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[On Site] A Guide to Rain Offense

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Legacy Raider, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider
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    -------------------------Table of Contents


    1. Introduction
    Welcome to the world of rain dance.
    ---
    2. Rain Basics
    Since it is your first time here, here is a detailed guide explaining the very basics.
    ---
    3. Swift Swim Speeds
    Speeds you should aim to hit with your Swift Swim Pokémon.
    ---
    4. Rain Team Building
    A brief introduction into the fundamental structure of offensive rain teams.
    ---
    5. Rain Leads
    Detailed examples of effective rain leads.
    ---
    6. Rain Sweepers
    The most powerful and deadliest leviathans of the sea, laid out for your viewing pleasure.
    ---
    7. Support Pokémon
    Pokémon that work well alongside your sweepers.
    ---
    8. Threats
    Foes that cause a lot of problems for rain teams.
    ---
    9. Battle Strategy
    Some tips on how to use your rain team most effectively in battle.
    ---
    10. Conclusion
    Some final few thoughts on the rain offense playing style.
    -------------------------


    --- Introduction ---​


    Rain, the weather of Water-types, is one of the four types of weather in Pokémon. Unlike sandstorm and hail, rain does not have a permanent weather inducer in OU - a Pokémon that upon entering battle summons that form of weather. The only Pokémon capable of starting a permanent rainstorm is Kyogre, and it is banished to the Uber realm. Because of this, getting rain into play and making the most of it is a little harder than Hail or Sandstorm. But, if done correctly, you will be able to sweep most opposing teams away with ease.

    If you're anything like me, you like to play offensive. You like teams that are packed with super-powerful, threatening sweepers, and you rely on your prediction skills and sheer might to see you through your games. Offensive rain teams do just this. I've heard rain teams being called 'cheap' and 'skill-less', but the truth of the matter is that, if played right, they are simply effective.

    This guide aims to introduce you to this playing style, give you some pointers and suggestions of how to construct a successful rain team, and show you some examples of tried and tested Pokémon that work on rain teams.

    Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to construct your very own sweeping rain team.


    --- Rain Basics ---​


    Rain can be summoned in two ways: either by the ability "Drizzle", or by the move "Rain Dance". Since only Kyogre has access to Drizzle, in OU and UU rain is always summoned manually. Rain Dance summons rain for 5 turns, and this can be extended to 8 turns if the user of the move is holding the item Damp Rock.

    The following effects occur when it is raining:

    • The power of Water type moves is boosted by 50%.
    • The power of Fire type moves is reduced by 50%.
    • The move Thunder has 100% accuracy and can hit through Protect and Detect 30% of the time.
    • The move Solarbeam has a base power of 60.
    • The move Weather Ball becomes the Water type and has a base power of 100.
    • The moves Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis heal only 25% of the users full health.
    • Pokémon with the ability Dry Skin heal 12.5% of the user's max HP every turn.
    • Pokémon with the Forecast ability change their type to Water.
    • Pokémon with the Hydration ability heal themselves of status effects at the end of every turn.
    • Pokémon with the Rain Dish ability heal 6.25% of their max HP every turn.
    • Pokémon with the Swift Swim ability double their speed.

    As you can see, there are many advantages that can be gained in the rain. However, the two most beneficial effects to be garnered are the water power-boosting effect, and the ability Swift Swim. The increased power boost granted to water type attacks allows these attacks to easily smash through even the toughest of walls, while the speed boost granted by the rain allows Swift Swim Pokémon to outspeed and confound opposing offensive teams.

    Water is a flexible attacking type, with excellent neutral coverage and very few resists. One of the reasons that makes Water so good is that it hits the ubiquitous Steel-types for neutral damage, making it very hard to wall. Also, it gets almost perfect coverage alongside a Normal-type attack, an attacking combo almost all water types are capable of pulling off. So when your opponent is facing a Pokémon such as Omastar that not only has excellent Special Attack, STAB on water, water's power boost in the rain, rain boosted speed, and access to high powered moves such as Hydro Pump... they have good reason to be worried.


    --- Swift Swim Speeds ---​


    Swift Swim is one of the defining abilities of rain teams and it is the key behind their sweeping prowess. In the rain, Swift Swim Pokémon can outspeed almost every opposing Pokémon, allowing them to strike first and strike hard. This section will show you how much speed to put on your Swift Swim Pokémon to make sure that their sweep is successful and uninterrupted.

    Swift Swimmers and base Speeds:

    • Floatzel - base 115
    • Luvdisc - base 97
    • Lumineon - base 91
    • Kingdra - base 85
    • Qwilfish - base 85
    • Kabutops - base 80
    • Ludicolo - base 70
    • Mantine - base 70
    • Seaking - base 68
    • Omastar - base 55
    • Relicanth - base 55
    • Gorebyss - base 52
    • Huntail - base 52

    Pokémon -- Required Speed to outrun in rain

    -----
    +ve Scarf Azelf -- 272

    +ve Scarf Gengar -- 263

    +ve Scarf Infernape -- 260

    +ve Scarf Salamence -- 247

    Scarf Gengar -- 240

    +ve Ninjask -- 231

    *Scarf Salamence -- 225*

    *Scarf Primeape -- 217*

    Scarf Lucario -- 210

    +ve Scarf Heatran -- 209

    +ve Electrode -- 209

    Scarf Heracross -- 202

    +ve Jolteon -- 198

    +ve Shaymin-S -- 195
    -----

    It is highly recommended that you run at least 209 speed on your Swift Swimmer in order to outrun Choice Scarf Heatran in the rain, who is a very common threat.

    Sweepers who are able to should run 225 speed to outrun +1 neutral Salamence in the rain (i.e. Salamence after 1 Dragon Dance).

    It is also recommended that you have at least one sweeper on your team who can outrun a Timid Choice Scarf Gengar in the rain, lest it sweep your team with Thunderbolt.

    In UU, it is recommended that you run at least 217 speed on your sweepers so as to outrun Adamant Choice Scarf Primeape in the rain.


    --- Rain Team Building ---​


    Probably the most important section of the guide. Here I will take you through the basics of building a successful rain team. I will show you many of the Pokémon available, and how to use them most effectively.

    Generally, Pokémon on an offensive rain team fall into the following categories:

    Rain Lead
    Gets the rain going at the start of the battle, then get your sweepers out as soon as possible by means of Explosion, U-Turn, Memento, etc. They try to take out common opposing leads if possible, and some leads can even set up the all-important Stealth Rock to help your sweepers. Most hold the item Damp Rock to extend the length of the initial downpour.

    Swift Swim Sweepers
    Pretty self explanatory. These Pokémon abuse their speed doubling abilities in the rain to lay waste to the opposing team. They can hit with powerful water attacks on both spectrums, and many of them can be powerful mixed wall breakers as well.

    Dedicated Rain Dancer / Bulky Rain Dancing Sweeper
    Since the rain only lasts for a maximum of 8 turns, you will need to replenish the rain sometime in the battle as it is very difficult to sweep a team in only 8 turns. Therefore, rain teams carry a Pokémon whose primary objective is to set up rain dance. Once this is done, they can go on to set up further support such as Stealth Rock, Reflect and Light Screen, or they can use their own rain to stage a sweep. Usually these Pokémon also carry Damp Rock to have the rain last as long as possible.

    Supporting Pokémon
    There are a few problem Pokémon that give almost all rain teams trouble. As such, many rain teams carry Pokémon that are adept at dealing with these threats, to then give the sweepers a much easier time ploughing through teams.

    ----------

    So, how should you construct your rain team? Well the basic rule of thumb is that you should have at least 3 Pokémon on your team that can significantly benefit from the rain if you plan on using a team based around Rain Dance. These can be anything from swift swimmers to strong water types, electric type Pokémon abusing Thunder, or something like Toxicroak with its Dry Skin ability. The long and short of it is that there must be quite a few of them on the team in order to make full use of the rain. Otherwise, setting up and keeping the rain going is a waste of time.

    Another commonly asked question is 'How many rain dancers should one have on a rain team?' Well, my answer to this 'As many as possible'. The truth of it is that you can never have too many rain dancers when rain is so essential to your entire strategy. Especially with all the auto-weather inducers running around OU, having several Pokémon that can replenish the rain (not necessarily with Damp Rock) is a very valuable thing for all rain teams to have. I, for one, use at least 4, usually 5 Pokémon, with rain dance on most of my competitive rain teams.

    The rain dancers do not necessarily have to be fully support Pokémon such as Bronzong or Claydol, as many rain sweepers themselves can use Rain Dance too. For example, Kingdra usually gets pretty excellent coverage with Surf/ Dragon Pulse/ Signal Beam, and Ludicolo with Surf/ Ice Beam/ Energy Ball, and so can run Rain Dance in their final slot over some filler attacking move. The good thing is that both these Pokémon (and many others) are bulky enough to take a hit whilst replenishing the rain, and so can be extremely helpful to a very offensively minded team.

    In addition to these dancing sweepers, you will want to have a Pokémon dedicated to replenishing your rain mid-game with a Damp Rock. Bulky support Pokémon such as Bronzong are ideal, but a fast suicidal dancer such as Azelf can also be very helpful to get a quick rain dance off when you need it. However, you should try and ensure that you are not using two suicidal dancers, as if you ever need more than 16 turns to defeat the opposing team you could find yourself in trouble. So having Azelf and Electrode on the same team is usually discouraged, as such teams usually have trouble against opposing stall teams. Similarly, it is often not the best idea to have two very slow dedicated dancers as the team strategy becomes very susceptible to Taunt. Usually it is best to have a balance of a fast dancer (usually suicidal) and a bulk dancer that can set up rain more than once.

    ----------

    --- Rain Leads ---


    The lead is a very important Pokémon in all teams, and this holds no less true in rain teams. Your lead is your conductor - it sets the rhythm and tempo for the battle to come. Since we are trying to make a rain dance team, naturally this is going to be one of the major objectives for our lead. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of highly effective rain dancers to choose from.

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    OU
    -----


    [​IMG]

    Azelf - Azelf makes an excellent lead on a rain team because of its great speed, offenses and movepool. Its speed means that it can set up Rain Dance before opposing leads have a chance to Taunt it. It also means that you can set up Stealth Rock right at the start of the match, netting you the maximum amount of residual damage on your opponent's team. Azelf can leave the field with a smart U-turn, or it can go out with a bang by using Explosion, and possibly take out an opposing Pokémon all by itself.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Explosion, U-turn, Reflect, Light Screen, Taunt, Trick


    [​IMG]

    Uxie - Uxie is basically a slower, much bulkier version of Azelf. It's excellent defenses allow it to set up Stealth Rock and Rain with a lot more insurance than the frail Azelf. However, Uxie does have some exclusive benefits over its flimsy brethren. First of all, its bulk and decent speed allows it to be very effective Choice Scarf Tricker. Secondly, it has access to Yawn, which is an excellent move for scouting out an opponent's team and possibly eliminating one Pokémon from play. Finally, although it lacks Azelf's Explosion, Uxie can use Memento to get a sweeper in for free against a weakened enemy. This makes Uxie a great choice on a team that uses boosting sweepers such as Swords Dance Kabutops or Dragon Dance Kingdra.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Trick, Light Screen, Reflect, U-turn, Memento, Yawn


    [​IMG]

    Bronzong - Bronzong is one of the most reliable Pokémon in the game, and almost guarantees you an 8 turn rain dance unless it is faced with a Taunting foe. With Levitate in the rain, Bronzong has no weaknesses. Add to that its whopping 10 resistances/immunities and its excellent defenses and you have one tough Pokémon to take down. Bronzong has a plethora of support moves that it can use, and it has the bulk to set them all up before going out with a bang (Explosion).

    Although Bronzong makes for a really good rain lead, it works even better midgame to replenish the rain. Whereas for the lead slot Bronzong has a lot of competition, no other Pokémon serves as quite a good transition Pokémon midgame to restart the rain and to possibly set up some screens before Exploding.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Reflect, Light Screen, Hypnosis, Explosion


    [​IMG]

    Crobat - With its great speed, Taunt, and decent defenses, Crobat makes a fine choice to set up your rain. Although a very unreliable move, Crobat also has the fastest Hypnosis in the game, and if you are willing to take the risk of it missing you can incapacitate one of the opposing Pokémon right at the start of the battle. Taunt is a great move on something as fast as this as it can prevent opposing leads from setting up their Stealth Rock. Finally, after having put the foe to sleep and set up rain, Crobat can U-turn to get a light hit on the opponent and scout the switch.

    One of the best things about Crobat is its instant recovery move - Roost. Along with its reasonable 85/80/80 defenses, Crobat is not just a one-use lead. It can come in repeatedly to replenish the 8-turn rain, Roost up its health, and then U-turn back out.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Taunt, U-turn, Roost, Hypnosis


    [​IMG]

    Jirachi - Jirachi is an excellent rain dancer, with many things in its favour that other potential dancers don't have. First of all, it has excellent defensive stats and typing. It bulk and resistances mean that it is very hard to take down, and this allows it to set up rain dance more than once. Jirachi can also set us Stealth Rock and use U-turn, two more very useful moves on a rain dancer. Also, unlike many others of the same role, Jirachi can use the rain itself to create a pseudo para-fusion strategy with Thunder and Water Pulse. Its Serene Grace ability gives both a 60% chance to activate their effect, and the rain gives Thunder 100% accuracy and Water Pulse a 1.5x power boost.

    With Wish, Jirachi has access to reliable healing that can also revive one of your injured sweepers. However, it is often very difficult to fit Wish onto the moveset of a rain dance Jirachi, as it has so many viable moves it can use.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, U-turn, Wish, Thunder, Water Pulse, Trick


    [​IMG]

    Zapdos - Much like Jirachi, Zapdos is one of those Pokémon that not only is very effective at setting up rain, it can make full use of it too. With the Rain up, Zapdos can wreak havoc with STAB Thunder off its base 125 SpA. The 30% paralysis rate is very nice, and can cripple would-be counters.

    Zapdos also has very respectable defenses and can take a beating, and afterwards can roost it off. This makes it a multi-use dancer as opposed to a suicide one. Like many other rain dancers, Zapdos can also use U-turn to scout for counters and give your sweepers a safer switch in.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Thunder, Roost, U-turn

    -----
    UU
    -----


    [​IMG]

    Electrode - Electrode is an UU Pokémon, but its effectiveness as a rain lead makes it an excellent choice even on an OU team. Electrode has access to the fastest Taunt and Explosion in the game, making it an awesome suicide lead. With its blistering speed it can move before most opposing leads and can set up rain to its heart's content. Although it is very frail, with EV investment in HP it can survive most neutral hits, allowing you to use a Damp Rock as opposed to a Focus Sash. However, Electrode's poor base 50 Atk needs all the investment it can to leave a lasting dent with Explosion.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Taunt, Explosion, Light Screen, Thunder


    [​IMG]

    Persian - Persian makes a fine rain lead in UU, and it works along the same principles as Crobat does in OU. Hypnosis, Taunt and U-turn allow it to be an effective lead in general, and its great speed allows it to set up Rain Dance before many opposing leads can hit it. It also has access to Fake Out, which, alongside Technician, can do respectable damage to many of the frailer leads in UU. However, despite its many similarities to Crobat, Persian has much frailer defenses, a worse typing, and no reliable recovery move, meaning that it will most likely only be able to use rain dance once in the game. That is not to say that Persian can't be an effective Pokémon - it can repeatedly switch in and hit its foes with a combination of Fake Out and Return / U-turn to cause free damage throughout the course of the battle.

    Useful Moves: Rain Dance, Hypnosis, U-turn, Taunt, Fake Out, Return
    -----

    --- Rain Sweepers ---


    The sweepers are really what make or break the team. They will either work together efficiently and break through the opponent's defenses, or be walled and outstalled into submission. There are a lot of very powerful Pokémon that can be used on a rain team but the trick is to get your sweepers to work together as an effective fighting unit.

    This section will highlight the strengths, weaknesses and particular talents of the most effective rain sweepers, to better help you in making the decision for your team.

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    OU
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    [​IMG]

    Kingdra - First and foremost, the deadly Kingdra. Kingdra is a terror in the rain, with powerful mixed attacking stats and bulky defenses making it a very tough adversary. The biggest threat that Kingdra poses is that it can hit extraordinarily hard from either spectrum, so for all your opponent knows, his Blissey could potentially be switching into an Outrage, or his Skarmory into a Surf or Hydro Pump. Even on a physical sweeping set, Kingdra still has the option of running a powerful Hydro Pump or Draco Meteor in the last slot to combat any physical walls trying to take its attacks. With its STAB Water and Dragon attacks, Kingdra gets near perfect coverage with just 2 attacks, and can therefore use its last 2 moveslots for support moves such as Rain Dance, Dragon Dance and Substitute.

    Useful Moves: Surf, Hydro Pump, Outrage, Waterfall, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Signal Beam, Rain Dance, Dragon Dance, Substitute, Yawn


    [​IMG]

    Ludciolo - Ludicolo gets STAB on both Water and Grass, and alongside Ice, this makes for an excellent attacking combination. In the rain, Ludicolo's coverage and special attacking power makes it a formidable special sweeper. It also has access to Focus Punch and Leech Seed which can make short work of predicted Blissey or Snorlax switch ins.

    Water/Grass is a good defensive typing, with each type canceling out the other's major weaknesses. With a high base 100 SpD, Ludicolo is deceptively bulky, and makes a good user of Rain Dance. One should always go for Swift Swim over Rain Dish as it is more beneficial for both sweeping and SubSeeding. Also, despite Grass Knot's power boost against behemoths such as Gyarados and Tyranitar, Energy Ball is recommended as Ludicolo's STAB Grass attack as it hits Vaporeon, who otherwise walls this set, a lot harder than Grass Knot.

    Although it has quite a low 70 Atk stat, Ludicolo can make use of Swords Dance, Waterfall, Ice Punch and Seed Bomb to surprise some of its potential counters.

    Useful Moves: Surf, Energy Ball, Ice Beam, Rain Dance, Leech Seed, Focus Punch, Swords Dance, Waterfall, Ice Punch, Seed Bomb


    [​IMG]

    Floatzel - Floatzel has great attack and speed naturally, and on a rain team this can be built upon to make it a very formidable sweeper indeed. Floatzel almost doesn't even need rain to sweep with its excellent base 115 Speed, which allows it to outspeed many threats without any investment even when there is no rain. Waterfall, Crunch and Ice Punch will make up the majority of its physical moveset, and the final move can go to providing another Rain Dancer on your team, or to the excellent set up move Bulk Up. Bulk Up increases Atk and Def by one stage each, and after a bulk up Floatzel can do some serious damage with its STAB water attacks.

    Since Floatzel already has such excellent speed, it does not need nearly as much investment in it as other rain sweepers. As such, Floatzel can afford to invest more EVs into its decent base 85 SpA stat, with which it can still do good damage to physical walls switching in to take a Waterfall.

    Useful Moves: Waterfall, Ice Punch, Crunch, Rain Dance, Bulk Up, Surf, Ice Beam


    [​IMG]

    Azumarill - With Huge Power boosting its max Atk up to 436 (effectively a base 150 Atk stat), Azumarill is a very scary physical sweeper indeed. In the rain, its CB Waterfall can 2HKO every Pokémon in the game that doesn't resist it. Even a max/max Cresselia takes upto 60% damage from it. Add to that its great 100/80/80 defenses and Water's great attacking synergy with Normal, and you have yourself one terrifying sweeper. As far as its offensive options go, Azumarill can use Waterfall, Body Slam, Double Edge, Ice Punch and Superpower to great effect. It also has access a very powerful STAB priority move - Aqua Jet. Azumarill can use it to pick off any weakened foes, and to strike faster, frail foes before they can touch it.

    Azumarill also has access to Encore, which is in itself an excellent support move. However, be warned that because of egg moves issues, Azumarill cannot have Aqua Jet and Encore on the same set. Although Azumarill itself doesn't benefit from the rain in some direct way, the downpour boosts the strength of its already powerful Water STAB attacks to daunting levels, making Azumarill a great addition to a rain team.

    Useful Moves: Waterfall, Body Slam, Ice Punch, Aqua Jet, Double Edge, Rain Dance, Encore

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    UU
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    [​IMG]

    Kabutops - Kabutops is one of the best water typed physical attackers, and it makes a great addition to rain teams who are usually wanting for a physical sweeper. Rock / Water is an amazing combined STAB, allowing it to get neutral hits on almost all opponents. In addition, Kabutops can use the Fighting / Rock combination by combining its Stone Edge with Superpower or Brick Break. It also has access to X-Scissor, which is a great move for getting rid of annoying Celebi that switch into your Waterfall. Kabutops can use Swords Dance very effectively to boost its own attack to phenomenal levels. In the rain, a SD Waterfall can OHKO a Skarmory. It is also excellent for boosting Kabutops' final, and possibly most deadly attack - Aqua Jet. Kabutops makes a fine addition to almost any rain team with its powerful physical attacks.

    In UU, Kabutops has no real need to run X-Scissor, and can dedicate that slot to other attacks. Return is a very viable attack on a Kabutops as many a time after a SD you will just want a reliable neutral damage dealing attack (obviously when facing something that resists Waterfall). It also means that things like Poliwrath and Quagsire won't be able to wall you, as they are both 2HKOed by a +2 Return. Also, on an SD set, Rock Slide is the preferred choice over Stone Edge, as with that massive attack stat, Rock Slide's superior accuracy and flinch rate will be worth more than Stone Edge's power boost.

    Useful Moves: Waterfall, Stone Edge, Swords Dance, X-Scissor, Superpower, Brick Break, Aqua Jet, Rain Dance


    [​IMG]

    Qwilfish - In terms of sweeping potential, Qwilfish is essentially a less powerful and slightly faster Kabutops. However, it does have a few exclusive options available to it that differentiate it from its slashing brethren. Qwilfish's biggest selling point is its devastating Explosion, which, when coming of a a decent base 95 Atk stat and rain boosted speed, can easily take out any non-ghost Pokémon on the opposing team. Qwilfish can also use the slightly less reliable Destiny Bond to effectively achieve the same effect.

    Qwilfish has access to Swords Dance as well, and after a dance its Waterfalls and Poison Jabs really start to dent the opponent. The great thing about Poison as a supporting type attack for Water is that it hits Grass types super effectively, meaning that Qwilfish doesn't have to waste a moveslot to deal with Celebi (ahem Kabutops X-Scissor). Also, it absorbs Toxic Spikes upon entry to the field, which can be very helpful on a rain team that doesn't have time for Rapid Spin.

    Qwilfish also makes an excellent lead for a rain team, as it can not only start the rain but lay both Toxic and normal Spikes for passive damage to the opposing team. It can do respectable damage with a rain boosted Waterfall, or almost guarantee taking out an opposing Pokémon with Explosion and Rain Dance, which all goes to make it a very effective lead.

    Useful Moves: Waterfall, Poison Jab, Explosion, Swords Dance, Destiny Bond, Rain Dance


    [​IMG]

    Omastar - Omastar is a very powerful special sweeper on rain teams, possessing the highest SpA stat of any water or rock type. Although its poor base 55 Spe stat means that it won't be outspeeding +1 Adamant Salamence in the rain (without using a +speed nature and detracting from its attacking power), Omastar still manages to hit the bare minimum speed stat required of a swift swim sweeper (the 209 speed required to outrun +speed Scarf Heatran in the rain).

    Omastar has access to a nice variety of special attacking moves not available to other rain sweepers, most notable of which being Earth Power and Ancientpower. Omastar can make use of both the Water/Ground/Rock and Water/Ground/Ice attacking combinations, both of which have excellent coverage. Hidden Power Electric in the last slot adds to its coverage.

    Useful Moves: Surf, Earth Power, Ice Beam, Hidden Power Electric, Ancientpower, Rain Dance


    [​IMG]

    Gorebyss - Gorebyss inevitably gets compared to Omastar when it comes to special sweeping, but Gorebyss does have some qualities that make it an adequate choice for UU play. Although Omastar has slight more SpA, higher defenses and speed, its secondary Rock typing is more of a curse than a blessing in the lower tiers. Gorebyss is not weak to TechniTop's Mach Punch (which Omastar can take upto 80% from), it is not hurt too badly by random Earthquakes, and weak Grass attacks are not an automatic KO on Gorebyss. Gorebyss also has access to Psychic, which can be very helpful by hitting Toxicroak, Poliwrath and Qwilfish convincingly hard. However, Gorebyss has no reliable way of hitting Lanturn (where Omastar has Earth Power). In OU, its low base speed lets it down as even in the rain, it is not outspeeding a +speed Scarf Heatran without a +speed nature of its own.

    Useful Moves: Surf, Ice Beam, Hidden Power Electric, Psychic, Rain Dance


    [​IMG]

    Relicanth - Whereas Swift Swim has been the obviously superior ability on all sweepers that have had a choice so far, when you come to Relicanth you must pause for thought. Its two abilities: Rock Head and Swift Swim, each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Obviously Swift Swim is a good choice on a team that provides rain support, boosting both Relicanth's Water STAB and its mediocre speed, but Rock Head allows Relicanth to use that extremely powerful Head Smash with no recoil. The main problem with using Swift Swim is that you have to be careful that you are not simply using an inferior version of Kabutops. That's really what a Swift Swim Relicanth is - a slower, weaker, much bulkier version of Kabutops that has access to Head Smash and Earthquake. The main problem when using a Rock Head set is Relicanth's pitiful base 55 Spe.

    Fortunately, Rock Head has a saving grace in the form of the move Rock Polish. Fighting a +2 Speed Relicanth with Head Smash and +1 Waterfall is a scary prospect indeed. It is also not too badly affected when the rain peters out, although it does help it sweep. To give an indication of Relicanth's power - a STAB Life Orb Head Smash from Relicanth has the power to 2HKO Skarmory.

    Useful Moves: Head Smash, Waterfall, Earthquake, Rock Polish, Stone Edge, Double-Edge, Rain Dance
    -----

    --- Support Pokémon ---


    There are many Pokémon that just fit well on offensive rain teams and do a good job of supporting your sweepers. They do this in a variety of ways, but most commonly it is by removing threats to rain sweeps and by providing key resistances on a team based around a single type.

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    OU
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    [​IMG]

    Dugtrio - Dugtrio is very helpful at trapping and removing two big hindrances to rain dance teams: Tyranitar and Blissey. Tyranitar's SandStream is one of the best ways to counter a rain team's assault, and a smart opponent can just keep switching Tyranitar in over and over again to repeatedly ruin the team's rain. Dugtrio takes Tyranitar's luxury to switch with its Arena Trap ability. It does a similar job to Blissey, who can easily take even the strongest rain special attackers attacks without too much bother. Dugtrio 2HKOs both Pokémon with a powerful Choice Band Earthquake, immediately opening up an opponent's team to a sweep by a Swift Swimmer waiting in the wings.

    Dugtrio can also trap and kill Tentacruel and stray electric types such as Electivire (without Motor Drive boost), who would otherwise harass your sweepers.


    [​IMG]

    Scizor - Scizor is an excellent supporting Pokémon on rain teams. Auto-weather inducers are the bane of rain teams, and Scizor can deal with Tyranitar and Abomasnow with ease using its powerful Bullet Punch. Also, its excellent defenses and typing can be built upon, allowing it to take out many other threats to rain teams such as Celebi, Blissey, Vaporeon and Hippowdon.

    Scizor's only weakness is lessened in the rain, and usually a rain team has many fire resists to switch in on Scizor's counters. Despite this, in the rain Scizor itself can survive many attacks that would otherwise kill it such as Zapdos' Heat Wave and Magnezone's HP Fire. Scizor itself, with its steel typing and Roost, makes an excellent user of Rain Dance for team support. It can also utilise a slow U-turn to scout for counters and get frail Swift Swimmers in with little risk. And of course, Scizor can use his trademark Bullet Punch to finish off a beleaguered team.


    [​IMG]

    Swampert - Swampert is another great Pokémon to help deal with auto-weather inducers. It makes a great switch in into both Tyranitar and Hippowdon, hitting them hard with its STAB attacks. Swampert provides a great Electric immunity for a rain team, and can also set up Stealth Rock without much bother if your lead is designed to do other things. Swampert can also set up Rain Dance with little trouble because of its excellent defenses, and can make full use of the rain to boost the power of its own Water attacks. CB Swampert makes a surprisingly effective sweeper in the rain, with a powerful boosted Waterfall tearing through its usual counters. And unlike many of the water Pokémon used on an offensive team, Swampert packs considerable bulk.


    [​IMG]

    Jolteon - Much like Swampert, Jolteon gives rain teams a very welcome Electric immunity. The numerous water types on rain teams draw out electric attacks, giving Jolteon ample opportunities for safe switchins and healing with Volt Absorb. Jolteon can also use the rain to its fullest with a powerful and extremely fast STAB Thunder that can tear apart all but dedicated special walls.

    Jolteon can also be very effective at passing boosts and substitutes to your swift swimmers, allowing them to sweep entire teams with just this little support. SpA boosts (gained by either Charge Beam or Petaya Berry) are very well appreciated by Kingdra and Ludicolo, and in the latter case a resisted Earthquake to switch into is also appreciated. With just a single SpA boost and Life Orb, one of these Pokémon can rip an opposing team lacking a Blissey apart by themselves.

    [​IMG]
    Rotom-W - Rotom provides valuable Fighting and Ground immunities to rain teams usually rife with them (Kabutops, Omastar, Relicanth, etc). It also gives a team a very valuable Electric resistance, which is exceedingly helpful on teams packed full of water types. In addition to its typing, Rotom-W can both set up and take advantage of Rain Dance. With a powerful STAB Thunder and a boosted Hydro Pump, it can become a powerful sweeper of its own accord as well as being a great support Pokémon. Rotom also has access to both Reflect and Light Screen, making it one of the best mid-game rain repenishers as it can set up both the rain and the screens to help your late game sweeper clean up the opponent's team.


    [​IMG]

    Starmie - If you're looking for a fast, bulky yet offensive Pokémon that can function as both a sweeper and a supporter, then you have to look no further than Starmie. Its base 115 Spe means that it will be outrunning almost all opposition, letting it pull off a Rain Dance before an opponent can attack or Taunt it. The fun doesn't stop there - in the rain, Starmie becomes a scary sweeper with boosted Surf/Hydro Pump and a powerful Thunder attack, all coming off a respectable 100 SpA base. Starmie also excels in terms of support, being able to use Reflect, Light Screen and Rapid Spin to great effect. With decent HP investment and Recover Starmie can function as a rain dancer many times over in the same battle, and its Natural Cure ability means that it can switch into Toxic Spikes, spin them away, and then switch out and cure its poisoning. All these aspects come together to make Starmie a fine choice for an OU rain team.

    -----
    UU
    -----


    [​IMG]

    Lanturn - In the lower tiers, Lanturn is one of the best possible support Pokémon a rain team could wish for. With an immunity to Electric attacks and excellent resistances to Water, Fire and Ice, Lanturn can take most special attacks all day long with little worry. It resists the common Bolt/Beam combination, a feat very few Pokémon can boast. The rain gives Lanturn several significant advantages, namely a boosted STAB Surf attack and the ability to use a much more powerful STAB Thunder attack. Lanturn makes an excellent user of Rain Dance because of its bulk and great resistances, and once having set it up can make great use of its base 76 SpA.


    [​IMG]

    Clefable - Clefable makes a good user of Rain Dance because of its bulk, which is further enhanced by its instant recovery moves and its Magic Guard ability. Clefable can take most special hits with ease, and it can give itself ample opportunities to set up Rain Dance with Encore. Encore also forces switches, scouting the opposing team and causing residual damage. With Softboiled, Clefable has a very reliable move for healing itself. However, Clefable's biggest attraction is its ability to use Wish to support both itself and the rest of the team. It can heal beleaguered sweepers who have taken lots of recoil damage and allow them a second sweep. Alongside Protect, it also allows Clefable to heal itself with a good degree of reliability.


    [​IMG]

    Claydol - With very welcome immunities to Electric and Ground and helpful resistances to Fighting and Rock, Claydol makes a great user of Rain Dance and a supporter as a whole. It has high defensive stats, a nice typing, and a very wide support movepool. It has access to Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Rapid Spin, Reflect and Light Screen, meaning one is spoilt for choice when using Claydol as to which support moves to use. It can work like an UU Bronzong with a Rain, Screens/Stealth Rock, Explosion movepool, or it can be a much longer lasting support Pokémon that can utilise Rapid Spin well. The damage on rain sweepers adds up very quickly when you consider they are taking 12.5% damage every time they switch in and 10% every time they attack, and so Claydol helps your sweepers last a lot longer by removing that annoying Stealth Rock residual damage.


    [​IMG]

    Rotom - Much like Rotom-W in OU, the basic Rotom form makes an excellent support Pokémon in the lower tiers. Like Claydol, it provides resistances/immunities to Ground, Electric and Fighting, and can set up rain and the screens. It can also use a powerful STAB Thunder in the rain, but misses out on the Hydro Pump its advanced form gets. Rotom's typing is extremely useful in UU where the most common rain sweepers have weaknesses to all three of Ground, Fighting and Electric, and so Rotom has ample opportunity to switch in on these resisted hits to restart the rain.


    [​IMG]

    Phione - Phione can abuse its Hydration ability to use Rest and wake up in the same turn, which makes it a very difficult Pokémon to take out. Althout 80/80/80 seems pretty mediocre, it is easily enough to allow Phione to take most attacks in UU with ease. It is a great user of Rain Dance and survives for a very long time with its HydroRest strategy, meaning it can survive and replenish rain for a very long time. As far as attacking goes, Phione is no slouch either, as it can use a boosted Surf alongside either Ice Beam or Grass Knot to do respectable damage to most foes its faces. It can also use U-turn to scout the switch in and get one of your stronger sweepers in with less risk.


    [​IMG]

    Dewgong - Just like Phione, Dewgong survives for a long time using HydroRest. It boasts higher defenses than Phione (90/80/95 compared to Phione's 80/80/80) and gets STAB on Ice Beam. However, its Ice typing takes away many of the resistances Water gives, as well as giving it a few new weaknesses. It also can't switch in as easily as Phione can because of its weakness to Stealth Rock. Overall, these negatives usually outweigh its statistically higher defenses, and usually make Phione a superior choice. However, Dewgong still makes an excellent team supporter and user of Rain Dance.
    -----

    --- Threats ---​



    As with all playing styles, there are several Pokémon that can cause a rain team trouble. Either by resisting all the sweeper's attacks, spreading debilitating status throughout your team or by stealing your weather - these are all threats that should be taken into consideration when building a rain team.

    -----
    OU
    -----


    [​IMG]

    Tyranitar - Possibly rain teams' biggest nemesis, the ubiquitous Tyranitar should be at the forefront of your thoughts when considering support Pokémon for your team. Its SandStream ability cancels out rain upon its entry into battle, and if left unchecked it can repeatedly switch in and interrupt your sweep, totally ruining your momentum. Despite its weakness to Water, its high SpD and the boost granted to it in the Sandstorm means that it can take them without too much bother.

    Definitely a Pokémon to be wary of. However, Tyranitar will find it hard to repeatedly switch into super effective water attacks, so it is not too hard to beat if you stay on the offensive. Dugtrio and Scizor also make excellent revenge killers.


    [​IMG]

    Abomasnow - Abomasnow is an even greater threat to rain teams than Tyranitar, but thankfully it is quite uncommon. With bulky HP and SpD stats and a typing with a few key resistances, Abomasnow can switch into almost all water types and take little damage, while posing an immediate threat with Wood Hammer and Grass Knot. Even if it weren't for Abomasnow's Snow Warning ability it would make a fine counter to rain teams. As it stands, the fact that Abomasnow can bring your whole sweep to a grinding halt with a simple switch in is reason enough to pack a counter for this abominable snowtree.


    [​IMG]

    Hippowdon - Hippowdon isn't as much of a threat as Tyranitar and Abomasnow are, but it is still worth taking into consideration that it can also halt your sweep and kill your momentum with a moment's notice. Thankfully, Hippowdon doesn't have the best SpD and it isn't boosted in sandstorm, meaning a strong water attack should be able to take him down.


    [​IMG]

    Blissey - Blissey, the best special wall in the game, can be a real pain to rain teams that rely a bit too heavily on special attackers. It can switch in with impunity against pure special attacking Pokémon, so it is strongly recommended that unless you run a Dugtrio you have at least one mixed attacker or pure physical sweeper. Blissey can also cripple sweepers with Thunder Wave, or hit super effectively with Thunderbolt. Alternatively, Wish + Protect stalling can mean that your 8 turns of rain are gone before you know it. A very common threat that all good rain teams should have a plan for.


    [​IMG]

    Vaporeon - Vaporeon's Water Absorb ability makes even the strongest rain sweeper think twice before launching Surfs all over the place. With an excellent SpD stat and a Def stat backed by massive HP, Vaporeon is a very tough opponent to take down. The fact that it can stall out rain with Wish / Protect, or even use it against you with boosted Surfs, make it a very annoying enemy to have to face. Luckily, its physical defenses aren't the best, and so a strong physical attacker like Kabutops or Qwilfish shouldn't have too much of a problem with the water dog.


    [​IMG]

    Celebi - Celebi's Grass typing affords it a valuable resistance to rain teams' primary attacks, and with Thunder Wave, Grass Knot, Calm Mind, etc, Celebi can be quite the nuisance. It has very bulky 100/100/100 defensive stats and instant recovery in the form of Recover (and Leech Seed), so this makes it quite a challenge to take out. Kingdra and Kabutops have access to Bug attacks, however, which can OHKO the flying cabbage. Many rain support Pokémon can also utilize U-turn which is a very strong weapon to use against Celebi.


    [​IMG]

    Tentacruel - Tentacruel is one of the biggest threat to rain teams, all because of one move: Toxic Spikes. With its massive special defense and resistance to both Ice and Water, Tentacruel usually has little trouble setting up the dreaded Toxic Spikes against a rain team. The spikes are one of the most efficient ways of beating a rain team, as the majority of rain sweepers will be worn down extremely quickly from Life Orb + Toxic damage. This is where Qwilfish becomes so much more appealing on rain teams, with its inherent ability to absorb the spikes.

    Tentacruel doesn't take much from super effective Hidden Power Electrics with its excellent base 120 SpD, so the only thing that it really fears on a rain team is Kabutops' Earthquake (usually forgone for a fighting move), Qwilfish's Explosion, and the threat of a Dugtrio.


    [​IMG]

    Empoleon - Much like Tentacruel, Empoleon is a threat to rain teams because of its resistances to Water and Ice (x4) and its high SpD. Empoleon is also neutral to Grass, is immune to Poison (making it a great Qwilfish counter) and resists Rock, which allows it to come in on Stone Edges and Rock Slides unperturbed. With a high SpA of its own to take advantage of the rain and access to Grass Knot, Empoleon can become a major hindrance to a clean rain sweep, and usually requires quite a bit of sacrifice to take out.

    -----
    UU
    -----


    [​IMG]

    Lapras - With a Water immunity (Water Absorb) and a x4 resistance to Ice, Lapras can comfortably switch into most common rain sweepers with ease. It also has access to Thunderbolt and Thunder, which can do massive damage to your sweepers. With its amazing HP and defenses Lapras can comfortably shrug off HP Electric as well.

    However, Lapras takes quite a bit of damage from Stealth Rock because of its Ice typing, and it can't switch into a Kabutops at all.


    [​IMG]

    Poliwrath - Poliwrath makes a great counter for the Rock/Water sweepers in UU, as it resists both their STAB moves and can hit them back with super effective Fighting attacks or boosted unresisted Water attacks. Poliwrath's Water Absorb ability also makes it a good switch in into Water attacks from the other rain sweepers, but super effective Hidden Powers do hurt quite a bit. Psychic from Gorebyss does a fair chunk too.


    [​IMG]

    Quagsire - Quagsire can take on all rain sweepers without Hidden Power grass with ease. Its ground typing affords it valuable resistances to Rock and Poison, allowing it to switch in on Qwilfish and Kabutops with ease. Water Absorb means that it won't be taking anything from Surfs. Quagsire is reason enough to consider running HP Grass on your sweepers, but one must remember that with HP Grass, many sweepers will be unable to do a thing to Mantine.


    [​IMG]

    Toxicroak - With its Dry Skin ability, water attacks not only heal Toxicroak, but it recovers a large amount of HP every turn in the rain as well. This means that despite its not-so-stellar defenses, Toxicroak can wall many rain sweepers on the spot. Its Fighting type means that Rock attacks won't be doing too much either, while Toxicroak can hit back with STAB Fighting attacks against the Rock-typed sweepers.

    However, Toxicroak is neutral to Ice Beams, and with its poor SpD they can easily 2-3HKO most Toxicroak. It also needs to be very wary of Relicanth's Earthquake, Omastar's Earth Power and Gorebyss' Psychic.


    [​IMG]

    Golduck - With its unique Cloud Nine ability, Golduck causes the rain to effectively stop while it is play. Although the rain will continue to fall, none of its effects - the water attack boost and swift swim's speed boost - will come into play. This means that Golduck works in UU much like the auto-weather inducers play in OU - but for Golduck these benefits only remain in play while it does. However, Golduck is much more of a rain check than a counter, as neither it nor rain sweepers can do much to the other. It is best used to deprive rain sweepers of rain's effects until it runs out.


    [​IMG]

    Mantine - Mantine, with its huge SpD and Water Absorb, can be very hard to take down for water typed Pokémon. Surf and Ice Beams don't bother it in the slightest. If it were not for Mantine, the majority of rain sweepers in UU would run Hidden Power Grass to hit the likes of Quagsire and Gastrodon. Mantine's ubiquity, however, means that one must take a risk in choosing either Grass or Electric, as either way there will be one Pokémon that takes pitiful damage from all your attacks (either Quagsire or Mantine). With its mediocre physical defense, Mantine can be beaten into submission with Kabutops or Relicanth, and most physical attackers are going to leave a mark in Mantine with neutral hits.


    [​IMG]

    Shedinja - A strange threat, but a very legitimate one in any case. Shedinja is immune to the movesets of the majority of rain sweepers, fearing only Kabutop's Stone Edge and the rare Ancientpower from Omastar. Apart from that, Shedinja can easily outstall an entire team by taking nothing from any attacks thrown at it. As most teams running Shedinja also carry a Rapid Spinner, Stealth Rock usually isn't too much of an issue to it. In OU, as neither you nor the player using Shedinja is going to be carrying an auto-weather inducer, that is one less threat to Shedinja's frail existence. Because of this, Shedinja has little difficulty in beating the whole rain team by itself. It is recommended that you run a move that can hit Shedinja on at least two of your Pokémon, be it Scizor's Pursuit, Dugtrio's Sucker Punch or Rotom's Shadow Ball.
    -----

    --- Battle Strategy ---​


    Now you have looked through the guide, checked out all possibilities and tried out all the different sets. You now have your own powerful offensive rain team and are ready to enter battle with it. That's great - building a good team is probably the hardest and most important part of winning with a rain team. However, that is not all that decides whether you are successful or not. You must be able to use the team effectively in order to win with it, and there are some tips and tricks here to help you use your rain team to its fullest potential.

    1. Be Offensive
    That doesn't mean you should start cussing at your opponent every battle. Basically, with a team that needs to accomplish so much in so little time, the most important thing you can do when using a rain team is to not give the opponent any time to mount a counterattack or set up a good defense. That means you should be constantly attacking and wearing down your opponent's Pokémon and keeping up the momentum, not giving the opposing team any time to carry out its own strategy. Against stall teams, one should be careful to not be too reckless and throw away sweepers needlessly, as otherwise they can end up stalling out the rain and your team into submission. However, this doesn't change the fact that you still need to constantly be on the offensive when facing stall teams in order to get enough damage on those heavyweight walls to take them out. Against offensive teams, the key is to keep your rain up at all times, as while its pouring your sweepers will have an inherent advantage over the opposing sweepers in terms of both power and speed.

    2. To Surf or not to Surf...
    There is a tendency for players to mindlessly spam their boosted water attacks against any Pokémon they face. Simple - don't. While it is true that your Surf (or Waterfall or whatever you are using as your primary water STAB) is a very powerful attack in the rain, you need to be mindful that most likely the opposing team will be packing something that resists or is immune to water attacks. Just because you have a super-powered STAB attack doesn't mean the need for prediction goes out the window in battle. Since it is usually obvious when a water typed attack is coming (most rain sweepers tend to use them exclusively), it is usually best to predict the water resist at the start of the battle and use an alternative STAB attack to surprise the counter.

    3. Sacrificing your Pokémon
    Many a time, in order to take out a problem Pokémon or to weaken a wall into KO range, it is necessary to simply let your sweepers die. If two sweepers don't take out any opposing Pokémon, but sacrifice themselves to bring the entire team down to less than 50% health, they will have acheived a lot as they will have paved the way for one final sweeper to take out the entire opposing team in a late game sweep. On the other hand, if you keep your beleaguered sweepers alive at 20% health or so, you leave them easy pickings for an opposing priority user and general residual damage. The simple lesson here is that do not be afraid to let your Pokémon go if it means it will increase the chances of the entire team breaking through in the end. This applies to support Pokémon too - usually it is best for Bronzong to simply Explode after setting up the rain, allowing it to do big damage on that one Blissey that was giving you trouble, and allowing for one of your sweepers to come in unscathed to finish off the remainder of the team.

    4. Preserving your Pokémon
    Conversely, it is usually very beneficial to keep one of your sweepers hidden and at full health for an attempt at a late game sweep. For example, if you are using both special based Kingdra and Ludicolo on the same team, it is usually best if you use Kingdra exclusively in the mid-game and save Ludicolo (who has arguable better coverage and can so deal with a wider variety of opponents) for a late game sweep. Most likely this will turn out to be more effective than if you used both the Pokémon in conjunction throughout the battle, as then both would be weakened and vulnerable to priority / residual damage KOs. Similarly, if you can, try and keep your rain supporters alive in case you are surprised by a late game Tyranitar or something and need to replenish your rain one more time than you anticipated. So it is usually better to try and Roost Zapdos back up to full health instead of trying to damage opponents with Thunder - you have your sweepers to cause pain if need be. In reality, whether you choose to sacrifice or preserve your Pokémon depends very much on the situation, and you have to make an educated decision as to which would be more beneficial to the team as a whole.

    --- Conclusion ---​



    Rain is a very threatening and powerful playing style that can blow away teams in a heartbeat. It is also one of the poorest represented styles in terms of good teams - many people have a 'Rain Team Attempt' that met with little success tucked away somewhere.

    In battle, mistakes are costly. Mistakes have consequences. When using an all-or-nothing team like a rain offense team, these mistakes are amplified many times, as your entire strategy is on a constant timer. This is why it is so important to become familiar with the subtleties and concerns that rain faces in order to become proficient at the style.

    I hope this guide has helped you to better understand rain and how it can be used. Thanks for taking the time to read through it.
  2. Venom

    Venom red eyes no visine
    is a Team Rater Alumnus

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    Is this supposed to be a "offensive rain dance team" or just a standard rain dance team builder, as I am in the makings of a weather team building guide, showing how to make a standard / normal rain dance team, so if its a offensive rain dance team, then I guess ill just provide a link to this
  3. Itchni

    Itchni

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    You should include these 3 pokemon on your lists

    Porygon2 Is a great counter to rain dance teams. Tracing swift swim, and hurling electric attacks hurts. They often also run with toxic to stall out swampert.

    Phione is a great pokemon to set up rain dance with mid game in UU. it can surive many pokemons blows and just rest them away.

    While generally being slightly inferior to omastar, i personally use gorebyss as a special sweeper in my UU rain teams because he can use shadow ball which destroys the permier special walls of UU (grumpig and hypno)

    Not a bad guide, but nothing the could be figured out with a few battles
  4. Pride

    Pride

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    Personally I like Gorebyss because it resist Bullett Punch and learns Signal Beam.
  5. Itchni

    Itchni

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    Doesnt change the fact it is disputibly better then omastar
  6. rkatzam

    rkatzam

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    Tracing Swift Swim with Porygon2 might not be so threatening especially when it usually doesn't carry any speed.. common Swift Swimmers will outrun it.

    I agree that Gorebyss should definitely get a mention here, but not for the reason you stated. In the rain Surf / Hydro Pump still does more than Shadow Ball to Grumpig and Hypno.. the one thing it has over Omastar is being only a water type, so it has more chances to switch, or not getting killed by random HP Grass, and of course not being weak to the common EQ.

    Overall good guide. I would advise to have a little section about how to handle status and how it can potentially ruin an entire Rain Dance team, be it paralysis or poison.
  7. umbarsc

    umbarsc

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    I'm planning on making a UU Rain Dance guide, could that be incorporated into this or does it warrant a separate guide? The basic fundamentals of team-building are the same, but there are different threats and strategies to consider.

    Oh, and the primary reason to consider Gorebyss over Omastar is because of TechTop (and Hitmonlee to a lesser extent). Not being weak to Fighting is huge, because TechTop's Mach Punch will strip off around 80% of Omastar's health.

    There was another thing that needs correcting. In UU, HP Grass is not preferred over HP Electric on Omastar, and Rain Dance is not what it should or even what it "usually" carries. The standard UU Omastar set should be Surf/Ice Beam/Earth Power/HP Electric. HP Grass does more to Gastrodon/Quagsire, yes, but never of these are particularly common, and Surf already does quite a bit to Gastrodon. Earth Power and HP Electric over AncientPower and HP Grass hits Mantine, Lanturn, and Toxicroak harder, whereas the latter hits the Water/Grounds and Water/Ice-types harder. Clearly the former is more common and more of a threat to Rain sweepers.
  8. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    Yes, this is a guide specifically for fully offensive rain dance teams.

    Porygon2 isn't really much of a threat to Rain teams. They are generally EVed to physical defense to take on Gyarados and Salamence, and are so easily 2HKOed by both Kingdra's and Ludicolo's Surfs. P2 rarely runs any speed at all, and so should never be outspeeding any of your sweepers, even in the rain.

    Phione's main use on rain teams is to abuse Hydrorest, and since this is meant to be a guide to offensive rain dance I decided not to add it. Ditto for Dewgong. Gorebyss I plan on adding soon. Thanks for your suggestions.

    I plan on expanding the guide quite a bit, adding much more to the 'Rain Team Building' section and making a new section on 'In-Battle Rain Strategies'. I'll mention status effects and how to deal with them there.

    Yeah, I see know that Gorebyss definitely deserves a mention in a guide. I always thought of it as being inferior to Omastar, but I see now that it can be just as, if not more effective. I'll change the bit on Omastar too.

    About your UU Rain Dance Guide, I think most of it can be incorporated into here. However, I don't think Phione, Dewgong and Hydrorest really have a place in an offensive rain guide. I know that Venom is writing a guide on standard rain dance as opposed to offensive rain dance, so maybe they could go there? I dunno.

    Thanks for all the comments guys. I plan on adding quite a bit to this, so stay tuned.

    LR.
  9. umbarsc

    umbarsc

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    Standard Rain Dance *is* offensive Rain Dance. The entire point of Rain Dance teams is to abuse Swift Swimmers and try to strike as hard as you can. I think Phione and Dewgong would fall under the "dedicated rain dancer" category, although Dewgong in particular is poor at that because it has weaknesses to Electric, Grass, and Fighting, all of which the two most common Swift Swimmers (Kabutops and Omastar) are weak to.

    Phione, however, is much better thanks to U-turn and being a pure water. 80/80/80 may seem pretty mediocre, but it can make great use of it, and unSTABed Thunderbolts or Energy Ball won't be breaking it too easily. The set I've posted in my Phione revamp is

    Phione @ Leftovers
    Trait: Hydrator
    EVs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 SpD (* 0 Spe IV)
    Sassy Nature (+SpD, -Spe)
    - Rain Dance
    - Rest
    - Surf
    - U-turn

    The EVs/nature were found by X-Act's defense applet.
  10. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    I assumed standard is offensive as well, but make what you want out of venom's post:

    About Phione and Dewgong, I have no personal experience from using them, and so I won't really be able to write them up very well. If you want I'll research them and add a bit to the 'support pokemon' section, although it might be better if you write them and then we incorporate it into here.

    LR.

    EDIT: Updated Omastar and added Gorebyss.
  11. Imran

    Imran
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    Maybe we could have mention of Quilfish as a rain Lead as well, TBH its pretty capable what with Access to Destiny Bond AND Explosion, and especially the ability to sweep right from the off, something that other Rain Leads don't have.

    Also maybe something about countering Rain Teams might be a good idea, I'd be happy to look at that with you or whatever if you alread yhave it covered thats cool too. No doubt I'll catch you on Shoddy sometimes, but if this is a "guide to rain offense" you will want to put in to utilise and oppose it. You have threats but i think using your threats correctly is important too, like stalling tactics etc that work especially agains tTimer-Based Offensive teams such as this.
  12. Venom

    Venom red eyes no visine
    is a Team Rater Alumnus

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    You might as well make this the "rain dance team" guide, since I didn't really get to it on mines (and dont plan to anymore since things like this are already done, so there is no point now), and I was planning on adding about UU on there too, but UU should get a mention here.
  13. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider
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    UU Threats

    [​IMG]
    Lapras - With a Water immunity (Water Absorb) and a x4 resistance to Ice, Lapras can comfortably switch into most common rain sweepers with ease. It also has access to Thunderbolt and Thunder, which can do massive damage to your sweepers. With its amazing HP and defenses Lapras can comfortably shrug off HP Electric as well.

    However, Lapras takes quite a bit of damage from Stealth Rock because of its Ice typing, and it can't switch into a Kabutops at all.

    [​IMG]
    Poliwrath - Poliwrath makes a great counter for the Rock/Water sweepers in UU, as it resists both their STAB moves and can hit them back with super effective Fighting attacks or boosted unresisted Water attacks. Poliwrath's Water Absorb ability also makes it a good switch in into Water attacks from the other rain sweepers, but super effective Hidden Powers do hurt quite a bit. Psychic from Gorebyss does a fair chunk too.

    [​IMG]
    Quagsire - Quagsire can take on all rain sweepers without Hidden Power grass with ease. Its ground typing affords it valuable resistances to Rock and Poison, allowing it to switch in on Qwilfish and Kabutops with ease. Water Absorb means that it won't be taking anything from Surfs. Quagsire is reason enough to consider running HP Grass instead of HP Electric on your sweepers.

    [​IMG]
    Toxicroak - With its Dry Skin ability, water attacks not only heal Toxicroak, but it recovers a large amount of HP every turn in the rain as well. This means that despite its not-so-stellar defenses, Toxicroak can wall many rain sweepers on the spot. Its Fighting type means that Rock attacks won't be doing too much either, while Toxicroak can hit back with STAB Fighting attacks against the Rock-typed sweepers.

    However, Toxicroak is neutral to Ice Beams, and with its poor SpD they can easily 2-3HKO most Toxicroak. It also needs to be very wary of Relicanth's Earthquake, Omastar's Earth Power and Gorebyss' Psychic.

    [​IMG]
    Golduck - With its unique Cloud Nine ability, Golduck causes the rain to effectively stop while it is play. Although the rain will continue to fall, none of its effects - the water attack boost and swift swim's speed boost - will come into play. This means that Golduck works in UU much like the auto-weather inducers play in OU - but for Golduck these benefits only remain in play while it does. It takes little from resisted Surfs and Ice Beams, but admittedly it can do little back. However, a surprise super effective Hidden Power Grass or Cross Chop can do decent damage to the Rock/Water sweepers in UU.



    @ Goldfan - I'm not sure I get what you mean mate. I think just saying what the threats to rain teams are and how they affect them is enough info for an intelligent reader to realise how to counter them.
  14. Imran

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    All I meant was, if you are having a "Guide to Rain teams" It seems to me that it should include not ony how to succesfully use a Rain Team, but also how to succesfully counter a rain team. I'm sure intelligant readers can work it out for themselves, but I'm sure that intelligant readers will also know what the best moves to but on a Swords Dance Lucario are too. Tell you what, I'll spend a bit of time on it tomorrow and show it to see what you think of it.

    I guess what I mean is youve mentioned Pokemon such as TTar who can stop the rain, but its also about succesful strategy to waste turns of rain and not giving them the time of day to set it up in transition. Anyhoo I'll write a little bit and see what you think of it =D
  15. umbarsc

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    In addition to the threats you've listed, consider the following:

    - Lanturn
    - Mantine
    - Phione

    Maybe Phione is pushing it a bit (still does good damage to Omastar with Grass Knot, and can man up to a +2 Rock Slide from Kabutops, with different spreads of course), but Lanturn and Mantine definitely need recognition as counters, though you should mention that Mantine can be beaten by HP Electric, and Lanturn is 2HKOed from Omastar's Earth Power.

    The sweepers:

    - Kabutops
    - Omastar
    - Gorebyss
    - Qwilfish
    - Huntail

    A bit iffy on the last one, but I think I might still mention it.

    I'm not exactly sure if Toxicroak warrants a spot in "Threats" (I was going to put in another section of "other pokemon that deserve a mention"), because Kabutops easily OHKOs with Swords Dance Return, Gorebyss OHKOs with Psychic, and Omastar hits it really hard with Earth Power (I haven't ran the calcs to see if it OHKOs). The main thing to mention about Toxicroak is Vacuum Wave, which hinders Omastar's/Kabutop's sweep.

    It's arguable, but both have their merits and I personally feel that Omastar is more useful, because Fake Out + Mach Punch does a minimum of 69% to 36 HP Gorebyss, so Gorebyss still struggles with TechTop. Gorebyss, unlike Omastar, is always walled by either Mantine or Lanturn, which is another point in Omastar's favor.

    I've been using Kabutops quite a bit in UU, both on Rain teams and on non-rain teams, and I can safely say that Return deserves a mention, and moves like Superpower and X-Scissor can be removed, if we're strictly talking about UU here. I've always found that in the Rain, Kabutops is so scary that it's not worth risking Stone Edge missing, and I've found that Rock Slide is a viable alternative, but both can be mentioned. Rain Dance should be scrapped as well. Generally, I've used this:

    - Swords Dance
    - Waterfall
    - Return / Rock Slide
    - Aqua Jet

    Regardless of whether rain is up, I've always found that Aqua Jet is essential in the last slot, because Mach Punch from Hitmonlee and Hitmontop especially is really common, and +2 Aqua Jet in the rain destroys both of them. Aqua Jet also helps against really fast Scarfers like Timid Ninetales or something, but they're not generally too common. Aqua Jet also helps if Kabutops gets paralyzed.

    Swords Dance/Waterfall are essentials for obvious reasons.

    The choice between Return and Rock Slide is a bit of a toss-up, but with the excellent coverage of Normal/Water, I've often found that Return is more useful, and it gives it a shot at beating Poliwrath/Quagsire (+2 Return always 2HKOs them both, while neither have OHKOed Kabutops when I faced them). However, Rock Slide gets more super-effective coverage, and if the opponent is smart they will not allow Kabutops to get +2 in the rain, meaning that Rock Slide can be useful for things like Altaria when Kabutops hasn't boosted. Stone Edge is also useful because it has much more power than Rock Slide, which can get it a few key KOs that unboosted Rock Slide can't.

    Wrong on two counts. Omastar's Life Orb Surf does a minimum of 40% to standard Golduck, which I don't consider to be "little", though it's certainly not "a lot". Golduck's Surf does a minimum of 60% (assuming Leftovers) which is a losing proposition for Golduck bit it certainly does not to "little".

    Instead, you should phrase it to say that Golduck will have little difficulty shrugging off a Surf or Ice Beam (which is different from saying it does little damage) and will OHKO Omastar with HP Grass, then say that Omastar wins if Golduck doesn't carry HP Grass (Cross Chop from mixed Golduck still does only a maximum of 62%).

    I really think of Golduck as more of a check than a true counter, though.

    I know you say "consider", but this makes it sound like Quagsire HP Grass should be run to hurt Quagsire more, when Mantine is far more common than Quagsire and has higher SpD, making it more of a threat to special rain sweepers.
  16. kingdra-13

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    Awesome guide! Maybe you should split the giude into OU and UU as the pokemon used in each tier are different. Like umbarsc said, Mantine should be mentioned since it has a shit load SpD and has either Water Absorb or Swift Swim to sponge all your Water assualts or abuse rain.

    Like this, Adding a example team would make the explanation clearer and gives the reader an idea of what their team should look like. Adding your warstory would show how a rain offense team should be played like (I mean adding the link). On the threat list, maybe you should include moves along side with pokes, Toxic Spikes and Taunt are good counters to rain offense.

    Very good guide overall!
  17. Twisted Kneebar

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    dont forget to mention dugtrio beats abomasnow with stone edge and lol toxicroak with EQ. duggie seems so attractive on rain teams lol
  18. Itchni

    Itchni

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    toxicroak is only found on UU and dugtrio is not. Dugtrio cannot switch in to abomasnow. Dont talk about stuff you dont know.
  19. Twisted Kneebar

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    yeah thats why i put "lol" next to toxicroak. and if you used your brain, i said BEATS abomasnow i never said he counters. Dugtrio cant counter T-Tar but he beats him. he cant even counter bliss unless you switch on a non offensive attack. so tell legacy raider to "not talk about stuff he doesnt know" if he wants to keep duggie there
  20. Deck Knight

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    I think Rotom-W Should be in this analysis somewhere, probably as a Support pokemon or a Rain Lead.

    It provides a key resistance to Electric as well as Immunity to Ground, Normal, and Fighting and itself can use Rain effectively with both STAB Thunder and boosted Hydro Pump.

    I suppose you could argue it is inferior to Lanturn in some respects, but it does provide something different defensively, and provides a crucial answer to Fighting types that wipe out the Water/Rock sweepers. It also helps against Ludicolo's Poison and Flying weaknesses.
  21. Stellar

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    I'll continue to update this with errors, but you have an extra comma after Crobat's useful moves and you called Rock Head, Rock Smash in the Relicanth description.
  22. Farewell

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    Mention how Toxicroak makes an excellent counter to Qwilfish. Also mention that both Omastar and Qwilfish have access to Spikes, and Toxic Spikes. *Something else Omastar has over Gorbyss. Omastar also gets Stealth Rock.

    Also mention Tentacruel as a possible Rain Counter; with resistance to Water, Ice, high Special Defense, and a neutrality to HP Grass, Tentacruel can take quite a beating on the Special side, and set up Toxic Spikes, which can really mess with a Rain Dance team with the constant switches back and forth to re-set up Rain, as well as the damage building up rather quickly with Life Orb recoil.

    As long as Qwilfish doesn't have Swords Dance + Return, Tentacruel also counters Qwilfish fairly well, resisting both of its STAB attacks, although it must watch out for Taunt versions. Additionally, Destiny Bond won't save it since Tentacruel will likely set up rather than hit back, meaning Tentacruel will not hurt it back too hard without resorting to Rain boosted Surfs, but can at least come in and to take hits which can stall out the 8 turns of Rain while setting up.

    Tentacruel also works to counter Leech Seed Ludicolo with its Liquid Ooze ability, and sponge its Energy Balls, Ice Beams, Surfs, and Grass Knots pretty easily.

    Plus, Tentacruel can hit Rock/Water types pretty well with Rain boosted Surfs, and can Rapid Spin away Stealth Rocks set up by Rain Dance leads / Swampert. Additionally, Tentacruel resist Scizor's STAB attacks, which helps it switch in, and use Rain to hit Scizor extra hard with its Surf.

    Tentacruel, however, must still watch out for Mixed and Physical Swift Swimmers as their Physical attacks will break through Tentacruel's sub-par Defense, barring weaker resisted hits like X-Scissor Scizor / Kabutops.


    Tentacruel also goes to point to Gorbyss' Psychic, and Omastar's Earth Power as something to watch out for.


    In UU also mention SHEDINJA. Shedinja, barring Stealth Rocks, and the Water / Rock Pokemon, can easily come in Water, Ice, and Hidden Power to effectively stall out Rain Teams, while threatening common Rain Dance support like Azelf / Uxie / Ludicolo (without Leech Seed) with its STAB attacks backed by Swords Dance, or simply come in on Pokemon like Scizor and Kingdra as they can do nothing back.

    In fact, I saw a few lead Shedinjas in UU, and when facing Rain Teams, they could seriously wall opponents and stall out Rain Dance, especially when paired with Rapid Spinners like Blastoise.
  23. Twisted Kneebar

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    those threats make dugtrio seem so much better in rain teams.
  24. Deck Knight

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    One other note, this one on formatting.

    In the Rain Team Building section, you list four categories:

    Rain Leads

    Rain Sweepers

    Dedicated Rain Dancer/Bulky Rain Dancing Sweeper

    Supporting Pokemon


    You then give Rain Leads, Sweepers, and Supporting Pokemon as their own separate subsection, but you don't include a seperate Dedicated Rain Dancer/Bulky Rain Dancing Sweeper subsection.
  25. maddog

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    One of the best ways to beat a Rain Dance team is to put down two layers of Toxic Spikes, which is a better kill to Rain Dance teams than pretty much anything else you listed. For this reason, Tentacruel and Toxicroak are good supporters, as they can clear Toxic Spikes away, and set up Rain Dance or set up Substitutes and fire off Focus Punches respectively. Also, its extremely important to have something other than your lead that sets up Rain Dance to support the team, in which Jirachi and Zapdos are extremely good at doing because of access to Thunder and U-Turn if you wanted to use it. Personally, I use 2/3 Damp Rock Rain Dance users, and have the rest of my team sweep. The Rain Dance users also support the team in other ways, such as laying Stealth Rock, taking care of Toxic Spikes, or prodiving Wish support. They also allow your sweepers do to their job more effectively, and can counter things if necessary, yet your guide has no real mention towards them.

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