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Dark Horse team: Gallade

Discussion in 'BW OU Teams' started by Plaid, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Plaid


    May 3, 2010
    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.
  2. Lord Wallace

    Lord Wallace
    is a Tiering Contributor

    May 21, 2011
    Pretty solid team. Just a few notes.

    Mence looks good,but being locked into Outrage isn't that great when you're mixed,try Dragon Claw instead so Skarm cant troll you. That's really your call though.
    Heatran is sort of strange,you say it checks Dragons but I see no HP Ice. I understand your concerns about weather but I would honestly just switch this to an SR using Speccially defensive Tran,that way you can change Mamo into a Choice attacker(or even just replace it) or something and you don't need to ditch HP Fire on Latios because now you have a reliable Gengar switch in.

    I actually like your Latios set. The only problem I see is Psyshock. If you want to hit Chansey/Blissey with it you need Specs for the 2HKO. Otherwise its pretty useless since you just hit things like Cloyster and Conk less hard,plus,it doesn't do much for coverage. Go for Dragon Pulse instead,now you have a reliable STAB without stat penalty. However,if you really want,you can run Psychic to surprise Venusaur or something.

    Gallade looks good,except,run Shadow Sneak over Leaf Blade. He's slow and needs the priority.
  3. Lemonz


    Apr 24, 2011
    I like your idea of a weather changing heatran, but I must say that on this team, at least on paper, it doesnt seem all that appealing to me.

    To start off, it hardly walls dragons, unless their locked into outrage or choiced, and in that case, you have nothing to hit them with.

    I suggest magnezone w/ hp fire instead, so that you can kill off those pesky scizors. I mean, heatran definitely checks scizor, but this will cause a lot of switches, and too many of those arent usually good, with residual damage and all that, especially since you have no rapid spinner.

    Speaking of which, you have an endeavor-sash mamo. Mamo is a good choice of a poke, but getting in an endeavor, especially when there are entry hazards arround, is not too good of an idea. Even if you are to lead w/ mamo, his potential as a revenge killer is wasted.

    With this in mind, I recomend Donphan. Hes significantly bulkier, and goes unhampered by that ice-typing. on top of that, you still get stealth rock, but you also get rapid spin, which I believe this team would really apreciate. Of course, you lose out on the superpowered ice shard, but you already have dragons to kill those other dragons.

    While taking in my last statement, I must say that your dragons arent exactly meeting their full potential. Latios would greatly enjoy a scarf here, and you were right the first time, making salamence dragon dance.
    With choice Latios, you can easily check terakion, allowing Mence to get some dds in. On another note, scizor is elliminated if you take my advice and sub in a magnezone. With all this, you get an unchecked mence sweep. However, if you use scarf Lati, id put a different item on rotom. Its not too good to have too many choice items on a team.

    My last gripe is with the star of your team, gallade. I know that this team's theme is Gallade, but I have to say that Lucario would fill in much better. Heck, Conk would too. Maybe even hitmontop, and then you could keep in your mamoswine, getting someone else to deliver that much needed rapid spin.
    Basically, if your going to use gallade, you need to put
    shadow sneak on him. Right now, with leaf blade, hes outclassed by Verizion. The truth is that, while Gallade is certainly viable, nearly every fighting type in Ou, and even UU, can out perform him in any one of his sets.
    Right now, I suggest running shadow sneak with swords dance, close combat, and Ice punch. Your team would really enjoy a Lucario, and this is one of Gallade's few sets that has a niche greater than that of another fighting type. That is, you can hit gengar and gliscor. Lucario always has to decide over whether to use crunch or ice punch, but shadow sneak acts as a combination between extreem and crunch (albeit with less power), and you still get Ice punch.

    Well thanks for reading, Im really sorry for making you read so much, but i hope i gave out some good advice. Good luck.
  4. The Silent Storm

    The Silent Storm

    Apr 24, 2010
    hey there
    Now, that's a very solid team you have here!
    However I see you a little in trouble against Rainstall, or in generally Stall itself
    Salamence is weak to sr, whereas Heatran (air baloon don't last forever) Mamoswine and Gallade are grounded pokes so affected by spikes, and in the case of Mamoswine and Gallade, toxic spikes too, this may become problematic in the long run.
    Sadly, I think your Latios is the weak link of your team, and I would like to suggest you a more fit replacement, which is Starmie:

    Starmie @ Mystic Water/ Life Orb Trait: Natural Cure
    EVs: 6 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Hydro Pump
    - Rapid Spin
    - Recover/Hidden Power [Fire]
    - Ice Beam

    The choice for the item is yours really, I just hate losing 10% hp for rapid spin, Mystic Water may also bluff a choice item.
    Hope it helped, good luck with your Dark Horse challenge
  5. Plaid


    May 3, 2010
    Thank you for all of your feedback!

    The idea of Dragon Claw on Mence is interesting. On the one hand, being locked into Outrage has been quite interesting, but one of the major reasons I carry Draco Meteor is to hit something with a Dragon move without locking Mence into it. Also, using Dragon Claw would require moving a lot of EVs from SpAtk to Attack, which I don't really want to do because Draco then loses a lot of power and probably the ability to OHKO Gliscor. Also, Outrage is mostly used when Mence is going to die soon to try and hit something hard before it goes down. I'll try out Dragon Claw, though, but keep in mind that Mence is not really there to last.

    I sort of liked Psyshock initially for the cool novelty of having it hit the physical side, and that does have some use, but I can see that you're probably right. I'll try replacing it with Psychic (as I still really like having the Psychic STAB) and I'll try out Dragon Pulse too, but I'm afraid having two Dragons running two Dragon STAB moves is a bit... over the top.

    I'm not really seeing how SPDef Tran is in any way a safe Gengar switch-in, tbh. Also, Rain causes huge problems for my team, so I think that Sunny Day on Heatran is a necessity. Sandstorm also causes a lot of problems, and getting rid of that is another huge boon, especially for Gallade and Mence. Also, I switched Tran back from Balloon to lefties.

    I really want to include another steel type to check dragons (I'd probably go with Metagross or Scizor depending on whether or not I still need rocks), but I really don't think I can replace anything.

    Although, I do like the idea of putting Donphan over Mamo. I am veryconcerned about the fact that Donphan is slower and weaker, though, but Rapid Spin support is hard to pass up. I'll test it out.

    I do not think DDMence or ScarfLatios are very good ideas for this team based on my experience with both of them; DDMence is quite easily revenged and still dies very quickly, but, unlike this set, rarely takes much with him. I would consider Choice Latios were I to use Zone, but honestly, I don't think it's that great. With team preview, it's not that hard to see it coming, and the resulting prediction wars could easily have me lose Zone or another poke if I switch or stay in. I know it puts the opponent's Scizor user on edge, but it's too slow and too situational, and it requires giving up Heatran. Also, Latios's EBelt already sort of serves this purpose with HP Fire getting free Scizor kills and such.

    There is a surprising amount of concern for Terrakion, but honestly, it hasn't been as much of a problem as a lot of other things like Dragons. Latios outspeeds all non-scarf variants (which can't OHKO it) and OHKOs back with Psyshock (and presumably Psychic) or Surf (probably; I've never actually landed Surf on a full health Terrakion).

    Substituting Gallade does kind of ruin the entire point of the team, which is that it was built around Gallade. Gallade does offer something that other Fighting types do not, and that is its unique typing and great Special Bulk, so after a couple of Bulk Ups, Gallade is very difficult to kill, especially since its two weaknesses are quite rare. Shadow Sneak looks much better on paper than it actually functions, unfortunately. It is incredibly weak, and Gallade's attack is not strong enough to be messing around with it. After a Bulk Up boost, it only 2HKO's the mighty Physical wall, Gengar... yeah. Pathetic. It would be more viable if I used the recommended SD set, I agree, but that sacrifices every advantage Gallade has over Lucario, which is rather unhelpful. Conkeldurr also lacks Gallade's special bulk and typing, which is why I'm using Gallade (also, it looks much cooler :P).

    Lastly, the Starmie recommendation. I have, in my day, used a great many Starmies (I absolutely love the Life Orb set with Hydro Pump, BoltBeam, and Recover), and I included one on pretty much every Gen IV team I made and the majority of Gen V teams I've tried, too. So let me assure you wholeheartedly that this team is not really one that requires a Starmie. I have tried.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the feedback. I'm hoping to get a few more reviews, though, so keep commenting!
  6. Da Vinci

    Da Vinci

    Mar 27, 2011
    I like it how you put Sunny day on Heatran, but isn't it better to swap Rotom-W for another poke in that case?
  7. Plaid


    May 3, 2010
    Not really. Just because Tran has Sunny Day does not mean that this is a Sunny Day team; Tran and maybe the dragons are the only ones who really like sun at all. This is a weatherless team, and Tran sets up the sun to cancel out the enemy's weather and for his own benefit. It goes away before too long, and Rotom is back to full strength. Rotom is a very important part of this team.
  8. Plaid


    May 3, 2010
    Bump. Also, I'm really liking the change to Donphan. It's been going well except that I've been haxed badly down from 1300s to 1150 in a single day. That was not Donphan's fault, though.

    EDIT: And now I'm back up to 1302 again. That makes up for yesterday. I have been haxed an unbelievable amount, though.

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