Featured UU RMT: Free Bird by Heysup
This issue’s Featured UU RMT is "Free Bird" by Heysup. The team is designed to support the offensive duo of Moltres and Swellow while they abuse Froslass’s ability to set up Spikes, and has enjoyed great success on the ladder. Without further ado:
Venusaur @ Choice Scarf
252 Spe / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
- Sludge Bomb
- Sleep Powder
- Leaf Storm
Role Summary: When I finally got myself to look at the metagame and "accept" that Froslass was here for this round, I decided "fine, I'll use Scarf Sleep". Scarf Sleep Powder is the only, yes, only way to stop all set up early game. This is especially important versus Omastar and other Stealth Rock leads since I need Moltres, Swellow, and Froslass to function properly at least until late game. Scarf Venusaur was the perfect candidate, as it provides me with excellent resists that are hard to come by when I am using so many "defensively-useless" Pokemon. It makes an unbelievable revenge killer for RPerior, Aggron, Swellow, DD Gatr, etc.
Against other leads, I just Sleep. Against Arcanine, I switch to Moltres. Against Ambipom, I switch to Froslass.
Moveset: Nothing out of the ordinary here except for Earthquake, which is for Raikou and "denting" Registeel. Leaf Storm hits pretty hard, Sludge Bomb hits other Grass-types and is a great late-game sweeping move. Sleep Powder is Sleep Powder.
EVs, Nature, and Item: I felt I needed to run Timid, since otherwise I would have a huge ass problem with RP mons, specifically Rhyperior. I didn't want to lower my defenses for Earthquake either, as it still 2HKOes Raikou after Substitute.
Froslass @ Leftovers
248 HP / 228 Def / 32 Spe
Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
- Ice Beam
- Pain Split
Role Summary: Surprise (not), I'm using pro..er...bulky Froslass. How about Broslass? Just kidding (sort of). Anyway, Froslass is the absolute best Spiker in the game, bar none. It is part of the, in my opinion, broken trio of Pokemon that I'm using. Froslass makes it so that I can easily set up Spikes, especially in this metagame where I can use Tri Attack from Porygon-Z, and basically any Cresselia as set up bait. Not only does it set up Spikes easily, it also helps keep them on the field. Froslass beats, or at least severely weakens every Rapid Spinner in the tier. This means that Spikes and Stealth Rock will usually be up, and Moltres + Swellow are almost impossible to stop with those battle conditions.
Moveset: Taunt is very useful for a lot of things, but the main reason I use it is to stop Foresight users. Spikes are Spikes, they are awesome. Pain Split is the real "kicker" on this set. It allows Froslass to heal up and weaken almost every Pokemon. This is very useful when you need to keep the opponent's Spinner weakened so they can't switch in again and Spin. Ice Beam is for hitting Donphan and the like. Fun Fact: Froslass beats Ambipom if I switch into Fake Out and use Spikes, Pain Split, and Ice Beam in that order. Donphan shares a similar fate, but I don't use Spikes first since I'll switch into Earthquake most likely.
EVs, Nature, and Item: Bulky Froslass's EVs are explained somewhere in the UU new movesets thread and everywhere in the superthread. In short, Froslass is EV'd to outspeed max Speed base 95s, while retaining enough bulk to avoid being 2HKOed by Ambipom or CB Spiritomb.
Donphan @ Leftovers
252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
- Rapid Spin
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
Role Summary: Donphan is in this slot because it is essentially the only Pokemon who is bulky, hits hard, and can Spin + Stealth Rock effectively. It helps check Rhyperior as well. Stealth Rock is crucial, as it allows Moltres to have an easy time destroying the opponent. Spinning is crucial as well, as Moltres, Swellow, and Froslass absolutely hate Stealth Rock. There really isn't much to say about Donphan except that it is the "glue" that holds this team together.
Moveset: Standard SR + Rapid Spin set, but with Stone Edge in the final slot. Stone Edge reliably OHKOes Froslass, and it also gives me a way to hit Moltres.
EVs, Nature, and Item: Max Atk EVs and an Adamant nature give Donphan one of the most threatening STAB Earthquakes in the game. With max HP Donphan gets a Leftovers number and has excellent physical bulk.
Moltres @ Life Orb
40 HP / 252 SpAtk / 216 Spe
Modest (+SpA, -Atk)
- Air Slash
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power Grass
Role Summary: Moltres is hot (yes it was a pun get over it). If I had a nickel for every time someone said "Wow, I'm Moltres weak" after I send in Moltres and 2HKO their "counter"....I would probably have a lot of nickels. The reason for this, is that with Spikes and Stealth Rock, Moltres essentially goes from 11-15 safe switch-ins to.....0. 3 Pokemon (Azumarill, Chansey, and Altaria) can switch into Air Slash / Fire Blast and beat Moltres. However, Chansey has a very high probability of losing, and if it survives it's by the skin of its teeth. Altaria can't do shit to Moltres. And Azumarill is OHKOed by HP Grass. This is why I think Spikes are broken :). tl;dr: Moltres is a damn near unstoppable wall breaker / sweeper.
Moveset: Standard Sweeper Moltres. Nothing much to say here. Fire Blast hurts. Air Slash hurts other stuff and flinches. HP grass covers Water-types and Rhyperior.
EVs, Nature, and Item: 252 SpA EVs and a Modest nature ensure many KOes. For starters, it 2HKOes most Cresselia, Chansey (with Spikes + SR), and others, while also OHKOing Azumarill with HP Grass after Spikes + SR. 216 Spe EVs allows it to outpace neutral Magmortar and max Speed Cresselia, while the 40 HP EVs help Moltres take random attacks, specifically Ice Beam + Psychic from Cresselia and Fire-type attacks from Arcanine and Blaziken.
Absol @ Life Orb
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
- Sucker Punch
- Swords Dance
- Night Slash
Role Summary: Absol is definitely the anti-metagame Pokemon. Being able to check Cresselia, Porygon-Z, and the like make it a great Pokemon to have on your team. On top of this, it absolutely DESTROYs stall. If I send it in and get a Swords Dance on something like Cresselia or a Taunted Spiritomb, the opponent is absolutely forked. Absol is good against every team time except for those annoying pos Cleffa hail teams....
Moveset: Swords Dance > Stall. Sucker Punch > Offense. Superpower > Everything else. Night Slash is Absol's main STAB attack, and the awesome crit rate is...awesome.
EVs, Nature, and Item: Max / Max. Purely offensive, I was thinking about lowering Speed a bit since "everything" is going to be outpacing Absol, but I doubt it would help.
Swellow @ Toxic Orb
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
- Brave Bird
- Quick Attack
Role Summary: I rarely have ever ran a team without Swellow since Crobat has been banned because of its ability to do what Crobat does best: check everything. However, Swellow doesn't live as long as Crobat, but instead it is one of the best, if not the best late game sweepers in UU. With Spikes and one use of U-turn, Swellows counters go from 24 to four. That is quite ridiculous if you ask me. Swellow picks teams apart late game after Absol and Moltres destroy their walls or core. [Cocky]That is, if I need to[/Cocky].
Moveset: Standard Guts Swellow. Brave Bird hits hard and Ghosts. Facade hits harder (OHKOes Porygon-Z, enough said). U-turn is to abuse Spikes with and reduce Toxic damage. Quick Attack is a must to deal with opposing Absol (who ALWAYS seem to Sucker Punch first).
EVs, Nature, and Item: Max / Max with Jolly to outspeed everything minus Electrode who is...Electrode...as well as tying with other Swellow.
Heysup's lead Venusaur is reminiscent of the metagames from the beginning of modern UU, when Scarf Roserade was an attractive choice for teams looking for a strong revenge killer and lead all in one. It is able to immediately give Heysup the upper hand against setup leads like Uxie and Froslass, while the departure of Honchkrow (who boasted a resistance to Grass, and Insomnia along with Pursuit) makes it even more effective. With a Timid nature, Scarf Venusaur also serves as an excellent revenge killer to threats like Dragon Dance Feraligatr, Rock Polish Rhyperior, and Calm Mind Raikou (with Earthquake). Finally, Venusaur provides Heysup with his only Water resist, which is important for switching into the bulky Waters that threaten his Donphan and Moltres.
The next Pokémon is arguably Heysup’s MVP, despite its offensive ineptness and mediocre defensive stats. Froslass is able to set up the Spikes that make life much more difficult for Swellow and Moltres's counters, which are primarily grounded Pokémon. When EVed bulkily, Froslass is deceptively hard to kill with physical attacks, and with Pain Split, it can set up Spikes against essentially every defensive Pokémon in the tier as well as a decent number of offensive threats. Taunt stops Pokémon from setting up against Froslass, and also blocks the Foresight / Rapid Spin combination from Hitmontop and Blastoise.
Since the majority of the offensive output from this team comes from two Pokémon weak to Stealth Rock, a Rapid Spinner is almost a necessity. Heysup's choice is Donphan, which was chosen over Blastoise and Hitmontop because it offers a way to threaten Ghosts without using Foresight, the ability to set up Stealth Rock, and a Rock resistance all in one package. In addition, with max Attack, it can pose an offensive threat of its own with STAB Earthquake and Stone Edge for coverage.
The next Pokémon is one of UU's most immediately threatening Pokémon, Life Orb Moltres. With great dual STAB, a massive Special Attack stat, and decent Speed, there are very few Pokémon in the tier that can switch into it without risking a 2HKO from one of its attacks. With Stealth Rock and Spikes up, the list of safe switch-ins sharply plummets; Milotic and Cresselia can be 2HKOed, while the additional residual damage forces Chansey to continually recover after switching into Fire Blast. As long as Heysup can keep opposing Rapid Spin from spinning away his hazards, Moltres can be a nearly unstoppable wall-breaker.
To help patch up his slight defensive Cresselia weakness, Heysup's next Pokémon is a Swords Dance Absol, which is is extremely dangerous to offensive teams and defensive teams alike. With Dark STAB, it can take on Cresselia with relative ease, and also brings a welcome priority attack to the team for revenge killing frail sweepers like Porygon-Z and even weakened bulkier Pokémon like Venusaur or Azumarill. Absol also synergizes well with Froslass, since it can easily set up on Taunted Spiritomb or Umbreon, while bulky Pokémon that can stand up to Absol's assaults (like Hitmontop and Donphan) are vulnerable to Spikes as well. Spikes also help put frailer sweepers like Porygon-Z into KO range for Sucker Punch.
Swellow forms the other half of Heysup’s offensive Flying duo. With Spikes on the field, U-turn becomes much more than a scouting tool and instead becomes a potent weapon for weakening counters like Registeel, Steelix, and Rhyperior, effectively taking away up to a third of their HP. Swellow is an extremely powerful late-game sweeper due to its high Speed and Attack (after Toxic Orb activation) and high Base Power attacks. It also functions as a check against many offensive Pokemon like Porygon-Z, Absol, Raikou, Venusaur, and Alakazam.
However, team Free Bird does have its weaknesses. Since Heysup’s only Water resist is a Pokemon without any investment in its defenses and the rest of his Pokemon aren’t very bulky, Rain Dance teams can give him some problems (leading with Scarf Sleep Powder does help to an extent though). Since his team relies on Spikes to wear down the opponent, a well-played Foresight Hitmontop or Blastoise can come in repeatedly to spin away his hazards, which gives the opposing team much more freedom in switching around. Also, without Stealth Rock, opposing Moltres can be quite a pain since Heysup relies on revenge killing it. Despite these flaws, this team has been quite successful, and was a pleasure to review.