Table of Contents: [jump=intro]Introduction[/jump] [jump=build]Team Building[/jump] [jump=import]Importable[/jump] [jump=detail]The Team in Detail[/jump] [jump=pixie]Azelf[/jump] [jump=frog]Politoed[/jump] [jump=stag]Heracross[/jump] [jump=drag]Thundurus [Therian][/jump] [jump=peng]Empoleon[/jump] [jump=pony]Keldeo[/jump] [jump=close]Closing Comments[/jump] [a]intro[/a]warning: this intro will be a bit tl;dr. if you want to get into the substance of this RMT, click any other jump link but the Introduction link above. if you want to read my rants, then by all means, please proceed. To be honest, I'm not sure how to begin all of this. I could start with a small treatise on my interpretation of what the playstyle of hyper offense really is. So, what is the general idea behind hyper offense? The general idea behind hyper offense is to gather and maintain momentum while annihilating the opponent with such immense pressure that they are forced to take up a defensive position just to stand a chance at weathering the onslaught. Unlike other playstyles, where one would have to switch off Pokemon just to make sure they have a shot at winning, hyper offense doesn't have to rely on risky switches to win battles. Yes, switches will be made, but those will happen only when it is the best move possible, which is rare, to say the least. Hyper offense teams tend to match best against rain and hail teams, but they tend to falter quite a bit against sun teams, which can exploit the speed boost given to them with their own powerful attacks. Regarding weather-based teams, yes, they've pervaded the metagame and are a permanent resident in what many people refer to as the worst metagame to ever exist. Rain teams in particular make up ~40% of the weather-based teams encountered, sand ~30%, sun ~20%, and hail the remainder*. Of course, these numbers are rough estimates, but a quick glance at them reveals that rain is the most used weather condition. Opening up the Pandora's Box that is rain offense reveals a multitude of abusers at the get-go, ranging from physical powerhouses like Azumarill, Feraligatr, and Gyarados to powerful specially offensive beasts like Keldeo and Starmie. Pokemon like Thundurus-Therian and Tornadus appreciate the accuracy boost granted to Thunder and Hurricane respectively, and Toxicroak as well as Tentacruel appreciate the rain, since it activates their abilities, which allow them to keep the pace with the rest of OU. Now, you may be asking yourself what was the point of those concise treatises on hyper offense and rain. For one, the team you're reading actually follows those concepts, and two, I think I might have distinguished this team from many other hyper offense teams built and posted in this forum, thanks to some of the Pokemon I've opted to use. I'm posting this RMT so I can hopefully dispel the thought that Deoxys-D is a requirement if one wants to run a hyper offense team, and I also want to prove that some creativity can lead to an incredible amount of success if it's applied correctly. Anyways, more on that in the team building section. This last opening paragraph will be dedicated to laddering peaks and flavor topics. I made it to #18 with my testing account .eman sdrawkcab on the OU ladder the day I finished building it, and it's been pretty consistent in terms of overall use, so I can say that it's solid. The name Under the Waves actually is the name of the 6th track from Immersion, Pendulum's third album, and one that I thought was fitting for a rain team whose goal is to drown the opponent in powerful Water-type attacks. In case you wanted to know, I used the following fonts: Squared Display (text: Under the Waves, barely legible text below Trinitrotoluene, various sub-banners), Visitor (text: A BW2 RMT by Trinitrotoluene). The Japanese on the banner was taken from the following pages on the Naruto Wiki: Kotoamatsukami, Tsukuyomi, and Amaterasu. The small text below my username on the opening banner is just the first four lines of Shakespeare's "Like as the Waves...", which can be seen below: Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to the end; Each changing place with that which goes before. In sequent toil all forward do contend. *: this statement reflects only upon January's stats. [a]build[/a] So, I was in the mood of testing out an underrated sweeper that I know is capable of doing copious amounts of damage when given the right opportunities to sweep. Empoleon turned out to be that Pokemon, thanks to its SubPetaya set and incredible resistances. Also, regarding my desire to utilize an underrated Pokemon, Empoleon's usage % hit an astonishing 0.91012%, which is lower than those of absolute garbage such as Charizard (1.12861%), Umbreon (1.25122%), and Machamp (1.78923%). Seriously, start using Empoleon more. It will not disappoint. Thundurus-T is Empoleon's best friend, since it resists all of Empoleon's weaknesses and vice versa. Thundurus-T can also be used to break apart all of Empoleon's checks and counters, allowing the Napoleon expy to sweep unfettered. Of course, one could make the argument that SubPetaya Empoleon doesn't need rain support, considering how it was capable of shredding the metagame in DPPtHGSS, but times have changed. Weather is a thing now, and not something I'd like having to deal with, so in Politoed went. It's not half-bad, considering that I can also use it as a wall-breaker that starts up the offensive momentum the team loves and the opponent hates. More on Politoed's role in its subsection. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you here. Breloom is also a trending topic on Twitter popular Pokemon, and one that every team has to prepare for, lest they actually want to be swept cleanly by it. While normal people would opt to use Pokemon like Dragonite or Latias to put Breloom in a catch-22 situation, I've decided to take a third option and utilize another underrated Pokemon in the form of Heracross. Thanks to Guts, its convenient resistances to Breloom's STABs, and access to Sleep Talk, Heracross can act as a potent check to any form of Breloom and actually exploit Spore (not the game, mind you) and become an even more terrifying wall-breaker, all at the piddling cost of having its moves semi-randomized. So, the formula for a decent hyper offense team is hazard setter, wall-breaker (x2), sweeper, utilitymon, and Scarfer. I had the utilitymon (Thundurus-T), wall-breakers (Politoed, Heracross), and sweeper (Empoleon). I needed a hazard setter, and I decided on using Azelf over the more orthodox Deoxys-D. Unlike Deoxys-D, Azelf is not dependent on a Ghost-type to keep its hazards from being spun away, since it can best many common Rapid Spinners by itself and with the help of teammates. In extreme cases, Azelf can also be used as a bomb that gets the figurative ball named Momentum rolling in the team's favor. Finally, I needed a fast Pokemon that could revenge kill Salamence, Garchomp, and Terrakion and help check off the Scarfer slot for the formula. Okay, so the last part was half-way sarcastic, but Keldeo is no joke. It's a fast killing machine that will clean house when it's given the chance to do so. It also has workable bulk, something not commonly found in Scarfed Pokemon, and a resistance to all of Cloyster's moves, allowing Keldeo to revenge kill it even if it hits +2 (and even that's a rarity, since I'll just use Cloyster as a set-up opportunity for Empoleon). Also, Keldeo's Water STAB gets amplified to incredible levels underneath the rain, essentially giving it a double STAB, and combined with a Choice Scarf and incredible natural base 108 speed, it can act as a pseudo-Swift Swimmer. [a]import[/a] PHP: Azelf @ Focus Sash Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd Naive Nature - Stealth Rock - U-turn - Explosion - Fire Blast Politoed (F) @ Choice Specs Trait: Drizzle EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature - Hydro Pump - Ice Beam - Focus Blast - Hidden Power [Grass] Heracross (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Guts EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Jolly Nature - Close Combat - Megahorn - Stone Edge - Sleep Talk Thundurus-Therian (M) @ Expert Belt Trait: Volt Absorb EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def - Thunder - Hidden Power [Ice] - Grass Knot - Volt Switch Empoleon (F) @ Petaya Berry Trait: Torrent EVs: 12 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 240 Spd Modest Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Substitute - Agility - Surf - Ice Beam Keldeo @ Choice Scarf Trait: Justified EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Timid Nature IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def - Hydro Pump - Secret Sword - Hidden Power [Ice] - Surf [a]detail[/a] [a]pixie[/a] [BOX]Any hyper offense team worth its salt will have an effective hazard setter, and the only viable choices are Deoxys-D, Terrakion, Garchomp, Mew, Azelf, and Aerodactyl. They each have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, I was able to zero in on what I wanted for my hazard setter. I wanted my hazard setter to be able to set up SR consistently, without having to use a Ghost-type to assure that hazards remained on the field. Out went Deoxys-D, which can't do anything to stop Starmie from spinning away all its hard work. The other leads mentioned can at least punish Starmie for spinning against it thanks to one of Focus Sash or speed. In addition to being able to punish Starmie, I wanted the prospective hazard setter to be able to punish other spinners for even coming in on it. That eliminated Terrakion, Garchomp, and Aerodactyl, all of which can't beat Donphan. This left me with two choices: Azelf and Mew. This was a simple bulk vs. speed decision, which ironically is a hard decision for me to make. However, the handle had to be dropped, and I decided that speed is the greatest priority for me to have. Enter Azelf, one of the most underrated Pokemon running about in OU. Anyways, now that I chose Azelf to be my SR setter and dedicated lead, I needed to choose a moveset for it. Any set without Stealth Rock was immediately disregarded, but that eliminates all but two sets, which are practically the same set, just with the remaining 4 EVs moved about differently. With the illusion of choice dispelled, I ended up going with Azelf's lead set. I chose the given moves for very specific reasons: Stealth Rock is Azelf's obligatory hazard and its main calling card for use on the team. U-turn is one way Azelf can get the ball rolling against sand teams, and Explosion allows Azelf to go out with a bang, crippling everything but bulky Steels, which are no problem for this team to face, since most of them are hit for at least neutral damage by everything else on the team. Fire Blast is the filler move of choice, since it annihilates Forretress and Scizor somewhat reliably. Focus Sash is just insurance that makes certain that Azelf will get SR up against everything but Magic Bouncers, which Azelf can just U-turn or blow up on. Azelf is this team's dedicated lead, and oftentimes, its performance determines how the battle will go for me. Now, I've figured out the routines of other leads, and I can put them in four groups: opposing dedicated leads, which consist mainly of Deoxys-D and the occasional Terrakion, weather inducers, Magic Bouncers (a.k.a. Espeon and Xatu), and offensive set-up sweepers, namely Breloom and Volcarona. Against the first group, I'll set SR up, since I'm faster than the aforementioned Pokemon, and Explode or use U-turn as appropriate. Now, you may claim that this just gives Deo-D an opportunity to set up SR and one layer of Spikes, but in practice, the average ladder player will use Taunt or Thunder Wave first, thinking that they will be safe thanks to their Mental Herb (which, by the way, is an excellent item on Deo-D), only for Azelf to get Rocks down and explode on their face, leaving them in KO range for Keldeo's Hydro Pump and Thundurus-T's Thunder (which is basically Focus Blast outside of the rain). Against the second group, I'll perform the same process as I do against the first group, only making exceptions for when I see a member of the third group in the same team (which typically applies to sun teams). Pokemon in the third group are almost never chosen to lead, but they can be seen coming from a mile away. Typically, my opponent will try to set up a situation where the best move would be to set SR up (e.g. Azelf vs. Ninetales) so they can bring Xatu or Espeon in, getting SR on my side of the field. However, if I see one of them in the reserves, I'll use U-turn first and gather momentum so I can get SR past their radar. When facing a lead in the fourth group, I'll keep tabs on which Pokemon it is. If it's a Volcarona or Dragonite, I'll set up SR on the first turn, not fearing what they'll do, thanks to Focus Sash's effect. Afterwards, I'll use Explosion, severely weakening them to the point where Keldeo can easily revenge kill them. If I'm facing a Breloom, I'll U-turn out to Heracross, which can easily exploit Spore and threaten anything on the opponent's team. All in all, Azelf is an incredibly solid team member and one that I'm not willing to replace.[/BOX] [a]frog[/a] [BOX]Politoed is not the greatest Pokemon out there. In fact, I don't think Politoed is even that great a Pokemon. However, this lowly toad is the only Pokemon not named Kyogre that gets access to the highly-coveted Drizzle, so lo and behold, it's here to stay in OU. It's a shame, really, when they could have given Drizzle to something like, say, Milotic instead of Politoed. It's just like how they chose to give Drought to Ninetales, which is absolute garbage, when they could have given Drought to Arcanine, which would make sun teams much more competitively viable. Eh, I digress. I'll redact what I said in Deep Sea of Mare. Specs Politoed is the best Politoed out there for fast rain offense teams. Scarf Politoed is a nice revenge killing set, but its days in the limelight are gone now that Tornadus-T was told to take a hike up to the Uber tier. The defensive sets are okay, thanks to Politoed's acceptable bulk, but they simply don't hit hard enough for me, and unless you choose to run a ResTalk or ChestoResto set, Politoed will be vulnerable to hazard damage cutting at its longevity. Yes, all Politoed sets suffer from this, but the offensive sets don't exactly care since they are just meant to hit hard and switch out at the first sign of danger, only coming in to restore the weather. Now, this is where the Specs and Scarf sets differ. The Specs set poses a threat to all weather inducers, regardless of the weather that it's in, thanks to its incredibly powerful Hydro Pump that's further boosted by Choice Specs. That's something the Scarf set simply cannot brag about. Anyways, the moves and EVs, which allow Politoed to outpace the standard specially defensive Rotom-W, are all standard, with the IVs configured so Politoed gets a base 70 Hidden Power Grass, but I am considering changing Hidden Power Grass to Psychic, and Ice Beam on Empoleon to Grass Knot or HP Grass, if only to rout Toxicroak. Another change that I've mulled over was the use of a Water Gem over Choice Specs, so it can have the freedom of switching moves around. Also, I'm thinking of using a bulkier spread to help get past certain trappers (namely Dugtrio and Gothitelle). Politoed's game plan is relatively simple. All it's supposed to do is switch in, hit stuff hard, and GTFO before the solid organic waste collides with the Rotational Air Circulation Device. The sheer power SpecsToed has also allows me to be a little more reckless with spamming Hydro Pumps, since even resists can be 2HKOed after the appropriate hazard damage. Of course, having Politoed out on the field will attract the attention of Pokemon with Water Absorb, Storm Drain, and Dry Skin. That's when the coverage moves come into play. With good prediction, I can catch these Pokemon on the switch with Politoed's coverage moves, weakening them to the point where they can't even stand up to Empoleon's onslaught. Against opposing weather teams, I'll just spam Hydro Pump and score major damage against their inducer(s) or sweeper(s). Yes, they'll force Politoed out, but they'll be punished for doing so, since I can just take momentum back by utilizing the appropriate Pokemon. Politoed's point of entry is usually after Azelf explodes or uses U-turn. This method of entrance allows me to steal the weather away from my opponent and execute Politoed's game plan, which can be read above. This is probably the shortest Pokemon section in this RMT, but despite its brevity, Politoed is an essential member for this team's success.[/BOX] [a]stag[/a] [BOX]Take one look at the Pokemon and item, and I guarantee you that there will be at least a few people that will want to make a rate that just says "USE CBTERRAKION OVER HERACROSS BECAUSE HERACROSS IS SHIT LOL." First off, CBTerrakion is a user on Smogon, and I can't use him on a team Heracross actually boasts resistances that Terrakion would kill for, and thanks to Sleep Talk and its auspicious resistances, Heracross can act as a reliable check (not a counter, mind you) to Breloom, one of the largest threats in the OU metagame. Also, Heracross can come in on Amoonguss and use it as a free opportunity to start demolishing the opponent's team. Of course, I'm not trying to say that Heracross had no competition for this team slot. It faced competition from the likes of Garchomp and Terrakion, as well as Azumarill and Toxicroak, all of which have their unique quirks that make them worth using. Garchomp and Terrakion have (arguably) better STABs and certainly more bulk, Azumarill more power, and Toxicroak more utility in the rain. However, Heracross boasts the ability to not be crippled by any status not named freeze thanks to Guts as well as resistances to Breloom's STAB moves and some nifty STABs of its own. This makes it a premier check to Breloom and Amoonguss, something which this team needs. In addition, Heracross could also weaken opposing walls and turn Ferrothorn into a liability for the opponent to have, relieving quite a bit of pressure from the team's shoulders. Anyways, now that I've chosen Heracross to be the team's resident physically-inclined Pokemon, I had to choose a moveset for it. The Choice Scarf set was immediately out of the question, since Heracross was meant to be a wall-breaker, not a sweeper. This left me with three sets, the Status Orb attacker, Choice Bander, and Sub + 3 Attacks, all capable of violating the opponent's dignity in various ways. Among those three, the Sub + 3 Attacks set hit the weakest, so I ruled it as unfit for this team. Besides, it couldn't do what I needed it to do: absorb Spore and retaliate. The Status Orb set could switch into Breloom's Spore...if the Flame Orb is activated. Activating the Flame Orb is an action which requires a free turn, something that Heracross usually cannot obtain on its own. This left me with the Choice Band set, which by and far away filled the needs the team had for this slot, and then some. I not only got a Breloom check, but I got one of the most fearsome wall-breakers in the OU metagame. Steel-types are slammed by Close Combat, (almost) everything else is busted by Megahorn, and the few Pokemon that think they can switch in on a Close Combat or Megahorn have to contend with Stone Edge. Sleep Talk ensures the team that Heracross is not useless when it falls asleep. The only two Pokemon that can switch in without fearing a 2HKO are Gliscor and Landorus-T, and even then, those two are getting 3HKOed by any move after one round of SR damage when Heracross is asleep, even if Heracross has a Jolly nature, which mine has. I think I had a Jolly nature to outpace Mamoswine, but I think an Adamant nature would help Heracross's wall-breaking crusade more than the additional speed granted by the Jolly nature. Just like Politoed, Heracross's game plan is simple: break holes into the opposing team and go out in a blaze of glory. However, unlike Politoed, I'm willing to let Heracross go earlier on in the match if it means having a better chance to sweep with Empoleon or Keldeo. Typically, Heracross will come in on a) a resisted attack or b) a status move from the likes of Breloom and Jellicent early on in the game. Afterwards, I'll just start hitting the opponent with everything Heracross has. Against opposing offensive teams, Heracross cuts through them like a hot knife through butter. Here are some damage calcs which demonstrate Heracross's strength. All calcs assume Heracross has a Jolly nature and is not statused unless otherwise indicated: 252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Close Combat / Megahorn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Landorus: 156-184 (48.9 - 57.68%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Guts Heracross Close Combat / Megahorn vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Landorus: 233-274 (73.04 - 85.89%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Close Combat vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Latios: 171-202 (56.62 - 66.88%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock -1 252 Atk Choice Band Guts Heracross Close Combat / Megahorn vs. 200 HP / 244 Def Landorus-T: 122-144 (33.06 - 39.02%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Thundurus-T: 190-224 (63.54 - 74.91%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Guts Heracross Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Thundurus-T: 285-336 (95.31 - 112.37%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 240 Def Tentacruel: 149-176 (40.93 - 48.35%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and weather 252 Atk Choice Band Guts Heracross Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 240 Def Tentacruel: 224-264 (61.53 - 72.52%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and weather 252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Close Combat vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Toxicroak: 203-239 (65.9 - 77.59%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock 252 Atk Choice Band Guts Heracross Close Combat vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Toxicroak: 304-358 (98.7 - 116.23%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock Keep in mind that all of these Pokemon resist Close Combat and / or Megahorn. Against stall teams, which are surprisingly rare, I'll aim to bring Heracross in on a status move so I can ramp its power up even further and leave them reeling to the point where Empoleon or Thundurus-T can clear out the punctured mess. Now, Heracross is fairly important, but I'm not above replacing it for something that would be more worthwhile for the team.[/BOX] [a]drag[/a] [BOX]If you're going to use Empoleon, then Thundurus-T is a (dare I say it?) mandatory partner, since it eliminates all of Empoleon's problem Pokemon in a snap, resists all of Empoleon's weaknesses, and can bring Empoleon in on its own problem Pokemon so it can use them as set-up fodder. The only competition for this team slot came from Zapdos, who boasted the same typing as Thundurus-T, with the advantage of having Roost and a bit more bulk, at the cost of Grass Knot, an immunity to Electric-type moves, and quite a bit of power, Jolteon, who was faster, quite weaker, and shared a crippling weakness to Ground-type moves, and Raikou, who had Aura Sphere (with a Rash Nature), Zapdos's bulk, almost as much speed, and all of Jolteon's problems. What I wanted for this slot was something that could handily weaken or eliminate everything that could potentially wall an Empoleon sweep, switch in on its weaknesses, and hit hard on its own. All 4 candidates fit the latter role to a tee, but Raikou and Jolteon fell against the first and second prerequisites. That left Zapdos and Thundurus-T as the only potential candidates. I then decided to use a stricter application of my prerequisites to test the two. Zapdos and Thundurus-T slid past the first and third prerequisites, but Zapdos fell against the second, since it lacked a resistance to Electric-type moves, while Thundurus-T had Volt Absorb, thus technically fitting the second requirement. Now that I had decided on using Thundurus-T, I had to choose a moveset. Despite Thundurus-T's somewhat limited movepool, a multitude of sets came up that looked equally good. However, I had to make some executive decisions. I immediately decided against using an Agility set, since that just takes up a moveslot that could be better occupied with another attacking move. I also decided to skip out on the Nasty Plot set, since I liked Volt Switch too much, and thought that Life Orb recoil would defeat Thundurus-T's purpose of acting as a lure for various walls as well as cut away at Thundurus-T's durability. This left me with the Choice and Expert Belt sets. I already had a Specs user in Politoed, and I didn't exactly think that Thundurus-T's Scarf set was the best it could run. By process of elimination, I was left with the Expert Belt set. This set did everything I wanted it to do, and it did so excellently. Now came the time to choose its moves. Thunder and Volt Switch are obligatory STAB moves, which could be used when power (Thunder) or utility (Volt Switch) are needed. Hidden Power Ice is used to snip apart Grass-types since Thundurus-T doesn't get Hurricane to rip them apart. Grass Knot is where I diverge a bit from the norm. Normally, people would run Focus Blast to hit Ferrothorn, but Ferrothorn has no reliable recovery aside from Rest, meaning that repeated switch-ins to powerful Water-type attacks and Thunders will wear it down to the point where Empoleon can break it with a boosted Surf and Ice Beam. This isn't factoring in how Heracross turns Ferrothorn into a burden for the opponent to have, since it just provides Heracross with a free switch-in opportunity to start breaking the opponent's team apart even further. The EVs and nature are all standard, and the Expert Belt is used to put Empoleon's counters into a false sense of security, only to be ripped apart by a powerful coverage move. Thundurus-T is an interesting Pokemon, and the role it holds on this team is just as interesting. On the surface, it just looks like another wall-breaker, and Thundurus-T does fit that role. In addition, Thundurus-T can also act as a pivot and momentum-grabber, thanks to its handy resistances (whoa, Thundurus-T has resistances?!) and access to Volt Switch. However, these roles are subservient to its main role as that of a lure that breaks Empoleon's counters apart. Thundurus-T usually enters battle after Azelf Explodes or an opposing Water-type shows itself to stop Politoed, Empoleon, or Keldeo from drowning the opponent with their powerful Water-type attacks. If Thundurus-T enters battle by the former method, Volt Switch will almost always be the first move used. Volt Switch lets Thundurus-T maintain momentum by helping scout out favorable match-ups for the rest of the team and identifying counters to Thundurus-T, which can be drowned out by Politoed and Keldeo or beaten down by Heracross. If a Ground-type not named Garchomp is sent to stop Thundurus-T, the appropriate coverage move will be used to keep them in their place. Gastrodon also likes switching into Thundurus-T, so a well-placed Grass Knot does well to keep it in its place. Entry by the latter method usually results in a Thunder or Grass Knot being launched at the opponent. All this is just meant to clear the path for Empoleon to sweep, and while Thundurus-T is important, I will sacrifice it if doing so means Empoleon can sweep unhindered.[/BOX] [a]peng[/a] [BOX]Now, for the moment you've been waiting for: ladies and germs, here is the Pokemon featured in the banner for Under the Waves itself, Empoleon! Okay, so I can't exactly build up tension in a sentence, but Empoleon deserves every bit of applause that you can muster for it. Once it's properly set up, even notable resists like Celebi and Ferrothorn are looking at a 2HKO from Surf, and since the latter has unreliable recovery, I can still force a 2HKO on it after some residual damage even if the weather isn't rainy. In fact, the only Pokemon that escapes a 2HKO that doesn't bear an immunity to Surf is 252 / 252+ Dragonite, and Ice Beam and SR ruin Dragonite. So, I was thinking about what to build a new team around, and I saw a couple of Pokemon that tickled my fancy. Those Pokemon were Chandelure, Roserade, Empoleon, Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, Kyurem, and Staraptor. I then decided to make teams for each of them. Chandelure, despite having a Special Attack on par with Thundurus-T, turned out to be okay at best, since its durability was not appealing at all. Roserade is amazing on balanced teams as a Spiker, and thanks to its typing, it can also serve as an excellent counter to Scarfed Keldeo. This is something that should be used more. Then, I came across Empoleon, and oh my gosh, it is amazing, even with all the Breloom running about. The power it can get is so great that it eclipses known giants like Specs Politoed and Keldeo in terms of sheer damage it can deal. I haven't done testing on any of the Pokemon after Empoleon, since Empoleon proved to be such a Pokemon that I enjoyed using. Maybe I'll test the other Pokemon on that list after this... In my opinion, Empoleon's defensive set is outclassed by Ferrothorn and Heatran, and isn't worth using. The Specs set looks good on paper, thanks to Empoleon's respectable bulk and incredible 11 resistances, but it simply falls apart in practice, and besides, if I wanted to use a Specs attacker in this slot, I would've gone with Keldeo, Rotom-W, or Starmie, who are all faster than Empoleon and have better secondary STAB moves, STAB, and / or utility, making them more worthy of the team slot. No, no, it's the SubPetaya set which diverted my attention from the other two sets and (arguably) is what gives Empoleon its niche in OU. Onto the moveset. Substitute shields Empoleon from status, lets it get a boost or two from Agility, and thanks to the 12 HP EVs, acts as a catalyst for the activation of Empoleon's Petaya Berry, skyrocketing Empoleon's already immense power, which is further supplemented by Torrent and a potential rain boost. Agility brings Empoleon's speed up to par, allowing it to outpace Jolly Gyarados after a single Agility. This is usually enough to outpace the OU metagame later on. Surf is Empoleon's most reliable move, and the ticket that lets Empoleon claim its immense power from the figurative vending machine that gives away power. Ice Beam is auxiliary coverage, and its main use is attacking prior to the activation of the Petaya Berry and making sure Dragonite, other dragons, and Grass-types don't ruin Empoleon's fun. The 12 HP EVs have been explained above, and the Speed EVs allow Empoleon to outpace Gyarados after a single Agility. The 4 EVs in Defense are arbitrary, and the rest of the EVs go to buffer Empoleon's already respectable Special Attack. Before you move to recommend Hydro Pump over Surf on Empoleon, keep in mind that Stone Edge misses have caused people to lose many important battles, and that Hydro Pump has the same accuracy and PP as Stone Edge. I am willing to test out Grass Knot over Ice Beam though, since it allows Empoleon to get past Gastrodon on its own. This change would require a restructuring of the team though. Empoleon is the team's resident sweeper, and thanks to that, I tend to preserve it until a suitable point of entry, usually provided by sacking the most useless team member or switching in on a resisted attack, is created or found. From there, my first move is usually to accrue a Substitute. Once the Substitute has been acquired, Agility will be used until they break the sub. The next course of action is determined by how many hits it took for them to break the sub. If only one hit was needed to break past it, I'll acquire another sub, and I'll keep subbing down until Petaya Berry activates. If it takes more than one hit to break the sub, I'll keep using Agility until they break the sub. If they break the sub after I've gotten two Agilities under Empoleon's belt, I'll use Substitute and attack them until they break the sub. Now, the third sub is where the divergent plans re-converge. Once the Petaya Berry has been activated, I'll just start demolishing the opponent with Empoleon's hyper-powerful Surfs and boosted Ice Beams, whose power is only matched in the physical realm by Victini's V-create and Darmanitan's Flare Blitz under the sun. Should Empoleon go down, I don't have to fear, since the rest of the team can pick up the slack should Empoleon go down early. Overall, Empoleon is an amazing sweeper. Use it with the proper support, much like you would any other sweeper, and I guarantee you that you will be amazed.[/BOX] [a]pony[/a] [BOX]Despite its My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic-esque appearance reducing its ferocity, Keldeo is one of the best Scarfers the OU metagame can offer. Its incredible base 108 Speed in tandem with an even more impressive base 129 Special Attack allows it to present a checkmate situation to many sweepers in OU, and unlike many Scarfed revenge killers, Keldeo actually has a respectable amount of bulk, setting it a notch above other scarfers. In fact, under the rain, Keldeo can act as a pseudo-Swift Swimmer, albeit at the cost of being locked into one move. Keldeo's main source of competition for this team slot came from Latios, Terrakion, Genesect, Salamence, Rotom-W, and Garchomp. All of them, sans Genesect, are potent Scarfers into their own rights, but again, I had some prerequisites that I needed it to fulfill. For one, I needed the Scarfer to be faster than Jolly Sandslash in a sandstorm. This prerequisite assured that the team would not be swept by a Sandslash (and by extension, any slower threats) should the team happen to lose the weather war. This quickly eliminated Salamence, Rotom-W, and Garchomp from the pool of potential team members. In addition, I wanted a Pokemon that could put Mamoswine and Terrakion in their place. Latios, Terrakion, and Keldeo fit that prerequisite, so the choice for this team's scarfmon ultimately fell down to what I preferred: an extra burst of speed and Dragon STAB, powerful Rock STAB and the ability to beat almost all variants of Dragonite consistently, or a resistance to Ice Shard and the ability to further abuse the rain to power up STAB moves. Keldeo's advantages ended up barely edging Latios and Terrakion out for this team's Scarfer slot. Keldeo's Specs set is cool, as are its CM and EBelt sets, but again, this team only needed the revenge killing and late-game sweeping capabilites of the Scarf set. The moves, nature, and EVs are all standard, so I shouldn't have to explain them to you. I'm considering using HP Psychic and Icy Wind over HP Ice and Surf respectively, since Toxicroak is a pain to deal with on occasion. Keldeo enters battle either after Azelf Explodes or a teammate gets knocked out. From there, the move it first uses depends on what Keldeo has to face. If Keldeo is in there to revenge kill the opponent, then Surf or the appropriate coverage move will be launched. Now, Keldeo also does more than just revenge kill for the team. Keldeo also acts as a back-up sweeper that comes to life if Empoleon goes down after demolishing half of the opponent's team and / or cannot sweep. In that case, I simply go for Hydro Pump and start breaking apart the opponent's team. However, if I cannot afford to miss against a weakened Pokemon, I'll use Surf right then and there. It's powerful enough under the rain that the lower base power is a non-issue. Hidden Power Ice is the main reason this team don't fear Scarf MoxieMence as much as other teams do, despite the team's overall frailty. Also, just like every other Pokemon sans Empoleon, I'm willing to sack Keldeo if it means that Empoleon can set up and sweep more easily. Overall, Keldeo, while it does fill a respectful niche, ultimately is the most replaceable member of the team.[/BOX] [a]close[/a]With that stated, I think it's time that I listed a few changes I had in mind for my team. Changes in mind: Azelf ====> SD SR Garchomp This change may not seem fairly obvious, since I decided against Garchomp the first time I made this team. However, I decided to do further testing, and I found that I actually liked it quite a bit, after I replaced Fire Blast with Swords Dance. Heracross ====> Breloom Screw Gastrodon and Vaporeon. Keldeo ====> Latios SubSalac Terrakion is an annoyance to face at times, and the extra speed brought about by Latios helps curb Terrakion. In addition, it grants Empoleon more set-up opportunities. I'll do some testing with this thought and see how that goes. Politoed's item and moveset: Choice Specs ====> Water Gem or Leftovers Again, the whole issue of overwhelming, consistent power or the ability to switch moves is the whole meaning behind this change I'm considering. 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Timid ====> 220 HP / 252 SpA / 36 Spe Modest Bulk vs. speed is the matter at hand again. Some weaknesses I've noticed are a slight vulnerability to SubSD Terrakion if I allow it to set up. Kingdra is a slight problem if I play sloppily. Gastrodon and Vaporeon are annoyances if Thundurus-T goes out early. Other than those Pokemon, I haven't exactly found something that threatens the team too badly. Now, since this is my 500th post (can I call it a 0.5k?), a quick list of shout-outs can be found in the hide tags below. Shout-outs (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Shout-outs (open) Shout-outs (close) Harsha: You naturally would get the first entry here. Iunno what to say, really. You've gone so far from when I first met and tutored you, and I can tell that only good things await you, both in Smogon and in real life! Good luck in whatever you set your mind to, my friend and fellow Treehouse admin! I just might cry... Sayonara (a.k.a. Kira Light): My fellow anime fan, TH admin, and battler. You and Harsha have been my confidants for a while, and I thank you for that. I also have to thank you for encouraging me to chase after the TR badge. Start rating more! Intergalactic: You know, building teams with you is a blast. I hope you get through whatever life throws at you. Delko: One of my inspirations for team rating and building when I was still unbadged. You're a great friend and badge leader, and still an inspiration. Jirachee: If your favorite Pokemon isn't Jirachi, then what is it? Also, thanks for choosing me to host the RMT workshop in your behest. You're a great person, and I can see you going places. tab: cubchoo (°ᴥ°) ! Superpowerdude: I didn't forget you this time! Dogbirds. That is all. Novaray, Shining Latios: TEAM KFC REPRESENT! Besides that, you're a great rater and person. Keep at it! Jimbon, Gimmick: Keep using those unique Pokemon that end up changing how I do team building. Also, keep at those rates! Neliel, ganj4lf, Mosquiton, Mr. Green: You Italian raters are breathing life and new vigor into RMT with your unique styles. Thanks for doing so, and keep at it! Joeyboy: You should get a Xerneas and keep rating. Pocket: I found the Kisame pic you were using as your avatar once! Also, thanks for the help in C&C. It's massively appreciated. I think I covered everyone I wanted to. If I somehow forgot about you, please VM me so I can add you to this list. If you like this team, don't forget to give it a Luvdisc! Have a nice morning / day / afternoon / evening / night / whatever other time it is you're reading this RMT.