Featured UU RMT
I've enjoyed really good success with this team—it peaked at #2 on the leaderboard when I initially started using it and has kept me comfortably in upper reqs since then. But after a long time of using it without basically any changes at all, I've gotten quite bored of it. The Pokémon on the team themselves are nothing really all that special, and some people in the UU megathread were calling out for an RMT of a 'standard' UU team to be posted. Seeing as I'm planning on trying out some more offensively minded teams rather the balanced ones I'm comfortable with, I decided to finally retire this one.
The team uses a combination of very bulky tanks (Milotic and Registeel), bulky sweepers (Torterra and Exeggutor), and faster frailer sweepers (Mismagius and Houndoom). It is a very comfortable team to use, with no obscure strategy beyond defending and counterattacking repeatedly until the opponent's defense breaks down and you can sweep, basically with any one of the six Pokémon on this team. Milotic+Registeel (the shield) provide an extremely reliable defensive core and are great pivots. The other four Pokémon (the sword) have handy resistances and immunities to the types of attack that threaten this pair, and can use opposing sweepers as free setup and a chance to retaliate.
@ Choice Scarf
Jolly – Overgrow
20 HP / 252 Atk / 236 Spe
- Wood Hammer
- Rock Slide
- Stealth Rock
With Froslass gone from the tier, any form of Torterra generally makes for a great lead. Immunity to paralysis, STAB Grass attacks to ward off lead Spikers, great natural bulk, and access to Stealth Rock all combine to make it very effective at the job. Scarf Torterra is unorthodox but it fits this team very well. The rest of the team is rather slow, and with a scarf and the given speed EVs, Torterra is able to make up for it by outspeeding everything up to and including +Speed base 105s such as Mismagius. This makes it a great revenge killer later on in the game for threatening Pokémon such as said Mismagius, Scyther, Manectric, Toxicroak, Houndoom, Blaziken, Rotom, etc., while still functioning very well in the lead position. Even with minimal HP investment, Torterra is still extremely bulky with those lovely 95/105/85 defenses, and so doesn't mind taking a hit when coming in. I play quite conservatively with Torterra, never sacrificing it early game and not forcing it to take hits it doesn't need to (Wood Hammer recoil builds up faster than I would like), because it is just so helpful later on in the game. It is also my only real 'physical sweeper', so I might need to call on it to weaken stall in many cases. I use Rock Slide over Stone Edge because missing against lead Moltres is hilariously annoying, and with the Scarf you can actually get quite good mileage out of the flinchax.
Calm – Marvel Scale
252 HP / 184 Def / 16 SpD / 56 Spe
- Ice Beam
Milotic is the first part of my Milo/Steel defensive core, and it is a brilliant defensive Pokémon... so much so that one person in particular plans on nominating it as a suspect under the Defensive Characteristic (which I personally don't agree with at all and will be voting against if I get the chance =]). Anyway, there isn't much explanation needed for Milotic's set here. The Speed EVs allow it to outspeed neutral base 50s and 55s, such as Adamant Aggron, Modest Exeggutor, Cacturne, etc., and Adamant Torterra with its base 56 Speed as well. I feel this is a very good benchmark to hit, seeing as my Exeggutor takes full advantage of any Milotic lagging behind this threshold. A Calm nature with max HP and 16 SpD EVs allow Milotic to never be 2HKOed by Modest LO Moltres' HP Grass after Stealth Rock and Leftovers. The rest of the EVs I put into Defense to let Milotic take on physical threats such as Azumarill and Rock Polish Rhyperior better.
Surf and Ice Beam are a given, the latter letting me do some damage to predicted Venusaur switch-ins and preventing Torterra from setting up on me. Recover provides reliable recovery and is another obvious choice. In the last slot I tried both Hidden Power Grass and Haze, both of which brought their own specific pros and cons to the team. However, overall I've found Toxic to be the most reliable move in that last slot. Registeel can basically stall out any Pokémon that can't hit it super effectively once it's been badly poisoned, and Toxic is also much more effective against opposing bulky Waters than Hidden Power Grass.
Milotic checks so many things—Moltres, Arcanine, Blaziken, Azumarill, Houndoom, Rhyperior, Aggron, and many rain sweepers, to name just a few. The team couldn't function nearly as effectively without the defensive backbone provided by it and Registeel.
Careful – Clear Body
252 HP / 24 Atk / 216 SpD / 16 Spe
- Iron Head
- Sleep Talk
Registeel checks the Grass-types that threaten Milotic, and the hard hitting Psychic- and Ghost-types that can overpower it. In particular, Venusaur and Alakazam would both cause major problems for the team without Registeel (Houndoom can deal with both of them quite well but it isn't too reliable). ResTalk Registeel makes a great answer to most Venusaur variants, and the few that threaten it, such as Leech Seed and SD w/ Earthquake, are dealt with by Mismagius and Exeggutor respectively. The heavy SpD investment means that Alakazam needs a Life Orb to have any hope of 2HKOing with Focus Blast; SubEncore with Leftovers isn't going to manage, and with Clear Body, Registeel's SpD isn't falling any time soon either.
With Curse, Registeel becomes a very real threat very quickly to any unprepared team. It means that Registeel can not only check offensive threats, it can also set up on any defensive Pokémon who think it is too passive to bother worrying about. Opposing Registeel without Rest of their own will quickly fall, as will any non-Haze Milotic or non-CM Slowbro. Against Sandstorm teams, their Regirock/Cradily will fall before Registeel will. Against stall, once their Haze Milotic is taken care of (not too difficult seeing as every other one of my Pokémon can weaken it or take it out by themselves), Registeel can Curse up and slowly sweep.
252 HP and 216 SpD EVs give it incredible bulk on top of its great resistances, and the 16 Spe EVs let me outspeed other common base 50s such as Chansey if I haven't Cursed yet. It also means that after 6 Curses, I will still be faster than an opposing Regirock with 6 Curses, meaning I will be flinching it with Iron Head rather than the other way around with Rock Slide. If the opponent isn't packing strong Ground/Fighting/Fire attacks (note how these will give Exeggutor/Houndoom/Mismagius opportunities to switch in), CurseSteel will give them hell.
@ Life Orb
Timid – Levitate
252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball
- Destiny Bond
The immunities provided by Mismagius go a long way in securing its spot on my team. The fact that it can almost singlehandedly defeat stall and is among the most threatening setup sweepers in the tier are just bonuses :). It gets plenty of opportunities to switch in on Fighting/Ground attacks aimed at Registeel and Houndoom. Balanced teams need a way of reliably threatening stall; otherwise they will get worn down by residual damage and easily defeated. Outside of Spiritomb, not much on the standard stall team can handle Taunt Mismagius. But what stall players often make the mistake of doing is sacrificing their Spiritomb to Exeggutor's Sleep Powder, and get it worn down by Leaf Storms when trying to come in on predicted Psychics. As soon as their Spiritomb is weakened, Mismagius is ready to come out and turn the tables against the stall team.
I choose to run Taunt over Substitute because while it doesn't help against Sucker Punch users, it means Encore users such as Clefable can't have their way with it, and also stops Haze Milotic from stopping your fun and avoiding the 2HKO from a NP Shadow Ball. Life Orb is also a lot easier to run when you're not taking residual damage from another source as well, and I like having that damage boost for when I don't have time to NP.
The only subtlety on this Mismagius set is the addition of Destiny Bond over another attacking move. I played with Thunderbolt for quite a long time, but I've found that Life Orb and residual damage wears Mismagius down very quickly, and so being able to guarantee to take out at least one of the opponent's Pokémon is extremely handy. There are many instances when Destiny Bond has saved me the game—against a CMed HP Fighting Mismagius behind a Substitute, against a CM or Curse Pokémon who has been able to get in one too many boosts for Registeel to deal with it comfortably, or simply against something that I can't OHKO with an unboosted move and is threatening my team. It does mean that I can't actually hurt Chansey, but if it stays in I will force it to waste all its Seismic Toss PP with Taunt until it isn't at all a threat any more to anything else. Stall players almost never expect you to not have a secondary coverage move, and so they will panic when you boost up to +6 on their Taunted Chansey and will throw away their Pokémon heedlessly. I've not lost to a stall team by not having a secondary coverage move yet. Destiny Bond is also great for taking out Registeel and letting Exeggutor sweep.
@ Life Orb
Hasty – Flash Fire
96 Atk / 188 SpA / 224 Spe
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Sucker Punch / Beat Up
Houndoom's two lovely immunities make it a great partner for Mismagius, Exeggutor, Torterra and Registeel. It hits extremely hard with LO Fire Blast even without max SpA investment and just a +Spe nature, being able to OHKO max HP Donphan with SR half the time without even having to NP. It makes a good answer for the Ghost-types that threaten Exeggutor, with enough Speed to outspeed +Speed Rotom. It also has the invaluable Psychic immunity which no other Fire-type can boast, meaning LO Alakazam doesn't just dismantle my team.
Sucker Punch with the 96 Atk EVs and LO is brilliant—it's stronger than Adamant Arcanine's LO ExtremeSpeed and is a great tool for taking out fast, frail threats that try to revenge Houndoom. 96 EVs guarantee the OHKO on Dugtrio after SR. Never leave home without it. It's the only priority move on an otherwise rather slow team, and is invaluable. I run a -Def nature because Houndoom's defense is so bad that it won't really be able to take any physical priority moves as it is, while having intact Special Defense means it's easier to take out Mismagius (who doesn't have a guaranteed OHKO even with a LO HP Fighting, while Leftovers Thunderbolt may not even 2HKO).
I use Beat Up over Sucker Punch if I'm going to be playing a known stall player. Houndoom is another Pokémon on my team that can sweep stall by its lonesome once a certain Pokémon is weakened or removed—in this case it's Milotic. Chansey is a bit of trouble if I don't have Beat Up, but a +2 Fire Blast can do up to 55%, so can be handled in a pinch. Overall it is an extremely threatening sweeper that works against all kinds of teams, and doesn't even need to boost to dish out serious pain.
Modest - Chlorophyll
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Sleep Powder
- Leaf Storm
Exeggutor is an extremely underrated threat in the current metagame. It has a great set of resistances and boasts the single strongest special attack in the UU metagame in the form of its Leaf Storm (tied with Moltres' Overheat). The number of Pokémon it can come in on is great—Azumarill, Blastoise, Claydol, Donphan, Hariyama, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Leafeon, Milotic, Omastar, Poliwrath, Regirock, Rhyperior, Slowbro, Slowking, Steelix, Tangrowth, Torterra, SD Venusaur/Sceptile, and quite a few others. Good physical bulk, decent special bulk, a massive SpA stat, good dual STAB, and access to Sleep Powder make it a massive threat. Its Speed is low but workable, and with max investment it comfortably outspeeds any Milotic who doesn't invest as many Speed EVs as I do on mine.
On my team, Exeggutor sponges Water, Ground, and Fighting attacks aimed at Registeel/Houndoom, and Grass and Electric attacks aimed at Milotic. Exeggutor is able to Sleep, Attack, heal, and rinse and repeat. With Synthesis, it can continue to check Water/Ground/Grass/Fighting sweepers throughout the game. Think of it as an UU Celebi, but with Sleep Powder and a heck of a lot more firepower. I almost always use Psychic as my primary attacking option, as it catches so many Venusaur trying to come in to sponge a Leaf Storm / hit me with a Sludge Bomb, as well as Moltres and Arcanine who think they can take his hits.
I considered replacing Exeggutor with Venusaur to help with my extreme weakness to Toxic Spikes, but the team does worse against basically every other kind of team. Venusaur's physical bulk isn't nearly as good as Exeggutor's, and it can't check Torterra nearly as well as he can. And 2 attack Alakazam (such as Sub/Encore or Sub/CM), once again the bane of my life, is checked by Exeggutor, while Venusaur would get blasted apart by Psychic.
This issue's featured UU team is one that I've watched in action quite a few times. Team Shield and Sword by Legacy Raider is an excellent showcase of how so-called 'gimmick sets and Pokémon' can function together on a team and achieve great success. The unorthodox use of Choice Scarf Torterra, Destiny Bond Mismagius, and Leftovers Exeggutor netted LR the #2 position on the UU leaderboard. Through a two-Pokémon defensive core and four extremely strong sweepers, LR kept offensive momentum in his favor while deferring to his walls when necessary.
Leading off LR's Shield and Sword team is Torterra. However, as mentioned in the introduction, LR's Torterra is indeed Scarfed. Although this might be a questionable decision, a quick overview of LR's team shows that Torterra serves as his all purpose revenge-killer and immediate element of surprise. Rock Slide serves to KO lead Moltres, putting him up 6-5 and removing one of the most powerful threats in the UU metagame. Wood Hammer and Earthquake are standard moves on any Torterra set, providing excellent coverage and solid STAB moves. On any offensive team, Stealth Rock is necessary, and LR tries to get it out as soon as possible. Because of Torterra's excellent resistances and base defensive stats, it can take a hit from the majority of UU leads, including Uxie and Ambipom, while forcing out Spiking leads like Omastar and Cloyster.
One half of LR's defensive core is the premier bulky Water-type of the UU metagame, Milotic. Milotic is a necessity on an offensive team such as this one because of its ability to counter bulky attackers like Aggron and Rhyperior. The EV spread and nature seem a bit puzzling, but the reason for the Calm nature and 16 EVs in special defense are so Milotic is never 2HKO'd by Modest Moltres' Hidden Power Grass. The defensive EVs are there to take on the aforementioned Rhyperior and Aggron better. Surf and Recover are necessities on any Milotic set for solid STAB and recovery. Ice Beam is used to hit Venusaur, Altaria, and Adamant Torterra hard. Toxic is just as effective against opposing bulky Water-types such as Feraligatr and Azumarill as Hidden Power Grass is, while also giving LR a necessary status move on this team.
Registeel rounds out the other half of the defensive core on the special side, being able to take on the majority of dangerous special attackers in the UU tier such as Mismagius and Alakazam. Registeel's Steel-typing also allows it to be an excellent check to things like Swellow and Scyther. The specific Registeel set LR chose as a part of his Shield and Sword team is the boosting Curse + RestTalk set. Since Registeel is excellent at handling the majority of special threats, boosting its relatively lower Defense stat with Curse allows for even more longevity and more importantly a late-game win condition. As the attacking move, Iron Head is as solid as it gets for Registeel. This particular Registeel is quite useful against stall teams, as one Haze Milotic and Hitmontop / Donphan are eliminated, not much can withstand Curse Registeel.
Rounding out LR's team are three extremely potent special attackers. First, we have Mismagius. Mismagius has always been a dangerous force in UU even when it boosted its stats via Calm Mind. With the addition of Nasty Plot, however, Mismagius becomes even more difficult to counter because of the sheer power behind its moves. Beyond Shadow Ball, typical Nasty Plot Mismagius sets include moves like Substitute, Thunderbolt, and Hidden Power Fighting. However, LR's Mismagius has Shadow Ball as the sole attacking move. The other two moves on LR's Mismagius are Taunt and Destiny Bond. Taunt is useful in dismantling stall teams, working in a similar manner as a bulky Mismagius. Taunt also helps tremendously against Clefable, limiting its ability to support the opposing team. Destiny Bond is the true surprise and crux of this set, allowing Mismagius to perhaps take a wall down at the cost of its own life. Taking down things like Curse Registeel or even opposing Mismagius if LR wins the speed tie is extremely helpful as a last-resort move. Because Mismagius' counters are similar to those of Exeggutor, removing them via Destiny Bond can be the difference between a win and a loss.
LR's second special attacker is the extremely dangerous Houndoom. This particular Houndoom set is the newly popular Mixed Houndoom, giving LR a priority move in Sucker Punch to deal with pesky Dugtrio and Rotom. The rest of the moveset is your standard Nasty Plot Houndoom, dealing heavy damage to virtually anything. Fire Blast and Dark Pulse give excellent coverage in UU; coupled with Nasty Plot, often the only way to beat Houndoom is via revenge-killing.
The star of LR's Shield and Sword team is Life Orb Exeggutor. Exeggutor is typically seen on only Sunny Day teams as an abuser of Chlorophyll, with moves such as Solarbeam, Hidden Power Fire, and Explosion. However, on this team, LR is using Exeggutor as a Roserade-esque sweeper from past UU metagames. Exeggutor sports the strongest special attack in the UU metagame in the form of its Leaf Storm, and therefore it is an extremely potent and lethal attacker. The combination of Leaf Storm and Psychic hits a lot of the UU metagame hard, barring Drapion. Although Exeggutor has a rather low Speed stat, this is mitigated by the sheer power of its attacks and access to Sleep Powder. Sleep Powder is not often seen on Exeggutor, and thus often results in the removal of their counter from the match. Exeggutor is then free to fire its powerful attacks at will, using Synthesis to recover HP when necessary. Exeggutor's useful resistances and STAB Psychic serves as a counter to Pokémon like Hitmontop, Hariyama, and Leafeon.
Although this is an innovative and well-crafted offensive team, there are a few flaws in the team. Stall teams that employ Drapion give this team trouble, because Drapion can set up Toxic Spikes and take out Mismagius, one of the best stall-breakers in UU. Toxic Spikes are particularly difficult for this team to combat because of the reliance of 50% recovery moves as opposed to Rest. Rain teams can also be difficult to handle because of the lack of priority moves on this team. If Kabutops manages to Swords Dance in the rain, this team has difficulty taking it down if Kabutops has Aqua Jet, nullifying Houndoom's Sucker Punch. Lastly, the combination of Dugtrio and Swellow or Scyther can be difficult for this team to handle if Stealth Rock isn't up as soon as possible. Since Dugtrio can remove Registeel, Swellow in particular can dent a lot of members of this team. A lot of these problems are quite situational, which is a testament to how well-crafted this team truly is. If you want to get anything out of this team, just remember that a lot of untested things exist in the UU tier. Who knows—you might find a new use for something like Exeggutor that nets you a high place on the leaderboard.