VGC The Hybrid - A Gravity RMT

What archetype would you like me to build around next?


  • Total voters
    31
#1


Introduction

Hey Smogon! I'm back with a new team of mine that sort of bounces off a previous teambuilding attempt, which focused on building around the Yveltal + Groudon core, which you can take a look at here. This takes advantage of Yveltal’s awesome matchup against many of the restricted legends (as well most non-restricted mons), whilst maintaining pressure against its immediate weaknesses, like Xerneas. But most crucially, I want to pick out the use of the Salamence + Thundurus core in the above team. This is a core that is extremely splashable on a lot of archetypes this year, and has seen a lot of usage on many of my own teams, so inevitably the thought of running the core eventually landed on a team with Kyurem-White and Primal Groudon: The Gravity Archetype.

You may have seen Baz Anderson's infamous gravity team running around the ladder. In case you haven’t, to quickly summarize, his main lead aims to set Kyurem-W up with prankster gravity support from Sableye (among many other combos), which provides a source of immediate offensive pressure from the outset. Many teams using, for example, Rayquaza, or even the aforementioned Salamence + Thundurus core will present an almost prevailing weakness to blizzard spam, which without significant support investment to counter the combo will struggle to cope with it. This is where the rest of my team comes into play. I didn’t want to capitalize on the ‘gravity spam’ nature that a lot of Kyurem-W + Groudon teams have been abusing this year, rather, I wanted to look into how I would go about checking potential threats to key combos in the archetype. This is pretty much how I go about building a lot of my VGC ‘16 teams, since I prefer having quite a balanced playstyle in this format. This idea pretty much lead me to the creation of a ‘hybrid gravity team’, which I think is a really interesting concept.

Teambuilding Process

Looking at potential counters to the Sableye + Kyurem-White combo, I found that the most threatening counter-lead to the two was the combination of fake out (into Kyurem-W) as well as either speed control or powerful priority attacks to KO Kyurem-W. This was typically from leads such as Kangaskhan + Talonflame, Kangaskhan + Primal Groudon or Kangaskhan + Thundurus. So to kick off the building process, I needed to choose a second restricted legend. Physical Primal Groudon seemed the most beneficial choice for a primal, as it is able to deal with most of Kyurem-W’s checks with relative ease, bar Groudon (or HP Water Thundurus for that matter). This also gave me a second mon to abuse Sableye’s Gravity support, this time with Precipice Blades, which enables it to dish out offensive pressure much more reliably. The Salamence + Thundurus core seemed quite appropriate to add next, as this gave me much more reliable leads against big 6 (Groudon + Thundurus) and double primal (Salamence + Thundurus) than Baz’s team offered. Salamence and Thundurus also give me a second and third answer to some of the main checks to Kyurem-W, like Talonflame, Primal Groudon and Kangaskhan which is invaluable. I then had the joy of looking for a suitable mon to round out the team. I noticed that I had no way to OHKO Xerneas on the team, and that there was also reasonably large weakness to Kyogre, so Ferrothorn was added last to alleviate these weaknesses slightly. If you want to copy this team but don’t want to have Ferrothorn in your last slot, then Smeargle is an excellent choice if you want to capitalize on Gravity a little more with those 100% accurate Dark Voids, although a weakness to xerneas and kyogre is exposed.

Team Analysis






Kyurem-White @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Turboblaze
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 60 Def / 236 SpA / 4 SpD / 196 Spe
Modest Nature
- Blizzard
- Draco Meteor
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Flare

Overview

Scarf Kyurem-W as I have mentioned before is a potent threat to many high tier mons in the current meta. Its move set and move pool contains some of the best coverage in the game, and with its ability Turboblaze gives it almost perfect neutral coverage, something that a lot of Pokémon can’t achieve. I discovered the bReakMyTeam app for VGC ’16 a short while back (which you can take a look at here), and just from looking at the results from some of my most previous teams, there is quite usually an entire line of red specifically from Kyurem-W, which goes to show just how threatening this Pokémon is. The only real disadvantage to this type of set is that Choice Scarf limits its move usage to a single move, which can at times be a hindrance. Onto the EVs.

Looking at common Scarf Kyurem-W EV spreads, I felt that its benchmark ‘potential’ hadn’t been explored fully, so I decided to look into what I could accomplish with it on the damage calculator. I noticed that the common bulky Kyurem-W spread (100 HP / 4 Def) was getting OHKO’d by LO Rayquaza’s Dragon Ascent 2/16 times, so with this spread, the probability of this occurring has been reduced to 1/16 times (252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 12 HP / 60 Def Kyurem-W: 173-204 (85.6 - 100.9%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO). This spread will also be able to get the OHKO on 4 HP Rayquaza with Blizzard (236+ SpA Turboblaze Kyurem-W Blizzard vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 184-220 (101.6 - 121.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO) as well as outspeeding Scarf Smeargle by 2 points (after scarf boost). The EVs in excess are distributed into special bulk for an all-round efficient spread.






Sableye @ Mental Herb
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 132 Def / 100 SpD / 20 Spe
Impish Nature
- Fake Out / Feint
- Gravity
- Taunt
- Quash

Overview

As a Gravity setter, Prankster Sableye is one of the best. Taunt + Mental Herb allows partners to avoid taunt/status, and Quash is an excellent mode of temporary or ‘soft’ speed control that is very beneficial in combos. This is a take on Baz Anderson’s Sableye spread, with a few of my own tweaks. The main benchmark that this set accomplishes is that it is able to survive a Scrappy Fake Out from Mega Kangaskhan in combination with a Brave Bird from Adamant Life Orb Talonflame, allowing it to check the Kangaskhan + Talonflame lead a little more successfully. Fake Out>Feint is probably the most notable difference to Baz’s set, which just allows my own Kyurem-W to beat potential counter-leads with a greater degree of ease (for example against Kangaskhan + Groudon I can Fake Out either lead so that it is not targeting the Kyurem-W which puts me at a slight advantage, be it only a small one). Feint is perfectly usable in this slot, and is great for ensuring knock outs due to Focus Sash, Protect etc.

The speed investment is also another notable difference on this set, and the main benchmark that this allows you to accomplish is to speed creep opposing Sableye, which is explained in to the following scenario (against opposing Gravity teams): When leading Sableye + Groudon against Gravity (a lead of Sableye + Kyurem-W most likely), I will be able to use Quash onto the Kyurem-W after I have been taunted by Sableye due to Mental Herb + Speed Creep. Other Gravity Setters like Meowstic don’t usually carry Taunt since their move pools give them access to a more beneficial move set.






Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
/or/ 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Precipice Blades
- Fire Punch
- Rock Tomb
- Protect

Overview

Pretty typical physical Groudon, it’s something that I’ve used before and am comfortable with in terms of the set. The first set of EVs are also pretty standard, they make +2 Xerneas’ Dazzling Gleam a 3HKO which is pretty neat (credit to KyleCole), although if you have more of an offensive playstyle, you may enjoy running a set of 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe. This means you would have, for example, a 7.4% higher chance of 2HKOing 44 HP / 4 Def Xerneas with Precipice Blades, whilst still ensuring +2 Xerneas’ Dazzling Gleam has a 0.4% chance to 2HKO (Timid Nature).

Both sets will ensure that Precipice Blades 2HKOs 4 HP Xerneas, although 236 Atk Groudon will miss out on the 2HKO on 4 HP / 4 Def Xerneas 1.6% of the time. These are very small percentages that the spread is dealing with, but if you want to run one spread over the other then I would suggest that you are aware of them. I’m pretty comfortable with the listed spread atm, although in theory the 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe spread is marginally better on paper. Truth is, if people want their Xerneas to avoid getting 2HKOd by Precipice Blades, then a bulkier set would most likely be used. Rock Tomb over Rock Slide because of its higher accuracy, plus it gives me another method of Speed Control.






Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 44 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Double-Edge
- Hyper Voice

- Tailwind
- Protect

Overview

This spread looks a little odd, and I admit it kinda is. I wanted to see what sort of benchmarks a Mega Salamence could hit on both offensive and defensive spectrums to give a balanced spread overall. First off I had to choose the moves to decipher its nature. This Salamence is much more geared to counter double primal teams with Double-Edge and Hyper Voice coverage (Double-Edge hits Kyogre for more damage), since I felt my matchup against most Rayquaza teams was already decently solid with Kyurem-White’s Blizzard spam coverage etc. Tailwind was my third move choice since I felt that the need of a secondary form of ‘hard’ speed control was needed (aside from thunder wave) because of the prevalence of Groudon. So from these move choices I had ended up with a Naïve Nature, which meant that I couldn’t invest in special bulk to survive stuff like Dazzling Gleams etc.

For the offenses, I wanted to give Salamence a good mix of Attack and Special Attack, so that it didn’t hinder itself in either area. I also wanted to allow Salamence to pick off threats with Double-Edge after taking damage from Hyper Voice, so after looking through potential targets, I found that this mix of Attack and Special Attack allows Salamence to, at minimum, pick up the KO on 4 HP Yveltal/Xerneas. Of the two, I found that Yveltal was the most likely target for Salamence, and so I then decided to calculate how much damage was needed to pick up the KO on an Yveltal with ‘minimum’ bulk (4 HP / 20 Def / 4 SpD – Survives a Dragon Ascent from LO Mega Rayquaza), which turned out to be the listed stat distribution (Hyper Voice does around 30+%; Double-Edge does around 70+%). Ideally I would invest 20 HP and 20 Def so that it survives an icicle crash from -1 sash Weavile, but I don’t think it quite fits on this set, plus a lot of Weavile choose to run Life Orb, which negates this calc.






Thundurus (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 36 Def / 4 SpA / 132 SpD / 100 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Taunt
- Protect

Overview

Credit to Carbonific for this spread. Sitrus is imo the best item for Thundurus on this team, as it gives it suitable coverage against Kangaskhan, as well as stuff like Rayquaza. The issue of Talonflame’s Flare Blitz OHKOing Thundurus in harsh sun can be resolved by switching out my own Groudon for Salamence (if the opponent does not have Groudon), which just allows Thundurus to OHKO Talonflame a little easier. The important defensive benchmarks that this spread achieves are as follows:​
  • 252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Ice Beam vs. 236 HP / 132 SpD Thundurus: 148-176 (80.4 - 95.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Origin Pulse vs. 236 HP / 132 SpD Thundurus in Heavy Rain: 153-180 (83.1 - 97.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 236 HP / 36 Def Thundurus: 191-226 (103.8 - 122.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252 Atk Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 236 HP / 36 Def Thundurus: 82-97 (44.5 - 52.7%) -- 5.9% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • +2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 236 HP / 132 SpD Thundurus: 154-183 (83.6 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
This gives Thundurus a great level of bulk (and arguably speed), which allows it to check prominent threats to the team such as Primal Kyogre more reliably. Protect allows Thundurus to avoid Fake Outs, which is essential for facing leads like Kangaskhan + Smeargle etc.






Ferrothorn @ Life Orb
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 SpD
Brave Nature

- Gyro Ball
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Overview

I think Life Orb Ferrothorn was something that Jamie Boyt started to use, and since he introduced the set, it really caught my attention. Recently, some friends and I had been discussing the viability of Expert Belt Ferrothorn so that it OHKOs bulkier Kyogre/Xerneas, but what Life Orb allows Ferrothorn to do is OHKO even the most bulky Kyogre variants (196+ Atk Life Orb Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 140 HP / 172+ Def* Primal Kyogre: 187-221 (96.8 - 114.5%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO; *140 HP / 172+ Def allows Kyogre to take 3 Precipice Blades from Jolly Groudon) as well as 4 HP Xerneas most of the time when at -1 Attack (-1 196+ Atk Life Orb Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 195-229 (96.5 - 113.3%) -- 75% chance to OHKO), which is fantastic. Life Orb also gives Ferrothorn a greater all round level of offensive presence, which is really appreciated especially when running low accuracy moves like Power Whip. Gravity Support also benefits Ferrothorn here, as when under Gravity, Power Whip is 100% accurate, which enables it to OHKO Kyogre much more successfully. Ferrothorn is able to learn Gravity, so it might be quite interesting as a third move choice, but that’s totally up to the user, since I haven’t tested it out yet. The EVs are quite offensively based: they allow Ferrothorn to make Timid Kyogre’s Water Spout a 3HKO, which is arguably the minimum defensive investment that you would want on a Ferrothorn, and is especially helpful when factoring in Power Whip’s dodgy accuracy.

Threatlist

Big 6 – This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to most people. Big 6 has a bunch of potential leads that they could make against this team, most prominently Kangaskhan + Talonflame, which threatens both a typical Groudon + Thundurus lead, as well as a Sableye + Kyurem-W lead, per se. Big 6 can usually be handled by using a lead of Groudon + Thundurus, with Salamence (helps against Talonflame’s Flare Blitz as mentioned) and Ferrothorn in the back to round out the matchup

Kyurem-White – This is pretty ironic, but true. Kyurem-W can sweep the majority of my team if not prepared for first. People using unorthodox leads with Kyurem-W that are able to evade my typical Fake Out + Rock Tomb strategy will be able to gain a distinct advantage against this team.

Rayquaza-Mega – Again, quite ironic. If the opponent is able to play around Kyurem-W, which usually entails using a Kyurem-W + Sableye counter lead, then Rayquaza has the potential to wipe out the majority of this team. Definitely a difficult one for sure. AV Rayquaza sets are particularly potent, as they are typically able to avoid getting OHKO’d by any of Kyurem-W’s STABs which is really annoying. I can only hope that the opponent doesn’t have like Kangaskhan + Talonflame with AV Rayquaza and Groudon in the back, which would be a nightmare to face.

Primal Groudon – Definitely one of the biggest threats to this team if the opponent can handle Mega Salamence. Late game Salamence is usually my answer to Groudon, which should usually work if played well.​

Kyurem-White @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Turboblaze
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 60 Def / 236 SpA / 4 SpD / 196 Spe
Modest Nature
- Blizzard
- Draco Meteor
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Flare

Sableye @ Mental Herb
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 132 Def / 100 SpD / 20 Spe
Impish Nature
- Fake Out
- Gravity
- Taunt
- Quash

Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Precipice Blades
- Fire Punch
- Rock Tomb
- Protect

Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 20 HP / 172 Atk / 20 Def / 44 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Double-Edge
- Hyper Voice
- Tailwind
- Protect

Thundurus (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 36 Def / 4 SpA / 132 SpD / 100 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Taunt
- Protect

Ferrothorn @ Life Orb
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 SpD
Brave Nature
- Gyro Ball
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed
- Protect​


And that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and I am really looking forward to your feedback. Feel free to use this team wherever you may like. I hope I have been able to sufficiently show you that the 'Gravity Archetype' isn't just limited to a single team, and am looking forward to seeing more teams like this in the near future.

Draconid out.