This is a joint RMT between moi and tennisace With Dugtrio’s fall into UU, and my (moi the best) attempted comeback into competitive all tier battling, I had finally thought of a team strategy that isn’t seen nowadays, especially in UU, a Trap Team. With the enlisted help of tennisace, we started our task. The Offensive Unit Looking at the list of viable trappers, it basically consists of Honchkrow (via Pursuit), Dugtrio, and Magneton. We had initially planned to base the team off of these forces, along with the aspect of U-Turn, and using other sweepers to force things out. Dugtrio and Magneton allow us to remove many of the Steels that hamper Honchkrow’s ability to sweep, so it had seemed like a perfect fit. Because of some of the main weaknesses that our trappers had, we had decided we needed a bulky water, to help for Ice, Water, and Fire attacks headed towards Magneton and Dugtrio. We had also realized that many potential threats weren’t assured to be removed by both Magneton and Dugtrio, hampering Honchkrow’s ability to sweep. We were content with a Sub Azumarill, which can force out Fire types, allowing easy set up, or can Substitute up on potential status threats from bulkier walls. The Support Unit While trapping by itself is potent as a revenge killing solution, it doesn’t allow us to get any advantage as all that really happens is me going one for one, then getting set up on by the switch in afterwards. As such, I needed a solution to get myself into an advantageous position from the start. This is accomplished by using U-Turn. We had wanted something that could set up Stealth Rocks initially as well. Uxie was a fine choice for this position. Due to its bulk and immunity, it could do for repeated switch-ins, functioning as the glue for this team. It also got access to two very important moves, Yawn and U-Turn. After the initial Stealth Rock set up, Yawn can easily be used along with U-Turn to trap any potential threats to our team. While Uxie is on the slower end of the spectrum, being able to take a hit for the recipient of U-Turn, we had also wanted a second U-Turn user. Ambipom turned out to be the perfect fit for the team, adding not only a helpful immunity to Ghost, a threatening Pokémon that can force switches, but it also has access to a move that is detrimental to the success of the team. Knock Off allows my team to trap things it normally would not, and some of these things are Pokémon that easily switch in to it. Current Team As the testing of the team progressed, we had realized a key problem with one slot of the team. Honchkrow had a serious issue that couldn’t be fixed, which was a Stealth Rock weakness. Due to the nature of the team and its dependence on switching, it wouldn’t do without making serious changes to the set up. Roserade, while not having the same pseudo-trapping ability that Honchkrow does, possesses the ability to induce status, the ability to switch into them, resistances that helps my team switch, and is a very potent threat once some of its counters have been trapped. THE TEAM @ Leftovers Ability: Levitate EVs: 248 HP/44 Atk/216 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) ~ Zen Headbutt ~ Yawn ~ U-turn ~ Stealth Rock Uxie serves as the team's glue. It has the ability to switch into multiple attacks, and allows for easier switch-ins to multiple Pokémon. The EVs given allow it to outspeed all lead Roserade, except for Scarf Roserade, which aren't as much of a threat in comparison to other variants. This is also the reason that Zen Headbutt is used over Psychic, being able to more easily deal with Roserade's lackluster Special Defense. Uxie's greatest compliment to this team, however, is its ability to succesfully use the U-Turn/Yawn combo. Not only does this allow the team to scout out enemies, it makes the job of trapping so much easier, and always allows the team to gain a dominant position at the start of the battle. To clarify, first, we set up Stealth Rock. Then, we Yawn. Usually at that time, the opponent will switch to another Pokemon to avoid status. Finally, we U-turn to keep up momentum. For example, if Honchkrow is switched in, we U-turn as it comes in to damage it, and bring in Azumarill. That way, it has ~40% damage on it before we bring in our answer. @ Leftovers Ability: Magnet Pull EVs: 108 HP/148 Spd/252 SAtk Modest nature (+SAtk, -Atk) ~ Substitute ~ Thunderbolt ~ Magnet Rise ~ Hidden Power [Fire] Part one of the trapping tandem, little Maggy performs much the same job that Magnezone does in OU, just against different threats. Magneton's main job is to help remove those pesky Steels that hurt Roserade's chances later on. Due to the nature of the team, it has multiple chances in the game to do its job and it does it well. An often unappreciated aspect of Magneton, however, is its value as a defensive check to the team. It's ability to freely switch in and set up Substitute is often undervalued in comparison to the trapping value it brings to the plate. With this defensive ability, it has that pretty scary Thunderbolt coming off of 120 Special Attack, which isn't the nicest thing to switch into. Lastly, Magneton serves as a two part last stand against rain teams. With the ability to often set up against Rain Dance leads, Magneton threatens the mostly Water-type teams with that huge Thunderbolt, and means that this team is not easily dismantled by those teams. (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Arena Trap EVs: 252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) ~ Earthquake ~ Stone Edge ~ Night Slash ~ Sucker Punch Part two of the tandem, the three headed beast! Dugtrio, while being fragile, is used as the primary revenge killer, and, thanks to the nature of the team, is able to trap certain threats that stand in Roserade's way. Life Orb is the item of ability due to one thing: how easily Dugtrio becomes setup bait after the first attack. Due to the nature of the team, the only damage that Dugtrio is usually taking is residual, meaning that it will have plenty of oppurtunities to attack throughout the match, so Life Orb recoil isn't that much of a problem. Aerial Ace isn't used on this set is for one simple reason: it isn't worth it. While Fighting-type threats are easier to get rid of with it, Dugtrio is, for the most part, always fearful of priority damage it has to take. This team also does fairly well against Fighting-types and, as such, we'd rather use Night Slash to stop those Mismagius from attempting to set up and without the unreliable Stone Edge. (M) @ Leftovers Ability: Huge Power EVs: 252 HP/248 Atk/8 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) ~ Substitute ~ Aqua Jet ~ Focus Punch ~ Toxic/Ice Punch The team's bulky Water, Azumarill's role goes much further than serving as a safe switch in to multiple attacks. It basically is the most important member of the team, serving as our Offensive catch-all in addition to its defensive role. Outside of switching in to multiple attacks well, Azumarill easily forces things out. This is a key factor, as it allows it to set up Substitute, which is where the fun really begins. Azumarill is a huge stall breaker, and with Substitute up, can deal with a plethora of stall threats with any choice of move. While being hampered by Bulky Waters, Toxic helps to alleviate this problem. (tennisace's note: I've always prefered Ice Punch for its ability to lay the hurt on Grass-types that like to switch in and Donphan. The reason for this is that I usually play around Magneton, only using it when absolutely needed, so that when the time comes I can nail the bulky Water-types. The same goes for Roserade. Between the two, there is no bulky Water-type problem.) Azumarill is Magneton's partner in crime when it comes to breaking up rain teams. With the help of Uxie's Yawn and U-Turn support, Azumarill most always sets up a Substitute against rain teams, and proceeds to damage them with rain boosted Aqua Jet, and threatens the Rock Swift Swimmers with Focus Punch. (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Technician EVs: 252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) ~ U-turn ~ Double Hit ~ Fake Out ~ Knock Off As previously stated, Ambipom, though with mostly the same moveset, serves a completely different role to this team as it does to most. Ambipom manages to force out quite a significant portion of the metagame due to the ever threatening Fake Out. Outside of the obvious key moves of U-Turn, and the ever handy Fake Out, Knock Off proves to be an effective move. Due to the fact that Ambipom's most threatening moves are normal type, Steels are and Ghosts are the most available ways to deal with it. Knock Off does wonders against both things. Due to Dugtrio's fall into UU, plenty of Steels have started carrying Shed Shell to deal with it. Knock Off allows my trappers to carry out with their initial plan, instead of being stopped by Shed Shell. Knock Off also deals with Ghost-types, and more specifically, helps this team deal with Mismagius, something that can most easily come in on the revenge to threaten this team. The use of Double Hit, while not overly frowned upon, is to stop any potential threats with Focus Punch against the team. When anything can set up against a team that is quite fragile it often spells for quite a bit of trouble. The added Attack bonus is just a plus. (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 4 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk Modest nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Sludge Bomb - Synthesis - Leaf Storm - Sleep Powder Coming off the bench is Roserade! While benefiting from the removal of the same walls that Honchkrow did, Roserade lacks the weakness to Stealth Rock, which was a key factor in our decision to switch it out. Roserade's ability, Natural Cure, also replaces the loss of Insomnia, and adds on so much more by being able to switch in other status. The typing and the ability to switch in repeatedly thanks to Synthesis compliment this team, a team that greatly needed secondary switches into many threats. To be honest, while being the standard Life Orb Roserade, it is a greatly potent threat. As said, Roserade picks up the slack for where Honchkrow dropped off. After a lot of what counters Roserade is removed from play, it has the ability to drastically change the face of the game. Without Chanseys or Registeels, it is able to at least get one kill through the incredibly high powered Sludge Bomb and if needed, Leaf Storm. Throughout the team, there have been threats that have been identified. While not specifically having an overly threatening type of team, it is a single move. Spikes. The majority of the team is land based, along with the fact that it's fairly simple to get at least one layer against this team, and the strategy used makes it a real pain in the side. This isn't to say that it isn't possible to play around, as obviously, conserving switches and playing smart with move selection will help cut down on the affect that Spikes has against the team. The main issue is that you can't add something to get rid of Spikes without drastically changing the makeup of the team, and is just something we've had to live with.