SM UU My Friends Never Die

Pearl

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#1




INTRODUCTION
What's good guys. With Smogon Snake Draft coming to an end for my team, I decided it was the perfect time to post a SM UU team. On top of that, we might be playing an entirely different metagame in a month or two thanks to the incoming release of Pokemon USM, which makes showcasing this team slightly more pertinent as well. For reference, this should be fairly short by Pearl standards due to the fact that I actually want to get an RMT done for once rather than promising one then failing to deliver it, since I tend to lose myself when I write too much (also, I guess this also makes it easier for readers to follow my train of thought in a way).

Some background information regarding the team itself: me and pokeisfun were brainstorming for our upcoming game vs. Sacri', and both of us seemed to agree that finding a reliable way of abusing his love for Roar-less Empoleon was the optimal approach. After going through a colossal list of Pokemon that could set up on the it, we decided to settle for Suicune. Although it used to be one of UU's most dominant Pokemon back in ORAS, Suicune currently finds itself in a position where a bunch of (read: most) people completely ignore its existence while building teams. Pokemon such as Celebi, Amoonguss and Latias, which one would call reliable Suicune answers at a glance, can usually be played around through methods such as Pursuit trapping or even PP stalling in less optimal scenarios. This basic notion is what gave birth to My Friends Never Die, a team that focuses on making the best out of Alolan Muk's ability to selectively Pursuit trap targets such as the aforementioned Latias (among other Pokemon that aren't really as relevant) in order to create winning scenarios. This squad went through a bunch of different iterations that have a couple of small differences, which is something I'll probably get to later, but all of them revolve around using Wish support and an overall solid defensive core to keep threats at bay while also having two of the tier's most solid win conditions in the back ready to clean house. Naturally, this means there is a glaring lack of revenge killers within the team, but all that truly does is force you to play your cards a little more wisely rather than automatically making the team unusable (contrary to what my past self probably would've thought).

I could probably create a whole section dedicated to the squad's teambuilding process, but it was actually very uneventful for the most part. pokeisfun showed me an old Suicune + Alolan Muk he had in store, and all I did was add a Steel-type for it to automatically become a masterpiece. The end. Jokes aside, this is not too far off from what happened, and most of the teambuilding was searching through older teams and tweaking them to become functional against current threats. The main reason behind my choice of pairing Suicune with Alolan Muk was already explained above, and Sylveon complements this core nicely by providing it with Wish and Heal Bell support. Mega Latias was added due to its ability to put most Fighting-types in check (which is very helpful once you realize that Sylveon is prone to losing to Cobalion, setup variants of Infernape and other less common Fighting-types). It originally ran a Calm Mind set to pressure teams alongside Suicune, but after Weavile and Mega Gardevoir were banned, I decided that its Defog set was marginally better in this particular set up. Gliscor and Scizor round the team off by providing it with a Stealth Rock user, as well as a priority user that helps mitigate the damage caused by using so many slow-paced Pokemon in tandem. The former benefits from the fact that Suicune, Sylveon and Mega Latias already check most threats you'd usually want your bulky Ground-type to, while the latter is hands down the best Pokemon in the tier and automatically improves every team it finds its way onto. Also, I really needed a Steel-type. There are a couple of alternatives that could fit into this framework, such as Florges, Doublade or even Togekiss with a different Ground-type over Gliscor, but I'll admit that I've yet to give any of those a try, as I'm pretty happy with the current result.

As far as accomplishments go, this team doesn't actually have that many. I mainly wanted to post it because I feel there's been a glaring lack of good UU RMTs so far this generation and would like to lend a helping hand in that regard. For what it's worth though, while this squad lost the game it was initially built for, I ended up giving it to a couple of people, and blunder actually used it in his UU match against Nintendi for Smogon Grand Slam, in which it performed well. As far as laddering goes, I used this team to comfortably get voting requirements for the Mega Latias suspect test and have also seen some other people using it on the ladder too.


CLOSER LOOK


Higher Ground (Gliscor) @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 12 Def / 236 SpD / 16 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang / Toxic
- Roost


Gliscor is, in my opinion, the tier's best Stealth Rock setter at the moment. Although most common Stealth Rock Gliscor variants run a ton of Defense investment, Specially Defensive Gliscor has the ability to comfortably take on hazard removers such as Tentacruel and Empoleon while still retaining the ability to cover most threats you'd expect it to handle. Toxic allows Gliscor to permanently cripple common switch-ins such as Rotom-Wash and opposing Mega Latias, the latter being one of the few hazard removers that can actually force Gliscor out. However, Fire Fang is the superior option when it comes to consistency, as it allows Gliscor to handle offensive Swords Dance Scizor, a threat which can easily get out of hand against this team. Plus, there's also the fact that Gliscor is still able to PP stall Pokemon such as Mandibuzz and Mantine alongside Suicune even without using Toxic, which makes it more of a luxury than a necessity.



White Lies (Latias) @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 244 HP / 12 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Defog
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Roost


Even though Mega Latias has been a dominant Pokemon in SM UU ever since it dropped back in September, the most recent bans only helped it solidify its place at the top even further, to the point where it is now (arguably) the best Pokemon in the tier. It finds itself a place in this team as a Defog user and as a blanket check to Fighting-types and other potential threats Pokemon such as Gliscor. Ice Beam and Thunderbolt are the coverage moves of choice here because they both hit some of the most threatening Pokemon to this team for super effective damage, with Ice Beam chunking Ground-type Pokemon such as the aforementioned Gliscor and Nidoking hard, while Thunderbolt hits Crawdaunt and Primarina. Besides that, these two moves provide me with the best neutral coverage possible. In spite of this though, it's important to remember that Latias is a very versatile Pokemon, which means that options like Hidden Power Fire and Psyshock are also usable over the current set.



Say My Name (Sylveon) @ Leftovers
Ability: Pixilate
EVs: 252 HP / 232 Def / 24 SpD
Bold Nature
- Wish
- Protect
- Hyper Voice
- Heal Bell


In a similar fashion to the main role it used to play back in the ORAS UU metagame, Sylveon is a staple on Suicune teams due to its ability to provide it with Heal Bell support whenever it isn't able to wake itself up after using Rest and also because it's an excellent check to Pokemon that would be able to disrupt Suicune otherwise. For those of you that are concerned with the fact that Gliscor and Heal Bell don't go well together, it is true, and I admit it; however, it is an excellent tool to have alongside every other Pokemon on the squad, so dropping it simply isn't an option. It certainly forces me to play in a more conservative way around Knock Off users, but that's a really small trade in the bigger picture. That aside, the combination of Wish support and Alolan Muk (or any other resilient Pokemon without recovery, honestly) is simply amazing, as it guarantees that very few special attackers are actually able to break through this team.


Keep Her Close (Muk-Alola) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Poison Touch
EVs: 252 Atk / 76 SpA / 180 SpD
Brave Nature
- Gunk Shot
- Knock Off
- Fire Blast
- Pursuit

Alolan Muk is the first part of the core I consider to be this team's centerpiece. It supports its teammates by Pursuit trapping various Pokemon such as Mega Latias, Chandelure and Bronzong, paving the way for both Suicune and Scizor to tear through the opposition. It's also an excellent standalone threat, as very few Pokemon are able to trade blows with it and make it out alive in the end. For example, Mega Blastoise can't beat it from full HP unless it gets extremely lucky with Water Pulse's confusion chance. Gunk Shot is used over Poison Jab because the increased power comes in handy oftentimes, and Knock Off is already spammable enough as is. However, it's mostly a matter of preference, and Poison Jab is definitely a viable alternative for those who value the extra accuracy and PP. Fire Blast and the Special Attack investment allow Alolan Muk to always 2HKO offensive Cobalion while also improving the Scizor match-up significantly.




If There's Time (Suicune) @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 248 Def / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
- Calm Mind
- Scald
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

This Pokemon is what one would usually call the star of the show. In spite of the changes to burn mechanics, as well as the introduction of many strong Pokemon to the tier during the transition from ORAS to SM, Suicune remains a pretty big (albeit underrated) threat. I decided to opt for the traditional CroCune set because, even though the Substitute + Protect variant has an easier time becoming an immediate threat, it lacks the defensive utility provided by Suicune sets that can afford to maximize their Defense stat to the fullest. That is important when considering the fact that Suicune is this team's primary answer to Pokemon such as Mega Aerodactyl and Mamoswine, which would be incredibly hard to play around otherwise. However, what makes Suicune a truly good Pokemon is its ability to boost up with Calm Mind, which allows it to close out games after Alolan Muk has trapped the opponent's already limited answers to it.




All We Need (Scizor) @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 80 SpD
Impish Nature
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- Roost

Last but not least, Scizor rounds this team out in a couple of different ways. For starters, it is the squad's Z-Move user of choice, something I personally see as nearly obligatory across all SM tiers. Besides that, it also performs fantastically as a soft check to Pokemon such as Mega Altaria and opposing Scizor, two threats that would be incredibly dangerous otherwise. On top of that, it is also a relatively strong priority user on a team with very limited means of speed control, which is vital when dealing with fast offensive Pokemon like Mega Aerodactyl and Terrakion. Offensively speaking, Scizor is this team's secondary win condition. With Swords Dance and countless opportunities to set up, Scizor is by far one of the most menacing sweepers in the tier, forcing many Pokemon to run Hidden Power Fire just to deal with it. A possible alternative to the current set would be running a faster EV spread in order to nail Rotom-Wash before it is able to use Will-O-Wisp.

THREAT LIST

Offensive Swords Dance Scizor - This Scizor set is the sole reason why I run Fire Fang Gliscor on this team. Choice Band and defensive Swords Dance variants can be played around nicely through the combination of my own Scizor and Suicune, but offensive sets can legitimately win from team preview if they happen to have Fightinium Z and Superpower. Other similar sets (such as Life Orb or Iron Plate) can also clean up after my own Scizor has been chipped down. The optimal approach when handling this Pokemon is to play in a careful way until their set has been revealed. If it turns out to be any of the aforementioned sets, keeping Stealth Rock up and threatening it with Gliscor and Scizor is usually the best course of action. "Fishing" for burns with Suicune's Scald is also an option, but I wouldn't recommend it due to its unreliability (unless there is literally no other way out). If you happen to stumble upon this while using Toxic on Gliscor, then luring its Z Move with Scizor and trying to wear it down afterwards can be attempted, but it is very likely to require some sacrifices in the process.

Klefki - The biggest issue with Mega Latias as a hazard remover is that it matches up awfully against most Klefki Spikes team archetypes. The previous version of this team used Defog Scizor and Calm Mind Mega Latias, and while that's still a fine alternative, I feel like it's just not worth it considering the metagame's current state. Anyway, against Klefki you want to try and get its Leftovers removed with Alolan Muk's Knock Off. This allows Mega Latias to eventually finish it off by repeatedly clicking Thunderbolt. If this is not feasible (when the opponent is competent enough to realize that Klekfi is key to winning the game), trading damage with Latias is an option, although you have to evaluate how much you need HP on it to check other threats. Besides that, Gliscor forces it out nicely and both Suicune and Scizor set up on it, so seeing if it's possible to close out the game that way is a viable most of the time. The most important thing when playing against Klefki is being able to minimise the layers of Spikes it can keep up at a time. Using Defog with Latias and immediately attempting to force it out with Gliscor is optimal a vast majority of the time. Also, sometimes it's necessary to sacrifice Mega Latias in order to get hazards out of the field.

Swords Dance Gliscor - Swords Dance Gliscor is a glorified slow paced team killer, and this squad is no exception to this rule. Ice Beam Mega Latias is the blanket check to it, but things can get ugly if it's paired with a Pursuit trapper like Alolan Muk, or even if its partners are able to exploit Mega Latias's weak points well, such as the aforementioned Klefki. Suicune can also handle Gliscor in a one-on-one scenario, but it needs a good Sleep Talk roll if it switches in directly on a Swords Dance. However, the one good thing about opposing Gliscor is that other variants of it are not an issue whatsoever, as my own Gliscor and Suicune can stall Substitute + Toxic and Stealth Rock variants out of PP. All things considered though, Mega Latias should almost always be the initial Gliscor switch-in (unless the opponent has no other possible Stealth Rock user).

Miscellaneous Balance Breakers - As with pretty much every team in the SM UU metagame, it is impossible to flawlessly cover every single viable threat. With that said, this team does have a couple of mechanisms (Mega Latias, Scizor's priority and Alolan Muk mostly) to play around Pokemon such as Nidoking, Crawdaunt and Primarina, but they can still cause massive pain if given free turns. Dealing with them usually involves predicting their next move correctly and trying to minimize the number of switch ins they get, but that's not always feasible. Knowing which Pokemon should be sacrificed first in each situation is also important, as it is usually still possible to set up a win with either Suicune or Scizor even when there's a sizable disadvantage.

Strong Pursuit Trappers - Mega Latias is probably one of UU's most Pursuit-resilient Psychic-type Pokemon in the sense that it doesn't instantly bend over to a single blow. However, it still becomes a lot less efficient at handling threats when weakened by this move. Mega Absol and opposing Alolan Muk are, in my opinion, the most dangerous Pursuit trappers for this team, but Choice Band Scizor, Krookodile and others can also be annoying to deal with sometimes. The main idea to keep in mind when dealing with these Pokemon is that their function isn't to clean up on their own but to enable one of their teammates. With that in mind, it is smart to handle resources in a way that keeps the team from getting cleaned up by the opponent's win condition. This is easier said than done, as it often requires predicting correctly and keeping momentum up, but there's not really another way of breaking it down.

Rotom-Wash - This Pokemon doesn't usually do enough damage to break through my team on its own. In fact, most Rotom-Wash frameworks tend to have extremely limited ways of stopping Suicune after a couple of boosts. However, depending on the team it finds itself on, Rotom has the potential to enable dangerous threats such as the aforementioned breakers or even get Latias Pursuit trapped. Rotom-Wash should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. When paired with a Pursuit trapper, using Sylveon or even Alolan Muk as the initial switch-in is usually wise. However, if used alongside powerful breakers, it is important to try and keep momentum losses to a bare minimum by constantly keeping Stealth Rock on the field and applying pressure accordingly. Something worth noting for this match up is that, unless it is wielding either Waterium Z or Choice Specs, Rotom-Wash has no way of killing Gliscor in one hit, which allows it to get a Toxic off. This isn't always recommended, but it helps in some occasions.


CLOSING WORDS

And that's it folks! Before ending this post for good, I'd like to thank everyone who read this whole RMT, with special mentions going to CrashinBoomBang for the title art (author's note: due to a bunch of technical issues, the artist was not able to finish the request in due time. This RMT will be edited accordingly once the art for it is completed), Eyan for proofreading it, dodmen for suggesting Fire Fang Gliscor and pokeisfun for providing me with his insight and pretty much being this team's co-creator. It is obviously far from perfect, but this squad is easily among my favorite creations for the first iteration of Smogon Snake Draft (everything else is either outdated or not innovative enough aside from my Mandibuzz team, which I should probably post somewhere as well). Plus, it's only fitting that someone would showcase a Mega Latias team considering the current suspect test. My stance on this Pokemon isn't actually as extreme as the way I felt about Weavile, but it's probably best for the tier if we ban it. Anyway, peace out!

 
#2
this is obviously a very good team so there wouldn't be a lot to say about it but have you considered using a faster suicune? one that has 96 speed would allow you to outspeed adamant scizor and jolly daunt which might provide you with some additional counterplay. it would also make you faster than modest specs prim so you'd be able to get off calm minds first.

cant wait to see all the crocune + a-muk teams on uu ladder now smh.