Seeing how Smogon’s World Cup of Pokemon is upon us, I thought it would be a good time to retire my favourite Ubers team, one which I have used extensively ever since its conception. I made my team, dubbed Teenage Wasteland by my fellow The Who fan Iris, about half a year ago, and it has been my go-to team ever since. It bolted many of my accounts onto the Uber Leaderboard, and Atticus used a slightly tweaked version for his Week 2 victory in the Smogon Premier League. Before retiring my team, I decided to go for one last ladder run, and I peaked at #3 with a CRE of 1834 under the alt GENGAR MASTER18. Since posting the team, I've finally peaked the team at #1 as BOB999 (I have cool alts right?), so I'm finally done with it. The team was named after a well-known line in the song Baba O’Riley by The Who, as I love both the song and band. Plus, as an avid drummer, I'm continually blown away and inspired listening to their drummer, Keith Moon.
I’ll try not to bore you with a long-winded team building process, but the premise of the team is simple: sweep with Bulk Up Dialga after its counters have been eliminated. The combination of Mixquaza, who lures and kills the likes of Groudon and Lugia, and Bulk Up Dialga means I can efficiently close out games with these strong Dragons. I also took note of specific metagame trends when making this team in terms of leads. With Deoxys-S and Groudon continually dominating the lead department, a powerful anti-lead with priority would be needed to get the game started on the right foot, making Deoxys-A a solid choice. The increase in Lucario and the presence of DD/SD Rayquaza meant purely offensive teams were difficult to pull off without being swept, so Groudon was an ideal fit to beat these threats. Coupled with the addition of Scarf Kyogre, who checked a multitude of fast sweepers, I had nearly perfect control of weather, making weather-specific teams much easier to handle. Finally, I added Scizor for the crucial check for the omnipresent Dragon-types in Ubers, and it was a better fit than other options due to its ability to gain and maintain momentum with its powerful attacks and U-turn. So voilà, that’s how I came to creating this team!
Enough with that superfluous preamble. Without further ado…
Deoxys-A @ Focus Sash
EVs: 220 Atk / 36 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive nature: (+Spe, -SpD)
- Shadow Ball
- Grass Knot
When I made this team, I knew I wanted to use Deoxys-A as my lead, and it has essentially turned into the defining member. It wasn’t too long ago that Deoxys-A was the most common lead in the Ubers metagame, but it has since fallen drastically in usage. In my opinion, it’s still one of the best, if not the best anti-lead in the entire tier when used correctly. While there are plenty of ways to use Deoxys-A, this is the set I like to run. The combination of moves allows me to defeat practically every common lead, only losing to seldom seen leads such as Rayquaza. The combination of Shadow Ball and Extremespeed put opposing Deoxys-S in a checkmate position, limiting them to a maximum of one layer of entry hazards, or none if they use Taunt. This is extremely beneficial for my team, as only one Pokemon has a recovery move, and most are grounded, so residual damage from Spikes really adds up. Shadow Ball is also my answer for Mew leads who often Taunt, while the priority of Extremespeed allows me to pick off weakened foes like Scarf Palkia or Rayquaza. Grass Knot is the set’s most important move, as it allows me to beat both Groudon and Kyogre. Normally I would use Ice Beam, but Kyogre is a huge pain to face, so Grass Knot was almost mandatory. Superpower rounds out the moveset with its ability to turn Blissey, Dialga and Darkrai (barring a Scarf Dark Void) into mush.
Max Speed is necessary to tie opposing Deoxys-A and outpace everything besides Scarf Darkrai and Deoxys-S. I’m open to any suggestions for a new EV spread, but I wanted to ensure I could take out Blissey in one hit, so I gave it a substantial Attack investment. It also gives more of a bite to Extremespeed, which is helpful of course. Grass Knot 2HKOes all Groudon and practically all Kyogre anyways, and since max Special Attack doesn’t ensure the OHKO on the former, I see no reason to use it. Shadow Ball is still strong enough even with this minute investment, allowing me to take out Mew and Giratina-O in two shots on average. However, I’d be more than willing to listen to and test out any suggested EV spread for Deoxys-A. Despite its enormous strength and speed, it is very true that Deoxys-A suffers from the common 'four-slot syndrome'. I can't fit Stealth Rock anywhere, nor can I afford to slap on Fire Punch. Packing a Fire-type attack in particular would be immensely helpful against Forretress leads and the inevitable Scizor switch-ins. Regardless, Deoxys-A does exactly what I need it do: counter common leads while giving me momentum. In the majority of my matches, I'll be leading 6-5 from the get-go thanks to Deoxys-A. In such a fast paced tier where momentum is hugely vital, this greatly contributes to the success of my team.
Groudon @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 Spe
Impish nature: (+Def, -SpA)
- Dragon Claw
- Thunder Wave
- Stealth Rock
Groudon plays an integral part of the team in the sense that it counters the majority of the physical threats found in Ubers. The way I see it, the two most reliable counters to Swords Dance Rayquaza and Lucario are Scarf Dialga and Groudon. With Dialga already being used as a Bulk Up variant, I turned to Groudon to prevent the rest of my team from being swept by the aforementioned threats. The standard Adamant bulky Groudon was not enough to ensure Rayquaza and Lucario don’t have a field day, so I switched to the Impish set that I’ve seen other great players use. The huge defensive EV investment allows Groudon to survive a +2 Waterfall or a +2 Combat from Rayquaza and Lucario respectively, and retaliate with the appropriate attack. On the other hand, 36 Speed EVs let Groudon beat standard Ho-oh, and most bulky Groudon and Kyogre. Groudon is also my best switch in against Scizor and Garchomp, especially the latter, who gives my two Dragons a great deal of trouble. Thunder Wave is very useful for Kyogre switch-ins and also Giratina-O, but I've considered opting for Swords Dance as Groudon's final move. Ironically, I'm somewhat weak to opposing Bulk Up Dialga, as Impish Groudon really doesn't have the staying power if Dialga has boosted a few times. Swords Dance would allow me to set-up (and win!) along side it, alleviating a lot of pressure on the team, since I wouldn't have to sacrifice Rayquaza to eliminate BU Dialga.
In addition, Groudon sets up Stealth Rock for my team, and is as reliable as they come at doing the job. As previously mentioned, Deoxys-A has no room to use Stealth Rock, so Groudon was a logical choice to set up the entry hazard. This is of particular importance against Lugia, who can wall Dialga all day, and it is only with Stealth Rocks that Rayquaza has a chance of luring and killing the giant bird. Like pretty much every team, I struggle against Ho-oh when Stealth Rock isn’t present, so I try to set it up as soon as possible. It's also nice to have an Electric-immunity in Groudon to prevent my offensive threats from being slowed down by random Thunder Waves. Overall, Groudon gets the job done and provides my team with unparalleled walling abilities.
Kyogre @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature: (+Spe, -Atk)
- Water Spout
- Ice Beam
With its excellent revenge killing capabilities, Kyogre casts a much-appreciated safety net over the team. Thanks to Drizzle, its speedy Water Spouts and Surfs prevent me from being swept by monstrous threats such as Mewtwo or Darkrai if my Scizor goes down. Speaking of which, Kyogre provides some nice team synergy with Scizor by reducing its Fire-type weakness, which is very useful against Giratina-O. At the beginning of games, I often open up with Thunder to hopefully deal some damage to obvious Palkia switch-ins, and the slight paralysis rate is also great against Latias. Once I know my opponent packs Latias or Latios, I’ll often blindly fire off Ice Beams, because I’ve noted how reluctant people are to switch into Kyogre anything that does not resist Water Spout. While the coverage provided by Kyogre is phenomenal, allowing me to pick off threats ranging from Manaphy to Shaymin-S, I mainly use it to check Mewtwo and Darkrai. Its powerful Water-type attacks are what separates Kyogre from other Scarfers like Palkia, who must rely on Draco Meteor to deal with Mewtwo and Darkrai. They are among the tier’s top threats, and so Kyogre’s ability to outpace and kill them in one hit often prevents me from being swept outright.
Another nice thing about Kyogre is that it gives me full weather control. This means that obscure things like Jumpluff or Shiftry will have a hard time hurting my team, assuming I don’t switch into a STAB Grass Knot of course. Conversely, Groudon’s presence means Drizzle doesn’t leave me as a sitting duck against Kingdra or Ludicolo. There’s not much more to say about Kyogre, as it’s a very straightforward Pokemon. Like most Scarf users, it’s sort of the glue to my team, since it prevents my relatively slow team from being picked apart by various offensive threats.
Scizor @ Choice Band
EVs: 200 HP / 56 Atk / 252 SpD
Adamant nature: (+Atk, -SpA)
- Bullet Punch
I find it next to impossible to build an Ubers team without Scizor. Packing a Dragon-type resist is especially necessary to be successful in Ubers, and Scizor is one of the few Steels who does not slow down an offensively-minded team. Choice Band Scizor is a great, albeit very common, way of dealing with the abundant Dragons, while also being able to dish out huge amounts of damage in the process. Not only this, but Scizor’s auspicious defensive typing yields resistances to Ice-, Grass-, Dark- and Ghost-type attacks, all of which are very common in Ubers. The premise of Choice Band Scizor is nearly identical to using it in OU: hop in on a resisted attack and predict appropriately. U-turn dishes out ridiculous amounts of damage to the specially based tier, smacking around switch-ins like Kyogre or Palkia. Even using U-turn on a resisted switch-in, such as Dialga, puts me at the advantage by allowing me to bring in a suitable counter. Bullet Punch gives me more priority on top of Deoxys-A and Rayquaza, so I can use it against weakened Mewtwo or Latios without fearing a potential Fire-type attack. I mainly use Pursuit for Lati@s if I’m positive they do not pack Hidden Power Fire since having them gone early allows my own two Dragons to sweep easier. However, I sometimes use Pursuit on weakened Palkia that are locked on Spacial Rend, because once a team’s Scarf-user is gone, it’s difficult for them to stop Kyogre from killing things left and right. Superpower is honestly filler, as it gets very little use, as it’s primarily for Heatran and Dialga. I usually just U-turn on the expected switch-in though, as a poorly predicted Superpower can be very bad news for me.
The EVs are standard, but I guess I could move 4 Attack EVs into Speed to outpace other Scizor, but that’s very situational. The nice thing about Scizor is that one can afford to make him very bulky on the special side, while still packing a huge punch thanks to Choice Band. As such, Scizor is my initial answer to Taunt + Calm Mind Mewtwo as well as Nasty Plot Darkrai (although a +2 LO Focus Blast really hurts). He’s also one of the most solid counters for the Lati twins, and thanks to Kyogre, I don’t fear HP Fire as much. A +1 Thunder does a lot, but without full Spikes support, Scizor will emerge victorious each time. As you can see, Scizor is enormously vital for my team, and I continually rely on him to counter and kill a multitude of offensive threats.
Rayquaza @ Life Orb
Ability: Air Lock
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive nature: (+Spe, -SpD)
- Draco Meteor
Rayquaza is the first of my two Dragons, and if it comes in safely during a game, it’s almost assured to be taking 1-2 opposing Pokemon down with it. Mizquaza is an incredible stall-breaker and one of the most devastating sweeper in the tier. However, Rayquaza’s role on my team isn’t necessarily to rip through entire teams, but rather to lure and eliminate common counters to set up Dialga. Physical Rayquaza and Bulk Up Dialga share common counters, so luring them with Mixquaza is a simple solution to pave the way for Dialga during the latter stages of a match. Rayquaza can easily come in on Groudon’s Earthquakes aimed at Dialga and KO outright. Opposing Groudon and Lugia are also often hasty to switch into Rayquaza, only to eat a powerful Draco Meteor off 518 Special Attack. For these reasons, I consider Rayquaza to be the most valuable member of my team.
Draco Meteor is of course the crux of the set, nailing would-be counters for huge amounts of damage. Even bulky Steel-types like Scizor and Forretress take huge damage when they switch in, only to die to Flamethrower the next turn. Speaking of which, I opted for Flamethrower over the standard Fire Blast because I truly see no reason not to use it. The only thing that makes me miss the extra power is versus specially defensive Jirachi, but I have Groudon for that anyways. Flamethrower does just fine against Scizor, Forrtress, Metagross and most Jirachi, and due to Rayquaza’s frailty, it really cannot afford to miss (Draco Meteor misses are pretty awful). On the physical side, Extremespeed is so useful as the third priority move on the team, keeping weakened Latias, Latios, Mewtwo and Darkrai at bay. It’s also a decent albeit weak option against Rock Polish Groudon, who outpaces and OHKOes the majority of my team. Outrage is a powerful cleaning move necessary for Blissey, and is reliable versus Giratina-O and Kyogre is I can’t afford a miss with Draco Meteor. Being locked onto Outrage can be pretty bad sometimes, so I’m really conservative when using it. I’ve been suggested many times to use Brick Break over Outrage for an even more reliable way of breaking stall. Thoughts on this would be much appreciated, as it’d prevent me form being utterly walled by Heatran and eliminated Dual Screens against Mew. The loss in power would be really noticeable though, and Brick Break is sort of a specialized move, so thoughts on this would be appreciated!
Dialga @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 220 SpD / 36 Spe
Careful nature: (+SpD, -SpA)
- Bulk Up
- Sleep Talk
- Dragon Claw
Dialga brings to my team a rare combination of walling abilities and the capacity to sweep given the right conditions. As you can probably guess, its purpose is to come in after Rayquaza has weakened walls and then unleash hell. Once Bulk Up Dialga’s few and specialized counters are eliminated, the only way to stop this thing is through revenge killing, which, due to the huge Special Defense investment, doesn’t always work. The great thing about Dialga is that it can easily set up on common counters, specifically Blissey, Scizor and Forretress. Many teams are fearful of taking a Draco Meteor from Dialga, making the three previously mentioned Pokemon ideal switch-ins, only to become set up fodder to my Bulk Up variant. Dialga is also unique in the sense that while it’s a devastating sweeper, it protects me from various threats in Ubers, such as any non-Specs Kyogre. Unfortunately, Dragon-type attacks are neutral against Dialga, but due to the EVs, it can take a Dragon Pulse from Latios, Draco Meteor from opposing Dialga or Spacial Rend from Palkia and retaliate back with Dragon Claw.
Pretty standard stuff here, but as you might have noticed, I prefer using Dragon Claw over Outrage for many different reasons. It may seem like an odd choice considering the large difference in Base Power and the fact Sleep Talk doesn’t lock me into Outrage, but Dragon Claw allows Dialga to fulfill a role of special wall and sweeper all in one. It allows me to alternate between attacking and boosting against Scarf Kyogre, meaning I can afford to mispredict on one or two occasions. Once my opponent reveals Kyogre, Dialga is my best switch (sad I know), so Dragon Claw lets me scout early game for their Dialga counter without potentially wasting a turn with Bulk Up or locking myself on to Outrage. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to get +6 Attack, and at that point, I find the difference in Base Power to be negligible. The only time I regret not having Outrage is against other Bulk Up Dialga, so I always to straight to Groudon when I see one. In essence, Dragon Claw is consistent with the balanced theme of my team, turning Dialga into both a tank and sweeper. Aside from that, Dialga gets the job done when Groudon and Lugia are out of the picture. Come to think of it, Skarmory stops Dialga cold too, which is further illustration why Rayquaza is a fantastic partner to lure and kill a variety of threats. Overall, Bulk Up Dialga is one of my favourite Ubers Pokemon due to its ability to wall so much and also sweep. Stall teams often crumble to Dialga once Groudon is out of the way, and offensive teams often find it difficult to hurt Dialga thanks to its impressive bulk. With Rayquaza luring its counters and the rest of the team’s proper support, it comes as no surprise that Dialga often rips through teams or closes out games completely.
This issue's featured Uber RMT showcases two rather underutilized sets of the extremely powerful and versatile Rayquaza and Dialga. Rayquaza is often seen as a physical Swords Dance variant or Dragon Dance variant, but rarely as a mixed variant outside of the lead position. Similarly, Dialga is more commonly seen as a Stealth Rocker on offensive teams in the current Uber metagame, while Bulk Up sweepers, like the set seen on this team, are relatively rare. Team 'Teenage Wasteland' by Iconic (regretfully he's Canadian... just joking) is your basic bulky offense team that relies on team members to remove common counters to Bulk Up Dialga. Even if a Bulk Up Dialga sweep is unsuccessful, Iconic's choice of other Uber Pokémon are more than good enough to net him a win, giving him the #1 position on the Uber ladder shortly after posting the team.
Iconic's bulky offensive onslaught starts with the extremely frail yet strong Deoxys-F. Although Deoxys-E might seem better suited for this sort of team, since it’s able to set up more hazards, Deoxys-A plays an extremely important role for Iconic—it is his anti-lead and often nets him an early advantage. Since most leads in the Uber metagame will Stealth Rock turn one, running an all-out attack Deoxys-A should lead to a 6-5 start for Iconic. Opposing Deoxys-E are 2HKOed by the combination of Shadow Ball and Extremespeed. Shadow Ball also hits the occasional Mew lead for rather heavy damage. Grass Knot covers lead Groudon and Kyogre in one moveslot. Superpower hits Dialga and non-Scarf Darkrai leads, and also can KO Blissey thinking she can come in for free. Focus Sash as an item is a no brainer for a lead as frail as Deoxys-A.
Because Iconic's lead Deoxys-A doesn't carry Stealth Rock, he has to slot it on his next Pokémon, Groudon. Stealth Rock is extremely important for this team in helping beat opposing Lugia that believe they can wall Bulk Up Dialga. Groudon is the defensive backbone of this team, insulating Iconic against powerful threats such as Dragon Dance / Swords Dance Rayquaza and Swords Dance Lucario. Groudon also provides insurance against Rain Dance teams, since it instantly changes the weather upon switching in. Thunder Wave is an excellent choice for a team like this because the overall team is rather slow, and paralysis helps out Dialga in the late-game tremendously. Earthquake and Dragon Claw round out Groudon's set, dealing with the aforementioned Lucario and Rayquaza.
Iconic's revenge-killer is a pretty rare one by the current standards of the Uber metagame: Kyogre. Often seen as a Choice Specs variant, Kyogre adds necessary speed to this so far rather slow team. Additionally, having dual-weather Pokémon on the same team prevents the uncommon Rain or Sun teams from causing problems. Kyogre's moveset is quite simple, and is the same as the Choice Specs set. Water Spout heavily damages all common Uber Pokémon at full health barring Palkia and Latias/Latios. Surf is for late-game sweeping, when Kyogre's health is low. Thunder allows Kyogre to revenge-kill opposing Kyogre. Ice Beam hits Latias and Latios for super effective damage, as well a possible Giratina or Giratina-O switch-in.
A sort of glue for all well-crafted Uber teams is Scizor, and Iconic employs the services of Choice Band Scizor on this team as well. Scizor's Steel-typing is invaluable in the Uber metagame, allowing it to take random Dragon attacks from the likes of Scarf Palkia and Latias / Latios. Choice Band U-Turns are just as powerful in Ubers as they are in OU, and keep offensive momentum on Iconic's side. Bullet Punch is invaluable at picking off weakened opposing Pokémon such as Darkrai, Deoxys-A, and Rayquaza. Pursuit is solely for Latias, as Latios and Mewtwo commonly carry a Fire-type attack. Superpower hits incoming Heatran and Dialga for KO's.
Iconic's offensive behemoth on team 'Teenage Wasteland' is none other than Mixed Rayquaza. Mixed Rayquaza is so dangerous in the Uber metagame because Rayquaza is primarily seen as more of a physical threat than special threat; players often overlook that Rayquaza has base 150 attacking stats from both the physical and special side, making it the most powerful mixed sweeper available. The combination of Outrage and Draco Meteor means Rayquaza has extremely strong moves on both the special and physical side, meaning nothing can safely switch-into its attacks. Draco Meteor often catches incoming Groudon for a KO, as Groudon can counter both physical Rayquaza sets but succumbs to Mix Ray. Once Groudon is out of the way, Bulk Up Dialga has a much easier time sweeping.Flamethrower deals with the Steel-types that try and wall Rayquaza, such as Scizor, Metagross, and Jirachi. Extremespeed adds another priority attack alongside Scizor's Bullet Punch that helps out against opposing frail offensive Uber teams.
The star of this team is Bulk Up Dialga, and Iconic has done a nice job supporting a BU Dialga sweep. With Groudon commonly removed by either Rayquaza's Draco Meteor, nothing can really stop Bulk Up Dialga from sweeping. Its unique typing allows it to take a large amount of hits on the special side, such as Palkia Spacial Rends and non-Specs Kyogre Ice Beams. With a few Bulk Up boosts not even Groudon can stop it without a critical hit. Iconic has chosen Dragon Claw over Outrage as the sole attack; although the loss in power is rather significant, this change allows Iconic to boost in the face of Pokémon such as Scarf Kyogre. Rest and Sleep Talk add to Dialga's longevity, and allow damage output even while sleeping. Because this team is so focused on removing Steel-types and Groudon, Bulk Up Dialga often sweeps without difficulty.
Although Iconic's 'Teenage Wasteland' team is an excellent showcase of a bulky offensive team with a set plan to win, it does have some issues. Specs Kyogre is a really big threat because everything on the team is 2HKO'd by a Specs Water Spout at full health, including Dialga. Non-Specs versions are much easier to handle, however something will likely die to Specs Kyogre upon entry. Baton Pass chains are also a bit of a pain for this team. Without knowing what the recipient of boosts are, it's difficult for Iconic to play around the odd Deoxys-S lead to Mew Baton Pass. Groudon can handle Dialga recipients, but if something like Rayquaza comes in instead something is dying. Finally, a well-played Giratina-O can cause issues for this team, especially the mixed spin-blocker set, because of the amount of Pokémon it defeats on this team. Earthquake-less versions are defeated by Dialga easily, but ones with Earthquake often require Rayquaza to revenge-kill.