(team peaked #1 on the LC leaderboard 9/28/10) HAL9000: 1. COMATTHEW6 (1,569.20) Hitting #1 on any leaderboard is a very difficult thing to do, and I recall spending numerous hours tweaking this team just to perfect it. No, this is not team Anti-Nails (I'll save that one for a rainy day - just kidding). This team is an immunity team, sporting immunities to eight of the seventeen types, and half my team has an important immunity to Ground. Without further ado, Team Building Process I know, I know, pick my lead last. I know I wanted a quick lead with high offensive capabilities, so there really was really only one Pokémon for the job: Meowth. Now, to form a core. I know the golden rule - do not pick six random Pokémon, pick Pokémon with good synergy that can work well together (or something along those lines). I looked at a lot of Pokémon, and I knew that I needed Pokémon that are immune to ground, one of the most common attacking types in the game. Also, this team needed Stealth Rock to rack up damage while forcing switches, so Bronzor seemed like a natural choice. Then I was at an impass. I wanted a Pokémon that could a) inflict senseless amounts of damage b) force switches to increase passive damage, and c) piss off my opponents. Substitute + Hypnosis Gastly was a perfect fit, and as a bonus, is immune to three types. With half of my team finished, I wanted a sweeper. Not just any sweeper, one that could do crazy amounts of damage in as little time possible. I clicked the Little Cup Threat List article, and one mon caught my eye - Carvanha. It could do incredible amounts of damage with a Life Orb, and its above-average speed was a turn-on, too. It has an immunity to Psychic. Almost done here. With two slots left, I needed a scout - someone who could effectively get into the battle and use U-turn whenever it wants to. Gligar was, like, the number one Pokémon in the metagame at the time, so I was like, "Wynaut?" Finally, I knew the prevalence of weather-based teams in this metagame, with Rain Dance being the most prominent one (I used to use an RD team, but retired it after peaking 3rd in the metagame towards the end of June). I needed a Pokémon that can effectively stop weather, resist water (something the rest of the team lacks - since when can carvanha take hits?), and do an effective amount of damage with each strike. Snover fits the bill nicely, though it does not give me any immunities. Oh well. Then, I hit ~1470 CRE before realizing that my team couldn't defend against Fire, more specifically, Duskull's Will-o-Wisp. I then instantly decided that Houndour would be a better fit for this team, and it is. It forms great synergy with Snover and Bronzor, and gave me an extra immunity in Fire. An in-depth look: Adam West: the Meowth @ Life Orb. 236 Atk, 216 Spe, 36 SpD. Jolly Nature. Technician (why would I use Pickup?) ~ Fake Out ~ Feint ~ U-turn ~ Bite Your reaction to this moveset: "Feint? Feint?? He must be kidding, right?" The truth is, I'm not. A lot of leads run Protect (and commonly use the move on turn one, whether or not they follow the rule of 2ghosts1cup), and I thoroughly enjoy catching opposing leads off-guard. This may seem very situational, but it also helps if I'm up against substitute-stallers such as (in the snowstorm) Spheal and Shroomish. U-turn is for scouting purposes and Bite is for coverage against Ghost-types, most notably Gastly. Life Orb is absolutely necessary for extra power on all my moves, which is very important to me. I don't like Focus Sash because it gets broken by entry hazards and weather recoil, both of which are popular in Little cup. Alpha Dog: the Houndour @ Life Orb. 196 Atk, 76 Spe, 196 SpA, 36 SpD. Lonely Nature. Flash Fire. ~ Substitute ~ Flamethrower ~ Crunch ~ Sucker Punch Houndour is the only thing on my team that prevents Duskull from spamming Will-o-Wisp. It easily nets itself a 1.5 times bonus to flamethrower on the switch-in, and can then sub up as duskull switches. Now, my opponent is almost forced to sacrifice something just to break Houndour's substitute. Flamethrower is my preferred choice over Fire Blast because Flash Fire gives Flamethrower a boost that will OHKO Pokémon like Gligar who tend to switch in to Houndour, and nothing is worse than to see Fire Blast miss against it. C6H6 Ring: the Bronzor @ Oran Berry. 220 HP, 8Atk, 152 Def, 4SpA, 68SpD, 12Spe. Relaxed Nature. Levitate. ~ Stealth Rock ~ Psychic ~ Earthquake ~ HP Ice A parody of Psykout's "Benzene Ring" (guess what the name of C6H6 is. No, I'll wait). Bronzor gives me another all-important Ground-type immunity (and poison as well) and sets up Stealth Rock on the opponent's side of the field. With all the switches this team can force, my opponents will be losing health pretty quickly. I originally had Flash Cannon over Psychic but then realized that Psychic does more damage to Gastly, and Earthquake still nails (ha, Nails) Croagunk on the switch. Heatproof is stupid, and since Houndour takes Fire-type attacks, Levitate was the better ability. Desert Fox: the Gligar @ Choice Scarf. 236Atk, 236 Spe. Adamant Nature. Sand Veil. ~ Aerial Ace ~ Aqua Tail ~ Earthquake ~ U-turn Gligar isn't a fox, but if I recall correctly, they never nicknamed any generals after a scorpion. Gligar is the primary scout on my team, and can also finish off a weakened team. U-turn is the reason why it's my scout, and this often forces switches (my opponent brings in Bronzor to take an Earthquake, but U-turn allows me to bring in Gastly or Houndour). Aqua Tail hits other Gligar hard, which is why it got the nod over Night Slash. Hyper cutter is kind of dumb because the two Pokémon with Intimidate (please correct me here) are Growlithe and Ekans, both of which are weak to Earthquake. Aerial Ace allows me to hit Grass-types such as Shroomish and Snover, and Earthquake is for STAB. Xmas Tree: the Snover @ Choice Scarf. 116HP, 184SpA, 200 Spe. Timid Nature. Snow Warning. ~ Blizzard ~ Energy Ball ~ HP Fire ~ Water Pulse Snover is the weather-stopper on this team. Its ability ends Sunny Day and Rain Dance, at Snover can take any Waterfall, Surf, Hydro Pump, or Solarbeam that comes its way. Blizzard absolutely wrecks anything that doesn't resist it, and Energy Ball is secondary STAB. I listened to the standard moveset on this one. Snover forms great synergy with Houndour, but Houndour's time on the field is limited with LO recoil and hail recoil (stealth rock is also a female dog, but Meowth prevents it in most cases. Exceptions: fake-out resisting leads). Snover can also clean up, finishing what Houndour and Gastly started. It should also be noted that Snover, unfortunately, does not sport any immunities. Spectre: the Gastly @ Leftovers. 116 HP, 36 Def, 116SpA, 216Spe. Timid Nature. Levitate. ~ Hypnosis ~ Substitute ~ Shadow Ball ~ Sludge Bomb And the MVP goes to…Gastly! Gastly can be a pain in the rear to my opponent unless he/she can successfully predict around it. Hypnosis puts something to sleep 60% of the time, which helps because I don't like my opponents attacking back (but then again, who does?). Substitute works well with Hypnosis, and leftovers allows me to recover off the damage substitute makes me lose. Sludge Bomb and Shadow Ball wreck anything that does not resist it. Being immune to three common attacking types, Gastly usually has next to no problem switching in to enemy attacks. This guy can beat an entire team single-handedly if it gets lucky with consecutive hypnoses connecting (I believe it took out four, maybe five Pokémon in a single match against someone. I think it might've been a relatively old match vs. Dracoyoshi8….). Please rate this team to the best of your ability. That is all I ask for. P.S. thanks arkeis, for 4 sweet pics.