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Hi everyone, it's august again, coming to you with another great suspect team here. As this was the last testing stage, we decided it wouldn't be a terrible idea to double up on suspect teams for posterity. This team is an interesting mix of surprise and standard, and was very successful throughout the test. Here is Team NCIS!
Tyranitar @ Focus Sash
Sand Stream | Mild
180 Atk / 116 Spe / 212 SpAtk
- Fire Blast
- Ice Beam
- Stealth Rock
This is a pretty weird lead Tyranitar, specialized to hit the common threats who will switch in thinking they can get a set up or whatever. Fire Blast will always 2HKO Metagross (through Occa Berry) with the special attack investment.This is more of a benchmark investment than anything else, as Tyranitar can't "beat" Metagross if it chooses to attack first. I also have enough speed to outrun most Metagross (and then obviously Skarmory and Scizor). Still, it is helpful to be able to do nonetheless. The special attack also allows me to OHKO non-Yache Berry Garchomp and Scizor, and to always 2HKO Skarmory and have good odds of 2HKOing 252/88 Hippowdon (Tyranitar will always 2HKO Hippowdon without SpDef investment though).
Crunch is mainly filler, allowing me to hit Rotom-a (and this is always a good thing for my team, because Rotom-a is a giant dick in the shape of a toaster/fridge/lawnmower/etc).
Even so, the moveset is pretty odd. Fire+Ice+Dark doesn't have the best coverage in the world. Every time a Gyarados or a Heatran just switches in for free, I cringe a little. For this reason, I'm considering Stone Edge over Crunch, but only enough to give it a brief mention.
Focus Sash is also a relatively strange choice for an otherwise bulky pokemon, but it allows Tyranitar to act as a lure for whatever comes in after I kill a lead Azelf (or something of that nature). It is so funny to kill a Scizor who wants to U-turn, and then proceed to kill a Garchomp because Tyranitar has Focus Sash (though of course missing sucks!). It is true that Stealth Rock will commonly be down, especially as Tyranitar does a poor job against many SR leads like Aerodactyl and Swampert and "Infernape", but I have Starmie to help me spin away rocks... and to a lesser extent to switch into some of those leads Tyranitar dislikes.
Tyranitar supports my team with Sandstorm, as well as being a check to Latias/Rotom-a, and a lure for... lots of pokemon. Supporting a team that has 3 members who aren't immune to Sandstorm seems... strange, especially seeing as one lacks Leftovers, but this also applies to opposing pokemon as well, giving pokemon like Rotom-a and Choice Latias a hard time surviving. This is very, very good for my team (do you know how annoying Rotom-a is to take down?! I may just suck at it but whatever, it's helpful!). It also sets up Stealth Rock for my team, granting the team more KOs, as well as helping Celebi to wear down stall.
Celebi @ Leftovers
Natural Cure | Modest
232 HP / 32 Spe / 244 SpAtk
- Leaf Storm
- Hidden Power [Fire]
My team's second gimmick, a modified version of the 'Tinkerbell' Celebi set. I originally wanted Thunder Wave, but decided both U-turn and the ability to hit Skamory (and Scizor obviously) was much more beneficial. Celebi is a nice check/counter to pokemon like CroCune, Gyarados, and Manaphy, which is nice. It is also the more everlasting of my two Ground-type resists.
I chose Leaf Storm, because Energy Ball sucks, while Grass Knot obviously isn't that powerful against Manaphy. U-turn lets me wear down pokemon like Blissey, and is really just a good move in general to help ease switching prediction. HP [Fire] allows me to nab another quick OHKO on Scizor (With only one Bug resist, and 3 Bug weaknesses, Scizor could potentially be a giant pain in my team's ass). Recover grants me some longevity, and can be helpful when I need to stall out a ScarfChomp locked into EQ or something.
I have Leftovers over the common Life Orb for Tinkerbell because I needed Celebi to last, (and even with Recover LO makes that hard). It has proven to be worth it.
I don't like that Celebi invites a free Heatran switch, but with Stealth Rock wearing it down, and Starmie/Garchomp/Gyarados who can come in and threaten it, it is usually not a problem.
Celebi supports the team through its ability to act as a pivot switch, allowing it to come in on bulky waters and then draw in pokemon that my team can deal with. It also is a good switch into Shadow Ball-less Rotom-a, and between that and its ability to hurt Skarmory, is a good pokemon for breaking down stall (though this admittedly is hard to do because my team is bad at dealing with stall...).
Garchomp @ Haban Berry
Sand Veil | Jolly
168 HP / 16 Atk / 252 Spe / 16 SpAtk / 56 SpDef
- Dragon Claw
- Fire Blast
- Swords Dance
You may be questioning this set, but why would you ever question Gibbs? The EVs are very strange, but I have had a lot of success with this set. The 168 HP allows Garchomp to survive 2 Bullet Punches from Scizor all of the time. The 56 SpDef EVs, along with the 168 HP, allow Garchomp to always survive a Timid Specs Draco Meteor from Latias (provided SR isn't up...). This bulk will also allow Garchomp to survive 269 Ice Beam/etc. IIRC it also survives HP [Ice] from MixApe, though I haven't had to use Garchomp to do that after some team changes. I also recall it surviving an Ice Punch + Bullet Punch against a Shuca Metagross, though I'm not certain how much attack that Metagross was running...
I decided that going with max Speed instead of Attack was better in the long run, since Garchomp still hits like a truck, but it NEEDS that extra 2 base speed to outrun a lot of pokemon (as well as to tie opposing Garchomp in a "pinch").
The second thing that may pop out at you is my choice of Fire Blast over Fire Fang. I've found that Skarmory is a big pain to this team because it only needs to come in on one of my pokemon for it to do its job, (although it can come in on 2...) and if the opponent has Rotom-a, those Spikes will not be gone for a long time. Fire Blast, with the tiny EV investment, allows Garchomp to 2HKO the stupid metal bird, although I still struggle against the Special Defensive version... If Skarmory comes in on a Dragon Claw or an EQ, it will never Whirlwind, and will rarely Roost (especially as DClaw allows Garchomp to bluff Scarf). I can then proceed to Fire Blast for the 2HKO. If Skarmory had come in on SD, it would just Whirlwind Garchomp away, not allowing me to 2HKO it. Fire Blast also OHKOes Forretress (and has a fairly big chance to OHKO Scizor), something Fire Fang also cannot do. It is true that Fire Blast will only barely 3HKO Bronzong, but Bronzong is easier to take down as a pokemon, and was only a little over half as common as Skarmory last month...
I went with Dragon Claw for a reason I already touched on. Bluffing a Choice Scarf is sometimes an option, and I take advantage of it when I can because it will cause someone to switch out Latias and go to Heatran or Magnezone, who will be promptly OHKOed by Earthquake. Then Latias comes back in, I survive whatever they attack me with, and KO with Dragon Claw. This scenario isn't perfect, but similar things have happened a lot. Another reason is, with my minimal Attack investment Outrage wouldn't even always OHKO opposing Garchomp =(
The only scenario I have yet to see where the lack of attack has been bad was against Blissey. But then again, Blissey cannot really do anything to Garchomp, and if it tries, it is still very crippled by a +2 EQ.
Garchomp supports the team via its ability to beat almost anything, as well as act as a Skarmory lure. You may be wondering why surviving Latias' Draco Meteor is helpful to my team, but I only have one Dragon resist, who really isn't that bulky, and can only be switched in to Latias so many times. It can be argued I have Tyranitar as well, but Tyranitar has no HP or SpDef EVs, and will more often than not be crippled by something else beforehand. The ability to just take it out unexpectedly is a lot nicer...
Garchomp's bulk also lets it be a nice check/switchin to other pokemon, like Lucario, who I don't have many other great switchins for (as well as even Tyranitar on occasion...)
Starmie @ Leftovers
Natural Cure | Timid
136 HP / 156 Def / 216 Spe
- Hydro Pump
- Rapid Spin
One of the only pokemon on my team running a fairly standard set, Starmie is very helpful. The ability to counter pokemon like Gyarados and Infernape, who really cause my team hell if played correctly, as well as spin away Stealth Rock (and other entry hazards), is a godsend. Lacking Ice Beam is sad, but all the other moves are practically mandatory.
I went with Hydro Pump over Surf for the ability to hit Rotom-a, Scizor, and Tyranitar harder. Thunderbolt makes Starmie a good pokemon to switch into Manaphy, as many do not run Energy Ball/HP [Elec] and thus cannot hit Starmie hard in return. It is also my last ditch effort against pokemon like CroCune if Celebi is dead...
Starmie supports the team by spinning away SR for Tyranitar and Gyarados, as well as Celebi to an extent. It is a nice switchin to Infernape/Heatran/Gyarados, who give my team slight problems. Also, working in conjunction with Celebi, Starmie can actually stall out some variants of Blissey, which I have done before. The two also act as a pseudo status-absorber for stupid pokemon like ScarfSmeargle and whatnot.
Metagross @ Leftovers
Clear Body | Adamant
144 HP / 232 Atk / 132 Spe
- Meteor Mash
- Ice Punch
Agiligross is the pokemon on my team that is commonly the one to finish off the last few pokemon (followed by Garchomp and then surprisingly Celebi). It is also one of the few 'straightforward' pokemon on my team. Lacking Thunderpunch or Explosion is sad, but I've found all I really need I have. Metagross has the ability to survive a Garchomp Earthquake, which means ScarfChomp or YacheChomp will not stop my sweep.
The Speed EVs allow Metagross to outrun Heatran post-Agility. Meteor Mash and Earthquake let Metagross rip shit up, while Ice Punch hits Latias and Garchomp (and is my best move against Rotom-a and Skarmory unless I'm going for a MM boost).
I decided that Leftovers was the best item, to help me not get picked off against Scizor, and because the recovery really does allow Metagross to take random hits. I didn't like the drop in HP Life Orb gives, and Shuca Berry didn't seem worth it.
My team is really centered around weakening the pokemon that can stop Metagross, so Metagross itself doesn't do too much supporting. It is my only Dragon-resist however, which really speaks for itself in terms of 'supporting'. Metagross is also probably my best switchin to Tyranitar, because even DD versions won't hit it for too much damage while I can MM or EQ back...
Gyarados @ Choice Scarf
Intimidate | Jolly
32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe
- Ice Fang
- Stone Edge
The last member of my team, Gyarados, is yet another gimmicky surprise. Choice Scarf Gyarados is a surprising, yet adept revenge killer. It originally was a Choice Band Gyarados, put on the team to weaken Rotom-a and other pokemon, but I changed it to Scarf Gyara once I saw that pokemon like LO Starmie could really run over me. This revenge killing quality is the only reason I have Gyarados here... though I cannot help but feel some other pokemon would do this much better....
Lacking EQ isn't fun, but I thought that Stone Edge may be better as means to hit other Gyarados (among other things), and the other moves are for the most part mandatory. Payback could be replaced with Bite, but on the switchin it hits harder than Bite (and the next turn the damage output will still be higher...), not that either of them really 2HKO Rotom-a anyways (and Bite only hits as hard as Waterfall, though it is more helpful for revenging Starmie).
The Speed allows me to outrun Timid ScarfHeatran and everything below it. I originally had Adamant, but I eventually got fed up with being outsped by lead Aerodactyl and +Spe Heatran.
Gyarados supports the team via its revenge killing ability. It gives me added insurance against many pokemon, like Lucario, Garchomp, Latias, Tyranitar and Starmie. It is also my primary switch into Garchomp, as it rather easily beats SubSalac and will show me whether or not Garchomp is running Outrage.
This is truly an interesting team; it has a good surprise factor value, while still maintaining enough stability to consistently win. The chosen lead for Elevator Music's team is a Focus Sash Tyranitar, an excellent choice to pick off common Azelf leads in suspect, while still maintaining considerable bulk and being able to easily set up Stealth Rock when needed. Focus Sash Tyranitar is also an excellent early game lure to eliminate Pokémon like Garchomp or Scizor. Scizor often comes in after the lead (like Azelf for example) has been KOed by what is assumed to be Choice Band Tyranitar, only to be OHKOed by Fire Blast. This early game luring eases the pressure off Elevator Music's team by a considerable amount and makes playing much more comfortable. The moveset gives coverage for exactly what Tyranitar needs to lure, and Stealth Rock is always great for providing team support in the form of entry damage.
The next Pokémon is a modification of the "Tinkerbell" Celebi set, with the changes meant to accommodate the team more. U-turn is a solid choice to scout the opposition early game, as well as having the added bonus of dealing damage to Latias, in case it should switch directly into Celebi. Hidden Power Fire hits the ever so common Scizor, and also hits Skarmory and Forretress, so they cannot easily come into Celebi to set up Spikes, as, even with a Rapid Spin Starmie, Spikes can still be annoying. Leaf Storm does a considerable amount of damage to even a Manaphy who has Calm Minded once, which makes Celebi a rather solid check to Defensive Calm Mind Manaphy. The Ground-type resistance Celebi carries is important for Elevator Music, as his only other primary switch into Ground-type attacks is crippled by Stealth Rock. Leftovers replaces Life Orb on the set due to durability issues, and Celebi needs to have as much longevity as possible if the team is going to rely on it for so much.
The first (and only) suspect on on Elevator Music's team is Garchomp, which utilizes a very creative and apparently very successful set. The EVs allow Garchomp to never be OHKOed by a Choice Specs Latias Draco Meteor, something that was a rather popular Swords Dance Garchomp check in Stage 3.2. Fire Blast hits Skarmory, another popular Garchomp check, for a clean 2HKO, assuming it isn't running extremely Special Defense-heavy EVs. With a Haban Berry and smart playing, this Garchomp can also easily bluff Choice Scarf, which makes it even more of a surprise when Garchomp comes in late game and easily gets a Swords Dance boost.
Starmie is one of the most valuable Pokémon to this team, being able to Rapid Spin away Stealth Rock and Spikes, while also providing instant recovery and a solid check to Infernape and Gyarados. Hydro Pump and Thunderbolt provide decent coverage, with Hydro Pump hitting Scizor, Tyranitar, and Rotom-A switch-ins for a solid amount of damage, while Thunderbolt hits Pokémon who are resistant to Water-type attacks, like Manaphy and Suicune. If Starmie manages to Rapid Spin away Stealth Rock, Elevator Music's Garchomp will always survive Choice Specs Latias' Draco Meteor, which allows it to have a much easier time sweeping, and this also shows you just how heavily Starmie is relied upon in this team.
Agility Metagross and Choice Scarf Gyarados round out this wonderful team; Metagross provides for a solid candidate for a late game sweep, thanks to all the Choiced Dragon-type attacks flying around in Stage 3.2, and Gyarados is a very niche specific Pokémon who fits well into this team. Gyarados is an extremely solid revenge killer, and a very unexpected one. The Stealth Rock weakness is alleviated by Starmie carrying Rapid Spin, meaning that Gyarados can easily revenge kill a plethora of Pokémon if Starmie is successful in fufilling its role. Gyarados and Metagross are rather good together, for example if Gyarados manages to hit a Choice Scarf Rotom-A with Payback on the switch in, Metagross can easily sweep later in the game, should it get an Agility boost. Gyarados is the only Pokémon who has a Ground-type immunity on the team, and therefore must be kept alive as long as possible.
Despite the success of this team, it has its weak points. Life Orb Starmie requires very careful prediction, as does Life Orb Suicune, should it manage to get a Calm Mind boost. Skarmory in conjunction with Rotom-A is a tough combination to break, as Rotom-A is constantly blocking the attempts to Rapid Spin away Spikes with Starmie, although this problem isn't so big because Skarmory only has 2 opportunities to switch in without taking quite a bit of damage. Special Defensive Skarmory is considerably harder to take down, avoiding the 2HKO from Celebi and not taking nearly as much from Garchomp's Fire Blasts. Overall this is an extremely solid team, and props to Elevator_Music for creating a great team while still retaining originality.
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