@ Thick Club
I've been using this team for a few months now, so I guess now's as good a time as any to retire it and try something new. It started out as just a fun team (it even used to have Flareon!) but I was enjoying myself so much that I started to sail up the ladder and eventually decided I may as well just get to the top before I retire it. I obviously win a lot with it, but it just doesn't feel like a top-tier team if you know what I mean? I'll occassionally go on losing streaks of 2-3 games which is just unacceptable at this level. I don't normally post RMT's (I've only posted one in all my time at Smogon!) but I recently let Havak use it and he seems to be having fun and success with it so why not?
Yeah, nothing unique here. Sorry! This is a pretty typical Platinum team. The ultimate goal here is to remove anything that stops Infernape from sweeping and then let him loose.
Metagross @ Occa Berry
252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
- Meteor Mash
- Bullet Punch
Very standard lead at the moment...I had a lot more success with it a few months ago when Azelf was the big dog but now people have caught onto it and his impact has been limited a bit. I think the main advantage this had was that many people expected Stealth Rock or Trick and seldom expected to be smacked by 405 Atk in the first turn.
Meteor Mash + Bullet Punch gets Azelf and Aero out of the way early, whilst EQ + BP in conjunction with Occa Berry puts LeadApe on his arse. Other common leads like Tyranitar, Gengar and Jirachi all lose out. The only common lead I ever really switch out of is Bronzong. The Fire-resist berry also occassionally allows me to catch out a Scarftran who might otherwise give Infernape problems later. After taking out the opponent's lead, I'll look to use Explosion on anything worthwhile. A true suicide lead.
Starmie @ Leftovers
160 HP / 40 Def / 92 SpA / 216 Spe
- Rapid Spin
Starmie will always have a special place in my heart but this is the teamslot I've always been the least comfortable with. Salamence is such a key member of this team that I'd really rather keep SR away. It's also bad news for Infernape who is already delicate enough. Only one of my team resists Spikes and I hate TS so I feel a Spinner is neccesary.
She's excellent at switching into random assortments of threats and forcing them away or just generally stalling against something like Vaporeon or Blissey till an opening comes up. Most importantly perhaps, she counters DD LO Gyara thanks to the defensive investment, and handily deals with enemy Infernape.
With the already high usage of CBTar and the increase in popularity of CBScizor, I think this is the last time in the forseeable future that I'll have a Starmie on one of my teams. Having said all that, she has been a great team member.
Salamence @ Choice Specs
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Dragon Pulse
- Fire Blast
- Hydro Pump
That's right - Specsmence! I'll occassionally have people shout at me and call me a noob for using this over the admittedley superior DDMence or MixMence but that's usually just because they're bitter that their switch-in just got OHKO'd. I'll usually take every chance to switch this guy in and start raining death down on the opponent. Tbh, I rarely predict with this guy and just rely on the Dragon attacks. They're so powerful that even Steel types lose huge chunks of their health. Interestingly enough Hydro Pump sees a lot more use than Fire Blast here. It's neutral coverage and high base power make it a great choice when I'm in a tough spot.
I do die a little inside when I get walled by Blissey though so I did test out DM/FB/BB/Roost MixMence for a week or so and found him to be very effective but his lack of a consistent sweeping attack led me to make the decision to go back to Specsmence and his formidable Dragon Pulse.
Intimidate is massively helpful in all sorts of situations.
Swampert @ Leftovers
200 HP / 228 Def / 80 SpA
- Ice Beam
- Hydro Pump
- Stealth Rock
Swampert is such a fantastic Pokemon and functions as the lynchpin of the team and my "go-to-guy." Very rarely fails to lay Stealth Rock unless I get stung by a surprise HP Grass from Heatran or Zapdos. Stealth Rock is obviously incredibly important to both Scizor and his U-Turn and Infernape. Not much to say here, you all know how this guy rolls.
Hydro Pump gets the nod here as it allows him to combat Rotom formes a little better (usually 3HKOs whereas Surf 4-5HKOs and Waterfall is just crap against a Poke that spams WoW). Sometimes I get to unleash a Torrent boosted Hydro Pump which packs a lot more power than most people are used to seeing from a Swampert.
Scizor @ Choice Band
208 HP / 252 Atk / 40 SpD / 8 Spe
- Bullet Punch
Another set that has decreased in effectiveness as it becomes more and more popular. I wouldn't be surprised if next months usage stats show that the Choice Band set has surpassed the SD set...it is far more effective after all. Pursuit takes care of the usual suspects that completely shut down Infernape such as Starmie and even Tentacruel and stops Gengar from his revenge-killing duties. U-Turn chips away at Pokemon such as Zapdos, Rotom and Gyarados to put them in Infernape's KO range. Bullet Punch is insurance against a lot of sweepers and a fantastic one at that. Superpower doesn't see much use except on the odd Blissey who wants to stay in and Flamethrower me.
Infernape @ Life Orb
12 Atk / 252 SpA / 240 Spe
- Close Combat
- Grass Knot
- Hidden Power Ice
If Carlsberg made Pokemon it would probably be this chimp right here. The best late game sweeper since Deoxys-E in my opinion. Most importantly, he doesn't require any set-up (note that my team has zero set up Pokemon as I have came to question the value of set-up moves in Plat). I hold this guy back for as long as possible then break him out when I can see the opponent is defenseless against him. Flamethrower over Fire Blast and I have never once regretted that choice...by the time 'Ape comes out the opponent is usually sufficiently weakened that Flamethrower can do everything that Fire Blast can.
EVs are a little different here. This dude lands at 342 Speed, one point ahead of the old standard 'Ape who runs at 341 (I understand people are starting to run 330 now so I might change that sometime). This is mainly because I'm quite weak to enemy Mixape myself if the foe manages to Pursuit away my Starmie so it's nice to have a revenge killer.
Problem Pokemon in Red.
Tyranitar = Swampert's a great switch into pretty much all variants but if for some reason I suspect a CB Crunch I'll head to Scizor instead. Metagross is a decent counter to if he stays alive long enough. Scizor can revenge kill DDTar's with Bullet Punch.
Gyarados = Starmie's a good switch-in to bulkyish Gyarados but LO variants cause me a bit of concern. Starmie can still come in but any prior damage can spell her doom. If worst comes to worst I can whittle him down with Swampert's Ice Beams + LO + SR damage and then try to revenge kill with Scizor's BP. Can be a bit desperate at times but I'm fairly certain I've never been outright swept by a Gyarados.
Infernape = Starmie is a great counter and my own Infernape can usually revenge kill. Scizor's Bullet Punch can do aroung 40-50% in the worst case scenario. Metagross' Occa Berry sometimes allows me to pick him off easily.
Azelf = Thank God people tend to waste this thing as a lead because an offensive Azelf can cause me a whole shitload of headaches. Scizor can do around 80% with Bullet Punch and Azelf usually can't OHKO Salamence but this one can be a bit ugly.
Electivire = Swampert shuts the thing down all day unless it has HP Grass. Metagross can take it head-on. Infernape can revenge kill if it gets down to about 80ish%. Only one electric attack on my team which limits his potential too.
Heracross = Life is Hera-weak. Salamence is my best switch in and he's a shaky one at the best of times. Plenty of chances to revenge kill him though and Scarf versions usually don't have the power to be too problematic.
Salamence = Swampert comes in quite happily but I need to be wary around LO Draco Meteors and rely on one of my Steel types to lighten the load. Scizor's Bullet Punch helps to ensure that DDMence very rarely sweeps me.
Togekiss = Togekiss is pretty gay, I imagine I'd have a lot more problems with this thing if it wasn't so rare. Scizor's Bullet Punch 2HKO's the less defensive versions (30% chance of 2HKOing 252/0 versions and that's without factoring in SR). Sala's Draco Meteor tears him apart. I was in two minds about whether to put this dude in red but with Zapdos and Rotom's omniprescency, this thing is just too rare for me to worry about too much.
Gengar = Scizor's bitch...Bullet Punch is an OHKO if he stays in and Pursuit OHKOs regardless of switch. Starmie can revenge kill, Pert 2HKOs.
Lucario = A bit paper-weak to this thing but I've never been swept by it as it just can't set up on anything except Scizor locked into Pursuit. Even resisted Bullet Punches and Dragon attacks leave too much of a dent for Lucario to set up safely, especially when you consider his Life Orb. Weak to SpecsLuke, but who isn't?
Starmie = I try to Pursuit this chap ASAP but I need to be careful about switching into Surf. Spinner versions are never a problem and offensive versions get 2HKO'd by Swampert if they get past Scizor.
Weavile = Scizor, Swampert, Metagross, even Infernape in a pinch.
Dugtrio = Not too weak to this guy, Infernape is the only guy who's especially vulnerable to a revenge kill...Metagross can defend himself with his high defense and Bullet Punch if neccesary.
Porygon-Z = This guy hits like a nuke.
(I'm starting to regret adding so many new Pokemon to the threat list round about now)
Machamp - This guy is so tough to counter but I have plenty of power to get rid of him...Mence OHKOs and Gross, Ape and Scizor 2HKO. Sometimes I'll just explode on him when I see him as a lead because he is so friggin' annoying.
Snorlax = Scizor and Metagross do well, Infernape can revenge kill if I don't let him get too many Curses.
Zapdos = Swampert's usually my first switch in as he can survive HP Grass provided the opponent doesn't have LO. Salamence has little to fear if he does turn out to have HP Grass and can OHKO with ease. Scizor wears him down with repeated U-Turns. Still a bitch to fight.
Suicune = Probably the biggest threat to the team. If you have a bulky Surf/Ice Beam/CM/Rest Suicune on your team then you have a good chance of beating me if you're not stupid. My lack of set-up presence means I can't even threaten him whilst he sleeps. I just pray that Metagross is still alive so I can BOOM. I need to hit this guy hard and fast. LOCune isn't as much of a problem but he still has the potential to leave a mark in my team.
Breloom = I do have problems with Breloom but I don't think it's because I'm neccesarily weak to it...it's probably more to do with the fact that Breloom is a dick. I usually let 'Gross or 'Pert sleep and use Salamence to force him out.
Ninjask = No phazer so I need to be wary but they almost always lead and I can normally beat them with some clever use of Meteor Mash + Bullet Punch. If they do complete the pass, I can always Explode on the recipient.
Metagross = Swampert's as good a switch-in as any. They usually lead and I can use my Metagross to strip them of aout 60% of their health from the get-go. Salamence can get in and OHKO if I'm careful. Infernape revenges.
Heatran = Starmie, Swampert and Salamence all like to switch in to him. Infernape can even help out in a pinch.
Celebi = Scizor loves to switch in and seems to spend 90% of my matches paralysed as a result. Salamence is a safe switch in if I watch out for Thunder-Wave and can OHKO with Fire Blast. Infernape OHKOs too.
Jirachi = Metagross and Swampert counter CM versions, Scarf versions don't have the offensive power or the coverage to trouble me.
Mamoswine = Tricky to switch into but Swampert can come in once or twice and this guy just really can't switch into anything on my team.
Yanmega = Show me a team without Blissey, Zapdos or Rotom that isn't weak to Yanmega. Double Bullet Punches are a godsend. I'm thankful not many people use late-game Yanmega.
Kingdra = Swampert can handle DD versions but if it's one of those Restalking versions I have to use Metagross, Scizor or even use Mence and hope he doesn't Sleep Talk Outrage. Rain Dance teams are always tough...
Roserade = Salamence only fears certain Weather Balls and HP Ice. Scizor can sneak in and OHKO with Bullet Punch before I get hit by HP Fire. Infernape revenges.
Scizor = A bit problematic in the hands of a smart opponent. Doesn't get many chances to switch in though and usually wears himself down before he can do too much damage (Roosting versions are dangerous though).
Gliscor = Swampert and Starmie can switch in and KO...Salamence can OHKO once I've established that they aren't Jolly Ice Fang variants. Infernape revenges.
Empoleon = Another one of those "if you have one of these you can probably beat me." I've been in matches where I've been sailing to victory only for this guy to pop up and sweep me.
Magnezone = Scizor is such a key member that losing him to this creep really hurts my team. Thankfully I'm usually U-Turning all over the place so the opponent has to play well to trap him. Swampert counters HP Grass-less versions. Lack of Electrical resists means this thing hurts.
Flygon = Swampert manhandles him, Scizor revenge kills, Infernape revenge kills Scarfless versions.
Rhyperior = Swampert takes him on. Starmie, Salamence and Infernape can OHKO. Scizor does shitloads with Bullet Punch.
Rotom-A = Usually use Swampert and his Hydro Pump (Leaf Storm versions are problematic as a result). I sometimes bring Mence in to him and the opponent can't help but try to burn him only to get blown away by Draco Meteor.
So there we are. RMT!