As much as I'd like to go on about this team being the pride and joy of two really good VGC players or gloat about rankings on PO servers, I can't, because I'd be lying! Truth is, the core of this team was inspired by Muffinhead's team he posted a while back, and while I tinkered with a few moves, it was effective as is. Essentially, I didn't want it to be a total ripoff, so I slapped together some Pokemon I thought could handle specific types of teams and at the same time be able to form a bunch of crazy combos that would keep the opponent guessing, and then I hopped on random WiFi to practice. I really don't know what the PO metagame is like right now, but I will tell you the Japanese are great practice partners even when they D/C. I've taken some interesting sets from various people on random WiFi in the past (which is where I got Choice Scarf Togekiss, which eventually made it onto the analysis) and inspired me to try stuff I wouldn't usually consider like Swagger+Lum or Tricking my own Pokemon for a quick boost. I've got to hand it to the people on random WiFi; they try the craziest stuff even without automatically generated Pokemon! Without further ado, here's your first look at the team: Let's be honest here; if you saw this in team preview you wouldn't say to yourself, "oh it's just another one of those (insert common team archetype here) teams, I know exactly what he'll send out". I could easily lead with Infernape and Garchomp when you expect Rotom and Scizor or vice versa. Unpredictability and surprise is I think the key to success at VGC. Now, on to the main attraction... Garchomp (Chainchomp) Jolly Nature Yache Berry 252 Attack, 252 Speed and 6 HP Earthquake Protect Substitute Dragon Claw This set may look familiar to many of you who have seen Muffinhead's RMT, because it's exactly the same! Substitute is an amazing asset in stalling out various effects (Tailwind, Trick Room), nabbing Sand Veil hax or simply setting up on double Protects, and I'm surprised nobody thought of it earlier. Seriously, who uses Rock Slide between your two STABs? What are you going to hit, Shedinja? Who uses Shedinja anymore anyway? Chainchomp is my main attacker, if only for the psychological effect. People that play in the moment (aka bad players) see Garchomp flexing his muscles and get it into their heads that that thing is going to climb their windows and snatch their people up while it bides its time while my other Pokemon soften up the opponents team. If I'm fighting more experienced players, they'll know to attack Garchomp's partners if Garchomp isn't a concern, so I play more recklessly with him. This can often catch my opponents off guard as they think I'll play ultra-conservatively after I reveal Substitute. Despite Chomp's fierce bravado, it really can't OHKO or 2HKO most of the threats I'd like it to. The most notable of these shortcomings is the fact that it can't OHKO other Dragons (besides Latios) without chip damage, but fortunately my team is well-equipped to supply that need. There are also two other factors in this cold-blooded conundrum; one is on the flip side, physical Dragons (except Haxorus) can't OHKO me without first damaging Garchomp themselves, and my opponent may see through this and Protect while I Protect. These are two major factors I keep in the back of my mind when playing Garchomp. One last thing: after one Substitute, Chainchomp loses the ability to take stronger Ice moves such as Rotom's Hidden Power. Cresselia (Luna Bean) Calm Nature Chesto Berry 252 HP / 6 Def / 252 Special Def Ice Beam Psychic Thunder Wave Rest HEY I STOLE THIS SET FRM MUFFINHED LOL!!!!!!!1! To be honest, I've been seeing more ChestoRest than I have in the past, and I like to entertain the notion that this Cresselia started the fad (which we all know is false since it's on the standard set now). I tried Icy Wind for a while, but I really missed the power of Ice Beam, which is weird because why would you want power on a supporter? The answer is simple: it kills Dragons. Even if they're holding a Yache Berry or hide behind Protects, Cresselia can't be KO'd any time soon, because we all know how hard it is to kill a Cresselia! Long story short, don't underestimate Cresselia's offensive prowess. That goes for all of you stupid enough to even consider Tricking her with a Choice Specs. Cresselia is Garchomp's woman, and they watch each others back. Garchomp Earthquakes, Cresselia Thunder Waves, they're like a dancing couple as they trample each others usual checks. Zapdos is kind of a problem, but a few Ice Beams and maybe a Dragon Claw is enough to subdue the frizzy woodpecker... thing. Psychic is also my main defense against Fighting-types (mainly Terrakion if things go especially hairy). Rotom-W (SAMMY JOE) Timid Nature Choice Scarf 6 HP / 252 Special Atk / 252 Speed Thunderbolt Hydro Pump Hidden Power Ice Trick The youngest member of the JOE dynasty is part of my subtle surprises. As much as others disagree with me, I still think Scarftom-W is the best Rotom set ever concocted, with its amazing 227 RPM... Oh wait I've already used that pun... Well he's really good at washing away Rain teams... Oh wait I've used that one too... Well, apart from my lack of fresh puns on the matter, SAMMY JOE is my main check to Rain, Dragons that slipped through the cracks, revenging Focus Sash Pokemon and interestingly enough, Trick Room teams. You might be thinking to yourself, "but lucariojr, how could a Scarfed, max Speed Pokemon check Trick Room teams??". I'd say you're half right, but that wasn't really a statement. Sure, it can't make the likes of Reuniclus cry for uncle or force the opponent to reverse their own Trick Room, but it discourages further setup, as well as potentially allowing SAMMY to outspeed the Tricked Pokemon if it's something like Cresselia doing the dirty work (which isn't all that rare). Besides, Tricking a support Pokemon is always a satisfying feat. Scizor (Speckles) Adamant Nature Technician Flying Gem 252 HP / 252 Attack / 6 something Bullet Punch Bug Bite Acrobatics Protect I used to have Metagross in this slot, but I realized quickly my team was easily walled by Cresselia. I still wanted a priority move on this team and a way to cover Fighting-types though, so Acrobatics Scizor was a natural choice. Acrobatics is amazing for quick KO on that ever-annoying Hitmontop and Conkeldurr, especially if I've bluffed an Occa Berry (which I tend to do). It's also a great way to get tons of damage off on slower or Paralyzed Pokemon, as well as dealing 'surprise damage' to Pokemon I couldn't KO with Bug Bite or Bullet Punch. Speaking of Bug Bite, I don't use it nearly as often as I should. Most of the time, I want Bullet Punch's priority or Acrobatics's power, but Bug Bite is still helpful against all those annoying Psychics! Amoonguss (FUNGAFUNGA) Bold Nature Occa Berry 252 HP / 252 Sp Defense / 6 Defense Spore Rage Powder Giga Drain Protect If you ask anyone who played VGC11, they'll tell you Amoonguss is the most annoying Pokemon in the metagame. In fact, this Amoonguss is a bit of a veteran as I used her in my Autumn Friendly team! The main reason I haven't switched to Calm is because I've grown attached to her, but also because I like to take Fighting-type moves or Meteor Mashes better. I used Coba for the longest time after VGC11, but in this day and age, Fire moves are more common than Flying moves, despite Acrobatics. Coupled with the fact my team is pretty Chandelure weak, another check to it is nice to have. The rest is standard, and if you try to improve on it, you're crazy because this is all Amoonguss should be running. Due to Amoonguss's reputation, I play conservatively with her at all times, especially against Rain teams. Trick Room teams are a bit dangerous, as they usually have two counters to Amoonguss right off the bat. Against these two teams, I like to keep Amoonguss in the back so the opponent is like 'oh SHIT I shouldn't have left my psychic/flying/whatever type Pokemon to die' and they try to gang up on her. Naturally this gives me time to attack with my other Pokemon and if I want I'll Rage Powder, though this is usually redundant! As with all Amoongi, she's helpless against most Taunt users, especially if they're on something that usually doesn't have Taunt like Tyranitar. All other times, it just gives me time to switch something else in if I see it coming. Infernape (Virginia) Hasty Nature Focus Sash 132 Attack / 140 Sp Attack / 238 Speed Heat Wave Encore Fake Out Close Combat Another veteran Pokemon I've used since the dawn of my VGC days. Before I could RNG, she was my only hexaflawless Pokemon, and she was even trained by an expert. Regardless of her history, she's still an MVP of this team, as she checks Hail (alongside Speckles) and supplies the Fighting, Fire and Fake Out my team was lacking. Encore is another great surprise move, especially if the opponent double Protects to avoid Fake Out or I Encore their Fake Outer, though this is more risky because my Sash might break. Despite her split EVs, she still hits and outruns all the things I need her to, like Rotom-F, Ferrothorn, and the occasional Smeargle or Chansey. Close Combat also has the perk of pretty much forcing her down to Blaze range, giving Heat Wave almost unspeakable power. There really isn't much to say on how I play with her. She's usually the first to faint because I play recklessly with her, unless she's got Blaze activated and I think it's going to sweep later or I'm facing a Hail team. She has major problems with Dragons, but then again I have Chainchomp, Luna and SAMMY to deal with those. Chandelure is another major problem, forcing me to use either SAMMY or Chomp, and it's usually SAMMY doing the dirty work since they're usually in Hail teams for whatever reason. Now, I'll explain what I do against the most common team archetypes: Rain Main threats: Rain teams are the most common team out there. The above three threats don't even bother me if the opponent is stupid and thinks Haban Berry will save their Kingdra at low health or something. Ferrothorn on the other hand is a nightmare to face. Scizor and Amoonguss do a good job at stopping it, but it takes more time and effort than anything else a Rain team could throw at me, especially since Virginia's Heat Wave is neutered. Against the plain janes, I just lead with Garchomp and Rotom with Amoonguss and Scizor in the back. Ludicolo falls quickly to Bug Bite if they elect to go after Amoonguss (which they should, I guess). Kingdra is dealt with in a similar manner. If I ever see Hurricane Tornadus (which is surprisingly rare) SAMMY JOE deals quick justice with Thunderbolt. I usually lead with Speckles and SAMMY JOE with FUNGAFUNGA and Chainchomp in the back. Sun Main threats: I usually counter Volcarona with Earthquake and Hydro Pump. This isn't the case here, as Volcarona is usually paired with Intimidate Wide Guard Hitmontop, meaning I might have to switch Garchomp in, then risk the burn with Dragon Claw. I know Cresselia can take a Bug Buzz and Paralyze it, which really helps. Chandelure is a similar problem, but luckily for me it isn't as fast and I might be able to abuse that Ground weakness. Veanusaur isn't seen that often, but Chlorophyll users with Sleep Powder can be a huge problem for me if I can't get them Paralyzed. Scarfed Darmanitan spells death for me if they're Jolly, since SAMMY JOE can't outspeed Jolly variants, so I have to let something die to double attack it. Adamant variants aren't as much trouble, but still can really punch holes in my team. I usually lead with Chainchomp and Luna with SAMMY and Scizor (for the Grass-types) or Virginia in the back. Sand Main threats: Garchomp vs. Garchomp is a nasty proposition considering we Speed tie, and if we don't Speed tie, the opposing Garchomp can OHKO me, along with the fact that Sand Veil can make my Dragon Claw miss. A few Ice Beams is usually enough to subdue it, though. Excadrill is more of an annoyance, since Rock Slide flinches me way too often for it to be normal. Earthquake is usually enough to OHKO it. Gliscor is a pain in the ass, especially if it's a Poison Heal variant or has Ice Fang. Even without Poison Heal, it's still the most Protect-happy Pokemon I've ever seen, which gives its partners time to KO my Cresselia or Rotom. If I try to predict its Protects, I'm met with a double Protect next turn or it doesn't Protect at all that turn, wasting my own Protects. Ferrothorn is back for round 2, and it basically requires me to pack Virginia, who is extremely vulnerable to the rest of the opponents team because of sandstorm stripping her Focus Sash. I usually lead with Luna or JOE and Chainchomp with JOE or Luna and Speckles or Virginia in the back. Occasionally I'll use FUNGA instead of Luna. Hail Main threats: To be honest, Hail teams don't give me much trouble. I've noticed the Japanese like to use them, as it's the most common team type I've seen them use. Chandelure isn't much of a threat without a Sash or Sun protecting it, but it still has the potential to fuck me up big time. Rotom-F is usually Scarfed and capable of fucking Virginia up with Thunderbolt but that rarely happens for some reason. Suicune is the embodiment of the bulky Waters that accompany Hail teams so often, and Suicune is a problem because of its bulk. Sometimes I send FUNGA into the lion's den because of the problematic Water-types, which either pays off big time or she becomes dead weight. I usually lead with Speckles and SAMMY with Virginia and Luna or FUNGAFUNGA in the back. Trick Room Main threats: Being a Trick Room user myself, I know how these teams work, and how they react. In fact, the little main threats spread could make a solid team! Truth is, pretty much anything Trick Room does is a threat to anybody if you can't prevent Trick Room from going up. FUNGA is a good check to some Trick Room users, as well as outspeeding some Pokemon under its effects. SAMMY does a good job of crippling Trick Room Pokemon (both attackers and supporters) with Trick, and Speckles maims their Fighting-types with Acrobatics. That's my main lineup right there, except I also have Chainchomp in the back with Speckles, mostly because I don't have much else to put there. Goodstuffs Main threats: Hey look, it's me! Goodstuffs teams are pretty unpredictable and I don't have a specific lineup for them. I tend to just pick whatever looks like a threat to their team and get on with the battle. All my enemies can be there too; Chandelure, Ferrothorn, opposing Dragons, Zapdos... the list goes on. There isn't much to say beyond that, other than I use Luna in my team most often for Paralysis support. HAX TEAMS MAIN THREATS: HEAT WAVE BURNS, ROCK SLIDE FLINCHES AND BLIZZARD DOUBLE FREEZES THERE IS NO ESCAPE. IT WILL FIND YOU Thanks for reading this, and I urge you to tinker with this team yourself! I know it's far from perfect, but I have a hard time seeing how it could be improved at this point. It's been a staple team for me when I feel like just hopping on random WiFi for a quick match or two, or for serious battles against friends.