Approved by Matthew. A special thanks goes out to Pocket, who helped me greatly in developing this project, and V0x, who provided thoughts and a grammar check! Preface: Check out what's NEW! Greetings once again. Thanks to the astounding amount of support from the first month of this project, I'm pleased to present February's the Dark Horse Project! If this is your first experience with the Dark Horse Project, please read through the entire opening post to get a sense of what we're about. However, if you're a seasoned veteran in how this works, then feel free to hop right into it! Here's a list of all of the changes from last month's opening post: Since the ladder is not resetting this, you do not need to start with a new PO account for your past month's Dark Horse Pokemon. However, if you intend to work with one of last month's Hall of Fame Dark Horse Pokemon (this includes you, Hall of Famers), then you must start with a new account at 1000 ladder ranking points. The same goes for if you want to switch Dark Horse Pokemon, as is customary. You must now be in the Top 80 (at a minimum of 1350 points) to enter the Hall of Fame now. You may update your Registration Form by either posting it anew in this topic or by adjusting your form from last month's project. I will dutifully check both. There's now an entire post for learning and discussion! Take a glance at it here. Any thoughts and comments that you have might end up there for the benefit of everyone. All Pokemon that were in last month's Hall of Fame are now fair game! Feel free to register with them once again. You may register with as many Pokemon as you like for the project now. The suggested amount is still one, however. For those of you that are new, hello! I'm posting here to shake up the way in which DST functions and thinks. Ever since we ditched Suspect Voting, DST has lost a bit of its competitive edge. What I'm presenting within this topic is an effort to reignite some of that spark to get us back on track! Furthermore, I hope to increase appreciation for Dark Horse Pokemon, or rather, Pokemon that are currently unpopular but have the potential to shine in OU. The purpose of this project threefold. It should increase diversity in the OU metagame by encouraging the competitive use of great Pokemon that unfortunately fall on the lower end of usage. This project also aims to initiate discussion on how Dark Horse Pokemon fit in the context of the OU metagame. Finally, it should assist in the the sharing of unique team ideas and Pokemon sets to spark creativity into the competitive minds of DST. Let's begin. Rules: This project, simply put, aims at recognizing users who put forth the effort to create a competitively successful team that utilizes Pokemon that aren't often used in OU. Anyone with a Smogon account has a chance of reaching the Hall of Fame within this project. Here are the rules by which this project is run: Each team must use at least ONE Dark Horse Pokemon. The term "Dark Horse Pokemon" is defined by the past month's statistics. Anything below 5% usage is fair game. This means that a Pokemon can be tiered in OU and still be viable for this project! Only one Pokemon on your team has to be a Dark Horse Pokemon. The rest of your teammates can be found within any tier that is allowed within OU. The recommended number of Dark Horse Pokemon to register with is one, so that the user can focus specifically on that Pokemon and how to best build a team around it. If you must have more than one, then please indicate that you are working with more than one. You MUST use a new Pokemon Online Username in order to restart your ladder ranking. Furthermore, the Dark Horse Pokemon that you are working with must remain on your team throughout your ladder run. The members of your team may shift around whenever you see fit, but the Dark Horse Pokemon must remain the same. Switching your focused Dark Horse Pokemon within this topic is acceptable. However, you must restart on the ladder with a new Pokemon Online Username. Please put all changes within your Registration Form. I update based on those forms, not individual posts randomly scattered throughout the topic. Do not start laddering for this project until you have registered within this topic. Please follow the rules. The Dark Horse Project isn't about being dishonest, it's about developing great teams for great Pokemon! As a result, cheaters will most likely end up being banned from the Hall of Fame. It is recommended that you post consistent ladder updates within your registration form. This will allow other users to see your progress and offer meaningful advice! Registration: You are eligible to register for the Dark Horse Project at any time of the month! The third post in this topic contains an index for easy access to all participants, so don't worry about your Registration Form getting lost in the sea of discussion. Get started by filling out the below form: Remember, your "Pokemon Online Username" should be new so that your Dark Horse Pokemon will be starting from scratch. Your "Hall of Fame Standing" should be empty for right now. But once you're admitted into the Hall of Fame, feel free to update this part with links to your accomplishment! Within your registration post, feel free to upload battle logs and teammates that you are using at the bottom! Also feel free to utilize Pokemon sprites to add visualization. Really anything can go here. If you've made posts elsewhere or even a RMT, feel free to link to it there. Here's an example of what a registration post might look like: Registration Post Example (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Registration Post Example (open) Registration Post Example (close) Pokemon Online Username: Birkal-Testing Hall of Fame Standing: None as of yet! Dark Horse Pokemon Currently Working With: Scrafty Current Ladder Standing: 1125 Here's the current Scrafty set I'm working with: Scrafty @ Life Orb Ability: Shed Skin EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA) - Dragon Dance - Drain Punch - Crunch - Ice Punch And here's a battle log of it in action! Once you've registered, you're all set to go! You can start teambuilding and laddering whenever you like. Feel free to update your registration posts whenever you like, whether it be with ladder ranking updates, your teammate selections, battle logs, sprites, or whatever you like! Discussion: This topic also serves a second purpose to initiate discussion on battlers' teambuilding and laddering progress; in this thread, you share your struggles and success, and reflect upon the Dark Horse Pokemon's niche in the current OU metagame. This thread is not only a place to show off successful challenges, but also a place to help each other achieve their goals via posting your problems and receiving quality input from others. Challengers should not hesitate to post their teams and/or team ideas to receive help from the community. You are allowed to post your thoughts and opinions. However, here is a "Do and Do Not" list that posters in this topic must adhere to: Do post and share sets for your Dark Horse Pokemon. Do provide teammates that you're using, with optional sets. Do pinpoint which threats in the metagame need to be covered. Do ask questions about the current OU metagame and teambuilding. Do give meaningful answers to asked questions. This can include suggested sets, teammates, and strategies. Do not post insignificant updates. Each post should be well thought and unique. Do not ask someone to make the team for you. Team building is YOUR job (and a fun one at that). Also, remember that good discussion points and tips will be logged in the Discussion & Learning section for the use of anyone who's looking to become a better battler. Hop to it! Hall of Fame: Now comes the competitive aspect of this project. Once you've reached a ranking within the Top 80 on Smogon's competitive OU ladder (with a minimum of 1350 points) with your Dark Horse Pokemon, you are eligible to enter the Hall of Fame! The Hall of Fame is located within the post below the OP and recognizes each user that has entered its halls. Once you've reached the Top 80, please fill out the following Hall of Fame Registration Form: As with the regular Registration Form, you are encouraged to upload battle logs, teammates, and other relevant information. Since you're entering the Hall of Fame with a successful team, many users would love to hear some wisdom on how you accomplished that goal. So feel free to post a summary of your team (similar to a RMT), battle logs, and general thoughts. Once you've filled out this form, you'll be accepted into the Hall of Fame, which will link to your Hall of Fame Registration Form and other relevant links. Now, there is one final catch to this project. You see, only one of each Dark Horse Pokemon is allowed into the Hall of Fame per month. For example, only the first challenger who laddered to the Top 80 with Jolteon will be accepted this month; any subsequent Jolteon challengers cannot enter the Hall of Fame until a new round begins next month. That's where the competitive edge comes into play. You are racing against other users for a place in the Hall of Fame! Furthermore, the Hall of Fame ranking is based off of peak ladder ranking points, meaning the more points you score, the higher you'll be placed. So now that you know the rules, get registered and start team building! Best of luck. If you have any questions, send me a PM or VM. I hope to see you in the Hall of Fame.