noone said it would be quick, but if you spend a bit of time breeding better pokes, you'll save stacks of time since you wont keep losing to things you should never have lost to. i mean not to be rude, but if your garchomp cannot OHKO an electivire, then you will have difficulty getting very far. hehe luck certainly plays a part no matter what. but i know in emerald i tried open level for months, then decided to give level 50 a try (battles 1-21 had such easier pokes) and literally got the gold symbol on the first try. congrats on the great streak, and commiserations on just missing out on facing the brain. oh no, that is just purely my own perspective on the battle. even if it got 5 crits on silver wind, registeel would have still been alive or maybe KO'd on the last one at which point salamence gets at least 2-3 DD's and a sub. that is normally enough, but as this particular battle turned out it would have been a guaranted win against the rampardos and electivire. so frustrating how one single bad idea can lead to the end of a good streak - i would have been so happy to have discovered it in battle 50. i havent done heaps of rng stuff in the 4th gen apart from breeding, but when i first learned it in emerald, i found it incredibly fun just because of the simple fact that if you follow a few steps correctly, you get great pokemon :) but you're certainly right that theres no reason to expect anything to be fast. but compared to the weeks i spent breeding some of my older pokes from scratch with single-31 ditto's, rng-abuse is a walk in the park - you know you will get it if you keep at it. well, registeel does an amazing job - since it has more resistences than salamence, it probably wins about 80% of my battles. so i could imagine a slow 3rd poke doing a good job as its partner as long as you can find someone suitable for the job. but then again, you said "without setup" so maybe you dont want to use registeel? also, i imagine youre not planning on using a trick lead in this team? my salamence + blissey + milotic/suicune teams have done reasonably well (nowhere near 313) and, apart from salamence, none of them would be described as fast, but they're not at all sweepers really (apart from maybe suicune with calm mind, but you dont want stat up moves). nice streak - did it take you many tries to get it? i imagine it must have because i can think of too many scenarios that would beat your team easily. to get a long way, you would have had to have a run that was pretty devoid of the situations (or you needed some luck to get around them). second pokemon is faster than articuno and KO's the sub while you use mind reader, then finishes you before you can use sheer cold. it's then swampert vs pokemon 2 and the mystery 3rd poke. certainly no guarantee of a win. second pokemon is slower, but still breaks the sub on the mind-reader-turn before you KO it with sheer cold next turn. then the third poke can beat articuno and swampert - eg cradilly who has stab moves that both your guys are 4x weak to. (i know articuno can prob stall out stone edge with sub then roost of damage, but there'd be other things.) swampert gets fully set up against their lead, and then pokemon 2 has a special grass move. swampert has to switch out of course, but theres no guarantee articuno can beat it. substitute would be a good move for your swampert to have, since in such a situation you could at least hopefully OHKO them with +6 waterfall as they break your sub, and then you'll be facing the 3rd poke naked. faster things that can put you to sleep before you sub. hax in general (QC OHKO'ers for example). i know clever switching can help eliminate some of these risks but you will certainly need an element of luck. moves like stone edge are often chosen at random even if they are not the most logical, so you could switch articuno in to take a grass move from cradilly and then get hit by an unexpected stone edge. dont get me wrong, im not saying anything bad about you or your team - im actually really impressed you got so far with it, seeing as it is a bit different from the standards these days. this is not a 99.999% guaranteed win team, so i think 198 is about as awesome an achievement as i think could be possible with it.