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Gen 4 Best Foot Forward: Leads in DPP OU

Discussion in 'Ruins of Alph' started by sandshrewz, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    DPP is the final generation that doesn't have Team Preview and plays Pokemon the 'traditional' way. You don't know your opponent's team and vice versa! Leads are one of the most important things when building a team as a good match-up just means you have the upper hand on just Turn 1! Leads can take on many roles though most of them are used to set up entry hazards (mostly Stealth Rock) as they can get them up as early as possible. Often, most leads try to stop other leads from setting their entry hazards. A good lead match-up can be half the battle won. Leads play an important role in every DPP team and some teams are quite focused on their leads. Nonetheless, some teams do not bother having a dedicated lead. Also, leads can sometimes instantly tell you the opponent's playstyle. A Hippowdon lead usually indicates sandstorm, stall or bulky offense and the likes. A Ninjask lead almost 100% means it's a Baton Pass team. If you've never seen an Aerodactyl, Azelf, Machamp, or Metagross lead, you've never played DPP OU.

    So let's just start off with some of the more common leads! ^_^

    Suicide Leads


    Suicide leads are easy to use and are pretty straightforward! Most of the time they set up entry hazards and try to stop the opponent from doing the same. They can also set up field conditions such as weather and Trick Room. More often than not, they like to go off with a bang! Literally...

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    Aerodactyl

    Aerodactyl is a pretty common lead due to its reliability in preventing opponents from setting up entry hazards or use status moves with its super fast Taunt thanks to its amazing base 130 Speed. After Taunting the opponent it can set up Stealth Rock the next turn as it can outspeed most opponents. After which it can just get KOed and it doesn't really matter because its job is to just Taunt and Stealth Rock. However, it falls to priority moves. Focus Sash is the item to ensure it gets up Stealth Rock bar priority and hail.

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    Azelf

    Azelf is one of the most annoying leads to face. Not only is it fast and has access to Taunt, it is also very powerful with base 125 (Special) Attack. Its main job is to set up Stealth Rock and then Explode. With such high Attack, even those that resist Explosion can be badly dent. As it attracts Ghost-types with Explosion, Pursuit users pair well with it. Psychic and Fire Blast are common moves it can run. The latter is useful for scorching Steel-type leads such as Metagross. Azelf can aslo set up a variety of things such as dual screens. Though rarely seen, it can use a Choice item and Trick it onto leads. Colbur Berry leads help against Machamp and Tyranitar. Azelf is easily one of the most versatile lead.

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    Frosslass

    Frosslass is a somewhat rare lead but nonetheless effective. It's rarity is also one of the factors that make it pretty good. It lays as many layers of Spikes as possible and can cripple / kill the opponent in two ways: Destiny Bond or Trick. Frosslass is pretty fast at base 110 Speed and can get an unexpected kill with Destiny Bond while having probably at least one layer up. Trick can lock opposing leads into their first move and can often steal Focus Sash in the process. Always play with caution when facing one. Don't be too eager to KO it and get KOed with Destiny Bond. Furthermore, it has Taunt to tempt you to KO it.

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    Gengar

    Gengar is yet another annoying Ghost-type that's a pretty rare lead. It's a great weapon against opposing suicide leads as it can prevent the opponent from setting up Stealth Rock as faster ones to choose to either to attack Gengar and bring it down to 1HP or set up entry hazards. If it is the latter, the opponent has the trouble of having to 2HKO it thanks to Focus Sash bar something like Choice Scarf Tyranitar. Taunting against it is as good as losing your lead for no reason. It has counter to deal with physical attacking leads such as Metagross and Machamp. Icy wind is the crux of this set as it lowers the opponents Speed to put them in an unfavorable situation as shown above. It also has access to Taunt.

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    Infernape

    Infernape just wants to set up Stealth Rock with assistance from Stealth Rock and do as much damage as possible. It has Fake Out to break the opponents Focus Sash in hopes of being able to KO the opposing lead after setting up its own Stealth Rock. It can either get KOed if not Taunted or maybe survive with 1HP after KOing the opponent. Overheat and Fire Blast really hurts as it can fully invest EVs into its offenses. Encore and Endeavor are neat tricks in its sleeves. The latter can be paired with Vacuum Wave / Mach Punch to bring down the oppenent after Endeavoring after Focus Sash activates. Even if it cannot KO the opponent, being able to bring them to 1HP is certainly a neat trick.

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    Roserade

    Roserade can cripple opposing leads that don't carry Lum Berry with Sleep Powder though it has a somewhat shaky accuracy. After which it can proceed to set up Toxic Spikes and let Focus Sash guarantee the second layer. Roserade packs a punch thanks to its base 125 Special Attack and can dent / KO leads with Leaf Storm. It faces well against slow leads as it can cripple them with Sleep Powder and simply set up Toxic Spikes without being hindered. Occasionally, its good special bulk helps it survive weak special attacks.

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    Smeargle

    Smeargle is a suicide lead that aims to cripple leads with Spore and set up Spikes and/or Stealth Rock. Focus Sash is all it needs. It can also use counter to KO physical attacking leads such as Machamp; Own Tempo prevents confusion from Dynamic Punch. Spore is a great utility move as it can put opposing leads to sleep, which makes half the battle won. However, Smeargle falls to faster Taunt users such as Aerodactyl, but it can use U-turn to at least break their Focus Sash. Still, Smeargle can resort to many tricks such as setting up field conditions such as Trick Room. Lv1. Endeavor Smeargle lead can spell doom to many leads that do not have either a status or priority move. Lum Berry leads also trouble Smeargle as it cannot put them to sleep before being KOed. With Endeavor, Smeargle is almost guaranteed to get the opposing lead to 1HP bar the above Pokemon and Ghost-types. It can then finish off with Dragon Rage or let a teammate get a free kill.

    Bulky Leads

    Unlike suicide leads, they tend to stick around for the rest of the match. They might not serve any definite purpose though most of them are capable of setting entry hazards. They often do not fair well against suicide leads and scouts but they can sponge blows from anti-leads.

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    Abomasnow

    Abomasnow sets up hail with its Snow Warning. It's usually found on a hail stall team or an offensive hail team. Its special bulk is decent and can take a couple of non-super effective special attacks. Hail breaks pretty much every common Focus Sash bar Frosslass. It has Leech Seed to wear down opponents even faster in tandem with hail. Its main purpose is to set up hail and do as much damage as possible or just switch out. Its offense isn't too poor as it can utilize a Choice item or even a Life Orb. Blizzard hurts as well.

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    Bronzong

    Bronzong makes a very good bulky lead thanks to its sole weakness to Fire. Steel / Psychic is a very good defensive typing and pair that with its good defenses, Bronzong can easily take a couple of hits. Given how fast most suicide leads are, especially Aerodactyl, Bronzong's Gyro Ball can dent them. It can set up Stealth Rock or start attacking Taunt users with Gyro Ball and escape relatively unscathed. Earthquake, Payback, and the occasional Hidden Power Ice are other offensive options. Though Bronzong is mainly a bulky lead, it can double up as a suicide lead by using Explosion. However, Explosion is usually reserved to situtation when its HP is too low or when it needs to take out a huge threat. Trick Room and dual screens are the other things it can set up. Tricking a Choice item is viable as well.

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    Empoleon

    Empoleon has a great typing and decent bulk. It can reliably set up Stealth Rock and attack opposing leads with a powerful Hydro Pump or Surf thanks to its remarkable base 111 Special Attack. With access to Aqua Jet, it can KO Taunt leads such as Aerodactyl after hitting it on the turn it gets Taunted, thus preventing opposing leads from having their way. With a Chople Berry or Focus Sash, Empoleon can survive against most leads and either attack directly or set up Stealth Rock. Ice Beam and Grass not are great coverage moves and the latter is especially helpful against opposing bulky leads: Hippowdon and Swampert.

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    Forretress

    Forretress has great physical bulk to tank physical attacks. It completely walls some physically-oriented leads such as Metagross, giving it free opportunities to set up entry hazards safely and in multiple layers. Besides setting up its own entry hazards, Forretress can also Rapid Spin away the foe's entry hazards. For example, against an Aerodactyl lead, Forretress can just Gyro Ball and KO it with Rapid Spin, removing the entry hazards in the process as well. Aerodactyl can't do anything besides setting up Stealth Rock and switching to a Ghost-type, as Taunting Forretress is futile but not Taunting it will give it free turns to set up. Forretress fares well against most physically-oriented leads and those without Taunt. It reliably sets up entry hazards and spins them away against bulky leads.

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    Gliscor

    Gliscor has great physical bulk and typing. With base 95 Speed, it's easily the fastest bulky lead and can Taunt opposing bulky leads. After which it can start to assault them with Earthquake and heal off damage with Roost or simply just U-turn out. It can also set up its own Stealth Rock though suicide leads with Taunt are faster and forces Gliscor to switch or U-turn out most of the time. Gliscor can stick around and act as a check to many physical threats later in the game.

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    Heatran

    Heatran has a good unique typing and great defenses to go with it. Its great bulk allows it to take a couple of hits from common leads such as Azelf, and Shuca Berry lets it survive some Earthquakes. Heatran can reliably set up Stealth Rock while tanking some attacks. Heatran is also not duly worried by Trick users as it isn't really crippled by Choice items. Having a Choice item might even be beneficial sometimes. It is pretty good offensively too with base 130 Special Attack. With that, it can get past opposing bulky leads with its pure strength. Heatran also has access to Taunt though it hardly uses it. While Heatran doesn't have too much problems surviving, it can use Explosion as a last resort. Specially defensive and Life Orb Heatran works well as leads too.

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    Hippowdon

    Hippowdon is many stall team's lead of choice thanks to its gigantic physical bulk. It can even survive super effective physical assualts and recover with Slack Off. It sets up Stealth Rock reliably against some anti-leads thanks to its bulk and can start piling up residual damage with Roar or Toxic. Sandstorm also breaks many Focus Sashes. Its uninvested base 112 Attack is quite threatening as well and can dent many leads with just Earthquake. It fares well against leads without Taunt or a status move. Hippowdon isn't a dedicated lead but it does its job well.

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    Skarmory

    Skarmory is known for its physical walling capabilities. Sometimes it's used rather riskily as a lead as it can be easily trapped by Magnezone though it can opt for Shed Shell. It can Taunt slower leads and quickly set up Spikes and begin annoying foes with Whirlwind and rack up entry hazard damage. Its high defense allows it to sponge many physical attacks and Roost off the damage. Skarmory is an okay lead if you aren't particularly worried about it being trapped and killed by Magnezone if it doesn't have Shed Shell. It doesn't fare too well against offensive leads such as Azelf though. Taunt and status doesn't do it any favor either.

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    Swampert

    Swampert is one of the most common physical walls but can double as a lead, though not a very dedicated one. It can take a couple of blows and set up Stealth Rock. It has decent offenses and can attack with Earthquake and Ice Beam, two of the most common attacking options. Roar also shuffles the opposing team and rack up entry hazard damage. Protect enables it to scout moves, especially Trick. Swampert does well against Metagross as it resists Meteor Mash and can fight back with Earthquake.

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    Tyranitar

    Tyranitar is a multipurpose and versatile lead. It doesn't have a specific lead set but it can still function well as one. Choice Scarf Tyranitar can KO leads such as Azelf and Starmie. There are also bulkier variants designed to set up Stealth Rock and weather a few hits. With Lum Berry, Tyranitar can defeat Focus Sash sleeps leads such as Roserade and Smeargle. Furthermore, sandstorm robs them of their final HP. Tyranitar leads might indicate sandstorm teams that have Sand Veil Gliscor waiting in the wings to take advantage of sand. However, that isn't a definite though. Tyranitar also has pretty high Special Defense thanks to sandstorm boost to take even super effective special attacks with some investment in EVs.

    Scouts

    They are used to scout the opponent and might or might not use a Choice item (with Trick). They can often stop the opposing lead with Taunt and cripple it in one way or another. U-turn is the most common move on these leads.

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    Azelf

    Azlef can hold a Choice Band and hit quite hard off the bat. Choice Band-boosted U-turn is bound to hurt and surprise faster Taunt users and in the process, it can break Focus Sashes. Azelf works well by scouting the opponents with a powerful U-turn or just attack with powerful moves such as Zen Headbutt. When the time is up, it can use an insanely powerful Explosion that will dent even those that resist it. Though less commonly seen, it can use Trick to cripple opposing leads. Anyone who mistakes Azelf for the classic lead set will probably be in for trouble.

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    Crobat

    Crobat is yet another speed monster with base 130 Speed and access to Taunt, running (flying) parallel to Aerodactyl. However, it trades the ability to set up entry hazards for the ability to scout with U-turn. After Taunting foes, it often U-turns away to get in a better switch-in. It can also wear down foes with Super Fang before escaping with U-turn. Roost provides it much greater longevity as well. With some investment, Crobat can be surprisingly bulky. Crobat can also set up weather with Rain Dance and Sunny Day too though.

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    Celebi

    Celebi is somewhat of a mix of leads. It can set up Stealth Rock like many other leads and has pretty decent bulk. Leaf Storm and Earth Power definitely hurts with full investment in Special Attack. Celebi has a cool niche with U-turn and Natural Cure. The former is useful for scouting as usual while the latter clears it of status. Its typing grants it many resistances as well, making it a pretty good lead scout. However, U-turn can be replaced by Hidden Power for coverage but that means that Celebi can no longer scout with U-turn.

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    Jirachi

    Jiarchi can often cripple leads by Tricking a Choice Scarf to them and then set up Stealth Rock. After that, it can simply scout and switch out via U-turn. Many leads do not wish to be crippled by Trick and when they are, Jirachi gains plenty of advantage and U-turn really adds to the momentum it obtains. In a favorable match-up, Jirachi can just spam Iron Head and probably flinch the opponent to death. Besides Stealth Rock, it can also set up dual screens.

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    Ninjask

    Ninjask scouts while accumulating Speed boosts by using Substitute and Protect. By doing so, it scouts the opponent's moves against Ninjask until Ninjask no longer has enough HP to make more Substitutes. When Ninjask is threatened by phazing moves and Taunt, it can simply just Baton Pass out to the next receiver or a sweeper. Protect and Substitute can scout what the opponent has and Ninjask has the tendency to attract phazers. In which case, Ninjask actually scouts by luring out the phazer as many teams do not have multiple phazers.

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    Zapdos

    Zapdos has pretty good bulk and typing that allows it to stick around longer in lead position. It can use Agility to outspeed the foe and then use Substitute to scout for attacks and switch-ins. After that, it can also just Baton Pass away. Its good bulk enables it to take a couple of hits even without Substitute. Zapdos can even use a Choice Scarf and just use U-turn to scout, especially against Azelf and other favorable match-ups. Zapdos is quite versatile in lead position as most of its sets fare well here. Choice Specs and SubRoost work to quite a good effect as well.

    Anti-leads

    Anti-leads are a nightmare to face. They made to defeat and stop most of the common leads with ease. These leads have quite specific counters in leads but they are almost guaranteed to gain the upper hand against most other leads. They often force players to use leads that work well against them.

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    Dragonite

    Dragonite has good bulk and typing along with great offenses. Dragonite makes a great mixed lead as it can demolish physical walls such as Hippowdon and Swampert with Draco Meteor. Flamethrower and Fire Blast roasts the Steel-types bar Heatran. Earthquake is also another move it can use to dispose of Steel-types. Superpower also deals with Heatran. Mixed Dragonite is pretty hard to wall and easily destroys opposing leads. To finish off weakened leads and those brought down to their Focus Sash, Dragonite can just use ExtremeSpeed to rob them of their last turn. Draco Meteor + ExtremeSpeed KOes many common leads easily. Inner Focus is yet another good thing about Dragonite as it can avoid the flinch from Fake Out. With a Lum Berry, Dragonite can defeat status leads such as Smeargle and Roserade. Dragonite is not easy to wall, especially as a lead. Dragonite had single-handedly defeat many common leads.

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    Gallade

    Gallade has a good base 80 Speed to distinguish itself from Machamp. Furthermore, it has a good priority move in Shadow Sneak as well, which lets it pick off Azelf, Starmie, and Gengar. Colbur Berry Azelf is sometimes used to beat Machamp, but Gallade can just 2HKO Azelf with Shadow Sneak. Gallade also works well against Machamp as it can OHKO the latter with STAB Zen Headbutt. Its priority Shadow Sneak allows it to KO many Focus Sash leads such as Aerodactyl without taking a single attack unless they want to forgo Stealth Rock. Close Combat is a reliable STAB move as well and deals with Heatran. Ice Punch and Stone Edge are great coverage moves; the former KOes Dragonite and Gliscor while the latter dents Zapdos and the likes. However, bulky leads such as Hippowdon and Skarmory can just heal off the damage.

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    Hariyama

    Hariyama is an all-out offensive lead that uses Gut-boosted attacks to rampage through opposing leads. It easily activates its status Orb with Fake Out and that gives it an immunity to sleep-inducing moves. After that, it can just plow through and defeat opposing leads with its powerful attacks and good coverage moves such as Payback, Ice Punch, and Stone Edge. The opposing lead will have a hard time suriving against this offensive juggernaut. Its only aim is to defeat opposing lead as quickly as possible and in the process, hopefully stopping them from attaining their own goals.

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    Machamp

    Machamp is probably the most common and most feared anti-leads. DPP granted it No Guard and with that, an accurate DynamicPunch. Bullet Punch is yet another priority move that allows Machamp to quickly finish off leads in 2 hits most of the time. Confusion from DynamicPunch can be annoying as well and robs leads of their Lum Berries. Furthermore, Machamp itself often carries Lum Berries to deal with almost every status lead as it can 2HKO them and bypass its low Speed with Bullet Punch. Machamp has good coverage with Ice Punch and Payback as well. It can 2HKO most leads with the appropriate move, and even if it can't, it can sometimes count on confusion hax to nab a 3HKO. There aren't many counters for Machamp and facing it as a lead often main that you'll simply lose your lead. Opposing suicide leads often just set up Stealth Rock and get sacrificed to Machamp. Machamp doesn't have too many flaws besides its low Speed. Faster Lum Berry leads that can avoid the 2HKO from Machamp are one of the few leads that can even face Machamp well.

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    Mamoswine

    Mamoswine has a good base 130 Attack and access to priority Ice Shard. It also has Stealth Rock to set up if it gets the chance to. Its powerful Earthquake can still OHKO Shuca Berry Heatran. It has good typing that lets its Focus Sash stay untouched by hail and sandstorm. Endeavor allows Mamoswine to lower the opponent's health to possibly 1HP if it activiates Focus Sash and then Mamoswine can finish off with Ice Shard. With the combination of Endeavor and Ice Shard, Mamoswine can pick of many leads by itself. However, it has problems against status leads due to the lack of Lum Berry and also bulky leads that can shrug off Mamoswine's attacks.

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    Metagross

    Metagross is an anti-lead that can defeat opposing anti-leads, most notably Machamp. Meteor Mash 2HKOes Machamp bar a miss and it avoids the confusion thanks to Lum Berry. Metagross is a very bulky offensive lead that can down many opposing leads. It has access to Stealth Rock and can lay them when given the opportunity to do so. It also plays mind games with Aerodactyl as the latter has to choose to Taunt it and prevent Metagross from setting up Stealth Rock or use Stealth Rock itself and get KOed by Bullet Punch later. It can even survive Azelf's Fire Blast and nab the 2HKO. Occa Berry is a less used option as it makes Metagross unreliable to take down Machamp but it helps against Fire-types such as Infernape. Explosion is a nifty move to use and really hurts as it's backed by a base 135 Attack. Metagross fares well against most suicide and opposing anti-leads but its downfall is against bulky leads. Though Metagross can launch its powerful attacks at bulky leads, it still won't be enough to dent them as they aren't super effective and they can often heal off the damage.

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    Raikou

    Raikou makes a good anti-lead with only one weakness and acceptable bulk to take a hit or two. It has good base 115 Special Attack and Speed (though it has to use Rash nature for Crown Raikou). Thunderbolt dents a lot of things especially when most leads do not resist or are immune to it. Hidden Power Ice provides it with pseudo-BoltBeam. Raikou is yet another anti-lead with access to priority move in ExtremeSpeed that allows it to pick of foes that are down to their Focus Sash. This three moves are usually enough but Raikou can cover even more leads with a free fourth move. Extrasensory deals with Machamp and Roserade while Lum Berry cures Raikou of (pseudo-) status. Shadow Ball hits Ghost- and Psychic-types super effectively, proving to be useful against Azelf leads though Thunderbolt should do enough damage to it anyway. Aura Sphere severely dents Tyranitar and Heatran leads. The latter carries Shuca Berry quite often anyway. Raikou has little issue with its coverage and it could be hard to wall it with your lead.

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    Starmie

    With Life Orb and great coverage moves, Starmie makes a great offensive lead depsite having only an average base 100 Special Attack. Starmie sits comfortably in its Speed tier of base 115. Starmie becomes a good anti-lead with Rapid Spin. It can bring down Pokemon such as Aerodactyl to their Focus Sashes and then KO them with Rapid Spin, killing two birds with one stone. Life Orb boosted Hydro Pump can 2HKO many common leads as well. It has some other options to choose from as well, such as Grass Knot and Recover. Starmie is great against many suicide leads, especially those with Focus Sash. However, Starmie lives in constant fear of being trapped by Pursuit users. Starmie also has Natural Cure to deal with pesky status. Still, it has issues with leads that can survive an attack and OHKO Starmie, for example Roserade with Leaf Storm.

    Bottom of the Barrel

    These leads aren't really that common though they have some use against certain matchups but generally do not perform well. Nonetheless they can still take on the lead role except that they might not do as well as other leads.

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    Lucario

    Lucario is an offensive lead thats aims to defeat the opposing lead and hopefully prevent them from setting up entry hazards. With it's powerful Close Combat, it can bring down many frail leads down to activate their Focus Sash and finish off with ExtremeSpeed. Inner Focus is a neat trick against Fake Out users. It can also bring down bulky leads such as Swampert thanks to Focus Sash. Counter when used with Focus Sash can get a surprise KO.

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    Weavile

    Weavile breaks Focus Sash with Fake Out and can Taunt opposing leads. It's like a mix between Infernape and Lucario. It tries all out to KO opposing suicide leads. Focus Sash and Counter are great for defeating physical attacking leads such as Metagross. Ice Shard is a rare option to KO faster but frail leads after breaking Focus Sash with Fake Out. It works fine against bulky leads too thanks to Taunt and Counter.

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    Uxie

    Uxie makes a great mixed wall with base 130 Defenses. Though somewhat unorthodox for a bulky lead, it can Trick opponents with a Choice Scarf and its base 95 Speed is pretty good with and without Choice Scarf. It can then quickly set up Stealth Rock. Uxie can cripple opposing leads or switch-ins with Thunder Wave or Yawn. Once it's job is done, it can simply U-turn away. Choice Scarf U-turn enables it to become a great scout though Tricking Choice Scarf and setting Stealth Rock while sponging hits is usually its primary role. Uxie can also set up dual screens and various field conditions such as Trick Room.

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    Ambipom

    Ambipom is a dedicated scout though it can opt to go all-out attacking. Usually, it simply just Fake Out and then U-turn to an appropriate switch-in. However, if Ambipom has a chance of KOing the foe, it can use moves such as Payback, Return, Pursuit, and Low Kick. It also has access to Taunt to stop slower leads from setting up. Ambipom's role is simple. Simply Fake Out to break Focus Sash and possibly scout the opponent's item and proceed with U-turn. Ambipom works well as a revenge killer too thanks to Fake Out. Fake Out is also boosted by Technician as well, making it considerably powerful with 90 Base Power after STAB.

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    Yanmega

    Speed Boost enables Yanmega to outspeed every non-Choice Scarf leads bar Ninjask. It certainly packs a punch with Bug Buzz and Air Slash thanks to its base 116 Special Attack. It can quickly outspeed threats and 2HKO them before they can attack. Protect ensures a Speed boost and protects Yanmega from Fake Out users. It can rely on Hidden Power Ground or Fire for coverage. Life Orb is an option over Focus Sash if you're not duly worried about opposing Focus Sash leads. Yanmega can 2HKO Metagross while avoiding the same from Meteor Mash and Bullet Punch with some investment. Still, it has issues with Focus Sash status leads, Aerodactyl, and a few others that it simply cannot plow through. Though Yanmega is not superbly common, it's nonetheless effective and somewhat underrated. If the lead match-up is unfavorable, it can still work as a late-game sweeper, especially with Life Orb.

    Conclusion

    Leads being pretty dominant and important is a unique part of DPP. There is no perfect lead to use but choose the one that suits your team the best. Having as many favorable match-ups as possible is desirable to have the most advanatage from Turn 1. Leads are easily one of the most important things to consider when team building!

    Discussion
    A few things I hope that can come from this thread and a few questions to keep in mind:

    • What do you think is one of the more underrated lead?
    • What leads set have you used to great effect that are not standard? (Post the sets! ^_^)
    • What are some leads that fare well particularly against others?
    • What is your favorite lead and why?
    • Do you build teams according to the leads or do you choose the lead according to how the team is built?
    • What are some of the ways you deal with troublesome leads such as Machamp?
    If you feel that there should be some more Pokemon on the list or vice versa, just bring it up in this thread! :D Thanks for reading and participating! ^_^
  2. Heist

    Heist
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Winneris a SPL Winner

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    ctrl f heatran

    no results

    edit: i guess add him, tyranitar, starmie and dragonite & remove a lot of these dudes (yanmega/hariyama/ambipom lol/weavile/lucario etc)

    zapdos is generally choice specs or subroost as a lead, although ive used/seen other sets.

    id rather not comment on my own strategies but i feel as though a few years ago people used to focus on lead match-up much more. now how a lead fares against others isnt perceived to be as important as how it complements your team in general. it is like the tier has made a complete circle on itself as in the earlier stages of gen 4 not much was placed on lead match-up, although i guess this had to do with most people still building in an adv mindset. it wasnt until later on that people started to focus on lead match-up a lot more and at one stage it was absurd how much effort people would put in to get the edge turn 1. maybe this had something to do with the discovery of machamp where there was a stage when a large majority of leads were either lum machamp, life orb heatran, cb azelf or sash machamp to beat the heatran/azelf designed to beat the lum machamp. now i think people arent placing as much importance on who they lead with and this may be something to do with gen 5 & team preview and more people playing adv and both these tiers influencing how they build in dpp.

    or maybe im just speaking for myself.
  3. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
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    Thanks Heist! I've added Heatran, Dragonite and Starmie! I probably won't remove those Pokemon, not yet anyway. They might not be as good but they're seen and work okay I guess >.>

    I have no idea about Tyranitar though. I didn't see much of it :d Maybe that's just me haha >.> I'd like to hear what people would like to suggest about Tyranitar like what set it normally runs as a lead~ I'll update Zapdos soon-ish. Maybe anyone has more suggestions for it.

    Hm, that's pretty insightful! I started DPP when it was at one of the last stages so I missed out on that >.> But yea it does happen when people develop new leads to take on old leads and repeat the cycle! It's a never ending cycle. Do people care less about leads now with the start of BW? Are dedicated leads still as common? I really want to hear from people who still play on the dead DPP ladders for their opinion as well. What has changed about leads since BW?

    Thanks Heist! ^_^
  4. Jellicent

    Jellicent ~the spirit who loves spirits~
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Community Contributor Alumnus
    Ruiner of Alph

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    I was always a fan of Lead Mamoswine:

    [​IMG]
    Mamoswine (F) @ Focus Sash
    Trait: Snow Cloak
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
    - Stealth Rock
    - Earthquake
    - Ice Shard
    - Endeavor

    Focus Sash means it always survives a hit with at least 1 HP (and won't die to sand or hail due to typing). It can set up Stealth Rock or go on the offensive with Earthquake or Ice Shard, allowing it to easily beat leads like Aerodactyl and Heatran (even with Shuca). It can also use Endeavor against faster leads that you suspect will go straight for the kill, bringing them down to 1 HP before finishing them off with Ice Shard.

    It hits like a truck ^.^
  5. Mulligan

    Mulligan

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    I heard that this guy is still pretty good:

    [​IMG]

    Gallade @ Life Orb
    Trait: Steadfast
    EV's: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
    -Shadow Sneak
    -Ice Punch/Stone Edge
    -Zen Headbutt
    -Close Combat

    This should get added under Anti-Leads IMO. Haven't had the chance to try it myself yet, but a few others have and it's still a very good anti-lead even now. Jolly lets it hit 284 speed and in DPP OU the 280 speed benchmark can get pretty crowded depending on movesets of certain Pokémon. It's guaranteed to beat Adamant Lucario and anything slower than it(like max speed Timid Heatran). Life Orb gives it midgame significance so it stays a threat as opposed to killing a lead, then dying itself.

    [​IMG]

    Raikou @ Lum Berry
    Trait: Pressure
    EV's: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Rash Nature (+SpA, -SDef)
    -Thunderbolt
    -Hidden Power Ice/Extrasensory
    -Extrasensory/Aura Sphere
    -Extremespeed

    An offensive team's nightmare. Think Starmie or Gengar but bulkier since you don't exactly find a lot of Electric resists or immunities in the metagame unless you're up against stall, in which case this set is pretty terrible unless you can get rid of certain team members. This should also go under Anti-Leads IMO.

    [​IMG]

    I pretty much agree with everything Heist said except for one thing: I wouldn't take off Hariyama. I got the chance to try it again a while back and it is still a monster. I can't think of a single lead it flat out loses to except for Choice Scarf Jirachi and anything with STAB Zen Headbutt(Psychic from Standard Lead Azelf doesn't kill it). Smogon Dex says Infernape and Metagross beat it, but if you're smart you can beat them too. Toxic Orb is preferrable since it has midgame significance. You can run Flame Orb, but you may as well keep Yama in to die.

    Other thoughts: Ambipom isn't bad, but it isn't amazing either as some of the other leads on that list handle it quite well. As far as Yanmega, it has to be on a very specific team with specific sweepers that get walled by stuff like Heatran and Tyranitar, so Yanmega can lure them in. Pairing it with Dugtrio is pretty necessary. Yanmega doesn't have much use beyond that though.

    As far as Tyranitar, at one point it ran a specific EV spread as a lead to beat Life Orb Starmie when Starmie was popular(I wanna say max HP/40 Atk/216 Sp.Def with Careful, but don't quote me on that). It had SR and Payback to OHKO Starmie and break Sashes, since LO Starmie's Hydro Pump did not OHKO iirc. I don't remember what coverage moves it had, though I imagine Fire Blast was one of them to deter setup from stall. That was one set that did not get on the main site. You only knew about it if you were hanging around the forums a lot or you might've ran into it on the ladder if you were lucky.

    I never build a team based around the lead. I always pick the main core first and then I see what lead will best fit the team/support the core the most. The Yanmega example above is pretty good if, say, you wanna use an Offensive DD Dragonite with Fire Punch and ESpeed. As far as dealing with troublesome leads, I do try to make sure I have a plan for the top 10 leads used or what's popular at the time, though I seem to end up with some anti-lead every time I do this lol. I still make sure it beats Machamp though, no matter how uncommon it is now(yeah, it's a bad tendency nowadays honestly).

    Other than that, I second everything else Heist said. Was a good history lesson ;)
  6. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
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    I added Mamoswine and Gallade. Thanks for the suggestions! ^_^

    Hmm Raikous seems interesting! It even has ExtremeSpeed to deal with Focus Sash users! I'll add in it soon! I haven't seen it actually >.> Also never realized it has an attacking lead set on-site :d

    I think we can agree on the fact that most anti-leads have access to priority moves! Some of them often use Lum Berry or Life Orb. Lum Berry means that it can already defeat most of the status leads anyway!

    Well I'll probably put those leads in hide tags later if no one opposes. Some of them weren't really that good though peopl still use them ?_? Tyranitar seems like a bulky / anti-lead but I have no idea how it would handle with Machamp scaring it off easily and Ground-types walling it >.> Other than that, it seems great! It can take a couple of hits with that spread, including Life Orb-boosted Focus Blast from Gengar >.> It could use Ice Beam or Stone Edge to beat Aerodactyl etc.

    Machamp is kind of a bad influence on leads to me :/ I'm using Gyarados (lol) and Metagross lead most of the time just to beat it >.> Its one of the hardest Pokemon to counter and even more so as a lead :/ Are there other leads you always keep in mind when choosing your own one?
  7. LighTz911

    LighTz911

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    I agree with Heist; you should remove all those leads you mentioned. They are not very good or are outdated.

    What do you think is one of the more underrated lead?

    Um, I'm not too sure. Maybe Gallade, it matches up decently well against other leads.

    What leads set have you used to great effect that are not standard? (Post the sets! ^_^)

    I just change the EVs a little bit with some leads. That's about it.

    What are some leads that fare well particularly against others?

    I don't think a single lead can take down a majority of the lead population. If there is, I don't know it.

    What is your favorite lead and why?

    Choice Specs Zapdos. I just like Zapdos in general, and it matches well with Heatran and Machamp, two leads that I find that are popular. Jirachi, Starmie, etc are also dealt by it. You can U-turn out of many others, as well.

    Do you build teams according to the leads or do you choose the lead
    according to how the team is built?


    I guess it depends on the team.

    What are some of the ways you deal with troublesome leads such as Machamp?

    Either I have a counter for it, or I use leads such as Life Orb or Choice Specs Heatran, Choice Specs Zapdos, etc.
  8. Conflict

    Conflict And who are you, the proud lord said That I must bow so low?
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    Ambipom, Weavile and trickscarf-uxie are pretty bad leads because they lose vs the majority of other leads and/or dont force any plays (like a Machamp or Dragonite lead does).

    And Trickscarfuxie is pretty useless and usually only serves as a punching bag after it used trick/sr (not to mention that one can abuse Uxie and switch for example Scizor into it when it uses trick, etc. pp.).
    Screenuxie should be the only leadset promoted here because it fulfills its role marvelous against almost any other lead. To further augment my point ive never seen a good team that lead with Trickscarf Uxie (only 'decent' ones) whereas ive seen and played quite a few that lead with Screens-Uxie.

    Ambipom is just next to useless (even in DPP UU) and pretty bad. And Weavile sucks as a lead because it doesnt pressure the opponent bar Azelf-leads (that arent Scarf). Weavile is more suited as a mid-game Pokemon that kills dangerous Mons like Starmie/Gengar etc. and comes in either per double-switch or after a sacrifice.

    Lucario is also a pretty bad lead because Lucario usually cant sweep without LO and without having seen (and weakened) the opposings counters but he can work in certain matchups. Yamega, Hariyama (and to an extent Gallade) fall into the same category of 'leads that sometimes work and many other times are useless.

    Add Raikou as an Anti-Lead its pretty solid. You should also definitely add Forretress its one hell of a solid lead for (Semi-)Stalls.

    Well that said in the right team anything can work as a lead. Sometimes a CMSuicune might be a good lead and sometimes SR-Blissey. Though in most cases these traditional leads serve their role better.
  9. Revenant Wings

    Revenant Wings

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    Here's a few ideas for leads:

    Darkrai - any ability - Mind Plate/Expert Belt
    Moves - Dark Void, Dream Eater, Dark Pulse, Shadow Ball
    Basic Strategy - Darkrai has high speed, so you should usually get the first attack. Dark void opponent, and proceed with dark pulse or shadow ball. If hp drops low, dream eater should replenish aqequate amounts, and a mind plate helps with this. An easy way to gain an early edge in a battle.

    Honchkrow - Super Luck - Dread Plate/Black Glasses
    Moves - Taunt, Night Slash, Steel Wing, Fly
    Basic Strategy - Obviously an anti-stealth rock. Taunt coupled with high speed will almost always gurantee that your opponent can't use stealh rock. Night Slash for the majority of attacks, and of course Fly can help, should your opponent start to use Fly, Shadow Force or Sky Attack. A solid lead that can counter lots of entry hazard leads.

    Lapras - Shell Armour - Leftovers/Lax Incence
    Moves - Hydro Pump, Psychic, Brine, Avalanch/Blizzard
    Basic Strategy - Solid Defence and S.Defence coupled with boastable hp, Lapras can take a hit, so your opponent can say "bye-bye" to a 1 or 2 hit K'O (excluding thunder). Blizzard should be your main attack, and Psychic to dispatch fighting types seeking to exploit your ice type disadvantage.However, if you equip lax incence, swap blizzard for avalanch, as the damage is the same (provided you get hit, which you likely will), the attack is ore accueate, and can't be "avoided", only "evaded". With that aside, Brine becomes incredibly powerful after damage is dealt to your opponent, a power rating of 130. That's more than blizzard and hydro pump. The leftovers should soak up any damage caused.

    That's it for now, PM me if you feel you can improve my methods. I/m open to all suggestions.
  10. The Silent Storm

    The Silent Storm

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    So then
    orbtran should be added as a lead, because he's an anti-lead for machamp
    raikou (extremespeed) is also a great antilead, thunderbolt really hurts
    though he should use hp ice and aura sphere as moves.
    Tyranitar leads usually have the lum berry as item, sometimes I even face scarftar with sr (which is quite good, really)
    ipl used blissey as a lead, though she has really a bad matchup.
    There is also a rare gyarados lead who has great matchup against heatran, metagross and some azelf, which is good if you want momentum (you can add a shucatran with great sinergy to setup sr later)
  11. LighTz911

    LighTz911

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    Life Orb Heatran is mentioned in the Heatran section.

    Um, Gyarados doesn't match up with Metagross too nicely, actually...

    And imperfectluck isn't a girl, lol.
  12. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
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    Placed a couple of Pokemon under hide tags after the suggestions~! Thanks guys :D

    @Revenant Wings: Darkrai is Uber >.> This thread is only for OU lol :x I've used Life Orb Honchkrow as an offensive lead. It can dent a couple of things can just nab a KO with Sucker Punch but I found that it loses to quite a lot of things which is quite unfavorable... HOWEVER, one of the best things of using Honchrkow is that you don't even need to use Lum Berry! It has Insomia to shrug off Sleep Powders etc >.> haha

    Also, I've added Raikou to the list ^_^ Uhhh Gyarados fares quite ok against Metagross though Clear Body blocks Intimidate which can be quite troublesome if Metagross decides to Explode :d Gyarados can Earthquake or Taunt Metagross while Metagross can't do much in return. Talking about Gyarados, I like using it as a lead lol. RestTalk Gyarados is quite fine as a lead as status doesn't hamper it too much. Getting an Intimidate off can be useful to soften Explosions and allows Gyarados to survive -1 Stone Edges from Aerodactyl and the likes. Its quite durable and I can still count on it to check a couple of threats mid-game.

    Ah Blissey lead. It doesn't mind status thanks to Natural Cure but has to be careful of Trick. Taunt slows it down quite a bit too. However, note that Tournament matches aren't really the same as ladder matches. Blissey can be counted on to set up Stealth Rock, even if they get spun multiple times, thanks to its good special bulk. It's quite risky to run it on the ladder though as it loses to quite a lot of stuff that probably isn't worth setting Stealth Rock against.

    Also, I've seen Choice Scarf Breloom with Spore as a lead -.- Choice Scarf Spore can really catch people off guard but it'll be quite useless against Lum Berry leads :/ Do anyone else have any experience with it as well? I find it quite underwhelming as with a Choice Scarf it can only revenge kill most of the time :/ But putting non-Lum Berry leads to sleep can be quite useful :O
  13. george182

    george182

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    Scarf-loom is an old lead, it used to be quite effective as spore prevents entry hazards.

    I think colbur azelf deserves a mention in the azelf section, it's probably the most reliable taunt + sr user.

    I dunno why Icy wind is used on Gengar. Generally a terrible waste of a moveslot, against azelf/starmie you want to shadow ball. If you icy wind they will just switch out on the next turn and you will have achieved nothing. Aerodactyl is the only lead you want to icy wind against and Aerodactyl is really rare now anyway. Taunt, Counter and Destiny Bond are much better options.

    If your going to include not that effective leads like Empoleon and Bronzong then you could add:

    LO Moltres: Moltres is very effective at just destroying teams and has a great lead matchup, OHKOing machamp with air slash, it doesn't prevent entry hazards but its very good at getting an advantage early on and is useful all game long

    Scarf Togekiss: Again great at getting the advantage, can prevent hazards through the use of serene grace flinch, or a surprise fire blast KOing Forretress and some Skarms. It also has trick to cripple bulkier leads.

    Cloyster: Just an aggressive spike lead when Forretress won't fit in with your teams synergy.
  14. The Silent Storm

    The Silent Storm

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    @lightz
    Yes I was talking about blissey as a ''she'' lolz
    Gyarados vs Metagross
    well, Gyarados can taunt metagross, the only thing metagross can do is explode on him, so you prevent metagross to set up sr, while you can set up them later, that is quite a big advantage as far as I'm concerned.
    Also agreeing with Sandshrew, restalk gyarados is perhaps one of the best answers against machamp leads
  15. BKC

    BKC
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    Ambipom is a joke, as is Ninjask. I'd remove them.

    I'd also consider getting rid of Lucario and Weavile, as both are really poor leads who function better as mid- / late-game mons.

    Forretress is a solid lead that has been used on several highly successful teams [reyscarface's archived one is the first that comes to mind, though I can think of a few more]. It can set up hazards all over bulky leads such as Hippowdon / Swampert / Metagross, and can Rapid Spin away their Stealth Rock.

    Mention Choice Scarf on Roserade. Fast sleep is great against Aero / Azelf / Ape, to name a few; basically it shuts down faster leads that expect to dominate the standard lead set. Scarf Rossy also makes a great revenge killer for mid-game, plus it can still set up Toxic Spikes on a predicted switch. Scarf Breloom with Spore is cool because it can't miss, but it's more expected than Rossy to be Scarfed if seen in the lead position, since it was pretty popular a few years ago, plus it can't outspeed Aerodactyl / Crobat.

    No one uses Agility or Choice Scarf Zapdos as leads, and the latter set isn't seen at all. If your opponent leads with Zapdos, it's either Choice Specs [Thunderbolt | Hidden Power Flying | Heat Wave | U-turn], or SubRoost with the fourth move being Toxic / Hidden Power Ice, although Baton Pass is a cool option.

    Mention Focus Sash on Machamp; two of the leads it used to beat with ease, Focus Sash Azelf and Shuca Berry Heatran, adapted in ways that allowed them to beat Machamp [CB Zen Headbutt, Specs Overheat]; Sash lets Champ take any hit they might dish out and OHKO them. It also guards against random crits, which is nice. The only problem with Sash > Lum means you lose your way of beating sleep leads, but no one uses Smeargle and Roserade will usually Leaf Storm or switch upon sight, since they have no way of knowing you're not running the standard set with Lum.
    I've seen Earthworm lead with ScarfTar, which is pretty nice way to get a quick KO on the most common lead, Azelf, who is usually seen as a Choice Bander.
    edit: it also gets a nice free kill on lead starmie :)
    However, I'm pretty sure the main purpose of leading with ScarfTar is to get the sandstorm running right from turn one, for residual damage and activating Gliscor's Sand Veil [EW was also running one on his team].

    Overall, Tyranitar's not seen much as a lead anymore because of the rise in Machamp, but in its heyday, Ttar was used as a bulky Stealth Rocker who could trap threats such as Latias [banned now, r.i.p.], Rotom-A, and Starmie, while busting up common stall mons with Fire Blast / Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Superpower [I used this set recently and ran Thunderbolt specifically for ResTalk Gyarados, who is on nearly every stall team nowadays]. Ttar also beats Roserade thanks to Lum Berry and Sand Stream; the former lets it wake up from sleep and the latter cancels out Rade's Focus Sash whilst boosting Tyranitar's special defense to enormous levels, which lets it survive a Leaf Storm.
  16. george182

    george182

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    Well Ninjask has a niche use on baton pass teams, which are more a little bit more popular than before due to the huge amount of stall. It's not a huge thing, but BP teams are still used and Ninjask is their main go-to lead, so at least Ninjask has a use.

    But I agree Ambipom is just garbage and most of this seems really outdated. Like why is Yangmega here? It died side by side with hypnosis 4 years ago when pokemon platinum was released.
  17. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
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    Hmmm ok I should create a bottom of the barrel section and put those in hide tags there. Will do that today! I'd agree that Ambipom doesn't have.much value after scouting the lead though :d Choice Scarf Flygon and Jirachi seem like the better way to scout, even as a lead.

    Will add Forretress too. It can beat Aerodactyl with Gyro Ball and Rapid Spin too. Choice Scaf Roserade seems neat! But it.probably won't survive any attack without Focus Sash :d Sleep Powder missing would be.irritating. hm I've never seen Focus Sash Machamp but it probably works quite well. And most people probably won't even bother statusing Machamp. Agility Zapdos is mainly seen on Baton Pass teams that do not want to use Ninjask I guess. It's.much easier to switch to a Zapdos than Ninjask mid-game. Tyranitar seems like it doesn't have any dedicated lead set but uses it's flexibility to surprise opponents since they have no idea what to expect?

    Yanmega might not be /that/ bad. It doesn't have to put opponents to sleep all the time :x I found offensive lead Yanmega worth preparing for in case it sweeps / dents me as a lead. It has both acceptable SpA and bulk. But it probably loses to sleep leads :/ haha I've tried Choice Scarf Togekiss not too bad though! It has good bulk to take hits even if it didn't flinch.

    Thanks for the suggestions :) will update asap! iirc KG usually has a second Pokemon to support the lead. Do you do that as well? I probably do that only when I need two Pokemon to defeat a lead such as Gyarados + Ground-type
  18. george182

    george182

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    There are lead combos you can use, Starmie + Metagross is the main one. But generally your lead should have good synergy with your team anyway, so a lead combo isn't needed. They have their uses though e.g. Starmie-Metagross focuses on either getting early momentum or stealth rocks up.

    The reason I mentioned Yangmega is because for an anti lead it has a relatively poor lead match-up. Without hypnosis it also can't prevent entry hazards against anything and obviously doesn't set up any either. It could be good on your team, but there really is no reason to lead with it. It's SR weakness isn't really a reason either, that's just a reason not to use it in the other 5 places on your team.
  19. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz
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    Okay I added in Tyranitar and Forretress! :) some of the leads are also pushed to the bottom of the barrel. Note that the OP isn't meant to contain an extensive list of the leads used but rather the more common and effective ones. Non-standard but effective leads might or might not be added though >.>

    Back on topic. Starmie and Metagross was one of the most anti-lead core. Metagross can set up Stealth Rock and defeats many of the common leads. Starmie also adds on to the offensive presence and can Rapid Spin away entry hazards as Metagross cannot stop faster leads from setting their hazards. It's probably true that most leads work indepently and not in pairs etc.

    Also just my own thoughts. Do people that use bulky leads not bother about having an early momentum since bulky leads might become helpless against Taunt leads and might not be able to counter most leads. Are anti-leads really that important to gain that early headstart? Many bulky leads fare well against anti-leads though >.> It's like a cycle :d
  20. george182

    george182

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    Starmie-Metagross usually leads with the Starmie, and anything Starmie can't beat, Metagross comes in and sets up stealth rocks. That's the idea anyway.

    Defensive teams can't maintain early momentum as easily, so they don't need an anti lead, they also prefer to have more pokemon available for defending. Anti leads are more for offensive teams or a semi-stall team, a team that can do something with the early momentum (Cause damage or set up entry hazards respectively).

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