Eriatarka Introduction Eriatarka, or JLei Rain as I affectionately call it, has been my flagship team for the past year. Most of the credit should actually go to the guy who I consider the best teambuilder I've ever met on Smogon, JLei2k, as he was the one who came up with the original team way back in early 2011. I haven't been able to get in touch with him since the infamous World Cup VI drama, but I've been tweaking the team since then and it's been an absolute blast to use. I hope you're doing well wherever you are my friend. I have a good 15+ versions of this team, using everything from Sharpedo to Dugtrio, but the team I'm posting today is probably my best variation. It's fairly close to original team, which is a testament to how well it's stood the test of time in tier filled with fluctuations. It's been by far my most successful BW team, peaking #1 on the ladder a few times back when it was actually competitive, and doing really nicely in tournaments like SPL, Battle City, and Superstars. I really enjoy using offensive rain teams because of their simplicity and their versatility, since with a little bit of smart playing, Pokemon like Specs Starmie can clean up against teams with even the bulkiest of Water-resists. The release of BW2 has finally given me the motivation to post this team, and I figure I should probably try out some new stuff having used this team so much for so long. I chose the title Eriatarka because it was one of my old laddering alts, and it's also a very pretty song and name. Bluewind refers to it as Mr. Simple though as a result of our mutual appreciation for great music and dancing Asian men. The Team Silent Alarm (Politoed) (M) @ Choice Specs Trait: Drizzle EVs: 220 HP / 252 SAtk / 36 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Surf - Focus Blast - Ice Beam - Hidden Power [Grass] This is the best Politoed set in my opinion. Specs Politoed is probably the most effective way to win the weather war because it's a decent switch in to both Ninetales and defensive Tyranitar, while they absolutely cannot switch into a Specs Surf. Ice Beam and Focus Blast are useful coverage attacks, and the latter is ironically the move on my team that does the most to Ferrothorn. I used to use Perish Song in the last slot when SmashPass was in its heyday, but I like being able to hit Gastrodon with HP Grass because it helps Starmie a lot. Even though I use Specs Politoed a lot because of it's incredible effectiveness, it's honestly a blast to use, as OHKOing the likes of Scizor and Skarmory after Stealth Rock is a lot of fun. Blue Light (Starmie) @ Choice Specs Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Surf - Thunder - Trick - Rapid Spin My favourite Pokemon in OU! Specs Starmie forms a great one-two punch with Politoed, as very few teams pack enough bulk to keep up with both of them. While not your stereotypical sweeper, Starmie is usually my go to Pokemon to finish off games. I usually try to play my matches in a way that ensures my rain stays up and Water resists are sufficiently weakened so I can bring Starmie and clean up thanks to its amazing Speed. The idea of only using two attacks on Specs Starmie came from JLei, and while it may seem weird at first, it actually works out quite well. Other than Surf, all I really need is Thunder to hit bulky Waters, particularly Jellicent who is 2HKOed after Stealth Rock. I do miss Ice Beam, but having two extremely bulky Steel-types for Dragons mitigates this issue. Trick is crucial when I'm facing stall, in which case I often Trick on the very first turn, as it completely screws over the best Starmie counters like Blissey, Chansey, and Ferrothorn. Rapid Spin lets me transform Starmie from an offensive monster to a solid team supporter after I lose the Specs, which is a huge asset against stall. Eating Glass (Ferrothorn) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SDef Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd) - Stealth Rock - Leech Seed - Gyro Ball - Power Whip Ferrothorn is more or less a necessity for any rain team, whether it be offensive or stall-based. It checks a whole slew of Pokemon I'd otherwise be completely overwhelmed by, namely fast offensive Water- and Dragon-types. As everyone knows Ferrothorn is extremely hard to kill in the rain, so it's naturally my choice to set up Stealth Rock, and almost always gets the job done. I've always been a fan of running two attacks on Ferrothorn because Gyro Ball and Power Whip are both really useful. Sometimes I use Spikes over Gyro Ball and Protect / Thunder Wave over Leech Seed, but then I find myself completely unable to damage Outraging Dragons. It's definitely helpful in stall wars but the team tends to do fine against stall anyways, especially since Starmie packs Rapid Spin. Overall Ferrothorn is pretty irreplaceable and does everything I need, ranging from getting Stealth Rock up reliably for my sweepers to walling strong Pokemon that give the rest of my relatively fragile team issues. Luno (Jirachi) @ Leftovers Trait: Serene Grace EVs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Calm Mind - Wish - Thunder - Flash Cannon I generally try to pack two defensive Steels on my teams because Dragons are so strong in BW, but Jirachi doubles as both a pivot and a sweeper. Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi is a pretty neat set because it's often unexpected, especially with Thunder and Drizzle support. If Skarmory comes in expecting Jirachi to be Scarfed, I essentially get two free Calm Minds as it switches out, which puts me at a huge advantage against almost all teams. I find Thunder and Flash Cannon work best together after having tested a bunch of combinations, since the 60% paralysis chance on Thunder allows me to bypass a huge slew of threats, while Flash Cannon has generally good coverage and smacks around the dreaded Tyranitar. Jirachi's sheer versatility makes it a huge asset for my team, since it can spread paralysis, pass Wishes, and sweep on a whim. Most importantly, however, its massive defensive bulk prevents me from being completely overwhelmed by physical beasts like Toxicroak. Definitely a really fun and underrated set. Banquet (Latios) (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Draco Meteor - Surf - Hidden Power [Fighting] - Roost Latios is definitely one of the scariest Pokemon in Gen 5. I really like Life Orb Latios on a team that is fairly weak to Rotom-W because I can just Roost off damage from Will-O-Wisp or its STABs. I tend to use Roost a lot when I know I have to keep Latios healthy to switch in on something like Gliscor and the aforementioned Rotom-W. For the longest time I used Psyshock over Draco Meteor, but I hated being walled by Celebi and Starmie. Surf is pretty much a given especially on a rain team, and it's a pretty safe move to weaken most Steel-types like Jirachi as they swap in. I really like Hidden Power Fighting because it 2HKOes defensive Tyranitar after Stealth Rock, meaning I can keep my rain up without much worry. Plus, it's always nice to have something to hit Ferrothorn with, and I'm more than willing to sacrifice Latios if it means getting Ferrothorn weak enough to die to Starmie's Surf. Plans (Landorus) (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Sand Force EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spd Naive Nature (+Spe, -SDef) - Earthquake - Stone Edge - U-turn - Hidden Power [Flying] I've experimented with the last slot a lot, and while Landorus has hands down been the weak link of the team, sometimes I just find it irreplaceable. Azumarill used to hold this spot back on JLei's original team to 'counter' Excadrill, but I hated how it made me excessively weak to Breloom and Earth Power Celebi, so I tested a bunch of stuff after the most recent bans. Scarf Landorus is similar to DPP Flygon in that it's pretty much my catch-all revenge killer, and it doubles as a handy scouter to preserve momentum. I like to use Hidden Power Flying because, despite having Latios and a bulky Jirachi, Breloom still gives me headaches. Sometimes I use Fly with a Jolly nature for fun, which surprisingly pretty effective, but definitely not as reliable. Landorus is often completely useless in battle, but it's such a huge asset to have a dedicated revenge killer to save me against +1 Dragonite and +1 Volcarona. Conclusion Due to the offensive nature of the team, it's pretty weak to a large number of threats, mainly strong Fighting-type Pokemon. However, the team does a good job at preserving momentum for the most part and not allowing these kinds of Pokemon to switch in too freely. I think a lot of the team's success also stems from the fact that it inherently matches up well against other weather teams. In particular, Tyranitar is unable to switch into anything on the team without taking a massive chunk of damage. Most sun teams don't match up very well either unless they carry both Venusaur and Sawsbuck. Anyways, hopefully I can reuse this build in BW2 and update it for the future. I appreciate any comments or suggestions, especially since I haven't played much BW2 yet and could use all the help I can get. Thank you for reading and you can find a threat list below, and more importantly, a very belated 1k shout out list.