INTRODUCTION: Ever since Black and White came out, weather has been a centralizing force in the metagame. Through Dream World, Politoed and Ninetales got Drizzle and Drought respectively, starting the days of the Weather Wars and joining Tyranitar in the ranks of perma-weather in OU. And so, Sand, Sun, and Rain duked it out, running into the occasional weatherless team along the way. Black and White 2 only further increased the weather wars metagame, bringing the likes of Keldeo and the Therians and Genesect, all of whom can work wonders on weather teams. Then, however, there is the forgotten 4th weather condition. Hail. While Rain, Sun, and Sand all have great Pokemon to make use of it, Hail has a significant lack of them. Combine that with the fact that Ice is a horrible type defensively and the only type to not get hurt by Hail, it is often forgotten to the depths of OU. However, there is one saving grace of Hail. It is the weather nobody wants up against their team. No matter what team you face in OU, a severe lack of Ice types means that no team really likes having Hail up against it. Hail is the anti-weather in the weather dominated metagame that is BW2 OU, and combined with the fact that Abomasnow is a fantastic Pokemon in it's own right, being able to beat the other perma-weather starters if played right, Hail is an under-utilized threat in the metagame. So, without further ado, I give you, Hail No!. Team At A Glance: Team Building Process: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide So, where do I start? Well, knowing I wanted a Hail team, Abomasnow was a must. The only Pokemon with Snow Warning and a fairly decent typing and movepool actually allows it to beat the other weather starters if played right. So, obviously, Abomasnow was my first choice. Next, I looked to other Ice types to fit the general theme of Hail. While StallRein and Kyurem tempted me, Mamoswine won out in the end, and for good reason. Arguably the best anti-meta Pokemon there is currently, Mamoswine has potential to utterly devastate opposing teams, and under Hail, it just becomes that much more threatening. With Abomasnow and Mamoswine out of the way, I turned my views to a great compliment to them that could effectively nullify some of Hail's brutal weaknesses to Fire, Fighting, and Steel. As it turns out, Chandelure really doesn't care about any of those types. That Ghost- Fire- typing and Flash Fire makes Chandelure immune to the two most common move types that are going to be fired at Abomasnow and Mamoswine, and while Steel is much less common, Chandelure resists that as well. Now, with Chandelure effectively covering up three of Hail's main banes, I realized I had one still incredibly potent weakness: Rock. As this is the point of any teambuilding that I begin looking towards more defensive options, it turned out to not be that difficult. Firstly, for my defensive core, I knew I needed a Steel type, otherwise Dragons could just walk all over me. After options such as Ferrothorn and Skarmory were considered, after a bit more digging I stumbled upon the lovely Water and Steel Empoleon. This gave me much needed resistance to Rock as well as a very useful Water type making it neutral to Fire, and an incredibly effective Specially Defensive beast. Fighting still was a problem, but hey, you can't win them all. Next up, I needed some Physical D. Once again, I looked at Steel options, but quickly disregarded them, realizing the last thing I needed was another Fire or Fighting weakness. This is how Donphan came to light. An effective defensive Pokemon with access to Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin, I realized that by adding him to my team I could effectively take hits and remove the pesky Stealth Rock hindering my poor Chandelure and Mamoswine, as well as setting up my own. V1: Now, my sixth and final slot, was the toughest to fill. I already had some potent offensive threats as well as defensive ones, so, what was next? Did I want a phazer? A wallbreaker? A tank perhaps? In the end, I realized that there was a way to both severely reduce my Fighting weakness and make one more Pokemon immune to the Hail damage all in one Pokemon: Sigilyph. Magic Guard and that phenomenal defensive typing (at least in terms of a Hail team) made it a clear choice as a victor, and quickly found a spot on the team to add a valuable 4x resist to fighting, status spreading, and some incredible defensive (and, slightly less so, offensive) prowess. This was also my first version of this team. V2: This is my second version of the team. I have replaced Empoleon and Sigilyph for Rotom-W and Skarmory respectively, as suggested by superpowerdude. I now feel that this team meshes incredibly well together and works incredibly well in the hail. I have also changed up Chandelure's move set in order to make way for these changes. In-Depth Look: Ice Man the Abomasnow (M)@Leftovers Grass/Ice Snow Warning 208 HP/252 Atk/48 Sp. A Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spe) -Wood Hammer -Ice Shard -Earthquake -Hidden Power (Fire) Here is the star of the show, Abomasnow. I opted for a physical attacking set in this case to hurt it's biggest rivals, Tyranitar, Politoed, and Ninetales, more effectively. Wood Hammer is a very powerful STAB attack that does good damage to Waters, Rocks, and Grounds that are common on opposing weather teams. Ice Shard gives me a valuable priority STAB attack that lets me effectively take on Dragons as well as nab a quick KO on already weakened threats. Earthquake provides decent coverage and allows me to actually do damage to Ninetales and other Fire types, who is Abomasnow's worst nightmare; Hidden Power Fire rounds out the coverage nicely, being effective at taking out those oh so common Ferrothorn and other Steel types that could otherwise ruin Abomasnow's fun. Mammoth the Mamoswine (M)@Choice Band Ice/Ground Snow Cloak 4 Hp/252 Atk/252 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -Sp. A) -Ice Shard -Icicle Crash -Earthquake -Superpower The king of the anti-metagame. Choice Band Mamoswine gives me some incredible power and is extremely effective and dishing out the hurt. Ice Shard is your primary attack here, giving Mamoswine some STAB priority and an effective way of revenge killing and taking on Dragons. Icicle Crash was a god send of a move for Mamoswine, allowing it to dish out some incredibly powerful Ice STAB for when Ice Shard just won't cut it for taking out some much more defensive threats. Earthquake is the next STAB move of choice and when combined with Ice is just monstrous to behold, hitting the likes of Heatran hard. Superpower rounds out the coverage nicely, giving Mamoswine some nice T-Tar killing ability as well as hitting opposing Mamoswine hard. Candles the Chandelure (F)@Choice Scarf Ghost/Fire Flash Fire 252 Sp. A/4 Sp. D/252 Spe Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk) -Calm Mind -Substitute -Fire Blast -Shadow Ball Chandelure, with it's highest non-legendary Special Attack stat in the game, makes it an incredibly potent threat, and, being immune to two of Hail's main weaknesses and resisting a third, is a god send to Hail teams. While originally going with a Choice Scarf set, with recent team changes I swapped it out for Sub+CM Chandelure, and to great success. Calm Mind is an excellent way of boosting Chandelure's already amazing Special Attack as well as Special Defense, and once it gets a few up can sweep relatively easily. Substitute is great for getting up a boost or two and scouting my opponent's moves, while at the same time allowing Chandelure to take a hit it otherwise couldn't once in a while. Fire Blast and Shadow Ball are both fantastic STAB moves that even without a Calm Mind boost is sure to cause damage. Fire Blast is great for taking out Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and anything not resisting while Shadow Ball rounds out the coverage nicely by hitting Gengar and Jellicent super effectively, as well as dealing good damage to Rotom-W. Elephantis the Donphan (M)@Leftovers Ground Sturdy 252 HP/4 Atk/252 Def Impish Nature (+Def, - Sp. A) -Stealth Rock -Earthquake -Rapid Spin -Ice Shard Donphan, the Don of the Elephant Mob (see what I did there?). With it's decent typing and great Defense, it works well at it's job: a physical wall, rocks setter, and Rapid Spinner. Stealth Rock is there as it's primary purpose: setting up Stealth Rock, and with Sturdy, if you can get him in without taking damage, you're guaranteed to get them. Earthquake is a fantastic STAB attack and even uninvested can hit the likes of Heatran or Volcarona decently hard. Rapid Spin is great at freeing my side from hazards, especially Stealth Rock which this team generally is not a fan of. Ice Shard is mostly there for filler and as a back up against Dragons should both Abomasnow and Mamoswine be out for the count, but honestly, I'm not entirely sure what to put in the last slot. Before Ice Shard it was Toxic, but I replaced it due to never really having any chances to Toxic. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Spin Cycle the Rotom-Wash (N)@Choice Scarf Electric/Water Levitate 252 Sp. A/4 Sp. D/252 Spe Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk) -Hydro Pump -Volt Switch -Hidden Power (Fire) -Trick The standard Scarf Rotom-W set makes it way on the team with style. Rotom-W rounded out my team's typing issues nicely along with Skarmory, and functions excellently as a revenge killer for the team giving me back a bit of momentum. Hydro Pump is an excellent STAB move and deals some good damage to trouble Pokemon like Heatran and especially Volcarona. Volt Switch is useful for scouting and regaining switch advantage and momentum in a game. Hidden Power Fire rounds out coverage nicely and giving Rotom-W something to hit Ferrothorn or Genesect with. Trick is always useful for crippling those walls or boosting sweepers that could otherwise cause massive problems. Starscream the Shiny Skarmory (M)@Leftovers Steel/Flying Sturdy 252 HP/232 Def/24 Spe Impish Nature (+Def, -Sp. A) -Brave Bird -Spikes -Roost -Whirlwind Skarmory's sheer physical bulk and phazing ability as well as nice typing fit perfectly onto my team over Sigilyph. It covers up several holes in my common weaknesses as well as providing one very key defensive player. Brave Bird is basically there to hit any Fighting type stupid enough to stay in, and KO. Spikes is the main use of this set besides absorbing physical blows and works very well in conjunction with Donphan's Stealth Rock. Roost is perfect for those times when my opponent almost gets the KO and I need a little health boost, lasting even longer and continuing to phaze like nobody's business. Speaking of phazing, Whirlwind is here for just that purpose. Whether it be to stop a boosting sweeper cold or just racking up entry hazard damage, the phazing will always help out the team. In Memory... Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Pingu the Shiny Empoleon (M)@Leftovers Water/Steel Torrent 252 HP/252 Sp. D/4 Spe Calm Nature (+Sp. D, - Atk) -Scald -Grass Knot -Protect -Roar Ah, Empoleon, how underrated you can be. You are often overlooked as a special wall for the pain in the ass known simply as Blissey, but I won't overlook you. Empoleon is a great Special Wall to have on Hail teams, and works well in it. Scald is the primary move of this set, and a decent STAB attack that works wonders for defensive Pokemon thanks to it's burn chance, which can help Empoleon's physical bulk a bit. Grass Knot is a good secondary move that can catch things like Gastrodon by surprise. Protect is a great move for scouting my enemy if I am unsure of what he is doing and deciding from there how to respond, or just giving Empoleon a bit of extra Leftovers recovery. Roar is good for shuffling teams around and getting some momentum on my side, and is especially useful if I'm in a bit of a jam to shake things up a bit and get me back in it. Psi the Sigilyph (F)@Flame Orb Psychic/Flying Magic Guard 252 HP/200 Def/56 Spe Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) -Cosmic Power -Psycho Shift -Roost -Stored Power Sigilyph is another one of those Pokemon that just works on a Hail team. A 4x Resistance to Fighting, access to Roost, and Magic Guard lets it survive a long time and stall with the best of them. Cosmic Power boosts Sigilyph's defenses, and after a few it gets to be near impossible to take it down. The more Cosmic Power boosts, the stronger Stored Power gets, too. Psycho Shift is the star of this set, and, when combined with the Flame Orb, is an incredibly effective way of passing around Burns and severely hampering the opposing team, especially since Sigilyph doesn't take damage from the Flame Orb. Roost is Roost, and lets it live even if it's health gets low and live to stall another day. Stored Power works great in conjunction with Cosmic Power as it increases in power for every boost it has. Importable: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Ice Man (Abomasnow) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Snow Warning EVs: 208 HP / 252 Atk / 48 SAtk Brave Nature - Wood Hammer - Ice Shard - Earthquake - Hidden Power [Fire] Mammoth (Mamoswine) (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Snow Cloak EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature - Ice Shard - Icicle Crash - Earthquake - Superpower Candles (Chandelure) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Timid Nature IVs: 30 Def / 30 SAtk / 30 SDef / 30 Spd - Calm Mind - Substitute - Fire Blast - Shadow Ball Elephantis (Donphan) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def Impish Nature - Stealth Rock - Earthquake - Rapid Spin - Ice Shard Spin Cycle (Rotom-Wash) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 SDef Timid Nature - Hydro Pump - Volt Switch - Hidden Power [Fire] - Trick Starscream (Skarmory) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy Shiny: Yes EVs: 252 HP / 232 Def / 24 Spd Impish Nature - Brave Bird - Spikes - Roost - Whirlwind And so, there you have it. A Hail team that has had some decent success on the Ladder of Pokemon Showdown. However, it is far from perfect, and once hammered out a bit more, could be even more effective than it already is. I appreciate you taking the time to look at this team, and any comments and criticisms are appreciated.