Introduction and team building process: For those of you who haven't been playing on the suspect ladder much, this may seem like a strange team. It's based on stall, yet half of the team consists of stereotypically offensive pokemon. One of the interesting things about the suspect ladder, and the current centralisation around the suspects themselves, is that SkarmBliss has suddenly returned in full force to wall a huge portion of the metagame, not least of which being all but one of the common suspect sets, and as such can form a solid defensive core with very little support. The rest of the team, while unconventional, was designed to counter the prominent threats in the suspect metagame, as well as adding a reasonable amount of offensive punch to the team for when it's needed. After getting off to a shaky start on the suspect ladder - I'm primarily a bulky offensive player, and I absolutely hated the reliance on speed ties cause by the hype surrounding Deoxys - me and a lot of other players realised stall, which had previously been dismissed as useless against the suspects, was the way to go. The abundance of scarfers, as well as the general frailty of the metagame means most teams have forgotten about, and generally weakened themselves against stall. As I mentioned previously, I've played bulky offense for almost the entirety of my (admittedly short) DPP career. As such, I'm pretty inexperienced at both building and using stall teams. The initial idea for the team came during a brainstorming session in #Stark, where it was realised that specially defensive skarmory walls 3-4 of the suspects alone, while still being useful against other threats. The next obvious addition to the team was Blissey to wall what Skarmory can't. Then, I knew from my previous OU team, and my original offensive suspect team that uber trapper Scizor is incredibly useful, especially in the suspect metagame, at taking out threats, as well as resisting a large number of the key attacks in the metagame and being suprisingly durable. At this point, my team was in obvious need of a physical wall - specially defensive Skarmory, while amazing as a counter-metagame pokemon, sacrifices a lot of physical bulk. Originally, I went with a Hippowdon, but I found it to be rather underwhelming in the suspect metagame, so I decided to go with a RestTalk Gyarados, which has the added benefit of saving me against SD Lucario and being a decent Choiced Garchomp check. Seeing as I had replaced Hippowdon, I needed a Stealth Rock user, as well as something to help out Gyarados when needed, while still being able to survive against special attacks if needed. Garchomp may be an unusual choice for the role, but it's often-overlooked defenses are suprisingly good - overall, it's better than Swampert! Garchomp also has the added benefit of being able to hit incredibly hard - the Dragon/Ground attacking combination has only got better in the suspect metagame, and has the ability to force switches with ease to build up residual damage quickly. Finally, I decided that my team covered the threats of the suspect metagame well enough that adding another wall such as hippowdon would be a waste of a team member, so I went with Deoxys. Deoxys' late game sweeper set is suprisingly effective on stall teams - it has the ability to revenge kill most threats rather than resorting to taking a lot of damage on a wall to force them out, and once Stealth Rock and Spikes have taken their toll on the opposing team, there's not much that can stop it from winning you the game. Usually, the stall teams I have tried have been anything but successful - the best I ever managed was ~1300 CRE on a second account, but this team has proved to be extremely effective, getting two of my accounts into the top 20 of the suspect ladder, beating and overtaking several players who are unquestionably better than me. Since I came up with the current form of this team, I've managed a 70-80% win ratio, which is proof of how well it fares against the suspect metagame. And so, without further ado: Team at a glance: In-depth: Scizor (M) @ Leftovers Ability: Technician EVs: 240 HP/56 Atk/212 SDef Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Bullet Punch - Pursuit - U-turn - Roost Ubers trapper Scizor seems to be one of those sets that everybody has forgotten about. While the set was designed for uber use, it's incredibly useful in both the suspect and standard OU metagames. Between Bullet Punch and Pursuit, Scizor can trap a huge number of the prominent threats, not least Latios, Latias and Skymin, while being bulky enough to withstand anything they can throw at him except for a Latios Surf/Thunderbolt, or the rare HP Fire. U-turn also gives me the ability to scout the opponents team, force switches, and build up residual damage more quickly. Roost is more or less a necessity on the set, otherwise Scizor goes down way too quickly to be of any used compared to a CB Scizor, and is more or less outclassed by Metagross. Scizor is notable for beating non-Fire Punch/HP Fire Deoxys with ease through Pursuit+Bullet Punch if they don't switch. Variants with a fire attack can be easily played around, especially if they run a Life Orb, then KOed with Bullet Punch once they get low. The EVs are designed to give Scizor enough special bulk to survive what it needs to reliably, Specs Latios in particular, with the remaining EVs providing a small increase in damage. Garchomp (M) @ Leftovers Ability: Sand Veil EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spe, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Dragon Claw - Stealth Rock - Toxic Garchomp is possibly the most unconventional member of my team, although he really is suprisingly effective in suspect stall teams. Garchomp's Attack and Speed often overshadow his great defenses and typing, which let him switch in on a huge number of common attacks in the suspect metagame and cause an immediate threat with his great STAB coming from a huge attack stat. Despite lacking any recovery apart from Leftovers, Garchomp almost always sticks around for as long as I need him to, and plays more or less like a Swampert, but sacrificing some of the defense to cause an immediate threat and force as many switches as possible. Earthquake and Dragon Claw are self-explanatory - Dragon/Ground STAB is even better in the suspect metagame than in OU, and Garchomp can quite easily dismantle the fast, frail offensive teams with them. Stealth Rock is taken on Garchomp due to it both not fitting anywhere else, and Garchomps huge threat means it can easily force a switch to get rocks down easily. Toxic is by far the least important of his moves - there's only been a handful of times that I've found it useful, for the moment it's there as a filler more than anything else. Max Speed lets Garchomp revenge kill everything up to neutral natured base 100s (Manaphy in particular) when needed. It's preferred over a small amount of increased bulk here in order to make revenge killing less of a gamble. Gyarados (M) @ Leftovers Ability: Intimidate EVs: 252 HP/4 Spe/252 Def Impish nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Rest - Roar - Sleep Talk - Waterfall RestTalk Gyarados, you all know how it works by now. This thing has been a staple on Platinum stall teams since it was first invented, and it's just as useful in the suspect metagame. Intimidate on something as bulky as this is incredibly useful, Gyarados can easily come in and shrug off even an Outrage from the standard Garchomp. Rest and Sleep Talk give Gyarados the survivability it needs to repeatedly switch in and counter a threat, while Roar phazes anything that may try to set up on me, as well as wracking up residual damage incredibly quickly once Stealth Rock and a couple of layers of Spikes have been put down. Waterfall is there for the obligatory damage move, and retains enough power to either take out or put a dent in several threats such as mixed Infernape, who otherwise wrecks the team. The EVs are obvious - maximum physical bulk so that Gyarados can do what it needs to do. Skarmory (M) @ Shed Shell Ability: Keen Eye EVs: 252 HP/4 Def/252 SDef Careful nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Brave Bird - Roost - Spikes - Whirlwind Specially defensive Skarmory is pretty much the definition of an anti-metagame pokemon. Skarmory beats every Skymin apart from the rare HP Fire version (which loses to Blissey) easily, can come in and sponge a Latios Draco Meteor if needed, as well as almost anything from a Latias, and can take everything except a Fire Fang from Garchomp (as almost every Garchomp is Choiced, this is practically an invitation for Gyarados to come in and Roar up some residual damage). Skarmory can also beat Deoxys if needed, as long as I'm at a reasonable health level when it comes in, taking 75% or so from Thunderbolt and Brave Birding back. However, Scizor is usually the better option for dealing with Deoxys. Brave Bird is given the nod over Drill Peck for the added power, and Whirlwind gives me a second source of phazing for when Gyarados can't manage it. Spikes in combination with Garchomp's Stealth Rock racks up residual damage incredibly quickly, and minimises the amount of times that I'm forced to counter a threat. Roost is obvious - it keeps Skarmory alive. Shed Shell is run over Leftovers as a precaution - although I haven't seen a single Magnezone since I started using this team (irritatingly enough, when I was running an offensive team at the start of the test, they were constantly popping up to take out my Heatran/Scizor), I'd rather play it safe and have the ability to switch out of any that do show up, as it's only a matter of time before more people start using Magnezone+two other steels+2-3 dragons(+Deoxys). The EVs and nature are chosen to maximise Skarmorys special bulk, which is necesarry as most of his effectiveness is due to resistances rather than great stats for a special wall. Even with 4 Defense EVs and a neutral natural, Skarmory handles plenty of physical threats well, so it's not a case of sacrificing his effectiveness for an anti-metagame gimmick. Blissey (F) @ Leftovers Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 252 Def/4 SAtk/252 SDef Calm nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Toxic - Seismic Toss - Ice Beam - Softboiled You all knew this was coming. Blissey is a staple on almost every stall team, and with good reason. Blissey handles the special threats that Skarmory can't (Latios when I'm not predicting a Meteor, Heatran, some variants of Manaphy), and is obviously great at forcing switches to build up residual damage. Toxic cripples a huge amount of would-be threats, while Seismic Toss and Ice Beam either help with the residual damage, or hit threats like Skymin and Garchomp on the switch in respectively. Softboiled and Seismic Toss were chosen over Wish and Protect, as the fast pace of the suspect metagame often left me wishing I wasn't forced to either play it safe and Protect, hoping that the threat that just switched in doesn't take its chance to set up on me, or switch out before I got the healing, which often left Blissey at dangerously low health. Recently. I've considered going back to Wish and Protect, although I'm pretty neutral about which is better. The EVs are pretty simple, max Defense gives Blissey the ability to take some neutral physical hits when needed. Max Special Defense is probably unnecesarry, but I chose to play it safe with the huge number of special threats at the moment. The 4 remaining EVs were allocated to Special Attack to do as much damage as possible to Garchomp/Skymin when needed. Lately, I've been using Flamethrower over Ice Beam, which is useful for taking out Scizor switch ins, which tend to be fairly easy to predict, as well as doing a good 70% or so to any Forretress that tries to set up on me. Flamethrower still hits every Skymin set apart from SubSeed hard enough, although Ice Beam has the definate advantage of OHKOing then as they try to Seed me. Rotom-H @ Leftovers Ability: Levitate EVs: 252 HP/128 Def/128 SDef Bold nature (+Def, -Atk) - Thunderbolt - Will-o-Wisp - Sleep Talk - Rest Rotom is my replacement for Deoxys. Previously, one of the big weaknesses of this team was against other stall teams, which were free to Rapid Spin my Stealth Rocks and Spikes, making it extremely difficult to beat them. Rotom serves as my teams spin blocker, as well as making a good physical wall to take some pressure from Gyarados and crippling dangerous pokemon such as Garchomp with Will-o-Wisp. Thunderbolt is taken over Shadow Ball to help deal with Gyarados. Rest and Sleep Talk are self-explanatory, they allow Rotom to recover lost health and avoid being setup fodder while doing so. Rotom is also useful for forcing switches through the threat of Will-O-Wisp, which helps build up residual damage more quickly. Max HP is necesarry for Rotom to wall properly, and the remaining EVs are split between both defenses, with the focus being on Defense. Replaced members: Deoxys-e @ Expert Belt Ability: Pressure EVs: 100 Atk/252 Spd/158 SAtk Naive nature (+Spd, -SDef) - Ice Beam - Thunderbolt - Hidden Power [Fire] - Superpower Yeah, I couldn't find a Deoxys-e sprite, so that's going to have to do. Deoxys is the star of the show, both for this team, and the suspect metagame as a whole. The late-game sweeper set is incredibly effective, the methods of beating it are pretty much limited to having an overly specialised scarfer such as Skymin or Latios (which are easy to deal with for the rest of my team, so no worries there), a CB Scizor that's managed to stay alive until endgame, or another Deoxys with Shadow Ball, although Scizor loses unless I've already lost a decent amount of health. Ice Beam and Thunderbolt are obvious choices, giving great coverage and hitting super effective to take out most of the significant lategame threats. Superpower takes out Magnezone, Heatran, weakened Blissey, and anything else that can take one of the other attacks. HP Fire was chosen over Shadow Ball for several reasons. Firstly, hoping that Scizor, who is easily the most common Deoxys counter, is going to be at low enough health for a Thunderbolt KO didn't really suit me, and I lost too many games due to not being able to take out a Scizor. Also, I've always detested the idea of risking everything on a Deoxys speed tie at the end of the game, and would rather use a less risky way of dealing with opposing sweeper Deoxys, namely Scizor, whose Bullet Punch should deal with due to the residual damage they've taken. Also, running a stall team designed to have a good win rate in the current metagame, and then risking everything on a coinflip seems somewhat nonsensical to me. Expert Belt is taken over Life Orb so that Deoxys can come in earlier in the game if needed to revenge kill/force some switches/do some wallbreaking, and so that Scizor can't wait for a few turns of recoil to build up then KO me. Deoxys has been replaced by Rotom due to it having been deemed uber and banned. So there you have it. This team is fairly typical of the few stall teams that I've seen on the suspect ladder so far that have actually been somewhat successful, and it really goes to show that sometimes unusual choices can be more effective than the tried and tested formula that is Obi's stall team modified for the meta. However, the team is still far from perfect. In particular, I struggle against opposing stall teams, especially those with Toxic Spikes. The lack of a Rapid Spinner, which I don't consider to be worth using until more people start using stall, means that opposing stall teams, especially those with a Spinner, beat me fairly easily. Fortunately, those are still rare enough that the team accomplishes its intended goal of countering the metagame. The other weakness of the team is against last pokemon RestTalk+Curse users, against which I have no real defense, seeing as I don't run Perish Song. Anyway, rate, suggest changes and improvements, or point out weaknesses I've either overlooked or haven't come across yet. Thanks in advance. Also, as I've had quite a few people asking me, the team can be downloaded here if you want to try it out. PS - Caelum is awesome for actually bothering to find sprites for me.