The basic premise of this team was to use a dark horse Pokemon that I really like, Gallade. The team has undergone a LOT of revision (there are not any sets that haven't been changed since I started the team), and I think I've produced a pretty good team, but I still spend much of my time on ladder ranked in the low 1300s or high 1200s. I do get haxed an inordinate amount of the time, but I don't think that's really enough to justify my amount of losses, so I'm bringing this to an RMT. My team: So the basic premise is at least partially a bitter hatred of the weather that dominates OU. Also, as the team is built around a sweep with Gallade, having enemy weather is a major disadvantage, especially sandstorm, as Gallade desperately needs all the healing it can get, so losing its lefties is not appreciated. Further, as I've always been a very offensive player, this team is an attempt to fit my style into a metagame in which it tends not to do very well. Without further ado, the individual analyses. Salamence (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Intimidate EVs: 64 Atk / 192 SAtk / 252 Spd Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef) - Outrage - Draco Meteor - Fire Blast - Earthquake Salamence is not actually in the lead position, but I put him here for the RMT because I use him in this position probably the most (except against rain, where I generally go with Rotom). Originally, I had Salamence as a Dragon Dance sweeper, but it is too fragile and now too many things that run choice scarves (such as Terrakion) simply outspeed it and bring it down. This is a purely offensive MixMence, and it is quite effective at what it does. Sand teams will almost always lead with their Tyranitar, which takes a good 2/3 of its health from Earthquake and almost never actually attacks Salamence, instead opting for SR. From there, I am in a good position. Many of Mence's potential counters can't easily take all four of these attacks. For example, Gliscor, the probably most common next switch-in, has a high chance to be OHKO'd by Draco Meteor. If I see that Mence will be needed later in the match, I'll either switch it out or not lead with it, but very often, I'll just do as much damage as I can (which is usually substantial) while Mence gets worn down by the hits it takes, Life Orb, etc. Were I to change some of this team, I would probably not take out Salamence. Heatran (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Sunny Day - Magma Storm - SolarBeam - Hidden Power [Ice] The main point of Heatran is surprise weather changer after their weather starter has been eliminated to leave the skies clear for the rest of the team. Many teams do not properly guard their weather starter when they see that I don't have an auto-starter on my team (especially Politoed, which is otherwise not that useful), so Tran has a chance to change the weather in his favor and get an excellent surprise kill on the Rotom-W that try to switch in; even if they're scarfed, Hydro Pump does 65ish% at most, and they get killed by SolarBeam. Heatran also checks lots of threats like powerful Dragon moves (admittedly, not as well as I'd like it to; eating a specs DMeteor from anything is a huge problem for my team). I'm unsure about a couple of aspects of my set. I used to run leftovers and Dragon Pulse, but that left me vulnerable to other Heatran and also Earth Power Celebi. I'm still really not sure about it, so I'd especially like feedback on the Heatran. I saw on somebody else's RMT that Magma Storm was used on Tran to trap the enemy in after the switch rather than simply using Sunny Day on the switch and then outspeeding to use Sunny Day to take minimal damage from the upcoming Scald and then finishing the Politoed off with SolarBeam. I've tried it, and I'm still torn because of the accuracy--I actually lost a game because my Tran did not hit a Scizor that Bullet Punched it twice. Then Rotom missed it with Will-O-Wisp and also died. Rotom-W @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Volt Switch - Hydro Pump - Will-O-Wisp - Trick There is not that much to say about Rotom. It's fairly standard, and it does its job well. Trick the scarf onto things that hate scarves, like Ferrothorn, Will-O-Wisp (usually after I've dumped the scarf) to cripple physical attackers, and Volt Switch for scouting and pretty good damage. I used to run HP Fire, but that sucked, and then I got more fire moves on the team. Yep. Pretty standard stuff. Donphan (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Ice Shard - Rapid Spin - Stealth Rock Donphan has replaced Mamoswine; it works better with my team. Rapid Spin support is even nicer to have than I thought, and Donphan's physical bulk has been a huge asset. It's suffering from 4MSS, though, and I've gone back and forth between Toxic and Ice Shard several times. I think I've settled on Ice Shard for the added check to Dragons and the ability to hit Gliscor (even if all it can do is break a Sub, and even that, just barely), but Toxic was very nice for bulky enemies like other Donphan or choiced Rotom that I think are going to Volt Switch. Having the combination of Sturdy and Leftovers is incredibly helpful; getting hit by weak attacks does not break my pseudo-sash. Donphan also offers a very helpful alternative check to Terrakion as no variants can do substantially more than half its health with any move. It also resists Stone Edge, which puts some of the pressure off of Latios if I'm up against something like Sub/Rock Gem. Overall, the change to Donphan has been quite nice. Latios (M) @ Expert Belt Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Draco Meteor - Psyshock - Surf - Hidden Power [Fire] Unless I'm guessing wrong, you guys are not going to really like this set. It plays quite differently from other Latios. Basically, faking a choice item is quite effective on Latios because it carries choice items so frequently. Hidden Power Fire is the crux of the set since it kills all the steel types who think they can get a free move on Latios (particularly Scizor who try to U-turn or Pursuit). If a Scizor (outside of rain) switches into a Draco Meteor, it will never Bullet Punch, and HP Fire kills after the DMeteor damage. Without the SpAtk drop, it's a OHKO from full health. I tried using LO Latios with Recover, but it was too predictable and too easily countered. HP Fire does have the incredibly unfortunate downside of lowering my speed and guaranteeing that I lose speed ties with max speed Lati@s and, importantly, Gengar, which is a major threat to my team. However, the free surprise kills easily make it worth it. I've been testing Psychic, but it doesn't really ever seem to do substantially more than Psyshock, and, importantly, it loses out on a substantial amount of damage against Tentacruel. I have yet to test Dragon Pulse over Psyshock, but missing the ability to nail Virizion, Breloom, Tentacruel, the rare Machamp, Conkeldurr, etc., really seems quite unappealing. Gallade (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Steadfast EVs: 240 HP / 40 Atk / 212 SDef / 16 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Bulk Up - Ice Punch - Drain Punch - Leaf Blade Gallade, the center of the team, requires a bit of effort to get set up properly. Basically, the goal is to get it in after its hard counters are out on a weak special attack and start using Bulk Up. Alternatively, Terrakion has a hard time hitting Gallade very hard and is OHKOd by Drain Punch, which recovers quite a lot of HP, which Gallade needs. Gallade's Defense stat is woefully terrible, and it isn't until 2 Bulk Ups that it becomes physically defensive. Fortunately, people tend not to really know what Gallade does or is, so very frequently they see Bulk Up and try to use a stronger special attacker, which often winds up making no progress after Drain Punch and allowing for another Bulk Up. Leaf Blade, I imagine, is also going to get a few comments from you guys, but it has actually been quite effective. Gallade has a lot of trouble getting through some tougher water types, and Gastrodon is a problem for much of the team, along with Jellicent. Even if Jellicent burns Gallade, continuing to use Bulk Up and then Leaf Blade is an effective strategy (unlike Shadow Sneak, which Leaf Blade replaced). Basically, grass coverage was rather important, and Leaf Blade fit my requirements despite being usually a bad idea. Ice Punch is a little more obvious; kill Celebi, Gliscor, Lati@s, and other various dragons. So that's it. Constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated.