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Hello Smog readers. This month Tab and I have decided to chronicle a very successful team that recently won the Smogon Frontier. This in itself is quite a prestigious acheivment, and it surely cannot be done without a truly "exalant" team.
ROCKBOT (Azelf) @ Choice Scarf Ability: Levitate EVs: 8 HP/6 Atk/252 Spd/244 SAtk Naive nature (+Spd, -SDef) - Stealth Rock - Explosion - Psychic - Trick
ROCKBOT starts things off with its ridiculous speed. Now, I originally ran the standard focus sash Azelf when I began however, after getting completely destroyed by scarf Breloom I realized I wanted a lead that could outspeed virtually everything and so scarf was chosen. I soon found that this set was much more effective than I thought it would be. Firstly it puts me at an advantage right off the bat when facing stall as I immediately cripple one of their walls, secondly if I save Azelf for later in the match with scarf intact I can explode on whatever tries to set up on me thanks to its insane speed, specifically stuff like Gyarados, Kingdra, Latias etc. I chose psychic over U-turn/any other attack beacause I wanted to be able to deliver consistant damage to bulky mons (especially rotom). This set however does have its problems, specifically with Heatran/Roserade/Metagross leads. If I’m feeling balsy, I sometimes trick hoping they SR but usually I just go to starmie right away for tran/gross and simply psychic roserade right away. Interesting fact though, max attack gross cannot KO Azelf with Meteor Mash, in fact maximum damage is 99%!
DRAGANBOT (Flygon) (M) @ Choice Band Ability: Levitate EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Earthquake - U-turn - Outrage - Dragon Claw/Fire Blast
Flygon is a damn good Pokemon despite what a lot of people say and it is a really important to my team thanks to its useful resistances. When I build any offensive team a ground Pokemon is almost always essential as I need something to absorb incoming Thunder Waves and electrical attacks which otherwise slow down any offensive team. Now I decided to run choice band simply because he just wouldn't inflict enough damage with scarf. I also enjoy the raw power of a Banded Outrage which hits like a truck to anything that doesn't resist it and is very useful for weakening/killing bulky pokemon such as Machamp/Suicune. The fourth move is always up for debate, normally I use Dragon Claw however sometimes I run Fire Blast simply because Skarmory is giant asshole to this set.
STARBOT (Starmie) @ Life Orb Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 6 HP/252 Spd/252 SAtk Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Ice Beam - Thunderbolt - Rapid Spin - Hydro Pump
LO Starmie with Rapid Spin was originally the Pokemon that I wanted to base this team around after someone had told me he had immense difficulty facing it while using stall. I have to say if I predict properly it can really frustrate a person using stall as Hydro Pump will 1HKO some Rotoms after SR and Rapid Spin is really self explanatory as it will spin away all their entry hazards. It can also throw players off guard as when they see LO recoil they immediately think that I don’t have Rapid Spin which I promptly use afterwards. That’s not to say though that Starmie is only useful for slowing down stall, its an all round, great Pokemon once Blissey is out of the picture. The power of LO Hydro Pump has simply shocked me as it has killed some Tyranitars after SR, and has inflicted heavy damage to Scizor.
HOTBOT (Heatran) (M) @ Life Orb Ability: Flash Fire EVs: 4 Atk/252 Spd/252 SAtk Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Earth Power - Fire Blast - Explosion - Hidden Power [Grass]/Dragon Pulse
STARBOT's partner in crime. It's not really Heatran's typing that help Starmie (although the two compliment each other decently) but really it's Heatrans ability to scare users into bringing their special wall (ie Blissey/Latias) and then explode right in their bloated faces. If done properly, it opens up a path for Starmie/Rotom-h to sweep. Heatran's typing is also really exceptional in regards to helping my team; the ability to eat up fire and ice attacks is really nice, not to mention its a great switch in to ScarfRachi who otherwise can really hurt my team. The fourth move is a bit of a toss up although I generally use hp grass 70% of the time simply because I like 2KOing Vaporeon, killing Swampert and sometimes even badly hurting Suicune.
STOVEBOT (Rotom-h) @ Choice Scarf Ability: Levitate EVs: 42 HP/252 Spd/216 SAtk Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Trick - Overheat - Thunderbolt - Shadow Ball
What was originally Zapdos in the chomp era has now been replaced with Rotom-h! The main reason being is Lucario: Flygon cannot survive a +2 Extremespeed (something Garchomp could do) so I needed something that could stop Luke dead in its tracks and threaten to KO it. Scarf Rotom-h truly is one of my new favourite Pokemon, Thunderbolt+Shadow ball offer excellent coverage and can really wreak havoc after Blissey is dispatched and if not, Trick works wonders. The ability to switch into fighting/ground attacks makes it fairly easy to switch in and cause damage however I generally don't like using rotom early in the match unless I really need to. The reason being is of course the dreaded Tyranitar and Scizor. The EVs are slightly different than the standard Scarf Rotom as this one allows Rotom to survive a scarf Heatran’s Fire Blast after SR which therefore allows me to continue Thunderbolting the ever common Heatran switch in.
KILLBOT (Scizor) (M) @ Choice Band Ability: Technician EVs: 224 HP/252 Atk/32 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - U-turn - Superpower - Pursuit - Bullet Punch
And finally we have Scizor, a Pokemon I'm sure you're all very well aware of. Scizor's role early in the game is simply to scout and deal damage with U-Turn however mid to late game is where it becomes really important, its resistances allow me to switch in to things fairly easily. Scizor is a fairly good Salamence check (who otherwise destroys me) as SR+Bullet Punch+LO recoil means Salamence dies although I do usually have to sacrifice Scizor but it’s worth it. When playing with this team what I usually do is try to get everything within Starmie/Rotom-h's KO range (although this is not always the case). Scizor aids that by weakening/killing things with bullet punch. The EVs I use are slightly different, as I run a bit more than usual speed simply because Scizor has become such a threat to the game (as shown by it being #1 in usage) that so many Pokemon such as Machamp/Tyranitar and plenty of others are now aiming to outspeed Scizor, and I just do not want that to happen. And yes I know 1 v 1 with another Scizor I lose due to Superpower however I've rarely had that situation ever arise and more often than not its been a Bullet Punch war between my Scizor and the opposing one, in which case I have the advantage in speed.
Team StrongBOTs is a classic example of DPP offense, but with an interesting twist. Despite going against the conventional wisdom of limiting choiced Pokemon on offensive teams, team StrongBOTs is an extremely effective and successful team. Atticus can consistently get his Choiced Pokemon in and out thanks to the very effective Rapid Spinner he carries in Life Orb Spin Starmie, which easily spins away the Spikes and Stealth Rock that are the bane of all teams with several Choicers. While his team has a consistent Rapid Spinner, Atticus' team does not always feel the pressure to be forced to Rapid Spin, as 3 of his Choice Pokemon are Spike immune and none are hit super effectively by Stealth Rock.
Leading off the offensive assault for Atticus is Azelf. While most leading Azelf are Focus Sash suicide sets, Atticus has decided to go a different route for this team, and so he leads with a Choice Scarf Trick Azelf. Unlike the standard suicide Azelf, Choice Scarf Azelf allows Atticus to have a rather useful late-game revenge killer, should he find himself in trouble against something like Dragon Dance Salamence, which is a service that the suicide lead set does not provide. Using this Azelf set also gives Atticus the advantage of suprising his opponent, as they will generally assume that he is using the standard suicide lead. Having a Trick Choice Scarf lead allows Atticus to cripple a member of opposing stall teams from turn one, both providing opportunities for the rest of the team to come in, and making it harder for stall teams to counter them properly. By using a slight variation on the standard lead Azelf set's EVs, this set makes up for having no Focus Sash by never being OHKOed by lead Metagross' Meteor Mash.
The next member of Atticus' team is Flygon, an excellent pokemon to scout the opposing team, due to it's access to U-turn, coupled with the high amount of switches that it forces. Flygon serves as Atticus' answer to Thunder Wave, being able to easily come into common Thunder Wavers, like Zapdos, Blissey, and Celebi, and threaten to 1-2HKO all of them. Having a Thunder Wave absorber is a godsend on an offensive team like this, and Flygon is an excellent candidate. Flygon's typing also allows it to come in on Choiced Ground-type attacks and keep offensive tempo with U-turn, as Flygon attracts many physical walls, like Skarmory, and U-turn allows Atticus to bring in his powerful special attackers: Heatran and Starmie.
Speaking of Starmie and Heatran, they form the main special attacking core of Atticus' team. Since Heatran and Starmie are generally countered by the same type of Pokémon, they can absolutely steamroll through teams, once the counters are weakened or KOed. Explosion allows Heatran to get rid of these Pokémon quite easily (albeit also getting rid of itself), which helps Starmie have a much easier sweep. While Starmie is a big part of Atticus' special attacking core, it also holds a more important role. Starmie is the Rapid Spinner or the team, and an excellent one at that. Starmie's Rapid Spin often draws Ghost-types, like Spiritomb, Rotom-A, and Gengar in, only to 1-2HKO all of them with Hydro Pump. Once the Ghost-type is gone, Starmie has an easy time Rapid Spinning, which aids his team greatly, as he has 4 Choiced Pokemon.
Rotom-H is the glue that holds the team together, giving a quick and easy solution to help solve the team's Fighting-type weakness, as well as an excellent revenge killer to the ever dangerous Lucario and Gyarados. Along with it's solid Special Attack and great Speed stats (thanks to Choice Scarf), it is also useful because it is a Ghost-typing. Rotom-H's Ghost-typing allows it to be a solid Rapid Spin-blocker for this team, which relies heavily on Stealth Rock to turn 3HKOs into 2HKOs, 2HKOs into OHKOs, and so on. Trick allows Atticus to have a very effective strategy against stall teams, which are already relying on Blissey heavily to wall Heatran and Starmie. If Rotom-H can manage to Trick off it's Choice Scarf to Blissey, the game has essentially been decided. Blissey is then in no condition to counter Heatran and Starmie while holding a Choice Scarf, and also becomes Pursuit bait for Scizor. Trick is also a godsend against dangerous stat uppers like Dragon Dance Babiri Berry Tyranitar, with whom Atticus' team has quite a problem.
Rounding out the order is Choice Band Scizor, a Pokémon whom we have seen so many times before. Scizor allows Atticus to keep the offensive tempo in his favor, thanks to U-turn. Bullet Punch provides the most reliable check to Dragon Dance Salamence in this team, although Salamence and Magnezone on the same team is quite troublesome. Scizor is a solid switch into most Pokémon who wall Heatran and Starmie, such as Blissey and Latias (whom Scizor can remove entirely thanks to Pursuit). Scizor is the main Dragon-type resister for this team, as Heatran cannot afford to take random Outrages, as it will be worn down quickly by Life Orb and Stealth Rock in the first place. Bullet Punch is also excellent to sweep through offensive teams, once opposing Steel-types have been removed (which is not a problem, thanks to Flygon / Heatran / Rotom-H). Besides being the Dragon-type resister, Scizor also carries the main Ghost- and Dark-type resistances, which are important, since 3 Pokémon on this team have weaknesses to Ghost- or Dark-type moves.
While this is a very powerful team, there are certain Pokémon who give it trouble. Dragon Dance Babiri Berry Tyranitar is a huge pain, as it is able to set up on Scizor locked into Pursuit, Azelf locked into Psychic / Stealth Rock, or almost anything that Rotom-H is using. Thanks to Babiri Berry, Scizor cannot effectively revenge kill Tyranitar, who generally packs Fire Punch to beat down Scizor. Dragon Dance Salamence + Magnezone can be a problem for Atticus as well, as he needs to predict around the incoming Magnezone switch-in, which could prove fatal if he predicts incorrectly. These weaknesses can be played around with clever prediction, and it can't be denied that this team was able to engineer victories against 12 of the metagame's greatest players. For that and many other reasons, this team was picked to be our Featured OU RMT this issue. This team was very fun to write about, thank you for reading! Once again, congratulations to Atticus for winning the Smogon Frontier!
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