Meet the A-Team [youtube]_MVonyVSQoM[/youtube] Introduction After a period of time playing OU I was building all sorts of teams from sun to sand stall to HO. While these team's Pokes were good and the Pokes did their jobs, the teams didn't seem to go anywhere meaning I wasn't going anywhere. I grew frustrated by this. Thus, I decided to sit down and put some deep thought and focus into the team building. Needless to say, I got farther than I ever did before and peaked #17 on the ladder, which was good enough by my standards [too bad PO is trolling me and not letting me enter my PW right to go any farther :(]. With Keldeo looming around the corner, and the amount I've played with this team, I feel it is a good time to show everyone. This team has been my go-to team for awhile now, deserving the title of being the A-Team. I put a lot of thought into this team and I hope you get something out of this. Now meet the A-team! Note: Words in Blue denote something changed Edit: Thanks guys, with the changes I peaked #4 @ 1466 Warning Obnoxiously Big (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Warning Obnoxiously Big (open) Warning Obnoxiously Big (close) The Team-Building Process Tabula Rasa. I knew when I began I wanted to begin with a very strong attacker, specifically one that had strong priority. The first thing that popped in my head was Mamoswine. However, I like Pokes that can act as a team player and can switch in easily, which definitely was not the case with Mamoswine due to its amount of weaknesses. Dragonite fell in a similar boat since it almost entails Rapid Spin support. I then settled on our forgotten friend Conkeldurr. He sports an awesome base 140 attack and it shows he means business. Guts makes him a team player by making him a status absorber and he has priority Mach Punch, exactly what I am looking for. In the second step I knew that the only wall that really stands in Conkeldurr's way is Gliscor as Skarmory struggles in front of a boosted Conkeldurr. At first I thought about Rotom-W only to realize he struggles with SubToxic sets. I wanted a Poke that could beat ALL Gliscor sets. It turns out Gengar can! As one of my favorite Pokemon I was more than happy to include it on the team and it formed a nice offensive combo with Conkeldurr. Gengar can take out those pesky Psychics and powerful special attackers that stand in Conkeldurr's way while easily setting up on or killing Gliscor. I knew to use Conkeldurr the most efficiently and to get him to sweep teams, paralysis support would really help. I wanted a Pokemon that could phaze the opponent's team while T-waving them. From my knowledge, Dragonite was the master of just that. Dragonite would provide crucial resists for the team and he could get the job of spreading paralysis done. With Dragonite in tow, it was time for some spin support... Wait... No, no, no, no. Having support, for a supporter? And that Rapid Spinner will also most likely need Wish support? I knew this wasn't the right path to go down and continuing this cycle of constantly adding support wasn't going to make a good team. I looked into it further to see what Pokemon could phaze while still spreading paralysis. I found Latias and she seemed like the perfect choice. She still provides the resistances that Dragonite provided while also forming a nice Fighting-Psychic-Ghost core with Gengar and Conkeldurr: without the SR weakness. At this point I had a Ghost-type and a phazer. It could have been difficult, but it was clear what the 4th step was going to be. That combo was a perfect fit to introduce a hazard setter into the mix. Hazards could help Conkeldurr sweep and allow me to easily go on the defensive. So naturally I added Ferrothorn to the team. Ferrothorn is bar-none the best Spikes setter in the game and it provides a lot nifty resists to the team: making the next steps easier. Specifically it gives that crucial Dragon resist and it can take those hits from both sides of the spectrum. I knew I could always change it up later, but it turned out I didn't need to do so. At this point I noticed a few things about my team. First off, it was terribly week to Trick Room Reuniclus if it got set up. The second thing was that the team was on the slow side, meaning my only chance to hit sweepers with boosted speed would be with Conkeldurr's Mach Punch. DD Salamence and Dragonite were particularly worrying. It seemed all was lost until it dawned on me the most used Poke in the metagame could deal with all of these: Scizor. Scizor's help would greatly alleviate any problems Conkeldurr had with Reuniclus or the team had with Dragons. I still needed one essential component to my team: a Stealth Rock setter. This was quite limiting due to Stealth Rock being mostly exclusive to Steel, Rock, and Ground types. Having two quadruple Fire-weaknesses I sought a Pokemon that could resist Fire-type attacks that could set SR. TTar could have been a good choice, but I don't want a Sand team. Looking at typings, Swampert was the only other OU-viable SR setter that resisted Fire. He could switch into Scizor's Bullet Punch and dent stuff with EQ. It looked like the team was set! It didn't look too good, Swampert couldn't take the repeated Sun-boosted Fire attacks that I expected it could. On top of that, I found out the hard way that its EQ was weaksauce and SD Scizor could just bypass it with Bug Bite. I also felt like my team was lacking offensive presence and found itself having a hard time breaking through some Steels, needing to rely on all Fighting moves. My team needed more "elemental attacks" (think water, fire, ice, electric) that it currently lacked. It took awhile until I realized Heatran would be a good fit (sneaky, resist by ability not by typing). Heatran could do EVERYTHING I needed: set SR well, kill steels, take on SD Scizor, and wall Sun teams. With his incorporation, the A-team was formed! Meet the Team Conkeldurr Baracus (Conkeldurr) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Guts EVs: 120 HP / 252 Atk / 136 SDef (3 Speed IV's) Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd) - Drain Punch - Payback - Mach Punch - Bulk Up Conkeldurr is the main sweeper of this team and a massively underrated one as well. Conkeldurr serves many important roles on the team apart from being a nasty sweeper, particularly when the opponent's team is paralyzed. Guts allows Conkeldurr to be the team's designated status absorber and should the opponent status it, they will pay a mighty price. Status puts Conkeldurr's attack to 624 from his already massive 416 attack. At that point, Mach Punch becomes more powerful than my CB Scizor's I believe and it could prove crucial in a sweep where he needs to power through something. Conkeldurr's second role is acting as my primary Tyranitar switch-in, which my other team mates would have difficulty to switch into without full knowledge of its moveset. What I like about Conkeldurr so much is that he often finds the opportunity to set up more than once a match. He can always create havoc for the opponent. The moveset and the EV's are the ones on-site and they prove great. The three speed IV's are for outspeeding base 110's and Terrakion if they are paralyzed (I lost a game to a paralyzed terrakion that was faster lol). Drain Punch is the reliable STAB which provides crucial health and does good damage even when unboosted. Payback was chosen simply because it actually means Conkeldurr can beat Jellicent; an important defensive threat to beat for Scizor, Heatran, and Ferrothorn. Mach Punch plays an important role on this team for being the second string of defense against Terrakion and for providing a way to beat boosted threats. Oftentimes, I find Conkeldurr less bulky than I think him to be, but that is an issue on my end. Overall he is a great poke and provides a lot of utility with priority, sweeping, and status absorption. Gengar Murdock (Gengar) (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Shadow Ball - Focus Blast - Substitute - Disable Gengar is often a poke that finds itself on my teams. I don't know whether it is a predisposition of him being one of my favorite Pokes or him being good which makes him so common. That aside, Gengar is probably the most dynamic Poke on my team by combining the defensive and offensive aspects of the team. It is pretty surprising since without the Disable buff, this team wouldn't be possible. Gengar is aimed to beat every Gliscor out there for Conkeldurr and the SubDisable set does just that. TauntSD, Acrobatics, or SubToxic are the most common Gliscor sets and if Gengar comes in on a well timed Earthquake he shuts them all down. Gengar isn't here just to beat Gliscor for Conkeldurr, but to hammer the Psychic types that threaten Conkeldurr. Lati@s, Reuniclus, Slowbro and Celebi all fear Gengar's Shadow Ball. Oftentimes, if Conkeldurr isn't the one to sweep it is Gengar. Hazards make up for his lack of power with Leftovers instead of Life Orb. His high speed coupled with his good coverage behind a Substitute may spell the end of a game for an opponent (especially since free subs come so often). Apart from Gengar's offensive duties, his tie to the defensive part of the team is to block Rapid Spin. SubDisable is potent in doing so since the spinners become helpless in front of Gengar and are forced out to take another round of hazards. Of course SubDisable also aids with walling certain threats such as Terrakion and Breloom. On my team, Gengar has proven very valuable. So good I think he is irreplaceable. Latias Brains (Latias) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Dragon Pulse / Psyshock - Roar - Recover - Thunder Wave If you want a good example of glue this is it. Latias has a few perks compared to her paralysis spreading cousin Dragonite. Latias lacks a Stealth Rock weakness making her much easier to switch in and to heal up. The lack of a Rock weakness also helps, particularly against Terrakion and Landorus. Speaking of those two, speed is a very big difference. I wish I could see the look on people's faces when Latias outspeeds and T-waves their Terrakion. That being said that high speed helps a lot versus other phazers and higher speed threats. Latias does a very good job at spreading paralysis, the set being unorthodox really catches people off guard. Roar is the crux of this set and is a key component of utilizing the entry hazards provided by Ferrothorn and Heatran. Of course it also helps against stat boosters. Defensively Latias is interesting since it can shut down sun and rain teams. Sun has nightmares dealing with Latias+Heatran and rain with Latias+Ferrothorn. In a way she acts as the centerpiece of the defensive aspect of the team. Sorta like a Bulky water from 4th Gen she can pretty much take a hit from anything. However, I have thought about replacing Latias with the Dragonite I have mocked before due to two reasons: Volcarona and Pursuit. I have found it very annoying how she can have he life cut short due to the ridiculous amount of Scizor's and Ttar's running around. My team is also weak to Volc and Dnite is one of the best checks against it. Lastly, I have thought about a very bulky spread, since if I run speed it is max speed or bust I tried it and speed is the way to go to beat other phazers and paralyze even fast things. The choice between Psyshock and Dragon Pulse is hard, but it seems Psyshock patches up a few issues. The first is now I have a way to reliably take out Tentacruel. The chance to get it in on Tentacruel isn't far fetched. As my phazer if Latias brings Tentacruel it will be tempted to spin the hazards away. Second it gives a decent way to deal with unboosted Conkeldurr besides Gengar. However, Psyshock isn't as good as finishing off weakened Pokemon from hazards and doesn't let me hit slower Dragons super-effectively. Right now the nod is towards Psyshock but both are equally good. Ferrothorn The Faceman (Ferrothorn) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Power Whip - Leech Seed / Stealth Rock - Protect / Gyro Ball - Spikes This is the set I use on Ferrothorn even though it looks a bit strange. On this team Ferrothorn needs to stick around which is where Leech Seed+Protect comes in. Leech Seed+Protect turns Ferrothorn from an obstacle to a full on wall which is very annoying to take down. Oftentimes the course of action against Dragon's is to Leech Seed them and Protect accordingly. If I get an opposing Dragon to Outrage, Leech Seed+Iron Barbs will start to slowly deplete the opponents health. Ferrothorn's ability to take Dragon attacks from both spectrum is imperative to the success of the team. However, to deal with Volcarona more easily, Stealth Rock could be incorporated over Protect Leech Seed to make room on Heatran's moveset. I really enjoy protect on Ferrothorn mostly to scout opposing Choiced pokes. It is a very powerful tool to see what opposing Latios', Hydreigon's, Rotom-W's, and Landorus' will do a switch accordingly to an immunity. Power Whip was chosen to smack the Rapid Spinners (specifically Starmie)/waters that might stand in Ferrothorn's way and trouble any TR Reuniclus'. Spikes of course is the main reason to use Ferrothorn as it makes playing defensively or sweeping much easier. The Luxury of Leech Seed+Protect was given up to put in Stealth Rock on Ferrothorn. Spikes+SR+Leech Seed is illegal so Leech Seed has now been replaced by Gyro Ball. I guess now I have Gyro Ball to harm Dragons instead of residual damage, but the luxury of scouting choiced moves will be missed. I will say that Gyro Ball has helped a lot against Lum DD Dragonite and it is so satisfying to take 67% off of it. It also is a bit harder to SR up on Sun teams, but then again it is now easier to set up on Rain (I can handle sun much easier anyway offensively). While Ferrothorn's longevity is shortened, it is a necessary step to take on Volcarona. Scizor Bullets (Scizor) (F) @ Choice Band Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 72 Atk / 188 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Bullet Punch - U-turn - Pursuit - Superpower The most popular set in the game makes a return on this team. When I first used it I thought Scizor was overrated weaksauce considering the amount I did to a Salamence (at that point I never used CB Scizor before). I then noticed I was using Swarm :naughty: and the flip to Technician made it show its true colors. In a metagame were Terrakion and Dragons reign supreme, Scizor remains the first line of offensive presence to stop them. Bullet Punch allows me to revenge most things that get too out of hand for my team to handle. It also proves crucial in late game situations where cleanup is necessary. Scizor is able to accomplish this due to the amount of hazards provided by his teammates. Hazards also makes Scizor's use of U-turn very effective in racking up damage. You may be curious as to why Scizor is invested so heavily into Special Defense. The special defense EV's allow Scizor to combat and trap Reuniclus much more comfortably, whether it be the threatening TR version or the Calm Mind variant. It can be used to switch into Latios' Draco Meteor or Surf and proceed to trap it, a necessary task in order for Conkeldurr and Latias to function properly. The specific EV's are for surviving two Focus Blasts from Lefties Gengar after SR. Heatran Hannibal (Heatran) (M) @ Air Balloon Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, - Atk) / Rash Nature (+SAtk, - SpD) - Flamethrower - Earth Power - Dragon Pulse - Stealth Rock / Rock Slide Heatran was the last Pokemon added to the team and ties up any previous issues. Heatran is the designated Stealth Rock setter and a very good one, capitalizing on all the switches he forces. It is the standard set with Air Ballon and Dragon Pulse. Air Balloon was chosen as it provides a secondary means to combat Gliscor should I keep it intact. It also has a defensive purpose: with an intact Air Ballon physical Dragons are forced to Outrage. The forced Outrage means that I can switch to Ferrothorn or if I am at high health I can kill them with Dragon Pulse. Speaking of Dragon Pulse, it was chosen due to the being the better move overall (IMO). It hits Latios and Latias much harder (HP Ice only does 37% to Latias!) while still hitting Dnite and Salamence hard. Both are KO'ed after SR anyway making HP Ice unnecessary. It also gives an option to hit Rotom-W (paralyzed or on the switch), which I have found occurs often. The Modest Nature was chosen to hit as hard as possible since Balloon bypasses the Speed against other Heatran and because of the paralysis support from Latias. Heatran's main defensive duty is to disrupt Sun teams and to take Volcarona. While Heatran is great against Sun team, it struggles against Volcarona that repeatedly Quiver Dance. An unorthodox solution is to use HP Rock to hit Volcarona hard. Even at +2, HP Rock still manages to deal 50% to Bulky Morning Sun Volcarona. As per suggestion, Rock Slide was put in over Stealth Rock on Heatran's moveset. Rock Slide can take on and 2HKO any Volcarona unlike Hidden Power Rock that gets weaker after every boost. A Rash nature was chosen since Heatran often tanks physical hits from Dragons and the special moves he does stay in on to resist are either 4x resisted or have no effect at all (Fire). Like Hannibal himself, Heatran just makes the team work and has unorthodox moves. He wraps it up: "I love it when a plan comes together". Importable Team (now revised) (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Team (now revised) (open) Team (now revised) (close) Conkeldurr (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Guts EVs: 120 HP / 252 Atk / 136 SDef Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd) - Drain Punch - Payback - Mach Punch - Bulk Up Gengar (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Shadow Ball - Focus Blast - Substitute - Disable Latias (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Psyshock - Thunder Wave - Roar - Recover Ferrothorn (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 208 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Power Whip - Gyro Ball - Stealth Rock - Spikes Scizor (F) @ Choice Band Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 72 Atk / 188 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Bullet Punch - U-turn - Pursuit - Superpower Heatran (M) @ Air Balloon Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Rash Nature (+SAtk, -SDef) - Flamethrower - Earth Power - Dragon Pulse - Rock Slide Conclusion True balance is something that I think is becoming increasingly rare in BW: a playstyle incorporating walls, a sweeper, and utility pokes. Sand Volt-Turn, rain stall, and HO seem to be the big boys on the ladder. It is hard for balance to succeed with all of that pressure, but it can be done with thoughtful decisions. If there is one thing that I would want you to take away from this RMT, it is if you want to build successful teams just think through each choice of a team mate. Sometimes the thing that might make your team succeed is a slight EV adjustment or an unorthodox move change, think/be outside the box (not too outside though)! If you can do it and succeed, maybe your team, can be like the A-team!