Dark Miracle Hello people of Smogon! Welcome to my 100th post RMT special! This is an RMT I've been working on for quite awhile, probably about a month or two. Unfortunately, I hit a creative block and almost abandoned the team all together before I got some help from the awesome Gary2346. Thanks to him, this team miraculously came into existence, and without him I'm sure this team would never have seen the light of day. So about the team itself... As you can probably tell by the large picture, this is a team based around Hydreigon. Hydreigon is well known for attacking anything that so much as moves, making one of the most destructive pokemon in existence."Destructive" is a very good word to describe this team; despite it being a Balanced, Weatherless team, it has extremely devastating capabilities. This team excels at punching holes into teams and sweeping away the remains, and is by far one of the most successful teams I have ever used, letting me reach a ladder peak of 1824. So without further ado, let's get into this RMT! TEAM BUILDING PROCESS Well, I wanted to base a team around Hydreigon, since it was an amazing pokemon that didn't really get much use. I wanted to use the Sub Hydreigon set in particular, so in goes Hydreigon. So what does Hydreigon do, and what can best benefit from it? Hydreigon works best at being incredibly threatening, easily destroying a vast majority of pokemon in the game. So teammates who could benefit from wrecked teams would work great. With that in mind, I added Swords Dance Lucario to clean up after Hydreigon's rampages. Well that's nice and all, but the two together lacked some speed. I figured that a Choice Scarfer would be great to check faster threats. But I wanted to have a powerful revenge killer, something that could use the speed boost to sweep teams if given the chance, while being able to handle even fellow Choice Scarfers themselves... Enter Choice Scarf Latios. ...And at the same time, my ideas ran out. Nothing I could come up with really fit with what I had created. After a long time of getting nowhere, I was about ready to give up, until I ended up asking for some help. This was where Gary2346 came in. With his suggestions, we created a beta team and worked from there. The new team members consisted of Specially Defensive Rotom-W, Physically Defensive Forretress, and Life Orb Mamoswine. Also, Gary convinced me to switch the Sub Hydreigon set to a Mixed one, which I have to agree was a great idea. Hydreigon now has no safe switch-ins, making it incredibly dangerous and capable of easily destroying teams. After some testing with this team, we noticed a couple of things. One, Rotom-W, unsurprisingly, worked great. Two, Forretress is awful. Can't do anything. Three, Mamoswine's job was kind of done by the other teammates, so it wasn't really necessary on the team. We decided to address Forretress first. We ended up deciding on Physically Defensive Skarmory as a replacement, being able to do everything Forretress did, (bar Rapid Spin, which we didn't need) and more, most importantly not being set up bait. And so we welcomed Skarmory to the group. And now we come to the last pokemon. Looking over the team, it didn't look like we had any glaring weaknesses. We tossed around several ideas, such as trappers or similar things, but we found out something during testing that we didn't have covered: Bulky Waters. Nothing we had could effectively kill them, as our strongest attacks, like Hydreigon's Draco Meteor and Rotom's Volt Switch, had obvious drawbacks that Bulky Waters could take advantage of. So we needed something that could take them out quickly, as well as being helpful in general. Gary2346 found the perfect solution: Offensive Celebi. At this point, the team performed outstandingly, and had very few notable weaknesses. There was, however, one HUGE weakness; Volcarona. That murderer moth which is almost as annoying as that cockroach infestation I had to deal with a while back can sweep clean through the whole team with little resistance. With Quiver Dance it became capable of both destroying all of the team and tanking all of their hits. Clearly something had to be done about this. Luckily for us the kind people of Smogon provided numerous solutions to our problem. While they wer all nice suggestions, we decided that the one that best fit into the team was none other than Novaray's Bulky Gyarados. While this would mean a tragic farewell to our beloved washing machine, we feel that it is for the best. The team did pretty well at this point; however, it seemed that with the addition of Gyarados we were more vulnerable on the special side of things. Many people suggested Heatran over Skarmory, to cover up the weaknesses that Gyarados opened up. This would also give us a good sun counter, and form a great core with Gyarados. However, we tested this idea, and it simply didn't work out the way we expected. Heatran and Gyarados together have no reliable recovery, something vital to a good defensive core. Strangely, the core was easily torn apart strong threats like Terrakion or Thunduru-T, who could strike their weaknesses hard before they could retaliate. Heatran just didn't seem to be right for the team; but without it, Gyarados alone left us weak to powerful special attacks, and without Gyarados we were slaughtered by Volcarona. It seemed the team was in a very bad situation... ...Until Gary2346 had a stroke of genius. The problem, we found, wasn't in the defensive core, it was our offense that was lacking. Our revenge killer, Latios, we found to be excellent, but actually not needed. Everything it checks was easily handled by another teammate. But it couldn't handle Volcarona. So Gary proposed another powerful dragon over Latios... Choice Scarf Salamence. Salamence provided us with a check to Volcarona, additional physical power, a great revenge killer and a deadly sweeper all in one. Now, Salamence and Gyarados are both weak to Stealth Rocks, and we were still specially weak, so we decided to bring back Rotom-W to patch that up. In addition, Shurtugal made a suggestion of making Skarmory Specially Defensive to make us less weak to powerful Draco Meteors and the like. This turned out to be a fantastic idea, as Skarmory is capable of taking more hits in general and is a great asset to the team. INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS Hydreigon @ Life Orb Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 Atk Mild Nature - Draco Meteor - Fire Blast - Superpower - Roost/Earthquake The star of the team; Hydreigon is undoubtably a monster. Now, a lot of people think that Hydreigon has no real purpose in OU; it's outclassed by Latios, which has better speed, special attack, and typing, and the other dragons like Dragonite and Salamence can sweep teams at a moments notice. So what can Hydreigon do? Simple: destroy. This thing literally has no counters, thanks to it's great mixed stats and it's fantastic movepool. Hydreigon can pretty much break through any defensive pokemon, any defensive core, and anything it can hit with practically no effort. It's just devestating. The moveset here is pretty standard. Draco Meteor coming from Hydreigon wrecks everything that doesn't resist it or have good special bulk. Even then, pretty much everything loses over half their health to the Meteors. The rest of the moveset is what makes Hydreigon so dangerous. Fire Blast roasts the steel types trying to tank a Draco Meteor. Fire Blast is even capable of decimating Steels after the Draco Meteor drop, which is great for luring in those annoying Ferrothorns and blowing them up. Superpower gives Hydreigon the amazing ability to break through special walls like Blissey and Tyranitar, things that before BW2 Hydreigon could never hope to touch. Roost is used over Earthquake so that Hydreigon can stay alive longer throughout the match and continue it's reign of terror. Earthquake has it's uses, but the rest of the team handles what Earthquake would cover well enough. Teams without a strong, fast attackers with super effective attacks have difficulty handling Hydreigon, because without them Hydreigon is free to spam it's attacks until it drops. It's also deceptively bulky, which is very helpful against Mamoswine who think Ice Shard can handle it. So Hydreigon's job on the team is to open up gaps in the opponents defenses that would be otherwise tough to crack. Once the holes are opened up, Hydreigon's teammates or even Hydreigon himself can clean up the mess. A lot of teams out there are just flat out crippled by one of Hydreigon's rampages, to the point where the rest is just easy pickings. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Skarmory @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 232 SDef / 252 HP / 24 Spd Impish Nature - Brave Bird - Spikes - Roost - Whirlwind This Skarmory was a suggestion from Shurtugal, and a great one at that. Even without investment, Skarmory still has huge Defense, letting it wall most physical attackers with ease. With Specially Defensive investment, it can now tank weaker special attacks much easier, and is a reliable switch into the Lati twins, something this team struggled with earlier. It can also tank Rotom-W's Volt Switches, something that loves to come in on Skarmory. Overall it's much more difficult to kill and a great supporter to the team. So Skarmory's moveset needs little explanation. Brave Bird is there to give Skarmory some offensive presence, and actually really hurts things weak to it. (Breloom) Spikes has been added over Stealth Rocks due to being put on Celebi, and allows Skarmory to set up lethal spikes to deal huge damage throughout the match. Roost gives Skarmory reliable recovery (Hey, something else Forretress doesn't have), which is even better on Skarmory thanks to Sturdy. Sturdy lets Skarmory be a foolproof check to basically everything in existence, since no matter how powerful it is, Skarmory can survive and phaze it out. Speaking of which, Whirlwind gives it it's almighty phazing abilities that stops sweepers in their tracks. Skarmory's job here is to take pretty much any and all physical attacks like a champ, which it does so amazingly. It's almost a complete shutdown to physical dragons lacking Fire Blast (Fire Fang/Punch does nothing), which is critical in this metagame. It also sets up Spikes for the team, softening foes up so the heavy hitters can finish them off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Celebi @ Life Orb Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 252 SAtk / 56 HP / 200 Spd Modest Nature - Leaf Storm - Stealth Rocks - Hidden Power [Fire] - Recover The last member of the team to be added, and the team's "glue." Without Celebi, this team would not be able to break through the defenses of Bulky Waters. Celebi finds itself at home on the team due to it's similar abilities to Hydreigon; it's Leaf Storms are devastatingly powerful, and easily OHKO's anything weak to it, and most things neutral to it. This crushing power is the primary reason we chose this set over, say, a defensive set, as the extra power is greatly appreciated, and Defensive Celebi doesn't contribute much in terms of checking threats. In addition to being our answer to Bulky Waters, it has a good deal of other extremely helpful qualities. With Natural Cure and it's Grass typing, it's the ideal switch in to the pesky move Scald that seems to always burn everything it touches. Celebi can switch in on those, fire off Leaf Storm, and switch out like nothing happened. The same goes for other the other status'; it takes them easily, can kill whatever is in, and switch out to heal. Amazing. This moveset is a bit unusual, so let me explain. Leaf Storm is obvious; destroys anything that doesn't resist it, blah blah blah. Stealth Rocks has been added over Earthquake since Heatran is handled well enough by the rest of the team, and putting Stealth Rocks on Celebi allows us to have Spikes on Skarmory, which the team absolutely loves to have. Hidden Power Fire is for additional steel coverage, and lets Celebi defend itself against Scizor. Recover lets Celebi heal off Life Orb Recoil and other damage, which thanks to it's typing and good natural bulk can let it wall weaker attackers. Again, Celebi's role on the team is to be the glue that holds it together. It takes care of pokemon that give the team trouble, can destroy unprepared teams, can tank hits, can absorb status... yeah, it does a lot for the team. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rotom-W @ Chesto Berry Trait: Levitate EVs: 248 HP / 28 SAtk / 228 SDef Calm Nature - Hydro Pump - Volt Switch - Thunder Wave - Rest Specially Defensive Rotom-W makes a return, and this time he's probably here to stay. Gyarados' weaknesses proved to be too much of a hassle for the team, something Rotom-W has no problem with. This Rotom is actually a Chesto Rest Rotom, which works a bit differently from the norm. While the standard Rotom-W uses Pain Split and Leftovers for recovery, this one uses Rest to fully heal itself in an instant and heal off status, letting it act as a secondary status absorber. The Chesto Berry lets it heal it's sleep condition for free once, which often is enough to let it last through the match. The moveset, other than the aforementioned Rest, is mostly standard. Hydro Pump is obviously very powerful, especially under Rain, and lets Rotom-W do massive damage even though it's a wall. Volt Switch does good damage to Water types (though it's not strong against Bulky Waters; that's why Celebi is here) and gives one of it's teammates a free switch-in, which can be critical in certain situations. Thunder Wave is used over Will-o-Wisp since the team overall appreciates paralysis over burn; it helps cripple dangerous pokemon like Venusaur, Volcarona, Salamence and the like and makes them easy pickings for the team. Rest lets Rotom-W heal back to full health and remove any status it has, which can be very annoying for people who think Rotom-W is finished. Rotom's job on the team is to help check dangerous weather teams and special attackers in general. It also helps provide the team with precious momentum that the other teammates can abuse. It does it's job flawlessly and is a great asset to the team. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lucario @ Life Orb Trait: Justified EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 SDef Adamant Nature - Close Combat - ExtremeSpeed - Bullet Punch - Swords Dance Hey, anyone remember the Lucario from my first RMT, Project: Aura? Well, he's made a full comeback in Dark Miracle, and I think he fits better now than he did when the team was built around him! Lucario is here as the teams late game cleaner; if it gets a Swords Dance up and it's counters are gone, it's pretty much GG. This is especially true when you consider how much destruction it's teammates can cause, easily opening the way for a late game clean up. Even if it doesn't get a chance to sweep, it can still support the team by using it's double priority to pick off weaker, yet possibly dangerous, foes. The moveset it has is standard; Swords Dance boosts it's power to obscene levels, making it lethal. Close Combat is it's STAB move of choice, which lets it decimate anything slower than it. Extreemspeed is probably the reason why Lucario is so dangerous; at +2 it can easily pick off faster-but-frail threats that could otherwise beat Lucario, including other priority users. Bullet Punch backs Extreemspeed up by letting Lucario break through threats like Gengar, Terrakion, and other things that resist Extreemspeed and are too fast to Close Combat. Lucario really loves being on this team due to just how well it's teammates support it; Hydreigon, Celebi, Latios and Rotom-W break down walls that could trouble it, Rotom-W provides Paralysis support, Skarmory provides Stealth Rocks, and Celebi and Latios lure in Choice Banded pursuiters/Crunchers, which Lucario not only can set up on with ease, but actually benefits from getting hit by a Dark type attack; Justified boosts Lucario's attack if that ever happens. At +3, Lucario will slaughter just about everything in sight.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Salamence @ Choice Scarf Trait: Moxie EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 SAtk Naive Nature - Outrage - Dragon Claw - Earthquake - Fire Blast This is the latest, and probably last, new member of the team; Salamence. I really can't believe that I, or anyone else beside Gary2346, didn't think of this sooner. When you think about it, everything that Salamence could possibly want is provided by it's teammates. Hazards? Skarmory and Celebi. A vicious wallbreaker? Hydreigon. Paralysis support? Rotom-W. A secondary sweeper that has great synergy with it? Lucario. In return, Salamence provides us with a check to Volcarona, an answer to faster threats, and a fantastic way of taking advantage of the gaping holes this team makes for it. The moveset here is standard; Outrage is it's sweeping move; use it, get a kill, start a killing spree. Dragon Claw is weaker, but is great for the times when the opponents Steel is still alive and Outrage isn't favorable. Earthquake destroys steel types and really hurts Jirachi. Fire Blast is for those annoying Ferrothorns who want to switch in. The combination of moves here makes Salamence a lot like Hydreigon; nothing can truly switch in safely. Making a mistake against it will hurt badly, especially if it's partners set up hazards already. Salamence is probably what the team needed all along. It's ability to turn weakened, but still fully alive teams into dust at a moments notice is perfect for what it's teammates are capable of. It's destructive powers are a perfect fit for the team, and it's brought the team that much more success. Credits Thanks for taking the time to read our RMT! I had a lot of fun making this with Gary2346, and I think it turned out great! Special Thanks to Gary2346 for all of his amazing help in bringing this team to life. Not to mention, he also put together the RMT's beautiful presentation. Thanks for all your help! Also, special thanks to LucaroarkZ for some help he gave me early on in this project! I hope you liked this RMT, and hopefully you'll give some nice feedback as well! Any ideas that would make the team better would be much appreciated! Thanks for any and all help you can give! Oh, and be sure to Luvdisc if you liked!