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Welcome to my first RMT ever! This is a balanced team that I used for most of the recent RU suspect round, where Cresselia and Durant were retested and eventually brought down from BL2. It showcases one of my all-time favorite Pokémon, Pinsir, who until now has been a complete non-factor in RU, but who is starting to get some attention among the RU community as people try out the new set I used here.
This team started out with a very clear goal: I wanted to test Swords Dance Pinsir. In particular, Swords Dance Pinsir with Quick Attack and Moxie. Despite being a priority move, Quick Attack is usually a bad choice for anything that isn't a Normal-type due to its poor BP and type. That, combined with the fact that it's incompatible with Close Combat, means that it's been mostly ignored from Pinsir's moveset, and many people don't even remember that it learns it. But for me, the potential of Swords Dance + Moxie + priority was too good to ignore, so I decided to give it a shot.
Given that I was building a team around Pinsir, a spinner was an obvious addition to the team. Kabutops was the clear best choice, as not only is it the best offensive spinner in RU, but it resists most of Pinsir's weaknesses and vice versa. I also needed a Dark-type that could trap the Ghosts that counter Pinsir (especially Rotom) and provide a solid answer to Cresselia; Drapion fit the bill nicely. Finally, I needed a way to spread paralysis so Pinsir wouldn't have to rely too much on Quick Attack, which requires several boosts before it starts getting reliable KOs. Cresselia was an easy choice for this job; besides being an excellent paralysis spreader, she makes just about any RU team better with her ability to safely switch into most offensive Pokémon in the tier.
From there it was a matter of filling in gaps. I needed Stealth Rock and a wallbreaker that could soften up the opponent's walls to give Pinsir a better chance to sweep, so I added Nidoqueen. The last addition was Poliwrath, whose ability to counter threats like Durant, Escavalier, Entei, Drapion, and Crawdaunt allow it to combine with Cresselia to form a very solid defensive core.
I laddered with this team for a while and did alright. I got a few very satisfying sweeps, but also a few bad losses, and I wasn't really satisfied. After getting thoroughly defeated by SilentVerse, I almost gave up on the team and SD Pinsir completely. I convinced SV to try out SD Pinsir for himself though, and he was quickly impressed with its ability to wipe out an entire team when played well. I decided to give my team another shot, but with advice from SV I replaced two members that hadn't been pulling their weight.
Qwilfish counters most of the same Pokémon as Poliwrath does, and while it's not as reliable as a wall, it adds Spikes and another paralyzer to the team, both of which help Pinsir immensely. Spiritomb gives me a third priority user and helps keep my hazards in play while still filling the roles Drapion was meant to. With these changes, the team took off, and I won my next 25-30 matches, including donking ladder enthusiast and cutest user 2011 runner-up Windong both times we played.
Pinsir @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Swords Dance
- Quick Attack
Pinsir is the reason this team exists. This set definitely needs support to succeed, but it's absolutely worth it thanks to how quickly Pinsir can end a match. Life Orb and an Adamant nature might seem like overkill given that it has SD and Moxie to boost its power, but Pinsir really does need all that power in order to get the first KO to kick off a sweep, and in order for Quick Attack to be powerful enough to prevent revenge killing. People's first answer to Pinsir is usually a wall like Steelix or Qwilfish, or at least a bulky Bug-resist like Nidoqueen or Aggron. After Swords Dance, Earthquake easily OHKOes the latter three, and it even OHKOes Steelix with enough hazards up. Once you have that first KO, things get a lot easier, because there are very few viable Pokémon in RU that can survive a hit from +3 Pinsir after hazards. We're talking Quagsire, Misdreavus, bulky Rotom, and that's about it. If you've managed to paralyze, eliminate, or heavily damage everything faster that can survive a +3 Quick Attack (it's a short list: Durant, Aerodactyl, Archeops, Drapion, and Rotom), the game is over.
Obviously I wasn't able to force a switch and grab that SD boost every game, but Pinsir was still useful even then. He can outspeed and OHKO prominent attackers like Nidoqueen, Gallade, and Kabutops, and a priority move is always useful for picking off low HP Sceptile, Manectric, etc. If Pinsir does get a KO, it puts immediate pressure on the opponent; +1 Pinsir usually won't sweep a well-built team, but it will force them to play very conservatively in order to force it out, because mispredicting and letting it get another boost could be devastating.
Kabutops @ Lum Berry
Ability: Weak Armor
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Aqua Jet
- Stone Edge
- Rapid Spin
Kabutops is pretty much universally regarded as the best spinner in RU at this point, and he was a no-brainer for this team. This is the standard offensive spin set, except with Waterfall over Swords Dance. I started using 4 attacks Kabutops a couple months ago and haven't really been tempted to go back. I don't need or expect Kabutops to sweep for this team, I just need him to consistently check things like Entei, Moltres, and Aerodactyl. Kabutops often ended up cleaning up at the end of the game if Pinsir couldn't get a clean sweep, and Waterfall's consistency was awesome for that. I used to run Life Orb, but I switched to Lum Berry to stop Smeargle from setting up on me, and it's ended up being useful for being lots of other things that would otherwise give this team trouble, like those silly Cosmic Power Sigilyphs the ladder loves so much. At first I was worried Kabutops would be too weak without Life Orb or Swords Dance, but that hasn't been a problem; like I said, he's not here to sweep, he's here to consistenlty beat the things he's supposed to beat, and he does that very well. 4 attacks Kabutops does work, whether it's Lum, LO, or CB. If you find you don't need or use SD very much, give it a shot.
Nidoqueen (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Earth Power
- Sludge Wave
Nidoqueen is almost certainly the best wallbreaker in RU. She can 2HKO just about anything in the tier with the right moves, and she can be very difficult to wear down. On this team, though, she's not really central to the offense; she's more of a glue Pokémon, here to fill a bunch of small but important roles. Her main job is to set up Stealth Rock. Pinsir has no way to deal with healthy Flying-types, especially ones that are bulky or resist Quick Attack like Moltres, Aerodactyl, and Archeops, so Stealth Rock is essential for preventing them from coming in freely and for weakening them to the point that boosted Quick Attack can finish them off. Nidoqueen is also usually my first answer to Rotom, Manectric, and Galvantula. She's my only Electric resist, and she's the only member of my team that doesn't really mind being Tricked/Switcheroo'd a Scarf or Specs, so she's the safest switch-in until I know what set my opponent is running. Other than that, Nidoqueen's job is to dish out a few strong Sludge Waves before she dies. If my opponent's team looks like it could easily be swept by Nidoqueen, I'll try to keep her out of harms way, but otherwise she's usually the first member of my team to get KOed, because outside of setting up Stealth Rock and throwing out a few Sludge Waves, she's not a critical part of the team's goal.
Spiritomb @ BlackGlasses
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
- Sucker Punch
- Shadow Sneak
Spiritomb is my spinblocker, my Rotom-killer, my Cresselia counter, and another priority user for this relatively slow team. Those are all important things for this team, but Rotom-killing is definitely the biggest, as Rotom is probably this team's single biggest weakness. There isn't really much else to say about Spiritomb. If my opponent doesn't have Rotom, Cresselia, or a spinner, then Spiritomb is pretty useless, and it's usually the first thing I sac or use as sleep fodder for Lilligant or Tangrowth. I opted for Return over Will-O-Wisp or Toxic to avoid interfering with the paralysis support provided by the last two members of the team.
Qwilfish @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 240 Def / 16 Spe
- Thunder Wave
- Pain Split
Qwilfish was once one of the most popular Pokémon in RU, but the metagame has changed a lot over the past year, and Qwilfish has fallen quite a bit as the Fighting- and Bug-types that it countered have either fallen out of favor or been banned. With Durant back in the tier and Escavalier on the rise, though, Qwilfish finally found its way back onto one of my teams. Intimidate allows it to check many of the Pokémon that give Cresselia and the rest of this team trouble, while Spikes and Thunder Wave together make it possible for Pinsir (or Nidoqueen or Kabutops) to sweep.
Cresselia (F) @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 192 Def / 52 SpD / 16 Spe
- Thunder Wave
- Calm Mind
I don't think I need to say much about Cresselia. It's the boss of RU right now, capable of walling a huge portion of the metagame. I decided to use the Calm Mind + Thunder Wave set, as paralysis support is critical for this team, and Durant and Escavalier are handled by Qwilfish and Nidoqueen so there's not much need for Hidden Power Fire. The 52 SpD EVs and Calm nature ensure Moltres will never 2HKO after Stealth Rock, the Speed is to beat Modest Omastar (and Adamant Crawdaunt, but trying to paralyze that is pretty risky), and the rest goes into physical bulk.
This was a very fun team to use, but I'm ready to move on and try something new, so I'm giving other people a chance to use the manliest bug in the world. One final piece of advice for those who planning to use this team: beware of opposing SD Pinsir!
No, seriously, this team is hilariously weak to Pinsir.
Recently, the RU metagame has been in a state of complete turmoil following the unbanning of Cresselia and Durant from the forgotten depths of BL2, as well as the decision of the UU Senate to unban Snow Warning, thus unbanning it from both RU and NU, where it had never officially been banned before its removal from UU. These changes shifted the metagame from a stage where pure offense was undeniably king, to a metagame in which balanced offense and semi-stall thrive effectively. Honko very effectively demonstrates the might of the newly freed Cresselia, while also showing how the metagame was forced to conform around it in his team, Pester Ball. The team beautifully demonstrates and helped pioneer one of the most popular defensive cores of the Rarelyused metagame today, while also being a perfect example of a team capable of taking advantage of the centralization of the metagame with Pinsir, one of the most underrated threats out there, and one of which many teams suffer heavily against.
Starting off the team is Pinsir, the integral Pokémon to the team's success. Pinsir is a highly underrated threat in the RU tier, having fallen into the forgotten realms of NU. However, due to the recent changes to the tier, most notably the advent of Cresselia and as a result the metagame's focus on Dark- and Psychic-types, Pinsir finally has its time to shine. As Honko mentioned, Pinsir is able to end games tremendously quickly when combined with Honko's array of hazards, thanks to its ability, Moxie, which makes it exceptionally difficult to play around. As Honko also mentions, Pinsir is capable of netting KOs against a number of Pokémon commonly sent in to answer it, such as Qwilfish, Nidoqueen, and Steelix, allowing Honko to immediately shift the pace of the game in his favor simply by getting a single boost. Finally, Pinsir has the nifty ability to pick off weakened Pokémon with Quick Attack, while also nabbing a Moxie boost, immediately threatening to cause significant damage to most teams.
Continuing the team is Kabutops, a Pokémon that Honko rightfully describes as being universally regarded as the best spinner in the tier. It is a natural fit for the team, due to the prominence of entry hazards in RU and the team's vulnerability to Spikes and Stealth Rock. In addition to spinning, however, Kabutops has many other significant roles in the team. It's capable of handily checking both Entei and Moltres, two Pokémon that can be very problematic for Honko, especially later in the game. Another important thing to note about Kabutops is Honko's item of choice, the Lum Berry. While many offensive Kabutops opt to use Life Orb, with the defensive variants using Leftovers, Lum Berry seems to be a bit of an odd choice. However, it allows Kabutops to successfully handle Smeargle leads, beat out all of the Ghost-types that attempt to burn it, and if need be, absorb a potentially crippling status effect sometime in the game. Kabutops also has very solid offensive synergy with Pinsir, demolishing weakened physical walls such as Steelix that might have survived Pinsir's rampage, while also pairing very well defensively with Cresselia.
Naturally, Nidoqueen lives up to its namesake as the queen of RU on this team, being the glue that really holds it together. Nidoqueen's most important role on the team is to set up Stealth Rock, a job usually relegated to a Pokémon that doesn't suffer from the issue of four moveslot syndrome. However, Nidoqueen is an excellent setter of Stealth Rock for this team, switching in on Choice-locked Electric-type moves with ease, or forcing out the many Pokémon that Nidoqueen threatens. It adds a very solid degree of offensive presence to the team, which is also handy, as thanks to its useful array of resistances and its immunity to Electric-type moves, as well as solid natural bulk, Nidoqueen covers quite a few holes in the team. Pokémon such as Rotom, Manectric, and Galvantula are all stopped from pivoting in and out against the team thanks to Nidoqueen, who also does a fair amount of damage to opposing balanced and stall based teams, usually allowing Honko to gain the upper hand fairly easily.
Spiritomb is a very important member of the team's core, patching up a number of weaknesses while serving as an all important spinblocker, beating a few of the common Rapid Spin users in RU. As Honko mentions, Spiritomb's most important job is beating out Rotom, a Pokémon that can prove very problematic to this team if given free rein. Spiritomb also fits the bill for the very important task of handling Cresselia, undeniably the single most significant threat in the RU metagame today. Between Pursuit and Sucker Punch, Spiritomb is locking all Rotom and Cresselia (as well as most Uxie, Mesprit, and Misdreavus) in checkmate positions, opening up possibilities for the rest of the team. Spiritomb also handily beats Cryogonal thanks to Honko's nifty choice of Return. No status move is used in Spiritomb's arsenal, as it would be detrimental to the success of the team due to the two Thunder Wave users present. BlackGlasses are very useful, allowing Honko to bluff a Choice Band and consistently win against Pokémon such as Substitute + Pain Split Rotom that are potentially capable of beating Choice Band Spiritomb. It also prevents Pokémon such as Lilligant from effortlessly setting up on Choice-locked Sucker Punches. Finally, the Normal-type immunity provided by Spiritomb is key to the success of the team, giving Honko a viable switch-in against powerful Pokémon such as Zangoose and Tauros that easily sweep through large portions of the team.
Qwilfish begins the main portion of the team's defensive support backbone, providing valuable team support via Intimidate, Spikes, and Thunder Wave, while serving as the key switch-in to Pokémon such as Entei, Escavalier, and Durant. As mentioned, Intimidate, Spikes, and Thunder Wave are three huge boons to the team. Intimidate gives Qwilfish the ability to switch in against a number of common physical attackers with impunity, weakening them significantly before pivoting out or taking the opportunity to do some damage. Spikes are very helpful in setting up for the eventual Pinsir sweep, as many of the more physically bulky Pokémon capable of taking on Pinsir all fall if hit by a few layers of Spikes beforehand. Thunder Wave is crucial to the team, as it is, for the most part, very slow and very vulnerable to some of the faster Pokémon in the tier, all of which prove no threat if paralyzed. Finally, Pain Split is a very interesting and lesser used choice on Qwilfish, but given the team's lack of Wish support, is necessary in allowing Qwilfish to do more than simply set up Spikes before being knocked out. Synergy wise, Qwilfish pairs beautifully with Cresselia, with the two being able to handle a vast multitude of common threats in the tier, and each one of them taking advantage of Pokémon that beat the other.
The team is rounded out by the lunar duck Cresselia, regarded as easily one of, if not the, most powerful Pokémon in the tier at this time. Its gargantuan defenses allow it to handle a huge portion of the tier with incredible ease, while also cleaning up late-game thanks to the entry hazard support provided by the team. As mentioned, Cresselia pairs very nicely with Qwilfish, providing additional paralysis support for the team, while also switching in on the Psychic- and Ground-type attacks aimed towards the blowfish. Cresselia's Levitate gives it a key immunity to Ground-type attacks, which is necessary for the success of the team, as otherwise, Pokémon such as Nidoqueen, Rhydon, and even Sandslash would be capable of doing significant amounts of damage to the team. Cresselia also counters Moltres and checks Typhlosion, two Pokémon that are exceptionally difficult for this team to handle. Finally, in combination with Qwilfish and Nidoqueen, hardly any Pokémon in the tier is capable of breaking through the defensive backbone that Cresselia establishes for the team.
However, even the greatest teams have their flaws, and Pester Ball is sadly no exception. Strong offensive Fire-types such as Moltres, Typlosion, and Magmortar can be mildly problematic if the opponent manages to keep Stealth Rock off their side of the field, as the Pokémon on the team that resist Fire-type moves are not particularly bulky on the special side. Continuing, very powerful physical attackers such as Choice Band Aggron and Choice Band Escavalier can pretty much freely switch-in against Cresselia, and will eventually wear down Nidoqueen and Qwilfish, due to the team's lack of Wish support. Similarly, due to the lack of a cleric, Pokémon such as Substitute + Will-O-Wisp Rotom are capable of wreaking havoc if given the opportunity. In addition, as Honko mentions, a fair amount of pressure is placed on Nidoqueen throughout the match, with it being forced to handle assaults from Rotom, Manectric, and Galvantula, all of which can be problematic to handle if they manage to break past Nidoqueen. Finally, as Honko mentions, the team is ironically weak to Pinsir, although prior to this team, Pinsir was at the very depths of RU usage. Despite these minor issues, the team is undoubtedly still excellent, while also being a prime example of the focus of the metagame at this time. The team showcased by this RMT is one of the most solid teams of the last RU suspect round, so let's have a salute for team Pester Ball!
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