[RECLUDED] By Red Striker ~Introduction~ So, five monthes away from Nationals (and another three monthes until the April Regionals) and I still didn't have a clue in the world what I was going to do for a team. After gaining some help from a friend of mine (not in real life) on a VGC oriented server on PO and painstaking hours of testing, I was finally able to come up with this team. Without further adieu, I present Team [RECLUDED]. ~At A Glance~ This team was originally going to be built around Scizor, but after thinking it over, Metagross outclasses Scizor in most ways. So, I decided to build it around Metagross instead. Chandelure, Zapdos, and Garchomp like to make Metagross' life hard. Swampert manages to counter them, while having Metagross resist the bane of Swampert's life (i.e. Grass). I wanted to leave this team with the option of running Trick Room. Since Metagross doesn't exactally counter any of Swampert's threats, that's where Chandelure comes in. Chandelure has threats of its own, however, the other two members mentioned so far are capable of handling them. Scrafty makes a great lead alongside Chandelure if I happen to be attempting a Trick Room setup (or even when I'm not), as well as another counter towards Chandelure's threats, not to mention handling opposing Chandleures, Cresselias, and T-tars well. I needed something that could revenge kill with quite the punch. SpecsMence does the job just fine, while giving Intimidate support, which allows the other pokemon listed above to last a little longer (i.e. Scrafty being able to survive Acrobatics+Flying gem and Chandelure being able to last through a Crunch from T-tar longer). If you notice, the majority of the pokemon listed bafore Cresselia enjoy having this lunar pokemon's support (Metagross and Scrafty in peticular). Cresselia ops as my alternative if I feel that Trick Room is a bad idea. ~A Closer Look~ Metagross@Occa Berry Nature: Brave Ability: Clear Body IVs: 0 Speed IVs EVs: 252 Attack, 252 HP, 4 SDefense Moveset: Earthqhuake Zen Headbutt Bullet Punch Protect Why Metagross? With IntimiTops running around this year, I needed to have something that could laugh at both it and its ever-so-bothersome Ability, Intimidate. If the opponent is planning to set up Trick Room, they better think twice about that with Metagross on the field, as it will have the Speed of 67 (at Lv.50 that is), "outspeeding" even T-tar under Trick Room. Now, how does Metagross benefit the team as a whole? For starters, a Cresselia/Metagross lead seems to be a lead people fequently use, and for good reason. With Metagross' low speed, it appreciates having both Ice Wind and T-Wave support. If an enemy Latios is weakend enough, a Helping Hand-boosted Bullet Punch will knok the jet plane out of the sky, which will be a sigh of relief for Salamence. Helping Hand-boosted Iron Head? T-tar, Weavile, Terrakion, and Abomasnow all frown upon such thoughts. Going back to the topic of Latios, Metagross makes a great partner for Salamence, as it will survive Draco Meteor frome that thing with ease, Dragon Gem or Life Orb buffed. Also, I can lure the opponent into using a Fire-type move and then switch into Chandelure for the Falsh Fire bonus. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. I said earlier that this team has the option of running Trick Room, and at minimal Speed, Metagross is a complete monster in it. The first thing that usually come to mind with the opponent is "Oh crap, it's a Metagross. Better reel off and Earthquake ASAP." Well, I could always switch into Salamence, which happens to be immune to it, or if they happen to have Garchomp active, I could have Metagross wait a turn via Protect while Cresselia phases Chomp's Speed nad then go for a Helping Hand-boosted Iron Head and leave a gaping hole in it. Zen Headbutt, Helping Hand-assisted or not, KOs Hitmontop, Amoonguss, and Meinshao without worry. In Trick Room, it might be that Flinch that wins me the battle. Protect is self-explanitory in Doubles, as it allows for the user to Protect itself while the ally switches out, scouting for dangerous moves, and waiting for an ally to cripple or otherwise take out a threat. Priority has always been a big thing, VGC or not. Metagross fills in the need for a priority move, as it gives me the ability to finish off already-crippled pokemon that are faster than it. With the Occa Berry, Metagross is able to stave off Fire-type moves along with its max HP. Metagross' Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Infernape While the Flare Blitz from this guy can OHKO, Infernape has its faults. All I need to do is switch into Chandelure or Salamence to render the regular set useless. Volcarona With Volcarona, it's not as easy as a simple switch into Chandelure or Salamence, as I find it's oftentimes paired with Hitmontop or T-tar, both of which could take them down (Salamence might have a chance if Hitmontop is out, but Rock Slide from T-tar will be the end of it, not to mention it won't be able to dent it if Sandstorm is active). Swampert has a chance of getting taken down if Hitmontop isn't Paralized or has some sort of Speed hinderance (since Hitmontop can OHKO with Close Combat+Fighing Gem). Chandelure Scrafty can hold its own against this guy, but if it's taken down before it KOs Chandelure, I'm going to be in a pinch. I could send up Chandelure, but I'd be slower or at Speed tie, which either situation is bad, as the opposing Chandelure could just Shadow Ball my Chandelure to KO it. Swampert could take it down without a sweat, depending on what Chandelure has as its ally. Zapdos Almost every Zapdos has one thing in common: Heat Wave. Handling Zapdos should be no problem, since Swampert can just wall the avarige set. If it sets up T-Wind, I'll be ready with Trick Room. Garchomp The only real problem Garchomp poses here is its STAB Earthquakes. If its Speed isn't decreased in some way, Salamence won't be able to KO it. Another option I have is Swampert. Even with Yache Berry, I can atleast 2HKO the sand shark with Ice Beam (read further). Swampert@Rindo Berry Nature: Quiet Ability: Torrent IVs: 0 Speed EVs: 180 HP, 76 SDefense, 252 SAttack Moveset: Muddy Water Earth Power Ice Beam Protect Why Swampert? Despite only having two weaknessees, Metagross has quite a bit of threats. Lukly, Swampert covers most of them, as well as having Metagross being able to switch into the widely-used HP Grass and Giga Drain. In a way, the two work in sync with eachother. Zapdos, Chandelure, Garchomp, Heatran, Volcarona, and Infernape. The one thing they have in common? They're all threats of Metagross. Another thing they have in common? Swampert threatens all of those, Zapdos, Chandelure, and Heatran in peticular. However, Ludicolo, Breloom, and Abomasnow all give Swampert something to worry about. In Loom and Abomasnow's case, Metagross has almost no problems with. The only thing I have to worry about is Ludicolo. With Helping Hand-boosted Muddy Water, It's like using Surf under the effects Rain (without HH that is) while having the chance to lower the opponent's accuracy. At the same time, it doesn't hit Swampert's ally. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. If you don't have anything to counter Dragons on your team, it's pretty much gg in this metagame. If you have something that can atleast counter them, chances are, it counter a lot more. After being at a -1 Speed stage, Garchomp is outsped by Swampert. Since Garchomp's Speed fell due to Icy Wind (from Cresselia), its Sash would be broken and the Yache Berry would otherwise be gone, allowing Swampert to OHKO Garchmp with Ice Beam. Muddy Water can turn an already-inaccurate move into something that almost never hits. Lately, I've been seeing quite a few Excadrill/T-tar leads. After a few Icy Winds, Swampert will be able to OHKO-2HKO the two of them. Earth Power serves as Swampert's STAB move, as well as my answer for Metagross, Vlocarona, and Bisharp etc. (Do I really need to explain the use of Protect again, seeing how it's on almost every pokemon on the team?) With the investment in SDefense, I can make the use of the Rindo Berry more effective, since anything with Grass Knot or Giga Drain loves the sight of the mud fish. It also allows it to survive a Life Orb-boosted Draco Meteor from Latios. Swampert's Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Ludicolo Ludicolo outside of Rain is easy to handle, but if it's the topic of Rain, this team could be done for. They usually carry Grass Knot or Giga Drain, which are equally bad. It's not like I'm going to be able to set up Trick Room, since my TRer is weak to Water. I could have a chance to take Ludicolo if Light Screen is active and then attempt to take it down while I have reduced damage, but other than that, I'm not sure how to take it down. Salamence will be carrying Hidden Power Flying, but without the Yache Berry, Salamence doesn't stand much chance, since it will likely get hit with an Ice Beam, not to mention being outsped via Swift Swim. Ferrothorn Not much to be said here. All I really have to do is send up Salamence or Chandelure to KO it (preferrably Salamence, since most people excpect to see it as a physical attacker). Breloom Same as if I was dealing with Ferrothorn, only I have one more problem: Spore. Abomasnow Did I ever mention how much Chandelure loves this guy? If it doesn't counter this thing, Metagross, Salamence, or Scrafty will. Gastrodon With Storm Drain, Gastrodon renders Swampert's Muddy Water useless. Earth Power hardly does any damage to it (even without a Stockpile boost). As for Ice Beam, it does less than Earth Power. The best part? I don't have any Grass moves on the team. Chandelure@ Focus Sash Nature: Modest Ability: Flash Fire IVs: 0 Speed IVs EVs: 252 SAtt, 252 HP, 4 SDef Moveset: Heat Wave Trick Room Shadow Ball Protect Why Chandelure? Have you ever seen how lethal this guy is under Trick Room? I have, and needless to say, it was enough to covinse me to make it my Trick Room setup pokemon... or counter it. With the rise in use of Tailwind, Trick Room is the one thing that can save you from being outsped by the opponent. Also, if you notice, Metagross only resists Swampert's mortal enemy. It doesn't actually counter it. Chandelure both resists and counters it. Also, Chandelure is one of the first pokemon with a spread move (i.e. Heat Wave)(Swampert has one, too, however, it's just a little bit inaccurate. Heat Wave is, too, but not as much). Paired with Scrafty as a lead, the two can make an excelent combo. Besides, if I really wanted to abuse the Flash Fire Ability, all I'd need to do is send up Metagross is up and lure them into a Heat Wave etc. and then switch in at the last moment into Chandelure. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. The first thing one migh notice is the fact that I have a Modest Nature over the Quiet Nature. That's because Chandelure has to be versitile in and out of Trick Room. With Trick Room active, Latios quivers in fear of Chandelure, as it will be OHKOd via Shadow Ball. Being one of the top threats in this metagame, this will come in handy. Right next to Priority moves, Spread moves are a must in VGC. Being the SAttack powerhouse, Heat Wave from this thing still pack a punch with or without the Life Orb/Fire Gem. Abomasnow, Amoonguss, and Metagross are a few example of big game threats where Heat Wave could (will) save me from he clutches of defeat. (even though I explained this two pokemon ago) Protect is a useful move that allows for easy scouting, worry-less switch-outs, and Protection from one thing as an ally takes care of a threat. With maximum HP, Chandelure is able to survive an opposing Chandelure's Shadow Ball, not to mention countless other threats (Crunch is still a problem, though, no matter what it's from). Max HP and the Charti Berry grants me the ability to get through a Rock Slide without being OHKOd. Chandelure's Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Garchomp Chandelure has the same problems as Metagross with the sand shark. However, the same problems means the same solution. The only difference? Chandelure won't be surviving its Earthquakes. Hitmontop Most Hitmontop sets carry Sucker Punch, which is the only real concern with Hitmontop in this case. Metagross won't be able to counter Top if it happens to be a Top/Moth lead, as Metagross will just get singed by Heat Wave. Salamence might stand a chance against it, but it won't OHKO Top. Scfafty@Chople Berry Nature: Adamant Ability: Moxie IVs: 0 Speed IVs EVs: 252 Attack, 252 HP, 4 SDefense Moveset: Ice Punch Drain Punch Crunch Detect Why Scrafty? Have you ever thought to yourself "oh hey, it's just a Scfafty. What's the worst it could possibally do? All I need to do is use HP Flying (or some other Flying move) to OHKO it," and then come to find yourself swept by somehing with +2-3 Attack? Yeah. That's Scrafty in a nutshell (if given the chance, of course). If you look at a "top twenty most used pokemon in VGC 2012" list anywhere, most of the pokemon on the list happen to be weak to Scrafty's dual STAB combo. Besides, Scrafty enjoys having Chandelure as a lead partner-in-crime, especially with Trick Room active. Acrobatics+Flying Gem users enjoy abusing Scrafty to no end (as most of them get STAB with it anyways), but switching into Metagross makes their Flying Gem a complete waste. The majority of these combo users are physical attackers, so switching into Salamence wouldn't hurt, either, as they'd be phased by Intimidate. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. I really have to hand it to Gamefreak for giving something with Moxie the ability to learn Drain Punch. With Drain Punch, I can easally heal off the damage that was inflicted upon Scrafty by something like HP Flying from a Zapdos. With a Helping Hand assist, I'm able to OHKO a ChopleTar running 252 HP EVs with Drain Punch. Under Trick Room, Scrafty makes a great counter against Latios with Crunch, as I can OHKO Latios 31.52% of the time (assuming that they aren't running any HP EVs), as well as 2HKO a Chandelure that runs 252 HP EVs with no Defense EVs (both of these calculations are on the assumption of +0 Attack). I'm sure there are some of you out there scratching your heads and wondering why I don't have Fake Out if I plan to (sometimes) use a Chandelure/Scrafty lead. Keyword: if. First of all, who said that if I plan to use Trick Room, I'm always going to use Scrafty, and second, why do I want to have a move that becomes dead weight after T1 over more Dragon coverage? I know Swampert counters Dragons with Ice Beam, but on a team, you always (atleast in my experience) want atleast two things that counter Dragons that aren't Dragon-types themselves. Like Swampert, I can use Icy Wind (from the lunar pokemon) to break Yache Berries (and in some cases Multiscale as well), and then go for the OHKO via Ice Punch. (I don't think I need to explain the use of Protect for a third time) Scrafty's Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Acrobatics users While a STAB Acrobatics boosted with Flying Gem will OHKO Scrafty, all I need to do is switch into Metagross to rendnder that Flying Gem near-useless. If I don't have Metagross on the four I bring into battle, then Scrafty is in trouble. Hitmontop Hitmontop is probabally one of the only reasons as to why I might not use Scrafty to begin with. Fighting Gem or not, it will still OHKO Scrafty with Close Combat (not to mention a more-than-likely chance of having the Intimidate Ability). However, this can be solved by switching into Cresselia (who resists it), or Chandelure (that's completely immune to Fighting). As for taking it down, Metagross can do a fine job at KOing pokemon's version of Beyblade. Terrakion The only problem Scrafty has with Terrakion is Close Combat. With the right prediction, I can Switch into Salamence and lower its Attack via Intimidate and in turn lower the damage further. Salamence@Choice Specs Nature: Timid Ability: Intimidate EVs:252 SAttack, 252 Speed, 4 SDefense Moveset: Heat Wave Dragon Pulse Hidden Power Flying Hydro Pump (Subject to change to Protect) Why Salamence? Most teams in this metagame have some sort of revenge killer, either with Specs or Scarf. Another thing that most teams have is Intimidate. Salamence has both of those qualities. Usually, the mistake people make is switching from something like Metagross into a Dragon-type like Latios in order to counter Salamence just to find that what they switched into ends up with its Speed lowered (either by T-Wave or Icy Wind) and immediately KOd by Samamence. Metagross is easily able to switch into a Dragon-type attack for Salamence, and in turn, Salamence is ablt to resist and counter Metagross' threats. Scrafty's Fighing intolerance? Yeah, Salamence covers that as well, not to mention Swampert's disagreement with Grass. Overall, Salamence supports this team like a boss. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. Many people wonder why I use Dragon Pulse over Draco Meteor. There's one simple reason: a significant SAtt drop. Though it comes in armed with the Specs, it's still very noticable. I can't tell you how fun it is to have the opponent sitch out of Metagross and into Latios expecting me to go for the other pokemon (since only n00bs use Dragon-type moves on Steel-types unless that Steel-type is going to be KOd anyways), when in truth I hade a Helping Hand-boosted Dragon Pulse up my sleve instead, ready for the switch. Heat Wave useful in many cases, like Vs an Abomasnow, which happens to be one of Salamence's threats. It is excellent against most of Swampert's threats, so long as none of them go by the name of Ludicolo. Speaking of that overacive dancer, Hidden Power Flying makes a decent counter against it (so long as Salamence isn't KOd by Ice Beam, although if that happens after it lands atleast one hit with it, my other party members should be able to handle it). Inaccurate yet powerful, Hydro Pump is my one solution to Rock-types (Salamence and Chandelure's favorite types [/sarcasm]), Fire-types (which beat down Metagross to no end) and Ground-types (which plague Metagross and Chandelure). Salamence's Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Abomasnow If you havn't already noticed, all of the pokemon listed so far but Swampert make complete counters against Abomasnow. No worries here. Terrakion Terrakion is going to make things a little bit more difficultt, but nonetheless, Swampert or Metagross will be sure to make sort work of it. Latios Latios is only a threat if its Speed isn't lowered, otherwise, it becomes bait for Salamence. Cresselia@Lum Berry Nature:Bold (Subject to change to Calm) Ability: Levitate EVs: 252 SDefense, 252 HP, 4 SDefense (the extra four will go to Defense if Bold changes to Calm) Moveset: Icy Wind Trick Room Helping Hand Light Screen (Subject to change to Reflect) Why Cresselia? If you havn't figured this out just by reading through the thread, Cresselia is basically the crown jewel of this team. There are so many lead possibilities with her, it ain't even funny. Scrafty/Cress, Metagross/Cress, and, (my personal favorite, of which probabally isn't considered a "normal" lead) Salamence/Cerss, all of which are very potent leads when considering the circumstances. Cresselia also stands as my other resort aside from Trick Room. If you say the words "Helping Hand," instantally, the words " (possible) OHKO" "greatly crippled, " and occasionally "good game" come to mind. With high bulk, Cresselia will be able to reel off Helping Hands to its allies until kingdom come. Nature, Moveset, EVs etc. She begins supporting her teammates with a friendly Thunder Wave, Paralyzing anything that's not immune to it (which in this metagame, the only common Ground-tyes used are Garchomp, Swampert, and the occasional Hippowdon and Gastrodon). This not only irritates the potential Paraflinch Togekiss, but allows for Scrafty and Salamence to land the finishing blow to things like Latios and Terrakion. Since Cresselia has a broad spectrum of support moves, I can leave the opponent guesing as to weather of not it carries Icy Wind when they have a 4x-to-Ice Dragons active. This could come in handy, as if they don't suspect it coming, the Yache Berry will have been a waste, and the following attack will probabally be an Ice Beam/Punch, OHKOing the target. Light Screen is an almost-absolute must. It not only adds on to the sheer SDefense of Cresselia, but it makes it to where Swampert is able to switch into a Dragon Gem-boosted Draco Meteor and be able to survive (since Metagross isn't always isn't always going to be on the party of four in the team preview). Cresselia's Threat List High threat level Something I might worry about Not much of a threat at all Scizor I have two things on this team that are able to completely scramble this guy, but if I don't select any of them in Team Preview, Cresselia's chances of survival become lower. ~Side Notes~ Metagross None at the moment. Swampert None at themoment. Chandelure While I don't use it that often, I'm currently unsure what to put as a replacement, as it has to have decent SAttack and be able to learn Trick Room. Scrafty I'm not replacing Ice Punch for Fake Out FYI. Salamence You probabally noticed that I'm considering putting in Protect over Hydro Pump. I don't find myself using it very often (mainly due to accuracy issues), and besides, I can catch the opponent off gaurd , and they probabally won't figure out that it has the Specs until it's too late. Cresselia I've considered changing Light Screen to Reflect, but I'm still not too sure on the idea, as Light Screen helps a lot Vs a team like Rain. ~In-Depth Damage Calculations~ ***Please note that these are assuming that the pokemon have max IVs.*** Metagross@Iron Head with Helping Hand boost Vs Jolly 0 HP/0 Defense Garchomp-->64.77%-76.47% Metagross@Zen Headbutt with Helping Hand boost Vs Relaxed 252 Defense/252 HP Amoonguss-->92.36%-103.03% Metagross@Iron Head Vs Modest 252 HP/0 Defense Abomasnow-->146.90%-172.66% Scrafty@Crunch Vs Modest 252 HP/0 Defense Chandelure-->75.93%-89.81% Swampert@Ice Beam Vs Timid 0 SDefense/0 HP Latios-->52.49%-61.79% Swampert@Ice Beam with Helping Hand boost Vs Timid 0 HP/0 SDefense Latios-->78.41%-92.36% Swampert@Muddy Water with Helping Hand boost Vs Adamant 252 HP/4 SDefense T-tar in Sand-->47.52%-56.44% Swampert@Muddy Water with Helping Hand boost Vs Adamant 252 HP/4 SDefense T-tar (no Sand)-->71.29%-83.91% Swampert@Muddy Water with Helping Hand boost Vs Adamant 0 HP/4 SDefense Excadrill-->112.19%-132.13% ~Changes Made~ -Swaped the Charti Berry on Chandelure for the Focus Sash. -Noted Gastrodon as a threat to Swampert. -Changed Iron Head to Earthqhake. -Changed Creselia's T-Wave to Trick Room.