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How to Deal With Weather

Discussion in 'Dream World' started by Omicron, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Omicron

    Omicron
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
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    Introduction

    If you think weather plays a large role in BW OU, then check out the Dream World metagame; weather is almost a given in any match. Non-weather teams are extremely rare, given the sheer number of weather abusers allowed in DW. Powerhouses such as Keldeo, Manaphy, Excadrill, Blaziken, and Thundurus populate the metagame, and most are found on nearly every team. Weather is so common to the point where not running it yourself seems almost ludicrous. However, unlike BW OU, weather in DW is much more diverse thanks to the versatility of the Pokemon. For example, rain offense is much more powerful thanks to the additions of Manaphy and Keldeo, while rain stall also becomes much more viable with Pokemon such as Regenerator Amoongus to help out. However impossible it may seem, a team without weather is definitely possible.

    Playing Against Weather

    Sandstorm and rain are the two most prevalent weather types in the Dream World metagame, with sun not being too far behind. The ridiculous amount of different abusers makes it nearly impossible to counter every single threat. Making a good non-weather team and playing well are two completely different things, and you need both in order to defeat well-built / played weather teams. As mentioned previously, it is literally impossible to counter every single weather threat, meaning that you will be left vulnerable in some way to one threat or another. For that reason, it is of vital importance that you play well and take out the most important threats to your team before attempting to take down your opponent.

    Sandstorm

    Sandstorm teams have a plethora of powerful abusers including Excadrill and Landorus, as well as several others. These teams are dangerous because of the sheer power that sand teams provide. Usually sand teams consist of Tyranitar to set up sandstorm, Excadrill as their main sand sweeper / Rapid Spinner, and then the rest of the team is up to the player, though most teams like to abuse the most common threats in Dream World, such as Shadow Tag Chandelure, Genesect, Garchomp, and more.

    [​IMG]
    Excadrill @ Life Orb / Air Balloon
    Trait: Sand Rush
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Jolly Nature
    - Swords Dance
    - Earthquake
    - Rock Slide
    - Return / X-Scissor / Rapid Spin

    Excadrill is the poster boy for sandstorm teams. A sandstorm team without Excadrill is like a rain team without Politoed. I can guarantee that every, and I mean every sand team will be running Excadrill. For that reason, it is of great importance that you have some way of defeating Excadrill, as otherwise it can wreck your team. Skarmory and Gliscor are great defensive examples, as they are not 2HKOed by +2 Rock Slide, and Skarmory can phaze while Gliscor KOes with Earthquake, provided that Air Balloon isn't present or intact. The key to defeating Excadrill is to take it down before it manages to squeeze in a Swords Dance. Because this thread focuses on dealing with Weather without resorting to another type of weather, Ninetales and Politoed are not considered as methods to take it down.

    Many players opt to use Air Balloon over Life Orb for its added ease of setting up, which also makes it much more difficult to take down with Earthquake or some other Ground-type move. For this reason, other super effective moves, such as Water-, Fire-, and Fighting-type moves are usually the most reliable. Technician Breloom with Mach Punch can easily KO Excadrill at full health, as can Iron Fist Conkeldurr and Infernape. Air Balloon Heatran and Blaziken function well as long as you don't get flinched by Rock Slide, although a +2 Return will KO Blaziken with ease. Bulky Water-types such as Manaphy, Jellicent, and Keldeo can take an unboosted Earthquake and KO in return with their powerful STAB moves. Excadrill is difficult to take down because of its resistance to many types, as well as its relatively decent bulk, and its insanely high Speed during sandstorm. Because of its relative ubiquity, if you don't have a way to deal with Excadrill, you are guaranteed to lose.

    [​IMG]
    Garchomp @ Leftovers
    Trait: Sand Veil
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Substitute
    - Swords Dance
    - Outrage
    - Earthquake

    Although this is not the only set that Garchomp can run, it is easily the most frustrating to deal with, especially if it manages to get a Substitute up. Garchomp is one of the best Dragon-types in the Dream World metagame, and its rage-inducing ability only fuels the fire. With an amazing stat distribution, Garchomp is the epitome of a fast, bulky, and powerful sweeper. In addition to its excellent Speed and Attack stats, it boasts a great HP stat as well as decent defenses, allowing it to take more than one hit. By equipping Garchomp with a Yache Berry, it can even survive Ice Beams, making it all the more difficult to take down. Overall, Garchomp is an extremely powerful Pokemon and should be considered a threat to every team, weather or not.

    Because of Garchomp's great natural bulk, it won't be fainting against anything but Ice-type attacks or STAB Dragon-type moves. For that reason, the number of "checks" to Garchomp is very limited. Although the listed set is very dangerous, Garchomp has other sets that are equally as dangerous, albeit in slightly different ways. A Choice Scarf allows Garchomp to revenge kill faster Pokemon, and is nearly as common as a Swords Dance set. Garchomp can even run a support set with Stealth Rock and Dragon Tail. Garchomp's amazing versatility and excellent stats make it one of the first and foremost threats on a sand team. It can even be used outside of sand teams, but it is usually utilized on a sand team in order to make use of its Sand Veil ability.

    The best "check" to Garchomp is probably Mamoswine, as it has the bulk to take an unboosted Outrage and can KO in return with a STAB priority Ice Shard. However, it cannot take boosted Outrages or Earthquakes, making it a check at best. There are literally no counters to Garchomp, but one of the Pokemon that comes the closest is Skarmory. Skarmory resists Outrage and is immune to Earthquake. The only move that Garchomp can hope to hit Skarmory with is Fire Blast (on the Choice Scarf set) and Fire Fang (on all the other sets). Even then, the two moves won't always 2HKO, depending on the variant of Skarmory. However, Skarmory can't hope to do anything back except phaze it out. Other than that, however, there aren't any real "checks" to Garchomp, meaning that the key to defeating it is discovering what set it is running and dealing with it appropriately. For example, the Choice Scarf set is considerably weaker than the Swords Dance sets and the Choice Band set, meaning that bulkier Pokemon that can take a hit and strike back with a super effective move are your best bet. However, for all the other sets, a faster Pokemon with a super effective move is preferred, although it is difficult, as there aren't that many Pokemon that fit that criteria.

    Other Sandstorm Threats

    Landorus is another threat that makes great use of sandstorm. Its ability, Sand Force increases the power of its Rock- and Ground-type moves during sandstorm, making its Earthquake and Stone Edge obscenely powerful. Landorus is just as diverse as Garchomp, as it can run a Choice Scarf, Rock Polish, Swords Dance, and Sheer Force set. Watch out for Landorus, as it is one of sandstorm's most fearsome sweepers.

    Rain

    Rain is just as powerful as sandstorm, perhaps even more so. A larger amount of Pokemon benefit from the rain, as well as many diverse playstyles, unlike sandstorm, which is usually offense of some sort. Rain stall is just as dangerous as rain offense, and should not be taken lightly. Rain grants many benefits, and despite the Drizzle + Swift Swim ban, there are still more Pokemon that benefit from rain than sandstorm. Rain increases the power of Water-type moves by 50%, as well as weakening Fire-type moves by half, and granting Hurricane and Thunder 100% accuracy. The Pokemon used on rain teams can be just as diverse as the playstyles.

    [​IMG]
    Manaphy @ Leftovers
    Trait: Hydration
    EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Tail Glow
    - Surf
    - Ice Beam
    - Energy Ball / Rest

    Manaphy is a truly frightening Pokemon. This little blue pixie can rip through entire teams in the span of a few turns, thanks to a single move: Tail Glow. Tail Glow increases Manaphy's Special Attack by three stages, allowing it to KO even Chansey in the rain. In addition, thanks to its ability Hydration, it cannot be worn down with status. Manaphy can also use Rest + Hydration to restore any and all health lost, with absolutely no repercussions other than using that turn to heal up. Its bulk is amazing at 100/100/100, and it is not OHKOed by almost any attack with the exception of STAB, super effective moves such as Thundurus's Thunder and Venusaur's Solar Beam. Manaphy can also feasibly run a Calm Mind set, which trumps its usual checks, as their attacks no longer OHKO.

    The key to defeating Manaphy is to destroy it with powerful super effective moves before it can obtain too many boosts. Powerful Electric-types such as Zapdos and Raikou can easily KO the little pixie with their STAB Electric-type moves, though they cannot switch into a boosted Surf. Manaphy may look harmless, but the damage it can dish out is just simply ridiculous. The fact that you cannot defeat it with status just makes it even more difficult. Quite the threat indeed.

    [​IMG]
    Tornadus @ Life Orb
    Trait: Prankster
    EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Hurricane
    - Focus Blast
    - Rain Dance / Tailwind
    - Taunt

    Tornadus is one of rain's most fearsome sweepers, thanks to its obscenely powerful STAB Hurricane. Hurricane will OHKO nearly anything that doesn't resist it, and is not named Chansey / Blissey. Focus Blast provides excellent coverage and absolutely destroys Tyranitar. Tornadus also has access to Prankster, meaning that it can pull of a last-ditch Rain Dance or Tailwind for its team, as well as Taunting support Pokemon trying to wear it down with status. Tornadus is also one of the fastest Pokemon in the Dream World metagame, outspeeding every Pokemon with base 110 Speed and below.

    It is extremely difficult to switch into Hurricane, especially as the threat of Focus Blast looms. As far as checks go, Rotom-W is a great one, as it resists Hurricane, and isn't OHKOed by Focus Blast. Tyranitar can switch into Hurricane, but is absolutely wrecked by Focus Blast. Chople Berry variants of Tyranitar can take one Focus Blast and KO in return with a STAB Stone Edge, although this method is rather risky due to Stone Edge's terrible accuracy. In addition, despite Tornadus's rather average defenses, it can still take a hit in a pinch. For example, Excadrill's unboosted Rock Slide never OHKOes at full health, as well as Choice Scarf Chandelure's Hidden Power Ice, whereas Tornadus can OHKO with Focus Blast and Hurricane, respectively. The best way to deal with Tornadus is to have a faster Pokemon such as Choice Scarf users, with super effective attacks, or cripple it with paralysis in order to allow slower powerhouses to take it down. Either way, Tornadus is an extremely dangerous and powerful Pokemon that takes great advantage of rain.

    Other Rain Threats

    Rain is not just limited to these two. Powerful Electric-types such as Thundurus, Raikou, and Zapdos can easily take advantage of the rain with their 100% accurate Thunders. In addition, Raikou and Zapdos provide an Electric immunity for rain teams, meaning that using Electric-type moves with them present can be risky. Other powerful Water-types that can take advantage of the rain include Keldeo, which has the unique ability to take down Blissey and Chansey despite being a Special Attacker. Dragonite is also a well-known rain threat, as it has access to a STAB Hurricane, a rain-boosted Aqua Tail, and provides a useful Grass resistance for rain teams.

    Sun

    Sun, while not as common as sandstorm or rain, is still a very powerful playstyle, and has no shortage of abusers. Sun provides a great boost to Chlorophyll users, Fire-types, and negates other weather. It can be difficult to deal with, as most people tend to deal with sun by destroying Ninetales and then bringing in another type of weather. However, since this thread focuses on dealing with weather teams without resorting to another form of weather, this method isn't really relevant. Sun grants a boost to Fire-type moves, lowers the power of Water-type moves, doubles the Speed of Pokemon with the ability Chlorophyll, and eliminates SolarBeam's charge turn.

    [​IMG]
    Venusaur @ Life Orb
    Trait: Chlorophyll
    EVs: 32 HP / 252 SpA / 224 Spe
    Modest Nature
    - Growth
    - Giga Drain / SolarBeam
    - Sludge Bomb
    - Hidden Power Fire / Sleep Powder

    Venusaur is a monster under the sun. Its Speed is doubled thanks to Chlorophyll, allowing it to outspeed even Choice Scarf users such as Garchomp, Genesect, and more. It has great coverage and exceptional power after a Growth boost. In the Dream World, it can even beat Blissey and Chansey that lack Thunder Wave one-on-one, thanks to its immunity to Toxic and access to Giga Drain + Growth. There is only one hard counter to Venusaur: Heatran. Heatran walls any variant of Venusaur lacking Earthquake, but, as special variants of Venusaur are the most popular, Heatran is usually a very reliable counter to Venusaur. It can switch in with impunity and proceed to KO with a STAB Fire-type move of choice. However, other than Heatran, it is near-impossible to wall Venusaur. Priority deals with it nicely, although it will require some prior damage in order to get the job done, even with Mamoswine's Ice Shard, which only does around ~75% damage. Dragonite can do some decent damage with Choice Band ExtremeSpeed, and is not KOed by a boosted Sludge Bomb thanks to Multiscale.

    [​IMG]
    Blaziken @ Air Balloon
    Trait: Speed Boost
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Jolly Nature
    - Swords Dance
    - Flare Blitz
    - Hi Jump Kick
    - Protect

    Blaziken is one of the most powerful Pokemon in the entire game, sporting potent dual STAB moves that have extremely high Base Powers. It also has access to Swords Dance to boost its Attack to obscene levels. Speed Boost is what pushed Blaziken all the way from the depths of DPP UU to BW Uber. But in the Dream World metagame, Blaziken is allowed, is feared, and rightly so. After a few Speed boosts, nothing can stop it with the exception of priority, which is virtually the only way to deal with it. Air Balloon is the more popular variant of Blaziken, as it allows it to have many more set up opportunites, and after a Swords Dance, the loss of the boost from Life Orb is barely noticeable. Flare Blitz absolutely destroys anything in the sun, while Hi Jump Kick OHKOes Tyranitar before a boost, and Politoed after a boost.

    Blaziken, in my opinion, is the most broken thing in the Dream World metagame and deserves to be banned, but of course, the Dream World council will convene on the matter. Another way to deal with Blaziken is to let it die from recoil, whether from Flare Blitz or from Hi Jump Kick missing. Utilizing Pokemon with Protect automatically makes Blaziken lose half of its health should it use Hi Jump Kick. Playing smart and using priority are literally the only ways to deal with Blaziken, as it can even run a third coverage move to deal with things such as Jellicent.

    Other Sun Threats

    Another sun threat that is very prominent, but also very underrated, is Volcarona. It sports an excellent offensive stat spread, with a base Special Attack of 135, Special Defense stat of 105, and Speed stat of 100. Although its typing makes it 4x weak to Stealth Rock, when provided with Rapid Spin, Volcarona can easily set up with access to one of the best setup moves in the entire game: Quiver Dance. It has the second most powerful Fire Blast in the metagame, only slightly weaker than Chandelure's. After a single boost, it can OHKO virtually everything not named Heatran with Fire Blast in the sun, a frightening feat in itself...

    Conclusion

    Weather is one of the most influential and common playstyles in the Dream World metagame, even more so than BW OU. The number of threats related to weather is exponentially larger, making it extremely difficult to build a successful non-weather team. The sheer versatility of weather teams makes it near-impossible. However, this thread is for discussion of methods to deal with weather - without using other types of weather. I've outlined the 3 most common types of weather, as well as a few of their most dangerous threats, and how to deal with them. My question is, how do YOU deal with them? And remember, try to focus on non-weather strategies.

    Discuss!
  2. Harsha

    Harsha Rest In Beats
    is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
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    I think that the easiest ways to deal with weather are simply offensive cores that can beat weather before it beats you. Obviously each weather has its own set of checks. However, some of these checks are simply useless against other weathers. Take Skarmory as an example, it is easily the best check to offensively oriented sand teams because it can take nearly any hit aimed at it (though sand teams tend to carry Chandelure who can be problematic). However, Skarmory is simply dead weight against rain teams. Heatran is no longer the defensive beast it once was against sun teams because of Blaziken's unbanning and Venusaur's ability to use Nature Power in Dream World.

    Thus, I think the easiest way to counter weather is simply using offensive cores. My favorite is Breloom + Genesect, two of the best Pokemon in the metagame at this point.

    [​IMG]
    Breloom @ Life Orb / Fighting Gem
    Trait: Technician
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
    - Swords Dance
    - Mach Punch
    - Bullet Seed
    - Drain Punch
    +
    [​IMG]
    Genesect @ Choice Scarf
    Trait: Download
    EVs: 128 Atk / 128 SpA / 252 Spe
    Naive Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
    - U-turn
    - Flamethrower
    - Thunderbolt
    - Ice Beam

    While it may not seem like much, Breloom does a remarkable job against Excadrill, Tyranitar, and Politoed. It also does 65%+ to Blaziken with Mach Punch making sure that it cannot harm one's team too much. Genesect covers the threats that are left open against Breloom, which include Garchomp, Tornadus, Thundurus, Manaphy, among others. While this core is based on an offensive presence moreso than one that can take hits, it can check a large number of threats that would be otherwise left open. Venusaur is troublesome even with this core, but using Air Balloon Heatran to deal with that and sun teams can be quite good, and it can also be considered a backup check to Excadrill.

    Again, you made a good point that weather is certainly the defining point of this metagame, and while I think that a lot of the threats are overpowered, I believe that the correct amount of offense can shut these threats down.
  3. Tobes

    Tobes "The absolute strongest reindeer"
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Winner

    Joined:
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    Another thing to note is that there are a few techs you can run on weather teams to give yourself a better match-up against other weathers. In this example, I'll show two versions of weather inducers designed to combat Excadrill more easily, giving rain / sun an easier time against sand.

    [​IMG]
    Politoed @ Choice Scarf
    Drizzle
    Modest / Timid 0/0/4/252/0/252
    - Surf / Hydro Pump
    - Ice Beam
    - Hidden Power Grass
    - Encore / Focus Blast / Perish Song

    With a Choice Scarf equipped Politoed becomes capable of revenge killing Excadrill, as it now outspeeds Drill when sand is taken away; something bulky Politoed or Specstoed fails to do. It can't switch into Excadrill, but then again no Politoed variant can safely switch into a Life Orb Earthquake. This version finds more use on offensive teams (I really recommend it on everything but rain stall, and even some of those can use it well), and while it needs to be careful of using anything other than its Water-type STAB while Chandelure is around, it can also be used as a makeshift revenge-killer against the likes of Thundurus and weakened Latios. The last slot is more tech; you can use Focus Blast to smack Tyranitar around, Encore to disrupt things like CM Keldeo, or Perish Song to kill a last-mon booster or break Baton Pass chains.

    [​IMG]
    Ninetales @ Air Balloon
    Drought
    Timid 0/0/4/252/0/252
    - Flamethrower
    - SolarBeam
    - Will-O-Wisp / Roar
    - Sunny Day

    The addition of Air Balloon goes a long way in a fight against Excadrill, as Ninetales can now actually switch into it when played correctly. Sunny Day Ninetales is probably the best set Ninetales can run (let's face it, Ninetales is just not a good Pokemon and Drought is really all it has going for it), as with some prediction you can keep the momentum of a match completely in your control by shifting the weather immediately after the opponent's weather inducer comes in. It needs entry hazard support to work at its best, of course. SolarBeam does good damage to Tyranitar and Politoed in sun (you still need to tread carefully around Choice sets though). Will-O-Wisp cripples a lot of Pokemon (watch out for Lum DDNite and Blaziken though). Roar is another tech choice but it works well, especially with hazard support. It prevents Chandelure from destroying you (note: run Wish support with this thing if you can) and also prevents Blaziken from setting up on you.

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