Layla Introduction It's safe to say that throughout the last testing period, the OU metagame was in a very unstable state. The sparse banlist that was chosen by the majority of Policy Review members meant that amazingly powerful offensive Pokemon like Deoxys-A, Darkrai and Shaymin-S were fair game in standard play. In addition, new threats introduced in Black and White, specifically the obscure users of the ability Inconsistent, further added to the unbalanced nature of the metagame. Despite this, my experiences with Generation V so far have been mainly positive, not due to the fact that the metagame is enjoyable, but simply because a young Generation is a time for new sets to be discovered and for creativity to thrive. While this team is by no means revolutionary, I did my best to figure out which overlooked Pokemon work well in this metagame dominated by a select few offensive and defensive threats. For a while I was convinced that offensive was an inferior playing style with the advent of amazing defensive Pokemon like Burungeru and Nattorei, who made spikestacking stall teams more viable than ever. I used a team with that exact core for a few weeks simply because every attempt I made at running offense failed. To be honest, this team was more or less made in the attempts to prove to myself that I could get offense to work for me after having seen other players have success with it. Although the team isn't exactly offense in it's purest sense since some of its members are fairly bulky, I play it just as if it were a hyperoffensive team, relying on resistances and overwhelming attacks to open up and opportunity to sweep rather than using the bulk to counter every relevant threat. I've had a pretty good degree of success with this team, using it to qualify three of my accounts for voting rights, although admittedly I tested other teams with them. After the qualifying period was over, I used this team to bring my alt Layla to a rating of 1509, good enough for #1 on the ladder, which explains the team's name. I'm the first to say that ladder rankings don't really matter, I just included them to show the team's effectiveness since there haven't been any formal Gen 5 tournaments. I've spread the team around a little bit, so I guess I may as well retire it. Moreover, I figure now would be a good time to post my team since once this testing period ends, numerous Pokemon will be banned and the nature of the metagame will inevitably shift once again. The Team Tyranitar (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 252 HP / 180 SAtk / 76 SDef Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd) - Flamethrower - Ice Beam - Crunch - Stealth Rock This is without a doubt the weirdest set on the team, and probably the strangest thing I've ever used, but I swear it works. Rain has been everywhere since the release of Drizzle Politoed, so naturally I needed a weather inducer to deal with the archetypal Politoed + Manaphy + Swift Swinmer teams. I settled on your average Tyranitar, but with a few tweaks. Thanks to Ice Beam, Flamethrower and the Special Attack investment, I'm able to easily deal with Gliscor, Nattorei and Skarmory, who are incredibly common in the current metagame. I opted for Crunch as the final move at the suggestion of many users, and it lets me hit Lati@s and Rankurusu harder than Dark Pulse, which is what I was previously using. Since I only needed a small investment to ensure the OHKO on Gliscor and 2HKO on Nattorei and Skarmory, I was able to load up Tyranitar's already stellar Special Defense to help with absorbing attacks. Tyranitar is the closest thing I have to a lead, seeing as the position was made obsolete due to Team Preview. I needed Stealth Rock somewhere on my team, and Tyranitar was the only one who had room for it. I've tried Superpower over Stealth Rock but I found I really needed it to keep Shaymin-S at bay since I'm already quite weak to it. Even though it was banned, Stealth Rock helps wear down offensive teams, putting them into KO range for Shaymin-S or Terakion to clean up. I also tried Lum Berry to deal with Darkrai better, but they usually just Focus Blast right off the bat, and Leftovers is far more useful mid-game. Gliscor (M) @ Toxic Orb Trait: Poison Heal EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 20 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Swords Dance - Taunt - Facade - Earthquake The Iconicscor (although I guess Iris deserves some of the credit)! This is another weird set, but it's extremely effective and is currently my favourite thing to use in the entire metagame. This is your classic Poison Heal Gliscor with a few unique changes. When I used Gliscor on my old team, Iris recommended I try Taunt over Protect to prevent Nattorei and Skarmory from setting up Spikes. The more I though about it, the more I realized how brilliant the idea was, so I began using Taunt Gliscor with Swords Dance to give me a way of actually damaging them after they've been hit with Taunt. Without room for Fling and Acrobat, I figured I'd use Facade for consistent neutral damage on just about everything. I guess Ice Fang would help against opposing Gliscor, but Swords Dance let's me beat most of them anyways, and Facade is surprisingly stronger than Ice Fang on a lot of things like Skarmory and the Lati twins. Gliscor is my go-to guy for a lot of common physical threats. All the EVs in Defense are to let me reliably counter Roobushin and Doryuuzu, and it also makes it easier to set up on various Pokemon (Skarmory does something like 10% with Brave Bird). With Poison Heal and immunity to Sandstorm damage, Gliscor is incredibly hard to take down. The small investment in Speed let me outrun a few insignificant things like bulky Rotom-A as well as most other Gliscor. Scizor (M) @ Lum Berry Trait: Technician EVs: 240 HP / 16 Atk / 252 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Swords Dance - Bug Bite - Bullet Punch - Roost I started using this Scizor after Jabba straight up 6-0ed me with it... twice. I think it was initially created by locopoke though, but regardless, credits to both of them for this great set. Lum Berry Scizor is a really cool way of beating Darkrai, especially since the bulk let's me survive everything it can throw at me bar a +2 Life Orb Focus Blast. I made up the EVs myself, and I'm sure someone out there has a better spread for me, but I just made sure I could OHKO Darkrai with Bug Bite and then put the rest in its Special Defense to sponge Latios' and Sazandora's attacks. I think the Attack EVs are to ensure I can OHKO Darkrai with Bug Bite, and it lets me 3HKO Shaymin-S with Bullet Punch after Stealth Rock. Scizor is the second of my bulky Swords Dance sweepers, and it works extremely well with Gliscor. On one hand, Gliscor is great at setting up against slow sturdy things like Skarmory, Pokemon that Scizor can't reliably defeat. On the other hand, Scizor can set up on the likes of Darkrai and Burungeru, Roosting off most damage it sustains, which Gliscor greatly benefits from. I've always been a fan of strategies which involve luring and killing counters for another team member to pave the way for a sweep, and Gliscor and Scizor do this exceedingly well. Rotom-W @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 164 HP / 252 SAtk / 92 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Hydro Pump - Thunderbolt - Hidden Power [Fire] - Pain Split In my opinion, Rotom-W is one of the most valuable Pokemon in the current metagame. I'm sure its usefulness will decrease if Drizzle is banned, but as it stands, Rotom-W is all I really need to deal with Rain teams. Thanks to its new typing, it brings to the table resistances to Water- and Ice-type attacks, the two types Rain teams primarily rely on. My thought process against Rain teams is simple: predict a Swift Swimmer and Thunderbolt, predict anything else and unleash a STAB Rain boosted Hydro Pump. Rotom-W's dual STAB yields amazing coverage, but it's unfortunately resisted by Nattorei. Since most Rain teams are usually paired with Nattorei, I decided to use Hidden Power Fire instead of Will-O-Wisp. As long as it's not raining, which I ensure by playing Tyranitar strategically when I see Nattorei on a Rain team, Rotom-W will always 2HKO it. Rotom-W is one of my main offensive powerhouses, but I gave it Leftovers instead of something like Life Orb or Choice Specs because I found the increased survivability to be more alluring than extra power. I never really considered Specs because I needed the freedom to change attacks in order to lure Nattorei, and Life Orb plus Sandstorm damage would mean Rotom-W dies too quickly. Pain Split doesn't get a lot of use, but it's there in case of emergencies, and it can be useful if I predict Blissey or Chansey switching in. Shaymin-S @ Leftovers Trait: Serene Grace EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Substitute - Leech Seed - Seed Flare - Air Slash Shaymin-S is the Pokemon I decided to base my entire team around. I knew from DP Suspect Testing that SubSeed Shaymin-S was really good, and since BW revolves mainly around bulky teams, I figured Shaymin-S would have a lot of opportunities to get a Substitute up and flinch its way to victory. I honestly don't find myself using Leech Seed very often, as I'm usually just flinching everything left and right with Air Slash. Seed Flare is cool if I don't have a Sub up and I want to either kill something or dent whatever switches in. The great thing about SubSeed Shaymin-S is that if a counter comes in on a Seed Flare, because I'm not restricted by a Choice item, I can usually flinch my way past it if I get the Special Defense drop. Strangely enough, Shaymin-S is my answer to both offensive and bulky teams thanks to its blazing Speed. It is amazing against Rain teams as long as I'm conservative with Tyranitar, but it is equally as good versus the standard Nattorei and Burungeru defensive core. Since Shaymin-S was recently banned, I'll be needing to replace this little guy. Its presence in OU made Standard extremely difficult to play, as its combination of speed and power in addition to the luck it introduced was extremely overwhelming. Although it has been a great asset to my team, I'm very glad Shaymin-S is gone. Terakion @ Choice Scarf Trait: Justice Heart EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Stone Edge - Earthquake - X-Scissor After I put together the previous five members of the team, I looked at it and noticed how it was relatively slow. Seeing as I had most things covered between the other five Pokemon, I settled on a dedicated revenge killer as my final team member. Terakion is a really good Scarfer because it checks the majority of the obvious Suspects, such as Darkrai, Shaymin-S and Deoxys. Granted it can't really switch in to any of their attacks, it can OHKO them all and usually nets a surprise kill since Terakion is naturally slower than all three. Terakion is really good to bring in late game and simply clean everything up with Close Combat. Since most physical walls fall to Gliscor, Terakion is really hard to stop as long as I don't reveal him early. Sometimes I'm forced to do just that if it means I can kill off something threatening like Darkrai, but it's usually well worth it. STAB Close Combat and Stone Edge are amazing assets to any Pokemon, and Terakion's amazing Speed thanks to Choice Scarf lets him abuse this to the fullest. Earthquake and X-Scissor are never really touched, they're just nice for coverage moves if I really need something dead. I decided to go for Jolly instead of Adamant because the ability to beat Scarf Garchomp is really useful, and the slight loss in power is really not that big of a deal. Conclusion In closing, I'd like to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped me with the team, whether it was suggesting changes or testing it. There are too many people to list, but you know who you are! I'm hoping to continue using at least a variation of this team for the rest of Gen 5, but I'll obviously need to change things like Shaymin-S as the metagame develops. I hope you enjoyed reading this RMT, and there is a Threat List for your viewing pleasure below.