Walking in a Winter Wonderland~ Overview- Hail never was popular enough in any metagame besides UU. Lackluster Pokemon abusing it along with a Stall-based orientation caused the final weather to be vastly overlooked and unconsidered. Dream World aims to change that issue, adding some well-appreciated variety to the normal board of Hail abusers that might give this weather a second chance. However, I believe that if Hail were to make a comeback, it should not be based on the backs of Ice-type Pokemon but rather on Pokemon that appreciate the residue damage on the opponent and work alongside maybe one other Hail abuser besides Abomasnow. Therefore, this thread will focus on how Hail should be played DIFFERENTLY than the other weathers to be successful. Effects of Hail Deals 1/16 of total health every turn to all non Ice type Pokemon and Pokemon not having the abilities Ice Body, Magic Guard, Snow Cloak Solarbeam deals 1/2 of normal damage Pokemon with Snow Cloak gain a 20% evasion boost Pokemon with Ice Body gain 1/16 of their total health every turn Blizzard gets 100% accuracy From the list, it seems that Hail is just a more specific version of Sandstorm, with the main differences being the Blizzard offensive boost. Hail has become increasingly unpopular due to some key factors. 1) The lackluster stats of the Hail summoner, Abamasnow. 2) The lack of variety in the Hail abusing Pokemon with Snow Cloak and Ice Body. 3) The increasing difficulty to pull off a Hail Stall, especially in a DW Metagame full of stat-boosting sets. However, this article will truly take into all considerations and come up with the final verdict of whether Hail has truly been excluded in the DW stage. I understand that Hail is already severely underplayed, but I believe a second look at the weather is warranted. This article is meant both to be a complement to the other 3 weather articles out already and a case study on the dying Hail playstyle. Hail Users and Abusers I have decided to include 4 sample Hail users, focusing mainly on the special Hail abusers exclusive to DW OU. Abomasnow 90 / 92 / 75 / 92 / 85 / 60 Abomasnow's middling stats are enough to deter many away from ever attempting to play Hail. Compared to the stats of Politoed, Hippodown, Ninetales, and Tyrannitar, Abomasnow falls drastically behind. However, instead of capitilizing on good stats, Abomasnow's middling stats allow it to perform and run a variety of sets, forcing your opponent to randomly guess at what set you're playing. Choice Scarf makes up for his low speed, allowing him to outpace and revenge kill many threats that think they can outrun his 354 speed. Abomasnow has access to the ever-annoying Leech Seed and plays a SubSeed set very well. Although a truly challenging Pokemon to play, Abomasnow has the potential to outlast and outwit the opponent and secure an eternal snowstorm. Sample Set: #Snow Warning @Leftovers 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD Calm -Substitute -Leech Seed -Blizzard -Protect / Toxic Kyurem 125 / 130 / 90 / 130 / 90 / 95 Just when we thought all the main legendaries would be restricted to Ubers, Kyurem comes falling down from the sky...into BL? Glaciate, it's signature move, is relatively pointless, and the mixed offensive stats does create mild problems compared to the physical Zekrom and the special Reshiram. However, that's all the better for us in DW OU because this Pokemon easily ranks as one of the hardest hitters in any category. With Draco Meteor, Outrage, Ice Beam, Blizzard, Kyurem is guaranteed to rip holes through a lot of things. However, lack of coverage moves outside of Focus Blast really hurts it a lot. In terms of sheer power, though, Kyurem is your ticket to victory. Sample Set: #Pressure @Choice Scarf 252 SpA / 252 Spe Timid -Draco Meteor -Blizzard / Ice Beam -Focus Blast -HP Fire / Dragon Pulse Articuno 90 / 85 / 100 / 95 / 125 / 85 What can Articuno do? Oh, not much, just hide behind a Substitute with a 20% Evasion rate from Snow Cloak, spamming Toxic and Blizzard and healing with Roost. With great defensive stats, Articuno can stall out even the strongest of Pokemon because, no matter how many Bulk Up's you stack, a miss is a miss. I guess only Cloyster has a real shot at annihilating this thing, but that's about it. It can't do much else, though, so be warned - Articuno will melt without proper Hail support. Sample Set: #Snow Cloak @Leftovers 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe Timid -Substitute -Roost -Blizzard -Toxic Regice 80 / 50 / 100 / 100 / 200 / 50 Please join me in a moment of silence as we gaze at Regice's special defense stat. Seriously, with that, no special attacker will even DREAM of denting this monster (except Chandelure). Ice Body + Leftovers allows for 1/8 total health recovery every turn, which is super. It also has the elusive BoltBeam, or should I say, BoltBlizzard combo that has near-perfect coverage. So what's wrong? One word: boost. Regice has NO boosting moves outside of Amnesia and Charge Beam. That means that although the 100 in Defense and Special Attack is nice, that's all Regice is ever going to get. Fear not, though, because with proper setup like Toxic Spikes, Regice will easily tank through the entire opposition. Sample Set: #Ice Body @Leftovers 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD Modest -Rest -Sleep Talk -Blizzard / Ice Beam -Thunderbolt Others Hazards Hail does NOT work without entry hazards, especially Toxic Spikes. Residual damage upon entry, poison, and weather, along with some shuffling and smart move-playing is the key to playing hail. Toxic Spikes can be brought by Tentacruel, a fantastic Rapid Spinner as well, Forretress, also having access to Stealth Rocks, Spikes, and Volt Switch, Nidoqueen/Nidoking, boasting Fighting and Rock resistances, and Roserade, who is overall fantastic. Other Pokemon include Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Deoxys-S, etc. Rapid Spin/Utility Coming soon... Anti-weather/Anti-lure Anti-weather is meant to specifically check and stop opposing weather summoners, mainly Ninetales, Politoed, and Tyrannitar. Luckily, Abomasnow can use a Choice Scarf to hammer the unsuspecting opponent with a super effective move of choice such as Earthquake or Giga Drain. It can also SubSeed stall out Politoed and T-tar. Dugtrio is another trapper built to destroy Ninetales and Tyrannitar, while Chandelure can Energy Ball Politoed to death. Anti-lure is anti-Chandelure. Chandelure by itself threatens to utterly destroy the very fabric of Hail. Anti-lure must be played smart, bringing in Pokemon with Focus Sashes to bait a Chandelure into firing a move and being readily demolished afterwards. A great Pokemon for this is Lapras, which decent Special Bulk and the move Whirlpool, Lapras can guarantee that Chandelure will be taken out post-haste. Pokemon that I will not be covering as of yet but are still amazing in Hail include Glaceon, Froslass, Mamoswine, Lapras, Rotom-F, and Walrein. Also, Magic Guard users like Alakazam and Reuniclus fit the team perfectly, taking no damage from Hail. Supporting members of Hail teams include Dugtrio/Chandelure for winning the weather war, Toxic Spikers like Tentacruel, Nidoqueen, and Forretress, Psychic types like Reuniclus to take out Fighting types, Water types like Keldeo to take out Rock and Fire types, and Fighting types like Terrakion to take out Rock and Steel types. Hail requires lots of support, which is the main reason why it's so uncommon. Sample Team Idea I'm trying to create a Hail team by combining standard Hail and DW OU techniques. Lead: Cloyster (Defensive Utility, sets up Toxic Spikes) Summoner: Abomasnow (Subseed) Spinblock/Hax: Froslass (Parahax) Speed: Kyurem (Scarf) Special Defensive: Latias (Bulky) Trapper: Dugtrio (Sash + Reversal) Obviously, Cloyster + Abomasnow + Froslass are all trying to facilitate a Kyurem sweep. Cloyster can spin, Froslass probably will have Hail on it to act as a summoner, Dugtrio will be designed to decimate T-tar, and Latias will be an all-rounder. Discussion Here are the major points this thread will cover: Why isn't Hail used? What can Hail do to become more usable? What kinds of cores should Hail teams be based on? How can Hail stand up to the other types of weather? And it all leads to the final question... Is this the end of Hail? This thread has been inspired by the hard work and dedication shown in the other weather threads in the DW subcategory. I hope I can produce a quality thread in this that can at least stand up proudly among the other great works here!