Antilead guide

I thought that a guide on how to make an anti-lead might be quite helpful, because there was no in-depth section in ColonelM's guide, which I recommend you read first. It's pretty good. :-D

This guide intends to answer some questions about antileads, and how to make one. This is intended for OU, because I don't know shit about UU. I might write one for ubers, however, if this one gets some good feedback.

Please note that this is my first guide ever, so don't hesitate to tell me where I went wrong, because I probably fucked up my tenses or something. :-)

Antilead Guide

-2/03/08 - My jirachi was fail. Thanks blue kirby.

Section 1; What is an antilead?

An antilead is simply a pokemon that gets common leads (for this example, we'll use the top 15 from the january 2008 shoddy lead statistics) and can take most common strategies with stride (sleep, phazing). It also intends to get you the upper hand early on in the battle. Antileads tend to have fairly good type coverage, and can sweep a good few of your opponents pokemon.

I'm going to note here that many antileads cannot do everything. You will need support from your teammates to do all roles. Don't think that this is a little excessive; the first few turns can make all the difference.
Section 2; What should an antilead do?

Well, your antilead should aim to outspeed or take a decent hit, and destroy an opposing pokemon.

It should also take status well, and should not be bothered by phazing. (e.g, doesn't use bulk-up/nasty plot).

Another important feature any antilead should have is general bulkiness. Unless your antilead can outspeed all opposing lead pokemon (this includes choice scarf pokemon), bulkyness can be very helpful in taking hits. But don't think this means you should just max your defenses and stall. Speed can be important; especially on slower pokemon. Getting a surprise upper hand is fun!

A great thing to have on your antilead is the ability to hit your opponent from both ends of the damage spectrum. A common lead idea is the use of phazers, which tend to use a high physical defense (the majority of leads are physical) and can set up an entry hazard, like spikes or stealth rock. You can get this type of lead by attacking at the opposite end of the damage spectrum, like using flamethrower to get skarmory, while still having a move like stone edge to get salamence and gyarados.

And, this really goes without saying, your antilead should aim to hit most opponents with super-effective damage. If you can get 12 out of 15, it's better than the 6 out of 15 that gyarados just manages to get with some sets.

Section 3; Starting to build your antilead.

Lets review what your antilead should have.

*Impervious to status effects
*Impervious to phazing
*Decent mixed attacks
*Decent defenses
*Type coverage against common leads

Note that when I say impervious to phazing, I mean it doesn't use a move that boosts its stats. Asking to be actually impervious to phazing through the use of ingrain or suction cups is a decent trait, but excessive.

So, what do each of these traits entail?

*Impervious to status effects
This means that it can take sleep/paralysis/burn/poison and not be harmed by it. The real way to oppose this would be to use a sleep talker, but that would also mean that you loose out on type coverage against your opponent. The way to get past this would be to use lum berry, so that is already set in stone.

*Impervious to phazing
This simply means you are not bothered by phazing, so no use of calm mind/bulk up/nasty plot/swords dance. This is already set in stone.

*Decent mixed attacks
This means you can use physical attacks and special attacks, to hit common bulky and wall leads.

*Decent defenses
This needs to be done with damage calculations, to see if you can survive hits from opposing pokes. If you can't do this, don't worry. You have 5 other pokemon to take care of your opponents lead!

*Type coverage against common leads
One of the hardest things to work out, but I'll scratch the surface of this soon.

So, we haven't even begun to look at leads and actual pokemon, and we're over halfway there!

*Impervious to status effects; Use of lum berry or rest and sleep talk.
*Impervious to phazing; No use of status boosting moves
*Decent mixed attacks; Decent attack and special attack stats.
*Decent defenses; -
*Type coverage against common leads; -

Section 3.1; "Type coverage against common leads"

To start, let's review common leads. Top 15 is a good amount, but you can use top 10, top 20, or even top 30, if you want to be really thorough.

The top 15 leads of january 2008 on shoddy battle are as follows.

Gyarados (13090 leads)
Gengar (12669 leads)
Bronzong (11696 leads)
Tyranitar (10024 leads)
Salamence (9885 leads)
Hippowdon (8437 leads)
Ninjask (6880 leads)
Yanmega (6196 leads)
Abomasnow (6103 leads)
Weavile (5876 leads)
Metagross (5798 leads)
Roserade (5767 leads)
Infernape (5637 leads)
Jolteon (5636 leads)
Breloom (4933 leads)

So, I after browsing through there, I think the 3 most powerful sweepers in there are;

- Yanmega
- Tyranitar
- Salamence

Now, how can we deal with these?

Yanmega just needs a little bit of background support, or STAB resistances. Steel Types can stop him, and he has a very exploitable weakness which I will discuss soon. Also, all blissey stops yanmega.

Tyranitar needs a good fighting move. But be wary, he can still pose quite a threat. Just make sure the rest of your team can take him as well.

Salamence is the one wild card. With 3 sets that run off sky-high attack stats, the best way to take him down is to outrun him.

Now salamence is usually on a speed stat of 299, which is really the norm for him. Salamences that are scarfed, or run a +spe nature are pretty rare, and aren't too powerful. So, you really just need to be able to outrun him, and OHKO. The OHKO part can come from something like Ice Beam.

We should add this too the list, say, a 301 Speed stat minimum? This also outruns Tyranitar, Gyarados, CB Cross, and other common powerful leads.

Now, what are the most exploitable weaknesses?

I found that collectively, Rock, Ice, and Fire are the largest, and probably what you should be focusing on. Ground and Flying are also important, but Flying is mainly covered by Rock Ice and Fire. I suggest for your 4th slot, you opt for a strong STAB, a ground move, or a support move.

In regards to the physical/special split, I reccommend that you run special moves on your ice and fire moves, because gliscor and skarmory could become problems.

Section 3.2; "Decent defenses"

So, we want to be able to take hits from opposing pokemon. This is actually hard. The maximum from each spectrum would be a

Special: 2+ Nasty Plot Azelf, Psychic
Physical: 2+ CB Tar, Earthquake

This is actually pretty hard, finding a pokemon who can take MASSIVE hits like that. You'll need important walling support. You can lead with something like gliscor, but your special defences become lacking. Likewise, leading with blissey means that physical attackers will get a head start.

A good, but somewhat situational alternative...
Section 4; Items, Status, And Defenses; A Better Alternative?

One of the hardest things your antilead will have to deal with is taking hits from your opponent. One way to remedy this is focus sash. The problem with the sash, however, is auto-weather leads will mop the floor with you. You will need to counter the only 3 auto weather pokemon, who could give you trouble.

They are as follows;

- Tyranitar
- Abomasnow
- Hippowdon

So unless you carry an immunity to any (or all, but lead mamoswine isn't a good idea), you will need to exploit shared weaknesses. The best way to do this is to have a flame move and a grass move. Fire blast and grass knot come to mind, as with a decent special attack stat, they will both OHKO or 2HKO without question. You may have some trouble with ubers-tar (higher special defence, works well in OU), but it should still 2HKO. At least.

I personally recommend that when you use focus sash, you carry a sandstorm immunity. Steel types are the best, I've found, because of good immunities.

Also, it means you only need a fire move, which you should have anyway. As it is the most exploitable type in the top 15 leads.

The problem with this, of course, is you become wide open to status leads, so you will need a resttalker to absorb status.

I actually recommend this over lum berry, but you'll need support. When using a steel type, know you'll need a flyer/levitator, a fire resist, and a sleeptalker. This seems like a lot, but can be compressed into a few pokes. A flyer should be on every team, and thick fat resttalk Hariyama can Take status an fire moves really well.

Section 5; An Example

So, lets review once more what an ideal antilead should be;

*Impervious to status effects; Use of lum berry or rest and sleep talk.
*Impervious to phazing; No use of status boosting moves
*Decent mixed attacks; Decent attack and special attack stats.
*Decent defenses; Takes hits or uses a focus sash with an immunity to sandstorm
*Type coverage against common leads; Fire Move (special), Ice Move (special), Rock Move (either), Strong STAB move / Support Move / Ground Move (either).
*301 Speed Minimum; To outrun strong sweepers like salamence and gyarados

We'll begin with status effects. In this example, I'll use the alternative method, which entails a resttalker and general weakness support.

Also, we won't use stat-upping moves, because of phazing.

Next, it's decent mixed attacks. So, what attacks are there?

Special Fire Moves: Flamethrower, Fire Blast, HP Fire
Special Ice Moves: Blizzard, Ice Beam, HP Ice
Rock Moves: Rock Slide, Stone Edge, HP Rock

This means that any of these are a must have.

So, what can learn some of these moves with a good high special attack and an immunity to sand storm? With a bit of research, I found that swampert could fill this spot potentially.

Now, does swampert have decent defenses? 100 HP, 110 Def, And 90 SpDef is pretty impressive.

Type Coverage?
Yessir, we had this explained before.

And a 301 speed minimum?
No, but can take a hit from powerful sweepers pretty well.

But it's all up to preference. There are heaps of pokemon who learn those moves, just experiment and see what works for you.

It has all types of problems, but I shall reiterate. Your antilead will need support from the rest of your team.

I cannot stress that enough.

Section 6; A Checklist

*Impervious to status effects;
*Impervious to phazing;
*Decent mixed attacks;
*Decent defenses;
*Type coverage against common leads;
*301 Speed Minimum;

Just a little checklist you might want to use, kind of the point of the whole guide.

My jirachi is only an example, as the ideas behind it will change every month. And of course the 301 speed minimum will change as the metagame changes.

Hopefully this guide has helped you build strong antileads that can support your team.

Happy teambuilding!

If this is actually absolute bollocks, just lock it or whatever, but I guess it could be good.

Thanks in advance.

Blue Kirby

Never back down.
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I just took a scan over this, and you have a quite noticable problem.

Jirachi doesn't learn Earthquake, Stone Edge, Flamethrower or Ice Beam. It does learn Fire Punch and Ice Punch, but it doesn't really have any alternatives to Earthquake or Stone Edge.

Seeing that doesn't really make me want to read the rest of the article in-depth ...
I just took a scan over this, and you have a quite noticable problem.

Jirachi doesn't learn Earthquake, Stone Edge, Flamethrower or Ice Beam. It does learn Fire Punch and Ice Punch, but it doesn't really have any alternatives to Earthquake or Stone Edge.

Seeing that doesn't really make me want to read the rest of the article in-depth ...
I did this offline, actually, and was under the impression that he did. Thinking up a new alternative now.