Introduction Hey guys, welcome to my RMT. I just recently started playing RU in late-December, when someone suggested that I play a lower tier to have a better chance of getting on an SPL team. I chose RU because my friend ShakeItUp played it and said it was a fun tier. I was immediately captivated by the metagame and loved how so many different Pokemon and creative sets could be used. I loved the variety in the metagame, it was a nice break from OU. I eventually joined #rarelyused on IRC and met tons of cool people there. I learned about the metagame by joining teambats and posting in the DST forum, which was really fun and made the game more enjoyable. Since December, I’ve been living and breathing RU. I made it my goal to get on the council and get a checkmark. I eventually met that goal and got on the final RU council. Part of the reason why I got on was this team, so I would like to share it with the rest of the community! Unfortunately, I didn’t make the RU Senate. This didn’t even bother me, because I enjoy RU so much that I will definitely continue playing it. Part of my motivation for making this team was my tutor, Limitless. He helped me with balanced teams in OU, and that became my strongest playstyle (thanks, if you’re reading this!). I decided to apply my knowledge in OU to RU, and started building my balanced team. I had to teach myself the tier from scratch, so building a solid team was really hard. I started to create a threat list based on what I saw on the ladder and stuff being discussed on IRC. I had to make sure my core covered most of the popular Pokemon, so this really helped. This team got me to #2, going 35-0 before a loss, but that isn’t much of an accomplishment when half of the people on the ladder are not seriously competitive. Anyways, here’s the team. I hope you enjoy it and that some of you will start playing RU! Teambuilding (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Teambuilding (open) Teambuilding (close) Sweepers: Sceptile, Feraligatr The first step was pretty simple. I took the two best sweepers in RU and stuck them on. Feraligatr is a beast. Few things can take his boosted attacks. Aqua Jet also gives me some great priority. Sceptile was important because it gave me some speed and hits very hard with Leaf Storm/Focus Blast. It is also an important Feraligatr check. Physical Walls: Steelix, Poliwrath No, I wasn’t over preparing for Durant. Steelix just checks so many strong physical attackers that I immediately made it part of the core. Stuff like Honchkrow, Aggron, Klinklang and Linoone were becoming popular, and Steelix counters all of those. It also provides the team with SR. Poliwrath was added to counter whatever Steelix couldn’t, like Entei and Sharpedo. These two make an amazing physically defensive core. Special Walls: Mandibuzz, Cryogonal Mandibuzz was on my first ever RU team. It is definitely one of the best defensive RU mons out there. The amount of special (and physical) attackers this counters is unreal. Sceptile, Accelgor, Cofagrigus and many more are all destroyed by Mandibuzz. It also gives my team a force against Fighting types, and Taunt to break stall teams. Cryogonal was the last mon I added since zdrup15 suggested it. It made sense to use this since it worked well with Mandibuzz, beating stuff like Manectric, Rotom-C and other Electric types. It also gave the team Rapid Spin, which is really helpful since this team does a lot of switching. Steelix (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 96 Def / 160 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Stealth Rock - Earthquake - Gyro Ball - Rest Steelix is a pretty awesome Pokemon. I’m using 252 HP / 160 SDef in order to deal with Heat Wave/HP Ground Honchkrow who is a major threat in RU. At the time, Trick Room teams were becoming popular, and Steelix gave me a solid switch-in to Aggron and Druddigon. Earthquake and Gyro Ball are very important moves and hit most physical attackers hard such as EQ OHKOing Aggron and Gyro Ball 2HKOing Linoone. Stealth Rock is extremely important for this team. Since I have four 100% counters to the most common Pokemon, the opposing team is going to do a lot of switching. SR damage will allow Sceptile and Feraligatr to get necessary KOs and forces the opponent to make crucial decisions, giving me the momentum. Rest may seem like an odd choice for Steelix. I chose it because since it normally doesn’t have recovery, Steelix will fall quickly to well built Heavy Offense teams. Since most of the physical attackers cannot touch Steelix (Klinklang, Scolipede, etc.) he’ll get an extra turn to wake up. This helps him stay alive throughout the game, and get SR up again if they have a spinner. Ground/Steel is also excellent typing. Steelix provides the team with a much needed Electric resist and helps the team synergy. Steelix counters most of the physical attackers in RU, and Poliwrath checks the other half. Poliwrath (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Water Absorb EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Circle Throw - Scald - Rest - Sleep Talk At first glance, Poliwrath may seem like a crappy defensive mon since it has so much offensive potential. However, with 90/95/90 defenses, Water/Fighting typing, and the ability Water Absorb, Poliwrath is an amazing Pokemon. Poliwrath checks so many RU Pokemon. Just to name a few important ones: Entei, Sharpedo, Aggron, Feraligatr, Jynx, Golurk, Absol, and Drapion. Circle Throw is great for forcing switches against a Pokemon with Swords Dance or Dragon Dance, and hits stuff super-effectively like Clefable and Magnetons that might switch in. Scald is the most important move on this set. Suggested by Luck>Skill, it is now my favorite move on Poliwrath :D Scald only does a little less to some things than Waterfall, and actually does more in some cases. It hits Aggron, Steelix, and Klinklang harder due to their lower SDef. The chance for a burn is also extremely helpful for facing stuff like Hitmonchan, Drapion, Qwilfish and Dusknoir. For example, if I burn Qwilfish, Cryogonal is free to spin on it without having to worry about being 2HKO’d. RestTalk also provides some semi-decent recovery, something that the physical core needs. Cryogonal @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Rapid Spin - Ice Beam - Toxic - Recover Cryogonal is a very important member to the team. Rapid Spin is a must because this team is going to do a lot of switches, and Mandibuzz needs to stay at full HP if they have a strong Fighting type. Cryogonal is THE BEST Rapid Spinner in RU. It beats most of the common ghosts. Rotom, Cofagrigus (even TR + NP), and Golurk take a ton from Ice Beam and the former two can’t touch Cryogonal. (+2 Cofag does 45.93 – 54.65%). I originally had Hidden Power [Rock] instead of Toxic to deal with Moltres and Jynx, but found that Moltres sucks and Jynx is never used (literally). Besides, Poliwrath can handle Jynx and it’s not hard to revenge kill. It counters the things that Mandibuzz can’t handle, mainly Electric types such as Rotom-C and Manectric. Anyways, Toxic helps me a lot in dealing with Slowing + Tangrowth cores and killing Ghosts. Toxic also works great with Mandibuzz, who can Taunt to prevent the recovery (Slack Off or Heal Bell). Ice Beam is really good combined with base 95 SpA and STAB; it even kills stuff like Magneton. Recover is a boss recovery move, and allows Cryogonal to spin throughout the match. No special hit is going to be taking this snowflake down anytime soon. Also thanks to zdrup15 for suggesting it :) Mandibuzz (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Big Pecks EVs: 248 HP / 244 SDef / 16 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Taunt - Roost - Brave Bird - Whirlwind Mandibuzz: The Best. Ahhh how I love Mandibuzz. It’s the best wall in RU ^_^ It counters the most common special threats: Sceptile and NP Cofagrigus as well as many others. Taunt destroys opposing stall teams by preventing hazards, recovery, Leech Seed, etc. Roost is very reliable and the best choice of recovery for Mandibuzz. Slower Electric types such as Lanturn will try to hit me with a super-effective Volt Switch, only to do neutral damage. Whirlwind is great for phasing set up sweepers. Since Mandibuzz also has base 105 Def, it is also a secondary check to physical set up sweepers like Gallade. Brave Bird is the most important move on the set. Since I don’t have any Fighting resists, Mandibuzz is going to need to handle Hitmonchan, Hariyama, and more. It’s also going to hit Grass types such as Sawsbuck, which can be tough to deal with if Steelix or Sceptile are down. Even with only base 65 Atk, Brave Bird hits hard enough. Taunt stuff like Clefable so they can’t Wish, and Brave Bird will take them out. Base 80 speed is also very good for a wall, it allows Mandibuzz to outspeed other walls in the tier. Mandibuzz holds the special core of the team together and is definitely one of the most important members. Feraligatr (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Torrent EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Swords Dance - Waterfall - Aqua Jet - Return A.K.A. Gatr Time! Feraligatr is one of the best sweepers in RU. It is very bulky for such a powerful sweeper, allowing it to take hits from Pokemon like Sharpedo and OHKO. 204 Speed EVs are to outrun the other Feraligatrs that run 200 speed. 208 is also an option but I’m not going too high because the rest of the team can handle opposing Feraligatrs. Anyways, Swords Dance for maximum sweeping potential. After a Swords Dance, Feraligatr gets 678 attack. If something is not OHKO’d, it will be severely damaged and easy for Sceptile to clean up. Aqua Jet is the most important move. Priority is a must in RU. Just to name a few, Aqua Jet lets Feraligatr KO Hitmonlee, Moltres, Entei, Honchkrow, Aerodactyl, and most weakened Pokemon. Once Feraligatr gets into Torrent range, Aqua Jet/Waterfall is going to do an enormous amount of damage to anything. Return is there to hit stuff neutrally such as other bulky waters, mainly Qwilfish and Poliwrath. Feraligatr doesn’t have that many counters in RU, so it is definitely one of the best sweepers. Its main counters are Poliwrath and Grass types, which are all handled by Sceptile. Sceptile (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Overgrow EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Giga Drain - Focus Blast - Hidden Power [Rock] - Leaf Storm Sceptile is a boss. He is quickly turning into my favorite RU Pokemon. He doesn’t have that many counters and hits extremely hard. Sceptile plays a very important role on the team. He checks Feraligatr and revenge kills stuff like unboosted Omastar, Jynx, Hitmonchan, and so much more. He works great with Feraligatr, type wise and attack wise. He is able to KO stuff like Ferroseed, Tangrowth, Rotom-C, Sawsbuck, Poliwrath, and anything else that gives Feraligatr trouble. His base 120 speed is very important to have on a generally slow team. Sceptile is able to outspeed some threatening Pokemon like LO Moltres and OHKO due to base 105 SpA. Giga Drain is a solid STAB move that gives Sceptile more HP allowing him to do damage early in the game and reenter later in the game. Focus Blast is a great move for Steel types and also does great against Clefable and Tangrowth, 2HKOing both. HP Rock is mainly for the birds and Scyther. Leaf Storm just decimates anything, especially if Overgrow is activated. Sceptile is one of the best special sweepers in RU and this team could not function without it. Threatlist (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Threatlist (open) Threatlist (close) Sub CM Uxie- Can’t do shit against it unless the opponent misplays and switches it in to Feraligatr or Sceptile. It’s very rare anyways. Choice Scarf Medicham- Mandibuzz can take a hit at full HP and OHKO it. Poliwrath can get a burn, but these are both pretty unreliable. Unburden Hitmonlee- Can pretty much sweep me if Feraligatr can’t Aqua Jet. Choice Scarf Gallade- Another big threat since I don’t have a fighting resist. Just have to sac something to it for Mandibuzz to come in >_< Moltres- Not really a threat but I figured someone would bring it up. SR destroys it, Feraligatr destroys it. Sceptile OHKOs with HP Rock. It’s not that hard to handle. Omastar- Omastar isn't that big of a threat, but I usually need to lose one Pokemon to deal with it. Cryogonal is my main way to deal with it. If I get a Toxic off, I can switch around until it gets low enough for Feraligatr to KO with Aqua Jet. As you can see, I don’t have a fighting resist lol. However, most of the fighting types I am weak to are pretty uncommon. Stuff like Primeape and Hariyama can’t 2HKO Poliwrath, and Mandibuzz wrecks them with Brave Bird. Conclusion So, that’s the team. I hope it was kind of enjoyable to read (I’m not that great of a writer xD). Maybe I’ve even encouraged some of the readers to start playing RU. Anyways, I’d like to thank everyone in #ru for giving me a warm welcome when I joined and helping me familiarize myself with the tier. You guys are all really cool :p This would have to be my favorite team that I’ve ever created. I love it and each Pokemon on it (and their cool backsprites)! I put thought into each EV, move and ability, and it really paid off. Also, if any of you guys want to use it, just know that it requires good prediction. You can’t just go in there every match and play obvious with this team. Double switching to Feraligatr or Sceptile will give you the advantage over many Pokemon in the tier. This team is really solid, but at the same time requires good prediction in order to succeed. I’m a little sore over not being able to get a checkmark, but RU is so fun that I completely forgot about it. I’ll still probably use this team in the future, unless someone counterteams :p Thanks for reading!