Featured UU RMT
Moltres @ Life Orb
Nature: Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Fire Blast
- Air Slash
- Hidden Power Grass
Why Moltres? Wynaut? Really, the reason I could only make one team this stage is because whenever I'd start thinking of what the premise should be I'd say, "OK, add Moltres and think of other stuff later", and would end up with nearly the same team everytime. Moltres is possibly one of, if not the best leads and Pokémon in the current metagame. First, it stops those annoying Froslass (Omastar and Cloyster too) from setting up infinite layers of spikes with no retaliation, which means I don't have to worry so much if my opponent is packing a strong spin blocking core. Second, it's able to either defeat or severely cripple the most common leads, and that means I'm never at a disadvantage from the get go. Finally, he acts as my early game Chansey bait, who sees Moltres as perfect fodder to either set up SR or start spreading status, only to be met by Dugtrio and an OHKO, making it easier for Raikou to sweep.
Moltres' usefulness on my team is not limited to leading though. Because of its respectable bulk, he can constantly switch into Fighting-types like Hitmonlee and Primeape, whose usages seem to have spiked as Cresselia left the metagame; absorb Will-O-Wisp from things like Weezing and the always annoying Rest Talk Rotom; counter the Venusaur surge, which seems to be back and stronger than ever; and make an awesome late game cleaner when special walls like Lanturn and Chansey have already been removed by Dugtrio.
Changes I've been considering: Sometimes I think of changing Moltres' nature to Modest so that I can say a 72-sized-Microsoft-Word-letter 'screw you' to Milotic, but I'm really nippy about not being able to outspeed base 80 and 85 Speed Pokémon (namely Toxicroack and Blaziken). Besides the nature change, I've also thought of changing Moltres to a Scarf set because of my gross Torterra weakness, but I'm afraid his overall usefulness will be way too compromised.
Venusaur @ Life Orb
Nature: Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Sleep Powder
- Swords Dance
- Power Whip
Why Venusaur? When I was building this team I knew an answer to bulky waters like Milotic, Azumarill and Blastoise was necessary, because Raikou simply cannot afford switching into them with no form of recovery whatsoever; that meant I had to go with a bulky Grass-type to handle these threats, and it wasn't much of a brainer to figure this spot out. Because of his bulk, automatic absorption of Toxic Spikes, and access to a physical set, Venusaur is the guy who takes this job. However, because of the amazing amount of bulk this thing got, even with no defensive investment and holding a Life Orb, Venusaur can do many other things outside of acting as my main bulky water counter, having in Sleep Powder a great answer to anything I cannot immediately handle but that I can take a hit from, like Torterra among others; putting a temporary halt to cursers, setting up alongside and sleeping them when I see fit (that being one of the main reasons why I went with the SD set over its special counterpart); while also messing up stall teams to an outstanding deegre (second reason) and acting as a solid check for the always annoying SubSeeders, especially Sceptile that decide to run HP Rock (third reason). All those things together mean something: this guy is never a dead weight on my team, and always a true nightmare for anyone who gets to face it. Because of several recommendations I have replaced Earthquake with Return to deal wtih Flying-types better, and even though I didn't get the chance to test it extensively, I have the feeling Earthquake is not really needed with Dugtrio around to cover Steel-types.
Changes I've been considering: As of lately the number of Altaria on the ladder has been vertiginously increasing, and that added to the fact Moltres is one of the most common and annoying Pokémon made me consider using Return over Eathquake to actually deal some damage as they switch in, even though that would mean not getting past Registeel. I'm also considering using Leftovers because constantly switching into Milotic and Azumarill is the perfect formula for major HP depletion, even though (IIRC) I won't be able to OHKO bulky Rotom after a SD and Milotic without one, added to the fact I'll miss Venusaur hitting like a really really bad bad plant when on Overgrow range. Finally, I've been thinking of replacing Venusaur with SD Leafeon to handle Torterra better, but the base 60 SpD is a real turn off, especially when you are switching into Milotic once every five turns.
Changes that have beem made: Return has taken Earthquake's spot so that Venusaur is able to actually hit Altaria and Moltres, while being able to hit pure Grass-types that like to wall him, like Leafeon. Earthquake, on the other hand, doesn't seem that needed anymore (even though Shed Shell Registeel is still quite troublesome), and the metagame urges me to make the change.
Blastoise @ Leftovers
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 32 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Rapid Spin
Why Blastoise? Because spikestacking teams are literally everywhere, I've been very reluctant to run a team without a spinner, no matter if there are 0 or 6 Pokémon weak to SR, and that added to the facts Moltres has a disgusting 4x SR weakness and that none of my Pokémon, except for Moltres, has a recovery move reminds me that the very last thing I want is to be bothered everytime I switch Pokémon around. The reasons why I chose Blastoise over any other spinner are simple: I do not make teams without a bulky water, as the multitude of resistances added to the little number of weakness they present is something way too appealing for me to pass up; this guy makes a great check for many underrated threats of this metagame like Absol, Arcanine, Houndoom, Rhyperior, Aggron, Blaziken, *insert huge list of underused yet powerful Pokémon*; and most importantly, he can actually do a decent amount of damage to all common spin blockers, as most of them focus on physical defense to block Donphan and Hitmontop. Regarding the moveset, as it might look a bit different from standard, I tweaked it because things like Sleep Talk Altaria and Rotom were proving to be way too annoying for my team to face (and because mind owned me with a specially bulky Rest Froslass), so I decided to bypass things like Yawn and Toxic and use Ice Beam and Foresight instead, which allows me to either beat or get my spin against the aforementioned pokés and to do something against Venusaur.
Changes I've been considering: To be honest, if Blastoise had 5 moveslots to work with, I'd still be undecided about its moveset. I've used both Roar and Toxic on the past and they proved to be very useful, phazing things that got way too many Curses and crippling Milotic and Ghost-type switch-ins respectively, but also made spinning a much harder task against teams that packed any Ghost-type; and without Ice Beam I am as good as dead against any team with a bulky DD Altaria.
Registeel @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Careful (+SpD, -SpA)
EVs: 252 HP / 104 Atk / 152 SpD
- Ice Punch
- Seismic Toss
- Thunder Wave
- Stealth Rock
Why Registeel? Registeel is, most importantly, some sort of backup on this team, giving me the always important Flying/Normal resistances, which are very important with all those Swellow and Scyther flying around (a duo of real mofos once this guy is gone); acting as my Stealth Rock user; an extra rain insurance and a counter/check for the many specially-oriented threats that have been thriving on the ladder as of lately, namely Mismagius, Alakazam (people love to pair these two together...), Secptile, and Raikou, against whom you're never safe, even having Dugtrio (screw Shuca Berry...). However, this guy's biggest utility on my team is something else. Because Registeel is my only check to a small amount of threats, I can afford not to run Shed Shell on it, so that I can scout for Dugtrio and severely weaken them with Ice Punch, getting them into my own Dugtrio's Sucker Punch range and making it easier for Raikou to sweep, without having to worry about getting trapped and killed before it can say Thunderbolt (or Raikou...). Because things like Torterra and Altaria were proving to be way too annoying for my team to face, I have replaced the usual Earthquake/Iron Head combo and added Ice Punch/Seismic Toss. With these two attacks I can hit Swellow, Dugtrio, Altaria, and Torterra much harder (ironically, now Registeel can actually check Torterra), while also packing enough punch to always break Rotom's Substitutues from the standard Charge Beam Set, meaning that shouldn't be that troublesome now.
Changes I've been considering: Because Rotom is an annoying son of a battery I've been thinking of replacing Iron Head and Earthquake with Shadow Claw and Seismic Toss to deal with SubCharge and Choiced sets much easier, also stopping those smart SubGatr from setting up on its face and hit its common switch-ins harder. Now that I'm running Ice Punch and Seismic Toss the only Poké I'm having more trouble with is Mismagius, which is perfectly manageable, so I don't think I'll switch this.
Changes that have beem made: Ice Punch and Seismic Toss were given the nod over Earthquake and Iron Head. With this new attacking combination I can hit almost everything that Registeel is meant to check harder, while not being a complete setup fodder for Altaria, Torterra, and, to an extent, SubPerior and SubCharge Rotom, as both of them always have their Substitues broken by Ice Punch. Credits to Folgorio.
Dugtrio @ Life Orb
Ability: Arena Trap
Nature: Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Beat Up
- Stone Edge
- Sucker Punch
Why Dugtrio? Raikou is one of the most fearsome sweepers in the UU tier, but like all of them, it has some drop dead counters, and in this case they present themselves as Registeel and Chansey. That's where Dugtrio comes in. Initially, I placed this guy here with the sole reason of defeating these two Pokémon, an easy task to perform as long as I don't mess up and switch into a Registeel's Iron Head; but he has proven to be very useful on an offensive team in the most diverse situations and an all around great 'oh, crap' button, taking out Scarfed Pokémon that could end up putting a premature ending to my sweep or team and revenging opposing LO Raikou, Drapion, Blaziken, Lanturn, Specs Alakazam, *insert huge list of Pokémon*. This guy also happens to be the best answer ever to the annoying surge of Scarf Venusaurs who try to sleep Moltres on the first turn and end up being met by a triple 'lol no' sign and an early 6-5 score. Finally, Dugtrio happens to be the reason why I nicknamed my whole team as well, because Beat Up would reveal my whole team otherwise.
Changes I've been considering: Sometimes I feel like saying 'screw Moltres' and going back to the CB set, as I definitely prefer the extra power over the possibility of changing attacks, but that's easier said than done; as long as Blastoise is a shaky check to say the least, Life Orb is staying. I've also thought of using Soft Sand to bluff a Choiced set and catch some Moltres trying to be smart in the process, but the power drop is very big and it shouldn't be hard for my opponent to tell I'm not Banded by the 30% damage difference.
Raikou @ Life Orb
Nature: Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Calm Mind
- Hidden Power Water
Why Raikou? The Poké this whole team was based around. So much power... so much potential... if I were to name the biggest offensive threats of the current metagame, LO Raikou would definitely be at the top of the list. The way this set plays is very simple and extremely predictable, yet very hard to stop once Scarfed Pokémon, Registeel, and Chansey have been removed from game with Dugtrio's support, and opposing Dugtrio have been defeated by a combination of Registeel and my own mole. Get a CM up on the plethora of things Raikou either scares out or does not mind taking a hit from with his impressive bulk (Milotic's Surf barely achieves 25% damage after a CM) and, from there, proceed to sweep the rest of the opponent's team, while making most of its offensive checks eat dirt with the awesome coverage provided by HP Water and Extrasensory that allows him to hit Rhyperior, Donphan, Steelix, and Venusaur for super effective damage, OHKOing all of them unless they have a specially defensive set. As franky said: 'No final words here, go use Raikou and Dugtrio'—you won't regret it.
Changes I've been considering: Because things like Torterra have been getting on my nerves, as well as, relatively free setups on Raikou, I've been considering using HP Ice over Water on Raikou to deal with the annoying tortoise, in addition to messing up teams that rely on Altaria, Leafeon, and Meganium to check it.
With the recent conclusion of the UU Smogon Tour, I'm sure a handful of players believe that stall is the way to go in order to dominate the metagame. After all, judging by the comments in the UU Subforum, it seems that the tour consisted of a plethora of stall Pokemon, leaving offensive Pokemon ignored and left in their Poké Balls. One player dared to go against these short-sighted views and claim the top spot on the UU leaderboard with a rather balanced team of four offensive powerhouses and two supporting walls. Team "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by user Bluewind negates the narrow view that residual damage and stall-based teams are necessary to succeed in the UU metagame.
Leading off the offensive onslaught for Bluewind is the powerful Moltres. LO Moltres as a lead is effective in that it hits every common lead for heavy damage, and often limits Spiking leads to two layers max. Froslass can manage at best two layers of Spikes without touching Moltres, and Omastar cannot even get a single layer out due to the omnipresence of HP Grass. Moltres forces almost every opponent to carry a bulky Water-types—usually Milotic—or Chansey to prevent being swept. The three offensive moves are obvious: Fire Blast's base 120 power off of Moltres's base 135 Special Attack hits everything that doesn't resist it hard, HP Grass hits Water types that think they can switch in for free, and Air Slash adds another powerful STAB attack. Perhaps the crux of the set is Roost, allowing Moltres to use its Fire and Ground immunities to virtually restore health for free. In this manner, Moltres's 4x weakness to Stealth Rock is somewhat covered.
Complementing Moltres offensively is Venusaur. Whereas Moltres hits hard from the special side, Venusaur is used by Bluewind to punish opponents on the physical side. Venusaur complements Moltres nicely, being able to easily switch in on bulky Water-types such as Milotic, and threatening to KO with Power Whip. Venusaur is also an excellent asset against stall teams, being able to incapacitate its normal counters with Sleep Powder, and boosting in their faces with Swords Dance. Power Whip and Return offer quite good coverage, only failing to hit Registeel and Steelix harder than Power Whip and Earthquake would. And, of course, since Venusaur is a grounded Poison-type, it absorbs Toxic Spikes that opposing stall teams are likely to set up. Quite a nifty offensive Pokemon, one that I've personally be swept by multiple times! It's the number one used Pokemon in UU for a reason!
When you think of a bulky Water-type in UU, the first Pokemon that comes to mind is likely Milotic. However, Blastoise is just as potent as Milotic, due to its ability to Rapid Spin against a majority of spin-blockers and counter some threatening physical sweepers. With the combination of Foresight and Rapid Spin, Blastoise can eliminate all entry-hazards against every spin-blocker; this helps Moltres especially due to its 4x Stealth Rock weakness. Eliminating these hazards prolongs the life of Bluewind's offensive sweepers, and therefore gives him a better shot to win. Blastoise's other two offensive moves are there for coverage. Surf lets Blastoise deal with a plethora of problematic sweepers, including Arcanine, Houndoom, Rhyperior, Aggron, and Blaziken. Surf also happens to hit the common spin-blockers hard, such as Froslass and Rotom, who don't invest much in Special Defense. Ice Beam covers other offensive threats in a pinch, such as DD Altaria and Swellow if necessary.
Bluewind's lone defensive supporter is Registeel. On an offensive team such as this one, it is often quite handy to have something like Registeel that has multiple support options and resistances. Since Bluewind doesn't have Stealth Rock support up until now, Registeel can cover that issue with ease, due to its sturdy typing and defensive stat distribution. Thunder Wave lets Registeel deal with faster threats, usually Choice Scarfers, allowing Moltres and Venusaur to effectively revenge-kill almost anything. Seismic Toss is there for steady damage, since Bluewind is running a rather defensive EV spread. Finally, Ice Punch is there to hit fast problematic special sweepers like Alazakam and Mismagius for decent damage. Ice Punch also happens to hit Torterra hard, who is a rather large issue for this team (more on that later).
Finally, the duo that perhaps ends up winning Bluewind more than his fair share of games: Dugtrio and Raikou. Common counters to Raikou include Chansey, Registeel, Chansey, Registeel, and Chansey. Dugtrio has the potential to eliminate both with either Beat Up for Chansey or Earthquake for Registeel. However, Dugtrio isn't limited to simply trapping these walls. Dugtrio can also pick off any weakened sweeper thanks to its rather fast base speed, such as opposing Raikou, Blaziken, Drapion, and weakened Venusaur. Stone Edge completes the EdgeQuake combination that hits virtually everything for at least neutral damage. Sucker Punch is just icing on the cake, KOing things like Alakazam and picking off Scarf-locked Pokemon.
The end-game sweeper for Bluewind is Raikou. Once Dugtrio eliminates Raikou's usual counters, almost nothing can stop Raikou from defeating teams individually. Stall teams often only carry a singular counter to Raikou, such as Chansey, and thus struggle with it once Dugtrio eliminates Chansey. Calm Mind furthers Raikou's already high Special Attack, and also boosts its Special Defense, making it harder to take down. Thunderbolt is necessary STAB that hurts everything except Ground-types. HP Water covers the Ground-types, especially Steelix, who are becoming more common in order to counter Raikou. Extrasensory deals with another pseudo-counter, Venusaur, KOing offensive variants with a singular boost.
No team is perfect of course, and Bluewind's team does have some glaring weaknesses that should be addressed. Torterra is perhaps the team's biggest threat, being able to set up a Rock Polish for free on either Dugtrio or Registeel and hitting everything on the team for heavy damage. Additionally, if Blastoise does not spin away entry-hazards fast enough, opposing Moltres will be almost impossible to deal with, as nothing can safely switch into a Fire Blast + HP Grass. Finally, if Dugtrio fails to eliminate Chansey on an opposing stall team, due to Shed Shell, this team finds it difficult to maneuver past stall. Chansey can wall both Raikou and Moltres handily, and since Blastoise does not have recovery, opposing stall teams can wear it down to the point where hazards can be set up again. Since Shed Shell is not often used on Chansey as of now, however, Bluewind doesn't have much to worry about in regards to stall teams.
I hope the presentation of this team reinforces the point in some of your thick minds that although UU stall may be used the most in Smogon Tours and on the ladder, it is not necessarily the best style of play. As Bluewind and this team have showed, a well crafted offensive team with a clear goal and supporters to reach that goal can do just as well as a bog-standard stall team. Success doesn't come with the style of play you decide to use, success comes with carrying out out the game plan of the style you decide to use.