Introduction I like to put on a show when I post teams, and since this team is gonna be my last of gen 4, I'm going to try and make it as detailed as possible, which is why this whole RMT has a nasty case of tl;dr. Anyways, this is the best squad I've ever made, and I really enjoy playing with it. It fits my natural full stall/semi-stall playstyle, and it manages to catch many people off-guard with the use of Expert Belt Tyranitar. The game plan is to stack as many hazards as possible; it uses three different Pokemon who can come in on each others' common switchins in order to set them up. Starmie getting rid of opposing hazards and Jirachi passing Wishes greatly increases the team's longevity. Also, this is my 1K thread so I will include postcount milestone things in the post below, along with the threatlist! The theme is my favorite album from my favorite band, Lamb Of God. I present: Ashes Of The Wake [box] Roserade***Laid To Rest Item: Choice Scarf | Nature: Timid | EVs: 80 HP / 252 SpA / 176 Spe Sleep Powder | Toxic Spikes | Leaf Storm | Hidden Power [Ice] I'll tape you to the truth, for the truth shall set you free. I'll turn the screws of vengeance and bury you, with honesty. I'll make all your dreams come true to life, and slay them as quickly as they came. Smother another failure, lay this to rest.[/box] warning: extremely long (Move your mouse to reveal the content) warning: extremely long (open) warning: extremely long (close) Scarfed Roserade lead is something every reader of the Smog should be familiar with. It has many jobs on this team, starting with getting a quick first turn sleep on the opponent so Tyranitar can get Stealth Rock up as soon as possible; this limits the longevity of opposing Dragonite and Zapdos, which is key because they stand out as potentially fatal threats, regardless of the set. Aerodactyl and Infernape leads would normally stop my core from getting any hazards at all and would also set up Stealth Rock in the process. Scarfed sleep turns the tables quite nicely; I'm able to prevent their early hazards and then set up my own with the hazard trio. Being locked into Sleep Powder right off the bat is actually an advantage because it doesn't tempt me to set up TS immediately, not knowing whether they've got a poison type waiting in the wings that can soak them up as soon as it comes in; it forces me to scout before setting them up. Toxic Spikes on a choice user may seeem ludicrous but it's effective because Rade is very much a one turn Pokemon; this is due to its frailty and the drawback its best attack in Leaf Storm has, halving its SpA and forcing it to switch after it is used once. Being locked into Toxic Spikes is no larger setup fodder than being locked into Leaf Storm because many Pokemon who will set up vs Roserade won't care which attack it is [some examples include Heatran, Lucario, Dragonite, and Infernape]. I can deal with its common switchins quite easily, so it being setup fodder isn't a problem. In the intro, I mentioned how this trio of hazard setters feeds off each others' weaknesses. Roserade gets a free switch versus the bulky waters that like to switch in on Tyranitar, and I'm able to get a TS layer up as they switch to their Heatran. Tyranitar walls it, so I can just switch back, and even if they pull a double switch to their bulky water, they're going to be taking SR+poison damage, which they won't exactly appreciate. Against offensive teams I usually only get an opportunity to set up one layer unless I play aggressively, but I tend not to because against fast-paced teams I appreciate the immediate damage of one layer, due to the fact that they generally won't stay in long enough for the bad poisoning to take its toll. Roserade is too valuable to risk losing for something as little as an extra TS layer that will hurt more than it will help, because offensive teams often have a hard time switching into its powerful Leaf Storm; the mons that don't mind taking it (Heatran, Dragonite) are damaged severely by hazards. If my Tyranitar+Skarmory stall-breaking combination somehow fails, I'll generally need two layers of TS to help break through stall's defenses but it's not very hard to set them up because Rade gets free switchins vs. Rotom-A and ResTalk Gyarados, who are lured in by the aforementioned Skarm and Tar, respectively. Natural Cure is an excellent ability; the fact that it makes opposing sleep hard to predict around isn't a problem because Breloom, the main sleep user in OU, is lured and torched by Tyranitar. Roserade and Venusaur are the other common sleep users. Lead Rade are put to to sleep by my own and when they come in later, I figure out what is least valuable at that point in the match and let that slumber before I switch to Jirachi, who walls it for days. Venusaur is dealt with in the same manner except after it sleeps something I'll go Rade on the Leech Seed and then Jirachi on the HP Fire because I don't want to have a seed on me when I'm trying to kill it through Ironflinching; it's not very hard to beat Venu with Rachi even if they do get the seed off on it, it's merely an inconvenience that I don't deal with unless necessary. Since I do not have a ResTalker on this team, Rade is usually who I send in to take Will-O-Wisps and Thunder Waves, as it can fire off a powerful Leaf Storm and then switch out; or, if I need Rade as healthy as possible, I'll just switch out right away, as most distributors of these statuses (Rotom-A for WoW, Celebi for T-Wave) will not enjoy getting hit by Leaf Storm or HP Ice, respectively. Roserade's SpA stat is quite high and it is often underestimated; I've run into many people who grab a Calm Mind with their Suicune as I switch Rade in, and then think they can take a hit, proceeding to Rest or Ice Beam, depending on the set. They then stare in disbelief as Roserade launches a Leaf Storm and takes them out from full health with +1. That's the kind of sheer power Rade packs; as long as it's not 4x resisted (emphasis on the 4x), it is going to dent something badly, especially with the support of Stealth Rock and Spikes. I've experimented with the last move quite a bit; the choices I have are HP Ground, HP Fire, Sludge Bomb, and HP Ice. Ground was a nice surprise for Heatran but between Tyranitar, Rotom-W and Starmie, I didn't think that the extra coverage on it was necessary. Fire was able to hit Forretress and Scizor nicely, but Tyranitar always surprise roasted the former and Skarmory spiked all over the latter. I even tried Sludge Bomb (it sucked, plain and simple). I found Ice the most useful out of the four choices because it gives me a secondary Dragonite slayer. It was also very helpful for picking off weakened grass types that weren't bothered by Toxic Spikes (Breloom, Venusaur, opposing Roserade). As far as the EVs are concerned, max SpA is obvious. 176 Speed outruns Jolly +1 Dragonite, and the rest goes in HP for a bit of extra bulk. There aren't any other common base 90 scarfers (besides the rare Lucario, who I can't touch anyways) and neutral natured base 100s (Flygon) are nowhere to be found, so it's not necessary to run max speed. The one lead that really puts me in an awkward position is Machamp. However, it is quite outdated and its usage has dropped significantly because its effectiveness dropped when people started bending over backwards to have their teams ready for it, and therefore I don't worry about it if I know I'm going up against a good player. If someone I know is good actually does lead with it, I'll assume they're running Focus Sash [which is a cool way for Champ to beat Specs/LO Tran and CB/LO Azelf] and go for Sleep Powder. If they're actually running Lum, they'll wake up and kill me with Ice Punch. I'll then go to Rotom, as they don't know I'm scarfed yet and will assume I'm a defensive set trying to burn them, so they will switch to their Heatran; this means I can pull off a simple double switch to T-tar and get my SR up as they go back to Champ. The temptation for them to Payback Rotom on the switch is great, so I will switch in Jirachi instead so I can start flinching it. This is all theorymon, though; Machamp is so rare now I don't even worry about it. If it was more common, I would move Skarm to the lead slot and make it a Taunt+Lum Berry set with Brave Bird so I could beat it, but it's so rare that the benefits ScarfRade brings far outweight the benefits of LeadSkarm, so please do not suggest it; I have already experimented with it and I didn't like the results. [box] Tyranitar***Break You Item: Expert Belt | Nature: Hasty | EVs: 132 Atk / 96 SpA / 28 SpD / 252 Spe Stealth Rock | Pursuit | Fire Blast | Superpower You taught me hate, I'll teach you fear. Open the eyes, kill despair. You tried to squeeze the life from me. Son of a bitch, I'm going to break you...son of a bitch, I'm going to break you![/box] I used to think mixed Tyranitar was trash. This was because I've never really been a big fan of lures; they just didn't seem reliable in my mind. Then Eggbert posted his Dark Horse team using it, and I was intrigued. I tried the team out and I was amazed at how good the Ttar was; it pretty much defines anti-metagame. Prior to this set, I had a specially defensive ChestoRester. The team was fairly weak to stall, so I changed to the mixed variant and I've had absolutely no problems with it since. The crux of this set's stallbreaking power is the bluff that you are using a set that is spikes bait; if you've used Stealth Rock they assume you're a bulky support set and if you haven't, they assume you're a banded/scarfed set. First, you come in to trap Rotom-A. Obviously it's not that easy; you cannot simply switch Tar in as soon as Rotom appears, or you will get burned. There are two ways I can bring Ttar in. The first way is if Skarm has lured it in and Taunted it on a switch - this means they cannot use WoW and I'm free to come in for the trap. The second way Tar can come in is if Starmie has lured Rotom and Hydro Pumped it down to under 50%. At that point, there's no way they will not Thunderbolt/Shadow Ball when staring at a Starmie that has the potential to kill them on the next turn, so I can freely switch in Tar. This strategy also means Scarf Tyranitar cannot come in to trap me after Rotom dies so that I wouldn't get my spin off regardless. Anyways, after I come in, I'll trap and kill while they will switch into their Forry because it's the best opportunity to get off a Rapid Spin or a Payback to try and wear down Rotom; that's when you torch them with Fire Blast. After I've demolished that third of their team they'll figure out that Hippowdon/Swampert is their best bet at beating Tar but I'll have killed Forretress and therefore their spinner, so I can go wild in spiking the field with Skarm. Once Tar breaks open this hole, I am at a huge advantage and stall teams will be very hard pressed to beat me; only Swampert/Hippo and ResTalk Gyara can really beat this set, and once I've killed Rotom/Forry, I can spin their hazards easily so they can't phaze me all day and I can spike all over them. Once Tar does its thing, it's nearly impossible for me to lose provided I don't play like a retard. Tar is my stall breaker but he shines against offense as well. He comes in on Heatran that wall my Roserade or Skarmory and takes approximately 1/3 from Earth Power while Stealth Rocking in its face; Jirachi can pass a Wish to it later if I need it healthy. If the aforementioned Tran is foolish enough to stay in, I will Superpower it into oblivion on the next turn. More often than not they will switch to their grass type, though. If it's Shaymin, I can switch to Roserade to get a TS layer, but if it's Breloom, I will turn that mushroom into barbecue. The significant speed investment also often helps bluff a Scarf, as odd as that sounds; if a Tyranitar outran my weakened defensive Rotom-A and Pursuited it, I'd think it was Scarfed too. Another thing that Tyranitar does is destroy Lucario, a rather large threat, who think they can set up an SD/use Crunch predicting my ghost switch because I have no moves to hurt them; they seem to assume I'm running a moveset of Stealth Rock | Pursuit | Stone Edge | Rest. The EVs were initially stolen from Eggbert and then tweaked to my liking, I don't really remember the details of what they originally were and why/how I changed them - I do know their purpose though: 96 SpA ensures the Fire Blast KO vs. Skarmory after SR+1 turn of Lefties, 28 Atk KOs Bold max/max Blissey with Superpower after SR, max spe outruns max speed Adamant Breloom / standard MixTar, ties with Jolly max speed Tar sets such as DD, and the remaining EVs go into SpD to help me switch into Heatran's Earth Powers and Zapdos' Thunderbolts better. Also, LO Starmie/Shaymin cannot KO me with Hydro Pump/Seed Flare respectively even after Stealth Rock. Not running leftovers without a form of recovery on a mon I rely on alot isn't a problem because Jirachi lures Heatran in on the switch as it uses Wish, so I can heal Tar at any time necessary. Tyranitar is this team's MVP by far; he still isn't getting past Swampert/Hippowdon but Skarm spikes all over them, Toxic Spikes severely hinder their longevity, Roserade massacres them with Leaf Storm and Starmie can get rid of SR so they're not problematic in the least. I encourage everyone who hasn't used MixTar yet to give it a shot - I guarantee you will be pleased with the results. [box] Skarmory***One Gun Item: Shed Shell | Nature: Impish | EVs: 252 HP / 16 Def / 136 SpD / 104 Spe Spikes | Whirlwind | Taunt | Roost You are the cause, I am the effect. Created, in hatred, a noose for your neck.[/box] Skarm completes my entry hazard trio and provides me with an extremely efficient phazer, opposing Tyranitar counter, and a secondary stallbreaker. It gets free setup vs the bulky waters/grounds that are out to make Tyranitar's life miserable, such as Vaporeon, Swampert, Hippowdon, Flygon, and much more! Its common switchins include Heatran, Infernape, and Starmie. Heatran is eaten by Tyranitar and Starmie, at worst revenge killed by Rotom. Infernape is taken out by Starmie. Rotom is sent out initially versus opposing Starmie because defending the hazards is my priority; Jirachi walls it for days on end though, so it's not like I auto-lose to it if Rotom dies. It's just alot easier to execute with hazards up, but it isn't impossible to work without them; it just means I have to find a different way to win. Shed Shell is there because otherwise Magnezone+DD Kingdra combinations will eat me alive; Zone isn't exactly all over the place but I like to have coverage on as many threats as possible. The lack of Leftovers isn't very problematic because I have a 50% instant recovery move, I'm not hurting myself with Brave Bird recoil, Starmie keeps SR off the field, and Jirachi can pass Wishes to it since Skarm feeds off Rachi's ground weakness. The EVs are weird at a glance but they do their job. Max HP is obvious on a wall. 16 Defense with an Impish nature gives a bonus point from 350 to 352 for the price of only 4 EVs; this helps alot because Skarm is my main Tyranitar counter. 104 Speed outruns 8 Spe ResTalk Gyara, who became very common after Kevin Garrett Stall was posted. It also means I will outrun all CB Tyranitar, meaning I can switch in, soak up a Stone Edge, and then Roost stall.The remaining EVs go into SpD so Skarm can do Skarmory things versus a wider variety of threats, mainly as defensive Water/Grass types of FWG cores; it also gives me a decent sponge to MixNite's Draco Meteor. Since I know from personal experience how dangerous Expert Belt Tyranitar can be to entry-hazard based teams, I now take extra precautions when switching into it with Skarm. As soon as I switch in on whatever attack, I'll run a calc to see if it's Choice Banded or not; if I see the attack does less than it would with a CB, or if they use Stealth Rock, I will switch to Tyranitar (as opposed to Starmie because it fails to KO with Hydro Pump) the next turn. If they're not mixed, they'll switch to Heatran and I will have the advantage. If they are mixed, they will Fire Blast, and the next turn I'll Superpower their faces in thanks to my 8 extra speed EVs. I doubt my opponent would also speed creep on such a rare set, so I'm safe there. I mentioned earlier how Skarm was my secondary stallbreaker; it does this through spiking, phazing, and taunting to prevent recovery while shrugging off weak attacks with Roost when necessary. Let's examine a standard stall team of Hippowdon | Forretress | Rotom-A | Blissey | Gyarados | Tyranitar for this example. Skarm spikes and shuffles vs. Hippowdon, Blissey, Gyarados, and Tyranitar. (Just to clarify, even if Bliss packs Flamethrower, it does less than 50% unless it's Fast Blissey, but that is rarely seen on stall because it's tailored for balanced teams.) Skarm cannot beat Rotom or a well-played Forretress. Tyranitar specializes in killing those two; once it's done that then Skarm comes in and I win. End of story. [box] Rotom-W***Omerta Item: Choice Scarf | Nature: Timid | EVs: 252 HP / 40 SpA / 216 Spe Thunderbolt | Hidden Power [Ice] | Hydro Pump | Trick Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, "If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven." Such is the rule of honor.[/box] Bulky Scarf Rotom is my favorite spin blocker and I recommend it a ton when rating other teams; this is because of its ability to check Life Orb Starmie, my greatest nemesis, thanks to the scarf letting it outspeed and the max HP letting it tank a Hydro Pump. You might say, "well after Hydro Pump and / or sandstorm showing him you don't have Leftovers, the Starmie user will just switch out to Tyranitar and Pursuit you!" This is true; one of my best teams uses StarTar and it uses this strategy to make sure Star gets the spin off. Since I know good players do this, after showing Rotom as my response to Starmie, I'll use Hydro Pump - they will never expect this and with hazards up, it is a 2HKO. You might say, "well the Starmie can just Hydro Pump you again the next time it comes in and then it can spin!" Guess what? It's taking hazard damage on each switch, and those hazards are going to take their toll. Let's examine some calcs. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Let's examine some calcs. (open) Let's examine some calcs. (close) First time Starmie switches in, at 100% health: Stealth Rock: 12% 100% - 12% = 88% Spikes: 12% 88% - 12% = 76% Toxic Spikes inflict poison. On the switch to Rotom If Starmie Hydro Pumps: Life Orb: 10% 76% - 10% = 66% Sandstorm: 6% 66% - 6% = 60% Poison damage: 12% 60% - 12% = 48% This means Starmie took 52%. If Starmie Rapid Spins, there is no effect and therefore no Life Orb recoil, so let's add the damage that LO did back to its HP. 48% + 10% = 58% This means Starmie took 42%. Keep in mind Starmie has to do this twice. 52% x 2 = 104% 42% x 2 = 84% If Starmie Hydro Pumps, it's dead on the second try. If it Rapid Spins, I've saved my hazards. Conclusion: GG Starmie So Rotom does, in fact, kill even the most well-played Starmie; even if it dies in the process, it did its job of protecting the hazards. The other common spinner, Forretress, is fried by Ttar, so it's not an issue whatsoever. Besides blocking spins, Rotom also revenge kills +1 DDnite and surprise kills MixNite on double switches (I have never run into one who wasn't surprised by HP Ice). Lack of Shadow Ball isn't a problem because I have Jirachi to beat Gengar and Tyranitar beats Rotom; Roserade can help in a pinch. Trick cripples last Pokemon set-uppers, but it's mainly used for Snorlax; the rest of my team can beat the other Cro-attackers. Rotom acts as a backup check to threats that got through my main counter to them, whether it was because of a crit, my stupidity, or my opponent playing well; these threats include Heatran, Infernape, CM Jirachi, Gyarados and LO Shaymin. As far as EVs go: max HP for tanking Starmie Hydro Pumps/Forretress Paybacks, 216 Spe to outrun Jolly +1 Gyarados, and the rest goes into SpA to power up his moves. The power loss isn't too noticeable, especially with entry hazard support. Rotom does his job well and the team couldn't function without him. [box] Starmie***Now You've Got Something To Die For Item: Leftovers | Nature: Timid | EVs: 252 HP / 40 SpA / 216 Spe Hydro Pump | Thunderbolt | Rapid Spin | Recover Set the children to the fire. Sons and daughters stack the pyre. Stoke the flame of the empire. Live to lie another day.[/box] Starmie is a bitch and I hate it but it's OU's best spinner and I needed a bulky water so we decided on a truce. It counters OU's fire types, Heatran and Infernape; CB U-turn Apes hurt alot but Rotom is still there to check them and they won't appreciate all the hazard damage [they'll be hesitant to U-turn in the first place because it's best to switch as little as possible with sr+(toxic) spikes on the field]. Starmie also acts as my main Gyarados counter; if it's CB with Payback (which I have only seen once in my entire life, when I battled Nails) then I'll die but I can abuse the knowledge that it's going to lock itself into something each time it comes in - this will let me make appropriate switches. Taunt Skarm+Pursuit Tyranitar+SpinMie is a fantastic trio - Skarm lures and Taunts Rotom-A on the switch so that Tar cannot be burned/Reflected while Pursuiting it, creating a path for Star to spin whenever it pleases. It also helps that Tar will often toast a Forretress right after the Rotom trap, meaning Starmie doesn't have to worry about eating a Payback when it wants to come in to do its field-clearing duties. Starmie is quite an effective offensive force despite running a defensive set. This is partially due to its high speed and decent special attack, but it's mainly because most of its switchins despise toxic and / or regular spikes - Blissey, Snorlax, Tyranitar, and Scizor come to mind. I would love to use Surf > Hydro Pump; HP's accuracy is garbage and I swear it's 85% to miss, not hit, but I run it anyways - the 2HKO on Rotom-A is that important. It also KOs Heatran from higher HP so it can't boom in my face. 252 HP gives me the best overall durability, 216 Spe outruns Gengar, and the remaining EVs go into SpA so I don't hit like a total pussy. [box] Jirachi***Hourglass Item: Leftovers | Nature: Careful | EVs: 248 HP / 216 SpD / 44 Spe Wish | Ice Punch | Iron Head | Fire Punch It's only getting worse, Not worth a moment's regret. Each dawn another curse, every breath a twisting blade. What will be left behind in the ashes of the wake?[/box] This guy was added to the team because of my massive Gengar/CM Jirachi weakness; he does a fine job at countering both because they can't do shit to him while he can strike back hard with the appropriate attack. This is one of the few surefire counters to SubSplit Gengar out there. The entry hazards compliment him nicely; Heatran despises SR+Spikes damage, and bulky waters not named Gyarados (who hates SR) hate Toxic Spikes [ex: Suicune, Vaporeon, Swampert]. Rachi provides recovery for himself and the rest of the team with Wish. If I sense a switch, I will use it in preparation to get my next guy in safely, playing in a Vaporeon-esque manner. Heatran and Flygon are Rachi's most common switchins, which means I can heal Tyranitar and Rotom, respectively. I ran Thunder Wave in Ice Punch's slot but I changed it for a few reasons. One, it hit the omnipresent Scarf Flygon on the switch for a hilarious ragequit-inducing KO, but it was mainly to deter DD Dragonite and SubRoost Zapdos from setting up on me; in Dnite's case, it is KO'd after SR damage and a turn of sandstorm, while my aim vs. Zap is to break its subs, forcing it to roost so I can eventually get a fire punch burn on it. Speaking of FP burns, this set takes a bit of a different approach to beating Wish CM Jirachi. I got the idea after my friend Heist rated my As The Palaces Burn team; this strategy relies on eventually getting a burn with Fire Punch. This is fairly easy to do. Since FP is dealing something in the mid to high 20s vs. the bulkiest of Wish CM Rachis, the opponent is going to be having to use Wish every second turn in order to survive while all I need is a 20% chance; it's going to be 14 or so turns at bare minimum for me to inflict the burn. After, I can flinch them down [I speed crept by 8 EVs] into Fire Punch 2HKO range - Wish not being an instant recovery move works to my benefit here. It's a very fun way of beating opposing Jirachi, to say the least. SubCM Rachi are just weakening themselves through Sub and they don't hit much harder so they're easy to beat as well. Not running Thunder Wave kind of hurts vs. Superachi with HP Ground but they're rare; plus, I can still take the hit decently, respond with an FP, and then switch to Rotom on the next HP Ground before switching to Ttar on the Psychic so I can fire off a couple Fire Blasts for a 2HKO. 248 HP EVs as opposed to max because I wanted to speed creep bulky Wish CM Rachi by 8 EVs and I didn't want to lose the SpD bonus point that 216 speed gives...I think I just covered my whole EV spread in one sentence! That's a first. Anyways, Jirachi is a great team player and I love it. --- Last Glance: Conclusion So that's the team! I hope you enjoyed it. I'll cover the main threats this team faces in a post below; that's also where the 1K shenanigans will happen!