Worrying About Weather

By Giga Punch. Art by Kythro.
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In the fifth generation of Pokémon, Ninetales and Politoed gained Drought and Drizzle, which automatically summoned sun and rain, respectively. This means that all four weather types can now be automatically induced within the OU metagame. With all four weather types present, the amount of playstyles one has to defend against has greatly increased.


Politoed was given the Dream World ability Drizzle, and remains as the only Pokémon in OU capable of summoning permanent rain. Key things to note about rain is that all Water-type moves receive a 50% power boost, Fire moves receive a 50% power reduction, SolarBeam receives a 50% power reduction, and both the moves Hurricane and Thunder have perfect accuracy. Several abilities are activated under rain, namely Rain Dish, Dry Skin, Hydration, and Swift Swim (though one is not allowed to have a Pokémon with Swift Swim and Drizzle on the same team). In comparison to the other three weathers, BW2 arguably provided the biggest boon to rain, with the addition of Thundurus-Therian and Tornadus-Therian, as well as the previously unreleased Keldeo. Other notable Pokémon commonly found on rain teams are Tentacruel, Breloom, Ferrothorn, Jirachi, Toxicroak, Gastrodon, Starmie, Forretress, Gliscor, Amoonguss, Dugtrio, Dragonite, Gyarados, Rotom-W, and Scizor, amongst others.

The following Pokémon fare well in combating against rain-based teams:


Its access to Spore, the only 100% accurate sleep move in the game, along with two phenomenal abilities in both Technician and Poison Heal allow it to severely damage many threats commonly found on rain teams. Breloom's Grass / Fighting typing allow it to hit most Pokémon on rain teams for at least neutral damage or better, while also providing it with a resistance to the plethora of Water-type moves seen on rain teams. Its new Technician-based set of Spore, Bullet Seed, Mach Punch, and Low Sweep / Swords Dance allows Breloom to not only disable a threat with Spore, but also outspeed faster threats through STAB Mach Punch or through Low Sweep's Speed-decreasing attribute. Jolly Breloom for example outspeeds and 2HKOes Thundurus-T and Tornadus-T with Low Sweep after Stealth Rock damage. Breloom's old Bulk Up set of Spore, Bulk Up, Drain Punch, and Seed Bomb still performs effectively and comes with the added benefit of status immunity and more longevity courtesy of Poison Heal.


Gastrodon's Water / Ground typing, along with its Water immunity via its Storm Drain ability, allows it to pose as both a defensive and offensive threat to rain teams. Access to recover along with high HP and good special bulk allow it to take most neutral hits with ease and hard counter many of the specially based Water-types found on rain teams. In fact, it only fears being worn down by Toxic damage or Hidden Power Grass, but note that even Choice Specs Politoed's Hidden Power Grass fails to OHKO. A tank set of Ice Beam, Earth Power / Earthquake / Scald, Toxic, and Recover allows Gastrodon to go the defensive route while a Choice Specs set of Surf, Ice Beam, Earth Power, and Hidden Power Grass / Recover grants perfect neutral coverage and allows Gastrodon (with a potential Storm Drain boost) to deal heavy damage to even those that resist Water and threaten Gastrodon, such as Ferrothorn and Amoonguss.


Courtesy of its newly released Dream World ability, Regenerator, Amoonguss now possesses the ability to act as a check to most Water-types, Thundurus-T, Breloom, and a few others commonly seen on rain teams. Access to Spore, a high HP stat, good special bulk, and Regenerator allow to threaten many Water-types with STAB Giga Drain or Spore and remain at high health via Regenerator. Its dual Grass / Poison typing also provides it with an extra boon as it allows it to absorb Toxic Spikes from Tentacruel or Forretress, two Pokémon commonly seen on more defensive rain teams. Spore, Giga Drain, Hidden Power Ice, and Clear Smog remains as its best set for dealing with rain teams, though the options of Seed Bomb and Foul Play remain as move alternates.


Ferrothorn's Grass / Steel typing, good special and HP allow it to take most Water attacks with ease and begin setting up hazards or simply attack via STAB Power Whip. BW2 move tutors now allow Ferrothorn to utilize Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Leech Seed all on one moveset, while its Iron Barbs ability ensures that the few Rapid Spin users that it cannot hit for super effective damage, such as Forretress and Tentacruel, cannot spin away hazards without taking damage.


Virizion's Grass/Fighting typing, base 108 Speed, and base 129 Special Defense allow it to take many weaker special attacks with ease as well as out speed the majority of Rain teams and hit hard from either side of the attack spectrum. Three differing attack options such as Calm Mind special, Swords Dance physical, or Work Up mixed allow it to have different options and surprise some of its checks. One should keep in mind that Virizion does usually have to rely on the powerful but inaccurate STAB Focus Blast for special sets, while physical sets are somewhat outclassed by Technician Breloom.


A Water / Electric typing along with the ability Levitate gives Rotom-W a single weakness to Grass moves while STAB Electric moves, especially Volt Switch, allow Rotom-W to severely damage rain teams as well as keep up offensive momentum. Access to Will-O-Wisp and Pain Split help preserve its longevity while offensive based sets can utilize Choice Scarf or Choice Specs to outspeed and revenge threats, dish out heavy damage, or simply cripple something via Trick. Specially defensive sets can now serve as a reliable check to the increasingly common Tornadus-T while still resisting the majority of moves seen on rain teams. Rain further helps Rotom-W by making its STAB Hydro Pump stronger. One should be cautious of simply spamming Volt Switch against teams carrying Thundurus-T, who regains HP via Volt Absorb, outspeeds non-Choice Scarf versions, and severely damages Rotom-W.


With the exception of Choice Scarf users and Tornadus-T, Starmie's base 115 Speed allows it to outspeed just about everything rain teams generally carry. Base 100 Special Attack, the Natural Cure ability, and access to both Rapid Spin and Recover allow Starmie to ensure hazards are generally kept off the field; it fears nothing from Tentacruel, Forretress, and many other hazard setters. A set of rain-boosted STAB Surf or Hydro Pump, along with BoltBeam and Rapid Spin, serves as a more offensive spinner, while a moveset of Surf, Psyshock, Recover, and Rapid Spin allows Starmie to go the more defensive route and hit the newly released Keldeo, Tentacruel, and Amoonguss, amongst others. For those not wanting to utilize Rapid Spin, Choice Specs serves as another offensive alternative with the ability to cripple something via Trick.


Courtesy of rain's ever-increasing popularity along with new special threats, Chansey's Eviolite-boosted defenses allow it to wall a large portion of specially based attackers and weaker physically based Pokémon with ease. Its Natural Cure ability allows it to remain status-free upon switching out, access to both Wish and Softboiled grant it reliable recovery, and Seismic Toss lets it deal consistent damage. All these traits allow Chansey to serve as a defensive threat to many rain teams.


A resistance to both Water and Electric moves along a high base 110 Speed allow Latias to outspeed and either set up on or severely damage the majority of rain teams. One should be aware that because of Latias' typically defensive approach, it can be walled by common Steel Pokémon used on rain teams such as Jirachi, Ferrothorn, and Forretress, all of which can set up entry hazards, attack, or status Latias while taking little damage thanks to a reduced Fire weakness and Dragon-type resistance.


Celebi's resistance to Water- and Electric-type moves, along with access to Recover, Natural Cure, and solid defenses allow it to function as an offensive and defensive threat to Rain teams. Celebi can severely damage the water types seen on rain and serve as check against common Electrics seen on rain such as Rotom-W and Thundurus-T. Similar to Latias, defensive Celebi may be easily walled by Steel-types while offensively inclined Celebi do not face that problem. Access to Calm Mind, Nasty Plot, Earth Power, and Hidden Power Fire allows Celebi to beat all Steel-types commonly seen on rain teams with the exception of Skarmory.


Two Pokémon are capable of summoning permanent sand in OU; they are Tyranitar and Hippodown. Key things to note about sand are the 50% Special Defense boost to any Pokémon with a Rock typing, 1/16 HP damage every turn to any non-Rock-, Steel-, or Ground-type Pokémon, and those that have sand-based abilities. Notable Pokémon to be aware of are Tyranitar, who becomes capable of taking most neutral special attacks and many weaker super effective attacks—even STAB-boosted ones—with ease, while Terrakion will only fall in one hit to the strongest super effective attacks or Psyshock when at near max HP. Abilities activated under during sand are Sand Veil, Sand Force, and Sand Rush. BW2's newest addition to sand comes from Landorus-T, which sports Intimidate, a massive base 145 Attack stat, and the same Ground / Flying typing that made Landorus so good in BW1. Another notable addition is Gliscor's ability to use either Roost or Stealth Rock in conjunction with Poison Heal.

These Pokémon fare well in combating sand-based teams:


It has access to the only 100% accurate sleep move in the game, Spore, as well as a choice of two great abilities: Poison Heal, which bypasses sandstorm's passive damage and provides it with an immunity to status, or Technician, which allows it to deal heavy damage to most sand-based Pokémon. With its Grass / Fighting typing and resistances to many moves commonly seen on sand-based teams, it can stand against many sand threats. The Bulk Up set stands out as Breloom's best set against sand teams for those looking for a more defensive route, as it possesses the threat of Spore, and its increased Special Defense alongside Bulk Up allows it to pose a threat to Pokémon such as Tyranitar, Landorus, and Rotom-W, general walls commonly found on sand teams; with enough Defense boosts, even Scizor, Gliscor variants without Acrobatics or Swords Dance + Ice Fang, and Terrakion, amongst others, won't be able to take Breloom down in one hit. Technician on the other hand allows pure offense with Spore, Bullet Seed, Mach Punch, and Swords Dance / Low Sweep, and enables Breloom to outspeed some faster threats courtesy of Low Sweep, either to use Spore or hit hard with STAB Mach Punch.


The newly released Keldeo can act as a heavy offensive threat to sand teams. Its Water / Fighting typing, base 108 Speed stat, access to Calm Mind, and resistance to most of Tyranitar's and Scizor's attacks make it a large threat. Secret Sword, which targets Defense instead of Special Defense, also ensures that Rock-types that obtain a Special Defense boost even in sandstorm can be OHKOed.


Another Pokémon with a Grass / Fighting typing that resists moves commonly seen on sand teams such as Stone Edge, Crunch, Earthquake, Volt Switch, and Hydro Pump, Virizion—as opposed to Breloom—poses a much more offensive threat. It's high base Speed stat of 108, along with three differing attack options, such as Calm Mind special, Swords Dance physical, and Work Up mixed allow it to hit many Pokémon on sand-based teams for super effective or neutral damage. One should keep in mind that, unlike Breloom, it is not immune to status, and has to rely on the powerful but inaccurate STAB Focus Blast to be able do the most damage to opposing sand teams that resist Grass moves.


Also possessing a Grass typing and Earthquake resistance, it does well against the VoltTurn combo. Its signature move Seed Flare aids in allowing it to do as much damage as possible even to those who resist Grass because of its Special Defense-lowering properties, and it can use the appropriate Hidden Power for Scizor or Gliscor. The Natural Cure ability allows it to remain free of status whenever it switches out, utilize Life Orb for a higher power boost, and provide reliable recovery with Rest. Its good overall bulk, high Speed stat, and 2x weakness to U-turn differentiate it from Celebi and preserve its longevity.


Starmie's main allure is its access to the rare move Rapid Spin, which allows your team to remain hazard-free. It also has a high base 115 Speed stat, which lets it outrun the majority of the unboosted OU metagame, and great type coverage. It's ability Natural Cure allows it to remain free of status when switching out; it also has an instant recovery move to preserve its longevity. One must be aware, though, that Starmie's Water / Psychic typing provides it with powerful STAB Water moves, but comes at the cost of a weakness to Volt Switch and U-turn.


Reuniclus's unique ability Magic Guard allows it to take no damage from hazards or sandstorm. This is further boosted by its great overall bulk and two commonly seen movesets of Trick Room, which uses recoil-less Life Orb, perfect neutral coverage, and the move Trick Room to outrun opponents, and Calm Mind , which boosts its Special Defense to untouchable levels. Access to Recover allows it to stay healthy throughout the match, and its bulk is high enough that even Choice Band Scizor and Tyranitar fail to always OHKO it.


Commonly seen on opposing sand teams, its excellent ability Levitate, typing, movepool, and single weakness to Grass moves allow it to threaten many common sand Pokémon. Immunity to Spikes as well as Toxic Spikes, access to Will-O-Wisp and Pain Split, Trick, STAB Volt Switch and Hydro Pump, and finally Trick allow it to function as both an offensive and defensive threat as well as a decent revenge killer.


Slowbro's Water / Psychic typing, high physical bulk, amazing ability in Regenerator, and access to an instant recovery move in Slack Off allow it to pose a threat, both defensive and offensive, to sand teams. Slowbro can stand against many of the physically based offensive threats sand teams generally carry, such as Landorus, Terrakion, and Gliscor. Though it is also weak to the VoltTurn combo, as well as Dark moves, even strong Choice Band users such as Tyranitar and Scizor fail to OHKO Slowbro, while Slowbro always has to chance to burn any of these Pokémon with Scald or paralyze with Thunder Wave.


Courtesy of its newly released Dream World ability, Regenerator, Amoonguss now posses the ability to act as a check and general annoyer to many sand teams. Access to Spore, a high HP stat, good special bulk, and Regenerator allow to threaten sand teams with constant threat of Spore, while it can now prove quite useful in a Fire / Water / Grass core with potential teammates such as Heatran, Gastrodon, Quagsire, and Slowbro to deal with those that resist its Grass attacks.


Ninetales and its pre-evo form Vulpix were given the Dream World ability Drought, and remains as the only Pokémon in the OU metagame that can summon permanent sun. Key things to note about Sun is all Fire moves receive a 50% power boost while all Water moves receive a 50% power reduction. The moves Hurricane and Thunder have their accuracy reduced to 50%, the move SolarBeam no longer needs one turn to charge, and the move Growth provides a +2 boost to both Attack and Special Attack. Pokémon with the ability Chlorophyll are commonly seen on sun teams as they have their Speed doubled. Other abilities affected under sun are Leaf Guard, Dry Sun, Forecast, Solar Power, and Flower Gift; the move Weather Ball also becomes a 100 Base Power Fire move. Notable Pokémon commonly seen on sun teams are Venusaur, Sawsbuck, Lilligant, Dugtrio, Heatran, Darmanitan, Victini, Donphan, Forretress, Volcarona, Latios, Latias, and Hydreigon. BW2 provided sun with a few notable changes: Ninetales now receives a form of recovery in Pain Split, Volcarona and Hydreigon, two key sun Pokémon, now have access to Roost, and Venusaur can now use Giga Drain with Chlorophyll, which was previously illegal.

These Pokémon fare well in combating against sun-based teams:


Heatran stands out from the rest as one of the main Pokémon that causes problems for all sun teams, as it 4x resists most of the Grass moves seen on sun teams, is immune to Fire, and also packs boosted STAB Fire moves to use against many sun Pokémon. It is one of the main reasons other than Tyranitar that many sun teams commonly carry a Dugtrio. Few Pokémon on sun teams have moves to hit Heatran for even neutral damage, aside from generally Hidden Power Ground or the physical types seen on sun sporting only one move for Heatran.


While Breloom's Fire weakness is increased under sun, its newly released Technician ability makes it a threat to all weather types, and sun is no exception. Technician Low Sweep allows Breloom to outspeed and 2HKO or simply Spore many faster threats that do not receive a Chlorophyll boost. Venusaur and the uncommon Victreebel are the only threats typically seen on sun that receive a Chlorophyll boost and resist Breloom's STAB Mach Punch. Swords Dance variants also pose a threat simply because Breloom can switch in on the various support Pokémon typically used on sun, such as Forretress and Donphan, Spore, set up, and hit hard with priority. Faster threats that are either Stealth Rock weak or frail, such as Volcarona, Latios, Victini, Darmanitan, and Latias only need to have taken some damage previously for Breloom to get past them. Venusaur and Dragon-type Pokémon such as Latias, Latios, and Dragonite are the most common checks a Sun team carries that can switch into Breloom. Volcarona losing half of its health due to Stealth Rock means it can not reliably serve as a check consistently. Sun teams that only carry Venusaur as their Breloom check are also liable since offensive Venusaur typically does not carry leftovers and Venusaur can be worn down quickly by field hazards or Breloom simply attacking.


Newly received access to Roost, as well as Earth Power, along with a resistance to many moves commonly seen on sun, good overall bulk, and a high base 125 Special Attack to fire off Dragon- and Fire-type moves makes Hydreigon a large threat to sun. Hydreigon now no longer has to use Focus Blast as its only option against Heatran and can retain the same good bulk that ensures many boosted resisted attacks and some weaker Hidden Power Ice will fail to OHKO it.


The same Dragon typing as Hydreigon along with slightly higher Special Attack and a Speed stat of 110, which outspeeds most Pokémon on sun not receiving a Chlorophyll boost, allows Latios to cause large problems for sun. Specially defensive Heatran, which is common on sun, can serve as a check to most Latios since its Surf's power is reduced, but Volcarona, fellow Dragon-types, and the move the U-turn are typically all sun teams carry to take down Latios as quickly as possible.


Essentially all the things that make Latios such a large threat to sun apply to Latias, but with the added benefit of taking less damage overall. It cannot do as much damage up front as Latios can, but its ability to simply set up Calm Mind and Recover in the face of many things means it remains a large threat both defensively and offensively.


The ability to OHKO or 2HKO the majority of sun team Pokémon, especially Ninetales, makes Terrakion an issue, especially because it is generally used on opposing weather. Sun teams best general 'safe' switch-in for Terrakion is generally along the lines of Forretress, Donphan, Latias, and Latios. The typically seen Focus Sash Dugtrio also fails to OHKO Terrakion as well. Lilligant and Sawsbuck are the only Chlorophyll users that outspeed Choice Scarf Terrakion, as most rarely use a Speed-boosting nature.


In the same manner that Chansey and its huge defenses courtesy of Eviolite wall the majority of rain teams, this also holds true for sun. Outside of Victini, Darmanitan, Dugtrio, and a select few others, sun teams are generally special based. All of these Pokémon can be worn down and beaten simply by the combination of Seismic Toss and Toxic while failing to do any significant damage that can just be healed off via Softboiled. Venusaur remains as one of the few exceptions as Growth and Giga Drain allows Venusaur to beat Chansey.


Most sun teams typically only have Heatran as their Flying-type resistance, which allows Gyarados the chance to set up and beat most sun teams. While the power of its STAB Waterfall is decreased, sun teams do not generally carry much that can outright OHKO Gyarados. The Substitute + Dragon Dance set further adds to this by ensuring that Gyarados remains status-free while boosting.


Another Dragon that poses a large threat to sun teams, Dragonite's resistance to Grass, Fire, and Bug moves allows to deal with most sun sweepers with relatively little difficulty. This is further complemented by its ability Multiscale and solid defenses. Keeping Multiscale intact allows Dragonite to survive Dragon-type moves. Strong priority in the form of Extremespeed allows Dragonite to pick off weakened or frailer sweepers. Both Choice Band Dragonite and Offensive or Defensive Dragon Dance sets can cause severe problems for sun as Heatran and Forretress are generally all that resist Dragon-type moves on sun teams.


Abomasnow and its pre-evo form Snover are the only Pokémon capable of summoning permanent hail. Key things to note about hail is 1/16 HP passive hail damage to all Pokémon that are not of an Ice typing, and 100% accurate Blizzard. Abilities affected by hail are Snow Cloak and Ice Body, which raises one's evasion or provides 1/16 HP recovery respectively. Hail did not receive many notable changes in BW2, aside from Kyurem now having access to Roost as well as Earth Power, and Mamoswine's ability to use Thick Fat with certain moves, such as Stealth Rock. Notable Pokémon commonly seen on hail teams are Kyurem, Mamoswine, Heatran, Tentacruel, Gliscor, Conkeldurr, Terrakion, Forretress, Rotom-W, Starmie, Froslass, Jellicent, and Magnezone, amongst others.

These Pokémon fare well in combating against hail-based teams:


With its Fire / Steel typing, Flash Fire ability, and good bulk, Heatran can sponge a majority of moves used on hail teams and hit back hard with STAB Fire moves coming off base 130 Special Attack. Whether specially defensive variants or offensive variants, Heatran will always pose a large threat to hail especially considering Earth Power deals with opposing Heatran and can 3HKO Tentacruel, a common Pokémon hail teams employ as their Fire resist. Stealth Rock also serves as a more indirect threat to the Ice-types that are weak to Rock, or simply the majority of hail teams that are neutral to Rock but no longer gain back HP because of hail damage.


Mamoswine, courtesy of move tutors, now no longer has to worry about illegal move combinations and can now sport Thick Fat as its main ability. Thick Fat provides it with a resistance to Ice and neutrality to Fire. While it may not prove the easiest task to get Mamoswine in unscathed, as hail teams still pack a large amount of moves that severely dent Mamoswine, but once in, its STAB Ice / Ground combination along with Superpower allow it to severely damage or OHKO many things typically seen on hail teams. Its Ice typing also grants it immunity to hail damage, which could otherwise wear down Life Orb variants.


STAB Iron Head, good special bulk along with a high HP stat, and recovery in the form of Wish are just some of things Jirachi has to function against hail teams. From its paralyzing Specially Defensive variants to its more offensive Calm Mind sets, it can act as a general annoyer or threat to the majority of hail. One should be aware though that Jirachi is no longer as great a check as it once was to Kyurem because of the latter's access to Earth Power.


Scizor can easily wear down a hail team via STAB Bullet Punch, U-turn, or Superpower. It needs to be wary of Hidden Power Fire from the likes of Abomasnow, but many hail teams usually only have Heatran and Tentacruel as resistors of Scizor's moveset. Heatran is of course OHKOed by Superpower, while a recovery-less Tentacruel can be worn down over time.


In a similar manner to Mamoswine, Breloom may have a hard time getting in without taking noticeable damage, but once in, its biggest issue is probably Life Orb and hail damage racking up on Technician-based sets. Bullet Seed and Mach Punch will severely damage if not OHKO the majority of hail teams, while Spore, as always, lets it disable a Pokémon and continue plowing through the remainder of a team. Jolly Breloom has the added benefit of outspeeding Adamant Mamoswine, and most slower variants of Gliscor as well.


Its Magic Guard ability grants it immunity to passive hail damage for sets utilizing Calm Mind and Recover, while Trick Room variants can use Life Orb and Trick Room to outspeed and take down the majority of Pokémon commonly seen on hail teams. Access to Calm Mind and Recover, along with a high HP stat and solid defenses, allows it to slowly set up and become a threat to the passive damage-oriented styles of most hail teams.


Conkeldurr poses a serious threat to hail teams as hail rarely has anything that can OHKO it. Its high base 105 HP along with decent base 65 Special Defense allow it to OHKO Ice-types and Heatran while regaining any HP lost thanks to STAB Drain Punch. Priority in the form of STAB Mach Punch allows it to dent the many things that outspeed it but are hit hard by it in return. BW2 providing it with Ice Punch via move tutors now means that non-Acrobatics Gliscor is no longer a good check to it as well. Tentacruel, who resists both Drain Punch and Ice Punch, will usually lose in the end to the Bulk Up set simply because its Scald is weak and burning Conkeldurr simply results in Tentacruel taking more damage.

The above weather lists are not all inclusive but rather help provide a good general idea of what works well against each weather type. Overall, Breloom, Reuniclus, Gyarados, and Gastrodon fare well against all weather types.

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