An Internet cookie to anyone who automatically sang the thread title to the tune of the Sesame Street theme song. While I did like my previous attempt at a VGC team, it had started to feel kind of boring, and I seemed to be struggling against other goodstuff teams. I wanted to try something interesting and uncommon, and after a discussion regarding Lilligant I thought I'd give sun a try; during the teambuilding and testing I fell in love with it. A few later changes added Gravity to the mix as well. In general, the team works through either controlling the opponent by limiting their options, or KOing threats with powerful boosted moves before they can do anything back. The Team team-building process (Move your mouse to reveal the content) team-building process (open) team-building process (close) Sun team needs Drought, so Ninetales was a no-brainer. Lilligant was what made me decide on the team in the first place, and she's pretty awesome, so that was another given. Next I wanted a strong Fire-type sweeper, and some calcs with Darmanitan's Flare Blitz was all it took to convince me that he was the monster I needed. Lilligant is good, but her offensive coverage leaves much to be desired, so I wanted an alternate Chlorophyll user, and a second Sleep Powder couldn't hurt anything. It came down to either Venusaur or Victreebel, and the latter both seemed like it had a better movepool and was far easier for me to obtain. I wanted one more sweeper, and I noticed that Vanilluxe could learn Weather Ball. Remembering how annoying the ice cream cone was in VGC11, I added it without a second thought. In retrospect, this was kind of a dumb choice. For my final choice, I looked over my team and realized I would struggle against Trick Room teams and Chandelure in general, so I went for the Pokémon best equipped to handle both of those things: Scrafty. After about three battles it became incredibly obvious to me that Vanilluxe was a horrible choice for this team, and opposing Fire-types were being a bother, so I dropped it for Marowak. I did some more testing, and while the team was fairly successful, I noticed several things: 1) Scrafty was great against Trick Room, but that was pretty much all I used it against, 2) Losing Vanilluxe's Ice coverage gave me a really hard time against dragons and a few other things, 3) A lot of the top threats either are Flying-type or have Levitate, reducing Marowak's power in a lot of situations, and 4) I had quite a few moves with unreliable accuracy. At this point, adding Porygon2 for Gravity support was the only logical move I could see. The Pokémon Ninetales@Sitrus Berry Drought Bold, 252 HP/252 Def/4 SpD Disable Will-O-Wisp Fire Blast Protect The obligatory weather starter, Ninetales's job is to survive until the opposing weather starter is KO'd (if applicable), then troll everything and occasionally do some damage. Disable is a really awesome move, and I have no idea why more people don't use it. Many Pokémon only have one attack that's effective in a given situation, and if you can stop them from using it you've basically removed them from the fight. Will-O-Wisp of course neutralizes most physical attackers, and Fire Blast is powerful enough to make up for the lack of Special Attack investment, often 2HKOing or even OHKOing many threats in the sun. I went for maximum Defense since Ninetales's Water weakness is removed in the sun, and the majority of Rock and Ground moves are physical. It's incredibly bulky, and in my testing I've seen few attacks do more than 50%. Lilligant@Grass Gem Chlorophyll Modest, 76 HP/252 SpA/180 Spe Leaf Storm Sleep Powder Sunny Day Protect Much of Lilligant's power lies in the fact that most people underestimate her and then get caught off-guard. But with a Modest nature, her Special Attack is only four points short of Timid Latios, meaning her Leaf Storm is just as dangerous as a Draco Meteor to anything that doesn't resist Grass, and sometimes even more so - for instance, it's a clean OHKO on Tyranitar even in the sand, which lets me take advantage of the fact that most Tyranitar users play it aggressively against sun teams. Sleep Powder just makes her even more deadly, and Sunny Day gives me a chance of making a comeback if the opponent takes out Ninetales prematurely. 180 Speed EVs let her outspeed everything up to Scarf Terrakion in the sun. Darmanitan@Choice Scarf Sheer Force Adamant, 4 HP/252 Atk/52 Def/52 SpD/148 Spe Flare Blitz Superpower Rock Slide U-turn I'm normally not a fan of Choice sets in doubles, since it's a lot harder to switch and being locked into the wrong move can be disastrous. But Darmanitan can get away with it since Flare Blitz punches through everything that isn't flat-out immune, OHKOing almost anything that doesn't resist it and even some things that do (for instance, Latios takes 89%-105%). Superpower and Rock Slide are really only for dealing with Flash Fire mons and a couple of other major threats (most notably Tyranitar), since a resisted Flare Blitz hits harder than a neutral Superpower or even a super effective Rock Slide, and U-turn is pretty much just there for lack of a better option. Speed EVs let it beat base 130 Pokémon. Victreebel@Expert Belt Chlorophyll Modest, 164 HP/20 Def/252 SpA/68 SpD/4 Spe Leaf Storm Weather Ball Sludge Bomb Sleep Powder The second Sleep Powder user, and primary Chlorophyll sweeper, this is the Pokémon that wins most of my games. I really don't understand why Venusaur is so much more popular on sun teams - not only is Victreebel vastly easier to obtain, but Leaf Storm gives it a significantly more powerful STAB option, and Weather Ball is also much better than HP Fire (and still useful in rain - Grass/Water/Poison is only resisted by Toxicroak, Ferrothorn, and Shedinja). The three attacking moves (all of which get either STAB or the sun boost) get amazing coverage, only resisted by Chandelure and Heatran, and Sleep Powder is just as nasty as it is on Lilligant. 4 Speed EVs let it outspeed uninvested base 70s outside of sun, and everything up to the genies in it. Marowak@Thick Club Lightningrod Adamant, 252 HP/252 Atk/4 SpD Bonemerang Stone Edge Fire Punch Detect Like Darmanitan, there really isn't much more to Marowak than hitting stuff as hard as possible. Since most of my other Pokémon don't like taking Earthquakes, Bonemerang is far superior as a Ground attack, and not suffering the spread modifier just makes it that much easier to take down the Fire-types my team struggles with. Similarly, Stone Edge's superior single-target power made me choose it over the more popular Rock Slide, since Marowak's job is to make things die as quickly as possible (and since the low Speed mitigates the possibility of flinch hax). Fire Punch becomes a great coverage move with the sun boost, and Fire/Ground has perfect coverage in Gravity. Lightningrod doesn't see much use, but it's occasionally nice for helping to shut down Zapdos and a few other threats. Porygon2@Eviolite Trace Modest, 252 HP/4 Def/248 SpA/4 Spe Gravity Trick Room Ice Beam HP Ground The latest addition to my team, but perhaps the most game-changing one. Gravity keeps me from relying on hax with low-accuracy moves, shuts down Earthquake-abusing combos like ZapChomp, makes Marowak vastly more dangerous, and can really throw off players that don't see it coming. Trick Room keeps some of Scrafty's utility by being able to reverse it, and I could make an interesting Trick Room team myself (likely Ninetales/Porygon2/Darmanitan/Marowak) if I ever found myself in a situation that demanded it. Ice Beam makes it a replacement for Vanilluxe as well, cleaning up many of the Pokémon that my other sweepers can't really hurt. HP Ground is much less important than the other three moves, but it can be useful if Marowak gets KO'd or I'm unable to fit it in my lineup. Team Threats Sun: The mirror matchup is probably the hardest of the weathers since my team doesn't really like Fire-types. Generally I'll try to put key threats to sleep with Lilligant (since she outspeeds most other common Chlorophyll users) and then punch giant holes in everything else with Darmanitan or Marowak. Sand: This is usually pretty easy unless they play Tyranitar incredibly conservatively, since Lilligant, Darmanitan, and Marowak can all KO it with ease. Lilligant takes a big chunk out of Terrakion even at -2, Garchomp and Excadrill are easy to handle once the weather is in my favor, and nothing else is particularly threatening. Rain: Like with sand teams, Politoed tends to be played aggressively against sun teams, so I try to take advantage of that and take it down with Grass attacks before sending in Ninetales. Also like sand, I can usually roflstomp the rest of their team once I have control of the weather. Hail: 2/3 of my team can easily KO Abomasnow, and see above for once I control the weather, so all I really have to do is not be an idiot. Trick Room: The second hardest style to deal with after sun. I try to sleep/KO the TR user on the first turn; if that fails, then I KO the user as quickly as possible and reverse it with Porygon2. Proceed to sweep as usual. Goodstuff: If they have Tyranitar/Abomasnow, then I treat the team like a weather team until I've KO'd it. Otherwise, I'll generally lead Ninetales/Porygon2, set up Gravity, and then focus on controlling the opponent.