Long Winded Introduction (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Long Winded Introduction (open) Long Winded Introduction (close) I started playing Pokemon back in Gen 4, and I joined right at the tail end of it. To be specific, it was right around the time that Salamence got sent up to Uber heaven. I decided to dive in head-first and try to figure out the metagame for myself. To make what is an unnecessarily long story short, I got my ass kicked. Over, and over, and over, and over again. I tried out all of the gimmicks. I sorted the tier lists by HP, ATK, SpD, etc, and tried to do the traditional "cover all of my weaknesses" strategy. After losing several hundred matches, I started to learn a thing or two about putting teams together and eliminating threats. Then, Gen 5 was announced, and I was beyond excited to be one of many who had access to the metagame at it's inception. I got to participate in all of the tier shifting, all of the ability banning, and the hilarious regrouping of certain Pokemon (Electivire used to be OU .. haha). It was a very weird beginning, especially with the introduction of Dream World abilities. So, I honestly anticipated a very diverse OU with several strategies and generally long battles. Fast-forward to about a month ago, where I decided to leave OU for good. Honestly, the OU metagame got so stale, so fast, that I had grown bored of it altogether. I didn't want to play Weather Wars, and I also didn't want to play the VoltTurn game. Diversifying away from that proved very difficult, and overall, very stressful. Looking through the first five pages of the OU RMT section of the forums, 7 out of the 8 Luvdisc'd teams are weather-based. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not bashing people who incorporate weather in to their teams. In the OU field, it is a very intelligent play, and a very good strategy to work around. For me, I just found it very boring to play in the weather-heavy metagame. It wasn't really my style. All of this lead me to eventually choosing to enter the UU tier. I didn't really choose it for any reason other than "it's one tier down from OU". I wanted to see how I could fare in UU, and what my final team would look like. Whenever I build my teams, the process is very pathetic. I try to conceptualize a team in my head, and then apply it in the game. I generally come up with these team ideas when I'm at work, or when I'm taking a crap. My mind starts to wander, and I begin thinking of ways to improve my team. I don't know why I do it. I also don't know why I find myself daydreaming and line after line of absolutely perfect Tetris play. I think I have a problem. Basically, I was able to get this team to peak around #150. I think the exact number was #146. I would get to this point, lose a game or two, and then work my way back up. I keep seesawing around this number, and I need some help for getting this team to the next level. I've made some changes, which you'll see, and I am more than open to the idea of changing any of my team members. The only one that I am a little reluctant to change is Mew. Mew has been the most pivotal member of the team, and the set that I am using has an incredible surprise factor to it. That, and Mew is very easy to set up with after one of my Pokemon get KOed. I want to get this team to crack the Top 50, if not the Top 10. This is the first team that I've ever built that has gotten multiple "nice team" comments without it being a pure gimmick squad. Help me tweak it! Team Preview Team Building Process So this section of my team is where things get a little weird. My original team, was pretty bad. And by pretty bad, let's just say it was full of holes. It was a bad team built from an even worse team. My current team is the 12th version of this team, and so while the process looks like a logical step-by-step process, keep in mind that this was done through trial-and-error. There were several terrible combinations that paved the way for the current roster, but I'll try to order the building of my team in a logical manner (even though I had failed to do so, myself). Zapdos is my homeboy. Specifically speaking, I wanted a nice Special Wall with a unique typing, but could also hold its own on the offensive end. Zapdos fits this bill pretty well. Two things that make Zapdos' life a living hell are Thunder Wave and Toxic. Zapdos hates Thunder Wave, because it makes Pressure-Roost stalling nearly impossible. Toxic is a bitch because anything that uses Toxic on Zapdos can wall it to no end. Specifically speaking, Gligar shuts down Zapdos, and brings the poison on. During the many versions of my earlier teams, Zapdos was lucky to have an immunity to Toxic Spikes, but boy did he attract Toxic like a mother. Anyways, Zapdos was my first member of the team. I've always loved him from Gen 1. Always will. The next thing I wanted for the team was a set-up, physical sweeper with a ton of coverage. Enter Mew. Mew is the definition of versatility. Unlike it's versatile cousin Smeargle, Mew can actually give a majority of teams some trouble out there. There are an endless amount of sets that you have to prepare for when you encounter a Mew. Off the bat, you never know if you're going to be facing a Nasty Plot Mew or a Swords Dance Mew. Who do you switch in to counter it? A Physical Wall or a Special Wall? Do you try to take it out with a Scarfed attacker? What if it Subs up on the switch? Simply put, Mew is a menace. I am downright surprised that I don't see it more teams. Mew is chaos. I love the idea of a traditional lead, even with Team Preview. I really don't care if the other team sees Azelf in the starting position. There are some rare times when I take him out because of a prime opportunity to lead with Mew, but for the most part, Azelf is my lead. He's in there to get Stealth Rock up, to cripple one (or more) of the members of the opposing team, and die. He provides a free switch when he dies, of course. There are times when he doesn't die, however, and he can still be kept around to keep things chaotic. How exactly I use him will be discussed in the detailed section of the RMT. Basically, he's my traditional lead that I crave. What up, Dragon-type with an immunity to Ground moves and Thunder Wave! Flygon is an all-around great Pokemon, and the king of dragon types in UU. Does anything else truly compare? I will give a deeper analysis on him, but I am a player who values Physical attackers over Special Attackers. He brings the total of Physical hitters to 2, as Zapdos is the lone Special hitter at the moment. He offers great utility and scouting with access to U-turn, and I enjoy using him when I know an incoming Electric move is coming. He forces a ton of switches, and he hits pretty hard for a scout. Sharpedo was actually the final member of the team to be added, but I feel it makes more sense to introduce him now. I introduced Sharpedo for one reason only ... it was being a pain my ass. Sharpedo is my Breloom of Gen 5. Every single time I saw a Breloom in Gen 4, it would take my lunch money. Same with Sharpedo. And hey, when I introduced him to the team, I didn't have a single Water move on the Physical OR Special side. It was a serious hole in my offense, and he provides a ton of offensive pressure. Plus, he does a great job of pissing off Pokemon who like to use Fake Out (he replaced Ambipom, actually). The final member of the team is Nidoking. Believe it or not, at one point with my team, we had a huge Toxic Spikes weakness. With the final product of the team, One Pokemon is Flying, and the other two have access to Levitate. But, Nidoking entered the team with the sole purpose of wasting teams with Special attacks while soaking up the spikes for us. And to be honest, if Mew gets hit with Toxic, he gets taken out of the game pretty early with all the Life Orb damage. Nidoking offers wonderful utility because he can eat up all status moves besides Sleep. Even if he gets by a burn, who really cares? He's Scarfed and he's not hitting from the Physical side. He's the final piece that really ties my whole together, and he is one of the greatest Pokemon in UU. Looking Deeper at the Team Azelf (Neutral) @ Focus Sash Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 200 Def / 200 SpD / 104 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA) - Taunt - Thunder Wave - Stealth Rock - Toxic Azelf is there to die. That's it. When I originally built this team, Azelf had a Choice Scarf. I was really hung up on the idea of having him Trick his scarf on to the other team's set-up Pokemon to cripple them, but I often found myself using Trick on switches from the opposing team that would land me with a brand new Choice Scarf. This would generally be followed by a free U-turn and some free momentum on top. This lead works pretty well, though. It gives Azelf a few options. Against a lead that will obliterate him (such as Yanmega), I generally open up with a Thunder Wave. Using Taunt will do nothing but waste a turn and ensure that I have Azelf die without any SR support. But using T-Wave, I get free rocks, and I completely cripple a stronger member of the opposing team. This gives other Pokemon an opportunity to switch in and begin going to work. Essentially, it buys me momentum. Against opposing leads that are looking to get their own hazards up, things become a little more difficult. Bronzong, for example. I find that Bronzong users will go for their set-up move a majority of the time. So I'll open up with a Taunt, and we'll both just burn a turn away. Next turn is predictably Gyro Ball, so I put up Rocks. Following turn is another Gyro Ball, where I use Thunder Wave. Use Thunder Wave gives Gyro Ball a little more oomph, but it also gives me a 25% chance of Bronzong being useless when my next Pokemon comes in. Generally speaking, the strategy becomes "Do I taunt or do I use Thunder Wave to open the set?" The ultimate goal behind Azelf is to set up Stealth Rock for my own team, while preventing the other team from setting up their hazards. If they are looking to drop Toxic Spikes, it really doesn't matter. Nidoking will come in to sweep the streets if he needs to. Long story short, I get Stealth Rock up unless I'm Taunted, in which case I bring in Azelf a turn or two later to do what he originally intended to do. Toxic rounds out the set if they think I only have one status move and come in for a free set-up. Mew (Neutral) @ Life Orb Trait: Synchronize EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA) - Swords Dance - Drain Punch - Zen Headbutt - Sucker Punch Mew makes up for the one third of my genderless core. This thing should be feared by all. Mew is going to kill something, and it is going to do so in fabulous fashion. I strictly try to use Mew as a revenge killer only. I really need Mew to have maximum health when it uses Swords Dance. If I bring Mew in at the an appropriate time (when the opponent's Pokemon stands no chance of OHKOing or 2HKOing Mew), it's clobbering time. Something's going to die, generally speaking. As long as I can avoid the following: Dusclops, Heracross, Flygon, Escavalier, Spiritomb, Bronzong and Weavile, I'm good. When any of those six are on the other team, it is my job to work around those Pokemon and gain momentum through prediction. I don't think anything else really needs to be said about this set. It's a classic set-up sweeping set. Unless Mew runs in to a counter or a Prankster, he's going to deal some massive damage to several Pokemon. One of the more unique ways that I've used Mew in battles before I had Nidoking on the team (and I still use this strategy when Nidoking gets KOed) was to spread status to the other team via Synchronize. If I saw an incoming Toxic coming from an annoying Pokemon that I'm having trouble damaging, I would sometimes switch Mew in to give Toxic to both teams. Hey, it had it's uses. Same goes for Thunder Wave. Flygon (F) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA) - Earthquake - Stone Edge - Outrage - U-turn I'm not going to waste anybody's time by talking about the merits of Flygon as a scout. It's fairly obvious what his role on the team is, or what any scout is capable of doing. The way that he works on this team is that he's usually doing some late-game clean-up. After Stealth Rock has done enough damage to opposing Pokemon, even ones that resist Ground or Dragon type moves are going to find a hard time brushing off STAB moves from both types unless they are Physical walls. Stone Edge works wonderfully because one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a Zapdos on the opposing team. Zapdos can be incredibly difficult to take down, and Stone Edge wraps the whole set up and makes sure that he doesn't take a dump all over me. The one thing that Flygon gets raped by is Ice. Unfortunately, I don't have any true resists to Ice attacks, and I am not going to sacrifice Nidoking for the sake of Flygon. So yes, there are times when Flygon eats an Ice Beam for the team. Sharpedo (F) @ Life Orb Trait: Speed Boost EVs: 252 Atk / 88 Def / 84 SpD / 84 Spe Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA) - Protect - Waterfall - Crunch - Earthquake Sharpedo was actually a very late addition to this team. I was trying to find the perfect Physical sweeper to add to the team that could deal some massive damage without being killed by faster Pokemon. I had dabbled with Unburden Hitmonlee, but all it took was an opposing Ghost to make short work of me, and waste turns switching and taking damage or status. I tried out Ambipom for a while there too, but he started to become less and less effective as I got away from Rank #1000 and closer to Rank #150. I had also noticed that Sharpedo did a wonderful job of owning my team. I desperately needed a STAB Water attack, and Sharpedo was the right Pokemon to choose. His typing is incredibly cool. I'm 99.9% that only Crawdaunt shares his typing and isn't NFE. Having access to Earthquake seems a bit ridiculous and unfair, but it gives him two badass STABs, and a very powerful Ground attack to put the smackdown on Steel types that would normally laugh at Waterfall and Crunch. Sharpedo is great on this team, and his role on the team is very similar to generally everything else on the team. He works best as a revenge sweeper. Basically everything on this team likes to work from a revenge position, and that's what I like about it. I may lose a Pokemon or two early on, but I can easily get the momentum back through revenge killing. Nidoking (He's all man, baby) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Sheer Force EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk) - Earth Power - Sludge Wave - Ice Beam - Shadow Ball Ladies, just leave your panties at the do'. Nidoking's sexiness knows no bounds, and he is here for business and pleasure. No exceptions. Just look at that purple beast. Opponents should be straight defecating themselves when Nidoking enters the scene. You want to use Toxic Spikes? Too bad. Ol' 'king here isn't going to have any of that. Thunder Wave? Think again. He's here to shut down that garbage as well. Burn damage? He don't a damn. Throw it at 'em. The residual damage will only piss him off more and more until he has to unleash the hellfire and fury on his hapless opposition. Because I have Heat Wave on Zapdos, and the only time that I really find myself in a bind for Fire is when facing a Bronzong (who Zapdos does a pretty good job at wearing down within a fear turns, most likely being KOed in the process), I decided to throw Sludge Wave on the round the set out. Yeah, it's coverage is pretty crappy, but using it with Sheer Force and STAB makes it a pretty great neutral-hitting move. Every other move is self-explanatory. Unfortunately, Nidoking gets walked all over by Ice Pokemon, Psychic Pokemon, and Water Pokemon that can outspeed him. There are a few other Scarf users who can issue a quit OHKO, and depending on the situation, I may have to send Nidoking to an early grave for the sake of the team. But still, without Nidoking, this team wouldn't have its current identity. He does so much for the team by soaking up one of the most annoying entry hazards, while preventing status from wrecking my entire team. On top of all of that, he provides me with a huge bulk of my Special attack. Nidoking is very pivotal to the team, and he works great in the latter portion of the matches, especially if I've had an opportunity to take out the other team's Scarf users. Generally speaking, the Scarf users from the other team are generally worthless defensively, and Mew can obliterate them with Sucker Punch. It's not how you play Nidoking on this team, but when. Zapdos (Neutral) @ Leftovers Trait: Pressure EVs: 248 HP / 236 SpD / 24 Spe Calm Nature (+SpD, -Atk) - Thunderbolt - Heat Wave - Roost - Roar Zapdos is a boss. I love having Zapdos on this team. If (when) an opposing Pokemon kills Azelf, it better hope that it is both faster than Zapdos, and has the ability to OHKO it. If not that, it better hope that it can force a switch through status, Taunt, or Roar/Whirlwind. Roost stalling goes a LONG way, and will always result in a switch if the opposing Pokemon cannot pull off a OHKO. It doesn't matter if they're dealing 55% damage or so, Roost + Leftovers always gets my HP back, and Pressure does the rest of the work. Roar just might be my favorite move on the set. If the other team lacks a Rapid Spin user (or it has been killed), Roar damage can add up very quickly. Teams that use setup moves are very much annoyed by Zapdos, because nothing spoils a Substitute/Calm Mind or a Substitute/Nasty Plot like a Roar. Teams that carry Pokemon weak to Stealth Rock hate seeing their Pokemon brought in to the fight where their only useful purpose is to switch out or die. Using Roar, I can keep the momentum in my corner for a very long time. Even if a heavy-hitter comes in and lops of a huge chunk of my HP, there is a very good chance that the "dragged out" Pokemon stands no chance of finishing Zapdos off. That's a free opportunity to Roost, or drop a Thunderbolt on the incoming Pokemon. I've won more battles in this game against teams that have no answer for Roost stall and Roar damage than I care to remember. On the chance that my Stealth Rock is taken away, I'm still left with a Pokemon that has a very awesome Base 125 in SpA. Neutral damage STAB Thunderbolt will still like a truck. Conclusion This team needs a little bit of tweaking. I already know that the one thing that people are going to scoff at is the non-attacking Azelf. I am definitely down for changing Azelf and putting in something else. Then again, I'm down for switching just about anybody on my team. As long as the identity and the function of the team remain intact, I'm happy. I'm completely open for help on this. I want to reach a respectable rank with this unit. If I had to describe the team, it would be "all revenge and a little utility". Nobody on my team really enjoys switching in to an attack, unless it's Zapdos on a resisted Special attack. Speaking of Zapdos, he's a huge cornerstone for the team, as he's able to thwart the strategies of Substitute and Set-up Sweepers, two things that would prove annoying for this team. I basically find myself up a creek when he gets KOed early in a game by a critical hit or a very well-played prediction.