1. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.
  2. Click here to ensure that you never miss a new SmogonU video upload!

Winter Wonderland: Hail in the DW Metagame

Discussion in 'Dream World' started by blaZofgold, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. blaZofgold


    Apr 19, 2011
    Walking in a Winter Wonderland~
    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

    1. 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
    2. Solarbeam deals 1/2 of normal damage
    3. Pokemon with Snow Cloak gain a 20% evasion boost
    4. Pokemon with Ice Body gain 1/16 of their total health every turn
    5. 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.
    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
    -Leech Seed
    -Protect / Toxic

    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

    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

    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
    -Sleep Talk
    -Blizzard / Ice Beam

    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 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.

    Here are the major points this thread will cover:

    1. Why isn't Hail used?
    2. What can Hail do to become more usable?
    3. What kinds of cores should Hail teams be based on?
    4. 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!
  2. Taylor

    Taylor i am alien
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Dec 11, 2006
    Standard OU is not the kindest metagame which would suit a play-style where residual damage can be accomplished through sandstorm, with a much more solid offensive/defensive core. It suffers from the likes of Chandelure, Genesect, Blaziken, Keldeo and a lot of common threats seen in DW OU. Abomasnow may not be the worst weather summoner in some people's eyes but it sure is hard to be able to switch him in where you feel you won't get OHKOed. It needs crafty team-building skills and an even better player to make it competitively viable.

    You can't run to all the Ice-types in an attempt to abuse Hail, as that just leads you vulnerable to certain types that would easily expose your common weaknesses shared throughout your team. To compete on the level some teams do already in DW OU, I believe Hail needs a new "summoner" or a Pokemon not that while not as frail as Frosslass, possesses similar Spd and SAtk to be able to trample through the opposing team; all the whilst weather keeps the momentum on your side of the field.

    I'd stay far away from stall in such an energetic metagame, but perhaps some form of offensive core may prove to work wonders. Maybe Air Balloon Terrakion to thrive in Sandstorm? I mean Scizor is not to be feared as much in Dream World and therefore Terrakion can hold your team together when combating the likes of Excadrill and Garchomp.

    You could even run Excadrill yourself for Rapid Spin support and something to operate in Sand if your opponent is using it. You don't have to fear rain as much with Abomasnow; who, by the way, is a viable Choice Scarf user given its Blizzard power and ability to outrun a myriad of threats after the speed boost. I used it when Excadrill was OU and it made Hail extremely viable at the time.
  3. /B/utterfree


    Sep 3, 2010
    Why aren't you running a Magic Guard Pokemon?

    Alakazam works wonders to help relieve Hail teams of the dreaded Fighting-type weakness. If not Alakazam, then Reuniclus. Both these Pokemon have Magic Guard and are immune to the residual damage of Hail. They also have Fighting-type moves of their own (HP Fighting or Focus Blast, take a pick) that wreck Tyranitar. It also works for when you need a good Special Attacker for the team.

    And no love for Jellicent? That thing makes a good counter to Politoed and Ninetales, the other weather-setters in the OU metagame. *sighs* If I wasn't working on a Dark Horse team I'd definitely run Energy Ball Jellicent in a hail team.
  4. Harsha

    is a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Sep 18, 2011
    Taylor brings up many valid points. For instance, when the most common trapper in the DW metagame has Fire STAB and the ability to OHKO Abomasnow right off the bat, how can you even deal with that? Of course a Shed Shell can somewhat mitigate this, but it's very problematic for those planning to abuse hail with BlizzSpam or any similar strategies. Another issue is the prevalence of Genesect. With Flamethrower and STAB U-turn, it's going to be doing major damage and there won't be much stopping it.

    Again, quoting Taylor, stall is not very viable in such a fast paced metagame. There is just so much brute force behind attacks that stall won't even know what it was hit by. Let's look at rain stall as an example first, though. I have not seen a single rain stall team prepared for Manaphy--one of the biggest threats in this very metagame.

    /B/utterfree brings up a good point, Magic Guard users are great for hail. One thing you should note about Reuniclus is its access to Trick Room, possibly the most anti-metagame move in DW OU. This is a tier ruled by Speed, but what if you could use the opponent's Speed against him or her? That would be wonderful, and Reuniclus is a prime contender for this. However, all Reuniclus have to fear the wrath of Genesect, so it should probably be advised to run Hidden Power Fire or something of the sort to ensure that a major threat to one's team disappears and so that Reuniclus can freely ruin the opponent.

    However, even with these boons, I cannot see hail ever becoming viable in this fast paced DW metagame. Another sad thing is that the DW metagame is a theoretical final OU, meaning that if there is no major change in the metagame, hail will be in serious trouble. It's a sad, but undeniable truth, and we'll just have to wait and see how that folds out.
  5. Cshadow


    Feb 8, 2009
    Hail should always be played as an anti-metagame strategy, focusing on winning the weather war with smart switches and defensive plays. Hail doesn't have it's own Swift Swim and Hail Body's distribution sucks.

    On a side note: if you're having trouble with Genesect, use Thick Fat Hariyama
  6. Danilo

    is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion

    Apr 30, 2011
    Hail really isnt viable in this meta. It's bad enough that Hail teams are sooo weak to entry hazards, but Chandelure is even in the tier!. The only successful Hail team I've seen has to rely on bulky Moltres to attempt to check most of the things that give hail teams problems(talking about Mewten's team ofc). Mention Tentacruel in the OP, hail needs spinners!

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)