Intro: As any of you familiar with my posting habits will know, Sun is by far my favourite playstyle this Gen. My foray into competitive battling began with a Sun team for Gen 4 UU as my favourite two types were Fire and Grass, so it seemed a logical path to take. Naturally, when I heard of Drought Ninetales being a potential release I rapidly assembled a DW team to get the gist of Sun in 5th gen, and to see whether it could actually be viable. And oh boy did it work. Immediately upon Tales’ release I moved my team to the Wifi ladder on PO and proceeded to skyrocket to 16th place, and though this was mostly due to people’s unpreparedness for the new teamstyle, it proved to me beyond a doubt that Sun could work in the new meta. This team is the result of about 6 months of tweaks and adjustments to my main Sun team, which before the release of the smogon server consistently kept me in the 1300s+ on PO and peaked at 104th, which I consider rather good given I generally hate to ladder for any period of time. I’ve been wanting to RMT it for some time, but essentially was put off by the thought that anyone would steal my ideas (lol). Now that Sun teams have become more commonplace anyway and I’ve realised that it was several Sun RMTs which helped me build my first team back in Gen 4 UU so I should probably return the favour, here it is. At a glance: Team Development Process: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide I initially started out 5th Gen in DW with a lineup of Tales, Venusaur, Tangrowth, Blaziken, Volcarona and Forretress (after experimenting with Chandelure and Infernape). Not the most balanced team, I’ll admit, but I basically picked the most powerful things on offer to get the hang of the playstyle, from the rough formula: Tales, 2 Chlorophyll, 2 Fire, Support. The first major revamp saw me ditch Tangrowth who was simply too slow for Sawsbuck, an up and coming Sun sweeper who was attracting some hype at the time for his blistering speed and excellent coverage. Both my Fire sweepers were removed since the Chlorophyllers were pulling more of the weight, and I added Arcanine to absorb Fire hits and revenge with Extremespeed and Typhlosion as a Scarfed hard hitter. I soon saw the folly of Typhlosion (who is arguably outclassed by Charizard anyway) and considered a range of Dragons as a 6th member, abusing Fire Blast and adding nice resists to the team. Instead, however, I decided upon Cresselia and her 66% recovery Moonlight along with nice bulk for the team, and at this point my rankings picked up to the 1300s region where I’ve remained since (while actively playing at least). From this point onwards tinkering with movesets were the main changes as I was happy with the team as a whole’s performance. Despite Cress performing well, on Alphatron's advice I tried out a BirdyTran over her, and it worked excellently, giving my team a greater offensive presence than ever before and the advantage of a surprise immunity. HP Ice was a necessity to rid myself of troublesome Dragons, and Flame Charge was used to give me the ability to sweep upon forcing something out, which is always nice. Team: Cornerstone Ninetales@Leftovers Timid nature (+Spe/-Atk) Drought 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe - Flamethrower - Will-o-Wisp - Roar - Substitute Tales has naturally been the most common mon on all my Sun teams, but her sets have changed more than any other member’s. I tried Scarf sets initially, but quickly abandoned them to Balloon for free switchins and general amusement against enemy Hippowdon, and attempted LO and Lefties sets too. For the longest time I utilised a ChestoRest set the analysis provided me with, but after a long period Katakiri's RMT showed me that Tales did not need Rest to survive on a successful sun team, so I began to try out Substitute sets with Lefties. HP Fight to beat Tran didn't work out since I couldn't touch SubChomp, so I started using Roar as a form of compromise; not letting me damage things directly or cripple anything badly, but at least preventing any setup the opponent may attempt, including the very problematic Substitute from various pokemon. In terms of moves, literally everything in Tales’ support movepool has been here at some point. Nasty Plot HP Fight sets to beat TTar (loses to scarfTar and Toed), Wow/Protect/Disable to let me safely switch out of TTar (beaten by so much else), Power Swap/Overheat to beat Volcarona leading against me and cripple switchins (needs too many turns to pull off, sadly) have all been attempted. This moveset is what I find most reliable. Fire Blast used to be used for its powerbut misses cost me a few too many games, and WoW and Toxic lets me cripple TTar or physical attackers hoping to switch in – helping to wear it down. Roar meanwhile allows me to prevent any setup attempts, as well as rack up a little SR damage, and Substitute prevents me from taking unecessary crits as well as letting me scout switches and safely get a Roar or WoW off. EVs are maxed in speed as marginally more bulk seems to do little for Tales to me, and outspeeding and WoWing or Subbing on things between 90 and 100 base speed comes in very handy. Primary Sweeper Venusaur@Life Orb Modest nature (+SpA/-Atk) Chlorophyll 32 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 220 Spe - Energy Ball - Sludge Bomb - HP Fire - Growth I think I was one of the first few people to switch from EQ to Sludge Bomb as coverage on Venusaur, and it works wonders, letting it hit Dragons hard at the loss of hitting Chandelure and Heatran, who are far less common. Seed Bomb has been tried as STAB, but not hitting Gliscor as hard is no substitute for beating Blissey, who doesn’t pose too many issues anyway. I honestly wouldn't change this set unless Giga Drain was released, as it simply destroys whole teams once its few counters are gone or weaknened. EVs beat ScarfChomp, but lose to Scarf Latis. The rest of the set is pretty self explanatory – as much power as possible, at blistering speed. This set is pretty much ideal for the meta at present imo, so it doesn't need much altering - it frequently sweeps whole or large portions of teams. 4 SpD over more HP EVs for mimimum LO recoil, letting me attack once more assuming no other damage. Energy Ball is used as it is Saur's best Special attack which is currently legal with Chlorophyll. Cleaner & Revenger Sawsbuck@Life Orb Adamant nature (+Atk/-SpA) Chlorophyll 72 HP / 252 Atk / 184 Spe - Horn Leech - Double-Edge - Jump Kick - Swords Dance The hype surrounding this new pokemon was well-deserved, he has turned out to be one of the most reliable members of my team and has barely changed – the last slot being the only alteration. I initially dropped SD since he cannot OHKO Ferro or Skarm even at +2, meaning it dies to a Gyro Ball or Brave Bird. Megahorn was then experimented with for hitting Latis, but since D-E always KOs with SR I decided to drop it in favour of something less obsolete. Aromatherapy was then used as it let me rid the team of troublesome status when Ferrothorn inevitably comes in, rather than attacking it for tons of recoil damage. Kudos to Alphatron for proposing Aromatherapy's use on Saws, but sadly due to meta shifts I had to remove it to break Bliss/Bro. Now, the first three moves give it excellent coverage on all but a few Ghosts and the aforementioned Steels, and Swords Dance allows me to OHKO both members of the Slowbro/Blissey stall core which became increasingly popular as Blaziken rose in usage, which is very useful given that they wall my entire team together otherwise. EVs let me beat base 115 Scarfers, which will pretty much be the fastest thing around unless a Timid Volcarona gets to +2, and the spare goes in HP. Beating 115s as opposed to 110s is useful primarily for Starmie, who otherwise can Ice Beam my Grasses into the ground, and Modest Volcarona needing revenging. Utility Counter & Powerhouse Arcanine@Choice Band Adamant nature (+Atk/-SpA) Intimidate 16 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 236 Spe - Flare Blitz - Close Combat - Extremespeed - Wild Charge Arcanine was been my first choice of Fire Absorber for almost the entire life of this team, and for good reason. He combined several aspects other Flash Fire users lack into one – strong priority and the ability to beat TTar and Heatran with ease (in CC). Now I have Heatran, however, I figured two Fire absorbers would be obsolete, so switched back to Intimidate. He provides excellent utility revenging various sweepers – Volcarona and Reuniclus somewhat suicidally, as well as weakened Blaziken or Latios. Sadly he is subject to large recoil and often has to suicide againt something for the good of the team, but he is incredibly useful when I do, winning me a lot of matches. Though for the longest time I considered Wild Charge to be less useful that Crunch - I finally realised that Flare Blitz hits all Ghosts but Jellicent harder - who is beaten by Wild Charge (Chandelure is no longer an issue as I worked out that with 30% damage Venusaur sweeps past it at +2). Speed EVs let me beat Mamoswine all the time, which is situational but gives a tad more HP. Everything else seems somewhat straightforward – he is a good powerhouse but is more of a utility mon than a sweeper to this team, countering a few of my biggest threats effectively, and for this reason I can't see that he needs too much altering. He's a little prediction reliant, but in general the things that come in to wall him my team can take on reasonably, so it's not an issue all that often. Extremespeed and Intimidate's usefulness cannot be stressed enough - the former allows me to revenge a huge number of threats who get out of control, and the latter combined with Forry's Volt Change allows me to laugh in Gyarados' face. Bulky Sweeper Heatran@Balloon Timid nature(+Spe/-Atk) Flash Fire 56 HP / 252 SpA / 200 Spe - Fire Blast - Earth Power - HP Ice - Flame Charge The newest addition to the team, replacing Cresselia, Heatran helps me stick to my offensive roots whilst still giving valuable resists and immunities to the team. He can go toe-to-toe with a number of Dragons, as well as opposing grounded Tran. Flame Charge gives him an excellent way to function as a late-game sweeper, or lure in Scarfers for me to eliminate or wear down early (Chomp in particular). With him taking the aggro in the form of Ground and Fire attacks, I have to be somewhat prediction reliant, but this isn't too much of a burden especially given Tran can work fine without his item. You'd think his added Fighting weakness (making two on the team) would be an issue given the rise of Fighting-types in OU, but honestly it really doesn't seem to. Venusaur can tank the majority excellently, whilst setting herself up for a sweep. EVs give me the speed I need to outrun base 130s and +1 Base 95s - opposing max speed Tran will either be grounded - so I win, or Balloon too, in which case I switch out and let another Fire take the HP Ice or Dragon Pulse. Hazard Support Forretress@Leftovers Sassy nature (+SpD/-Spe) Sturdy 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD (1Spe IV) - Stealth Rock - Gyro Ball - Rapid Spin - Volt Change SR was an essential for this team for several KOs, as was Spinning given my Fires. There are few who boast this combination of moves, and since I wanted a Steel to help sponge Dragon attacks, Forry was my guy. Furthermore, this gen he gets the awesome Volt Change, letting me slowly and safely get Tales in to setup Sun. The final slot has been altered a lot - EQ just made me too much of a free switch, Gyro Ball was rarely used, Spikes were way to hard to get down when I also needed to be spinning, and even screens have been attempted, with Reflect patching up my poor defence, making it a decent choice. However, since Reflect's usefulness was pretty much restricted to helping beat Gyarados (who I beat anyway unless I play awfully) Gyro Ball was added back on to prevent things like Chomp and Gengar getting Subs up on Forry with huge ease, which had become a problem for my team. Since with a +Def nature I was barely getting 2HKOd by a range of special attacks I often came in on, I swapped to max SpD to let me get rocks up or a spin off when facing a near 2HKO. Defence is adequate to take a lot of hits, so I haven't missed the extra 30 points in it Relaxed gave me. Speed is low to enable slow volt changes off things like Reuniclus, but since Ferro underspeeds me anyway I figured I may as well outspeed them all so I know where I stand. Beating Ferro lets me get things in with VC with less residual damage and stops Forry getting seeded too, which is good. Leading and Team Preview: I begin with Tales in the lead position, as if there is no weather inducer I probably will send her out first, unless there is something obvious which can threaten her and the rest of my team. If TTar or Heatran are present then Arcanine or sometimes Sawsbuck will take the lead depending on the rest of the team, threatening a powerful Fighting hit. Against Rain Forry normally leads, though Sawsbuck can too since it can OHKO all of its members but Ferrothorn, who is an easy switch for Tales. Forry can also lead against a variety of other leads, as long as they don’t have a random Fire move. I used to switch him to the front most of the time until everything began running them, however. Team preview really assists my team, as I can see what I need to keep alive, since I lack true counters for a few things and rely instead upon predicting correctly or suiciding something in unneeded to deal with them. It also helps greatly with telling me what is likely to use Tales, Arc or Forry as setup fodder, so I can use the appropriate move on the switch and cripple it or beat it outright, or preserve my counter to it. Threats: The development of my team has helped eliminate a lot of the threats I used to be worried about, so thanks to everyone who contributed! As of now the main threat I face is probably SubTran, as if it gets a Sub up it requires a sacrifice to take down, since Ground/Fire hits can OHKO my entire team. Heatran is my insurance normally, since with Balloon I can switch in safely, but he cannot break a BallonSubTran's subs, making it somewhat of a worry (though a Tran with both Balloon and Sub is pretty rare, meaning I can normally deal with it without giving up huge momentum. SubChomp is also somewhat of an issue, since he can threaten Tales out and grab a sub on her. Fortunately Heatran is a fantastic counter to Chomp, but will have to be sacrificed if it gets a sub up. Fortunately the Sub+Roar Tales I'm currently running gives the mon who is biggest setup fodder for Chomp a great way to deal with him, so it's rarely an issue unless I make a mistake. Various speed boosters can pose issues, but the combination of Forry and Tran to wall them, Venu and Saws to outspeed a lot of them, and Arc to revenge with Extremespeed means that in general I have the potential to beat any. Overall, I now lose primarily to being outplayed by teams with a decent matchup against me - ones with SubChomp and BalloonTran for instance, as well as the obvious hax. I'm pretty pleased that my team has reached this stage, and whilst not perfect, it works nicely for my offensive playstyle, so further changes will mostly be following the meta's progression. Of course if you can suggest any way to reduce the chances of said bad team matchups, then that would be great, as it would undoubtedly increase my winning record.