Sands of Chaos The Team Sup smogon. I don't want you people to be deceived by my low post count; I started playing a little less than a year ago and have in the past few months gotten over 1450 in OU. I'm not a great battler, but this isn't a total noob post and I have some knowledge of what I'm talking about. I would have joined Smogon a while ago but there was some sort of glitch with the confirmation email and I couldn't get in until now. Now I'm finally here to grace you all with my presence. Anyways... So I started playing UU right before the drops. What compelled me was actually the discussion of the OU joke Abomasnow, being broken. I loved Abomasnow, not because of his weather, but because of his own amazingness at abusing my favorite move in the game, Leech Seed. But I digress. The point is, I soon realized Hail wasn't viable anymore with all the new drops. But what I did find to be viable, much more so than in OU, were Toxic Spikes, which wrecked basically any team without Roserade. So I tried to make a stall team featuring Hippowdon and his sand, keeping the some of the concepts from my failed Hail stall team. After about a week or so of work, this incredily annoying SandStall team was born, and it brought me to a respectable peak of 1439 and #4 overall. In-Depth Hippowdon (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Stealth Rock - Earthquake - Roar - Slack Off Comments: Hippowdon is amazing. He counters or checks literally every physical threat in the tier. The fatass also has Stealth Rock, a surprisingly powerful STAB Earthquake, phazing capabilities, and reliable recovery. I'd bring up the possibility of him being broken, but to be honest I really don't want him banned. The hippo usually acts as my lead, as he can often get Stealth Rock up and can always get up the Sandstorm that Stoutland needs. If Stealth Rock isn't up, rest assured I won't click any of his other moves until it is. Roar is the move to use on a predicted switch (which happens a lot) or as a panic button for a dangerous sweeper you can't hurt with Earthquake. Slack Off restores his health so he can stall for residual, and EQ is really only needed to stop sweeps. Roserade (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 252 HP / 244 SDef / 12 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Toxic Spikes - Spikes - Giga Drain - Rest Comments: Roserade is one of the most important team members, perhaps even more so than Hippowdon. This is because she is able to wall bulky waters and a number of other special threats, while simultaneously being able to set up the two spikes. Her amazing special bulky allows me to feel comfortable switching her into any special threat that can't boost itself. Once shes in, you basically only want to be using one of the all-important spikes unless she is at very low health. Against good players, you're rarely going to be able to set up both spike types, so you have to use the team preview carefully to decide which one you want to prioritize. So long as the opponent doesn't have a Toxic Spike absorber, the priority of the spikes is a function of: the number of Toxic Spikes vulnerable pokemon and how weak the opposing team is to Stoutland. If the team is very weak to Stoutland, I am more apt to want to set up Spikes, as with Spikes support Stoutland can run through a lot of teams. But if the team is going to be crippled by Toxic Spikes and Stoutland looks like he might have some trouble sweeping (like if the opponent has a lot of Steels and Ghosts), the Toxic Spikes are probably the better option. Empoleon (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Torrent EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Scald - Ice Beam - Roar - Knock Off Comments: Empoleon is a much-needed backup check to many special threats, like Suicune, Roserade, and Alakazam. She also supports the team a good amount with her burnhax, phazing, and knock off. Her typing is incredibly useful, especially her resistance to sandstorm. Despite all this, what keeps her from being the special equivalent of Hippowdon is her lack of a recovery move. So, unfortunately, she is easily worn down over the course of the game. The real problem with her though, and the reason she probably needs to be replaced is that she is my "best" switch-in to Roserade despite not even resisting her STAB. But replacing her with another Steel or special wall is easier said than done, as without her CroCune would run through my team incredibly easily. Blastoise (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Torrent EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Scald - Rapid Spin - Rest - Sleep Talk Comments: Ah, Blastoise. How screwed I would be without him... He is really the most effective Rapid-Spinner in the game right now, because none of the spin-blockers enjoy STAB Water attacks or burnhax. The flaw of most UU spinners is that they are easily worn down, but this problem is alleviated by this RestTalk set I stole from Godsend. RestTalk is definitely the best set you can run on this guy not only because of the recovery but also because it allows him to comfortably spin on bulky waters. Lately it seems like a lot of people are starting to catch on to the effectiveness of this very simple set. The downside is that I lose out on Roar, which I really would like to deal with CroCune and allow me to replace Empoleon. But the recovery is just too good to pass up. When he's not spinning, Blastoise is usually found helping me out against the whole spectrum of overpowered fire attackers, from Darmanitan to Chandelure. Sableye (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Prankster EVs: 252 HP / 244 SDef / 12 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Taunt - Will-O-Wisp - Recover - Night Shade Comments: Though there are a lot of things I'd rather be using than Sableye due to his lack of useful resistances and reliance on the low accuracy WoW, I needed a spin-blocker and Sableye is among the best the tier has to offer. The only spinner he really has trouble with is Donphan, who can hit him with a powerful EQ on the switch. Sableye also makes for a decent switch-in to weaker special attackers, and once he gets in the game. Another important function is the ability to handle Alakazam quite well, with LO Timid Shadow Ball usually doing a little less than 40%. Unlike Spiritomb, the other Alakazam-countering spin-blocker, Sableye is able to actually do something to the rest of the tier and not just fill that one niche. I am considering replacing him with Mismagius to give me a Ground-resist, especially if I can replace Empoleon with something that can check Alakazam. Stoutland (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Sand Rush EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Return - Crunch - Fire Fang - Pursuit Comments: Stoutland is insanely good. He may seem out of place on a stall team, but he really isn't. For one thing, he provides my defensive core the rare luxury of filling in basically any gaps through his sheer might and speed. He is the ultimate panic button, stopping almost every set-up sweeper cold if they every get out of hand. Also, his low base attack is in need of the hazard support and general wearing -down that a stall team provides for him. A final reason his synergy with stall is so good is that most things that hard-counter him, like bulky Steels and Rocks, are total set-up fodder for the rest of the team. Return is the move I'm usually spamming, unless they happen to be a dangerous number of Ghosts, Rocks, and Steels on the opposing team. Crunch and Fire Fang are merely for hitting the aforemention Ghosts and Steels respecively, and Pursuit is useful both to weaken threats that my opponent would rather preserve, and to checkmate Alakazam and many Spin-blockers. Export PHP: Hippowdon (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Stealth Rock - Earthquake - Roar - Slack Off Roserade (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 252 HP / 244 SDef / 12 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Toxic Spikes - Spikes - Giga Drain - Rest Empoleon (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Torrent EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Scald - Ice Beam - Roar - Knock Off Blastoise (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Torrent EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Scald - Rapid Spin - Rest - Sleep Talk Sableye (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Prankster EVs: 252 HP / 244 SDef / 12 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Taunt - Will-O-Wisp - Recover - Night Shade Stoutland (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Sand Rush EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Return - Crunch - Fire Fang - Pursuit Major Threats Roserade: As it stands, the main threat to my team is Roserade. She absorbs my all-important Toxic Spikes, and my best switch-ins to her are my own Roserade and Empoleon. Luckily, my possession of both a spin-blocker and spinner make any hazards I place just that much more valuable than any hazards the opponent places (unless he has both as well), so switching in my own Roserade to lay some hazards as it starts laying its own isn't always the end of the world. Abomasnow: I suppose Abomasnow can pose a threat on paper, given that with just Wood Hammer and Blizzard he eats my team alive. Unless he's in the hands of quite a good player, however, I can usually play around this and get up some layers to wear him down over the course of the match. Torterra: Another Grass-type. Torterra is really just a representation of powerful Ground-attackers, as he happens to be the one who can most easily get through Hippowdon, my pseudo Ground-resist. But other Grounds, like Band Rhyperior, can also muscle through Hippowdon and cause problems if I allow them to get any hazards up. When this happens, my best bet is to sac something and hope the opponent is stupid or desperate enough to stay in on Sableye and take a burn. Donphan: Donphan isn't that much of an issue, but I may as well list him seeing as he can get through Sableye. Replacing Empoleon with Ferroseed, Escalavier, Registeel, or another Grass-resist and Ice-neutral/resist mon (or just a super-bulky special wall) seems like a natural choice to deal with Abomasnow and Roserade, but as I said earlier, without Empoleon Suicune runs through me. Getting a Ground-resist somehow, especially in the form of Mismagius would probably put a stop to my issues with powerful Ground attackers and Donphan. Thanks for reading!