Team Style Analysis

approved by atomicllamas

Unlike before, we will now be focusing on specific archetypes of teams. I came to this decision after realizing how annoying it is to update teambuilding guides with how much the metagame shifts. Instead I want to make this guide more adaptive, so now the guide includes: a vague guide to each style just to understand how they generally work, other random useful teambuilding blurbs and specific guides to building around each main team archetype (Salazzle balance, standard stall, etc.). This way has an archetype fades out I can simply remove it from the OP instead of having to rewrite the whole thread. Anyone is welcome to make a post, just make sure to check out archetype posts below to see what they generally require.

General Offense Post
General Balance Post
General Stall Post

Offensive Teams

Sharpedo /
DD Flygon /
DD Feraligatr /
Salazzle /
Sand /

Balance Teams

Stall Teams
Standard goodstuffs
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General Offense Post (revamped from the last thread)

Win condition

Your endgame goal will be this Pokemon sweeping the opposing team. For offense, a good starting point could be a specific sweeper, one that is either already fast or has a method to boost its speed. I suggest checking out the Viability Ranking + the role compendium and watching tournament games (spl, rupl, ssnls, etc.) before choosing. Find a sweeper that has a positive match-up versus what is common at the moment and work from there.

Examples of viable wincons for offense:

Breakers, Lures and Trappers

A common issue people have when building teams is that they assume their opponents will sack the answers they are caring to your main sweeper. Rather than adding Pokemon because they can beat the counters to your win condition, choose Pokemon that share these counters. These are called breakers, they will pressure Pokemon that wall your main win condition during the mid-game. The best breakers can dent counters to a point where the sweeper can clean. In many cases you might even find that a breaker might end up being a second win condition.

Less reliable than breakers, lures can be used to beat counters. A lure is a Pokemon that has changed its moveset to beat Pokemon that would usually counter it. A non-standard coverage move, Z move or just Toxic are all options as lures. A good lure should still be usable in games where its target isn't present. Trappers are rarer options since Dugtrio and Magneton are both absent. Pursuit trappers can be used if a Psychic or Ghost type is particularly threatening to your choice of sweeper.

Its best to avoid using Choice Band and Choice Specs Pokemon on offense unless they have U-turn or Volt Switch. The reason for this is locking yourself into a move will lead to a loss in momentum, which is something you do not want on offense. If using these Pokemon, make sure you have solid pivots into whatever might come in.


A pivot is useful to regain momentum, especially when using a choice locked Pokemon. These are Pokemon with good bulk and/or resistances that can take attacks and drive out the Pokemon. This allows you to switch your breakers back in and continue to threaten the opponent. Volt Switch and U-turn are useful tools for pivots but are not required.

Hazard Support

There are two ways you can go with your Stealth Rock user. The more common one in the tier is a bulkier Stealth Rock user that functions similar to a pivot. It can be saved for later in the game and provides additional support. The less common option is a Suicide lead. These Pokemon that can set Stealth Rock and deter opposing Stealth Rock, since offense lacks solid hazard removers in this tier. A suicide lead must be able to flow right into a breaker coming in. When using one remember that you will not have it later on, so playing offensively around hazard removers is vital. Spikes aren't mandatory but pair well with offense since it is so centered around switching. A Spikes user can be a pivot or a suicide lead, just like Stealth Rock setters.

Speed Control

Offense should always have at least one speedy option. This can operate as a revenge killer during the midgame and a cleaner during the endgame. In many cases, this is a Choice Scarf user, but it can also just simply be a fast Pokemon. A Choice Scarf user should not be your main win condition, as due to the nature of the item it is unreliable.

Basic Format

The most basic offense skeleton would be something along the lines of this: Win Condition / Breaker 1 / Breaker 2 / Pivot / Hazard Setter / Speed Control, but I think this is a terrible way to look at it. A lot of these roles are combined, no team is ever that exact. Some tips I can give are create a checklist of counters and checks to your main sweeper and go down the list adding breakers and pivots to these Pokemon. Don't forget to "Proofread" your team for obvious weaknesses and play a couple of test battles vs a competent player. Be sure your team has ways to beat stall.

*A stallbreaking guide may be coming at a later time.
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Salazzle Balance

Salazzle @ Poisonium Z
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 8 HP / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Wave
- Hidden Power Grass

What does it offer: Salazzle is pretty popular and there's no debate why. The salamander is faster than the entire tier excluding Swellow and every Choice Scarfer. With Nasty Plot it becomes a threat to all playstyles: offense, balance and stall. Poison / Fire typing comes with its perks too. Salazzle cannot be worn down by Toxic or Burn, giving it a ton of options to set up vs defensive walls. It can also absorb Toxic Spikes for balance (note that the most popular Toxic Spikes user, Dragalge, is one of its best counters, so take this with a grain of salt). Its defenses are garbage but its resistances make it a useful check to grass- and fairy-type threats to balance like Roserade. Things that would normally be able to check Salazzle can be removed with Acid Downpour, for example Kommo-O.

What does it need: Salazzle is extremely threatening to most teams defensive-oriented teams as its defensive counters are minimal. It can be countered by Snorlax, Cresselia, Gigalith, SpDef Gligar, Mantine, a full health Rhyperior and Dragalge. It will also struggle with Pyukumuku and Thunder Wave Porygon2. (NOT DONE)

Sample Teams:

1. Lunar Force 4.0 by TheWall

You can check out his original teambuilding process here. Since Nidoqueen and Heracross is no longer RU for separate reasons, wall was forced to modify the team to suit the current metagame. Salazzle wasn't actually the starting point for this team, but it serves a key role that no other Pokemon could provide, a sweeper that can take on grass and special fairy types, which the other Pokemon struggle against. The defensive backbone used here of Umbreon / Mantine / Doublade. Umbreon is the best cleric currently available and is used here as one pivot to Swellow, which would otherwise prevent Salazzle from sweeping. Mantine removes Stealth Rocks and can threaten walls to Salazzle with Toxic, such as Milotic. Doublade is another wincon, but its defensive typing also makes it super useful as a pivot into Salazzle checks counters like Gigalith. Shaymin rounds out the team as a much needed Feraligatr and Salazzle revenge killer. Healing Wish makes bringing Salazzle and Doublade in early game less of a risk since they can be healed for a late-game sweep later on. Pastebin to the team.

Additional Info: Adding Taunt puts it at an advantage vs teams that depend on Thunder Wave Porygon2 or Pyukumuku as a Salazzle answer, but requires more options to pressure Rhyperior and Seismitoad. On some teams, you may find other coverage moves to be more useful, such as Hidden Power Ice for SpDef Gligar or Dragon Pulse for Dragagle.