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Ever since the dawn of the BW OU tier, weather has been a major factor to many teams. The majority of all BW OU players have always relied on weather-supporting Pokemon to be successful. But is weather really necessary for a successful team? Is it a must to have a weather-inducing Pokemon? Or can teams thrive without the vitalities bestowed upon weather supporters? This is the main focus of this article: to investigate the significance of weather in the OU metagame.
Essentially, there are four main Pokemon in the OU tier that induce weather: Tyranitar, Politoed, Ninetales, and Hippowdon. As you can see, Abomasnow, with its ability to summon Hail, is not commonly used (enough to grant itself the position of OU). According to the latest usage statistics (June 2011), Abomasnow was ranked 76 with a usage percentage of 1.9629%. This is far below the OU cutoff of 3.4%. So why is Hail so horridly unused? Well, as it stands out, Abomasnow has too many faults to compete with other weather supporting Pokemon like Tyranitar and Ninetales.
Tyranitar is ranked #2 in the BW OU usage stats. Abomasnow has no way of safely setting up Hail against Tyranitar as a lead because most Tyranitar leads are typically slower than Abomasnow, as they tend to be Quiet or Sassy in Nature. Not only that, but the typical mixed Tyranitar lead carries Fire Blast, deterring Abomasnow from coming in. The other common Tyranitar, including Choice Scarf or Choice Band, are equally detrimental to Abomasnow. Ferrothorn (ranked #1 in usage) and Scizor (ranked #3) are also widespread among the OU metagame, giving any Hail team a very hard time. Another critical weakness is that Abomasnow and many other benefactors of Hail tend to be very weak to Stealth Rock. Stealth Rock, as we all know, is an extremely common supporting move used in almost every well-built team. Often a Rapid Spin user or a Pokemon with Magic Bounce is required to keep it off the field. Even though Abomasnow has an incredibly low usage in the OU metagame, it does not mean Hail teams are inferior to all other weathers. Many people have tested Hail with great results, some even making it to the top of the leaderboards with it.
We have a general idea of why Hail isn’t so popular, but what makes Sandstorm, Sun, and Rain supporters so popular? Well for one thing, weather provides many advantages to a great number of Pokemon. For instance, while Sandstorm is in effect, all Pokemon who are not of the Steel-, Rock-, or Ground-types will lose 1/16 of their maximum HP at the end of each turn. Pokemon with the Sand Veil ability increase their Evasion by 20% and are immune to Sandstorm's damaging effect. Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis only restore 25% of the user's maximum HP. All Rock-type Pokemon will have their Special Defense raised by 50% for the duration of the sandstorm. Additionally, Pokemon with the Sand Rush ability have their Speed doubled, while Pokemon with Sand Force have their Rock-, Ground- and Steel-type moves boosted by 30%. Both of these abilities provide immunity to Sandstorm's damaging effect. All of these are key attributes of Sandstorm.
If we are to take a closer look at the OU tier, we can see how Sandstorm-oriented it is. The top three ranked Pokemon in the tier are immune to Sandstorm’s damaging effect (Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, and Scizor) with Gliscor, another Sandstorm immune Pokemon, being #5 in usage. Excadrill, who is ranked #8 in usage, benefits from the Sandstorm with both its abilities (Sand Rush and Sand Force). Landorus, at #33 in usage, benefits from its ability (Sand Force). Both Tyranitar and Terrakion (at #24 and rising ever since Garchomp’s ban) benefit from the 50% Special Defense increase from the Sandstorm.
Now what about rain? With Politoed's new ability (Drizzle), it is able to instantly summon permanent rain. What attributes does the rain have? Well, the Base Power of Water-type moves will be increased by 50% and the Base Power of SolarBeam and Fire-type moves will be decreased by 50%. Also, the moves Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight will recover only 1/4 of the user's maximum HP. Both Thunder and Hurricane will be 100% accurate under rain. Pokemon with the Rain Dish ability recover 1/16 of their maximum HP at the end of each turn when it is raining. Pokemon with the Dry Skin ability will regain 1/8 of their maximum HP at the end of each turn when it is raining. Pokemon with the Hydration ability will be relieved of any status ailment after each turn when it’s raining, even self-inflicted status such as Rest. And finally, the ability Swift Swim doubles the user's Speed stat in rain. But this ability combined Drizzle in one's team is forbidden.
Even after the banishment of Swift Swim in combination with Drizzle, rain has thrived in the BW OU metagame. Politoed is ranked #4 in the usage stats, with 16.9758% of all players of the Smogon BW OU ladder relying on Drizzle on their team. This means that in almost every one in six battles you play on the ladder, you will encounter a team that relies on rain. So what Pokemon benefit from the rain in the OU tier? Ferrothorn (ranked #1 in usage) and Scizor (ranked #3 in usages) both benefit from the 50% decrease in their weakness to Fire-types. Politoed (ranked #4 in usage) and Rotom-W (ranked #7 in usages) both benefit from the added 50% boost to their Water-types moves. Add to this Jellicent, Starmie, Gyarados, Vaporeon, Tentacruel, Swampert, Cloyster, all of which benefit from the 50% increase to their Water-type moves along with another 50% boost due to STAB. Pokemon with the potential to use Thunder, such as Latios, Rotom-W, Thundurus, Dragonite, Jirachi, Starmie, Magnezone, can use the move without any fear of missing. Furthermore, Hurricane users such as Dragonite and Tornadus enjoy having its accuracy increased to 100%. Pokemon with Hydration, such as Vaporeon, are able to cure all their status ailments.
The other dominant weather supporter is Ninetales and its Drought ability, which summons sunlight in battle. What are the attributes of sunlight in play? The Base Power of Fire-type moves will be increased by 50% and the base power of Water-type moves will be decreased by 50%. In addition to this, the moves Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight will recover two-thirds of the user's maximum HP, and SolarBeam will not require a turn to charge. It also lowers the accuracy of Thunder to 50%. Pokemon with the Chlorophyll ability will have their Speed stat doubled.
There are quite a few sunlight-abusing Pokemon in the OU tier that have made the cut-off simply because of Ninetales's mediocre usage. Ninetales is currently ranked #27 in the usage stats. This could be for similar reasons to Abomasnow's lack of usage, as both are weak to Stealth Rock and Ninetales is unable to subdue Politoed and Tyranitar, due to being weak to both Rock- and Water-types. Even though Ninetales isn’t as popular as Tyranitar or Politoed, a well constructed team that makes use of the sunlight can be extremely hard to handle. With the sunlight up, OU Pokemon like Ninetales, Heatran, Volcarona, Infernape, Chandelure, and Darmanitan all have the power of their Fire-type moves increased by 50% along with another 50% boost from STAB. The sunlight also doubles the speed of common Chlorophyll ability users such as Venusaur, Tangrowth, Lilligant, and Sawsbuck.
We can make a good deduction that almost all teams that rely on weather only use one weather supporting Pokemon: Tyranitar, Politoed, Ninetales, Hippowdon, or Abomasnow. With this deduction and the evidence portrayed in the latest usage stats, if we add up all their usage, we get an aggregate of about 52%. This means that about half of all teams you will encounter rely on weather. With this notion of how weather-oriented the BW OU metagame is, can we really say that weather is a must-have for all successful teams? Or are the other halves of BW OU players that don't rely on weather just bad players with weather-weak teams? In order to answer these questions, we would have to investigate deeper. We would have to postulate a good generalization of what an ideal weather-less team would look like in an environment full of weather users. To formulate this ideal weather-less team, we would need to use our understanding of the common abusers of all four weathers (Sandstorm, Rain, Sunlight, and Hail). If we can successfully create a team of six Pokemon with a sufficient list of usable Pokemon that are able to handle all opposing weather teams, then we can conclude that teams that do not rely on weather are indeed viable.
To begin with, we'll first analyze the components of a Sandstorm team. As mentioned above, a typical Sandstorm team would either have Tyranitar or Hippowdon as its supporter to set up Sandstorm. The most common Tyranitar sets are the common mixed Stealth Rock set, Choice Scarf Tyranitar, and Choice Band Tyranitar. So what Pokemon are there that can handle all three Tyranitar sets? Well, a Choice Band Scizor set could be used to outspeed the standard mix Tyranitar lead and Choice Band Tyranitar, dealing 86.14% - 101.73% damage to the standard 252 HP EV users with an U-turn. A Choice Scarf Tyranitar set is able to outspeed Scizor, but it is unable to OHKO Scizor without Fire Punch (which is a rare move for any Choice Scarf Tyranitar). Choice Band Scizor is able to Bullet Punch it, dealing 87.72% - 103.52% or it can U-turn it for a 101.75% - 120.18% damage. A typical Poison Heal Gliscor is able to handle both Choice Scarf and Choice Band Tyranitar with ease, but unable to counter standard mixed Tyranitar that carry Ice Beam. Conkeldurr is an excellent counter, being able come in and defeat all Tyranitar sets with ease due to its incredible bulk. Other Pokemon (not reliant on weather) that could be classified as good counters to Tyranitar are: Rotom-W, Swampert, Scrafty, Machamp, Terrakion (fears Superpower), Donphan (fears Ice Beam), Milotic, Quagsire, Virizion (fears Ice Beam and Fire Blast), etc. So there are quite a number of Pokemon that can take on Tyranitar and not rely on weather to do so. What about Hippowdon? Well, Hippowdon is typically a physically defensive Pokemon. It lacks some significant special bulk since Sandstorm doesn't boost its Special Defense like it does to Tyranitar (since Tyranitar is a Rock-type). Here's a list of some viable Pokemon that could be used to handle Hippowdon: Gengar, Latios, Reuniclus, Rotom-W, Jellicent, Starmie, Hydreigon, Vaporeon, Cloyster, Swampert, Kingdra, Celebi, etc. So as we can see, we have quite a number of ways to handle both Tyranitar and Hippowdon as supporters of Sandstorm.
Now what about other abusers of Sandstorm like we mentioned? One of the biggest abusers is Excadrill; with Sand Rush, this guy is able to double its speed when under Sandstorm. Excadrill has a very dangerous base 135 Atk stat with access to Swords Dance, making it even more of a deadly sweeper. It can also act as a spinner. If we want to handle this guy with a weather-less team under Sandstorm, we would need ways to not rely on another weather to nullify its ability. This means that we would have to deal with a Pokemon that is able to out speed almost everything in the metagame under sandstorm. Gliscor is a great Pokemon to counter Excadrill, as it can evade Earthquake and take Rock Slide or Frustration / Return really well due to its amazing base 125 Def. Conkeldurr is able to come in on Excadrill and KO weakened ones with Mach Punch (dealing 63.81% - 75.41% to variants with no defensive investment). Infernape is able to revenge kill weakened Excadrill with Mach Punch, courtesy of its Iron Fist ability along with Life Orb, doing 73.76% - 87.02%. Mach Punch from standard 252 Atk Adamant Breloom will also allow you to defeated weakened Excadrill, doing 60.5% - 71.27%. Air Balloon users such as Heatran, Terrakion, and Lucario could revenge kill Excadrill, but aren't that viable if the Air Balloon pops. Other Pokemon that could do fairly well against Excadrill are defensive Rotom-W, Bronzong, Landorus, Donphan, Slowbro, Quagsire, Virizion, etc.
Landorus is another powerful abuser of Sandstorm with its Sand Force ability, raising the power of its Rock- and Ground-type attacks by 30% under Sandstorm. This would be too much for many Pokemon to handle. A Calm Porygon2 with Eviolite was once able to counter Landorus in a weather-less environment, but is now unable to counter Landorus in Sandstorm as a Life Orb-boosted Earthquake will 2HKO. Unfortunately, there aren't many ways to counter Landorus with its boosted power. A Choice Band Scizor's Bullet Punch will deal 55.49% - 65.2% damage to Landorus. Gliscor is unable to do anything to a Landorus with Hidden Power Ice (which is very common). Some Landorus carry the move Rock Polish, doubling their speed. This becomes very difficult for Pokemon that once outsped Landorus, such as Latios, Gengar, Starmie, Espeon, Choice Scarf Hydreigon, Thundurus, Terrakion, etc. A physically defensive Skarmory does a good job of walling Landorus, as Landorus would only do 38.62% - 45.51% with Life Orb Stone Edge in Sandstorm. Bronzong is arguably the best Pokemon to handle Landorus, having great physical defense, immunity to Earthquake, and being a Steel-type. The only thing Bronzong fears is being hit by Smack Down and then KOed by Earthquake. Ice Shard users such as Mamoswine, Donphan, and Cloyster could also be used to beat Landorus. Virizion is also an excellent Pokemon to handle Landorus, resisting Earthquake and Stone Edge, while having an awesome base 129 Special Defense to take Hidden Power Ice nicely.
Rain teams are one of the biggest threats to a team built without weather. This is mainly because there are just so many abusers of rain, that without another permanent weather changer, it becomes very hard to stop them. Since the rain boosts the power of Water-type attacks, Pokemon such as Choice Specs Politoed, Rotom-W, and Starmie become very hard to deal with. Pokemon that greatly resist special Water-type moves such as Ferrothorn, Blissey, Chansey, Celebi, Latias, and Gastrodon are all great checks to these threats. Rotom-W is a different story, as it is able to inflict burn with Will-O-Wisp on Ferrothorn and Gastrodon (crippling them). Blissey, Chansey, Celebi, and Latias with Refresh are all great checks to Rotom-W, being able to heal off a burn.
Other common threats in rain are the abusers of the move Thunder, since Thunder has a 100% accuracy in the rain. Rotom-W and Starmie are also other great abusers of Thunder in the rain. But again, the aforementioned list of checks are still viable against them. Thundurus becomes an even greater threat with the added boost, having a chance to OHKO specially defensive Jirachi with Life Orb + Nasty Plot + Thunder. The best checks for Thundurus would be Pokemon that are able to resist its powerful STAB Thunder and take on Focus Blast nicely. Sadly, there aren't that many Pokemon that are able to do that. Some mentions for Thundurus checks are specially defensive Quagsire, Gastrodon, Porygon2, Chansey, and quite a lot of Choice Scarf users that are able to come in safely and OHKO it. Quagsire and Gastrodon both resist Thunder and are able to take Focus Blast nicely after a Nasty Plot. Quagsire is probably the best Thundurus counter out there due to its ability, Unaware. Unaware allows it to negate all status boosts, making Thundurus's Nasty Plot futile against it. Porygon2 is also a nice check with the item Eviolite and the ability Trace. Eviolite doubles its already beastly Special Defense stat and Trace copies Thundurus's Prankster ability, allowing Porygon2 to outspeed Thundurus and inflict paralysis with a priority Thunder Wave.
Hurricane is another move that gets its accuracy raised to 100% with rain up. This allows Tornadus and Dragonite to abuse STAB Hurricanes. Common checks to these Pokemon are specially defensive Jirachi, Bronzong, Blissey, Chansey, and Porygon2. Specially defensive Jirachi and Bronzong are an awesome checks to both Pokemon, especially as the rain stops Fire Blast and Fire Punch from dealing any significant damage. Porygon2, with its Trace ability, can Trace Dragonite's Multiscale and Tornadus's Prankster, allowing it to beat both of them with ease with its awesome defenses (thanks to Eviolite). Blissey and Chansey are just the goddesses of Special Defense; they don't need to resist Hurricane to stop it.
The final threat in the rain is Toxicroak. Toxicroak isn't as popularly seen in the metagame, but is one of those Pokemon that could give you a hell of a time in OU. Toxicroak runs two different sets, both very dangerous. Its more common set is the standard Bulk Up / Substitute / Drain Punch / Sucker Punch set, which has a great way of sweeping a team with 12.5% recovery from rain with Dry Skin, plus 6.25% recovery from Leftovers, giving a total of 18.75% recovery per turn! This set is, however, easily stopped by Pokemon such as Gliscor and Skarmory. Its other set utilizes Ice Punch to take down Gliscor. Since Ice Punch with Drain Punch is illegal, Toxicroak has to rely on using Cross Chop instead. The typical set for this Toxicroak is usually Ice Punch / Cross Chop / Sucker Punch / Swords Dance or Substitute with Life Orb. This set is a bit harder to handle since the number one counter to Bulk Up Toxicroak, Gliscor, is unable to counter it anymore. Thus, you would have to rely on using a very physically defensive Pokemon such as Skarmory to take it down.
Like the other weather teams, Sunlight can be a very big problem to any weather-less team. The main reason for this is that Chlorophyll users such as Venusaur, Sawsbuck, Tangrowth, and Lilligant get a "free" Speed boost. This allows them to outspeed most Pokemon who lack a Choice Scarf. For Venusaur, Sawsbuck, and Lilligant, you will have to rely on a good priority user such as Choice Band Scizor or Choice Band Dragonite to defeat them. Heatran is a great counter for Venusaur, Lilligant, Tangrowth, and Sawsbuck that lack Hi Jump Kick. Reuniclus is also a good check. Blissey with Flamethrower can handle both Venusaur and Lilligant. Physically defensive Pokemon such as Skarmory are able to handle Sawsbuck. The other big threat in a sun team is the power boost to Fire-type moves. Heatran, Volcarona, Infernape, and Darmanitan all get their Fire-type attacks raised to immense power. There is almost nothing that can come in on a Fire Blast from Heatran in the Sun safely, especially when the power of Water-type attacks are decreased by half. A good counter would be Trace Porygon2, being able to trace Flash Fire and stop Heatran dead. Darmanitan and Infernape also become very hard to stop, where your best bet would be using something like defensive Gyarados with Intimidate to stop them. Volcarona is another deadly beast under the sun, being able to easily sweep any team without a decent counter or revenge killer. With Sunlight up, Volcarona can use Fiery Dance, boosted by STAB and sun, and with a 50% chance of raising its Special Attack by 1 stage. With the sun, the power of Water-type attacks are decreased 50%, making it harder to beat Volcarona with a Water-type Pokemon. With Quiver Dance, Volcarona is able to raise both its Special Attack and Special Defense even more, making it almost impossible to take down! Heatran serves as a good check to Volcarona, as long as Volcarona isn't carrying Hidden Power Ground. Dragonite, Gyarados, and Salamence are all able to handle Volcarona to an extent as long as Volcarona lacks Hidden Power Rock. Terrakion resists both Fiery Dance and Bug Buzz, but not Hidden Power Ground, so it's a decent check as well. Chansey is a great special wall, so it can beat Volcarona with Seismic Toss. Specially defensive Quagsire is an excellent check, being able to neglect that stat boosts with Unaware. However, the biggest asset against any sun team is to have a good Stealth Rock supporter. Stealth Rock reduces Volcarona's health by 50%, making it a less threatening Pokemon.
Now that we know the components of successful weather teams and how we can handle them, I will be sharing a very successful team that does not require any sort of weather supporter to be successful on the Smogon Standard OU ladder. Aldaron recently hosted a challenge for the #dreamworld IRC channel. The idea of the challenge was simple, to get as high as you can on the ladder with a team that does not have a permanent weather supporter. Click here for the complete rules. During this competition the player Lamppost was the most successful player during the whole challenge, consistently having the highest rating among all other competitors and consistently peaking in the top 5 on the Standard OU leaderboard. Thanks to Lamppost, I can share his team and use it as a great example of a team that does not require weather to be successful. Here is the importable text to his team:
I first built this team to participate in the "#dreamworld challenge", which was to attempt to get #1 on the ladder with a weather-less team. I peaked at #1 with this team at approximately a 1470 rating. I built the team around Conkeldurr and Trick Room Reuniclus, because in my opinion, they were the two best non-weather sweepers out there. Plus, they both take out the majority of each others counters making them the ideal sweeping duo for a non-weather team. The team really isn't anything special, Choice Band Dragonite and Choice Specs Rotom-W both open up holes in teams so Reuniclus or Conkeldurr can sweep. This is without a doubt my most successful team, and i wish i had built it while i was still in the WCOP because i think i would have done much much better (i went 2-2). Anyways, since almost everyone knows this team, i figured it was a good time to post it. So here it is!
Deoxys-S @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Fire Punch
When I build non-weather teams, i almost always include Deoxys-S, just because he almost guarantees Stealth Rock and one layer of Spikes on the field. I almost always lead with Deoxys so i can get my hazards quickly. The only times i don't lead with it are when the team has a spinner like Starmie or Donphan, because i don't have a spinblocker to stop them. This set is great for catching Tyranitar and Forretress off-guard with Superpower and Fire Punch and giving me the momentum early. This guy right here needs more use, he is the best hazard setter in the game atm.
I started running Superpower back in round 2 of the suspect tests because EVERYONE was using Tyranitar (everyone still does) and i never looked back. I've probably never used a Deoxys-S without Superpower, actually. I used to run Magic Coat over Fire Punch to beat Taunt / T-Wave Thundurus and opposing Deoxys-S, but it was kind of unreliable. I started to run Fire Punch to beat Forretress who is commonly sent out against me to lead.
Rotom-W @ Choice Specs
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Grass]
I had never used Choice Specs Rotom-W prior to making this team, only Scarf and the Standard set. I needed something to pair with CB Dnite to bust through walls so Conkeldurr and Reuniclus could sweep, so i ended up picking this guy. Trust me when i say, you do not want to take an unresisted Hydro Pump from Rotom unless your name is Blissey. Seriously though, i haven't seen this set very much on the ladder so far, but i have a feeling it's going to get popular soon. Againt rain teams Rotom is so important because it checks Politoed and Starmie, which are huge threats to my team. Also a rain boosted Hydro Pump does a fuckload to anything. Volt Switch is awesome since it gives me a lot of momentum and i can go to a counter of whatever Pokemon they take the hit with (unless it's a ground-type). I like to run Thunderbolt and Volt Switch together just because i find myself needed the extra power late-game a lot of times. Hidden Power Grass is there to crush Gastrodon, who is a common switch-in to Rotom and who would otherwise wall Rotom-w completely.
Rotom-W beats Gastrodon and Jirachi who would otherwise wall Reuniclus so it can sweep easier. It also beats Gliscor and Skarmory so Conkeldurr can sweep. Rotom-W pretty much gets unlimited switch-ins to Gliscor and Skarmory, which can give me a lot of momentum since there aren't a whole lot of things that can take a specs Hydro Pump.
Dragonite (M) @ Choice Band
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Fire Punch
I put Dragonite in this team since it was the best Sun and Rain team counter. After Stealth Rock and Spikes damage it ohko's venasaur, who would sweep my team otherwise. Even without hazard damage Dragonite can take a +2 Sludge Bomb thanks to Multi-Scale. It also ohko's Volcanora with Outrage, who also sweeps my team without him. Dragonite is also my best answer to Thundurus. A banded Extremespeed ohko's Thundurus some of the time after Stealth Rock damage, and i can just revenge kill it with Scizor if i'm not at 100% health to activate Multi-Scale. This guy is the glue of the team and it checks too many threats to list.
Dragonite gets Reuniclus, Skarmory, Gliscor, Starmie, and Volcarona out of the way so Conkeldurr can sweep. It also gets Jirachi out of the way so Reuniclus can sweep.
Scizor (M) @ Occa Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Atk / 138 Def
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
This set may seem weird at first but it's actually very effective. This used to be a Choice Band Scizor to try and counter Latios, but i found that i had a huge Dragonite weakness because a Choice Band Bullet Punch just didn't do the trick. And since Dragonite was getting much more popular, i decided to start running this set. Occa Berry allows me to set up a Swords Dance on Dragonite, and put it in KO range for CB Dnite to revenge kill with Extremespeed. Occa Berry also had other uses such as beating HP Fire Celebi and latias, it never gets old watching someone get KO'd and then saying "wtf man". This set has proven really useful and can set up on a ton of things. It's also a good Haxorus check since i can take one Outrage, Bug Bite, then Finish it off with Bullet Punch. I run Roost so Scizor can stay alive a lot longer because it constantly has to switch in to Dragon-type moves like Latios' Draco Meteors.
Scizor really isn't here to clear a path for a Conkeldurr / Reuniclus sweep but it does counter Reuniclus and latios which are two of Conkeldurr's biggest counters. It also sets up on Jirachi, who is Reuniclus's biggest counter.
Conkeldurr (M) @ Leftovers
EVs: 120 HP / 252 Atk / 136 SpD
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
This is the standard Bulk Up set for Conkeldurr, and it's really effective in the current metagame. Conkeldurr is one of my two main sweepers and is my main answer to Excadrill. There isn't really much to say about Conkeldurr other than it's an absolute beast. After a Bulk up there's only a few things that can stop this guy, who are usually eliminated by the time i bring out Conkeldurr to sweep. Mach Punch makes up for how slow this guy is since it has priority. Payback is there to hit ghosts and flying-type Pokemon who otherwise wall him. Conkeldurr can even beat gliscor by itself if it is at +1 already. Again, there isn't much to say about this guy other than he is my main sweeper and is an absolute BEAST.
Reuniclus (M) @ Life Orb
Trait: Magic Guard
EVs: 192 HP / 64 Def / 252 SpA
0 Spe IVs Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
- Trick Room
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
This is by FAR my favorite set of the generation. It's so good, yet so underrated and not prepared for. There have been a lot of times where all i have to do to win is set up hazards and go straight to Reuniclus and sweep. Most of the time when they see me go to Reuniclus they pull out their CM variant counters such as Ttar, who are KO'd by LO focus blast. This is my secondary check to excadrill, since it only does around 67% to me with Earthquake if it hasn't set up a SD yet. Trick Room also benefits Conkeldurr, so if Reuniclus dies i'm not completely fucked over by slower Pokemon. This set demolishes offensive teams, while the CM version demolishes stall teams, i wish i could use them both on the same team :(.
As you can see, this team utilizes many of the checks a good weather-less team should have. Deoxys-S is the team's entry hazard supporter, being able to support both Stealth Rock and Spikes with phenomenal Speed. Superpower is given to take down lead Tyranitar and Fire Punch for Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Scizor. To handle Sandstorm threats, Conkeldurr, as mentioned above, does a variety of jobs. It takes care of Tyranitar, being an excellent switch-in, and also can revenge kill Excadrill with Mach Punch. For Terrakion, Lamppost also has a wide array of revenge killers, such as Scizor, Conkeldurr, and Deoxys-S. For Landorus, he can utilize Rotom-W, Bullet Punch Scizor, and ExtremeSpeed from Choice Band Dragonite to revenge kill. The team also does an excellent job of keeping away these set-up sweepers by not giving them a good opportunity to set up.
The team also does a great job of beating Rain teams, with Rotom-W being a powerhouse in the rain with its Choice Specs. It's able to destroy any bulky Water-type that isn't Gastrodon. But thanks to Hidden Power Grass, it can cripple Gastrodon or a rain stall team. Thundurus, even without the rain to allow it to liberally fire off Thunder, can be a pain and is a big problem to this team. The best Pokemon on this team to take care of Thundurus would be Choice Band Dragonite with ExtremeSpeed for revenge kill. Fire Punch from Deoxys-S could be removed for Ice Punch to lessen the chance of being swept. Having Ice Punch can also lessen the weakness to Dragon Dance Dragons such as Dragonite, Salamence, and Haxorus. A Choice Specs Tornadus is the Rain could also give this team a very hard time, so that's another good reason to give Deoxys-S Ice Punch. Choice Specs could be replaced for Choice Scarf so the team would have more options to revenge kill fast sweepers such as Tornadus and Thundurus.
Now against sun teams, this team also does great. Ninetales gets blown away by Choice Specs Rotom-W, while Choice Band Dragonite rips apart everything except Heatran in a sun team. Dragonite also helps against the Volcarona problem, resisting Bug Buzz and Fiery Dance. As for Chlorophyll users like Venusaur, Sawsbuck, and Lilligant, the team does excellent against them. Sunlight boosts Deoxys-S's Fire Punch, allowing it to KO all these threats. Scizor carries Occa Berry, meaning it doesn't fear Hidden Power Fire, and Choice Band Dragonite has ExtremeSpeed to revenge kill these threats if necessary. Conkeldurr can easily revenge Sawsbuck with a super effective Mach Punch. Trick Room Reuniclus is also one of the best counters to sun teams, being able to defeat Ninetales, Heatran, Infernape, Venusaur, Volcarona, Sawsbuck, Lilligant, and other abusers with ease.
Overall, this is a very solid team that has many viable checks to common weather-abusing threats. The biggest problems are fast rain abusers such as Thundurus and Tornadus, which we can lessen the weakness to by simply giving Rotom-W Choice Scarf over Choice Specs. So this brings us back to our primary question: is weather really necessary to be successful in this metagame? I believe that weather-less teams are viable in this metagame, especially with the metagame having many valid checks to these threats without the need for weather. Lamppost's team is an excellent example of a solid team that does not require the use of a weather supporter to be successful. Hopefully more people can appreciate the validity of weather-less teams, rather than always having to rely on common weather teams that we see all the time.
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