Gen 4 Enter Sandman - A 4th gen RMT

Metallica please don't sue me please I'm sorry​

I've been playing fourth gen for about two and a half years now, but never posted an RMT or really done anything in the Pokemon community. I've always wanted to do an RMT and the other stuff, though. And I figured, what better time to be active in the 4th gen meta than when it's two years old and almost everyone has moved on? So, here's an RMT for my favorite OU team to use, which I based on my favorite UU team to use.

How It Came Together:

Like I said, this team was originally a UU team, and one that worked pretty damn good. I had originally made the team so that I could have a sand team in UU, since I'd gotten bored with my rain one. I also wanted to build something around Cacturne and Regirock. Hippopotas was a given, since he's the only one that starts sand in UU; I also added Quagsire to take water attacks aimed at my water weak team, and to act as a momentum stopper. I added Haunter because the Gastly line are an incredibly easy line to throw into any team. Haunter gave me ground and fighting immunities specifically, which were incredibly useful given the weaknesses of the team. Originally I had Armaldo as a spinner/attacker, but he wasn't working for me, so I added scarf Magmortar, who also didn't work for me. Then I settled on mixed LO Nidoking with Fire Blast, who absorbed t-spikes and broke down the pokemon like Registeel and Clefable that otherwise stopped the rest of them.

So I spent a long time running up and down UU with them. After a while, I started running the team in OU, just for shits, with a chance of giggles. Instantly there were problems. Pokemon that weren't in UU could singlehandedly wall my whole team, and thing's weren't going so swell. So I updated it. I traded out Hippopotas for Hippowdon and Haunter for Gengar, but I kept everyone else the same to see if it'd work.

It didn't. Well, not really. The team did work better; Hippowdon was actually useful, instead of being a drag on the rest of my team like Hippopotas was in OU. Gengar gave a little more oomph and a lot more speed, which was especially useful against some other threats, like other Gengar. But Nidoking just couldn't keep up. OU was a faster game, and Nidoking was an old pokemon who couldn't run with the hot young things of OU. Plus, his presence made my team obnoxiously weak to ice attacks, and grass attacks could pretty much have their way with my team, too. So he was out. The first replacement I tried was Magnezone.

But it didn't cut it. True, Skarmory was one the primary presences crippling my new improved OU team; it's taunts and whirlwinds ruined anything my team tried to throw together. But Magnezone is a highly specialized pokemon designed with a specific task in mind, and aside from Skarmory, my team really didn't have an issue with steel types. It was a little much to use a whole team slot just to counter a single pokemon, especially when there were other threats I needed checked. So, I ditched Zone and got a Forretress.

And he was ok. Better than Zone or Nidoking. He piled the spikes on top of Hippowdon's SR, which was fantastic. And he kept hazards off my side, which was also pretty neat. He resists a nice set of attacks, but he couldn't do much else. And it was about here that I began to recognize, and hate, this team's arch-enemy; Gliscor. With Forretress, none of my team had any real shot at taking out Gliscor, unless Gengar got a crit or Regirock by some miracle dodged 6 taunts and hit it with +6 rock slide. I had to have a special attacker who had some good utility. So I slapped on Heatran.

And here, I think, was the answer. At first I tried a more defensive Heatran, but he was just as useless against Gliscor as anyone else. On top of that, earth power Shaymin and Celebi screwed it right over. Besides, status beyond sleep got in the way of this team's playstyle, so burns were useless, and I already had a good SR setter in Hippowdon. So I switched it out for a scarftran, one of my favorite things to use in 4th gen OU. And so, I came out with the current (and pretty successful) iteration of the team:


One Fish Hippowdon @ Leftovers

Sand Stream
Impish (+Def, -SpA)
252 HP/152 Def/104 SpDef/
-Stealth Rock
-Slack Off​

The Lowdown: My lead and sand starter-upper. Bulky as hell, and has a pretty decently powered EQ if things get down to the wire. Pretty much a standard Hippowdon. Takes hits like no one's business on the physical side, and even shakes off a pretty fair share of special moves. Hippowdon's role is two fold; get rocks up (and keep them up) and Phaze. Phaze until the ends of the earth. Instead of roar/whirlwind (or coverage), though, I have yawn as my phazer.

From experience, I much prefer yawn to roar/whirlwind as a phazer for three reasons: one, is that in the end, somebody be fallin asleep. Two, is that Roar and Whirlwind don't let you scout the opponents team with any degree of methodology. With yawn, the opposing player is going to switch to something that they think is a counter, and it will let me scope out those counters; since Hippowdon's counters are pretty much the same as the guys on my team who I need to watch out for (Regi, Cacturne), it lets me get a sense of what I need to do/take out before I can use either of them. For example, If I yawn a lead Jirachi, they might u-turn out to a Gliscor, who Hippowdon can't touch, and who can u-turn out of a yawn. But it lets me know there's a Gliscor, and that I can't use Regirock until it's gone. In the same vein, it lets me scout out odd movesets that are good to know about, like energy ball on a Gengar. Three, is that with roar/whirlwind, you always have to move last due to negative priority; Yawn can catch on the switch, and then on the switch again, etc. and create a long, delicous chain of phazing that often goes for turns at a time without taking any damage, wracking up SR and sweet, sweet leftovers recovery.

Usually this is Hippowdon's only purpose; primarily, to scout for threats like Gliscor to give me an idea of what lies ahead, and peripherally to wrack up some SR. And then, when the opponent finally gives up and lets something stay in and fall asleep to end it all, or if they switch in a Natural Cure type thing who I know will stay in on it, or just some other kind of nice little opening, I switch in this next guy.

Blue Fish Cacturne @ Life Orb

Sand Veil
Adamant (+Att, -SpA)
252 Att/252 HP/4 Spe
-Swords Dance
-Sucker Punch
-Focus Punch​

The Lowdown: This guy. The titular Sandman... I don't even know where to begin. This thing has netted me more KO's than any other pokemon on any team I've ever used. Probably the single riskiest pokemon in the game; when things don't go so hot, I'm essentially starting the game with 5 pokemon. When things go right, he is a freak nasty machine who I've had 6-0 teams by himself more times than I can count. I chose the EV's specifically for the one on this team; 4 speed EV's let him set up subs on an uninvested Blissey's (read: all Blisseys) toxic/T-wave, and then set up or focus punch right off the bat. The HP EV's give his subs about a 50-50 shot at withstanding an uninvested Gliscor's EQ, because Cacturne can't take shit for hits. LO is where I get a little shaky. I love the power it gives me. With a swords dance and LO, Cacturne nearly OHKOS full 252 HP/252 Def Skarmory with focus punch as it tries to phaze him away(can after a couple switches into rocks), and easily OHKOS if it roosts. But half the time, the only reason Cacturne dies is because it screws up so many mons that LO recoil kills it. I've had leftovers suggested to me by people I've gone up against, but I've always been a little hesitant. If anyone's got thoughts, that'd be super helpful.

My plan with Cacturne is to get him in as soon as possible and as cleanly as possible. Usually this involves Hippowdon making the opening; say, it's yawned a Starmie (natural cure) and I know it'll stay in and hydro pump or rapid spin (I'm willing to sacrifice rocks for getting in Cacturne cleanly). I switch in Cacturne as he switches out the sleeping Starmie, and then sub up or SD (depending on how his team looked from the phazing). And then I proceed to lay some suckers out. His whole role is to punch huge holes in the opponents team, making the rest of my guys' jobs easier. Focus punch and sucker punch make for one of the most mind screwing combinations in the game, and they have nearly perfect coverage. With a little prediction, Cacturne is pretty much guaranteed to take at least 1-2 pokemon down if you can get him in cleanly. On the downside, Cacturne has almost literally no defenses. At most, he can usually only take just about one (1) resisted attack, before he'll die to just about anything. Once you switch him in, and he takes a hit, that's pretty much the only time you'll get to switch him in unless you get lucky. With sand veil, though, you get lucky pretty often. Half the time I win, it's entirely because of Cacturne.

Red Fish Quagsire @ Leftovers

Water Absorb
Impish (+Def, -SpA)
252 HP/ 252 Def/ 4 Att
-Ice Punch

The Lowdown: My defensive pivot, and one of the most underrated pokemon in the metagame imo. It can wall nonstop any water type not named Ludicolo with immunities to water and electric, and a neutrality to ice. Gyarados can only dance for Quagsire's amusement; Starmie w/o Grass knot (I hate grass knot) can only spin; water is this pokemon's bitch. There's really not much to describe. Pretty standard Quagsire. I've added yawn instead of toxic or encore for all the reasons I put it on Hippowdon. I swapped out waterfall for ice punch so it can catch unwary Gliscor, Flygon, and Dragonite off guard, Roserades on the switch, and to attack the stubborn Gyarados's that don't want to switch out of a yawn and lose their DD boosts. I chose Quagsire over Swampert because Water Absorb is just such an amazing ability for Quagsire to have, and gives it far more use as a pivot for this team. Yawn doesn't hurt, either.

His role is to catch and stop momentum, just like any other pivot. He switches in on just about any water type and water type move (which otherwise screw the team over, since Cacturne can't take resisted hits), and then does what Hippowdon did before him; phazes, looking for another spot to slip in Cacturne. If Cacturne's dead, or more likely if the opponent's caught on and won't fall for it again, I switch to one of the other guys, or else keep wracking up SR and Sandstorm damage while occasionally attacking. He takes physical hits fantastically as well, being 3HKOD by Infernape CC. He hard counters so many pokemon it's obscene; Tyranitar, non-exploding Metagross, scarf Jirachi, defensive Heatran, most Rotoms, it goes on - Quagsire's a great pokemon, and if the other team has no grass moves, he almost never dies. Although sometimes I wish he had Swampert's physical prowess, I always feel safer when Quagsire's still around.

Old Fish Gengar @ Choice Scarf

Timid (+Spe, -Att)
252 SpA/ 252 Spe/4 HP
-Shadow Ball
-Energy Ball

The Lowdown: My late game sweeper when things are too fast and furious for Regirock, and my semi-defensive pivot by sheer nature of its immunities. The nature and spread are pretty standard for scarf Gengar. However, I chose energy ball over focus blast to nail Swampert and the rare Quagsire who think I can't touch them and who otherwise cause trouble for the team. It's leftover from the teams' UU days when I had it to nail Rhyperior, among others. Likewise, psychic is also a relic from when Old Fish was a Haunter. Initially, I traded it in for trick when I moved the team up to OU. But even without the Weezings and Venusaurs I've found psychic to have its uses, particularly in finishing up Machamps and killing scarf Heracross and other fighting types who keep Regirock from coming in. I've sometimes wished I had trick back instead of energy ball, and it's one of those things that I'm still not sure of. That goes for psychic, too, although not as much. Thoughts?

I chose choice scarf Gengar for this team primarily because I'm a sucker for choice scarf gengar. With scarf gengar I can surprise and take out +1 Gyarados, non-scarf Starmie, and scarf rotoms. It can keep the heat on faster threats like Jolteon, and also outspeeds Scarf Jirachi, the worlds most BS pokemon. It can actually 2HKO it with a couple switches worth of rocks. Beyond that, Gengar gives me ground and fighting immunies, which are good on any team, but especially good for mine. Plus, it has great defensive synergy with Heatran, it's hit-and-run partner. Also, a somewhat bittersweet benefit is that when Gengar goes down to a choiced pursuit, it gives me a pretty slick opportunity to switch in Cacturne again. If he's still alive.

I have tried swapping Gengar for Rotom-W. I missed the higher offenses and speed, but Rotom offers more support, bulk, and Hydro Pump. I'm still on the fence about it because Gengar does some niche things for this team, like taking out opposing Gengar, Rotom, Azelf, and spinblocking==>killing Starmie. Again, thoughts would be helpful.

New Fish Heatran @ Choice Scarf

Flash Fire
Timid (+ Spe, -Att)
252 SpA/252 Spe/4 HP
-Earth Power
-Dragon Pulse
-Hidden Power [Ice]​

The Lowdown: The newest member of the team. I chose Heatran because it switches in to grass and ice attacks like nothing, which my team sorely needed, and it has good synergy with Gengar. It keeps pressure on Skarmory, and can switch in and kill weakened or none-Shuca Heatran with a little prediction. It also kills non-scarfed Shaymin, Celebi, and Roserade, which is a huge help to this team. I chose overheat over fire blast because I play this Heatran in a very hit-and-run way, to which overheat is better suited. I chose HP Ice after a long stint with HP Grass mostly because of Gliscor. Heatran's a great and versatile pokemon, and many would argue that it's the best pokemon in 4th gen OU. It gives me good defensive synergy, and the offensive pressure it keeps on Skarmory and the OU grasses is great, but I still can't shake the feeling that I should be doing something else with it. Or that I should just be using another pokemon entirely.

Two Fish Regirock @ Leftovers

Clear Body
Careful (+SpDef, - SpA)
252 SpDef/252 HP/4 Att
-Sleep Talk
-Rock Slide​

The Lowdown: My last resort, emergency-button Plan B (and occasional late game sweeper). Standard monoattacking Regirock, but this thing is nuts-crazy. With sand reliably up, this thing does not die. Ever. It's Special Defense in sand is about 500. Non-LO or Specs Starmie hydro pump only 3HKOs it, unboosted Suicune surf 5HKOs, and once it gets a curse or two up, its game and match. Pretty straightforward playstyle. Come in on a pokemon that can't do much against it, and start cursing like a sailor. The king of turnarounds, Regirock has come back and won me matches that were 1-6 on more than one occasion. Sometimes, when things look bad (in other words, if Cacturne and Quagsire die), I will purposely start sacrficing all my pokemon except Regirock in such a way that it can come in safely, and then not have to worry about Phazing. Sleep Talk also lets it take sleep powders and activate the sleep clause, which makes fights against Roserade, Venusaur, and Breloom far easier. Besides switching in to absorb sleep, I usually don't use Regirock until I absolutely have too, keeping him at full health until things start to get nasty. Even though he's got defensive bulk to spare, until he gets a curse or two those dynamic punches and close combats are still deadly.

General Strategy:

Although I've outlined the general strategy of the team in the little blurbs up there, I'll explain again here. The goal is to set up rocks and then phaze, scouting out the team and looking for openings to slip in Cacturne. Once Cacturne's done good enough, or he dies, the parade of phazing begins again, and Gengar and Heatran perform hit and runs using their immunities and resists, or else I slip in Cacturne to wreak havoc once more. The whole time this is going on, I'm paying careful attention to take out pokemon like Lucario who could single handedly stop Regirock. Regirock's potential sweep needs to be clear at all costs, in case I really need it. Most times, though, Regirock stays benched except to absorb sleep.


I've elaborated on the bigger ones.

Gliscor: Gliscor, Gliscor, Gliscor. With its immunity to ground, resistance to fighting, bulk, instant recovery, sand veil, and above all, taunt, Gliscor can single handedly shut down most parts of this team. Hippowdon can't touch it, and Cacturne is out mind-gamed by its roosting, taunting, focus punch resisting BS. Heatran's overheats drop to 70% accuracy and is OHKOd by STAB EQ, and Regirock can't knock out a single curse once it's taunted. Quagsire has some success with ice punch, and can outstall it if things get bad. Gengar can wear it down eventually with STAB shadow ball, but most people are smart enough not to switch/keep in a Gliscor against a Gengar. Unless they predict a T-bolt, in which case sometimes I get lucky and predict the switch in. But other than that, unless Heatran surprises it with an HP Ice, or Cacturne is hiding behind a sub with +2 when Gliscor comes in, Gliscor ruins everyone's fun.

Skarmory: Not such a huge threat now that I've got Heatran, and once Cacturne is set up Skarmory can't do much without dying. Still, like Gliscor, its bulk, recovery, and access to taunt hurt. Spikes also hurt the team, but Heatran usually makes sure Skarm rarely gets the chance to set them up.

Breloom: If Breloom's spored someone besides Gengar, then Gengar can kill it; again, though, most people don't keep a Breloom in against a ghost, particularly Gengar. Toxic Orb blocks yawn, as well. Besides that, Quagsire can come in on the ones that run stone edge instead of seed bomb, and Heatran can revenge kill any variant.

Vaporeon: Not a threat in the way that it shuts me down like Gliscor, or can sweep like Breloom, but this team cannot kill Vaporeon. If the other team has one and I win, its always the last one to die, without fail. If Cacturne's already in the zone when Vaporeon's out, he can take care of it. Other than that, Gengar's T-Bolt doesn't do enough to keep it from Wish-Protecting back the health it lost. Roar variants, though, shut down the team like Gliscor does. Phazing and taunting in general are things my team absolutely hates.

Blissey: Not nearly as big of a threat as the others, since Cacturne and Regirock can both take care of it fairly easily. However, Hippowdon and Quagsire don't pack the power to do more than 50%, the magic number. And Heatran and Gengar are both special attackers. Blissey is the main reason I sometimes wish Gengar had trick instead of either energy ball or psychic.

Hippowdon: Bulky and built for sand, Hippowdon's threat to my team is identical to Vaporeon's; my team has no reliable way of killing it, and it can phaze. Unlike Vaporeon, though, Cacturne and Regirock have a hard time taking it out, since it prefers physical defense over special defense. It's special bulk, however, is not nearly bad enough for Gengar and Heatran to have an easy time of it.

Gengar: Choice Gengar aren't a problem, since Cacturne loves choiced ghosts, and good switching in general wear them down. Trick can be difficult, though. Substitute variants are also difficult. They can set up without fear on Cacturne, and can then protect themselves from being revenge killed by this team's Gengar. If the sub's down, though, either Gengar or heatran can take it out.

Rotom forms: Quagsire can wall the two most common Rotoms easily, but can't do much back, epecially if they've got will-o-wisp. Bulky variants are particularly hard to take down, since they have support moves to use to block Cacturne's sucker punch. Gengar can KO bulky variants after a little SR and some prior damage. Choiced variants are easier to deal with, because Cacturne literally eats ghosts, or they expect an easy KO on Gengar, who outspeeds them. They can be also walled and forced out by Quagsire. Again, trick is real bad news.

Ludicolo: Its almost never seen in OU except on rain, but when it shows up, something usually dies. Usually I'll try switching between Heatran and Quagsire to try and outlast the rain, but most people will will catch on and it becomes predict/counter-predict. If it's taken a little damage and/or LO recoil, Gengar can switch in on a giga drain, outspeed, and kill it with STAB. In UU, this thing and Venusaur were my bane.

Celebi/Shaymin: I've lumped these two together because they threaten the same way. STAB grass attacks in general threaten my team, since Gengar and Cacturne have trouble taking resisted hits. Celebi and Shaymin often have earth power to hit Heatran, though, which makes it much harder to take them out. Gengar can take care of Celebi, but Shaymin is more difficult.

Togekiss: Besides maybe Jirachi, this thing is the worst. Quagsire and Hippowdon can switch in on T-waves and try to phaze and wrack up SR. If Cacturne's behind a sub he can kill it. If all else fails, Regirock absorbs status, sponges aura spheres, and can hit super effective with STAB.

Venusaur: Offensive variants; Heatran can check.

Lucario: Agility Lucario can sweep the entire team if Hippowdon's down and Quagsire's weakened. It's not seen nearly as often as SD variants, though, which are more manageable for this team.

Roserade: Offensive variants; Heatran can check.

Lead Azelf: Temporarily throws off Hippowdon. Usually, I'd switch out Hippowdon on the taunt to gengar. Sand breaks focus sash, and scarf shadow ball outspeeds and OHKOs. Similar methods against Aerodactyl, but with out sand breaking the sash

Mamoswine: Hippowdon can hold his own, and Quagsire can too to a lesser extent. Heatran can check.

Infernape: Quagsire can wall if at full health and if Infernape doesn't have grass knot. Physical ones can be walled by Hippowdon. Heatran/Gengar can revenge kill/switch in on fire/fighting STAB, respectively.

Machamp: Lum variants; Heatran and Gengar can KO if worn down by sand enough. Lum leads are very irritating for Hippowdon

Dragonite: Mixed variants; Draco Meteor kills Quagsire/Hippowdon, and Superpower + Outrage kills the rest. Lum berry hurts the team's phazing, too. With prediction, Heatran, Gengar, and Quagsire can take down fairly easily.

Hitmontop: Sucker Punch variants kill Gengar, STAB kills Cacturne/Heatran/Regi. Hippowdon and Quagsire can wall successfully

Flygon: Throws a wrench in my early game plans, as it can u-turn out of yawns and is immune to EQ. Quagsire can take anything the more common scarf variants dish out, and hit hard back with ice punch. With a little prior damage, Cacturne and Gengar can both OHKO.

If anyone sees any other glaring weakness I might've forgot, let me know. I'll add em on the list.