The release of HeartGold and SoulSilver has undoubtedly shifted the metagame a bit—the rise of Shadow Sneak Giratina-O and Brave Bird Ho-Oh quite interestingly left the metagame focused on Dragon and Fire attacks. Stall teams saw a rise as Ho-Oh's immense bulk and power filled in many gaps in them. This, in turn, caused the metagame to move its attention towards entry hazards and more on offense, which in turn caused stall to decline as people overprepare for them. This is evident in august's henry, where he abused Spikes and Stealth Rock and popularized Hidden Power Fire/Shadow Sneak Giratina-O. However in this rabble, a few Pokémon were forgotten...
This team attempts to showcase the utility of a few undervalued Pokémon, specifically Heatran and Latias. These two Pokémon are currently "anti-metagame", because they destroy a large part of it. The rare Trick Scarf Deoxys-S and Scarf Jirachi also make appearances that perform crucial roles for the team. The team also combines the common "semi-stall" and offensive playstyles, given the quick entry hazards, but also some good bulk provided by just about everything in the team! How exactly do you classify this team? Flashstorm1 called it "offensive balance", and Ace Matador called it "semi-stall". You know what I think? Forget team classification! It's a team of Pokémon, period. (Theorymon says "Right on, Jibaku!")
As proof of this team's success I've gotten to #2 with it a few times (couldn't be bothered to get to #1 because I already accomplished that twice before. ANYWAYS... it peaked at 1829 so it's good enough). However, as with any RMT, I need help—this team suffers from a few problems in which I can't seem to cover up. A main issue of this team is that it's a bit unstable—it sort of falls to hax, and unlike my previous stall teams it relies too much on haxing back to regain the advantage. Speaking of that, another problem with the team is that it requires thought and whenever I'm in a tilt, this team fails me =(
This is probably the final 4th generation team I will make. With 5th gen stepping closer to our doorsteps, there isn't a whole lot of time left. Of course, if ARCEUS (and I mean Arceus, not "Farceus" or "Farkeus" depending on how you want to pronounce it....) comes out before then, it may be a different story. To go out with a bang, I've put my utmost effort into creating this team, putting comprehensive information and organizing them so they would be easy to read.
Like my previous teams, I will tell you right now I might lie on the EV spreads, but if you can suggest a better EV spread, please do so =). Without further ado...
The Entry Hazard Core
Deoxys-S @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 244 HP/40 Def/52 Spe/174 SpD
Careful nature (+SpD, -Atk)
Even with Deoxys-S leads being prepared for nowadays, it still remains as the most consistent lead in the metagame, setting up hazards with relative ease. This Deoxys-S lead differs from the general Spikes / Stealth Rock / Taunt / ExtremeSpeed lead, however, as it is a dedicated Spiker. Since this team is focused around entry hazards, I decided that splitting up Stealth Rock on another Pokémon would overall be beneficial to the team, as putting both hazards on Deoxys-S places too much pressure on it and should situations come up where only one hazard can be put up (e.g. vs. Lead Tyranitar), it would throw over the focus of the team. Anyways, this is a TrickScarfer lead, which isn't seen at all nowadays. Its main advantage over the standard Deoxys-S is laying down Spikes before Scarf Shaymin-S/Scarfrai attack. This thing has a surprising amount of bulk, which I will discuss later.
Also I find it quite weird that some Deoxys-S runs only ExtremeSpeed as their sole attacking move. I mean, come on, would you really give up your coverage against other Deoxys-S to defeat Deoxys-A?
Well, Spikes is outright obvious, and Taunt is still useful in halting opposing set ups once I've tricked the Scarf onto something. Superpower is only for times I may actually need to attack - it helps greatly with Darkrai. I've considered Pursuit since most Deoxys-S leads Taunt me and it would be funny to chop them up a little bit as they switch with Pursuit, but I decided to scrap the idea because I don't want stuff like Scizor coming in and Pursuiting my hazardmon.
With Choice Scarf patching its Speed (which is already insane to begin with), moving the EVs into the defenses seem logical. With these EVs, Leadquaza will almost never KO it with LO Fire Blast + ExtremeSpeed, and most of the time they won't OHKO with Draco Meteor anyways. Shaymin-S will 3HKO at best with Air Slash so I get three layers of Spikes against it. If I Trick against Forretress, Payback will not 2HKO me if I snag Leftovers. Also, it survives Crunch from SpecialTar lead after sand. The Speed EVs are only there so that it can outrun a Rock Polish Jolly Groudon at +2 while having a Choice Scarf attached, so that I may cripple it.
Groudon @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP/56 Def/40 Spe/162 SpD
Impish nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Stone Edge
- Stealth Rock
For a team that focuses on Heatran, Groudon is pretty darn important. It sets up sunlight, and of course, Stealth Rock. After this Groudon's only job left to complete is checking random physical attackers and absorbing Electric-type moves such as Thunder Wave and Thunder. Nothing else to describe in this short section, eh?
Earthquake is self explanatory, while Stone Edge smashes Ho-Oh and Rayquaza. As for the last moveslot, I've had Rest before, because Blissey isn't friendly to the team. However, I think Roar is better overall, despite having another phazer. This allows me to escape the wrath of Double Dance Groudon once, and allows Latias to use Thunder instead of Grass Knot.
The EV spread is quite different from the standard—instead of focusing solely on physical Defense, some Special Defense is thrown in. This spread, in particular, allows it to survive Life Orb +2 Darkrai's Dark Pulse after Stealth Rock damage. Although it's unreliable, it can help in pinch situations. Groudon can also beat Scarf Palkia one on one (if Palkia has taken entry hazard damage). The Speed EVs seem excessive, but they outrun most Ho-Oh in the game, which is essential as the team does not enjoy facing Ho-Oh. It will also help against the slow base 90s.
Giratina-O @ Griseous Orb
EVs: 248 Atk/200 Spe/60 SpA
Naive nature (+Spe, -SpD)
- Hidden Power Fire / Earthquake
- Shadow Sneak
- Draco Meteor
- Dragon Claw
Well, obviously I'm not going to go without a spinblocker, right? Despite having Fire Punch on Deoxys-S, I still would like to prevent Forretress from Spinning away all of the hard work I went to get them up (read: it's not hard, but if Deoxys-S dies I'd rather not see its effort wasted). Giratina-O also provides the team with the ever so useful Fighting and Ground immunities (well, Latias already has Ground immunity, but this helps, no?) Also helps beat down Rock Polish Groudon. And Mewtwo. And Adamant Lucario. And helps tremendously against stall. And even helps absorb Explosions/Selfdestructs, etc. You get it, right? By these reasons you should understand why Giratina-O is picked over Giratina-A, or any other Spinblocker really (because they're either pretty darn frail (Gengar, Rotom-A), silly (Dusknoir, Spiritomb), doesn't have Levitate (a lot of them), and they don't work as great vs stall or Mewtwo).
Hidden Power Fire is for the obvious "getting rid of Forretress" theme which has been recurring in this team, but I am considering Earthquake because it allows me to outrun all other Giratina-O (due to having max Speed IV - and this would mean I need to move EVs into Speed, obviously) and of course, to get rid of Heatran, but I'm scared of enemy Skarmory and Bronzong who shrugs off everything. Shadow Sneak is pretty self explanatory as it helps clean up soo much stuff it's not even funny. Draco Meteor crushes Rock Polish Groudon and deals massive damage in general. Lastly, Dragon Claw is reliable and can allow me to hit Blisseys who might switch into it (trust me they sometimes do, probably to lock you into Outrage or something... whatever). The reason Outrage isn't needed here is because I have Latias, who can tear up Kyogre anyways. Ho-Oh is a slight issue though, but I can switch to Groudon during the Roost and tear it apart with Stone Edge.
The EVs are pretty much the same as in the analysis, with extra Speed to outrun most other Giratina-O. It's focused on Attack because I want to hurt Blissey with Dragon Claw, and increase my chances of 2HKOing Mewtwo with Shadow Sneak. That doesn't mean Draco Meteor won't hurt, though—STABed 140 BP *1.2 move is still pretty devastating in its own right
The Team Focus(es)
Heatran (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 HP/152 Spe/106 SpD
Calm nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Dragon Pulse
Quite an underrated mon. It's slowly rising in usage though. Heatran is an excellent Pokémon in the Uber metagame due to its resistance to Dragon and Fire and immunity to Toxic Spikes, and in this team it full well takes advantage of that trait. As I said before, with the metagame focusing on Fire + Dragon, this stuff is useful. And it can actually hurt stuff besides walling them too. Heatran sort of suffers from having no recovery, however.
In case you haven't been paying attention to the Heatran thread in the Ubers subforum, Roar can give a lot of headaches as their Heatran counters are sent in, take loads of entry hazard damage, and are promptly forced back out. Since Heatran handles many Pokémon, it might just drag out a Pokémon it normally scares off. And it has the option to stay in and probably die, or switch out and risk Roar. As you see, Heatran is an excellent phazer, and I'm sure you'd probably agree. Taunt harasses Stall teams to the extreme—it means Blissey can't recover, then I can roar it out and add more entry hazard damage. Furthermore, I can Taunt Blissey and switch into Giratina-O, which decimates Blissey. Taunt also messes up Lugia, Giratina-A, and Lugia =). So yeah, this is my second weapon against stall. By messing around with their head, Heatran and the rest of the team prey on the opponent's deteriorating composure.
Flamethrower is chosen for reliability, and the power is generally preferred over the burn from Lava Plume. I am no way using Fire Blast or Overheat, they suck -_-. Fire Blast has imperfect accuracy and terrible PP, and where Pressure is flying about AND the fact that it's supposed to be a defensive Pokémon makes it a terrible choice. Overheat is worse due to the -2 Special Attack, which means Taunt / WoW Mewtwo outstalls me =(. Dragon Pulse is for immediate damage to Dragons (unless they're Latias or Dialga). I am considering Toxic in this spot, though, because it helps a lot against Latias and Lugia, and does wonders if I didn't get enough entry hazards when this is sent out.
The EVs give it enough speed to outrun most Ho-Oh (see: Groudon). Rest are just dumped into HP and SpD for overall bulk. With no recovery in hand, Heatran must tread carefully against powerful NVE attacks such as Dialga's Choice Specs Draco Meteor or Ho-Oh's Brave Bird. For this reason, I carry Jirachi as a secondary Steel to absorb hits when I feel that I must preserve Heatran.
Latias (F) @ Soul Dew
EVs: 160 HP/252 Spe/96 SpA
Timid nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Dragon Pulse
- Calm Mind
I consider Latias to be an anti metagame Pokémon at this point. It appeared that people forgot her existence and thus many teams are weak to her. Latias is probably the best partner to Heatran in the game because not only do they counter each other's weaknesses, they are pretty destructive to sun (Heatran), and rain (Latias) teams. Furthermore, being one of the best counters to Kyogre in the game, Latias secures the team's purpose of abusing Heatran.
What makes Latias so dangerous? She has no Uber counters, and thus you're left with Scizor/Jirachi/Tyranitar/Blissey/Registeel as your best bets to stop her. Scizor gets 2HKOed by Thunder and is mauled by the entry hazards in the team, Jirachi doesn't like Thunder either, Tyranitar is sort of rare, and Registeel is even rarer. Which leaves Blissey, really. This means Latias will very, very often snag a kill in the game, and may even sweep.
I picked the Calm Mind set as it is the most effective way to decimate Kyogre. Ice Beams don't hurt her a whole lot and is easily recoverable, unless they have Life Orb (where they just put themselves into Thunder kill range). Speaking of Thunder, I picked it to hit Steels and Lugia. Despite sunlight, Kyogre is common enough to make up for that.
Latias is chosen over Palkia here because of her ability to Calm Mind, Recover, and because she is faster. Palkia struggles to fight off Calm Mind Kyogre and the inability to Recover (and being hit by the grounded entry hazards...) make it quite unreliable. She holds the team against Mixed Palkia as well, which apparently is something the rest of the Kyogre checks struggle to do. Being faster than Garchomp is invaluable as well.
Latias is picked over Latios for her better bulk. This is important because it allows her to hold against Kyogre easier as they may pack Ice Beam. I mean, seriously, Latios gets 2HKOed by Specs Ogre's Surf with SR, as well as 2HKOed by Scarfed Water Spout. Furthermore, her extra defense allows her to survive priority moves better—she can survive a +2 Life Orb ExtremeSpeed from Jolly Lucario after two Stealth Rock damages (unless it rolls max damage or something).
Jirachi @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe, -SpA)
- Iron Head
- Ice Punch
The glue... kind of, I guess. I don't really like to Scarf Jirachi, since it has a lot of potential on doing other things, but due to the presence of Darkrai, Mewtwo, Rayquaza, and Lati@s, I am obligated to Scarf this. Turns out, Jirachi is a pretty good Scarfer. Scarfrachi's huge drawback is still the fact that it doesn't do a lot of damage due to its average Attack stat and fairly weak attacks, and thus often relies on super effective hits or the extremely cheap Ironflinch to deal good damage. However, its Steel/Psychic typing, reasonable bulk, and somewhat precise moveset more than makes up for this setback. Following the theme of this team, Jirachi is somewhat rare as well.
Iron Head is for the extremely cheap Ironflinch "technique" thanks to Serene Grace. Although it is by no means reliable, it's a decent weapon when I'm desperate, and Jirachi can often pull through (while probably aggravating the opponent >=)). Ice Punch nails Rayquaza and Garchomp—Jirachi is one of the best Rayquaza checks in the game, by outrunning both DD and SDRay and resisting ExtremeSpeed and Dragon Claw. It can also 2HKO the Lati@s and has a 20% chance to freeze (which is unfortunately cancelled out by Groudon's sunlight...). U-turn is interesting for mind games, dents stuff like Mewtwo and MOST IMPORTANTLY DARKRAI, and abuses the entry hazards if I predict that they will switch out. Trick is mostly a desperation or endgame situation sort of thing—it punishes BP Mew pretty badly if I can predict it. What sets Jirachi apart from other Scarfers is that unless Wobbuffet comes into Ice Punch, Jirachi can break free of its grasps.
I will mention Darkrai once more because it's an annoying Pokémon. It resists Shadow Sneak and has STAB Dark Pulse, which limits my revenging capabilities. To defeat Darkrai, I usually have a Pokémon sent to sleep, switch in Jirachi, U-turn out to the Sleeping Pokémon and let it die to Darkrai, then send Jirachi back in to pick off the remaining HP (unless it's so low that Shadow Sneak can pick it off, which happens if Darkrai has Life Orb). Entry hazards prevent Darkrai from coming back in the second time around to Sleep another mon. I will only attempt an Ironflinch in desperate situations or when I know it will put Darkrai's HP into Shadow Sneak kill range.
This issue's featured Uber RMT showcases a team created by arguably the best Ubers player in the metagame today: Jibaku. Team Vulcan Fury by Jibaku attempts to sort of anti-metagame the most common Uber threats through the unorthodox use of Heatran, Trick Choice Scarf Deoxys-S, and Choice Scarf Jirachi. Early setup of entry hazards allows Jibaku's rather bulky Pokémon control the tempo of the match while being able to counter and defeat the majority of opposing threats.
Jibaku leads with an extremely unorthodox lead: Choice Scarf Deoxys-S. The premise behind this set is to cripple opposing entry hazard leads such as Deoxys-S, Groudon, and Forretress. Scarf Deoxys-S has the benefit of even outspeeding Scarf Shaymin and Scarf Darkrai, allowing the setup of at least one layer. Tricking a Scarf onto an opposing Deoxys-S lead likely leads to two layers of Spikes for Jibaku, which greatly helps support the rest of his team. Three layers of Spikes isn't generally setup by Jibaku's Deoxys-S lead; however, Jibaku's bulky offensive core can even take advantage of only two layers of Spikes. Taunt on this Deoxys-S seems like a useless move. However, after Jibaku Tricks away the Scarf, it is useful in preventing Pokémon like Bulk Up Dialga from boosting up, making them significantly easier to handle. Superpower is to hit lead Dialga and Darkrai for decent damage.
Jibaku's second form of entry hazards comes via Groudon and Stealth Rock. Not only does Groudon set up Stealth Rock for this team, but also the sunlight for Heatran to abuse. Jibaku deviates a bit from the standard defensive EV spread, however, because of his trouble switching around Darkrai. With the specially defensive EV spread, Jibaku's Groudon can survive a +2 Life Orb Dark Pulse from Darkrai and KO in return with Earthquake or Stone Edge. The Special Defense EVs also help take on Choice Scarf Palkia's Spacial Rends a bit better than the standard defensive spread. Speaking of Stone Edge, it is rather uncommon on support Groudon. However, with the abundance of Brave Bird Ho-Oh, it has become the standard, being able to hit Rayquaza as well. Roar functions as a phazing and scouting move, while racking up entry hazard damage as well.
Each team that utilizes entry hazards must have a Ghost-type to block Rapid Spin, and Jibaku uses perhaps the best offensive Ghost-type in the Uber tier to block Forretress from spinning: Giratina-O. Mixed Giratina-O has slowly become the standard, being able to check and revenge-kill a majority of Uber threats with the combination of Draco Meteor and Shadow Sneak. Hidden Power Fire disposes of Forretress trying to Payback Giratina-O for rather heavy damage. Dragon Claw allows Giratina-O to hit Blissey for decent damage, without the liabilities associated with being locked into Outrage. The heavy speed investment is to beat out Adamant Lucario and most other mixed Giratina-O.
Jibaku's self proclaimed 'star of the team' is Heatran, a rather uncommon Pokémon in the Uber tier. However, with its excellent resistances and immunities, it is a rather potent Pokémon that can be difficult to handle. Because the current metagame focuses so much on Dragon and Fire attacks, Heatran is the perfect anti-metagame Pokémon of sorts, being able to take random Draco Meteors like a champ. Roar is quite an obvious move on Heatran. Its resistances coupled with entry hazard support force a lot of switches, and Roar capitalizes on this. Flamethrower provides a solid STAB attack that is boosted thanks to Groudon's setup of sun. Taunt is a stall teams worst nightmare, especially since Blissey is likely the only Pokémon on a stall team that can stand up to Heatran, crippled herself by Taunt. Dragon Pulse is a solid coverage move that the rampant Dragons in the Uber tier for decent damage bar Latias and Dialga. The EV spread is geared more toward bulk. The speed EV'sm however, are used to outspeed Ho-Oh.
Jibaku's second anti-metagame Pokémon of sorts is Latias. Although Latias' Uber usage is dropping due to the more offensive nature of the tier, Latias is still a formidable threat that needs to be accounted for. Fortunately for Jibaku (and unfortunately for his opponents), people seem to have forgot that Latias still exists in Ubers. Latias is probably the best counter to Kyogre in the Uber tier, and with entry hazard support, deals with her so-called 'counters' easily, such as Scizor. A Soul Dew boosted Thunder 2HKOes Scizor, the most used Latias 'counter', with entry hazard support. Since Tyranitar is rather rare in the Uber metagame, Calm Mind Latias is indeed a major threat capable of knocking out an entire team. Blissey is a hard-counter, however even the pink blob can be beaten if Latias boosts up fast enough. Since most of Jibaku's team is anti-Blissey anyway, chances are that Latias can clean up without problems. The movesetis simple. Dragon Pulse and Thunder provide excellent coverage, Calm Mind boosts Latias' already excellent special attack and special defense, and Recover allows Latias to take on Kyogre repeatedly.
Last, but certainly not least, we have a Pokémon that is commonly seen in the OU tier getting Uber usage. Choice Scarf Jirachi is often described as the 'glue' of teams in OU, being able to revenge-kill almost any Pokémon at +1 speed. In the Uber metagame, Jirachi functions no differently, being able to revenge-kill a majority of the Uber tier while taking random Dragon attacks without much trouble. Compared to other Uber Pokémon, Jirachi has a lackluster Attack stat; however, its resistances and access to a 60% flinch move can be devastating with entry hazards up. Being able to revenge-kill Darkrai, Metweo, Latias/Latios, Shaymin-S, all Rayquaza variants, and non-Scarf Garchomp is impeccable. Ice Punch and Iron Head deal with the majority of the above mentioned threats. U-Turn is a great scouting move, especially since a bulky team like this forces a lot of switches and constantly racks up entry hazard damage. Trick can decimate opposing stall teams, although I believe Jibaku rarely uses it because of the loss of his 'failsafe'.
Jibaku does mention in his threat list that the team does have problems with specific Pokémon. Although the team seems to have ways of dealing with Nasty Plot Darkrai, he still cites it as perhaps the biggest threat to the team. The combination of Dark Pulse and Focus Blast hit the majority of the team for super-effective damage; although Jirachi can revenge-kill Darkrai, it has the potential to cripple a few of Jibaku's Pokémon. Ho-Oh can also be a bit difficult to deal with if it carries Earthquake, since it would KO Heatran. Stealth Rock is a huge help in dealing with Ho-Oh, and therefore it isn't as big of a problem as Darkrai. However, Roost variants that are faster than Groudon can be a bit of a nuisance. Regardless of these few weaknesses, team Vulcan Fury is indeed the definition of a successful anti-metagame team, and probably the single reason for the rise of Heatran usage in the Uber metagame.