RarelyUsed Teambuilding 101

By DittoCrow and SilentVerse. Art by Bummer.
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If you're familiar with the Underused Teambuilding article from Issue 24, you've probably been able to create some exceptional UU teams. Well now we're bringing you the Rarelyused version of that article, so you can become well versed in more than one metagame (great for the Grand Slam!). Contrary to popular belief, UU isn't the only awesome tier in BW. RU has a fantastic metagame as well. The RU metagame is almost completely balanced, and there is the utmost diversity in both playstyles and viable Pokémon. However, the downside to this is the fact that so many viable Pokémon cause difficulty in teambuilding, as it's too hard to cover everything in just six teamslots. This article aims to identify the most important things you need to consider when building a team. The only thing left is up to you—the player—to be creative. Let's get started!

Step One: Identifying the Top threats

Although there is a wide variety of viable Pokémon in RU, these are the threats that you should primarily keep in mind when building a team. They are the most common, most dangerous threats.

First Priority: Grass-types


With both offensive and defensive options to choose from, you will find a Grass-type on nearly every type of team in RU. Grass-types will either be hitting extremely hard or constantly recovering HP through things like Synthesis, Giga Drain, Leech Seed, and Regenerator. Some of them even carry deadly sleep-inducing moves, which is why Sleep Talk has become an almost necessary fourth move on Pokémon such as Escavalier and Emboar. Fire-types, Escavalier, and Druddigon are incredibly popular due to their ability to check Grass-types. If you don't have a sleep absorber or something to take a Leaf Storm, you'll be in trouble.

Second Priority: Fire-types


RU's Fire-types are the next set of deadly Pokémon in the tier. They possess a mix of great offense and Speed. If unprepared, you will lose a Pokémon to a STAB Fire Blast or Flare Blitz. Countering them in just one teamslot is difficult because Moltres, Typhlosion, and Magmortar attack from the special side while Entei and Emboar attack from the physical side. Luckily, Slowking exists, and he can take both physical and special Fire-type attacks, though he must be careful of Moltres's Hurricane and Magmortar's Thunderbolt. The best way to conquer these Pokémon is to use priority (Aqua Jet is convenient) or keep the pressure on with fast revenge killers and Stealth Rock.

Third Priority: Water-types


Of course, Water-types come next, being the final piece to the Fire / Water / Grass core. Water-types are extremely common due to their great resistances and supportive options. They wall a significant amount of threats in the metagame and can cause trouble by damaging your team with a status move, removing your hazards (Kabutops), laying Spikes (Qwilfish and Omastar), or just purely walling your attackers. Slowking can even run an offensive set, and Kabutops, Omastar, and lesser-seen Pokémon like Samurott and Crawdaunt can all use setup moves to ruin your day. You'll usually need something to remove these threats before you are able to sweep, so packing a counter or some checks is highly recommended.

Fourth Priority: Bug / Steel types


While there are only two Pokémon that fit into this category, it is extremely important to make sure you can deal with them or they will simply plow through your team. Escavalier is the definition of a tank, being able to check multiple threats due to its typing and high defenses, as well as obliterate most of the tier with a Choice Band-boosted Megahorn. Durant on the other hand is a glass cannon that fits into a unique Speed tier with a high base 109 Speed. It resists common priority moves too, so unless you have something faster or a strong physical wall like Poliwrath, prepare for a world of pain.

Miscellaneous Common Dangerous Threats

Even with the main threats out of the way, there's still a lot to prepare for when building a team. Many of the most dangerous threats are still out there. You can't possibly cover them all in one team, but here are the ones you should keep in mind:


Usually you will be able to cover a lot of these threats with the Pokémon you've already selected, but it is always good to keep them in mind when teambuilding. You don't want to get overwhelmed because you don't have a switch-in to something like Choice Band Druddigon or Close Combats. It's best just to have at least one general answer to each of heavy hitters, Psychic-types, Fighting-types, Electric-types, and Smeargle. Like I said, you will usually be able to cover at least two categories with a single Pokémon, like if you're using Escavalier to deal with Grass-types, it can also check Druddigon and Psychic-types. There are a lot of other small, less-common things to look out for, but as long as you have a strong core and something like hazards to put pressure on the opponent, you should be fine as long as you make the right moves.

Step 2: Filling in the Blanks

As you can probably tell by how many threats are listed above, RU is a very diverse tier with multiple distinct threats. While knowing how to cover the above threats is a major step in teambuilding, there are also various quirks in the RU metagame that you should come to know as well if you want to succeed.


Cores to Start With

Alternatively, use solid cores that beat a lot of threats and put pressure on the opponent. For example, you can use cores like:

Slowking + Escavalier


Slowking on its own is an incredibly potent gluemon, but it becomes even better when partnered with a Pokémon such as Escavalier. In particular, Trick Room Slowking and Choice Band Escavalier form an incredibly powerful bulky offense core that handles a ton of the metagame while also posing a significant offensive threat. Slowking easily handles the Fire-types that threaten Escavalier, and Escavalier tears apart the opposing Slowking and Grass-types that can give Slowking some trouble. Slowking can also set up Trick Room to make Escavalier incredibly "fast" as well, which can let it sweep through many unprepared teams.

Druddigon + Qwilfish


Like Slowking, Druddigon is a fantastic glue that checks a lot of the biggest RU threats, and once again like Slowking, it forms fantastic cores with multiple Pokémon. This core in particular is an incredibly strong one that covers RU's biggest threats and supplies your team with entry hazards. Druddigon covers most Grass-types and specially offensive Fire- and Water-types, and Qwilfish beats Escavalier and Durant, as well as physically offensive Fire- and Water-types. However, Druddigon and Qwilfish lack reliable recovery, so this core should be used mostly on bulky offense teams.

Tangrowth + Slowking


This used to be the definitive RU core; however, with BW2, it has fallen a long way since its glory days. Still, Tangrowth and Slowking form an incredibly good Regenerator core that covers much of the metagame and also has the benefit of being extremely versatile. Like, you can make Tangrowth defensive and slap a Choice Specs on Slowking, or slap Life Orb on Tangrowth and make Slowking a Trick Room variant...the possibilities are vast, and the best part is, no matter what you do, this core will likely turn out strong simply because of the great natural synergy between both Pokémon. Alternatively, you could even replace Tangrowth with Amoonguss, which forms a similarly powerful core that is less weak to RU's Bug-types.

Steelix + Alomomola


If bulky offense is not your thing and you want a solid answer to most of the physical threats in the tier, look no further than this core. Both Pokémon have a fantastic defensive typing and monstrous physical defense, but on their own, they cannot cover every physical threat in RU. However, when you combine both Steelix and Alomomola, you get an incredibly tough core that single-handedly beats almost every relevant physical threat in the tier, especially when you consider that Alomomola has Regenerator and can pass monstrous Wishes to Steelix, while Steelix can Roar out threats that dare to set up on Alomomola. Replacing Alomomola with Slowking also works as well to make a core that, while a bit weaker to physical attackers, covers threats in general more effectively, making it a better fit on balance teams.

These are just some examples of fantastic cores in RU. In all honesty though, RU has so many good Pokémon that work together that I'm sure you could easily come up with more cores than just these ones!


If you follow the tips and keep the top threats in mind, the foundation for a good RU team is set for you. The most important tip is that creativity is key. Sure, you can succeed with a bog standard team with a FWG core, Escavalier, and Druddigon, but a good opponent will be prepared for that. If you think you lack creativity, you can always look to the RarelyUsed subforum, specifically the current "np" thread. The fastest way to learn RU is to get involved with the community, so get out there and have fun!

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