AstralProjection Overview: Intro: It has been discussed, ever since the introduction of Deoxys-s to the ou tier, that purely offensive teams can not be very effective. This is apparently supported by the overall metagame shifting to bulky sweepers and generally bulky teams. "Astral Projection" has been very successful for me. I have had this team for 5 days now. On the first day this team allowed me to attain a ranking of 2nd on the Shoddy Battle OU ladder with a rating of 1707. The next day it was able to reach first (and was passed shortly after). Finally, on the fourth day team Astral Projection was able to attain a more lasting first place with a rating of 1740. Game Plan: This team is built around the basic offensive concept of using high powered sweepers to overwhelm the opposition. The success of this team, I believe, lies in the way this is executed. Aero leading usually puts the team on the offensive from the start of the match. From there it is essentially up to me and how I play. This team has immense potential and it's really up to the user whether or not it gets utilized. Each of the pokemon bring their own strengths and resistances to the table and through solid play I believe this team is unbeatable. That is not to say that this team can not lose horribly. In fact, this team has a very good chance of doing so if your opponent plays better than you. Through the "Team Work" section under each of the pokemon I will attempt to explain how I feel is the best way to play each pokemon in respect to individual situations. In Depth: @ Focus Sash Ability: Pressure EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Stealth Rock - Taunt - Rock Slide - Earthquake Description: Aero is a great lead. He usually gets off a quick SR and can often cripple leading pokes such as mence/gyara/gar/azelf. Slower leads are generally there to SR so he'll taunt them to keep the rocks off. I had Stone Edge over Rock Slide and Ice Fang over Earthquake but I found that I missed far too often with both for them to be useful. I also realized I had a metagross problem so the more ground attacks, the better. EVs: Jolly and 252 is a bit paranoid as crobat, jolteon, and other aero are usually not seen around but I can't think of anywhere better to put the EVs. I wouldn't change it to adamant (even though the extra damage would push intimidated rockslide to a 2hko instead of a 3hko on mence and gyara) as outspeeding leading azelf is very important as it is rather challenging for this team to defeat. Team Work: This team doesn't really have a problem with SR as I only have two pokemon who are weak to it one of which leads. Aero's job is to make sure the rocks stay off the field until gyara can have his run. Gyara needs all of his health to properly sodomize my opponent's team. Aero usually lures out pokemon such as bronzong and hippowdon who after a taunt can not do much to gyara so I get a free DD. When facing a fast lead I tend to attack since they usually stick around to fight as well. Often Azelf/Mence/Gyara/Weavile leads stick around and I can get a quick ko or weaken them. Then I get out SR as quickly as I can. Taunting celebi or vaporeon is very important for this team as gyara can easily dispose of either if they are weakened or can not use their recovery. @ Life Orb Ability: Intimidate EVs: 80 HP/252 Atk/176 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Dragon Dance - Earthquake - Ice Fang - Waterfall Description: The set is fairly self explanitory. After a DD few things can stand up to this. This 2hkos celebi and with SR down often ohkos Starmie. Cresselia is 2 or 3hkoed and so is skarmory. If this gets a DD in my opponent generally loses at least one very valuable member of their defensive core which is very important as most of those pokemon are used to counter multiple threats. EVs: Max attack as this hits most pokemon at least neutral so getting the most out of the few turns it is in play is very important. 176 speed gets Gyara to 242 speed which lets you out speed Starmie/Azelf/Raikou after a DD. I just put the rest into HP and it turns out it is a very good number to use with life orb as after KOing people's Celebis and Starmies they sometimes send out ScarfChomp and his outrages just barely fail to ko gyara while gyara ohkos him (and promptly dies to LO recoil). Team Work: Gyara usually struts his stuff early game by easily switching into common aero counters. Since this gyara is designed to take out the pokemon that believe they can counter it, it is often the target of scarfed pokemon aiming to revenge kill it. Obviously those revenge killers are using an electric attack so with a little prediction you can bring in Garchomp to wreck further havoc. Sometimes it is beneficial to forgo that prediction as giving Garchomp a free turn my seal the game for you regardless of what happens to Gyara. Basically, use your head. @ Life Orb Ability: Levitate EVs: 40 Atk/252 Spd/216 SAtk Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Shadow Ball - Explosion - Focus Blast - Hypnosis Description: Shadow Ball/Focus Blast hit everything neutrally and Hypnosis+Explosion basically guarantees that Gengar will take two pokemon out of the match. LO moves a lot of 3hkos to 2hkos which is extremely important for Gengar as with a little prediction you may manage to die from 10 turns of LO recoil rather than your opponent's attacks. EVs: 40 attack allows gengar to make good use of Explosion (and ohko bliss all the time). Max speed is to beat infernape and tie/beat other gengar. The Special Attack should not be placed anywhere else either as Gengar hits a lot of things neutral and needs as much brute force as possible. Team Work: Being immune to three types is great. Along with it's revenge killing capabilities it helps with water types and bulky psychics. My opponents generally end up sacrificing their tyranitar to this while trying to wear gar down with stream+lo damage. I try to keep Gengar alive as he is a monster late game and I also do not have something to take ground attacks as Gyara and Aero generally die early. @ Choice Band Ability: Sand Veil EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Dragon Claw - Fire Fang - Outrage Description: This thing is absolutely amazing. There really isn't much this doesn't straight up 2hko with sr down so if my opponent switches I should net a KO unless I predict incorrectly. EVs: Adamant over Jolly for the power to 2hko cresselia and suicune when sr is down. I've run into a few problems with timid cm jirachi but my other members should be able to handle it (namely Aero). The rest is obvious. Team Work: Garchomp can usually come in on Zapdos and since they usually stick around to prevent me from possibly SD'ing up for free I get a quick KO on a very dangerous pokemon. Garchomp is mainly used to power past very bulky pokemon like: Cresselia, Dusknoir, Celebi, Suicune, etc. These pokemon generally do not have the offense to ohko Garchomp but their team for some reason relies on them to take it out so that when they are quickly 2hkoed it becomes far easier to sweep them with gengar/lucario. Choiced Ice Attacks and regular Ice Shards aimed at this should be directed to Lucario who makes very good use of free turns. @ Life Orb Ability: Inner Focus EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Swords Dance - Bullet Punch - Extremespeed Description: Lucario tears stuff up with or without SDing. Bullet Punch is used instead of Crunch as Dusknoir, Celebi, and Cresselia are usually overwhelmed by the offense on this team while opposing Gengars and Mismagius' are a very serious threat. LO is required as a SD'ed bullet punch doesn't ohko gengar otherwise. EVs: Adamant is, again, the nature of choice as I have two priority moves to make up for the lack of speed. The only time I regret not having jolly is against full health, max speed, jolly LO Mamo which doesn't happen too often and I have other ways around it anyway. Team Work: My team can wear down the opponent's team very easily so Lucario is able to quickly ping off pokemon even without an SD. Should the opportunity/need arise Lucario can SD and sweep just as well as Gyara and Gengar. Lucario resists ghost and ice attacks aimed at gengar and garchomp respectively and so he has many opportunities to SD or get in free shots on the opponent's team. I usually end up revealing this early game and then not using it until late game. Many teams fear a timely Lucario switch so they end up playing far more conservatively after he has been revealed. @ Life Orb Ability: Pressure EVs: 4 Atk/252 Spd/252 SAtk Naive nature (+Spd, -SDef) - Ice Beam - Thunderbolt - Superpower - Shadow Ball Description: Shadow Ball is placed over Psychic and Recover as I have trouble with Psychic types. Shadow Ball also helps me revenge kill nonscarfed Gar. EVs: Max Speed is absolutely required to revenge kill stuff and defend myself against other Deoxys-s. Max SpAtk is standard and I don't really mind not being able to ohko bliss/heatran as I am rarely in a position where it would even matter whether or not I could. Team Work: Cleans up whatever mess there is late game. I'm often in situations where Life Orb puts me on a time limit and so I'm thinking "5 turns to beat 4 pokemon" and often deoxys-s is able to pull it off. This thing is the only reason Gyarados doesn't sweep me every time it comes out and it is my easy way out on choiced chomps who try to grab a quick kill by outraging. This can easily come into STAB psychics. Threat List: Tyranitar - Garchomp, Lucario, and Deoxys-S's revenge killing abilities. Gyarados - Deoxys-S can stop it if it gets a DD. I usually try to pressure it so that it doesn't. Infernape - Gengar, and Aero can both switch in relatively easily and ohko depending on what move I believe it'll use. Azelf - Deoxys-S can switch in on any of it's moves once and Lucario can revenge kill it from 50%. Rhyperior - All of my pokemon can hit it hard. Electivire - I've only got 1 electric move on the team and it comes from a pokemon is faster than electivire even after the motor drive boost. This isn't really threatening otherwise. Heracross - Gengar and Gyara. Garchomp can help too in a pinch. Salamence - Doesn't really have a chance to switch in with SR getting down early and my pokes hitting so hard. Dexoys-s can revenge kill. Togekiss - SR prevents it from switching in and out too much and Aero has RS, Gyara has IF, Garchomp can ohko with Outrage. It doesn't like Lucario's CC and Deoxy's IB/tbolt either. Gengar - Aero can 2hko and doesn't really mind dying or being put to sleep. Deoxys-S can revenge kill and my own Gengar ties with the fastest ones. Garchomp - A mix of hitting it hard with whatever is out and revenge killing with deoxys-s. Raikou - This guy is trouble. If aero is out then I have to handle him with Lucario's ES and Deoxys-S's Superpower. Lucario - Gengar can take fighting attacks, Garchomp can take pretty much anything it throws once and Deoxys-S can revenge kill. Tauros - Gengar for normal and ground attacks. The other attacks aren't so threatening. So Gyara/Chomp/Aero/Dexoys can handle them. Starmie - Deoxys-S, Gengar at full health, Lucario if its weak. Though usually I never have to deal with it as it comes into DD'ed Gyara and dies. Weavile - Lucario mainly. Sr being down helps here. Dugtrio - Counter?? Alakazam - Deoxys-S PorygonZ - These are usually scarfed and I basically get free play time with my sweepers whenever it comes out. Medicham - Never seen one but I'd guess a combination of gyara and gengar. Staraptor - Gengar+Aero+Gyara+Deoxys-s Slowbro - This usually comes in on Garchomp and gets 2hkoed. Gengar can also deal with it. Machamp - Rather troublesome. Gengar usually has to explode or hypnotize this. Jolteon - I usually see these as leads and so I either win the speed war and my opponent is pissed or I live because of sash and get the ko anyway. Aerodactyl - SR+Lucario/Deoxys-S Snorlax - Too slow to do anything. Everything minus Aero (who can taunt it's curses) can 2hko with SR down. Zapdos - Garchomp usually takes this out. SR is useful in beating this as gengar and lucario can suddenly 2hko them and Gyara can ohko after a DD. Blissey - Everything has a plan to beat blissey. Suicune - Garchomp 2hkos with outrage. Gyara can usually set up on it. Sceptile - No idea. Gengar and Deoxys-S Breloom - Breloom has never done anything against this team. Slaking - Never seen one but the free turns it gives are appreciated. Tangrowth - Usually comes out to meet Aero, gets taunted and eventually gives me an easy switch to Gar. Ninjask - Aero taunts then slides. With SR down after it runs the first time it usually can't do anything. Metagross - Pretty dangerous. Everything can "revenge kill" Heatran - Scarfed versions give me free turns while rest/talk versions get dominated by pretty much all of my pokemon. Celebi - Very annoying if played correctly. Usually my opponents waste it trying to stop gyara. Jirachi - Timid ones with HP Ice are very troublesome but otherwise Garchomp and Lucario can handle them fine. Deoxys-S - Lucario can take it out from about 70% if it has LO. Most other deoxys-s's can't ohko mine and even if they can they are usually slower. Conclusion: This was mainly done to have solid proof that offensive teams are just as effective as they were before. If you even skim over the counters section you'll see that most of my "counters" involved prediction and/or revenge killing which is still a viable way to play pokemon as shown by the success of this team. I urge all of you to play with offensive teams. If I forgot something that would be useful just mention it and I'll edit this post. Rate My Team! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks to Smogon for the sprites at the top and the pictures are thanks to Aragonbird.