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First you Polish, then you Demolish!

Discussion in 'Past Gen Teams' started by Alchemator, May 16, 2010.

  1. Alchemator

    Alchemator my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Feb 7, 2009
    Hi guys and welcome to my third ever RMT [:O] and first ever UU RMT! I've dabbled in UU in the past but the fact that Froslass and Raikou have been hurled into BL by some great and knowledgeable people has piqued my interest in it once again.

    Those who know me from IRC or otherwise will know that I'm a big gimmicks kind of guy, and when I theorymoned a Rock Polish Steelix the calcs came out as surprisingly powerful! Thus I decided to build a team which utilised the luring powers of a RP Steelix to open a sweep for another Pokemon I've been meaning to try out - Sceptile.

    I won't be bothering with team building, since it wasn't complicated

    Alakazam @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Inner Focus
    Nature: Timid
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
    - Taunt
    - Psychic
    -Focus Blast
    - Shadow Ball

    Alakazam starts the party by bashing the hell out of the opposing lead not named Spiritomb. Alakazam works particularly well this stage due to the rise in Ambipom leads (whom 'zam comfortably beats due to inner focus) and Hariyama leads countering said Ambipom leads. The moveset is straight from the analysis, but not much needs changing - the three attacks listed give perfect coverage and taunt seals the deal against bulkier leads whose main aim is to set up entry hazards or screens (hi Uxie). Alakazam has actually been quite underwhelming, so a replacement is welcome.

    Torterra @ Leftovers
    Ability: Overgrow
    Nature: Adamant
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
    - Stealth Rock
    - Wood Hammer
    - Earthquake
    - Stone Edge

    Torterra usage has seen a big rise so far, and for good reason. Due to its natural bulk, nothing much scares it as a HP Ice from Raikou did last stage. I opted for a bulkier spread here, so Torterra can actually get Stealth Rock up (which can actually be surprisingly vital for this team). However, I generally find myself just braying the hell out of the opposing team with Torterra's respectable base Attack and high-powered moves. Torterra provides good synergy with the rest of my core, but I'm often left feeling overwhelmed by faster teams which can easily OHKO Torterra with the appropriate (e.g. Offensive Milotic). Once again, replacements are welcome.

    Toxicroak @ Choice Band
    Ability: Dry Skin
    Nature: Adamant
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    - Cross Chop
    - Sucker Punch
    - Gunk Shot
    - Stone Edge

    Do excuse me for not following the rainbow theme, the yellow was unreadable :P
    Toxicroak is another Pokemon on the rise, famed for its ability to break the current version of stall and generally cause chaos with it's handy typing and Water immunity gained through its ability. I've taken a more Wallbreak to Stallbreak route with Toxicroak, hoping to bash through those walls or at least weaken them enough for Sceptile or Steelix to take care of suitably. Really though, Toxicroak's only reason for being on the team is his Fighting resist and Water immunity - he usually doesn't see much action in battle. Gunk Shot was chosen because I feel lucky, and Stone Edge since I kind of need to catch Moltres on the switch.

    Houndoom @ Choice Scarf
    Ability: Flash Fire
    Nature: Mild
    EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
    - Fire Blast
    - Dark Pulse
    - Hidden Power Rock
    - Pursuit

    Ah Houndoom, one of two members on my team that I don't feel the need to change. Houndoom has come to the fore as a Fire type in this metagame, having previously been overshadowed by Arcanine, due to its great synergy with Toxicroak (despite both of them being rather frail). Choice Scarf Houndoom has never failed to disappoint in trapping those pesky ghosts for me with pursuit, and generally taking on fast Pokemon who otherwise annihilate my team. Hidden Power Rock was chosen so I can kill Moltres (trust me, I'm not overpreparing here). Houndoom takes Fire attacks very nicely for the team of which 2/3 are weak to Fire (including Toxicroak, who is pseudo-weak due to Dry Skin) and provides a valuable immunity to Psychic moves.

    Steelix @ Life Orb
    Ability: Sturdy
    Nature: Adamant
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    - Rock Polish
    - Rock Slide / Stone Edge
    - Earthquake
    - Explosion

    Ok before we begin, I'm not an idiot nor am I plain insane (well, the latter is debatable but still). Rock Polish Steelix DOES actually work, outspeeding max+ base 95 Pokemon and below - I.E. everything below max+ Houndoom which is quite a lot! This includes Moltres whom you can happily explode on! This is a member who I won't be changing, regardless of how much you flame me for my choice. Here are some calcs!

    Crunch vs Subcharge Rotom: 95.9% - 113.2% Guaranteed OHKO with SR
    Stone Edge vs Subcharge Rotom: 59.9% - 70.7% Guaranteed 2HKO regardless
    Rock Slide vs LO Moltres: 119.6% - 142.1% Guaranteed OHKO regardless
    Rock Slide vs Staller Moltres: 91.9% - 108.6% Guaranteed OHKO with SR
    Explosion vs Bulky Water Milotic: 123.9% - 145.8% Guaranteed OHKO regardless
    Earthquake vs Offensive Milotic: 63.6% - 75.3% Guaranteed 2HKO regardless
    Earthquake vs Subseed Venusaur: 48.4% - 57.1% Guaranteed 2HKO with SR
    Earthquake vs Offensive Venusaur: 67.8% - 79.7% Guaranteed 2HKO regardless
    Explosion vs Subseed Venusaur: 161% - 189.6% Lol

    LO Venusaur Power Whip: 34.9% - 41.1%
    LO Venusaur Earthquake: 38.4% - 45.9%
    LO Scyther Brick Break: 35.6% - 42.5%
    Subcharge Rotom HP Fighting: 60.3% - 71.2%

    The main advantage of Steelix over other Rock Polishers such as Torterra and Rhyperior is his superior typing - in particular the Steel typing without taking on any 4x weaknesses as Aggron has. This Steelix even survived a Hitmonlee Close Combat once, and proceeded to blow it up into the middle of next week. The advantage of using Rock Polish is that you aren't leaving the switch in to chance, being able to make the most beneficial move at the time rather than "hoping" Pokemon X switches in.

    Sceptile @ Liechi Berry
    Ability: Overgrow
    Nature: Jolly
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    - Swords Dance
    - Substitute
    - Leaf Blade
    - Earthquake

    This is the spot for the sweeper which capitalises on Pokemon such as Moltres and Scyther being removed. I also just wanted to try out Sceptile, and it doesn't disappoint! With Scyther and Moltres' pesky 4x resistance to Sceptile's STAB and immunity to its only other attack gone Sceptile is free to rip apart teams at a likely +3 stat modifier and Overgrow boost to further boost its deadly Leaf Blade. Once again however, I feel that another sweeper could do this job even better as I've had my Sceptile fix for now. It also seems that Sceptile comes out earlier in the game than I'd hope.

    Super Short Threat List
    Very annoying, can sweep my whole team if Steelix, Toxicroak or Houndoom don't kill it first.

    [​IMG] :( this thing murders my team.

    Fire away!

  2. Cherub Agent

    Cherub Agent
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    Jul 6, 2009
    this looks like a fun team to use. If sceptile seems to be coming out earlier than you'd like, you could switch it to the massively powerful specs set, dealing major damage to most switchins. Alternatively, you could go for rock slide over sub, allowing you to have a pokemon that eliminates both moltres and milotic. There's not such a big difference between plus 2 and 3 attack if you ask me
  3. Ethanftw


    May 12, 2010
    That's actually a pretty sweet team. The idea behind it is awesome. But in regards to the lead issue. Alakazam sounds sweet, because you can take out ambipom like you said, as well as Hariyama. I persoanlly use a sashed Nidoking as my lead. He's sturdy enough to withstand a lot of leads. His main goal is to throw out stealth rock and then die if he wishes (lol). However, a nidoking lead isnt that common, therefore most people don't expect it. I've had a few battles where I've gotten off stealth rock and landed a game-changing taunt. This lead to a sweep of 3 or 4 pokemon (using Earth Power or Ice Beam) before Nidoking ever even died.
  4. Mr.Perfect


    May 12, 2010
    I don't see how Milotic can be a problem if you have both Toxicroak and Sceptile.
  5. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider sharpening his claws, slowly
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    May 1, 2008
    Having faced this team there are two main issues I'd like to touch on, which I feel limit its potential somewhat. The first point is probably the more significant one - whenever you use Choice items, especially on sweepers that get forced out a lot (read: Toxicroak and Houndoom), you need a sturdy defensive core to fall back on and counterattack. Your team is far too offensively structured to be able to reliably support two Choice users, and I think that's your biggest tripping block against defensively minded teams running cores of Milotic / Venusaur / Arcanine or something similar. All they have to do is predict the appropriate attack, bring in the appropriately bulky Pokemon, and force you out. This causes you to take residual damage and lose all your offensive momentum, while they can just keep themselves healthy with Recover / Synthesis / Morning Sun and rinse and repeat.

    Lose the Choice Band on Toxicroak. Toxicroak's beauty is the fact that it can come in on things like Milotic, Azumarill, Omastar, Cloyster, Blastoise etc for free and then run through the team with boosted STAB attacks and Sucker Punch. Being able to switch its attacks around is one of its biggest advantages. I think you would be a lot better off with the following Swords Dance Toxicroak set:

    Toxicroak @ Life Orb
    Jolly - Dry Skin
    4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Swords Dance / Low Kick / Sucker Punch / Ice Punch

    An effective offense boosting sweeper is what you're lacking atm (Sceptile really doesn't cut it I'm afraid) and is what you need to break through the more bulky teams. It also means you're not hindering yourself with all those Choice items and no fallback switches.

    The second point is that Sceptile seems to just be slapped onto this team as a "fast sweeper" with no real regard as to what it's bringing to the table. Right now, basically everything that Sceptile can come in on Torterra can come in on easier, and these things won't last the entire match. Priority is too common for a Sub Liechi Berry set to reliably work as well, as tempting as Overgrow abuse is. Looking at your team, there are many weaknesses that could be patched up using this last slot. How do you deal with a Howl Arcanine, uncommon as it may be? A boosted Flare Blitz or ExtremeSpeed decimates everything. How about DD Feraligatr? If it gets a DD in on a choice locked Pursuit or your current choice locked Sucker Punch, it's practically GG as Waterfall / Earthquake / Ice Punch hits all but Alakazam super effectively for KOs (and Zam's not tanking anything anytime soon). And once Steelix blows up, like it evidently does all too often, you have very little defense against an SD Scyther or a Guts Swellow.

    Replacing Sceptile with Azumarill will help cover many of these weaknesses, while also tightening up your team's synergy quite a bit. The following set is what I recommend:

    Azumarill @ Leftovers
    Adamant - Huge Power
    252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
    Double-Edge / Aqua Jet / Ice Punch / Waterfall

    It acts as a safety net against so many threats that otherwise threaten your other sweepers. It also helps you get your other Pokemon in a lot easier - Azumarill lures in bulky waters to wall its STAB, which in turn gives Toxicroak an opportunity to set up in the case of Milotic, or Torterra to come in and get SR up / hit something very hard in the case of Slowbro/king. Conversely, if Toxicroak or Torterra takes out their respective bulky water, or if Steelix Explodes on one, Azumarill has free reign to harrass the opposing team.

    Try out these two changes, I think they'll bring you much more success with this team. (I tried my hardest to resist telling you to replace your weird Steelix set, but you already know my opinion on that :P). Best of luck eh.
  6. IronBullet

    IronBullet Astronomy Domine
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    RMT Leader

    Oct 14, 2009

    Very fun and unorthodox lead, and that Steelix set oddly seems like it could work quite well. There's not much left for me to say, Legacy Raider was spot on about swapping to an SD Toxicroak and a Bulky Azumarill.

    On Houndoom, I'd suggest trying out a MixDoom set. It still traps Ghosts, but gives you the freedom to switch attacks. It can also surprise random stuff like Dugtrio or Swellow, making it easier for Sceptile to sweep:

    Houndoom@Life Orb
    252 Atk, 252 Spe, 4 Sp Atk
    - Sucker Punch
    - Fire Blast
    - HP Rock/ Crunch
    - Pursuit

    Nice team, and gl.
  7. Bluewind

    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Jun 28, 2009
    Hi there,

    Well it seems all major problems have already been pointed out by the previous raters, so I'll assume you have taken LR's suggestions and work from there:

    First, I believe Houndoom should be working with a standart NP set. My reasoning for saying that is because one of Steelix's main perks (and the only one IMHO) is that it's a great bait for unsuspecting Milotic's, on which's face you'll be going boom more often then not. With Milotic out of the way it should be much easier for this dawg here to get its sweep:

    Houndoom @ Life Orb
    EVs: 100 Atk/252 Spe/156 SpAtk (I believe this is enough for you to OHKO Dugtrio after rocks)
    Nature: Hasty
    - Sucker Punch
    - Fire Blast
    - Nasty Plot
    - Dark Pulse

    Now that you've lost your main way of trapping Ghosts I'd like to suggest Spiritomb over Alakazam. Outside of being a pretty good Ghost killer, Lead Spiritomb also helps with your pontential Swellow weakness, who runs through your team if Steelix has already gone boom or died due to whatever reason, which it seems will happen more often than not; and adding an always important and much needed Fighting immunity to your team, especially because your other resist is paper bag bulky.

    I think that's it, not much to say as the main points have already been addressed. Good Luck =)

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