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Hail is the only permanent weather in RU, which means that if you have Snover, your team will almost always have an advantage. The team originally started out as a BlizzSpam team with Glaceon and Jynx and a core that attempted to cover a lot of the metagame's threats. Since then, I've made so many edits that I can't even remember the teambuilding process. The only two that have stayed on the team since the beginning are Snover and Glaceon. It is obvious as to why Snover remained, but Glaceon has stayed because it is such an effective Choice Scarf user, having the highest Special Attack in RU and the hardest hitting Blizzard. It is better than Rotom-F and Jynx in the sense that it is bulkier and can heal through Ice Body. This doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it actually makes Glaceon a lot more effective than its Ice-type rivals.
In short, the rest of the team consists of a core that covers most of the important metagame threats and is able to wear down Glaceon's checks and counters. Through hail, status, Stealth Rock, and Blizzards / Druddigon's high powered attacks, I can usually wear down the opponents team so that Glaceon can sweep late-game. This team is one of the most successful balance teams I've built since my first RMT, so I'm glad to share it with you all.
Snover @ Focus Sash
Trait: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SAtk
- Giga Drain
- Ice Shard
Snover not only brings the necessary weather to the team, but it also plays the important role of wearing down opposing Pokemon and providing death fodder so I can take less risks. I never lead with Snover against teams with Cinccino and Escavalier for this reason, as it is valuable beyond providing hail. Snover's Blizzard is surprisingly powerful, and helps to wear down Fire-types such as Typhlosion and Emboar which I don't really have a solid switch in to. Giga Drain is very useful against Water-types that Glaceon struggles against, such as Lanturn (who Snover walls), Poliwrath, and Walrein. Protect not only allows Snover to scout the opponent's move, but allows hail to do an extra 6% to an opposing Pokemon. Ice Shard also allows Snover to pick off weakened foes such as Galvantula and Accelgor. The damage that Snover can do is much appreciated by the rest of the team. When Snover's job is finally done, I can sacrifice it to get Glaceon in safely. Snover's abilities in RU should not be underestimated and it should not be considered a waste of a teamslot on any hail team.
Glaceon @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Ice Body
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Shadow Ball
- Frost Breath
Choice Scarf Glaceon is one of the most powerful and effective Choice Scarf users in the tier. It outspeeds everything unboosted up to Swellow, which is very useful. Barely anything can take Glaceon's Blizzards, and the rest of the team handily takes care of the Pokemon that can. Glaceon can use Hidden Power Ground to weaken Lanturn and revenge kill threats like Kabutops and Fire-types, which it has a very easy time doing since this set [used to be] quite unexpected. Shadow Ball gets good neutral coverage on certain cores, and can wear down weakened Slowking and Cryogonal while getting an occasional Special Defense drop. Frost Breath was one of the last changes I made to the team. I was using Baton Pass to act like a pseudo U-turn, but I never really used it since choosing Blizzard was almost always more beneficial. Frost Breath mainly allows me to beat Calm Mind Spiritomb or Cosmic Power Sigilyph in a pinch if they get a lot of boosts. Glaceon has many opportunities to sweep late-game and this is usually how my games end. If you read further, you will see how the rest of the team helps Glaceon acquire these opportunities.
Druddigon @ Leftovers
Trait: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd
- Stealth Rock
- Fire Punch
Druddigon brings a ton of key resistances to the team, as well as Stealth Rock. Through Stealth Rock, hail, Rough Skin, and Druddigon's powerful attacks, Druddigon does an amazing job at wearing down the opponent's team. I can use it to check troublesome Fire and Water types which usually wall Glaceon. Druddigon is the second best Pokemon for wearing down opposing teams, as almost nothing can switch into its Outrage. I use Fire Punch in the last slot because in the early stages of the team, I was weak to Escavalier. I have no problems dealing with Tangrowth and Steelix, so Flamethrower is unnecessary.
Poliwrath @ Leftovers
Trait: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
- Circle Throw
- Sleep Talk
Poliwrath is one of the best Escavalier counters, and unlike something like Rotom, actually walls a significant portion of the physical attackers in RU. Poliwrath helps against Aggron, Durant, Absol, Kabutops, Entei, and Emboar, who would all be a major threat to this team without Poliwrath. Some of the biggest threats to Glaceon, including Escavalier, Cryogonal, and Entei / Emboar, get beaten by Poliwrath, and will be worn down easily because they very rarely carry a recovery move (except for Cryo) or are weak to Stealth Rock. Poliwrath can rack up damage with Circle Throw or burn things with Scald, two very valuable assets to the team. Poliwrath also has good longevity with Rest and Sleep Talk, allowing him to continuously burn with Scald and phaze with Circle Throw.
Spiritomb @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
- Foul Play
- Sleep Talk
Gallade is one of the biggest threats to hail teams, and Spiritomb is one of the few Pokemon that can beat it. With a specially defensive EV spread, it can beat many special attackers in the tier, most importantly Psychic-types such as SubCM Uxie and Slowking. Spiritomb also provides useful resistances to Fighting and Normal type moves, so the team doesn't have to worry about Bouffalant or Medicham as much. Surprisingly, Spiritomb also helps with wearing down Glaceon's checks. Most people don't expect Foul Play, which does quite a bit to Escavalier, Entei, and Emboar. Will-O-Wisp is very useful in crippling physical attackers like Feraligatr, and it also helps to weaken opposing Pokemon such as Nidoqueen and Qwilfish. RestTalk adds longevity to the set, allowing it to stay alive in order to beat Slowking, which is one of the most important Pokemon for this team to take down. Spiritomb can also spinblock against Cryogonal, which helps to put pressure on the opposing team. The most overlooked aspect of Spiritomb is its ability Pressure. This team struggles against fully defensive teams with multiple Glaceon counters. Due to the defensive nature of this team as well, Spiritomb can PP stall opposing Pokemon as a last resort. I've had two battles over 100 turns and a couple of other long ones, and Spiritomb won the battle for me in all of them due to its ability. This is what I usually have to do against Walrein as well.
Cryogonal @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 168 Def / 68 SDef / 24 Spd
- Rapid Spin
Surprisingly, my hail team was manhandled by Nidoqueen. Cryogonal was thus added to the team and EV'd to beat it. Cryogonal's biggest use besides checking Nidoqueen is Toxic, which allows me to win more easily against Slowking, Alomomola, and opposing Cryogonal. Glaceon can usually win against these Pokemon if they are poisoned. Cryogonal also provides the invaluable Rapid Spin. If the opponent loses their hazard user and Cryogonal gets rid of Stealth Rock, my team will have a huge advantage in that I will be able to switch around much more freely.
A good hail team is often difficult to put together in RU. Snover is a mandatory teamslot, and while it's not completely useless, it's far from a threat in its own right. To really capitalize on hail, you also need an Ice-type or two that can take advantage of 100% accurate Blizzards. Unfortunately, cramming too many Ice-types on your team causes some massive troubles defensively, so a solid core to cover the threats to hail is needed. DittoCrow has put together a team that, through a mix of residual damage, bulk, and sheer offensive output, can quickly adjust and maintain constant pressure on the opponent. Druddigon, Poliwrath, Spiritomb, and Cryogonal form the main core, and between the four of them, they cover a good chunk of the metagame. Glaceon is DittoCrow's ace in the hole, as its unconventional Choice Scarf set does a fantastic job of revenge killing and cleaning up battered teams.
Being an RU hail team, Snover is a necessary part of the crew. Although far from the best Pokemon around, it does have a few roles that really help the team. Often, it will be used as a lead to immediately set up hail. From there, thanks to Focus Sash, it'll only be OHKOed by multi-hit moves, meaning it can hit the opponent with Blizzard; it's not going to be the strongest assault, since base 62 Special Attack is far from overwhelming, but every bit of damage helps on this team. Combined with hail residual damage (especially if Snover stalls an attack with Protect) and priority Ice Shard, Snover can even net a rare KO on fast but frail opponents. More often, DittoCrow holds it in reserve after setting up hail. By keeping it on the back burner, he reserves a solid option for absorbing status, as well as crucial death fodder. It might not sound like much, but considering the importance of every other team member, there's nothing better to sacrifice to get a free switch in for Glaceon and the rest of the team.
Druddigon can also function well in the lead spot, and it's another huge part of adding up passive damage for the team. Stealth Rock is crucial for almost every competitive team, and its ability to wear down major threats like Moltres and Typhlosion goes a long way. Rough Skin is also a fantastic ability for chipping away at physical attackers. Once Stealth Rock is up, watch out. Outrage is only resisted by the few Steel-types populating the tier, and none of them will want to switch into an Earthquake or Fire Punch. Druddigon is fantastic at punching holes in teams and generally loosening them up for Glaceon to clean up. Its useful resistances to Fire, Grass, Electric, and Water also give it plenty of opportunities to switch back in and start Outraging. Defensively, it fits into DittoCrow's core perfectly, while offensively, it's one of the top threats in the RU metagame.
Poliwrath is another key component to the defensive backbone of this team. Crucial resistances to Fire- and Rock-type attacks, among others, allows it to switch in against major threats like Entei and Aggron. It's a good catch-all to most physical attackers, and with Circle Throw, it's DittoCrow's best answer to set-up sweepers. Residual damage is again a key component to using Poliwrath, not only from racking up Stealth Rock damage from phazing, but from fishing for burns with Scald as well. The RestTalk combination allows it to stay healthy in the long haul and prevents it from being crippled by status.
The other RestTalker on the team, Spiritomb, uses a rather unconventional set. While most Spiritomb are physically bulky, DittoCrow goes for an all out specially bulky set. Against physical attackers, Spiritomb has two crucial weapons. The first is Will-O-Wisp, which once again adds to the team's ability to inflict residual damage while also crippling almost any physical sweeper. The second and more surprising weapon is Foul Play, a move that deals damage based on the opponent's Attack. This combination is effective at disposing of or weakening many key threats to the team, such as Gallade, Entei, and Emboar. Its special bulk makes it the team's best answer to Slowking as well, a Pokemon that could otherwise wall the constant Blizzard spamming. Much like with Poliwrath, RestTalk is key to keeping Spiritomb healthy and status-free throughout the battle.
Cryogonal rounds out the defensive core, and it offers some very important utility to the team. First off, Rapid Spin is crucial for keeping the team safe from hazards, especially since the Ice-types are all weak to Stealth Rock and only Cryogonal is immune to Spikes and Toxic Spikes. Its special bulk, access to Blizzard, good Speed, and reliable recovery also make it the best check to the many dangerous special sweepers in tier, most notably Nidoqueen. Toxic is an important move for wearing down bulkier walls, and that, combined with hail and the other residual damage DittoCrow's team produces, is vital in loosening them up for Glaceon to sweep. Bulky Water-types like Slowking and Alomomola that can normally sponge Blizzards and heal off the damage are much easier to work around with badly poisoned. Finally, Cryogonal's own Blizzard spamming weakens various checks to hail, paving the way for Glaceon.
If there's one thing this team excels at, it's battering down the foe with residual damage and strong assaults. Glaceon is the final piece of the puzzle. With a rarely seen Choice Scarf set, it outspeeds most unboosted threats and easily cleans up a weakened team with Blizzard. It also functions as an important revenge killer, and having Snover on hand to sacrifice gives Glaceon a free switch in to remove key threats. Hidden Power Ground allows it to remove pesky Fire-types and Ground-weak Water-types like Lanturn and Kabutops. Shadow Ball offers good neutral coverage and a way around Slowking, while Frost Breath's 100% critical hit rate allows DittoCrow to get past Calm Mind and Cosmic Power users after they have set up. Ice Body really distinguishes Glaceon from other Choice Scarf Ice-types, as the pseudo-Leftovers recovery in hail coupled with Glaceon's respectable special bulk gives it more opportunities to switch in and take a hit when needed.
Even the best of teams have their weaknesses. Moltres is a threat to just about every RU team, and DittoCrow's is no different. It's crucial for DittoCrow to keep Stealth Rock up to limit Moltres, as only Glaceon can revenge kill it. Choice Specs Typhlosion is also a threat, as even Druddigon and Poliwrath can't repeatedly switch into it. Opposing hail teams with Walrein are problematic, as DittoCrow's best hope at beating it is landing a Toxic from Cryogonal or stalling PP with Spiritomb. Choice Scarf users that outspeed and threaten Glaceon, especially Braviary and Swellow, can really put the hurt on this team as well. Accelgor doesn't need a Choice Scarf to outspeed Glaceon, and it can quickly clean up DittoCrow's team after the walls have been weakened a bit. Despite these threats, DittoCrow can play around them with careful switching, and Stealth Rock is handily a good way of wearing them all down. Constant offensive moment and defensive pivoting is crucial for this team's success, but when played correctly, it can come out on top against a wide range of teams.
Hail teams in RU should never be underestimated. The sheer offensive power of Blizzard makes it a very threatening playstyle when done right. DittoCrow's team is one of the best examples of the methodical teambuilding needed to really effectively utilize this weather. That said, there are plenty of Ice-types in RU and NU that are just waiting for the chance to pummel the opposing team. Hopefully, the insight of a strong defensive core coupled with powerful sweepers has shown you how to utilize both balance and hail teams in the current RU metagame.
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