When the newbie goes to the Desert

Hi guys, this is my first attempt in posting an RMT. Although this team has not achieved anything special, I feel like it has done pretty well on the ladder, and I personally like to try writing the thought process involved in making this team. At first glance, the team above seems to be the most generic of sand teams. Upon further inspection, however, you will find that perhaps only Terrakion and Landorus are standard on this team in terms of their item, set and spread. The rest of my team is tailored to fulfill specific roles, although the effectiveness of these sets is certainly open to question.
This team is not exactly a hyper offensive team, but the basic idea of this team is to basically constantly hound the opponent with attacks from Landorus, Scizor, and Terrakion (and ocassionally Ttar) so that one of them can eventually sweep. Thus without further ado, the team:

The Team:

Landorus @ Expert Belt
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 228 Att, 28 Spa, 252 Spe
Nature: Naive
- Substitute
- Earthquake
- Smack Down
- HP Ice

Mostly Standard smack down-sub Landorus, usually put in the lead spot although he rarely actually leads. I simply did this to bluff the choice scarf, which is very useful to get a free sub later on in the game. This is by far my favorite Landorus set because I get plenty of opportunity to set up especially with the WoW(wisp) support from Rotom-W. After a WoW, Ferrothorn’s Power Whip and Jirachi’s Iron Head won’t be able to break up my sub, usually enabling me to get at least two free kills in the process.

Rotom-W @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP, 168 Def, 88 Spe
Nature: Bold
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Will-o-wisp
- Pain Split

I used to run a 252 HP 252 Def Rotom-W, but I reverted to this spread simply because I have seen plenty of Scizor running Adamant with 252 speed while laddering. The 88 Speed EVs allow me to outspeed the aforementioned Scizor and burn them before they can run rampant. The other moves are pretty self explanatory, I always like the idea of a “slow” Volt Switch/U-turn user as it provides me a safe switch in for my Terrakion and Landorus. The defensive EVs still allow me to live a CB outrage from Dnite and CB Close Combat from Terrakion, from which I can volt switch out to get the advantage and KO Dnite with Latios, Terrakion or Landorus, or just outright Hydro Pump the Terrakion.

Scizor @ Occa Berry
Ability: Technician
EVs: 192 HP, 252 Att, 64 Spe
Nature: Adamant
- U-turn
- Swords Dance
- Superpower
- Bullet Punch

I run this Scizor with U-turn bluffing the choice band set, although more experienced players would be able to tell the difference in the damage output. Occa berry has been wonderful what with Deoxys-S leads carrying HP fire running around, as well as NP Celebi and some variants of Latios. Occa berry allows me to take one HP fire and KO them back, which is always nice. Scizor also checks Terrakion, which is one of the most prominent threat in today’s metagame. An adamant nature is chosen over a bulkier SD set because without life orb or CB, I would need all the power I can muster.

Tyranitar @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP, 64 SAtk, 192 SpD
Nature: Sassy
- Stealth Rock
- Crunch
- Fire Blast
- Superpower

Tyranitar is honestly the weakest link to my team, as it attracts fighting type pokemon and Scizor like you wouldn’t believe. I primarily use Ttar not so much because of the benefits that Sandstorm offer, but more because of the fact that it can remove other weathers. I opted for a mixed set with fire Blast, and it has been working pretty well. I often Volt Switch/U-turn out to Ttar, which often attracts Scizor, Lucario or Terrakion to the fray. Scizor gets demolished by Fire Blast, while Lucario and Terrakion are served with Landorus.

I also wanted to try a scarf on this thing but dont really know if its the smartest thing to do...

Latios @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP, 252 Spa, 252 Spe
Nature: Timid
- Surf
- Psyshock
- Draco meteor
- Trick

I use Latios because it is one of the few pokemon that can simultaneously handle Sun and Rain. Although the utility of Choice Scarf Latios is debatable, its nice to have a +1 base 110 Speed scarfer, as it allows me to outspeed Naive Cloysters after one shell smash. In addition, the fact that I can trick my scarf late game/against stall is an interesting option because I absolutely hate having two choice pokemon in my team unless absolutely necessary. The use of psyshock here is debatable, but it does allow me to OHKO Virizion, and deals more damage to Tentacruel and Chansey when facing the everpresent rain stall. Being my only speedy scarfer, it serves as a check for the everpresent dragon dancers in OU. Due to the popularity of lum berry+DD set of Dnite, I can usually bank on sandstorm or SR to break Dnite’s multiscale, and most of them don’t usually suspect a scarfed Latios. Also, I am fairly certain that a scarfed Latios still outspeeds max speed Adamant Dragonite after two dragon dances.

Terrakion @ Life Orb
Ability: Justified
EVs: 4 HP, 252 Att, 252 Spe
Nature: Jolly
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Rock Polish
- Swords Dance

Probably the best boosting pokemon in the game, this is a standard double boosting Terrakion. Absolutely nothing enjoys switching in to this Pokemon, and although I rarely get the chance to grab more than one boost, I really find using this pokemon extremely fun. Life orb is essential to ocassionally 2HKO Skarmory after SR, especially given the fact that I run jolly instead of adamant. I simply cannot afford to be outsped by the plethora of base 100 pokemon in the OU metagame.

Some of the notable threats for this team include Conkeldurr and Terrakion. Both of these pokemon can be a problem if they switch into Ttar, as Conkeldurr can just bulk up in my face and while Terrakion can be demolished by Landorus, pretty much something has to die/will be badly hurt if I don't run a scarf on Ttar or if I'm locked into anything but superpower. I am aware that using a Skarmory might alleviate this issue, but I am not sure which pokemon I should get rid of because all of them currently functions very well with each other. Additionally, TR Reuniclus might be an issue if my Latios and Scizor are at low health, but I can usually keep them at high health if I know Reuniclus is wandering around.

Cool team. First off, yes Terrakion and Conkelldurr are very big threats to your team, as once they get in, its very hard for your team to switch into them and they can play a fair amount of mind games with your team. Also a major threat is Swords Dance Lucario, as if it carries Bullet Punch he can pick up a swords dance and from there run through your team in a very quick fashion. Also a large threat is Dragon Dance Salamence, as once your Latios is gone he can run demolish all the other members of your team with his fast and powerful assaults.

OK looking at your teams weakness's, its pretty clear that Tyranitar does nothing but make them harder to deal with. His fighting weakness is a real bumber, as your team really struggles against them right now. I thought your team could really use a Physically defensive wall, to stop all those powerful fighting types from spamming their ridiculous Close Combat and coverage moves all over your team, but I did think you still needed to retain the sand, as it is vital for your team to get opposing weather effects off the field as they otherwise hurt your team a lot. This suggestion is pretty obvious by now, but I recommend Physically Defensive Hippowdon > Tyranitar. Hippowdon still provided your team with rocks as well as sand, but you gain a crucial physical wall, who can take a hit fromm all the aforementioned fighting types, and either KO them with a powerful STAB Earthquake, or PHaze as A Dude said as you see fit. He is also far more durable than Tyranitar as he can recover, and is not effected by the common Dugtrio, who thrives off the ability to trap and destroy Tyranitar, ending the weather war.

As a way to always beat Conkelldurr, I think you should try Psychic > Psychock. Once hes boosted up, bulky variants can easily take a Psyshock and hit back with Payback or Stone Edge. Psychic instead will always do massive damage to Conkelldurr, insuring he won't be sweeping your team anytime soon. The targets you miss out on are dispatched easily by Terrakion and Landorus anyway. On Landorus, you don't need any Special Attack EV's to beat down standard Gliscor, so I suggest a spread of 252Atk/ 4SpA/ 252Spe instead to give your physical attacks a slight boost in power.

GL with the team
Hippowdon @ Leftovers
Nature: Impish (+Def -SpA)
Trait: Sand Stream
EV's: 252HP/ 4Atk/ 252Def
Earthquake/ Slack Off/ Stealth Rock/ Stone Edge