alternus -a -um [one after the other, by turns, alternate, interchanging] Why hello there, Smogonites. After attempting to make teams not based around any type or weather or some gimmicky strategy, I eventually flat up gave up on that and attempted my luck at a VoltTurn team, centered around defensive cores that can find weaknesses and send out the appropriate counter. I'm sure there's got to be room for improvement, but so far I've been doing very nicely with this team, getting over 1600+ on PS in a single run, and its success continues every time I enter PS. While maybe a little overused, it's certainly effective and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Team Building (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Team Building (open) Team Building (close) The crux of all VoltTurn teams, I tried to justify not using him, but it's just hard to do. Specially Defensive Rotom-W is just too good to leave out, so he's our start. Gliscor seems like an odd choice, but with Stealth Rocks now being legal with Poison Heal, I tried him out as my physically defensive wall. I decided to go for Scarf Jirachi for some reason. I noticed that together, the three make a very nice defensive core, and their combination of Volt Switch and U-turn would allow me to switch into my offensive threats. While Terrakion doesn't get U-turn, he's an incredible offensive threat and can dent, if not outright KO, most things that get in its way. Substitute + SD seemed like the best set, as it can easily setup in most Pokemon's faces. With only one real offensive threat so far, and my lack of a spinner, it was logical that Starmie was the next choice in order to spin rocks away and hit most Pokemon hard. Standard with Life Orb. And finally, we have Calm Mind Latios. Since I was severely lacking in sweepers, I needed one that could hit hard and was fast. Since Jirachi could somewhat make up for the lack of physical presence, a setup sweeper Latios seemed like the perfect choice. In theory, this would work out as a balanced VoltTurn team, but in practice, it fell short. There was no real hard hitters straight off the bat that could take out the most dedicated of walls, not to mention common walls like Jellicent could ruin this team, Recovering off any potential hits I could throw against it. So, after a few rounds, I switched up my team a little bit. Look, I tried DESPERATELY to be different and not include CB Scizor, but it doesn't work out that way. I needed a hard hitter right off the bat, and his advantage of having U-turn is all the more helpful. She replaced Starmie because although it has good coverage, it's not quite that good without any type of Choiced item, in my experience. Well, now that my spinner was gone, I needed a new one. Since Standard Forretress luckily can setup rocks and spin, he was the best choice that I could think of (he gets Volt Switch too, which is nice.) I like to believe that at this point I switched Rotom-W's and Jirachi's roles, with Rotom-W now being Scarfed and Jirachi being a specially defensive Wish passer. At this point, I though I had finally nailed it down, but no. Volcarona completely sweeps me off my feet, and powerful physical attackers can still break through. Therefor, I decided to go for a more special variant of Salamence to help me out with both of these problems. While he may seem outclasses, he's got a few tricks up his sleeves. This is my current team build, and I quite like it. At a passive glance it's not extremely obvious what my Pokemon will do, just about any one of them could be Scarfers or setup sweepers, etc. I'm sure there's some problems, but what team doesn't have any? Rotom-Wash Suffrage (Rotom-Wash) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature - Volt Switch - Hidden Power [Ice] - Hydro Pump - Trick The crux to most VoltTurn teams, Rotom-W contains all the assets to make a good team member: good typing, decent defenses, and good coverage, not to mention he's got Volt Switch to add momentum. Originally a specially defensive variant, I found the Choice Scarf set to be the most useful one in a VoltTurn team, being a spectacular lead with all the tools to dish out damage or ruin walls that could hamper my team. I hate to be so standard with my sets, but it just works out best, especially in the case of VoltTurn teams. Absorbing all the Fire, Ice and Ground weaknesses my team bears, it's extremely hard to overlook him as a valuable member of my team. Forretress GenIIFerro (Forretress) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 SDef Relaxed Nature IVs: 0 Spd - Volt Switch - Rapid Spin - Stealth Rock - Spikes The fortress that is Forretress is back again, sporting the defense take hits and either setup in their face or spin rocks away to keep my VoltTurners from taking too much residual damage. While not quite the sturdy (heh) wall that I wish he could be, he still finds a spot in my team due to his ability to do what normally it takes two Pokemon to do. Although there's a bit of competition from Donphan, I don't feel comfortable being weak to common Ice-type attacks, and I certainly would rather have a Pokemon neutral to Water-type attacks than weak to them. While certainly not a extremely potent member of my team, his jack of all trades mentality will assure me that he can get the job done, be it in rain or snow, Sunny or stormy, he gets the job done. Jirachi HAX (Jirachi) @ Leftovers Trait: Serene Grace EVs: 252 HP / 224 SDef / 32 Spd Careful Nature - Wish - U-turn - Iron Head - Thunder Wave The king of rage is back again to make your opponent throw his DS at the wall. Sporting the typing to sponge hits, his role on this team is more important than FlinchHax, it is his ability to transfer Wish's via U-turn to other members of the team that truly nets him a spot. Since most of my team members will be taking damage, be it from resisted hits or hazards, it's very nice to have something to pass off Wishes to heal them for 202 HP. Thunder Wave seems like an odd choice due to his ability and access to Body Slam, but I can't really afford to play too many games against setup sweepers, so 100% chance to paralyze is generally the better option for me. U-turn should be obvious by now, and I shouldn't even have to say anything about it. His defenses are key, and it is for this reason that he belongs on my team. Terrakion Taurine (Terrakion) @ Stone Plate Trait: Justified EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly Nature - Substitute - Swords Dance - Close Combat - Stone Edge Terrakion is the stone cold hard hitter that can sweep most teams effortlessness. With my team based around constantly switching out, his job is to come in when a weakness is exposed on the other team and either hit it hard with one of his STAB's or setup a Substitute to hit the next thing that comes in hard with its STAB's. SubSD is a little underrated, it allows me to setup on a predicted switch and get a sweep going if anything that could stop me is already gone. The item choice is a bit weird, I didn't feel comfortable using Life Orb and Substitute on the same time, due to major health issues, so Stone Plate is used to at least buff up my Stone Miss to the same power of Close Combat. Powerful, he is a great member to my team and many. Scizor PUNCH IT (Scizor) (F) @ Choice Band Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SDef Adamant Nature - Bullet Punch - U-turn - Superpower - Quick Attack I really did try not to add this guy (girl) into my team, but I just couldn't help it. He adds the immediate threat and power that my team needs, firing off Choice Banded Bullet Punches or predicting with U-turn whenever I need it. It goes without saying that she and Rotom-W make a very good team with their combination of defensive typing and raw power and versatility. I really can't say anything about Scizor that's not extremely obvious already; I mean, he is the number one used OU Pokemon right now. The only thing worth of mention is using Quick Attack over Pursuit. While Pursuit is normally the better option for nailing Pokemon like Reuniclus or the Lati twins, it isn't as necessary on this team due to the lack of weather and emphasis on momentum. If I really think the opponent will switch out, I'll just use U-turn instead (Quick Attack is always nice for Volcarona, at the very least.) Salamence Saladmence (Salamence) (M) @ Choice Specs Trait: Intimidate EVs: 28 Atk / 228 SAtk / 252 Spd Hasty Nature - Draco Meteor - Hydro Pump - Fire Blast - Earthquake Oh Salamence, how I love you so. Salamence is the final member for my team, though anything normally said about Salamence is not quite the same here. In fact, Salamence with a Choice Specs seems pointless when other sweepers like Latios and Hydreigon exist. However, there's a few things that set him apart: Intimidate and Hydro Pump. Intimidate allows me to force more switches and nail something with one of Salamence's powerful moves. Earthquake is mainly filler, it's only real use is against Heatran (28 attack EV's is a sure KO on specially defensive Heatran factoring in rocks and leftovers). With all that said, he's mainly here to stop setup sweepers and Volcarona from completely boning my team. Although 110 special attack isn't amazing, his arsenal of powerful moves is and really puts the hurt on something. Key Threats *I'm sure there's more threats I'm not aware of, but these are definitely the key ones. Volcarona can be threatening depending on its set. Variants with HP Ground are easily checked, but variants that run HP Rock or Giga Drain can sweep through the majority of my team. Salamence is somewhat of a check in these circumstances, though in most cases it helps to just have Stealth Rocks down and hit it with a Quick Attack from Scizor for the KO. I was shocked when Venusaurs unboosted Sludge Bomb did over 54% to my Salamence. Normally he's my go to check for Venusaur, hitting hit hard with a Sun boosted Fire Blast, but when it carries Sludge Bomb, it becomes much more of a problem. Prior damage is all I can hope for, so that I can revenge kill with Scizor. If it doesn't have Sludge Bomb though, it's less threatening. I can work around rain and Sun most of the time, but they're still bothersome depending on the teammates. Sun teams that carry Heatran are particularly annoying, normally stopping Scizor from getting some KO's. Rain teams can hit extremely hard with boosted Scalds and Hydro Pumps, and will take their toll on my Steel-types after a little bit. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well guys, that's it. I appreciate any and all (sophisticated) feedback. I really like how this team is going so far, but I appreciate any possible help as well.