Rain stall, an underrated but very effective play style. As you know, I am a defensive player, and I enjoy playing balanced teams. This rain stall features Bulkynite in the rain, a monster that can easily wall and destroy teams, with hazards support and strong Hurricane, with Dragon Tail to weaken enemy Blissey, Jirachi and common rain Dragonite counters. This team has been very successful on the ladder (it peaked #1, and before ladder reset it had a ranking of 1600+), it was undefeated on World Cup and it has a 34-4 record in official tournament games. In general, it was quite funny to play with, especially because of Dragonite, a Pokémon that surprised everybody at first. HOW I MADE THIS TEAM This section includes the most important changes of my team, since the release of Drizzle Politoed until now, and it also includes some of my greatest rain based teams. When the Dream World abilities were revealed, I saw 2 abilities that I knew had a lot of potential: Drought Ninetales and Drizzle Politoed. The first thing that came to mind was: Swift Swimmers. I personally thought that RD with damp rock made RD broken in DP UU, and now we had the chance to have permanent rain in OU, something swift swimmers like Kabutops or Kingdra would love. Politoed was NU in DP, but thanks to my experience in DP NU, I knew it was a decent wall that could take some hits making it a good choice for Drizzle. The second thing that popped in my head was the following Pokémon: Manaphy. In the suspect testing of DP I used a set that could destroy a stall team with ease: it consisted of Rain Dance, Calm Mind, Surf and Rest. Now the same set wouldn't need Rain Dance, as I could have permanent rain thanks do Drizzle Politoed. Plus, the set itself would even be better thanks to Tail Glow being now +3 instead of +2, making it very dangerous. All in all, I knew I had in Manaphy a sweeper immune to status, with an instant 100% recovery move, and a move to raise its Special Attack by 3 levels. And that's how the first rain team I ever made was born: A very successful team. It did quite well on the ladder, and K-12 won some important tourney battles with this team. After this, I decided to make a more defensive team. Short time after I made this one, some Dream World abilities such as Poison Heal Gliscor and Rain Dish Tentacruel, which were perfect for a more defensive version of a rain based team, were released. Early in DP, I had a hail stall featuring a Pokémon that was really annoying for the opponent with the support of Toxic Spikes: Ice Body Walrein. Gliscor with Poison Heal could do something similar with Substitute + Protect. With the help of IPL I made a non-weather based stall featuring this Gliscor, and it was nearly always the MVP of the team. After this success, I decided to add it to my rain stall team project. Obviously, this time the focus of the team would be Manaphy, and I decided to use a bulky spread with Calm Mind + Boil Over. The fourth attack at first was Ice Beam, but bulky waters made it cry. After that, I used Energy Ball, but things like Latias always beat me. After some testing, I decided to try Toxic, and it worked really well, beating CM Latias and bulky waters at the same time: This is probably my best BW team ever, together with the F**K MOLES team. Sadly for the team, Manaphy and SS + Drizzle were banned on Smogon, and Manaphy got banned on the PO ladder. I decided to make a team for that server, very similar to that stall. I just used Choice Specs Kingdra instead of Manaphy. Sometimes I used Ferrothorn instead of Skarmory. This team got a rating of nearly 1800 in that server, and Celebi42 with a very similar team got 1830 points: After the Drizzle + SS ban, rain stall pretty much died, and I didn't use rain teams again in a long time. After the Blaziken ban, I needed a new team for the last weeks of SPL, so I decided to use a rain team again. This time, the team was going to use the genies, especially Tornadus, a Pokémon I had never tried before. I tried a mixed version, with Taunt, LO and Hurricane + Hammer Arm (2HKOing bliss). NP Thundurus was as dangerous as always. I also used for the first time, bulky Dragonite on the rain (it had Sub + T-wave + DTail), because I had a non-weather stalled it with it and it really surprised me to see how it was capable of walling so many things, and it was an excellent Pokémon with Spikes support as well. Chansey was a great wall and Wish was a godsend for this team. Finally, I needed a spiker and a spinner: Forretress was the obvious answer. This was the team I used the last week vs. Pttp in a sadly famous game, winning the game: But Forretress wasn't doing well enough, since it wasn't a very reliable spinner, so I decided to use Ferrothorn + Tentacruel again. I also changed the Dragonite set, since now I was using Toxic Spikes, and I decided to try a more offensive set with Hurricane, which worked extremely well. Tentacruel was as good as always, and Thundurus swept so many teams with a bulkier spread, Substitute, Leftovers and Spikes support. It was awesome how easily it could sweep teams. Dragons and Thunders, a scary combination. This team did pretty well on the ladder, peaking #1, and it did pretty well on the last Smogon tour season: After the tour, and with the WC in mind, I talked with AM, and I decided to make a couple of rain stalls. The first one was going to feature the SubProtect Gliscor set, with Wish Jirachi as the special wall, and Bronzong setting up rocks. I wanted to try Gastrodon, since it was beginning to win popularity, and it worked really well with Jirachi, walling lots of special sweepers. I used this team twice on WC, with a record of 1-1. The main problem of this team was the lack of Spikes, and Haxorus: The other team was going to feature that bulky rain Dnite that worked really well on the dragons and thunders team. I also wanted to make a team with bulky Toxicroak, an awesome Pokémon with permanent rain which recovers lots of HP each turn thanks to its ability. As I needed a spinner, I decided to use Starmie again. I stopped using this team when LO offensive Ice Punch Toxicroak (since my Toxicroak check Dragonite) was KOed by a +2 LO IP: Finally, I decided to make a couple of changes: I decided to use Tentacruel (again). Instead of Starmie, at first I used Gliscor, but I noticed how HP Ice Landorus weak I was (as well as some stat uppers like DDnite), so I decided to use Quagsire on that spot, since I had already used it with great success in other stall team. And that's the current line up of my team: AT A GLANCE |--|--|--|--|--|--| Rain! Politoed @ Leftovers Drizzle 248 HP | 156 Def | 64 SAtk | 40 Spd Bold Nature [+ Defense, - Attack] Moveset: Scald - Scald is a standard on bulky Politoed, and the reason is simple. Scald is a reliable attack, that has a 30% chance of burning the opponent, which can be very useful during late game (burning Ferrothorn on the switch-in helps this team a lot, and physical sweepers will hate the burn too). Toxic - Toxic is very important, because I want to toxic (on the switch), some common switch-ins to Politoed, such as Rotom-W and Latios. Toxicing Jellicent can be key, since it's maybe the best way I have of beating it (one of the greatest threats of the team if played well). Protect - There are 2 reasons for using Protect: the first one is that it helps scouting what the opponent is gonna do (especially useful vs Rotom-W, so it won't Trick my Chansey). The second reason is to help Toxic stalling a certain threat. Perish Song - This destroys any last Pokemon sweeper. ..... Why this Pokémon?: Politoed is a must on every rain team, and the reason is simple: it has Drizzle, starting the infinite rain. It also usually wins the weather war, especially with the Wish support this team has, since it can easily switch into any Hippowdon set, and it can easily beat most Tyranitar (since most Politoed are slower, I usually outspeed CBtar, something it doesn't expect, which has helped me winning some games) and Ninetales. ..... EVs & Nature: 248 HP helps me take hits better. 64 Sp Atk scores an OHKO on most Excadrills with Scald in the rain. Scald will also have a 75% chance of OHKOing standard Landorus and a 50% chance of OHKOing standard Gliscor. 40 Spd, so I will outspeed 99% of opposing Jellicent, toxicing them before they get the chance of using Taunt on me. The rest goes in Defense and a Bold nature help me take hits from Tyranitar and Hippowdon much better, and it ensures that Politoed will always survive a CB Outrage from Haxorus. Sushi Tentacruel @ Black Sludge Rain Dish 252 HP | 212 Def | 44 Spd Bold Nature [+Defense, -Attack] Moveset: Toxic Spikes - The first thing I do, when the team preview options is shown, is see if my opponent has any important Pokémon weak to Toxic Spikes that I want to poison (every weather changer is weak to TS, so it can help a lot in the weather war). If the answer is positive, I will always try to set up the Toxic Spikes as soon as possible. Toxic Spikes will make those threats much less durable. Scald - STAB attack with a 30% chance of burning, something especially useful vs Ferrothorns, and some physical sweepers that might try to set up vs it (like DD Scrafty). Protect - Read Protect on Politoed, but there is a new reason here: when I protect, Tentacruel gets a free 12.5% recovery from Black Sludge + Rain Dish, making it much more durable. Rapid Spin - Bye hazards (unless they have Jellicent). ..... Why this Pokémon?: This Pokémon just never dies when it rains. 12.5% recovery every turn, with Wish support, with Protect... it just never dies. However, the main reason for using it is Toxic Spikes, which helps in the process of wearing down the opponent's team, and its ability to spin, which something very important in any stall team. ..... EVs & Nature: 44 Spd outspeeds most versions of standard Gliscor. 252 HP maximizes its ability of taking hits from both sides of the spectrum. The rest goes in Defense, and a Bold nature because Tentacruel is naturally very bulky on the special side, so maximizing its ability of taking physical hits will let it take hits from any side of the spectrum really well. Fun fact: it has a 54% chance of surviving an Excadrill EQ, and a 90% chance of surviving a Landorus EQ (w/out sand)! Rain Dogs Quagsire @ Leftovers Unaware 248 HP | 252 Def | 10 SpDef Relaxed Nature [+Defense, -Speed] Moveset: Toxic - The easiest way of beating set-up users is usually using Toxic on them, followed by Recover in order to stall them. It also catches some Rotom-W and Latios on the switch-in. Scald - Burning things like Skarmory and Forry (they like switching into Quagsire) is always very nice, but the best thing is when they switch into Ferrothorn and I burn it (yes, I am a bit paranoid about burning Ferrothorn). Earthquake - Only one reason: Toxicroak. Recover - Instant 50% recovery move. Any stall Pokemon loves that, especially when you are trying to toxic stall sweepers. ..... Why this Pokémon?: After two standard Pokémon in every rain stall (and for a good reason), a Pokémon that is not usually seen on a rain stall: the unaware Quagsire. But… why Quaggy? The team had lots of problems with things like Thundurus, Landorus (especially the Swords Dance variant), Excadrill, and some set-up users such as DDnite, Lucario or Ice Punch Toxicroak. Quagsire easily beats all of them, with its awesome ability, and it can get some nice burns with Scald. Originally I had Curse, but Toxic has helped me dealing with lots of common switch-ins, like Latios and Rotom-W. ..... EVs & Nature: 248 HP EVs because I want it to take hits as well as possible. 252 Def and a Relaxed nature because I want to take hits from both Excadrill and Landorus very well. I'm using physical and special attacks, and I don't care about the speed, so Relaxed is the ideal nature. Old Times Dragonite @ Leftovers Multiscale 252 HP | 108 SpAtk | 148 SpDef Calm Nature [+Special Defense, -Attack] Moveset: Hurricane - Its main attack. 120 BP STAB attack that may confuse, and that never misses. Should I say more? This will destroy some big threats like Celebi, Virizion (I can take a +1 HP Ice and a +2 Stone Edge even with no Multiscale) or Conkeldurr. Thunder - There is only one reason for this: Jellicent. Thunder also has a good chance of paralyzing the opponent, something very useful vs most sweepers, and it also lets it beat any non IB stall breaker Mew. Using Aqua Tail over Thunder is an options (yes, even with –Atk nature), as it would KO the mole, and it would also do a nice 40% to most Tyranitar, but unluckily that would make me too Jellicent weak. Roost- 50% recovery move, excellent to increase survivability. Dragon Tail – The reason why this team easily destroys Baton Pass strategies (especially things like CM BP Espeon), and a really good answer vs CM Reuniclus (with Multiscale, a +1 Psychic will do less than 20%, and with +6, it will miss the 2HKO with Leftovers (56% max, I Roost, and with Leftovers I have 100% again), so I can just spam Roost, PP stalling its Psychics, and phazing it away when it decides to use Calm Mind again. ..... Why this Pokémon?: M Dragonite!!! The star of the team, and one of the best Pokémon I have ever used. This thing can take nearly any hit at 100% thanks to its ability, and it can completely destroy lots of Pokemon that give rain stall a lot of trouble, such as Celebi or Virizion. It just takes hits really well and hits like a truck with Hurricane, and it also phazes and/or beats 95% of the special sweepers that Chansey cannot beat (so with hazards, some possible counters like Blissey or WishJirachi are much easier to beat. ..... EVs & Nature: 252 EVs HP EVs allow me to take physical and special hits better 148 Sp Def EVs and a Calm nature let me outstall a +6 Reuniclus using Psychic, and it gives me a lot of special bulk, so I can even take Choice Specs Draco Meteors from Latios (with Multiscale), and a CM Latias's +2 Dragon Pulse will miss the 2HKO (with Multiscale too). The rest goes into Sp Atk, because I want to hit a bit hard with my Hurricane. JoyToy Chansey @ Eviolite Natural Cure 240 HP | 252 Def | 16 SpDef Bold Nature [+Defense, -Attack] Moveset: Toxic - Useful for toxicing some threats like CM Virizion, NP Thundurus, and other powerful threats, so that beating them becomes a much easier task. Seismic Toss – Consistent 100 HP damage. Softboiled – 50% recovery move. Wish – With Chansey huge HP, a Wish will nearly completely heal every Pokémon of this team. Usually, when I'm using Chansey, the first thing I will do is Wish. This lets me scout what's my opponent's plan against Chansey, allowing me to act accordingly, and thanks to Wish the Pokemon that I send after will heal completely after taking the attack. ..... Why this Pokémon?: The first thing you might ask is: Why Chansey and not Blissey? There is 1 reason for using Blissey over Chansey, and the reason is Leftovers, which could be annoying otherwise when facing a sand team (losing 6% every turn is not good). This team will keep the weather advantage most of the time, so it won't be too problematic, and Chansey is much bulkier than Blissey. It takes physical attacks as well as Swampert (a MixMence Outrage misses the 2HKO!). The reason for using Chansey on this team is to stop most special threats. The Dnite + Chansey combo can stop 90% of the special threats pretty well, and the rest is stopped by Quagsire. It is also one of the reasons of this team's success, because of the move Wish and its ability to nearly completely heal any member of the team (very useful especially with Politoed). Healing my team members while the opponent's team slowly dies to hazards is great too. ..... EVs & Nature: 252 Def and a Bold nature because Chansey has a low Defense stat, and it needs to be as concentrated as possible in order to take physical hits better. 240 HP also helps me take special hits pretty well, while taking physical hits as well as possible. The rest goes in Special Defense. I may invest more Sp.Def so that I can take hits from things like Choice Specs Rotom-W more easily. BS Ferrothorn @ Rocky Helmet Iron Barbs 252 HP | 88 Def | 168 SpDef Relaxed Nature [+Defense, -Speed] Moveset: Stealth Rock - Stealth Rock has a huge importance, letting me wear off the opponent's team, and for hurting dangerous Pokemon such as Thundurus, Tornadus and Dragonite, limiting the number of times they can switch in. Spikes - More hazards. A huge help vs non-Levitate / Flying-type Pokemon. Gyro Ball - Helps me beat Dragon-types and some fast threats such as Gengar. Remember, it needs 0 speed IVs in order to do its job more effectively. Power Whip – Beats bulky waters, and it's better vs slower Pokemon. ..... Why this Pokémon?: You may have noticed that something was missing on this stall team. I had no hazards. There were two options for this slot: Skarmory and Ferrothorn. I decided to use the latter because of two reasons: its ability + Rocky Helmet does a nice 25% damage when it takes any physical attack, which includes Rapid Spin (so it can act as a pseudo rapid spinner), Outrage (extremely useful vs Dragon-types locked into it) or U-Turn (a U-turn user switches into Chansey as I wish). Then I might send Ferrothorn, so the U-turner will have taken the hazards damage + an extra 25% damage. With SR and a layer of Spikes in the field, it means that the U-turner has lost a 50% of its health, which is extremely helpful. The second reason is its Grass typing, and how it helps against some bulky Water-types that might annoy my team. The main objective of Ferrothorn is to set up entry hazards. The team in general (and especially Dragonite), will love this kind of support, and it will help me a lot when facing Dragon-type Pokemon. As you may have noticed, the rest of my team has some problems with Dragon-types running a Choice Band. Against Dragon-types + Magnezone teams, I will usually lead with Politoed. I will Toxic their CB Dragon-type, use Protect for extra poison damage and sacrifice Politoed. After that, this Dragon will be locked into Outrage, so I can send Ferrothorn and set up Stealth Rock or kill it with Gyro Ball depending on the rest of my opponent's team. ..... EVs & Nature: 252 HP EVs so I can take hits better (yes, I said this 6 times). 88 Def Evs and a Relaxed nature give me balanced defenses, while taking physical hits (Outrage, etc) a bit better. Gyro Ball wants absolutely min speed, and that's the reason of why I picked a Relaxed nature (don't forget giving it 0 Spd EVs!). The rest goes in Special Defense because I want Ferrothorn to be able to sponge special attacks too. Importable (keep the names if you are going to use the team!) (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Importable (keep the names if you are going to use the team!) (open) Importable (keep the names if you are going to use the team!) (close) Rain! (Politoed) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Drizzle EVs: 252 HP / 152 Def / 64 SAtk / 40 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Scald - Toxic - Protect - Perish Song Rain Dogs (Quagsire) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Unaware EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Recover - Scald - Earthquake - Toxic Old Times (Dragonite) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Multiscale EVs: 252 HP / 108 SAtk / 148 SDef Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Hurricane - Thunder - Dragon Tail - Roost Joy Toy (Chansey) (F) @ Eviolite Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 SDef Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Toxic - Seismic Toss - Softboiled - Wish Sushi (Tentacruel) (M) @ Black Sludge Trait: Rain Dish EVs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Toxic Spikes - Scald - Rapid Spin - Protect BS (Ferrothorn) (F) @ Rocky Helmet Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Spikes - Stealth Rock - Gyro Ball - Power Whip Thnx Fatecrashers for the awesome pics!