Hey everyone! This issue’s Featured UU RMT, “Team SEXPy” by xianglongfa, is an offensive Spikes-based team that seeks to clear the way for a late-game Raikou sweep. It is a great example of a standard offensive team during the most recent UU metagame. Here is the RMT for those who missed it:
Hi everyone! This team was built by xianglongfa, but the RMT is a joint effort between xianglongfa and whistle. Credit also goes to ReyScarface and Ace Matador for using this team extensively on the ladder and giving feedback. I (xianglongfa) peaked at #4 on the alt "HO is for noobs" with a CRE of 1650 before I stopped laddering. I would have shot for 1700+, but laddering became too slow as my range became significantly lower after a 5 game hax streak. I (whistle) was asked to point out that my lack of leaderboard bragging rights is because I "dick around on alts with horrible ranges" too much, not because the team is bad.
The team is called "SEXPy" because it uses lots of Pokemon that could be suspects and because it's very sexy.
Essentially, this is a bulky offensive team that aims for a late-game Raikou sweep. However, the beauty of the team is that every member (other than Froslass) is an independent win condition while also simultaneously luring in and weakening Raikou's checks. The centerpiece of the team strategy is Spikes support: every member of the offensive core lures in certain Pokemon who are then immediately forced out by another member. This causes Raikou's counters to constantly switch in and out of spikes which means they are significantly weakened when Raikou sets up in the endgame. Spikes also help minimize prediction, since an opposing Pokemon will take heavy damage even when switching into a resisted attack if Spikes are on the field.
The team boasts immunities to every status but Will-o-Wisp, which can get annoying at times but can be played around for the most part.
Team Building Process
I wanted to build a team around a Raikou sweep because it is fast, has a powerful STAB attack, isn't frail, and isn't weak to any priority moves.
Why not add Spikes support? Raikou loves them since the majority of his counters (minus... Claydol?) are grounded Pokemon. They also help wear down the opposing team throughout the match which means Raikou has an easier job sweeping through the remnants at the end.
Honchkrow is a good partner for Raikou because it draws in Steelix and Registeel while easily forcing out (which causes Spikes damage) Venusaur and its fellow Grass-types. Honchkrow basically wrecks every wall in UU which includes things that wall Raikou!
So every UU team needs Stealth Rock, especially one that relies on forcing switches as much as this one. Rhyperior provides a reliable switch into Normal- and Flying-type attacks and is able to pose an offensive threat as well with its massive attack stat and dual STABs.
By now, the core strategy of the team was complete but it lacked resistances and type synergy. Venusaur and Azumarill provide much appreciated Grass, Fire, and Water resistances while keeping strong offensive momentum. Venusaur is a great Milotic switch-in and is able to lure and weaken Registeels, while Azumarill forces lots of switches and also gives the team another strong priority user.
Froslass (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Snow Cloak
EVs: 248 HP / 228 Def / 32 Spd
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Ice Beam
- Pain Split
This is the best non-hail Froslass set we've ever used, hands down. Froslass's purpose is twofold: lay down as many layers of Spikes as possible in the early- and mid-game while simultaneously keep itself at relatively high HP so it can serve as our spinblocker. With a bulky spread, it doesn't have much to fear in the lead position apart from the odd Rock Blast Cloyster; Froslass also has good blind double switching synergy with the rest of the team, which helps it get easy mid-game Spikes.
Since Froslass is one of the frailer ghosts and it doesn't have Rest, it doesn't have too much staying power. To alleviate its burden, we tend to use Froslass as a pivot on predicted Rapid Spins (to Froslass on the Rapid Spin then to Venusaur on the Surf if we're facing Blastoise, for example) in the early game. By the second or third time the opposing spinner comes in, it's usually taken enough damage from Spikes, Stealth Rock, or random attacks that Froslass isn't needed anymore. Once the spinner is weakened, we can "block" Rapid Spin by using double switches to exert offensive pressure.
Taunt and Spikes are self-explanatory moves; Froslass prevents opposing leads from setting up while laying the Spikes that are vital to this team's success. Taunt also prevents bulky Pokemon from recovering HP after they switch into Spikes and Stealth Rock. Ice Beam provides a STAB attack that wards off Ground- and Grass-types, while Pain Split is a surprisingly useful move for keeping Froslass healthy. The given Speed EVs allow Froslass to outspeed neutral natured base 95s as well as +nature base 80s, with the rest of the EVs maximizing physical bulk. Credit goes to Heysup for creating this set :)!
Venusaur (F) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Swords Dance
- Power Whip
- Sleep Powder
Venusaur is this team's most valuable Pokemon in the early- to mid-game because of its ridiculous ability to keep offensive momentum, as well as being our most reliable switch into bulky waters. Venusaur forces switches in two different ways: first, it can directly force bulky waters and grounds out with the threat of a LO Power Whip (which is especially useful when we are double switching while Spikes and Stealth Rock are on the field); second, the opponent may try to play around Venusaur's Sleep Powder by switching around and baiting Sleep Powder onto a status absorber. Venusaur easily lures in opposing Registeels, which are promptly OHKOed by a +2 Earthquake with two layers of Spikes on the field, which potentially opens the opposing team for a Raikou sweep.
Swords Dance and Power Whip are self-explanatory; even though Seed Bomb has perfect accuracy, Power Whip's additional 50% damage output is too good to pass up. Earthquake provides the best secondary coverage for this team, since neither Altaria nor Moltres particularly threatens the rest of the team and Raikou really appreciates having Registeel out of the way. Sleep Powder separates Venusaur from its fellow Swords Dancers, and can easily put a Pokemon on the opposing team out of commission for the entire match.
A Life Orb is a must on this set as it gives Venusaur a hefty kick behind its attacks (it is necessary to 2HKO Honchkrow after Stealth Rock damage, for example). Venusaur's ability to keep offensive momentum comes from its high damage output even against Pokemon that resist its attacks, so Leftovers isn't a viable option. A Jolly nature ensures that at worst, we speed tie with all of Venusaur's fellow base 80s, which include Blaziken, Kabutops, Gallade.
Rhyperior (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 120 HP / 228 Atk / 28 Def / 132 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Stealth Rock
- Rock Blast
Rhyperior sets up the all-important Stealth Rock for our team, as well as serving as an all-purpose physical tank while still dishing out hits due to the high Attack investment. Rhyperior has excellent switch-in synergy with the rest of the team, since it tends to lure in the bulky Waters and Grounds that Azumarill and Venusaur love to set up on.
Earthquake provides a reliable STAB attack. Rock Blast was chosen over Stone Edge or Rock Slide due to its ability to defeat Substitute abusers (including SubPunchers, SubRoost Moltres, and even Substitute Mismagius in a pinch). Megahorn is a useful coverage attack that hits Umbreon (we can beat Curse variants as long as we switch in on a Curse and Umbreon has taken a little residual damage from Spikes), Slowbro, Tangrowth, and Leafeon super-effectively.
The given Speed EVs put Rhyperior at 149 Speed, which outspeeds 0 Speed Omastar as well as nearly all base 50s like Donphan, the Regis, Chansey, Azumarill, and Tangrowth. The HP EVs yield an HP stat of 401, which lets Rhyperior survive five Seismic Tosses at full HP (and is one more than a leftovers number). The Defense EVs ensure that an Adamant Life Orbed Gallade never OHKOs Rhyperior with Close Combat, even with Stealth Rock down, while the rest of the EVs are dumped into Attack.
Azumarill (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 240 Atk / 16 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Focus Punch
- Aqua Jet
Azumarill gives our team a solid switch into Fire-types like Blaziken and Moltres, while also bringing a strong priority move to the table. In addition, helps cause Raikou's counters to switch in and out of Spikes; it lures in Venusaur like moths to a candle, and can easily force out Ground-types like Steelix. The SubPunch set was chosen over the Choice Band set for two reasons. First, this team doesn't handle sweepers that could set up on the Choice Band set (such as Toxicroak, Feraligatr, or Mismagius) too well. Second, this set has a little more longevity, and is good at forcing tons of switches (which means more Spikes damage).
Substitute and Focus Punch are self-explanatory, and allow Azumarill to take advantage of Pokemon like Registeel and Chansey. Aqua Jet gives us a solid priority attack that checks dangerous Fire-type sweepers like Blaziken, Magmortar, and Houndoom. Waterfall was chosen over Ice Punch or Toxic because of the importance of a solid STAB attack; it delivers a solid hit on Uxie, Mesprit, Spiritomb, and similarly bulky Pokemon.
252 HP EVs are needed for Azumarill to create Substitutes that are unbreakable with one Seismic Toss which lets us set up on Chansey and Encore-less Clefable. 16 Speed EVs outpaces the majority of Azumarill's fellow base 50s, while the remaining EVs are dumped into Attack.
Honchkrow (F) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Brave Bird
- Sucker Punch
Basically, Honchkrow destroys walls in UU, including walls that wall Raikou. Its immunity to Sleep Powder and resistance to Grass also makes it a good switch-in to Venusaur, who is a common Raikou counter. Honchkrow also brings a second priority attack in the form of Sucker Punch, which lets it check many powerful but frail sweepers like Sceptile, Magmortar, Alakazam, and the multitude of rain sweepers.
Honchkrow's moveset provides the most utility for this team. Brave Bird tears through UU's bulkiest Pokemon, 2HKOing Milotic, Slowbro, Weezing, and Uxie. The Rock- and Steel-types that resist Flying are torn apart by Superpower (incidentally, Registeel and Steelix, two popular Raikou counters, love switching into Honchkrow). Sucker Punch gives us the aforementioned priority attack and is a last-ditch defense against many sweepers. Roost lets Honchkrow recover HP lost from wrecklessly spamming Brave Bird and stops opponents from simply stalling it out from Life Orb recoil (as a result, it plays somewhat similarly to OU's Roost MixMence).
The EVs are straightforward; max Attack to wreak the most havoc on the opponent, while max Speed ensures we speed tie at worst against opposing Honchkrow. An Adamant nature is preferred to hit as hard as possible; there is nothing to reliably outspeed even with a Jolly nature, since many base 80s are running +Speed natures of their own.
Raikou @ Leftovers
EVs: 232 SpA / 24 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Calm Mind
- Hidden Power [Grass]
Raikou is the Pokemon this team was built around, and by the time it comes out in the late game, the opposing team should be weakened enough for it to easily sweep. Raikou was chosen over another late game sweeper for several reasons. It's extremely fast, which means it can stat-up ahead of fellow sweepers like SubCM Mismagius. This also means the number of Pokemon that can reliably revenge-kill it is lower (since it is faster than the majority of the tier). Substitute blocks status and critical hits, scouts, and makes revenge killing Raikou much harder; it is bulky enough to create unbreakable Substitutes against many common special attackers after just a single Calm Mind. This set was chosen over the offensive Life Orb set due to its reliability and difficulty to revenge kill; since the goal of the rest of the team is to systematically weaken Raikou's counters, we usually don't miss the slight loss of power.
Substitute and Calm Mind are self-explanatory and allow Raikou to set up on the majority of UU's special attackers, while Thunderbolt provides a reliable and powerful STAB attack. Hidden Power Grass is preferred over Ice or Water because the rest of the team is designed to beat most of the targets that Ice or Water would be useful against, like Venusaur and Steelix. Hidden Power Grass is useful against Lanturn and Quagsire, two Pokemon who cause problems for the rest of the team.
The EVs are straightforward: max Speed is preferred as it lets Raikou set up Substitutes or Calm Minds ahead of opposing attacks, and lets us tie at worst with opposing Raikou and Ambipom. 24 Special Defense EVs ensure that +1 Raikou's Substitute is never broken by 0 SpA EV Milotic's Surf (and by extension, Slowbro's and Slowking's Surfs too). The remaining EVs are dumped into Special Attack to do as much damage as possible.
It has been lots of fun creating and using this team full of potentially BL Pokemon and abusing them to the fullest! Even more fun was sharing this team with others, such as whistle, ReyScarface, Ace Matador, TheFourthChaser, and Mind, among others. Feel free to suggest any fixes to the team based on potential tier changes (especially Honchkrow), or to steal it and use it for yourself!
Xianglongfa’s lead is a bulkier Froslass build that aims to quickly lay down layers of Spikes, but at the same time stay alive to function as a Spin blocker. Since it doesn’t have a Focus Sash, it has some trouble against leads like Moltres and Kabutops which carry powerful STAB super effective attacks; however, Leftovers in conjunction with Pain Split greatly adds to Froslass’s survivability against leads like Uxie, Ambipom, and Spiritomb. Froslass’s Spikes are extremely important to this team’s success because they help wear down Raikou’s counters (the majority of which are grounded, such as Steelix, Venusaur, and Umbreon) and also make switching around much harder for the opponent.
The team’s second member, Swords Dance Venusaur, is an extremely fearsome sweeper in UU due to its ability to instantly double its Attack stat and put a would-be counter to sleep with Sleep Powder. Venusaur is xianglongfa’s best answer to bulky Water-types in the early- and mid-game (when Raikou is unlikely to sweep), and can lure in and KO Registeel that would otherwise wall Raikou. A Jolly nature on Venusaur ensures it ties at worst with its fellow base 80 Speed Pokémon and also ensures it beats Jolly Feraligatr, which is important to prevent Swords Dance Feraligatr from walking over this team. While Synthesis seems like an attractive option to recover HP, this Venusaur is usually better off keeping the pace fast and using free turns to attack, set up, or sleep a potential counter.
Venusaur synergizes well with the team’s next member, Rhyperior. Rhyperior helps take Fire and Flying attacks aimed at Venusaur (most often Brave Birds from Honchkrow) and also provides an important Normal resistance for xianglongfa. In return, Venusaur switches into the Water attacks frequently aimed at Rhyperior and proceeds to set up. Rhyperior sets up the all-important Stealth Rock, which adds further pressure on switching opponents and helps wear down dangerous Flying-types like Moltres and Honchkrow. Rock Blast lets Rhyperior become a good answer to Pokémon with Substitute, like Mismagius and SubRoost Moltres, while Megahorn lets it take down weakened Slowbro and Umbreon.
While Rhyperior readily switches into physically-oriented Fire-type attacks, it struggles to take Fire Blasts and Flamethrowers, which is where Azumarill comes in. It functions as a solid switch-in against Blaziken and Moltres, while also giving the team a priority attack. The SubPunch set allows Azumarill to take advantage of defensive Pokémon that can’t do much damage to it, such as Chansey and Registeel. Venusaur, a common Raikou check, loves to switch into Azumarill; with Spikes and Stealth Rock on the field, it should hopefully be weakened enough for Raikou to break through it in the late game. Waterfall was chosen over a coverage attack like Ice Punch so Azumarill has a powerful STAB attack to use to beat down on bulkier Pokémon like Spiritomb, Hitmontop, and Uxie.
The next Pokémon shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone who has played the most recent round of UU. Since it was one of UU’s strongest wall breakers (before it was banned in a unanimous vote), the question was “why not use Honchkrow?” Honchkrow provides this team with a solid answer to any Venusaur that switch into Azumarill or Rhyperior because it is immune to Sleep Powder (due to its ability, Insomnia) and Earthquake and resists Power Whip. With Brave Bird and Superpower, Honchkrow 2HKOs almost the entire UU tier, heavily weakening the Steelix and Registeel that would otherwise counter Raikou. Sucker Punch also provides a strong priority attack that is this team’s primary answer to several offensive threats, including Dragon Dance Feraligatr, Swords Dance Sceptile, and Alakazam, in addition to cleaning up weakened offensive teams late-game.
The final member of the team is no other than SubCM Raikou. This set can sweep in a heartbeat in the late-game once the other team is weakened due to its high Speed and access to Calm Mind, which lets it set up on a wide range of special attackers. While a Life Orb variant provides more power than this SubCM set, it is much more prone to revenge killing and has less survivability. Since Raikou’s counters should theoretically be weakened or dead by the time it comes out in the late game, reliability is preferred in this instance. Raikou is also a great answer to Rain Dance and other heavy offensive teams late-game since most common sweepers don’t have an Electric-type resistance. If it gets a Calm Mind on a special attacker or a Substitute on a rain team’s supporting Pokémon, Raikou can spell doom for many frailer teams.
Despite this team’s solid strategy and synergy, a few Pokémon can give it problems. A Life Orb Cloyster lead can OHKO Froslass with Rock Blast and cause problems for every other member barring Raikou; to beat this lead, xianglongfa must either let his Venusaur get severely weakened by Ice Shard or reveal Raikou in the early game, neither of which are particularly desirable. If a Dragon Dance Feraligatr manages to set up on Rhyperior, this team’s only hope is to wear it down with Life Orb recoil and finish with Honchkrow’s Sucker Punch. Life Orb Moltres and Choice Specs Sceptile can also cause this team lots of problems, since there is only one “safe” switch for both (Azumarill for Moltres and Venusaur for Sceptile), which means they can get worn down easily. In addition to these specific Pokémon, this team has no immunities to Will-O-Wisp, and may have trouble breaking walls like Weezing without resorting to bringing Raikou out. However, despite these weak points, this team performed extremely well on the ladder and is a great example of a bulky offensive team from the most recent metagame.