Introduction Ever since gen 4, I've primarily only used stall teams. Recently I decided I needed a change of pace and attempted to make a more offensively oriented team. The ubiquity of the ever common Tyranitar + Rotom + Scizor + landorus + 2 fillers core is utterly appalling to me, so I immediately decided that I wasn't going to use it in my team. I wanted to be able to check as many threats in the current metagame as I could, but I also wanted to make sure that I wasn't left completely open to lesser used strategies. With that in mind, I decided that I was going to make a rain team, since perish song politoed is able to deal well with baton pass chains, takes away momentum from quick pass teams, and is able to deal with both sand and sun relatively well. Aside from politoed, I wanted to center this team around sub-calm mind jirachi. I hadn't seen it used very often, but I found it to be a great nuisance whenever I did, so I wanted to give it a shot. I also entered this team for my second round of Birkal's dark horse project and have peaked at #14 on the ladder under the name "Gambitess." I'm mostly posting this team because I feel like I've taken it as far as I can as it is and need help with ideas that would solve my issues with certain things that give me a lot of trouble. Team at a glance Team building process As I said earlier, I wanted to use a rain team, so I naturally have politoed on this team. I've used specially defensive jirachi in the past and liked it, but I decided to try out a sub-calm mind variant for this team, since it has such great sweeping potential in the rain. Dugtrio is great for trapping tyranitar and ninetales, allowing me to keep up the rain and give Jirachi its 100% accurate thunders. It also traps heatran and magnezone, which this team has really appreciated. Even though I set out to make this team offensive, tentacruel allows me to keep hazards off the field for dugtrio and dragonite, as well as a safe switch in to scizor. I chose latios for this team because it's great in the rain and I needed something that could dent holes in the opponent to open up a jirachi sweep. I originally used specs tornadus instead of dragonite, but I found myself really struggling with opposing jirachi and, to a lesser exent, blissey, so I decided to replace it with dragonite This is the final version of my team. I chose bulky dragonite mostly because I needed another pokemon and didn't really know what to pick, but it worked out pretty well. I'm really happy with how this team turned out and I think I succeeded in making it with great offensive synergy. Details, details Politoed (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Drizzle EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Scald - Toxic - Perish Song - Protect (Changed to Ice beam) Politoed is an amazing pokemon this gen. It went from zero to hero over the course of one generation. I chose the bulky variant over more offensive sets because I needed to be able to consistently rely on politoed to switch in against other weather inducers and certain physical threats. It's just a standard bulky politoed with perish song. Perish song has saved me countless times. It's really amazing for dealing with that one pokemon that just won't go down for late game win conditions. It's also an auto-win for poor baton pass players and still gives players who know what they're doing significant difficulty. I've considered encore over perish song to help me deal with offensive dragonites who like to lead against politoed, but I'm concerned with how I would fair against things like calm mind reuniclus if latios had already tricked its scarf. I've also considered using HP grass over protect to help me deal with gastrodon more easily, but I don't know if sacrificing the healing and scouting ability of protect is worth it, since it would require me to already have toxiced it in order to take it down anyway. Jirachi @ Leftovers Trait: Serene Grace EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Calm Mind - Thunder - Water Pulse - Substitute Jirachi has always been one of my favorite pokemon and is the star of this team. He's so adorable! Whenever I had used jirachi in the past, I was always a strong advocate for the specially defensive set, but I'm becoming less and less fond of it. I just feel that it's becoming too easy to deal with. If you run t-wave, you lose the ability to paralyze landorus, who otherwise gains a lot of momentum against a jirachi unable to paralyze it. If you run body slam, you run the risk of not paralyzing at all and will lose to sub-disable gengar if you aren't running protect. Because of that, I decided to try a sub-calm mind set, and have yet to be disappointed. Jirachi relies heavily on the rain, which is why dugtrio support is so crucial to its success on this team. I love this set because of its ability to utterly screw over it's normal switch-ins, such as ferrothorn and skarmory. I usually switch jirachi in whenever ferrothorn tries to set up hazards on politoed and sub on the leech seed or t-wave. Having a free sub and +1 puts jirachi at a huge advantage. Landorus, heatran and gliscor are hit hard by water pulse and anything else has to be wary of getting paralyzed by thunder. Even if jirachi gets forced out later, it very frequently finds other opportunities to set up, or at least spread paralysis. Gastrodon utterly walls this set, and there's nothing I can do about it. I usually try to either get it toxiced or trick it with latios. Once it's scarfed, I can switch to dragonite and set up if it attempts to earthquake. Dugtrio (M) @ Focus Sash Trait: Arena Trap EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Stone Edge (changed to sucker punch) - Earthquake - Stealth Rock - Reversal Dugtrio, my choice for the dark horse project. Normally it's only seen on sun teams, but it's been an extremely important member of this team. Both sun and sand are detrimental to jirachi's success, and dugtrio easily beats both ninetales and tyranitar (abomasnow too, if it chooses to ice shard on the first turn. It's usually too risky though). It also traps important steels such as heatran and magnezone, who often switch in to absorb a dragon type attack or attempt to come in on jirachi. My favorite aspect about dugtrio, though, is that it allows me to safely draco meteor with latios even if the opponent has tyranitar. If tyranitar comes in on latios, I switch in to tentacruel, but if it chooses to pursuit, I instead trap it with dugtrio Tentacruel (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Rain Dish EVs: 248 HP / 204 Def / 56 Spd Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Protect - Scald - Rapid Spin - Toxic Spikes (Changed to toxic) Tentacruel is my team's rapid spinner. I chose tentacruel over starmie because starmie would have made me much more susceptible to scizor, whom tentacruel deals with extremely well. It's just a standard tentacruel, though I use 56 speed EVs to outspeed standard gliscor who runs a few extra speed EVs. Tentacruel keeps both dugtrio and dragonite in good health so that they can safely come in when it's time for them to perform their role. If I have already sacrificed dugtrio, tentacruel is my next best answer to lucario, who could otherwise be a significant threat to my team. It's also an amazing check to gengar, so that I don't have to rely on jirachi or politoed to get rid of it. Latios (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Draco Meteor - Surf - Trick - Thunder Latios is my go to guy for obliterating frail pokemon and revenge killing pokemon who get out of control. I love scarf latios for its ability to safely come in when a pokemon dragon dances and 1hko in return. The lack of power isn't much of a concern since draco meteor still does a hefty amount to anything that doesn't resist it. I use thunder for other water or flying pokemon (usually after I've tricked the scarf away). It frequently attracts pokemon like gastrodon and blissey/chansey, so trick cripples them for the rest of the match. My favorite moment is after I trick the scarf to blissey and switch to dugtrio as they wish sometime later in the game (not that it happens often lol). Latios's biggest fear is scizor. It can easily absorb a draco meteor and trap latios. Fortunately, as long as I have the rain up, scizor can't safely switch in on a surf, taking about 57%, while only being able to hit about 70% on latios the next turn with bullet punch. Latios is completely unconcerned with tyranitar, since they'll almost never try to trap it, and will get killed by dugtrio if it does. Dragonite (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Multiscale EVs: 252 HP / 56 Def / 16 SDef / 184 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Dragon Claw - Substitute - Roost - Dragon Dance Dragonite was my final choice for this team. I really didn't put much thought toward picking it. It just happened, and it works beautifully. I run 184 spd EVs so I'm able to reach 362 speed at +1, outspeeding base 115s, notably starmie. Dragonite loves to come in late game and set up a sub. A lot of people switch in bulky status users in hopes of crippling it with a twave or w-o-w, only to be met with a sub. Heatran is never an issue for setting up with it, since dugtrio has usually already trapped and killed it. It's necessary to get rid of skarmory before dragonite can really do anything, though. It's still useful for baiting skarmory to come in as I switch to something else, however. One of dragonite's biggest problems is terrakion. If I'm only at +1 or 2, scarf terrakion can come in and 1hko if multiscale is broken. Even if dragonite is +2, it only has an 18% chance to ko terrakion if rocks are on the field. Normally it isn't a problem since latios beats most variants, but rock polish terrakion can potentially give me problems late game if my pokemon are weakened or I can't get a paralysis from jirachi. So that's my team. I really hope to improve it, and I look forward to everyone's comments and suggestions. Since I already made dark horse for this month, I don't need for the team to be eligible for dark horse anymore, so feel free to include suggestions that include getting rid of dugtrio.