Featured OU RMT #2: "Rotom, CHARGE" by JabbaTheGriffin

Team by JabbaTheGriffin and commentary by august.
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Welcome to the second OU Featured RMT. This team was used by JabbaTheGriffin in both the World Cup of Pokemon and the Smogon Frontier. Not only did it maintain a great win/loss record, but it also amassed a good few fans who also used the team on the ladder. Without further ado, here is 'Rotom, CHARGE!'

First Glance

Roserade Latias Blissey Skarmory Rotom-H Jirachi

Introduction: Hello, my name is JabbaTheGriffin and this is what I consider to be the best team I've ever made for the DPP OU metagame. This team ended my slump of bad teams that had been plaguing me for about a month. After ST5 ended I really couldn't get my shit together and was making what were frankly unoriginal, boring mediocre teams. Then one day I watched Jimbo battling and he was using a combination of the utmost strength that intrigued me. And that's where our story begins...

Roserade
Roserade (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Toxic Spikes
- Sleep Powder
- Leaf Storm

The strongest of leads! Actually usually only works against slower leads. But Sleep right from the get-go when most teams are pretty ill prepared to let anything go to sleep is always good. Also early Toxic Spikes is very beneficial to my team as it helps me deal with some big threats and help out my main sweeper. Usually I only lay 1 layer down to begin with since I like the immediate 12% damage on things like ttar and infernape. The 2nd layer only comes later if I'm playing full stall. I don't like to let Roserade die early. So it's not a suicide lead per-say. However I don't like to use it lategame since it really is Salamence bait, a Pokemon that when wielded correctly is one of the few deuteronomys who can really give me problems.

Latias
Latias (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP/252 Spd/4 SAtk
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Dragon Pulse
- Reflect
- Recover
- Roar

An odd set, but it really holds the team together. It provides me with a second fire resist that you'll see later that I lacked for a while and really bit me on the ass whenever Blissey got boomed on. Reflect/Roar is great on defensive Latias and if I get into a groove with Latias and I have some hazards up, my opponent can really be in a world of trouble. The speed is really what drew me to using Latias, as having a good revenge answer for Mixmence is something any stall team/semistall team needs. Sometimes if I'm feeling randy I'll even try and bait Mence into Fire Blast! Fuck Mence though...

Blissey
Blissey (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 202 HP/252 Def/56 SAtk
Bold nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Stealth Rock
- Softboiled
- Seismic Toss
- Ice Beam

My personal favorite Pokemon in DPP. So useful in so many ways. Out of all the Blissey sets, this is probably my favorite. Stealth Rock gives Blissey something to do. Otherwise you just come in and wall something and force it out. So instead of using another Pokemon, probably solely for Stealth Rock, putting it on Blissey was definitely the right move. Blissey is probably one of the best SRers in DPP, being able to come in on almost every special attacker and get that free turn to set up SR. You can run into some problems when you face a boom happy opponent who booms on Blissey the second they see it. But oh well. The spread is meant to be extremely bulky on the defensive side. I'll ask that you please don't try nitpicking it. That's the Blissey spread I run and you telling me that Blissey needs special defense in DPP (it doesn't) isn't going to make me change it.

Skarmory
Skarmory (M) @ Leftovers/Shed Shell
Ability: Keen Eye
EVs: 252 HP/236 Def/20 Spd
Impish nature (+Def, -SAtk)
- Whirlwind
- Spikes
- Brave Bird
- Roost

Skarmory is cool. There's not really much to say about him. Skarmbliss still works wonders, but in a different way. I think the combination is more about setting up hazards and forcing switches with those hazards up more than it is about walling a majority of the metagame like they used to. Skarmory is my personal favorite spiker as I feel that Forretress has fell to the wayside a bit. Brave Bird so that I can serve as a better Gyarados answer for a bit. Leftovers vs. Shed Shell really just comes down to whether or not it's a tournament battle. Sometimes I forget to make the change to Shed Shell and it bites me in the ass though! Kevin Garrett runs Shed Shell when he uses this team on the ladder but I prefer the recovery from lefties since Magnezone is quite (surprisingly) rare. He says he wins more with shed shell though so maybe it's better overall!

Rotom-H
Rotom-h @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 56 HP/202 Spd/252 SAtk
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Charge Beam

The strongest member of my team. SubCharge Rotom is definitely one of the best Pokemon in the current metagame. He's able to come in on several of his immunities and resisitances and set up a free sub and go to down from there. Most of the common rotom switchins have trouble dealing with SubCharge. I definitely don't have enough HP to take Blissey Ice Beams without the sub breaking...so that should probably be fixed. But I've honestly had that situation come up once in the entire time I've been using this team so I really haven't had the motivation to change it since I really like packing as much special attack as I can. I just wish Rotom was a little faster so I could outspeed jolly Lucario, but alas he is not! Rotom also serves as my spinblocker although he's not a very good one since if Starmie surfs or Forretress uses payback, I'm not going to be sticking around for too long.

Jirachi
Jirachi @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Ice Punch
- Fire Punch
- Iron Head
- Thunderpunch

Jirachi is what I like to call a "failsafe." Gyarados has a DD and flinched Skarmory to death? Revenge with Jirachi! DDTar somehow pulled 2 DD's out of nowhere? Revenge with Jirachi! Salamence is a complete dickhead and used Dragon Dance? Hope it's not Jolly! I originally never even considered Jirachi as an option until I almost lost to a Gyarados that killed Skarmory, Flinched Rotom and MISSED Stone Edge against Zapdos. And then I saw my insane DDMence weakness and realized that I needed a catch-all Pokemon that could revenge all the biggest threats in DPP. Jirachi fits that bill. Iron Head is also a very nice cleanup move, allowing me to be a complete dick to my opponents by flinching them to death.

Jabba's team shown above is semi-stall at it's finest. Every single one of Jabba's Pokemon can take advantage of the Toxic Spikes that his Roserade lead lays down. While most semi-stall takes a more offensive approach, Jabba goes with a SkarmBliss core to provide a solid defensive backbone from both sides of the spectrum. Rotom-h provides Jabba with an excellent offensive spin blocker that does extremely well with Toxic Spikes down and makes quick work of Blissey, the queen of special walling. Jirachi provides Jabba with a secondary Dragon-type resistance and a last resort against Dragon Dance Tyranitar, Gyarados, and sometimes Salamence.

Roserade is an excellent way to start Jabba off on a good foot, sleeping slower, bulky leads with Sleep Power and proceeding to set up the Toxic Spikes that his team loves so much. Toxic Spikes allow Rotom-h to sweep with relative ease, as even its counters cannot handle it while it is behind a Substitute with Toxic Spikes up. Hidden Power Fire allows for some damage against lead Metagross that do not choose to run Occa Berry. Hidden Power Fire is also an OHKO on Scizor who thinks it can come in on a predicted Leaf Storm and also OHKOs Forretress, a common Rapid Spinner. Leaf Storm provides Roserade with an excellent STAB attack that will allow it to easily OHKO bulky leads such as Swampert or Hippowdon who stay around to absorb the Sleep Powder. The downside to Roserade as a lead is that it struggles with Lum Berry leads like Tyranitar and the occasional Lum Berry Metagross, as well as fast Taunt leads like Azelf. Against faster leads Jabba has to play conservatively and let his defensive core take down the Pokemon and save Roserade for later in the game.

Skarmory is Jabba's main physical sponge and sets up Spikes in the process, the second entry hazard of this semi-stall team. Jabba utilizes Spikes by using both Skarmory and Roar Latias to take hits from both side of the spectrum and build up passive damage in the process. Shed Shell allows Jabba to play Skarmory recklessly against teams that have Magnezone and still be able to keep it alive to finish setting up Spikes and wall physical threats when needed. 20 Spe allows Jabba to Roost off Choice Band Tyranitar Stone Edges, which are problematic as his only Rock resist is relied upon to revenge kill a hoard of threats. Spikes is relied upon to wear down choice users like the aforementioned Tyranitar, but also Pokemon like Choice Band Infernape.

Between Latias and Blissey, Jabba can easily cover the majority of special attackers, with Latias taking on the very few that can defeat Blissey, mainly Choice Specs Lucario and Calm Mind Jirachi. Latias supports the team with Reflect which softens physical assaults against Skarmory and allows Rotom to set up a bit easier since it does not take nearly as much from Forretress's Payback. Reflect allows Latias to soften up its Pursuit weakness as well so that an important member of Jabba's defensive core is not so easily removed. Latias's fire resistance and ground immunity allow it to swap into MixMence if it predicts correctly and force it out by threatening Dragon Pulse. Jabba relies on Blissey to set up Stealth Rock which limits the number of times Salamence and Gyarados can switch in and is the final entry hazard of Jabba's semi stall masterpiece.

Rotom-h is the main abuser of all of the entry hazards and it gives Jabba a major advantage against stall if they cannot manage to get rid of Toxic Spikes in time. Rotom's Fighting and Ground immunities allow it to set up extremely easily. As I mentioned earlier, Reflect is a good choice to help Rotom-h get more Charge Beam boosts. Reflect especially helps Rotom-h out versus Forretress as Forretress can no longer counter Rotom-h since its Payback does not do enough damage and Rotom can just continue to get boosts. Toxic Spikes allows Rotom to outstall Pokemon like Blissey who are not strong enough to break the Substitute and also racks up damage to weaken the opponent so Rotom can take care of the opposing team late game. Rotom is the only spin blocker on the team, but as Jabba says, he sometimes cannot afford to switch Rotom into common Rapid Spinners like Starmie or Forretress because they weaken Rotom enough for it to not be as effective as a main Toxic Spikes abuser.

The main weakness of this team is Dragon Dance Salamence, being able to set up on Fire Punch locked Jirachi or Roserade if it has already slept a Pokemon. The only Pokemon on Jabba's team capable of taking repeated Outrages is Skarmory, which is OHKOed by a Life Orb Fire Blast after Stealth Rock. Jabba can play around this weakness by forcing it to Outrage and hitting it with an Ice Punch from Jirachi. Stealth Rock helps check Salamence though, taking 25% from it's HP with each switch in. Substitute Machamp is also an annoyance to Jabba, but is much less of a problem with Reflect Latias halving physical attack damage and with Jabba almost always having Toxic Spikes down, limiting Machamp's lifespan. The last trouble for the team is Expert Belt Jirachi, especially if it manages to paralyze Latias with Thunderbolt. Jirachi can take out a large chunk of Skarmory's HP with an Expert Belt boosted Thunderbolt, which is perhaps the worst thing as it limits Skarmory's endurance a lot. Latias can set up Reflect and Dragon Pulse it or phaze it away. From the defensive side, Forretress can be quite a pain to Jabba's team, easily Rapid Spinning away his Spikes and other hazards while 2HKOing his Ghost provided Stealth Rock is present and set up its own Spikes and Toxic Spikes.

When all is said and done, Rotom, CHARGE is an extremely strong team, quite possibly the strongest according to its author. This team is a great showcase of how effective semi-stall and although it will not dazzle you it cannot be denied that this is a truly great team.

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