SHAKE IT UP Welcome all. This was my team for the Diversity Cup challenge in #Pokemon on SynIrc. For those who do not know, the rules were simple: Get as high as you could on the Standard OU Ladder using a team that was comprised of 2 OUs, 2 UUs, 1 RU, and 1 NU. After ToF jumped out to an insane lead with around 1470 points, I decided to step up my game. I created this team and my rating jumped from the mid-1200s all the way up to 1500 in about 2 days. After that, I decided to play more battles because I'm very greedy, and managed to peak #1 on the ladder with a rating of 1591, thus officially winning the challenge. I'm amazed at this team's success, especially since I was so restricted with the tiers. But it all worked out in the end. So, without further ado...SHAKE IT UP! Team building Process: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide OU OU UU UU RU NU And this is where it all began...with no direction whatsoever besides the tiers I was forced to use. I needed to decide on a good Pokemon to start everything off with. After much consideration, I decided on Sharpedo not only because it would provide me with a powerful physical attacker that could devastate the OU Metagame with the correct support, but because I would fulfill my RU slot and allow me to utilize my other slots to the highest degree. OU OU UU UU NU At this point, the next Pokemon was extremely obvious in my eyes. I decided on something that I had used in one of my previous Diversity Cup teams that had decimated all in its path. A Pokemon that could obliterate the likes of Skarmory and Ferrothorn and make Steel mantises cower in shame was the description of the most powerful force in the history of Pokemon. Its name was...MAGNETON. OU OU UU UU Magneton would prove to be the perfect partner for Sharpedo, and much more as well. It could decimate Steel-Types and allow Sharpedo to wreak havoc on the opposition much more easily. Regardless, I now decided to take this team on a full offensive course. Full out offense is my preferred playstyle, and I figured that I could easy tear apart many teams without having to worry about countering threats by just loading my team up with powerful attackers. However, entry hazards are a necessity in a metagame filled with dangerous threats such as Dragonite and Volcarona. Thus, I decided to sacrifice one of my OU slots in order to utilize the best entry-hazard Pokemon in the metagame: Deoxys-S. OU UU UU Now came the challenge. I decided to pick my remaining OU Pokemon last in order to fix any weaknesses that I might encounter after deciding on my UUs. However, I had never played UU before and had no idea how well these Pokemon would work in OU. I scanned the UU Tierlist on Smogon and came across a pleasant surprise: Tornadus was UU. OU UU Acrobatics Tornadus has been a long time favorite of mine, and I figured it would be perfect for this team since it can lure in and eliminate walls such as Blissey. It can also hit extremely hard even without the surprise factor, making it a perfect choice. However, after further inspection of the UU list, I discovered that there was literally nothing I felt like using. Just then, however, I remembered that Alakazam had been banned from RU. I looked for it in the tier list and found that it was BL2. I PM'd kd24 on irc and asked him if it worked as a UU. He said it was perfectly fine, and so, only my remaining OU was in question. OU I decided on Alakazam because it would be an amazing revenge killer due its amazing Speed, Special Attack, and the use of a Focus Sash in combination with Magic Guard. Its speed also basically stopped me from being forced to use a Choice Scarf Pokemon since it basically outruns all of the non-boosted OU Metagame besides Deoxys-S. Now came the choice for my OU. I realized that I had no form of priority, and I figured that it would be crucial in order to revenge kill threats such as Terrakion, Dragonite, and Choice Scarf Landorus. I ultimately decided on Scizor since it is arguably the best user of priority in OU; it can also indirectly rack up entry hazards damage through the use of U-Turn. And so, the team was complete. In-Depth: Speed Demon (Deoxys-S) @ Expert Belt Trait: Pressure EVs: 252 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Hidden Power [Fire] - Psycho Boost - Spikes - Stealth Rock Deoxys-S is just a monster. Even without speed, it outruns all of the non-boosted metagame, and even some of the boosted metagame. The given moveset allows me to the life of my opponent much more difficult by wearing them down with entry hazards. The moveset allows me to completely decimate common Rapid Spinners such as Forretress and Tentacruel; this Deoxys-S can basically give me an auto-win against rain stall if Tentacruel tries to Rapid Spin against Deoxys-S. It also completely destroys Scizor; it can live a Bullet Punch and weak physical attacks quite easily due to Max HP. An Expert Belt is chosen in order to maximize my damage output against Pokemon such as Tentacruel without having to lose precious HP to Life Orb recoil. All in all, it was definitely worth the OU slot. Squirrel (Scizor) (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Superpower - U-turn - Bullet Punch - Pursuit Scizor acts as sort of the glue of my team. It can switch-in to various attacks such as Specs Latios' Draco Meteor and Dragonite's Outrage quite easily due to its great steel typing. A standard Choice Band set was chosen since it works extremely effectively in scouting, and can hit extremely hard using Bullet Punch. Scizor allows me to check Pokemon such as Terrakion, Dragonite, and Latios quite easily; entry hazards make it much more threatening due to its ability to force switches using U-Turn. Pursuit is occasionally used in order to trap Latios and such; Superpower is in the same boat as I occasionally use it to decimate Ferrothorn. D4RR3N (Alakazam) (M) @ Focus Sash Trait: Magic Guard EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Focus Blast - Shadow Ball - Psychic - Hidden Power [Ice] Focus Sash Alakazam is arguably one of the best revenge killers in the OU metagame. It's beyond excellent 125 base Speed allows it to outspeed almost all of the metagame; it's 135 base Special Attack allows it to OHKO / 2HKO most of the metagame outside of special walls such as Chansey and Blissey. Due to Magic Guard, Alakazam is guaranteed a use out of its Focus Sash, thus allowing me to attack a Pokemon regardless of how powerful it is (unless it has a move such as Icicle Spear). Psychic + Shadow Ball + Focus Blast provides Alakazam with perfect coverage in the OU Metagame, allowing it to decimate several Pokemon. Hidden Power Ice was chosen over Grass Knot as the last move since it would allow Alakazam to OHKO Gliscor and non-full HP Dragonite. Quagsire is rarely used regardless; Gastrodon usage is decreasing greatly as well, thus making Grass Knot much worse of an option. AndViet (Tornadus) (M) @ Flight Gem Trait: Prankster EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Bulk Up - Brick Break - Acrobatics - Substitute Popularized in the OU Metagame by Agamemnon, Acrobatics Tornadus is simply a beast. It can lure in Pokemon such as Blissey and Jellicent and obliterate them with an Acrobatics, paving the way for Alakazam. It can also sweep even without a factor of surprise due to the sheer power of Acrobatics, especially when it is powered by a Flight Gem. Brick Break allows me to hit annoying steel types that would otherwise wall this Tornadus. I recently replaced Hammer Arm with it since not only does Brick Break allow me to break screens, but the speed drop from Hammer Arm was really disheartening. Bulk Up is occasionally used in order to set up Tornadus for a sweep if possible. Substitute was chosen as the last move over Taunt since it allows me to be free of status moves, and also allows me to scout the opposition quite easily due to Prankster. Tornadus also provides me with another revenge killer in addition to Alakazam and Scizor. DittoCrow (Sharpedo) (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Speed Boost EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Protect - Waterfall - Crunch - Ice Fang The MVP of my ladder run. Sharpedo is truly underrated in the 5th Gen OU Metagame; its excellent coverage in tandem with Speed Boost and a good Attack stat allows it to shred through many teams rather easily. Sharpedo has saved me so many times, especially since it is basically guaranteed a free Speed Boost due to Protect. Protect not only allows me to boost my speed at will, but allows me to scout moves from Pokemon such as CB Dragonite and act accordingly. Waterfall and Crunch provide almost perfect coverage in the OU Metagame, whereas Ice Fang allows Sharpedo to decimate DD Dragonite and Salamence, and deal more damage to enemy Grass-Types. Magneton pairs excellently with Sharpedo since Magneton can eliminate Sharpedo's #1 counter: Ferrothorn. With the Steel-Type Pokemon down, Sharpedo's job becomes much easier, allowing it to shred many teams. ShakeItUp (Magneton) @ Eviolite Trait: Magnet Pull EVs: 12 HP / 252 SAtk / 244 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Substitute - Charge Beam - Thunderbolt - Flash Cannon Magneton is the NU of my team and is arguably the most important Pokemon in my arsenal. If I had an option, I would use Magneton over its evolution, Magnezone; it's just that amazing. Unlike Magnezone which has a pitiful 60 base Speed, Magneton has a decent 70 base Speed; this difference allows it to outspeed threats that Magnezone would never dream of outspeeding in Tank Rotom-W, DD Dragonite, and Gliscor among others. Magnezone's higher Special Attack stat becomes negligible after a few Charge Beam boosts; Magneton's Defense and Special Defense already become much higher due to Eviolite, easily holding more weight than Magnezone's access to Leftovers and higher HP. The defensive capabilities allow Magneton to survive many hits such as +1 Fire Punch from Dragonite and +2 Hydro Pump from non-Life Orb Cloyster. This Magneton can still easily defeat Ferrothorn, or weaken it to a point where the rest of my team can easily take it out. Magneton also pairs well with Scizor, since it can lure in Skarmory so that Magneton can obliterate it with Thunderbolt. Substitute allows me to set up easily on Pokemon such as CB Scizor and Ferrothorn, and works extremely well in tandem with Charge Beam. Flash Cannon rounds out the set by providing me with a secondary STAB move that can be used to decimate Pokemon that resist / are immune to Thunderbolt such as Gliscor. And that is my team. Threat List: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Jirachi: Jirachi with Fire Punch poses a major threat to my team. Magneton can survive 2 Fire Punches, however, and deal excellent damage with Thunderbolt, thus allowing my other Pokemon to finish it off. Calm Mind Jirachi is also a threat, although it cannot deal too much damage to Scizor without many boosts. Volcarona: This is a major threat. I basically have to stop it from setting up at all costs, or make sure that Stealth Rock is in play. Thankfully, Deoxys-S can decimate most Rapid Spinners so this is not that big of a problem. Starmie: Another major threat since it can spin away my entry hazards quite easily and outspeed 4/6 members of my team. Scizor can Pursuit it, however, while Sharpedo can outspeed it after a Speed Boost and OHKO it with Crunch; Alakazam can easily destroy it as well. Politoed: As sad as it is, Politoed is a threat. Bulky variants can weaken my Magneton, but that's about it. Scarf variants are much harder to defeat, however; Sharpedo can outspeed it after a speed boost and deal major damage with Crunch though. It can also be worn down by entry hazards; Alakazam can deal major damage to it with Psychic as well.