Recreating a Legend To me, Pokemon Trainer Red wasn't just a video game character - he was a legend. When Red Version came out, I was in fact that tender age of 10. Before Yellow Version was out, I had already collected all 151 Pokemon. I legitimately purchased both Scyther and Porygon, and I would sit there buying tokens in batches of 5 (like a BOSS) tapping at the A button for hours on the family road trips. I would sit there and dream up a story in my mind about the young trainer from Pallet Town. It was the story of a pokemon trainer named Satoshi Ketchum, but all his friends just called him 'Red'. He took on the Pokemon League Challenge, and on the way his fate became entangled with Team Rocket. This was due to the unexplainable rivalry between Red and the Rocket's nefarious Boss, Giovanni. After displaying immense bravery, Red emerged victorious against Giovanni using the team of Pokemon he'd collected all along the way - Pikachu, Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Snorlax, and Lapras. This line up would go on to defeat the remaining Gym Leader, climaxing in the final show down between Red and Giovanni (who is revealed to be a former super-genius trainer whose career mysteriously ended years ago). Besting the former Rocket Boss one last time, Satoshi moves on into the Pokemon League National tournament. The Legend of Pokemon Trainer Red is forged in an unheard of rookie who goes undefeated in the tournament, overcomes the Elite Four Challenge, and then is paired off against last season's Champion, Pokemon Trainer Green (NOT Blue). We all know the rest. Then in Gen II, I found myself face-to-face with a trainer who I very legitimately believed to be myself. His line-up, with the exclusion of Lapras, was the same as mine had been. That's right, because in the original generation two games Red used Espeon instead of Lapras (the anime hadn't reached the Orange Islands yet if I recall correctly). In fact, in that very team, there was a Sunny Day user (Venusaur). Realizing that this had legitimate ramifications for making Red's Team viable in the current OU Meta. Long ago in Gen IV, you had to set up Sunny Day and Rain Dance with a Pokemon equipped with the corresponding Held Item. This gives the player 8 turns of weather effects, unless otherwise disturbed. In addition, the fact that it is used as a move can serve as a counteraction against opposing Weather Teams that use ability-induced weather. I contemplated this strategy and wondered how it could play out in the current Meta. After some testing, it became clear that this team had potential to be more than perhaps a simple gimmick team. Espeon (M) @ Heat Rock Trait: Magic Bounce EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Sunny Day - Morning Sun - Hidden Power [Fire] - Psyshock Comments: In Generation II, Espeon was proof that Red had trained into the next Generation. Presumably, this is the Eevee that Bill gives Red in Cerulean City. Espeon is the key Pokemon in this line-up, and when translating the original Gen II line-up it became abundantly clear that Espeon made much more sense for this team in Gen V. His strategic value is immense. From a team standpoint, Espeon's primary function is to activate Sunny Day for 8 Turns. This is what unlocks the true potential of Red's Sweepers: Charizard and Venusaur. Obviously, Magic Bounce is also invaluable in protecting Charizard from Stealth Rock, and neutralizing most tactical approaches to battle. Morning Sun nets a 2/3 HP recovery in the Sun as well, and HP Fire can be useful against Ferrothorn or Scizor especially in the Sun. Psyshock because Blissey. Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Thick Fat EVs: 208 HP / 124 Def / 176 SDef Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Sleep Talk - Rest - Whirlwind - Return Comments: Snorlax serves as the Special Wall of this team. Rest/Talk ensures that he will be able to shake off any negative stats, and you can take his HP to the limit because Rest is a full heal - don't be stupid, though. Red uses this Pokemon to sponge Special Sweeper-would-be's. He can also PHaze a set-up Pokemon as well. Return does stupidly huge damage, so Body Slam's Paralyzing factor isn't accounted for. Saving him as a Pokemon of last resort who takes a Spore from Breloom now and then to activate Sleep Clause, well that's just Special Tactics at it's finest. Blastoise (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Rain Dish EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SAtk Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Toxic - Roar - Rapid Spin - Scald Comments: Blastoise is the Physical Wall/Utility Pokemon of Red's Special Tactics. Red was a smart trainer, basing his team around a core of Fire, Water and Grass. As a Bulky Water he is gifted with wonderful resistances and a fat 362 HP. His DW ability, Rain Dish, gives Blastoise the chance to get Double HP Gain as a small punishment to Rain Teams. Toxic breaks other Bulky Waters. Roar ensures that he can PHazer even Substitutes. Rapid Spin is a last resort if you failed to predict with Espeon or it has fainted. Scald might get critical burns on Pokemon such as Scizor or Terrakion. Charizard (M) @ Expert Belt Trait: Solar Power EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Focus Blast - Fire Blast - SolarBeam - Hidden Power [Ice] Comments: Charizard, the Fire portion of the FWG core to this team, is the real star of this Sunny Day Special Tactics line up. His Solar Power gives him all the juice you could possibly ask of a Special Sweeper. I decided to change over to an Expert Belt in order to stop being Choice-Locked, which many teams could take advantage of. The raw power of this build is still monstrous, so there is no temptation to use a Life Orb. Fire Blast is the new STAB Fire move of choice without the Scarf. Focus Blast is important against key pokemon like Tyranitar. SolarBeam is obvious in the Sun. HP Ice cleans up Dragons and annoyances like Gliscor. I have gotten so many free switches by placing Pikachu on the field to draw an EQ. I really don't understand why people don't see it coming. Venusaur (M) @ Black Sludge Trait: Chlorophyll EVs: 140 HP / 252 Atk / 116 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Sleep Powder - Swords Dance - Seed Bomb - Earthquake Comments: The Grass portion of the FWG trio of this team, Red's Venusaur is truly a Special Tactics masterpiece. A Swords Dance Venusaur can reach over 1000 Atk at +6, allowing him to sweep with Chlorophyll backed speeds of 450 with this EV Spread. The HP investment makes him bulky enough to take some Fighting Type hits for Snorlax, though, and he has survived many battles. Black Sludge provides healing every turn. Sleep Powder usually ensures a switch so you can trust in a +2 for sure in your Atk. Seed Bomb for his STAB Atk is the law. Earthquake provides critical coverage against the many types that resist Grass. Venusaur's a Poison Type, so Toxic Spikes are a warm welcoming for it. Pikachu (M) @ Light Ball Trait: Lightningrod EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Substitute - Thunderbolt - Encore - Hidden Power [Ice] Comments: Pikachu is that signature Pokemon, endowed by the graces of Yellow Version and the anime and manga to the mythos of Pokemon Trainer Red. While he was originally thought to be nothing more than a liability because of his low SAtk and reliance on the Light Ball to be relevant, the DW offered him a chance to become a key Special Tactics Pokemon. Pikachu exists on this team for one reason alone - to take every Electric Type attack thrown at this team. Both Blastoise and Charizard draw Electric moves, and any sweeper could very well be crippled by a Thunder Wave. Lightningrod absorbs the move and gives Pikachu a +1 SAtk. With a Spe of 305, Pikachu can be a threat for a brief moment. Substitue is used to provide Pikachu with a single turn to act before his pathetic defenses fail him. Thunderbolt is the obvious STAB attack. Encore may frustrate Thunder Wave users like Ferrothorn and Dragonite. Not only that, but Pikachu can shut down Volt Switch, at least once. HP Ice can hit Dragons and Gliscor.