Curse of the Tyranitar This is a team that I've greatly enjoyed building and using, getting two alts quite high onto the leaderboard, but I think it could still use a bit of work. The basic premise is to set up for Curse Tyranitar in the late game, removing the few things that can beat it during the course of the match and giving it a free set up and sweep at the end of a battle. Until I started on this strategy, I never really realized quite how effectively Tyranitar weakens SD Scizor's counters, which is just perfect for this team. Since Curse Tyranitar is one of Stall's biggest nightmares but sometimes struggles against more offensive teams, SD Scizor's polar opposite playing performance means that I have both heavy stall and heavy offense covered well with just two of my members. These two pair up to be my main 'offensive core' with the other four members helping to support them and wear down the opposing team, as well as covering most other offensive threats between them as well. Anyway, some of the set choices and items etc might seem a little weird at first glance, but there is thought behind every one, and I'll try to hopefully explain all these weird choices in the individual Pokemon's comments. Thanks for your time. __________________ At a glance: Like most of my teams, this team uses bulky offense to wear down opposition and then sweep late game with either Tyranitar or Scizor. Some general facts about the team: - No Stealth Rock weak Pokemon. This is very helpful in extended matches, and it means that I don't really have to worry too much about my opponent getting rocks up, and I can just proceed to carry out my own team plan instead of worrying about theirs. - No Toxic Spikes vulnerable Pokemon. Once opponents see Tyranitar they think spending the two turns setting up Toxic Spikes will be worthwhile, but little do they know that Tyranitar has Rest :). - No more than 2 Pokemon weak to the same type. This isn't anything all that special, and I can't boast the '2 resistances to every type' card (although I do all bar Rock and Water), but it does mean choice sweepers don't steamroll the team. - Recovery on every team member! Helps out a lot vs more defensive stall teams, and means I don't get outlasted in extended games quite as easily. I like playing knowing that I can recover off previous damage if I predict correctly and get a free turn, and is really what keeps this team alive and fighting against stall and offense alike. __________________ In depth: TrashByte Gliscor @ Leftovers Ability: Sand Veil Jolly (+Spe, -SpA) 252 HP / 40 Def / 216 Spe - Earthquake - Taunt - U-turn - Roost I've found that this Gliscor set is a brilliant fit for this team. Seeing as nothing bar Specs Aura Sphere is really threatening Tyranitar on the special attacking spectrum, having a reliable switchin to the common physical Ground and Fighting attacks thrown at it is invaluable. Gliscor does this really well. With Jolly, it counters Lucario comfortably, and Sand Veil is always fun to make Scizor's U-turns miss and let Gliscor get a free Earthquake on it before it switches out. With Taunt, Gliscor is the bane of many slower less offensive teams. By stopping walls from recovering HP or using status attacks, and then using U-turn to switch to a sweeper to set up, Gliscor continues to provide great support for the team throughout the battle. I've used this Gliscor in the past in conjunction with a CB Pursuit Tyranitar to destroy Blissey - Taunting it to stop it from using Toxic, and then forcing it to switch out of Tyranitar and get nabbed with Pursuit. On this team, instead of removing Blissey, Tyranitar takes her as a free Curse and is a common way in which I start a Tyranitar sweep. By itself, using Taunt and Earthquake, Gliscor can stall out and beat Ice Beam-less Blissey, Ice Fang-less Hippowdon, Forretress, Dusknoir, and stop Skarmory from doing anything but let one of my Pokemon set up. That's quite the respectable wallbreaker when you think about it. It makes a great switchin to Celebi, coming in on a Thunder Wave and stopping it from recovering with Taunt, and then putting it in the trouble situation of switching out and giving me the advantageous switch with U-turn, or stay in and be hit with a 4x effective attack with no way to recover it off for the next few turns. Gliscor is also really light and so Grass Knot only hits it for 60 BP. Once I've absorbed its Spore with Tyranitar or another Pokemon, Gliscor stops Leech Seed Breloom from achieving anything for the rest of the battle as well. Because of its great physical bulk and Taunt, Gliscor does tend to cause a lot of switches, meaning I often get the advantageous switch with U-turn as my opponent brings in another Pokemon. This has become one of my favourite sets in the game after having used it to success on this team. Think Crobat is good in UU? Think Crobat with 125 base Defense and you're beginning to comprehend Gliscor. As a lead, Gliscor's main role is to stop slower leads such as Metagross from using Stealth Rock, or breaking sashes and switching to the appropriate answer for any other kind of lead. --- Krag Tyranitar @ Leftovers Ability: Sand Stream Careful (+SpD, -SpA) 252 HP / 40 Def / 216 SpD - Crunch - Curse - Rest - Sleep Talk This is such a fun Tyranitar set. After 2 Curses, nothing bar Fighting attacks and Scizor's U-turn are going to scratch it, and the rest of my team tries to ensure that these Pokemon are removed by the time Tyranitar is ready to sweep. Even without a Curse, Tyranitar is a guaranteed counter to any special attacker that can't hit him super effectively because of his sandstorm boosted SpD and heavy HP and SpD investment. He can reliably counter Azelf, Heatran, Zapdos, Latias, Rotom, Porygon-Z, Starmie, non Flash Cannon CM Jirachi, etc.. the list goes on. Heatran, Zapdos and Rotom are often Scizor's primary switchins, which makes them very easy to lure in and weaken with SR and sandstorm so that Scizor can break past them later on if need be. One of Tyranitar's best uses is taking on stall teams as a last Pokemon, similar to CurseLax and CM Suicune. If the opponent doesn't have a Perish Songer or a Hazer, they generally have to rely on getting a lucky critical hit in order to take Tyranitar out. Hippowdon's Earthquake is a 4HKO if Tyranitar gets 2 Curses in, meaning it can be set up on if it switches in as Tyranitar Curses for the first time. Similarly, Forretress' Gyro Balls drastically fall in power with every Curse as I am both increasing my Defense while reducing my Speed at the same time. Vaporeon's Surf does 32% maximum against Tyranitar, and it has the highest SpA stat of the bulky Waters, meaning they are of little concern unless they get a crit. With this EV spread, Tyranitar is also a pretty much guaranteed counter to any form of Latias as well. Apart from Blissey, Tyranitar with this set is probably the best counter to Latias, since a Specs Surf does less than 37% on average. There are several reasons for why I have Crunch over Payback on Tyranitar. Payback has only 16 PP max, which is quite low as the only attacking move on a Pokemon, and is even worse when you take into account things like Zapdos' Pressure. Rest Talk somewhat makes up for it, but snooze-sweeping is hard at the best of times. Crunch has a more reliable 24 PP which lasts long enough to sweep a team. I've mentioned that I don't like revealing Tyranitar as a Curser early on in the game, but using Payback is just as bad as using Cure, since the Curser is the only set that actually runs it. So as soon as I've used Payback, my opponent consciously keeps their Curse Tyranitar counters alive to stop it from sweeping late game. Payback will also fail to beat Skarmory 1 on 1 - it does 49-58% damage to it when Tyranitar is at +6. However, that is when Skarmory is attacking Tyranitar and charging Payback up. Skarmory can easily just use Whirlwind's negative priority to cause Payback to never hit for greater than 28% damage. Payback also has the same PP as Roost, and so will be quite easily stalled out. Crunch hits for a bit less damage, but it is consistent, and has more PP than Skarmory's recovery move. The greater PP means much more of a chance to get a critical hit, and Crunch also has a 20% chance to drop the foe's Defense. After a Defense drop, Skarmory will be taking 64% on average from Crunch, which it will not be able to stall out. --- Memphis Latias @ Leftovers Ability: Levitate Timid (+Spe, -Atk) 148 HP / 108 SpA / 252 Spe - Calm Mind - Dragon Pulse - Thunderbolt - Recover Since the conception of the team, this has always been the slot that I've been most indecisive on. I've gone through Rest Talk Gyarados, Bulky Gyara, Mix Mence, Mix Dragonite, DD Mence, and Specs Latias, before finally settling on CM Latias. Latias is very effective in dealing with Kingdra and Salamence in conjunction with Gliscor's U-turn, as both of them like switching into it. It's quite bad that Latias is my only Water resist on a team with two Water weaks, but because of Latias' good bulk I've managed to play around it. I've been in a couple of trouble spots with stuff like late game Suicune or Empoleon if Latias and Metagross are gone, but generally I've been ok. Latias is also my only real answer to Infernape. If Latias has fallen, I have to play around with Tyranitar, Gliscor and Metagross, playing resists to its attacks and wearing it down with Life Orb, Sandstorm, and Close Combat defense falls, until I can sacrifice something and bring it into Scizor's Bullet Punch KO range. Specs Latias had a lovely punch but it died too quickly for my liking. Recover and Calm Mind allows Latias to stay alive for a lot longer and hopefully last throughout the match as my solitary Water resist. I considered running Refresh over a secondary attacking move and going mono-Dragon attacker, but it's a very bad idea to run two mono-attackers whose attacks are resisted by both Lucario and Scizor (Steel is broken :P). Thunderbolt provides similar offensive coverage alongside Dragon Pulse as Surf does, the combination of Dragon and Electric being resisted by only Magnezone, Steelix, and Shedinja. However, the real reason I'm using Thunderbolt here over Surf so that Calm Mind Suicune doesn't just straight out sweep me, as if I had Surf here my only defense against it would be Metagross' Explosion. Latias can Calm Mind up alongside Suicune and beat it in the long run since it has higher special stats, higher Speed, and an instant recovery move. The only real place where Thunderbolt has been less effective than Surf is against Tyranitar, but Surf still does laughable damage, and in hitting Heatran super effectively. Neither of them give this team particular trouble, so it's not really an issue. Latias is good in that it can also switch into Scizor counters, things like Zapdos, Heatran, and Magnezone, without having to involve Tyranitar. Even without a Calm Mind, Vaporeon's Ice Beam does 42% maximum, meaning if it comes in on Gliscor as I U-turn to Latias, it will be switching right out again or letting me set up on it. I'm a bit uncertain about the EV spread; these current EVs were designed to let Latias take 4 Seismic Tosses from Blissey factoring in Leftovers, and 2HKO it on average at +6 with Dragon Pulse, but because I am not running Refresh and will often be playing in the sand, it is a bit pointless. I'm very open to new suggestions for an EV spread here, one that both retains bulk and lets me hit hard as well. --- Scream Skarmory @ Shed Shell Ability: Keen Eye Impish (+Def, -SpA) 248 HP / 216 Def / 16 SpD / 24 Spe - Stealth Rock - Spikes - Whirlwind - Roost Skarmory acts as yet another check to assorted threats such as Dragon Dance Kingdra and several Fighting-types. It basically comes in whenever it gets the slightest chance, and then proceeds to set up entry hazards to keep my pseudo-stall team rolling. Stealth Rock is the first entry hazard I set up since it hits almost everything for at least some damage, and helps keep Dragon Dancing Flying-types, Gyarados and Salamence, at bay. I generally sacrifice Skarmory if it means I can get up Stealth Rock and two layers of Spikes, as after that it isn't needed all too much really. The 24 Speed EVs are important in letting it outspeed the majority of Choice Band Tyranitars, allowing it to Roost before the foe can Stone Edge again and acquiring a temporary Rock resistance to stall Stone Edge out. I choose Shed Shell because I hate Skarmory being trapped and taken out before I can set up sufficient hazards. Skarmory's offense is poor at best, and I thought it would be more helpful to be able to phaze out dangerous set up sweepers as a final backup instead of being able to chip away with Drill Peck / Brave Bird. This does make Skarmory extremely vulnerable to Taunt, however. --- Rust Rotom-C @ Leftovers Ability: Levitate Bold (+Def, -Atk) 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD - Discharge - Will-O-Wisp - Rest - Sleep Talk Rotom provides further insurance against the things that Tyranitar can't beat easily, namely Metagross, Scizor, Jirachi, and Lucario in a pinch if Gliscor is down. With its resistance to Steel and immunities to Ground and Fighting, it can come into many of the physical attackers that threaten Tyranitar and burn them with Will-O-Wisp, making them far less of a threat to Tyranitar as it Curses up (if they survive that long). It also helps with another problem for the team, and that is Skarmory. It can generally come in on Tyranitar and Scizor without too much issue and lay its layer of Spikes, which can really cut the longevity of my grounded Steels and Tyranitar. Luckily, Rotom can take it out with Discharge, or at least threaten it enough to make my opponent make the inevitable switch to Blissey, allowing me to go to something like Gliscor or Metagross preemptively and threaten the combo. Discharge is chosen over Thunderbolt because it is nice to get paralysis on random Latias, Heatran, Zapdos, etc switching into Rotom. While Tyranitar can usually deal with these Pokemon quite easily, all but Zapdos regularly carry moves that hit it for super effective damage, and so if it is below 50% health, it may not be able to survive two blows from these super effective moves after entry hazard damage. If these Pokemon are paralyzed, it means Tyranitar only needs to take one hit before outspeeding them and Resting off the damage. With Rest and Sleep Talk, Rotom manages to stay alive against threats such as Pursuit Scizor and Metagross with some Attack boosts to stall them out with burn damage if need be. It can also act as a good sleep absorber since it gets plenty of opportunities to switch in. I've been thinking of replacing Discharge with Shadow Ball to help against RestTalk Rotom on stall teams, and opposing Stallbreaker Gliscor which my team can't really touch. However, this would lose me a lot of insurance against Gyarados, so I'm not sure if it would be the best choice. --- Skarlet Scizor @ Iron Plate Ability: Technician Adamant (+Atk, -SpA) 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe - Bullet Punch - Superpower - Swords Dance - Roost Scizor, like several of my other Pokemon, gives me a psychological advantage with Iron Plate, often passing off for a Choice Band Scizor and getting surprise kills with Superpower or Bullet Punch. I didn't actually mean to be sneaky here - I wanted to retain the revenge killing power of a Life Orb Bullet Punch without the recoil damage slashing Scizor's longevity, and still be able to change moves. Leftovers helped Scizor last longer, but it did little to help its Bullet Punch (39-47% vs Salamence), and so I tried out Iron Plate and really liked it. With Iron Plate, Scizor hits Salamence for 47-56% damage, and guarantees an OHKO against Flygon after a Swords Dance, a 2HKO against Gliscor, and basically just about gets all the KOs I need it to :). With Roost and Swords Dance, it can set up quite easily on weaker attackers such as Swampert, Tentacruel, Gliscor, Spinner Starmie, Vaporeon, Roar-less Hippowdon, etc, and get multiple Swords Dances in before going for a sweep. Superpower is chosen over Brick Break to get the KOs on the Heatran and Magnezone switchins. It doesn't really need boosting, as a Superpower almost guarantees to kill them after SR damage, and if they survive with a sliver of health I can finish it with Bullet Punch. The revenge killing power of Bullet Punch is really useful in dealing with Salamence and Gengar, who aren't easily dealt with my other members. I do have other checks for them, but Scizor is much more efficient at taking them out. Bullet Punch also helps greatly in preventing my relatively slow team from being swept by faster offensive teams, and this makes Scizor a vital part of my team's offense. --- Thanks for reading so far, threat list coming up.