KACAW G’day Smogon, Sparrow here with my second RMT showcasing hazard stacking heavy offence in the UnderUsed Tier – KACAW. The team features some fairly unique options to help it get around traditional answers to HO teams. I’ve decided to post the team now, as I was planning to bring it further down the line during the UU Open, but unfortunately, I was eliminated early on. The combination of Scizor, Hawlucha & Sharpedo alongside hazard stack has a very good match-up against the majority of teams. This is further accentuated by running two very good wall breakers, in Z Latias & Mamoswine, as well as disruption in the form of priority Thunder Wave from Klefki. As opposed to common offensive play styles that may choose to run Aurora Veil, I’ve opted to run Spikes. By foregoing the option to run and support the setting up of veil, the team has gained better defensive synergy and sweeping potential through the use of more entry hazards and a utility pivot in Klefki. I implore other users to consider the idea of running another Pokemon over Alolan-Ninetales before blindly slapping it onto a team. Veil is currently under a lot of scrutiny at the moment, and I don’t think it’s as big a deal in the UU tier as some people claim it to be; this team is a testament to that fact. The team has also featured on Aim’s Youtube channel, for those of you who may be interested in seeing the team in action with commentary. in depth: Latias @ Dragonium Z |Levitate Timid | 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Draco Meteor | Psyshock | Roost | Calm Mind Dragonium Z Latias was assigned as the teams’ main way to punch holes against opposing fat builds. Latias naturally threatens opposing offence due to its amazing typing, stats and coverage. Further to this, it has an option in boosting its own offences. Devastating Drake at +1 allows Latias to KO every Pokemon that doesn’t resist it or isn’t immune, aside from Pokemon such as Blissey. I like to use Latias to threaten Stall, since most of the time Steelix-M is the designated switch-in; chunking Steelix with Devastating Drake at +1 relieves pressure on my sweepers later on. Roost was decided on as the last move, as Latias becomes surprisingly durable at +1 SpD; having a bit of sustain on an early game pivot also helps. Hawlucha @ Power Herb | Unburden Jolly | 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe High Jump Kick | Acrobatics | Sky Attack | Swords Dance Sky Attack Hawlucha has always been a threat; although some would argue that Substitute + Sitrus Berry is better. I prefer to run Sky Attack, since it at least guarantees a big hit on opposing offensive threats, especially if Hawlucha isn’t guaranteed the opportunity to set-up. Power Herb also means that I can KO a threat with out the fear of being slower than the incoming switch-in. I find that being at full health after the initial KO is much more useful compared to being at ~75% health due to having to use Sub to activate Unburden. In short, Subsitute Hawlucha may not always find an opportunity to set-up; Sky Attack, in a way, allows Hawlucha to circumvent that issue by allowing one big hit followed by being faster than the offensive metagame afterward. Furthermore, Sky Attack at +2 turns Hawlucha into a decent breaker. Hawlucha may find opportunity to set-up against choice locked Fighting Type (Scarf Infernape & Scarf Terrakion) and Ground Type moves (Krookodile), it’s also able to threaten out weakened offensive Pokemon due to its fantastic Speed tier. Scizor @ Life Orb | Technician Adamant | 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe Bullet Punch | Knock Off | Quick Attack | Swords Dance Quick Attack Scizor is probably what this team should be most well known for. Scizor is one of, if not, the best Pokemon in UU at the moment. It finds many opportunities to set-up a Swords Dance and sweep opposing teams. Current trends that lead to set up include: Choice locked Pokemon such as Latias, Hydreigon & opposing Scizor, Fairy types such as Sylveon & Togekiss, Ice types such as Alolan-Ninetales, Weavile & Mamoswine – just to list a few examples. Scizor likes to come in once the playing field has been set up, preferably with Stealth Rock and Spikes, and usually the best time to bring it in, is by simply sacking one of its teammates in order to gain the opportunity to Swords Dance. Bullet Punch and Knock Off don’t require much explanation; one is STAB and the other gives Scizor the best coverage that is required. The last move that I have chosen is Quick Attack. This allows me to handle a large number of offensive switch-ins to Scizor – offensive threats that may trouble the rest of the team. Pokemon that are quite handily dealt with by Quick Attack (after appropriate hazard damage): Infernape, Darmanitan, Starmie, Sharpedo, Crawdaunt, Xurkitree, Raikou, Volcanion and, Entei. In some cases, simply clicking Quick Attack or Knock Off in order to damage an opposing Pokemon is all that’s necessary to open up a sweep with either Sharpedo-M or Hawlucha. Mamoswine @ Life Orb | Thick Fat Naïve | 152 Atk / 180 SpA / 176 Spe Earthquake | Ice Shard | Freeze-Dry | Stealth Rock Mixed Mamoswine: the Stall breaker, Electric Immunity, priority in Ice Shard and Stealth Rocker; all in one. Freeze-Dry on Mamoswine will easily 2HKO some of its most common switch-ins: Alomomola, Mantine and Slowbro. In fact, with Stealth Rock up, nothing on stall builds will enjoy switching into Mamoswine. Freeze Dry can OHKO Quagsire and it has a decent chance to OHKO Swampert. I run enough Speed to out pace base 70 Speed mons, most notably Magneton, Metagross & Volcanion. Essentially Mamoswine’s main purpose is to set up Stealth Rock, versus Offence its main utility outside of this is Ice Shard as well as being incredibly difficult to switch into. Sharpedo-Mega @ Sharpedonite | Speed Boost Jolly | 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Crunch | Psychic Fangs | Ice Fangs | Protect Sharpedo-M is the last cleaner on the team, in terms of Mega Pokemon, I feel it was the logical choice. Sharpedo is normally the last Pokemon to hit the field and does an excellent job of cleaning up after the opposing team has been chipped by hazard damage and its’ teammates. In terms of set-up opportunity Sharpedo almost always comes in after something has been KO’d. At +1 Speed it can out pace +1 Speed Xurkitree as well as most of the offensive meta, this excludes fast scarfers such as Infernape, Terrakion & Latias. Sharpedo can also be played during the midgame by threatening an early sweep with out necessarily needing to Mega Evolve. An example of utilizing Sharpedo-M early is if an opportunity presents itself where it’s necessary to deal damage to an opposing Pokemon thereby aiding a teammates sweep, i.e. putting a threat into range of Bullet Punch, Ice Shard or Quick Attack. Klefki @ Leftovers | Prankster Bold | 196 HP / 208 Def / 104 SpD Spikes | Dazzling Gleam | Hidden Power [Fire] | Thunder Wave Klefki really is the glue of the team, Spikes is the underlying factor that makes HO such an effective play style. Further to this, spreading Thunder Wave onto threats that are faster than Mamoswine & Scizor is absolutely huge, especially if this can be pulled off earlier in the match. Klefki is a fantastic pivot with great defensive typing and decent bulk – it finds plenty of opportunities to switch in and set up Spikes. This is also the only Pokemon that will require an explanation in regards to its EV spread, which also ties into its coverage. Running physical defense, Klefki is able to stomach some big hits; most importantly it’s able to take hits from Pokemon such as Weavile & Scizor. Where as, investment in spD allows Klefki to survive Timid Primarina’s Hydro Pump 7 out of 8 times (if it hits) from full. Dazzling Gleam + Hidden Power Fire followed by Bold Nature means it will be faster than Hawlucha, Azelf, Starmie, etc. after paralysis. Hidden Power Fire ensures you’re not set up bait for opposing Scizor and Dazzling Gleam can also 2HKO Krookodile, Bewear, Terrakion and OHKO Crawdaunt & Hydreigon whilst not having 90% accuracy. important klefki calcs (Move your mouse to reveal the content) important klefki calcs (open) important klefki calcs (close) 252+ Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 129-153 (42.4 - 50.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 222-263 (73 - 86.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery 252 Atk Life Orb Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 78-92 (25.6 - 30.2%) -- 0.7% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery 252 Atk Krookodile Earthquake vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 242-288 (79.6 - 94.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery +2 252 Atk Cobalion Close Combat vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 243-286 (79.9 - 94%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery 252 Atk Life Orb Adaptability Crawdaunt Crabhammer vs. 196 HP / 208+ Def Klefki: 213-252 (70 - 82.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery 252 SpA Choice Specs Primarina Hydro Pump vs. 196 HP / 104 SpD Klefki: 262-310 (86.1 - 101.9%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO 0 SpA Klefki Hidden Power Fire vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Scizor: 176-208 (62.6 - 74%) -- guaranteed 2HKO Importable - http://pokepast.es/d15b8c2d155cdf6b threats: - Nothing on this team safely comes in, this is the nature of HO. Primarina is a very popular lead versus this team; in this case I normally lead Klefki. As stated earlier Specs Hydro Pump from Primarina is only a OHKO 1 out of 8 times, not counting the miss chance. You either get one layer of spikes or two layers or one layer and a paralysed Primarina. Latias can set up CM on Primarina locked into Hydro Pump and once Primarina switches out, it has a difficult time trying to come in safely thereafter. - CM Raikou is able to capitalise on Klefki, avoiding paralysis from Thunder Wave and taking minimal damage from Dazzling Gleam especially when boosted. At +1 nothing enjoys switching into it, Pokemon such as Mamoswine and Latias fold to +1 Never-Ending Nightmare (Shadow Ball) and Sub + CM Raikou is a genuine pain. Don't let it set up, in fact, the only Pokemon it safely comes in on is Klefki. - Banded Entei is very difficult to switch into, in terms of match up the idea is to not let it come in for free. Again, this Pokemon is able to capitalise on Klefki, but is very much neutered once it is paralysed. Like Raikou, Entei struggles to switch-in, if you're facing it with Klefki go for Thunder Wave, that way even Mamoswine can RKO. If worse comes to worse Latias can tank a hit and put it into RKO range. - Cobalion is able to stop Scizor and M-Sharpedo from sweeping. With that in mind, hitting it with Thunder Wave from Klefki is quite useful, Devastating Drake from Latias does ~60% and, Hawlucha is able to threaten it out - racking up hazard damage. - Funnily enough opposing Scizor are quite threatening to this team, especially if they're Swords Dance Offensive or a late game bulky Swords Dance Scizor. Fortunately Scizor has some difficulty coming in for free. It's never really got a safe opportunity to set up and hazard damage adds up. Try to avoid giving it an opportunity to set up. - Very annoying if the set is unknown. Leading a Latias versus Infernape followed by an easy switch into Klefki is sufficient enough to scout the set. Infernape also struggles versus all three sweepers: Hawlucha is faster than Scarf after Unburden and resists Infernape's priority, Scizor can KO with +2 Quick Attack & Sharpedo can Protect scout. NP Infernape is walled by Latias. - Mamoswine is a pain to switch into, sometimes in comes down to clever switching, other times it comes down to sacrificing the correct Pokemon in order to force Mamoswine out. Sacrificing a Pokemon usually ends up being Klefki setting a single layer of Spikes. - Another annoying Pokemon to switch into. Klefki can always tank a hit and either Thunder Wave or set up a Spike. Devastating Drake from Latias deals a significant amount of damage providing a OHKO at +1. Other ways to deal with M-Blastoise involve dealing heavy damage from either Hawlucha, M-Sharpedo or Mamoswine, in order to put it in range of RKO. - Comes in relatively freely versus Klefki. In that case Thunder Wave is the play, you have either shut down a choiced Chandelure or severely hindered a Substitute Chandelure. Very difficult to switch into, but once paralysed it's effectively neutered. conclusion: Managed to nab 3rd and 4th with two separate alts on UU ladder with this team, probably could get higher if I put in the effort. I encourage any one interested in trying out HO in gen7uu to give this team a go. I feel it’s quite reflective of the fast paced, hard-hitting meta game. The team offers counter play to the vast majority of the tier (para hax lol) and is very fun to use. I’d also like to address the false ideology that Alolan-Ninetales is one of the only ways to run heavy set-up offence. IMO Alola-Tales is more of a liability: with a weakness to the most common Pokemon in Scizor, as well as, being slower than a large portion of Offensive Pokemon. These factors combined with a Stealth Rock weakness + the prevalence of Defog in this tier, I find veil to be a very limiting play style – I’d love to know your thoughts!