara's moves.

The last move is always tricky, and each one serves its own use. Roost allows for Gliscor to survive longer and be able to pass more Rock Polishes, while Stone Edge allows me to not be walled by fliers (which has cost me a few matches) and taunt prevents other taunts, status, and other baton pass chains. All 3 are equally viable in my opinion, but more often than not I stick to Roost.

The item is simpler here, it is either survive an Ice move and guarentee a pass, or leftovers for a bit more general bulk. Yache berry has proven to be more useful overall however.

Update: Finding Stone Edge + Leftovers increasingly more useful, and sticking to that for now.
Old Team Members:
@ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk
Modest nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Draco Meteor
- Dragon Pulse
- Grass Knot
- Surf
I absolutely love Latias. With Specs, she forces switches like a charm, and can do a number even with Resisted hits. Mid-Game is generally when I use her to scout out steels and bulky waters, which both end up eating Surf or Grass Knot. Dragon Pulse is more often than not used when I want to be very cautious, otherwise I use Draco Meteor to do the most damage. Great synergy with both Bronzong and Jirachi. Surprisingly, nothing much else to say here.

Anyways, that is my team. Rate, critique, try out, steal, do whatever you please with it. I worked hard to make it, and it proved its worth. I am sure a more skilled player than I would have performed much better with this team, but on paper I say it is pretty dang good. I have never had many problems with this team, and it has reliably kept me in the top 25 even factoring in the fact that I play more for fun than ladder rank. I may edit a bit more in-depth later, but I feel that what I presently have should suffice.

Everyone in this community is fun to work with, was very open when I first came, and have made my experience here an enjoyable one. Thank you all, and I look forward to your responses, as well as continuing to participate here and on the server.
I'd like to know why you haven't got Stealth Rock. Is it a morality thing? If so, that's fine, but otherwise, I highly recommend setting them up. It would most likely go on Bronzong or Gliscor somewhere.

Second, I realy do recommend Levitate on Bronzong. Although Heatproof has that cool surprise factor that can net you an occasional KO, not using Levitate means you can't ever risk switching into an Earthquake, as you then take a ton of damage and lose your surprise factor instantly.

Aside from that, your team seems to have a slight Vaporeon weakness. No Pokemon on your team resists Water + Ice, and only two of them even resist Water, and neither of those two should be switching into a Vaporeon. In the same vein, Starmie and Suicune look like they'd be a problem for your team.
No, I just happened to not use Stealth Rock. I suppose I can try to fit it on Gliscor, but I honestly haven't ran into situations where Stealth Rock would have turned the game in my favor too often.

I have 4 other levitators/fliers on my team, so I still feel comfortable with Heatproof on Bronzong. I usually double-switch or switch twice to get bronzong in, as to avoid earthquake. There are sometimes where I wish Bronzong did have levitate, but the ability to survive a flamethrower from Infernape or a Fire Blast from Heatran and earthquake in their faces is too good for me to pass up.

Vaporeon is often problematic, and I usually have to explode on her with bronzong or try to revenge with Jirachi or Latias. I have yet to encounter Suicune, but Starmie is another problematic pokemon. I usually try to get Light Screen up in that case. How could I solve this problem?
The obvious answer is to get a (non-Gyrados) Water of your own. I think Vaporeon would be an excellent match for your team, seeing as Bronzong and Rotom really cry out for some Wish support (especially without Leftovers).

Maybe try this set over Gyrados:

Vaporeon @ Leftovers
Bold nature
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Ice Beam

While this set doesn't have any way to hit Starmie, Vaporeon or Suicune (outside of Roar), it does wall the heck out of them and greatly supports your team. Most notably, Rotom and Bronzong benefit from Wish. In fact, with Wish, you could feel free to drop Roost on Gliscor, making room for Stone Edge, Taunt, or even Stealth Rock.
I am not sure if I would want to replace Gyarados with Vaporeon, as Gyarados is one of the more key players. Could Vap go over Latias perhaps? I actually use her the least, I would say, and even though I lose some power, I suppose Vap keeps the physical/special mix in my team more balanced if replacing Latias.
Second, I realy do recommend Levitate on Bronzong. Although Heatproof has that cool surprise factor that can net you an occasional KO, not using Levitate means you can't ever risk switching into an Earthquake, as you then take a ton of damage and lose your surprise factor instantly.
Why does he really need to worry about switching into Earthquake? He has four other pokemon that he can decide to switch in instead of Bronzong. Also, earthquakes are rather predictable and somebody would have no reason to use EQ against Bronzong if he's already out. I think heatproof works just fine. All in all it's looks like a sturdy enough team to me. I'll go into more depth later.
I tested out Vaporeon over Gyarados and it didn't go over too well. I will try her over Latias to see if that produces better results, but if that doesn't I will maybe try Celebi or Breloom to beat waters.
Why does he really need to worry about switching into Earthquake? He has four other pokemon that he can decide to switch in instead of Bronzong. Also, earthquakes are rather predictable and somebody would have no reason to use EQ against Bronzong if he's already out. I think heatproof works just fine. All in all it's looks like a sturdy enough team to me. I'll go into more depth later.
The whole point of Heatproof is the surprise factor, correct? Well, don't forget that there are a couple of other ways by which you can lose the surprise. Any Fire move gives it away, and so do Spikes.

I thought there were other ways, but I can't think of any =\

Anyway, the general rule is that Levitate is better than Heatproof, but keep it if you must.

Oh, and sure, Vaporeon can go over Latias. Actually, I just noticed that Vaporeon would wreck your theme of no Toxic Spikes weaknesses (but I still recommend it).

Edit: Thank you, Plus. Well said.


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Professor of B101
One question:

Is there really any point to running ds zong then going for reflect tom? If you are scared of stuff like tyranitar, you can always run will o wisp, as it is a permanent crippler most of the time, whereas Reflect simply saves you for a while.

I'd also like to note that your team is based heavily on Gliscor, who may die off of some unexpected shit. As a result, you might want to ensure that your team can still do well even with Gliscor. For example, you could use Trick on Latias when you are in a tight spot, or you could pack DD on Gyara. Also, status is a major problem in this team, as Gliscor fails to taunt anything that has it and your team has no response to it. Perhaps you should fidget around with your team a little bit to make it easier to take such hits. Lum Berry, Natural Cure, etc. are some examples.

Also is there any major reason to run heatproof? does something fail to 2hko/ohko/etc. if it doesn't run Heatproof? I'm talking about the most common shit, such as fire blast LO Ape or Fire Blast from subtrans. I'd also say it is important to switch zong in particular into ground moves even if you have 4 others.

If you think about it, Zong ensures you bp without any problems. Getting the screens up fast is something you should aim for. The roles the other four pokemon have are different. Bronzong's role involves switching in and setting up screens fast? Switching in is where Levitate shines. I don't care about your other pokemon, it's about your bronzong.
I tested out Vaporeon over Gyarados and it didn't go over too well. I will try her over Latias to see if that produces better results, but if that doesn't I will maybe try Celebi or Breloom to beat waters.
in addition to those, you may want to try out toxicroak, lanturn, elemental weezing and suicune (with HP elec).
the first two are ground weak, but they have an amazing ability to stop most waters in their tracks. plus you have enough switches for EQ, so its not that bad for you.
weezing only has a single weakness, and has a great coverage with the elemental set.
suicune, who follows your defensive theme, walls most waters and can deal decent damage back at pokes not named blissey.
Okay, here is what I am currently testing (Oh, and I suppose I should note that by early retirement, i meant serious ladder play, I still plan on casually using this team for the time being.):

WoW over reflect on Rotom
A Trick Celebi set over Latias (and possibly the cleric) EDIT: Definitely Cleric
Levitate on Bronzong

I am also considering Mamoswine over Gyarados. I lose intimidate and immunity to ts, but he is neutral to SR, has great STAB priority, and with LO and a BPed Rock Polish, well, it looks good on paper.

EDIT: Updated with exactly what I am currently using. Mamo didn't work at all, so I am sticking to Gyara. I also tried DD, but I <3 Outrage to much, plus I just lost to a Latias because I didn't have it =[

Also, testing a purely physical expert belt jirachi. Trying out thunderpunch, ice punch, and zen headbutt, to see which could work.

EDIT2: It is a toss-up between zen headbutt and thunderpunch there, leaning towards zen headbutt. STAB+Flinch that hits Nape SE is quite fun. Also, my team is heavily fire weak, with my only reliable switch-in for those attacks being gyara. I am thinking LOtran with HP Grass somewhere on there? Nice possible recepient of Gliscor's Rock Polishes too, I suppose.
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