Tabloo Take two. First of all, thanks to everyone that replied to this a few days ago, and sorry that I never got a chance to respond to you. I thought about everything you suggested, but ended up going with the changes that you can see here. Also, congratulations to bloo for being a strong nigger! This is the team that he used in the majority of his frontier wins, so it’s proven its self to be extremely effective against pretty much all of the standard types of team. It’s probably the best team I’ve ever made by some distance – not only has bloo done extremely well with it, but, since I first made the team at the start of this suspect round, I’ve used it to get to the top 10 or so several times, and Nachos has done pretty well on the ladder with it too. The entire focus of the team is weather control – not through conventional means, as I don’t even have a weather changer, but through being generally solid, and having good all-round pokemon that are capable of controlling the game against the more dangerous pokemon on weather teams. One of the key things about the team is how well it uses Toxic Spikes, which so many of the more popular team styles around at the moment really struggle to deal with – standard stall has no chance as long as they’re down, rain stall is much the same once Tentacruel is gone, rain offense is much easier to deal with when everything’s poisoned, as are sun teams, and even your standard sand team with several immunities doesn’t enjoy having them down, especially with the likes of Celebi becoming more popular lately. I said that I don’t use a weather changer. A lot of people probably think that’s pretty stupid of me, but, really, now that I’ve ditched weather, I’ve realised that I didn’t really need to have sand in play at all for this team to work. Hopefully we’ll start to see a few more solid weatherless teams and a bit more diversity in the tier in the near future. As for team building, the team actually started off as a NP Celebi team back when it was first becoming popular, with CBTar to help take out its counters, although, despite doing well with it, it was pretty obvious that it was the Heatran/Gastrodon/Skarmory/Gengar/bulky grass type part of the team that was particularly good, rather than Celebi its self. From there, I decided that I’d be better off focusing on Gengar as a means of sweeping than Celebi, especially as people were starting to catch on to it, and replaced Celebi with Roserade, which turned out extremely well, although there were a few problems such as Terrakion and Virizion. I’d also noticed that as I got used to the team, I’d gone from using Tyranitar for something extremely important in basically every single match to basically just using it as a bulky switch into the odd attack, and realised that Reuniclus would cover pretty much every problem I’d encountered, as well as fitting in with the rest of the team nicely. Heatran @ Leftovers Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 252 HP / 248 SDef / 8 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Flamethrower - Roar - Stealth Rock - Will-O-Wisp Specially defensive Heatran is a brilliant pokemon in general at the moment, as it just works beautifully against so many of the pokemon that give this team trouble, as well as being an incredible answer to any sun team that doesn’t have a Dugtrio. With the amount of switches Heatran can force along with Roar and all three hazards, it can be incredibly difficult to play against, and makes postponing the likes of Ferrothorn and Forretress getting hazards up for as long as possible much easier, which is pretty vital considering that I don’t have a spinner. Together with Roserade, Skarmory and Gastrodon, Heatran forms an absolutely brilliant defensive core, which easily handles the vast majority of threats in the current metagame. This set is a slight change from the usual SDef Heatran, which is mostly due to me needing to fit SR in somewhere. Will-O-Wisp is pretty key on the team, even if it does clash with Toxic Spikes a bit, as Heatran is brilliant at luring in Tyranitar, and hitting a WoW on one makes it much easier to clean up with Reuniclus. The only real thing to note about the EV spread is that it uses 8 Speed EVs – this is just to guarantee speed tie wins against other stall teams, which can be the difference between winning and losing a lot of the time. As bloo was using this team to frontier with, we’ve made a bit of a theme of building these kinds of EV spread into the team. Roserade @ Leftovers Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Leaf Storm - Sleep Powder - Toxic Spikes - Rest Defensive Roserade was always somewhat underrated in DPP, and nothing’s changed this generation. It’s really a great anti-metagame pokemon, with Toxic Spikes being incredibly dangerous, and so many teams relying heavily on special water and electric attacks, which Roserade can easily set up on. Roserade can also easily perform a pretty similar role to Heatran’s against sun against rain teams, coming in to tank hits and threaten key pokemon with Leaf Storm, forcing switches and racking up damage from hazards. Obviously, with Gastrodon being such a key member of the team against rain, a Toxic Spikes absorber is extremely welcome, and Roserade just happens to be as good an absorber as you’ll find, being able to easily come in the instant the second layer goes down more often than not. I've gone with Leaf Storm over Giga Drain here because Roserade very rarely gets the chance to hit something super effective, meaning Giga Drain gives next to no recovery, and even with no offensive EVs, Rade still sits at 286 special attack, meaning Leaf Storm packs a pretty big punch, and can be pretty useful for opening up holes in teams. Gastrodon @ Leftovers Trait: Storm Drain EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Scald - Ice Beam - Toxic - Recover Gastrodon is just an absolutely brilliant anti-metagame pokemon, as more people have been starting to realise lately, and it’s probably the only reason this team works at all, acting as the perfect check to almost every single pokemon that gives it trouble. Together with Heatran, Gastrodon is my main means of controlling the game against weather teams, with an obvious focus on rain here, against which Gastrodon is just incredible. There’s not really much to say about its set, other than that Toxic is an absolute must for LO Latios with 3 attacks, which could otherwise give me real trouble, and Ice Beam is pretty important in stopping Dragonites from trying to set up on me. Skarmory @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Brave Bird - Spikes - Roost - Whirlwind Skarmory completes my defensive core, rounding it off with a great answer to many of the more dangerous sand pokemon, as well as a solid physical wall in general, and, obviously, Spikes, which are vital in making the team work properly. Once again, there’s not a lot to say about the set, other than to comment on the EVs. As with Heatran, we’ve bumped up the speed, this time by a fair bit, to guarantee that we win speed ties in mirror matchups. 40 speed also has the advantage of basically never getting outsped by Tyranitar. While I’ve listed Leftovers here, I tend to use Shed Shell on the ladder, simply because Magnezone + Haxorus teams are ridiculous otherwise. Gengar @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Shadow Ball - Focus Blast - Pain Split - Substitute SubSplit Gengar is still absolutely incredible, and I really have no idea why it isn’t used more. With Toxic Spikes support, the only reliable check to it is specially defensive Jirachi, which this team just uses as setup fodder, and with Pain Split allowing you to use Substitute pretty much whenever you need to, the more offensive teams hate having to deal with Gengar as well. Gengar isn’t just here as a sweeper – it can easily turn the tide of a game against some of the more threatening pokemon such as NP Celebi with Earth Power, allowing me to get out of difficult situations by subbing up and putting the opponent on the back foot, and, obviously, having a spin blocker is incredibly useful for a team like this. Gengar might not be the bulkiest ghost out there, but it’s still a pretty effective blocker against many of the spinners that people use, especially with Payback having been nerfed and Gyro Ball Forretress becoming less and less popular. Quite a few people have suggested that I try out Disable Gengar on this team since I made it, but I really think SubSplit is the best set here. Pain Split is actually a reliable recovery move on Gengar, which allows me to use be much less cautious when spin blocking, and makes Gengar stick around much longer, which is extremely useful, as I often have to bring Gengar in to force switches due to it being the fastest mon on the team. Reuniclus @ Leftovers Trait: Magic Guard EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) -Psyshock -Focus Blast -Calm Mind -Recover Reuniclus rounds off the team brilliantly, giving a solid backup check to plenty of common physical pokemon, which makes it a lot easier to use Skarmory well, as well as just generally being extremely bulky and able to take random hits, or be pivoted around in order to get something like Gengar in. Reuniclus is also perfectly suited to the team, making full use of everything the rest of the team has to offer, especially all of the entry hazards – Tyranitar is worn down very quickly by this team, and Scizor struggles to live for long the majority of the time, which only really leaves SDef Jirachi as a common Reuniclus check, and, as I mentioned earlier, it just gets set up on. With its counters getting removed that reliably, Reuniclus often ends up finishing things off for the team, which it does as well as anything else in the tier, and it’s a great mon to be able to fall back to against stall teams on the rare occasion where I end up in real trouble against one. Once again, Reuniclus has standard EVs but with extra speed build in, which may seem a bad idea on something as slow as Reuniclus, but it’s pretty important here. The 8 speed EVs basically guarantee that I’m faster in CM wars, and, together with Psyshock, that means that I can actually use my own Reuniclus as a reasonable answer to other ones, which would basically 6-0 me otherwise. Outspeeding Conkeldurr is a bit annoying, but Conk is generally manageable. Threats Honestly, not much. There's only a handful of pokemon in the current metagame that I've had real trouble dealing with. Latios can be a bit of an annoyance, but the choice sets are generally easy enough to handle, leaving LO 3 attacks+Recover as the only real issue, which can generally be dealt with between Heatran and Gastrodon. Teams with either rain or sun, Dugtrio, and Tornadus or Volcarona are obviously a huge problem, as they just have an incredible advantage in the matchup, but I think that's much more a problem with the playstyle rather than the team. As with any stallish team, mixed dragons (Salamence) and Hydreigon are annoying to deal with, but both can generally be played around reasonably well, and, fortunately, I've always got Gengar to fall back on.