Featured UU RMT: "LonelyBalance" by LonelyNess

Original team by LonelyNess,with commentary by Twist of Fate.
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With the recent removal of Crobat, Shaymin, and Honchkrow from the UU metagame, we felt that it was important to analyze a UU team that utilized these suspects to their maximum potential. Team LonelyBalance by LonelyNess is an offensively-oriented team with the ability to take hits; through resistances, LonelyNess has the luxury of both hitting opposing teams hard as well as taking hits in return. For those that might have missed his RMT thread, here is a closer look at Team LonelyBalance.

LonelyBalance

First Glance:

Moltres Shaymin Crobat Quagsire Regirock Honckrow

At first glance, you might think that I have a massive Stealth Rock weakness… and I do, however the unique combination of Pokémon, coupled with Crobat helps to alleviate this weakness through sheer force. Simply put, if my team never gives the common users of the move an opportunity to bring Stealth Rock in to play, I never have to worry about it. That was the main goal of this team.

In Depth:

The Lead

Moltres
Moltres @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 68 HP/188 Spd/252 SAtk
Modest nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Fire Blast
- Air Slash
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Roost
Why This Pokémon?

Here is my favorite Pokémon on the team. My lead’s main purpose was not to try and stop the opponent from setting up Stealth Rock through Taunt, but through threat presence. This Moltres says to my opponent “I’m not gonna stop you from laying rocks, but if you do choose to do so, you’re losing a member of your team." This alone is enough to stop many people from using that first turn to set up rocks (as the viability of “suicide” leads is far less in UU where every team member counts for much more). Most times Moltres will get a sweep on its own, or cripple the opponent to the point where one of my other Pokémon can continue where it left off. I put Moltres in the lead position because I tend to play it very suicidally, in addition to that, it fends off the common lead users of Stealth Rock like Steelix, Registeel, Kabutops, and Omastar. Really, the only Pokémon that can afford to set up Stealth Rock against me is Uxie, and it does it in exchange for its life as even the bulkiest Uxies are 2HKOd by Fire Blast.

Why This Set?

Fire Blast will do a number to anything that doesn’t resist it, and even things that do resist it are hard pressed to take very many of them. For instance, your standard Slowbro takes 40% from one… Azumarill takes around the same. Even Milotic is taking 37% on average from this attack. Nothing is safe, especially not if it’s been previously worn down. Air Slash is really nice for that occasional flinch. Most people play very conservatively with their Fire resist, so if you can hit them with a Fire Blast, normally you will get a free chance to hit them with a possible Air Slash while they try and recover some HP loss. If I fail, no harm no foul, I just switch out, but if I get lucky then bam, I’ve just opened up a huge gap in their defenses. HP Grass is there because it rounds out coverage nicely on quite a few things. It nabs quick KOs on Pokémon thinking they can take a Fire or Flying attack and set up Stealth Rock (like Omastar and Kabutops) or thinking they can come in for some quick recovery and stall (like Gastrodon). Roost rounds out the set because Moltres is incredibly bulky, even though you wouldn’t know it to look at it. The EVs are pretty general. Special Attack is maxed to get every bit of oomph out of Moltres that I can. Speed sits at 263 which outpaces base 70+ Pokémon. The rest are dumped into HP for general purpose bulkiness. I couldn’t live without this Pokémon on my team.

The Offensive Duo

Shaymin Crobat

Crobat and Shaymin make an excellent offensive combination. They both act like perfect magnets for Pokémon that the other takes advantage of. Shaymin brings in Roserade and Chansey… Crobat brings in Rock and Steel-types. They both work together in order to wear each other’s counters down to the point where one or the other can make a break away sweep. Also, they both help keep SR off the field immensely. Crobat through Taunt makes it so that if your opponent uses its Crobat counter for their Stealth Rocker… they’re not getting Rocks up, period. Shaymin pretty much does the same thing that Moltres does. It says to my opponent “yeah you’ll get rocks up, but at what price?” They’re an offensive match made in heaven that keeps my opponent on his toes the entire match.

Shaymin @ Life Orb
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Seed Flare
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Rock]
- Synthesis
Why This Pokémon?

As said before, it helps with the Stealth Rock prevention, and has amazing synergy with Crobat, but not only that, but he is the perfect switch-in to the water types that Moltres attracts so heavily, and because Moltres is such a threat, they rarely attempt to do anything but Surf meaning Shaymin gets in for relatively free. I also like this Pokémon because every one of its teammates can take advantage of one common Shaymin switch-in.

Why This Set?

Seed Flare is a no brainer. It provides instant power and an immediate threat to my opponent. The other two moves are for coverage. Earth Power is there because I dislike the idea of giving mixed Arcanine free reign on my parade (since if SR is up, and they bring it in, I’m done for). HP Rock is a new addition because lately the amount of SubRoost Moltres and Articuno has been rising… it’s nice because it maintains the coverage on flying foes while only really losing a bit of power against Altaria (although I still keep 2X effectiveness.) and some coverage on Grassers like opposing Shaymin and Roserade. But with Crobat and Moltres around, those guys aren’t that huge of a problem. Synthesis rounds out the set just like on Moltres because this thing forces switches like no other, and there are plenty of opportunities to get some free recovery (like against a Milotic when he might or might not go to Crobat. Either way I avoid the prediction battle all together by going with Synthesis).

Crobat (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Brave Bird
- Taunt
- U-turn
- Roost
Why This Pokémon?

I think the more apt question would be why NOT this Pokémon? If you’re playing UU right now, and you’re not using Crobat, you’re a fool. Crobat single handedly checks a ridiculous amount of offensive threats and maintains my team’s stability. It also keeps stall from setting up entry hazards… and what’s even better is that it has the ability to sweep all on its own… Couple that with amazing staying power through Roost, and the scouting capabilities of U-turn, and you have yourself a staple on any UU team, and definitely the star of the show on this team.

Why This Set?

Because it gets the job done. I forgo Substitute or Whirlwind’s prediction aiding qualities for U-turn because on an offensively balanced team such as this, the prediction aid is less helpful as the momentum gain that U-turn can provide. Not to mention that U-turn’s chip damage quickly adds up on my opponent. When you add Stealth Rock, U-turn, and a few Brave Birds to the damage, very few Pokémon can hope to stay healthy long enough to keep Crobat in check. Brave Bird is there because… what else was I gonna use, Aerial Ace? Taunt keeps my team from being destroyed immediately by certain Stat Boosters, as well as keeps stall in check by restricting recovery and the amount of entry hazards they can get up. The EVs are probably horribly inefficient, but on this team I definitely wanted the added power so I decided to forgo Defensive EVs all together in lieu of max Speed and Attack. It’s ok though because Crobat’s unique resistances from its typing gain it plenty of free switches on Grass, Fighting, and Ground attacks of which are abundant in UU.

The Crazy Glue

Quagsire Regirock

Yes that’s right… you’re seeing that correctly. That’s a Quagsire and a Regirock. You must be thinking why in God’s name are those two Pokémon on such a henceforth offensive team? Simple… without them I’d get torn to pieces by so many things. These two are the only thing holding my team together and as such, glue is definitely an apt name. Don’t be fooled though, these two are tailored to pack a punch in addition to taking hits.

Quagsire (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP/252 Atk/4 SDef
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Curse
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
Why This Pokémon?

Quagsire earns his spot because of two things and really two things only. Water Absorb… and that Ground typing. These two things together afford Quaggy an amazing amount of free switches. I absolutely need this guy to come in on Milotic, Azumarill, Feraligatr and any number of water type threats that would like to come in on Moltres and wreck havoc. Along with the Water immunity, it comes in on Rock type threats that my Crobat didn’t get the jump on with U-turn and sponges those Rock Slides and Stone Edges that they like to spam. One less noticed thing about Quagsire is that he brings in the Pokémon I love to see the most: opposing Shaymin. This thing lures those in so fast, but nearly my entire team can take advantage of Shaymin, that it’s more a good thing than a bad thing most times.

Why This Set?

Why am I putting max attack on a Pokémon with only 85 Base Atk? Because this isn’t old UU anymore kiddoes. Quagsire doesn’t wall stuff any more… shit hits too hard now. So rather than fruitlessly trying to wall stuff that I have no hopes of walling, I’d rather take a hit when I need to, and dish out a super effective hit or at least a hard smack with Earthquake. Curse is there because once the opposing Grass type is out of the way (which it will be eventually), Quagsire can actually make a sweep. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s beautiful.

Regirock @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 232 HP/164 Atk/20 Spd/92 SDef
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Stone Edge
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Explosion
Why This Pokémon?

Because every team needs a solid Crobat switch-in, and not only that but one that can threaten with an OHKO if it gets cheeky and tries to Taunt you. Regirock plays a very specific role on my team. It takes the hits of Crobat, Ambipom, and other Pokémon long enough for them to be worn down to where one of my other Pokémon can make a sweep. It’s also pretty much my only 100% check to Yanmega (or should I say 80% check… Stone Edge is the worst attack in Pokémon).

Why This set?

Stone Edge goes instead of Rock Slide for one simple reason: power. I want it to OHKO Crobat, not do 80%. I want Shaymin to be hit for 60% on the switch-in, not a paltry 40. I want Milotic and friends to regret that decision to come in and try and threaten my team. If I didn’t go with Stone Edge, Regirock ceases to be a threat to anything and is only half as useful. Stealth Rock is self explanitory… it’s there because you need it (it also forms my only defense against Rain Teams). Earthquake rounds out coverage with Stone Edge and gives me a more reliable means of damaging things I don’t really feel like risking 80% accuracy against (like Arcanine). Explosion is for when I’ve got nothing left to live for and I want to go out with a boom. It’s also my “oh shit” button for when I’ve fucked up and need something dead immediately. I’ve even been known to Explode just to get rid of a Substitute that I couldn’t afford a Pokémon to have (like against SubFlail Pinser).

The Standalone Behemoth

Honckrow
Honchkrow (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Super Luck
EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Sucker Punch
- Drill Peck
- Night Slash
- Superpower
Why This Pokémon?

Ah, Honchkrow… good ‘ole Honchkrow. This team would be rather mediocre without it. Not only does Honchkrow act as a psuedo-glue keeping certain things in check (like Rain teams, Psychics, and Ghosts), but it’s likely the only thing keeping my team alive versus full stall. Because most times Stealth Rock is off the field, my opponent is going to have to feel the brunt of TEN attacks from this behemoth. Few teams can withstand four or five, much less all ten (which is why so many teams {myself included} rely on Stealth Rock to mitigate its effect on the battle). This guy sweeps, he wall breaks, he glues… he does it all. He’s the previously unsung hero of this team (I just tooted his horn quite a bit there so he's no longer unsung)

Why This Set?

Drill Peck rips faces off. Night Slash abuses luck to the fullest. Superpower breaks walls. Sucker Punch punishes faster all out attacking foes. The only thing I can really say about this set is that it’s the only one worth using on Life Orb Honchkrow. Oh, and why Super Luck over the more consistent Insomnia? Well… imagine how many times you get criticaled during a battle. Then double it. Then submit your opponent to it. Truly hellish.

A quick glance at this RMT shows that LonelyNess's strategy revolves around constantly keeping pressure on his opponent. Each of his Pokémon are capable of sweeping through opposing teams through solid type coverage and relatively high base attack stats. Shaymin and Moltres put pressure on the special side, while Crobat and Honchkrow provide physical abuse. Regirock and Quagsire, although commonly seen as defensive Pokémon, carry their fare-share of offensive weight on the team through powerful STAB attacks.

The Moltres lead keeps pressure on the opponent from the start of the battle, with its threatening STAB Fire Blast and Air Slash, along with HP Grass to deal with pesky bulky waters. Through offensive presence, Moltres can push out a lot of the common UU leads, such as Roserade, Yanmega, and Uxie. Roost only increases survivability of Moltres, allowing it to continually come in and wreak as much havoc as possible.

The offensive onslaught continues with Shaymin and Crobat. Shaymin provides an easy switch-in to bulky waters that often come in on Moltres. Hidden Power Rock is quite the surprise to things such as Moltres and Articuno; although Hidden Power Ice is more common, not much coverage is lost transitioning to Rock other than the 4X damage on Altaria. Seed Flare and Earth Power are standards on the set, maintaining both coverage and power, while Synthesis provides recovery necessary for longevity. Crobat was perhaps the greatest revenge-killer in the UU metagame, with the ability to check a plethora of offensive threats. The simple combination of Brave Bird and U-Turn allow Crobat to basically dominate the UU tier. Taunt prevents the set-up of Stealth Rock and Spikes, the former of which has the potential to really trouble this team. Recovery in the form of Roost is almost a staple of every member of this team.

Every UU team should have some stall-breaker, or else heavy stall would be extremely difficult to break. LonelyNess used perhaps the best form of physical wall-breaking in the metagame: Honchkrow. With its great type coverage through Night Slash, Drill Peck, and Superpower, nothing could safely switch into Honchkrow. Adding the extra critical hit hax through Super Luck is only adding to Honchkrow's potential in the UU metagame. Common walls such as Registeel, Regirock, Steelix, and Omastar are all defeated by Superpower, while faster yet frail Pokémon such as Mismagius, Espeon, and Ambipom are dealt with through Sucker Punch. Pokémon common to stall teams such as Roserade, Hitmontop, and Milotic are also hit hard by Honchkrow, making it difficult for entry hazards to be set up by opposing stall teams.

With all this offense, LonelyNess added two Pokémon that are both bulky and offensive at the same time. Regirock and Quagsire provide key resistances to the team, as well as various attacking options for continued pressure. Regirock provides Stealth Rock support to its teammates, something that all offensive teams need to operate at full potential. Explosion provides a last-resort type move that can bring momentum into LonelyNess's favor, perhaps removing a problematic Pokémon from the opponent's team. Quagsire provides both a Water and Electric immunity for the team to work around, meaning things like Feraligatr and Azumarill are not as threatening as perceived. The Rock resist is also quite handy, making Quagsire a great switch to the Regi's as well.

If Team LonelyBalance has one issue, Stealth Rock could be considered a problem. Both Crobat and Honchkrow are weak to Stealth Rock, which limits their potential switch-ins (mostly the latter, as the former has recovery and is quite fast). If Honchkrow is limited in its wall-breaking abilities, stall teams will give this team quite the trouble. Substitute + Focus Punch in general give this team major problems because of the offensive nature of the team, meaning something will probably have to be sacrificed in order to deal with them. Subpunching Azumarill, although somewhat uncommon, is something specifically problematic. Finally, Yanmega can give this team problems with enough damage to Regirock. Considering it survives Honchkrow's Sucker Punch, Stealth Rock must be set-up to make Yanmega a non-issue.

In conclusion, Team LonelyBalance showcases the power of the current UU suspects. Through ideal team support and a heavy offensive mindset, LonelyNess has created a team that can withstand the majority of the underused metagame.

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