Introduction Hey Smogon. This thread is to enlighten the users here of the selling points of heavy offense. Here's how it is-mostly everyone uses bulky offense or stall. Heavy offense is designed to destroy either one of them. A well made HO team will completely annihilate any other team without a reliable scarfer, priority user, or very sturdy wall. Even if the opponent has a scarfer or priority user, a well made team will have another mon waiting in the wings to set up and sweep. Scizor Bullet Punched your Salamence? Send in Agility-gross. Zapdos destroying your Metagross? Send in DDTar(more and more HO teams utilize this.) These are just a few selling points of HO, but wait, there's more! The Future of HO My good friend Stathakis believes that HO is headed in the direction of utilizing water types. Packing offensive and defensive power alike, they make a great asset to any team. In HO though, multiple water types means breaking down the lone bulky water on your opponents team, and eventually sweeping. Generally teams do not have more than 1 bulky water(except in the case of stall, when Gyarados and Swampert are often seen together.) I believe Stath's prediction is correct, as Roserade is becoming one of the most common Pokemon out there. Roserade sets up Toxic Spikes, which are absolutely required for a hard-hitting Empoleon or Gyarados to sweep. As Roserade sees more use, so will water types. Prediction vs. Thinking Bulky offense utilizes prediction more than anything. HO uses thinking. What are the differences you may ask? Well, you HAVE to know when to sac the right Pokemon, at the right time. HO takes time to learn because it's difficult to think long-term for most people. Conclusion Simply put, Heavy Offense is one of the most lethal, yet underrated team styles out there. You wear down similar counters, and sweep. HO is one of the most simplest team types to use, but requires long-term thinking. Prediction is rarely required here. After all these selling points, won't you give HO a try? Edit: I was going to put in Stath's link to his ho thread, but he edited it out and it's not there anymore. =[ 2nd edit: Here's an example team of your basic heavy offense. Azelf @ Light Clay Ability: Levitate EVs: 252 HP/4 Atk/252 Spd Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Reflect - Light Screen - Taunt - Stealth Rock --- Salamence (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Intimidate EVs: 252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Dragon Dance - Outrage - Earthquake - Fire Blast --- Infernape (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Blaze EVs: 252 Atk/6 Def/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Flare Blitz - Stone Edge - Swords Dance --- Gyarados (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Intimidate EVs: 252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Dragon Dance - Waterfall - Stone Edge - Earthquake --- Lucario (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Inner Focus EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Crunch - Extremespeed - Swords Dance --- Metagross @ Life Orb Ability: Clear Body EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Meteor Mash - Agility - Explosion --- Infernape's spot can be a few things, it's irrelevant. Tyranitar, Kingdra, and Scizor could all go in that spot. Stathakis wrote this for those wondering: What is the goal of heavy offense? In short, to minimize prediction. That's it. Good players don't like to predict. On a day to day basis, you may be a good player, and you may lose to 5 idiots due to getting outpredicted. Prediction leaves too much up to chance rather than skill, since the less skilled can beat the more skilled. So we, the more skilled, prefer to remove it from the game whenever possible. Heavy offense is a way to do that. How do we minimize prediction? The quickest, most apparent way to remove prediction is to not switch if that's possible. Switching entails a few things. You give your opponent a free turn to do whatever they want while you switch. The more turns that pass without your pokemon using moves, the less you get done, the more that gets done to you. Not only that, but you have to predict correctly in order to not just give up a turn. Additionally, if they use the turn to set up without any cost to themselves, it's bad news. You also have to pack unnecessary bulk on your team if you are switching, since you are taking more hits, lessening the amount of hard-hitting mons you can have. So, the less we have to switch, the better. So why do we switch in pokemon anyways? We switch because we can't threaten things, or there are faster things out that threaten us. Things like ddgyara that has gotten his dds in, +2 sdluke, agilipoleon that's in torrent range with a substitute up and +2 speed, those things threaten darn near everything, and are often fast enough to not be threatened by faster stuff. Setup sweepers are the staple of heavy offense. Setup sweepers don't have to switch after killing mons since they are free to use whatever move they want, unlike choiced sweepers, which we want to stay away from whenever possible. Choiced sweepers bring prediction into that game by being locked into a move and switching often. What this means is that choice scarfers are out of the pictuer completely, except in very very rare occasions when the team is so horrendously mean to stall that it can beat it without using the scarfer at all. Without choice scarfers, aren't we vulnerable to stuff that we would normally revenge kill? how do we deal with the ddgyaras and ddmences? Well, if you can't revenge kill it, don't let it set up. How do things set up? When we switch. so if we use hard hitting mons that ohko near everything, nothing can set up on us. DDgyara may ohko every mon on the team if he gets in a dd, but if he cant get a dd due to every single mon on the team ohkoing him, he's not a problem. So if we don't switch, what do we do when things threaten us? Most of the time, we will let the mon die. Just sacrifice your pokemon. The reason for this is that when you sacrifice your pokemon, you not only cripple what's out most of the time, you also let any pokemon on your team come in with zero damage. This means that if you have lots of resistances on your setup mons, you can bring in one that isn't threatened by whats out, forcing the opponent to switch. The free turn that we get from the opponent switching is key. This free turn is what allows our sweepers to be so dangerous and not have to switch away from stuff. Oftentimes you'll kill two or three pokemon in return for the pokemon you sacrificed. Once your sweepers are set up, usually you can just sacrifice and get the next mon in, using the free turns to set up, kill more mons, and then sac for the next guy to come in. It is very difficult for the opponent to stop this kind of momentum, and you almost always win without having to predict. You aren't seriously telling me that it's THAT easy, are you? No, I'm not. To be able to constantly be killing mons with your setup sweepers, their counters have to not be present. Well how do we keep their counters from being present? Again, the answer is in the sacrifices. If you have built your heavy offense team well, your sweepers have good offensive synergy. In other words, they are all walled by similar things. In pokemon, people often don't carry more than one or two counters to the same thing. Doing so is a waste of space and limits the amount of pokemon they can counter. So if five of your pokemon are walled by blissey, you can sacrifice one to cripple her, and the rest can have a party. Well what else do I need to do to make it work? Teambuilding is a paramount step. It's what's going to win you your games. If you don't want to use prediction to win, you need to predict and longterm think like a cool person. But no amount of good playing will make up for a bad team. These are a few things you need to keep in mind when building a HO team. 1. Offensive synergy - you need this, or else any team will be able to beat you, take away your momentum, and stop you cold. after that, your sacrifices are useless and you're absolutely disheveled. With heavy offense, there are plenty of chances to regroup (five mons that can sweep a whole team), but often if you have to you aren't dealing damage fast enough. regrouping from hax is easy (by comparison to other teams) because you just bring the next guy in. regrouping from getting stopped by a wall is not so easy because generally your team is bad and you haven't built it right. if you've built your team with good offensive synergy, walls won't stop you. 2. Resistances - these are needed in order to keep up the momentum after you've sacced. If you don't have anyone who has the resists to take advantage of the enemy mon that is out, how do you expect to get free turns? Every mon on the team should be able to force switches. If you can help it, they should all have very good resists as well, so you can continue the momentum. You can continue momentum using threatening mons that force switches on their own, such as infernape, but it's much more difficult to keep up the momentum against scarfers if you don't pack good resists and decentish bulk. In fact, they walk all over you if you don't have resistances and bulk. These resistances are often overlooked by people playing HO and seperate the great ho teams from the ok ho teams. 3. Win conditions - every pokemon on the team should be able to sweep on a moments notice. This way, nothing has to switch out, since they are all the sweeping type of offensive mons. In addition to that, it's ok to sacrifice yourself into a deep disadvantage (5-2 or 5-1) and then win. of course, if you are making that many sacrifices, you ought to have the whole game planned out move for move and know for sure you will win, otherwise you will surely lose. Having lots of win conditions means that you have lots of pokemon that might murder the enemy team. In other words, a winning team matchup against nearly every different team. In addition, lots of win conditions that can kill multiple mons at a time are the only way for you to be able to sacrifice, or else you are losing mons faster than you are killing enemy ones. 4. Threatening pokemon - If you carry threatening pokemon, you don't need to switch. If gyara can't come in anywhere, so what if he wins if he gets a dd. He's never gonna get it. If you carry a team full of threatening pokemon, nothing will ever wall you to the point where you have to switch, meaning you'll... not have to switch You guys can refer to this thread for some good discussion about an example of a ho team. Longterm thinking. Any idiot can steal a team. How you play it, however, is what seperates the best from the rest. It's very difficult for me to explain longterm thinking to those who haven't played chess. Basically, it's an acquired skill. It takes practice. Basically, from turn one, you have to be looking at what's on the opponent's team. Deciding what's better to use early game, what's better to use late, what you can sacrifice and what you should keep. Once you've grasped the concept (when I have access to shoddy I'll eventually update this thread with logs of me analyzing the game on a turn-by-turn basis so you can see what I mean), there is only one way to improve this skill, and that is by playing lots and lots of heavy offense or heavy stall (or chess, if you're cool enough). A favorite activity of mine when I'm teaching my tutees to play heavy offense is going into their matches and saying "game analysis," at which point they tell me everything about the match: what mons the opponent has left that can stop which mons on the tutee's team, what mons can sweep most easily, what needs to be weakened, and how the tutee intends to win the game. this type of thinking should be done during every turn of every match in order to constantly know what's happening and how you are going to win. As you do it more often, you get better. You make fewer mistakes. That's about all I can tell you. Longterm thinking is only teachable in the beginning. There are no magic words that I can tell you to make you good. You just have to do it, and do it a lot. That's about all I can tell you. Heavy Offense Today In this section I will share some thoughts about where heavy offense is headed. I believe that the future of heavy offense lies in the water type. No, not those fearsome dragons or fighting types that hit so hard, water types. The reason? Their stabs have excellent offensive typing, hitting everything in ou save grasses, frail dragons, and fellow waters for at least neutral damage. In addition, water types are generally very bulky and have excellent defensive typing (there are also a lot of handy high powered dual-typed waters like kingdra, empoleon, gyarados, etc). They generally learn strong ice moves to complement their water STABs and hit everything their stabs cant for supereffective damage, with the exception of other waters, though players rarely carry more than one or two and even then they are, with the exception of rest suicune, easily neutered by toxic spikes. Water typed attacks are also massively boosted by rain, and many of them also have the ability swift swim, making lots of sweeping possibilities for lots of water typed pokemon. The most common weather changers get hit by water attacks for supereffective damage as well. The excellent bulk and defensive typing while at the same time just as good offensive typing makes waters very hard to wall. In addition, the only things that wall waters are easily neutered in the beginning in the game by toxic spikes, making it doubly hard on the opponent. For these reasons, I think that water attacks are the future of heavy offense, which was originally solely based on hitting from one side of the physical/special spectrum. In conclusion Heavy offense is very demanding in the way of teambuilding, because everything has to be perfect to work in the most possible scenarios. It also is demanding in the way of longterm thinking, because while there is SOME room for error (when you have good team matchup), you can't get anywhere if you don't play it right. anybody who tries to play the teams I tell them to play will tell you that. However, prediction is not even needed at all. In addition, it is by comparison much easier to deal with bad luck than with other types of teams, due to the large number of win conditions on the team (remember, there is no team impervious to hax, but these teams makes it a teeny bit easier to beat). These two factors make heavy offense a much, much more consistent and reliable way to win for those skilled enough to use it. In addition, once you get the hang of it, you can win just as easily against good players as against ladder idiots, making it a very formidable weapon in tournaments where the players are better (meaning they can break stall).