TEAM DUST DEVIL INTRO: Hey Smogonites!!!!! It's been awhile since I've been on here and as of late I have built a team that has been the best team I've built. I played about a year ago, but I gave up seeing that I couldn't successfully build a decent team and was sick of the constant appearance of weather in the OU metagame. But this time around I've decided to embrace weather in the form of Sandstorm. I'm an amateur player obviously,but this team has actually been the most successful of the assortment of teams I have built (UU and RU included). I have a record of 28 wins/ 32 losses on the PS server. I know that isn't impressive at all, but it is extremely better than the records of my past teams. I know this team has potential, but there are a few bumps and imperfections amongst the six pokemon I have chosen. I'm also not sure what direction to take this team, being more offensively oriented, or more stall. Another major issue is that I feel as though I'm not taking advantage of Sandstorm. All that aside, let's dive in shall we. TEAM BUILDING PROCESS Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide I decided that Tyranitar would be the better choice over Hippowdon for my weather-inducer. He went along better with the direction I wanted to take the team. I then searched for a nice Spiker or Stealth Rocker. With immunity to Sandstorm, and resistances to numerous types of moves, Skarmory was the obvious pick. I needed pokemon that could function well under the sand. With STAB Earthquake and Sand Force to abuse my weather condition to the fullest, Landorus was my next addition. Looking at my team now, I saw I had huge weaknesses to Ice and Water and I lacked a good Special Wall. With an Ice resistance and a complete Water immunity, Jellicent seemed like a logical decision. She also has decent synergy with T-Tar. With Rain running amok in the OU metagame, NOT running some sort of rain sweeper counter or even an abuser of your own is suicide. Starmie made alot of sense to add to the team due to it's Ice, Water, and Fighting resistances, along with STAB Hydro Pump under the rain and a 100% accurate Thunder that rips apart most rain teams. Even without rain Starmie functions very efficiently. With Rain covered, I turned my attention to sun teams. What pokemon had great special defense along with resistances to fire and grass, decent speed, and was able to take advantage of sun on its own? Latias of course! Misc. Thoughts: One weather I didn't cover was Hail. I'm not bashing hail or anything, but I haven't seen enough of it as to where it becomes a threat. besides, Landorus and T-Tar can take care of them with Stone Edge and Stealth Rocks and Spikes provided by Tyranitar and Skarmory respectively. IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS Tyranitar (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd Hasty Nature - Crunch - Ice Beam - Stone Edge - Earthquake T-Tar's role on my team is to set up weather. I gave him a Choice Scarf so that he could at least compete with the speed of the other Pokes in the tier. I didn't have pursuit on this set because Pursuit is a horrible move to be locked into. Plus, most people keep their Pokes in nowadays. Crunch is good due to it's reliable power and STAB. Ice Beam allows T-Tar to OHKO(which explains the 4 SAtk EVs. Stone Edge is good STAB with good base power. Earthquake is a good coverage move for T-Tar and takes advantage of the EdgeQuake combination that few Pokemon actually have a resistance to. To be perfectly honest, T-Tar has been underwhelming. Even with a Choice Scarf he still looses some Speed wars. And because this is such an important piece to my team, I could really use some help with his moveset/EVs. Synergy: Fighting: Jellicent, Starmie, Landorus, Ground: Landorus, Latias, Skarmory Bug: Jellicent, Landorus, Skarmory Steel: Starmie, Jellicent, Skarmory Water: Starmie, Jellicent, Latias Grass: Latias, Skarmory Skarmory (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 232 Def / 24 Spd Impish Nature - Spikes - Roost - Whirlwind - Brave Bird Synergy: Electric: Landorus, Latias Fire: Latias, Starmie, Jellicent, Tyranitar This spot was originally given to Gliscor, however, Gliscor seemed to have a hard time setting up those entry hazards. So I tested Skarm and he did an excellent job and meshed well with the team. Spikes is a nice perk to have on this team(reason is in Landorus' analysis). It can set up Spikes in many ways. For example, when a Dragon uses Outrage(which is common in the tier) they are locked in and Skarm takes minimal damage while setting up some spikes and Roosting off the damage when the Dragon switches out, giving it 2-3 free turns to do whatever he wishes. Whirlwind is for threatening boosters/substituters. Brave Bird is a back-up just in case Skarm gets taunted. All-in-all Skarmory is a great support Poke to have on this team. Landorus(M) @ Life Orb Trait: Sand Force EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Naive Nature - Gravity - Earthquake - Hidden Power Ice - Stone Edge Synergy: Ice: Jellicent, Starmie Water: Jellicent, Latias, Starmie Imagine spamming Earthquake, one of the best moves in the game, whenever you want. Well, you don't have to dream anymore. Landorus can do this using Gravity. This forces all pokemon to lose their Levitate abilities and flying types lose their ground type immunites, therefore making them vulnerable to an Earthquake of a 125 Base Attack+Sand Force+STAB. That... hits like a truck considering that most Pokemon who have Levitate or are part Flying coincidentally are weak to ground moves(ex. Skarmory). With Skarmory's nice contribution in Spikes all Pokemon are grounded and take off an immediate 25% of their health, which makes it easier for Landorus to sweep). Stone Edge's accuracy is boosted by Gravity and HP Ice is used as coverage. The only drawback to Gravity is Landorus, Skarmory, and Latias are now vulnerable to ground moves as well. The only one that it significantly hurts is Skarmory who now has an additional weakness to avoid. Starmie @ Expert Belt Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 HP Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Hydro Pump - Ice Beam - Thunder - Recover Synergy: Grass: Latias, Skarmory Electric: Landorus, Latias Bug: Jellicent, Skarmory, Landorus Dark: Tyranitar, Skarmory Ghost: Skarmory, Tyranitar IN RAIN:I knew that having a rain counter/abuser was crucial especially to a Sandstorm Team. Politoad has almost a 20% usage rate. So figure, about 1 in every 5 games Starmie gets to abuse Hydro Pump+STAB+Rain along with a 100% accurate Thunder at it's disposal to tear apart Rain Teams. Ice Beam is for Dragonite(under rain anyway) and Recover is there to heal off damage. IN SAND/GENRAL: One might think that without rain, Starmie may lose it's potency due to the lack of an accuracy boost to Thunder, essentially becoming a wasted moveslot. Well, my team has Gravity support courtesy of Landorus which lowers the evasiveness of all Pokemon, which, in reality, boosts the accuracy of all moves. Thunder gains a more acceptable accuracy, while Hydro Pump finally becomes a reliable move. Ice beam is for OHKOing Dragons and creates a BoltBeam combination with Thunder. It may seem odd that I gave Starmie 0 IVs in Attack, but that lessons the damage done when Starmie is in Confusion. Very nitpicky, but the damage because of confusion could hypothetically cost me a loss. I gave Starmie an Expert Belt so that it least gets some sort of boost, because if I gave it a Life Orb, it wouldn't live long between the damage of the LO and Sandstorm damage. Overall, Starmie is one of the most consistent Pokemon on my team. Jellicent (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Water Absorb EVs: 248 HP / 44 SDef / 216 Def Bold Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Recover - Scald - Toxic - Taunt Synergy: Grass: Skarmory, Latias Electric: Latias, Landorus Ghost: Skarmory, Tyranitar Dark: Skarmory, Tyranitar I wanted a spinblocker and a Pokemon that could check many rain teams on the defensive spectrum. Once again, the 0 Attack IVs are there so Jellicent doesn't hurt itself too badley in confusion. Recover is to heal off damage. Scald is there for the chance of burn to cripple physical attackers. Toxic is there to slowly wear down walls that my team would have trouble with. One problem I noticed with Jellicent was, as she posioned these walls, their immediate response(most of this time, in the same turn) was to Toxic Jellicent in return. I eventually added Taunt to cripple Blissey and Gastrodon and then Toxic them. Leftovers cancels out Sandstorm damage which would normally be on a Jellicent anyway. Jellicent is a good Poke and performs it job well. Latias (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 SDef Calm Nature - Calm Mind - Dragon Pulse - Hidden Power [Fire] - Recover Synergy: Bug: Skarmory, Landorus, Jellicent Dragon: Skamrory Ice: Jellicent, Starmie Dark: Tyranitar, Skarmory Ghost: Tyranitar, Skarmory You may notice a common theme amongst this team. Recover. 4/6 of the Pokemon on the team carry Recover/Roost. And I question the redundancy of the move on that many of the members of this team. Anyways, Latias. A Pokemon that I chose for its ability to counter sun teams, high Special Defense, and it's good resistances. Latias' strategy is to Calm Mind on something it can set-up on and then recover off whatever damage it took while Calm Minding and then begin to demolish sun teams using an advantage that the sun team gave to Latias. HP Fire is boosted by Sun, and since most Pokemon on Sun teams are Grass Type Sweepers, it has a very good reason to take up a moveslot. Dragon Pulse is there as a good STAB and is able to hit pokemon that resist HP Fire. However, on paper, Latias looked very nice, but in testing, it doesn't turn out to be as effective. It can't check Ninetales, as most of them carry HP Ice, and it gets outsped quite often. I believe that the EVs may be the cause of this, but I don't know. And I believe that the key to this team's success lies in this slot. I have considered Heatran, but it's low speed turns me away from using it, and I have no idea what kind of set to use if I were to use it. So that concludes my RMT. I THANK YOU for taking your time to read this, and if you could post and help me that would require an even greater thanks. Any lit nitpicky thing that could help my team I would appreciate. Once again, Thanks!