My speed control, not yours.

Run

Poster of the Month
#1
Hey all. A while back I put together my first in-game competitive VGC team. And it did ok, but I hit a pretty solid wall around 1650 that I just couldn't break through. After spending a ton of time on Showdown tinkering with other ideas, I finally came back to this team with some new insight and made a few tweaks. It's performed great on Showdown, and once I get a Modest Lele in-game, I'll be ready to take it into battle spot... But I still have some concerns, and I'm looking to you: the greater public hive-mind of smogon, for anything I'm overlooking.

Despite having 3 weaknesses to electric and 3 weaknesses to ice... I haven't had significant trouble with either type YET. Partially because I don't normally bring more than 2 on my line at any moment, but also because of my checks and counters. That being said, it is uncomfortable, and finding alternatives while maintaining the general feel of the team could really shore up my potential rating cap.

I am, admittedly, hesitant to give up some of my gimmick value... but without further adieu; my team:


Aerodactyl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Protect
- Tailwind
- Sky Drop
- Rock Slide

Aerodactyl is my only true speed control. While my heavy hitters are generally bulky, putting tailwind behind them makes my offense VERY hard to beat. That being said. Aerodactyl doesn't apply much pressure himself, fast Rock Slide can come in clutch but is hardly reliable, and Sky Drop is an interesting gimmick that allows me to get this mon out of the line of fire, while also allowing me to win single-target matchups with my heavy hitters.

I'm considering putting Wide Guard on this set, but I'm not sure what to remove. I'm also quite open to other team-wide speed control options like other Tailwinders, Thunder wave, and even maybe AoE Speed reducers... Aerodactyl is relatively reliable, but can also be dead weight if I get a bad lead and the opponent can resist and focus fire my actual threats.



Goodra @ Dragonium Z
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 204 HP / 92 Def / 204 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Draco Meteor
- Flamethrower
- Sludge Bomb

A build of my own design, and I will swear by this mon... Goodra is a FORCE, both offensively and defensively. Give it a Tailwind and it can easily be a 2-0 mon. So much of the meta powerhouses go down to flamethrower/sludge bomb combo. And many many neutral mons drop immediately to Z-Draco without giving up the -2 Sp.Atk, allowing Goodra to chunk another mon or switch to other moves (which can likely hit super effective on SOMETHING once you've seen 3/4 of your opponents team).

EV spread allows it to take a Jolly Dragon Claw from Garchomp and KO all variants with Z-Draco, It beats all Bulu's and Koko's and chunks or outright beats Lele/Fini depending on the bulid. Kartana can't KO just bewear(pun) of focus sash, so double up anyway just in case as Kartana NORMALLY 2HKOs. This build can take hits and dish em out in return. But being slower than so many threats means it generally only trades KOs against heavy offense teams if you don't have tailwind.



Tapu Lele @ Choice Specs
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 228 Def / 20 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Dazzling Gleam
- Thunderbolt

Totally, shamelessly, ripped straight from Jack the Battler's team report vid on youtube, This upgrade from my offensive timid Lele has made a huge difference in both survivability and overall KO potential. It just destroys so many things unassisted, and takes hits like a champ. Give it a tailwind and watch the enemy flounder to keep anything alive until tailwind runs out.

It takes unboosted smart strike from Kartana and can KO with Psychic (again, barring focus sash, so previous chip damage or doubling up is nice). Thunderbolt helps cover Celesteela, but generally, this is just a Psychic spam... just keep an eye out for potential Muk switch-ins.



Garchomp @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Poison Jab
- Rock Slide

I originally ran AV Chomp here, but he just ended up fodder for faster mons. Due to my teams electric and ice weaknesses and the fact that Koko and Ninetales outpace Garchomp, it was really tough to cover, and Aerodactyl generally only gets 1 tailwind in a game if he's there. Sometimes, you just need someone who doesn't need help. Scarf-chomp does this. Also, double Rock Slide has been weirdly good, making Chomp a really solid buddy for Aerodactyl.

More-or-less standard spread, wanting to speed tie other adamant scarf chomps, and trying to be as efficient as possible with EVs.



Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: Faster than *most* other Celesteela
- Substitute
- Leech Seed
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower

Since I originally made this Celesteela, the meta has moved away from the more standard build... That being said, I haven't found a good reason to change it up just yet. Might give up Sub for Protect... but this Celesteela is meant to win Celesteela dittos by outpacing and hitting SE with flamethrower. It's also a great Kartana Counter, who can cause some issues when I don't have tailwind around.


Tentacruel @ Black Sludge
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Calm Nature
- Protect
- Acid Spray
- Scald
- Ice Beam

The real oddball of my team, Tentacruel has one very, very important job: stop trick room. Acid Spray + Specs Psychic from Lele KOs ALL TR setters, as does Acid Spray + Z-Draco from Goodra (except Mimikyu). Trick Room very, very rarely goes up against my team. Of course, putting this all on Smogon may hurt its potential. however, it is really hard to stop without specific team comp. Unfortunately, other than stopping hard trick room teams, Tentacruel doesn't do much else. It pressures Salamence with Ice Beam and is shrugs off anything Fini throws at it. Scald is solid enough too... but overall, its not super pressuring, which is why Tentacruel normally only comes to matches vs full trick room teams.

Even going full defensive, it's fast enough to stay ahead in turn order of both my nukes, trying to make the most of my offensive and defensive pressure. Also, since it only comes against Trick Room teams, it generally outpaces the rest of the opponents team after Trick Room is denied.


==HOW TO PLAY==
The general gist of this team is to reliably control the pacing of the game by either setting up Tailwind, or denying Trick Room. These two scenarios generally lead to a win. However, working against other Tailwind setups can really come down to team comp. My bulky Nukes can still trade kills even if they are attacking last, but if any of my mons become dead weight by lacking pressure (like aerodactyl), i can fall behind quickly. Switching to Scarf-chomp and specs-lele have helped a LOT in making sure im doing well against matchups where speed control becomes a non-factor.

Pelipper/Golduck leads fail to Aerodactyl+Goodra (really just goodra, but Aerodactyl makes a juicy target). Koko/Raichu leads fail to Aerodactyl+Garchomp or even Lele/Chomp (tho watch out for psychic from sash-raichu). Ninetales/Sandslash leads used to give me a TON of trouble, but are much more manageable now with Goodra+Celesteela, but if brought in late-game can be an issue.

There are a lot of good potential leads and scarf-chomp makes what used to be bad matchups very good ones. Tailwind+Protect can set me up for an early 3 vs 2 after Aerodactyl drops and Goodra KO's 2 mons. So long as my prediction and switching isn't too far off, the team performs well.

All that being said... Here's where I come to you all. What I really want to explore is other speed control options that maybe don't add an additional electric or Ice weakness. Aerodactyl synergizes well, but there's a big risk/reward if I get a bad lead, ending up with a lot of matches being decided in the first couple turns. Would wide-guard make it a bit safer or more reliable? can I make it more offensively pressuring with different moves? I don't know...

Are there any other glaring weaknesses my team has? 'mons I don't apply pressure to, or can't effectively check?
 
Last edited:

Run

Poster of the Month
#3
In case anyone was wondering how well this team can do:



I managed to get #5 on the VGC2017 ladder before I started taking multiple losses. Still looking for ways to improve. I'll give it another couple of days before i reset and start on a new team.