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Zebstrika (M) @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
Hidden Power [Grass]
This thing is hands down the best Scarfer in NU. Even with a Modest nature, it has enough speed to outspeed Adamant Scarf Cinccino, Choice Scarf Charizard, Gorebyss, Modest Ludicolo under rain, Victreebel and Exeggutor in sun and many more Pokemon. Lightningrod is also an amazing ability since it prevents teams from just Volt Switching around against me. Although it's shown as the first Pokemon here, I rarely lead with it. Sawk and Emboar are much more content at taking out common leads such as Regirock and Golem. The moveset is pretty simple, Volt Switch being the most used move to prevent me from losing momentum while still OHKO'ing Swellow and putting a huge dent into Charizard/Braviary/Gorebyss. Thunderbolt is for those times when I need a stronger attack to KO something or to sweep a weakened team. It should be noted that it doesn't always OHKO Charizard and only does around 90% to Braviary, so staying in on those to Thunderbolt is a risky business. Overheat is a great coverage move, hitting grass Pokemon in general and Sawsbuck/Victreebel/Exeggutor in particular. Hidden Power [Grass] is more of a filler than anything, but it hits Golem and Quagsire which can come in handy. I have been thinking about replacing it with HP Ice to handle the rare DD Altaria and Shelgon better, but I'm not sure, so I'd like some input on that. The EV's maximize Speed and Special attack while a Modest nature gives me a very welcome damage boost. Timid isn't necessary because it doesn't outspeed anything notable and misses a few key KO's.
Kangaskhan (F) @ Choice Band
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
Kangaskhan is a monster. Its above average defenses and speed make switching it in pretty easy; once it's actually on the field, very few things can stop it reliably. It is also the Pokemon that can clean up the best, thanks to its great neutral coverage and speed. STAB Double-Edge boosted by Choice Band is a fearsome weapon; even more so when helped by Scrappy, allowing Kangaskhan to hit ghostly foes such as Haunter, Drifblim and Misdreavus very hard, 2HKO'ing them all at the very least. Earthquake hits Rock and Steel types hard, the only two types that resist Scrappy Double-Edge. Sucker Punch is an useful priority move, but being locked into it can prove hazardous; it should only be used when absolutely needed. Ice Punch is used very rarely, but it comes in handy against Torterra or when Ice Punch hits the Pokemon that is out as well as a likely switch in (for example, Vileplume is out and my opponent has a Golem). The EVs are once again self explanatory. Attack and Speed are maxed; Kangaskhan has great bulk even without HP investment. I went Jolly over Adamant because it outspeeds Key threats such as Rotom-S, non-Scarf Sawk and Magmortar as well as most other Kangaskhan. Adamant could be really useful for the extra power, however, especially against Pokemon like Tangela.
Emboar (M) @ Choice Band
EVs: 160 HP / 252 Atk / 96 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
Emboar is, in my opinion, the single best Pokemon in NU right now. Being able to 2HKO every single Pokemon except for Alomomola is huge and it's even better when you consider that it's one of the few Pokemon that have absolutely no problem with Tangela, the premier physical wall. Combined with Sawk, Emboar provides a nearly unwallable offensive core; very few teams can even handle one of those two consistently, so 2 Choice Banded Fighters are simply too much for a majority of teams. Flare Blitz and Superpower are the obvious STAB attacks; between the two of them, Emboar can 2HKO everything except very specific counters such as Alomomola, Altaria and the rare Lampent. Head Smash smashes through both Altaria and Lampent while also OHKOing Armaldo (which can survive Flare Blitz and Superpower). Wild Charge gives me a more reliable attack than Superpower against Water Types and can 2HKO Alomomola. Maximum attack with an Adamant nature ensures that Emboar hits as hard as possible. 96 Speed EVs give me 190 Speed, enough to outspeed max Speed Adamant Golem and Armaldo as well as 0 Speed Samurott. The remaining EVs were dumped into HP to provide more bulk, since I make use of Emboar's excellent typing pretty often.
Sawk (M) @ Choice Band
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
Sawk completes my Fighting Pokemon core by being another excellent offensive presence. Trading Emboar's bulk for higher speed, he is the one who usually cleans up after Emboar punches holes into the opponents team. Close Combat is Sawk's main move, and pretty safe to spam if Sturdy wasn't broken yet. It does huge damage to everything that doesn't resist it, knocking Tangela around for ~40% and pretty much 2HKO'ing everything else without a resist. Stone Edge gives Sawk a move to hit Flying types, in particular Golbat and Drifblim, who would otherwise completely wall him. Earthquake rounds off the coverage by hitting grounded poison types such as Garbodor and Muk extremely hard, as well as doing slightly more damage against Duosion, Musharna, and Vileplume than Close Combat. Reversal gives Sawk an extremely powerful weapon should his Sturdy get activated, 2HKO'ing Tangela with ease and maiming absolutely everything that doesn't resist it. The EVs are nothing special, I just maxed speed and attack because Sawk has a very useful speed tier (Magmortar sits just below it), so I made full use of it by also going for a Jolly nature.
Musharna (M) @ Choice Specs
EVs: 180 Def / 252 SAtk / 56 SDef / 20 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
Hidden Power [Fighting]
Musharna was more of an afterthought than anything, but it still fills a great niche on my team. Being able to sponge strong Fighting attacks that would demolish the rest of my team, as well as luring out Dark types such as Absol and Skuntank (and subsequently Baton Passing) that my Fighting core can take advantage of. Psychic was taken over Psyshock because of its raw power; missing out on hitting Flareon and Cryogonal hard can be annoying at times, though. Hidden Power [Fighting] hits all Dark-types except for Skuntank hard, OHKOing Absol and Cacturne most of the time. Shadow Ball allows me to OHKO Jynx and do huge damage to other Musharna; it also hits other psychic types such as Duosion extremely hard. The EVs let Musharna hit hard while still taking hits; maximum special attack EVs with a modest nature make it hit as hard as possible. 20 Speed EVs are there to outspeed other Musharna, which rarely run as many Speed EVs as I do. 56 Special Defense EVs let me survive a +2 White Herb Gorebyss Surf, even after Stealth Rock damage, as well as taking other special attacks slightly better (LO Cryogonal will never 2HKO without SR, for example). The remaining EVs were put into Defense because Musharna gets so much more out of that than if I put them into HP, because the former is much lower than the latter.
Braviary (M) @ Choice Band
Trait: Keen Eye
EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
Braviary is my last Pokemon, and the final one of my 4 Choice Banders. It is an incredibly dangerous wallbreaker, easily crushing cores such as Tangela/Quagsire/Misdreavus, against which Emboar and Sawk would have a hard time. U-turn is also a crucial part of getting my two Fighting types in safely; Braviary can U-turn while they switch to a Steel- or Rock-type to wall it, which Emboar and Sawk can abuse easily. Brave Bird is Braviary's STAB move and guaranteed to destroy everything that does not resist it; even Alomomola and Shelgon stand a good chance to be 2HKO'd by it. Frustration is also a very important attack for Braviary, OHKOing most Rotom-S' trying to switch in as well as heavily denting every other Electric type. It's also great when the bird is low on health and can't take any more recoil. U-turn is very important for the team as a whole, giving Sawk and Emboar ample free turns to do their thing. It also OHKOes Exeggutor without taking recoil! Superpower is used very rarely; most of the time U-turning out is the better option, but it does have its moments (killing a Scarf Rampardos that tries to switch in, for example, since it can actually do a lot of damage to Sawk before dying). The EVs are, once again, nothing too special. 216 Speed with an Adamant nature allows me to outspeed Adamant Absol. I don't find speed tieing with other Braviary too tempting, so I decided to put 40 EVs into HP instead. 252 Attack EVs with an Adamant nature give Braviary the power it needs.
A very interesting style of team has emerged in NU recently: one made entirely of Choice item users. This unique take on hyper offense has been used with great success by CrashinBoomBang, who reached the #1 and #2 positions on the ladder and still holds the #1 position. While it might appear that the team simply functions by spamming the most powerful moves possible, this is not the case. It relies heavily on prediction, as is the nature of Choice items, as well as strategic planning to play around certain threats to the team. Due to the sheer diversity and number of options in NU, good offense is often the best defense, as stall teams can struggle to cover every single threat. CrashinBoomBang's team is the epitome of this, giving the opponent no room to breathe from the very first turn.
CrashinBoomBang's team revolves around a core of four Choice Band users that can break through every defensive core in NU. Sawk and Emboar are the initial offensive duo, being able to break through the large majority of physical walls. Tangela and Misdreavus are among the best responses in the tier to Sawk, and Emboar has no problem switching in on either of them and using its incredibly powerful Flare Blitz to destroy either the walls themselves or a switch-in. Similarly, Sawk can prevent defensive behemoths such as Regirock from spoiling Emboar's fun. While a combination of these walls can often slow the team down, this is where the prediction aspect of the game comes in, as Emboar can easily hit Regirock with Superpower or Misdreavus with Flare Blitz as they switch in. As if this wasn't enough power, CrashinBoomBang also utilizes Choice Band Braviary, which is famed for having close to zero hard counters in NU. Its sheer power allows it to 2HKO Alomomola, which has exceptional physical bulk. In addition, Braviary can use U-turn to keep momentum on its side, as well as rack up damage and wear down Rock- and Steel-types attempting to switch in. The fourth and final Choice Band user is Kangaskhan, the Pokemon this team is credited with popularizing. While it does not hit as hard as the other three Choice Band users, it is significantly faster and makes excellent use of its ability, Scrappy. This allows Kangaskhan to achieve near-perfect coverage with just Double-Edge and Earthquake and makes it capable of cleaning up weakened teams once the other three have done their work. Musharna, despite holding Choice Specs, is somewhat of a defensive anchor to the team, preventing opposing Sawk and other Fighting-types from running straight through it. It also provides a fallback option for breaking through Tangela or Alomomola, if the Choice Band users somehow fail to do their job. Zebstrika provides some much needed Speed to the team, and with a Choice Scarf, it is one of the most effective revenge killers in NU. With blistering Speed, it can outrun even weather sweepers in the sun or rain, such as Gorebyss, Exeggutor, and Victreebel. Its Lightningrod ability also prevents opposing teams from freely using Volt Switch and makes Zebstrika an excellent check to the common Rotom-S. In addition, Zebstrika is also an incredible momentum Pokemon, slowing the opponent's momentum and then grabbing it for itself.
This team works because absolutely nothing in NU can stand up to the sheer power of the four Choice Band users. They eliminate each other's counter with ease, allowing a teammate to go to town on the rest of the opponent's team. While the team lacks a certain amount of synergy defensively, it makes up for it by having such an incredible offensive presence. The team often has to work around certain threats by sacrificing a member that has already done its job, but this is simply the nature of such an offensive team.
This team relies heavily on outpredicting the opponent, and if this is not possible then it will quickly come undone. Stall teams that make use of Protect can be an absolute menace to face, as the opponent no longer has to predict, and when combined with entry hazards, this can mean a fast end to CrashinBoomBang's team as it has no recovery of any sort. While these teams can still be played around, matches of this kind become intense battles of prediction and are inevitably very close.
A few fast but frail sweepers can put big holes in this team, possibly even sweeping if Zebstrika has been removed. Both Cinccino and Tauros can spam powerful Normal-type moves while outspeeding the entire team bar Zebstrika, and hence nothing can switch into them without a teammate first being sacrificed. Haunter is another big threat, as it is immune to the powerful Fighting-type attacks this team often relies upon and outspeeds every member of the team other than Zebstrika. It becomes even more dangerous if it carries Substitute, so it must be played around very carefully. Powerful special attackers such as Life Orb Cryogonal can outspeed and force many KOs against this team, and they are particularly dangerous late-game when Zebstrika and Kangaskhan have been weakened. Similarly, Magmortar can be very dangerous if it gets an opportunity to switch in, but the sheer power of this team limits those opportunities to once per match, at most.
This team effectively captures what a large portion of NU currently is: all-out offense. One or two of these powerful threats can be contained by most teams, but when they are all combined in one team, it becomes a much different scenario. Getting such consistent results with a team based so heavily around prediction must also be congratulated.
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