With HFB I mean Destiny Warrior posting his Alpha LC team, I thought I'd go ahead and post my "Beta" team - I.E. the period after the initial Gen5 surge, but before a finalised banlist. I originally created this team to test Shikijika, whom I was writing the 5th gen theorymon analysis for at the time. To my surprise, the team did quite well and is currently my staple team until I make another one (which I suppose is quite soon). Team Building The team building was quite simple: I started with Shikijika, and decided to build a core around it. Pururiru and Shikijika cover each others' weaknesses extremely well (almost perfectly, save for Dark!), and I was eager to try out the new Ghost-type on the scene. P.S. All Pururiru must be female, male is just odd... I just said that the pair did not cover Pururiru's Dark-type weakness, so blah blah Dokkora is awesome blah blah. From here I decided that I wanted a lead that could start off the game quickly and cause a bit of chaos at the same time. I was delighted to discover that Zoroa also had Illusion as an ability (well I don't know, it could have had Run Away or something...) and found that it covered Dokkora's Psychic-type weakness well. Its own weaknesses to Fighting and Bug were covered by Pururiru, what joy! Of course, Zoroa needed to lure Psychic-types with an Illusion to gain a free turn. Hmm, now what has a crippling Psychic weakness but is still a great Pokemon in the metagame? Isn't that a tough one... And now I only needed one more Pokemon. I had something of a problem with Fire-types, so the choice was obvious - Houndour. It formed a nice FWG core with Shikijika and Pururiru, and paired nicely with Croagunk in a similar vein to its evolutions (Croakdoom combo in UU). So there we have it :) Team Colours of the Wind Don't worry, not everything is rainbow... Red (Zoroa) (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Illusion EVs: 36 HP / 200 SAtk / 240 Spd Rash Nature (+SAtk, -SDef) - Night Burst - U-turn - Sucker Punch - Hidden Power [Fighting] Why Zoroa? Yep, I have a real aptitude for giving nicknames. Zoroa, disguised as Croagunk, starts the battle off with a bang, usually U-turning out to a Pokemon better equipped to take out the opposition or using Night Burst if the lead is vulnerable to Dark-type attacks. Zoroa provides a lot of mid-game utility with its fast U-turn, priority and powerful attacks. It can restore momentum at the drop of a hat, switching into any Psychic-type attack that happens to be floating about near Dokkora or Croagunk. Moveset Night Burst is a less accurate, more powerful Dark Pulse with a chance to lower accuracy. The obligatory STAB move, Night Burst allows Zoroa to revenge-kill most Pokemon throughout the battle - its power is such that it can even take down frailer Pokemon hoping to rely on their resistances to survive. U-turn is always a useful move, to gain a one-up on the opponent's switch-in, or simply to wear down Zoroa's counters. While Sucker Punch may some weak and unnecessary due to Zoroa's low[er] Attack and the rest of the priority on this team, it certainly comes in handy for a faster threat whom the priority of other team members fall prey to. Hidden Power Fighting makes for great coverage with Night Burst and, while I don't use it much, it certainly obliterates Snover and Komatana. --- Orange (Shikijika) @ Life Orb Trait: Herbivore EVs: 116 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SAtk / 236 Spd Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef) - Cheer Up - Double-Edge - Energy Ball - Baton Pass Why Shikijika? The main reason for using Shikijika was because I was writing the analysis for it, but I think I would have used it anyway. With a stellar ability in Herbivore, Shikijika can switch into any Grass-type move aimed at Pururiru and even Stun Spore, which Monmen throws about like wildfire and cripples many team members. From there, Shikijika uses Cheer Up on the switch and can either annihilate the opposition or Baton Pass the boosts away to another team member, particularly Houndour. While Shikijika is certainly not the fastest, nor the strongest Pokemon around, its general utility and power after a boost affirms its place on the team. Moveset Cheer Up is a new move that boosts Shikijika's good Attack and usable Special Attack one stage. Combined with the boost from Herbivore, Shikijika's STAB Double-Edge becomes a wrecking ball to anything that doesn't resist it, and still puts dents in things that do! Energy Ball works off Shikijika's second STAB (unfortunately it has no physical Grass moves) and maims Pururiru, who often happily switches into Double Edge to burn our friendly little deer. Naturally, Normal/Grass coverage has major problems with Steel-types such as Bronzor - precisely why Baton Pass is included in the last slot, to pass away the precious Cheer Up boosts to a valid recipient. This recipient is often Houndour, who incinerates Bronzor and other Steel-types with Fire Blast. --- Pink (Pururiru) @ Evolution Stone Trait: Water Absorb EVs: 236 HP / 196 Def / 76 SDef Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Will-O-Wisp - Evil Eye - Recover - Boil Over Why Pururiru? Male Pururiru is weird, don't use it. On the other hand, [female] Pururiru functions as a brilliant pivot for the team. Being swept by Dokkora? Go to Pururiru. Having problems with Darumakka? Go to Pururiru. With its excellent bulk and typing, Pururiru can switch into most Pokemon and start spreading some burns from there, vital for such a generally frail team as this. Water Absorb turns its resistance to Water into an immunity, though I feel that Cursed Body could be more useful - I'd like some thoughts on this please. Moveset How can you spread burns without Will-o-Wisp? Well, you can with a powerful, STAB Boiling Water but that isn't the point. While burns can sometimes be a nuisance (particularly against the Guts-y Dokkora) they help neuter key physical threats such as Kojofuu and Komatana. Evil Eye is a new Ghost move that doubles in power [from 50 to 100] when the opposing Pokemon is statused - a match made in heaven for Boiling Water, and Pururiru gains STAB on both moves. Recover is a staple for any bulky Pokemon, further accentuated by the Evolution Stone, boosting Pururiru's defenses to magnanimous levels. --- Grey (Dokkora) @ Toxic Orb Trait: Guts EVs: 76 HP / 196 Atk / 156 Def / 76 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Hammer Arm - Stone Edge - Payback - Mach Punch Why Dokkora? Dokkora is quite possibly one of my favourite additions to the LC metagame. It is somewhat of a better version of Makuhita, with great physical bulk and a scary Attack stat that is only augmented by Guts. While its Speed is disappointing, this is mitigated by Mach Punch - a much better priority move than that of Makuhita! While its Special Defense is subpar, Dokkora plays a key role in switching into Dark-types, whom it will usually force out, meeting the switch-in with a scary-powerful Hammer Arm or Payback (though the latter no longer doubles in power on switches, it is still packs a punch coming from Dokkora's Attack score). It also helps in revenge-killing fast threats, with its strong Mach Punch. Moveset While it is unfortunate that Dokkora gets no better Fighting STAB than Hammer Arm, the difference in power between it and Superpower/Close Combat would only be overkill when combined with Guts. Dokkora doesn't really mind the Speed-lowering side-effect either. Stone Edge provides brilliant coverage with Hammer Arm, though its infamous accuracy problems strike at the worst of times. Payback hits Ghosts hoping for a free switch in on Hammer Arm or Mach Punch, and also has great coverage with Dokkora's main STAB. Mach Punch is a blessing for a Pokemon with such low Speed, striking Houndour before a fatal Fire Blast and destroying other fast, frail sweepers. --- Black (Houndour) @ Life Orb Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 196 Atk / 196 SAtk / 36 SDef / 76 Spd Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def) - Substitute - Fire Blast - Crunch - Sucker Punch Why Houndour? Houndour is definitely one of the most dangerous Pokemon in the metagame, firing off powerful moves left and right, and causing problems for many new cores that are emerging (to an extent, mine included!). By running a Substitute set, Houndour has a golden opportunity to dispose of some its shaky checks (such as Pururiru) and a chance to [literally] blast holes in the opponent's team. Switching in on Fire- or Psychic-type attacks, Houndour can proceed to set up a Substitute and destroy the switch-in - there are few Pokemon that can hard-counter this demon dog. Moveset Substitute has already been mentioned as the crux of this set, giving Houndour an easier time in predicting switches and protecting it from status (though not from a Monmen Stun Spore...). Depending on the switch in, Houndour can use any of the next three moves. Crunch is generally the most used, annhilating Pururiru and other Ghost-types (though what Ghost would switch into Houndour other than Pururiru?). It also has great neutral coverage against the Water-types that resist Fire Blast. After its checks/counters have been eliminated, Houndour can start burning the house down with Fire Blast. If anything faster comes in when you aren't behind a Substitute (such as Scarf Darumakka), Sucker Punch is your best friend. --- Purple (Croagunk) @ Life Orb Trait: Dry Skin EVs: 188 Atk / 188 SAtk / 116 Spd Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def) - Fake Out - Vacuum Wave - Dark Pulse - Ice Punch Why Croagunk? Croagunk's utility is simply incredible - no matter what style of team, it can benefit from our froggy friend. Fake Out gained a huge boost this generation, moving from a measly +1 priority bracket to a fearsome +3. This means that it can outspeed the priority of all sweepers and neuter them with Fake Out. While not a defensive giant, it isn't too shabby and can make good use of its plethora of resistances to help out in a pinch. Croagunk serves a crucial role in being Zoroa's disguise, luring Psychic-type attacks and turning the tables just the way I like them. Croagunk also makes a decent recipient of Cheer Up boosts from Shikijika. Moveset Fake Out and Vacuum Wave make the feared priority combo of Croagunk, disposing of frailer sweepers and putting severe dents in anything else. Sucker Punch could be used over Dark Pulse, but I find the latter more useful, as Sucker Punch is just begging for the Ghost-types you are supposedly targeting to set up a Substitute and destroy you. Ice Punch hits Shikijika and others Grass-types I suppose. I hardly use it. --- While this team may not be perfect, I have been greatly heartened by my experiences of 5th Gen LC, and I believe that from here on in it can only get better. I encourage you to try it - you'll be surprised by how fun it is!