2017 Circuit Winning Teams

Frania

DOU Tour Champion
#1
approved by kamikaze

Hey, so with the '18 doubles season starting i figured i'd share my teams from last year since i managed to do really well and accomplish most things i could've wanted and honestly that i didn't even think i would. That being said i have been playing doubles for quite a while now, so after my success i really want to contribute so hopefully i could speed up the learning process for others and help make the official tournaments reach the highest quality they can. I decided to share not just my most recent teams, but also bits from the most important series through out the season as hopefully some people could find that interesting. Some teams include banned pokemon, but i wanted to keep them in as i think it shows my thought process and preparation for games. Having not even come close to accomplishing anything in the past, I managed to get the 'triple crown' in winning three different official tournaments in one year and manage to keep up consistent results at every part of 2017, so i hope you can mind motivation in this thread to do the best you can and with the right attitude make the most out of your potential. The format i decided on was the descriptions of two most important series from every tournament so you can also go through my preparation for specific opponents.


Finals vs Yellow Paint

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So going into finals after looking through YP teams from the previous rounds i decided two things: i really don't know what to expect, so im not going to shoot for any match up specifically and that i want to use new teams. I felt like i have shown fully what can be expected from me in terms of teams and since i had a lot of ideas at the time i decided to give the Diancie-Wak semitroom a try. A previous variant of the team was won me a bunch of test games and from originating from a half serious idea i was sort of getting into the idea of Marowak. I believe in Trick Room it can function a bit differently from Heatran, having a better speedtier and damage output vs waters, also it can redirect electric attacks which gives it an edge defensively. Diancie came naturally as it covered the rocks weakness that i really dislike on any trick room mon, also after adding scrafty it has proven to be a quite reliable rocks setter. Rest of the team is pretty self explanatory, but i got to give some credits to Kaori (ik MajorBowman did it first, but i didn't think of his team at the time) for proving that Slowking can be useful, i doubt i would've thought of it if i didn't see his snake team. I really like how the team ended up, with multiple mons benefiting from the electric move redirection i think its one of the very few wak teams we will probably see in doubles (i don't think i proved this in play unfortunately).
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This was as described by streamers a "less-wacky" TR compared to the first team, i still liked it a lot as it combined the rather new idea of using Mawile and P2 on serious teams, while showcasing a cool moveset in Thunder Punch with terrain support. I think its a very basic team, with z move Landorus and Tapu Koko functioning as a fast mode that still can support the TR mons with rocks and electric surge and the expanded slow mode was able to get through most defensive match ups and it definitely works as the core of the team with P2 being able to set up multiple Trick Rooms if needed.
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Finally the Metagross sand team, another variant of the Scizor team i used against miltankmilk r1, i think Metagross provides more immediate offensive pressure and can help excadrill get around bulky Lando's with Ice Punch. This functions in the framework of the old Metagross balance team i used for the last couple weeks, i was a bit worried that Paint would expect something like that g3, but i felt like the sand mode should be able to get around most of the troublesome match ups and hopefully would give a little bit different look. SD Excadrill with the z Iron Head has been something i was trying to make work for a while now and im happy it provided me with another positive result. Its aimed to punish bulkier, balanced teams, meanwhile the bulky defensive backbone of Kyurem-Zapdos-Fini helps against the more hyper offensive rain teams (and Trick Room) and i think we saw that this game.
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Top 4 vs Akaru Kokuyo

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This was the first time i used full Trick Room team this season in an official tournament game, but i was quite excited to try this one as i felt it had neutralized all of the bad match ups tr tends to hate, while proving a very tempting offensive mode between Mawile/HoopaU/Heatran/Tapu Bulu i felt like i had multiple win conditions every game and even cool techs like Toxic P2 or Darkinium Scrafty have proved themself in testing so i felt like this should get a rather positive match up against the bulky Metagross balances / semitr teams Akaru has been using. What i got to play was a little different from what i expected, but it was that kind of team that toxic porygon was meant for, so everything worked out in the end.
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I decided to go back to the Metagross-Marshadow team i have used a bunch in the past, but here the idea was to try the new z Freeze Shock KyuremB i had come up with. The idea to use it in this series came from Akaru using a lot of HoopaU in the previous rounds and the z move ohkos it even at -1. I had a bunch of Kyurem teams, but i chose this one specifically as it would provide an equal playing field against the bulkier teams i expected to give it the best chance at getting the advantage from surprise factor. The team used to carry a different knock off user before i changed it back to marsh, so thats why in the replay you can see the suboptimal Superpower Lando.
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Grand Finals vs MajorBowman
Set 1

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Going into seasonal finals i had to prepare for a possibly 6 game set as i wanted to give it my best shot, despite being the underdog. I looked at what MajorBowman used in the previous rounds and that only confirmed what i already suspected and that was that there was no easy was out, so i just decided to pick the strongest teams that should do well in any match ups and were the most effective choice in the metagame at the time. And one of the things i felt the most comfortable with and that brought me a lot of success this seasonal was the Metagross-Victini bulky offense. While Marshadow in the 6th slot was equally strong option i decided to go with the Tini variant first as it fit better in my comfort zone and hopefully would be outplay for Bowman. Evil user Aurarayquaza convinced me to start using adamant Landorus in the earlier stages of the seasonal and here i played the price :I To be fair if i noticed the ability order mechanics i would be ok too, but my stupid brain isn't capable of that unfortunately.
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The only team i haven't used before the series, the charizard sand was something i decided on after thinking about what possible anti-metagame playstyles and i found that i really like the z move swords dance excadrill set as it was very effective vs the most common Metagross/Scizor balances. After adding Tapu Koko that was supposed to complete the offensive core by threatening water types, i went with Charizard Y to cover rain, Amoongus to give myself a way against Marshadow and Genesect was supposed to pressure Landorus-T and help the defensive core as i don't believe you should run excadrill as your only steel type.
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My undefeated at the time rain was something i knew i was going to use g3 if it came down to it. The pressure from Swampert with Thundurus backing it up against tapu fini and Marshadow against KyuremB i knew if i played it correctly would be able to put up a fight no matter how many rain checks my opponent brought. Another variant of the team features Tapu Koko over Thundy and it was something i strongly considered using, but i felt like the one i used has a better match up against bulky teams that i knew Bowman liked (Thundurus has also a better match up against grass types, but on this team i don't find it super relevant).
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Set 2

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I wanted to start the next set with something a little bit different, so i decided to edit the Blastoise team i had used against stax for DLT. The series was happening sometime after the Deoxys-A suspect and psyspam was concidered one of stronger and harder to prepare for playstyles. I thought blastoise was an interesting option that i liked both for its defensive ability to help against rain and Heatran in Trick room and its offensive coverage i found very useful between aura sphere for Ferro / Kyub and IB for Mence. Zapdos was to make sure i don't get outrun by opposing Tailwind and it functioned as my main scizor answer, while ferrothorn was supposed to help against Lele and Trick Room Hoopa. Unfortunately i run into one of the worse match ups this could face (Hoopa+Volcanion semitr) and while i did my best to put up a fight i don't think i even had a shot at winning vs a strong opponent like Bowman.
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I came back to my diancie hail that i had won with both in that seasonal and dlt, despite the common misconceptions i felt like it had a pretty strong match up against the currently used teams. It was something i felt comfortable with and that was the main reason on why i resorted to this after loosing g1. You can find the teambuilding process below (my game vs EmbC for dlt), but this variant has the updated Jolly Landorus that i resorted to after set 1.
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The final variant (pre-USM) of the Metagross balance that i liked so much throughout the season, i made sure to include the z move Marshadow as i felt like it gave me the best advantage no matter what the match up and i decided to try the bulky pinch landorus-t as it improve the match up against opposing Metagross / Tapu koko and was hopefully (didn't) catch Bowman off guard with its slower, bulkier moveset.
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Loser's Finals vs Aurarayquaza

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Going into the series i had a really hard time preparing as i was going fight my 'most used' testing partner and friend Aurarayquaza. I knew all his teams and he knew all of mine too, also remember it was around the time i lost around 9/10 in our games so i really didn't know what to expect from the series / how to prepare. Finally i decided to go with the Diancie Hail that i thought the weather damage would help me break through his rather defensive builds, also having Magic Bounce and Stealth Rocks was supposed to grant me hazard control making sure i had all the most advantages i could have. The pre-marsh variant of the team had Aerodactyl over Diancie and Heatran over Victini and i used that to beat him in DOU Tour playoffs and that helped me make the final decision.
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Again i had to figure out how to get into the best position, without counting on the possible match up advantage, so i went with the team that had the most consistent results and imo didn't have anything it had to fear too much. I decided to try the SR Metagross + HP Ice Marsh variant as that was going to give me better momentum against his teams, though looking back at it i should've put a z move on something.
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Finals vs SMB

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My first choice was the Victini bulky offense as it was one of the factors that helped me win most of the match ups against similar teams. I noticed that he often favored Tapu Koko over Zapdos, trading speedcontrol for offensive pressure, so having the CS Final Gambit and Tailwind on my own gave me the momentum advantage that tends to decide those kind of match ups. Its worth noting that i decided to switch to 252+ spe on Landorus after a short period of having Adamant, then running Jolly with just enough speed for Fini.
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Another way that i tried to outrun SMB bulky offensive teams was the Swampert rain that i believed in so much. Part of the reason i liked it so much was its strong match up against semitr teams, but Porygon2 was the rare instance where i had a really tough time breaking through the setter, in later variants i had Knock Off Ferrothorn just for that specific match up.
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I think at this point you can notice my preference for reusing the strongest / most consistent teams that include as many top tier mons as possible. I wouldn't say this was just a metagame call and i put in no preparation for SMB, but looking back at i should've put in more time into the pre-game and if it wasn't for the false sense of confidence i think i could've done much differently. On the other hand i wouldn't blame my loss on him having a team advantage as i'm sure the its a rather close one, only after me misplaying and him surprising me with good prediction and interesting moveset choices he managed to win.
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Top 4 vs EmbC

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EmbC was someone i had no real idea on what to expect from them outside of the fact that he used public teams, mainly build by stax and MajorBowman. Thats why i decided to try the diancie hail that was build to control the battle thing and hopefully to outrun your opponent with the hazard control (my own rocks + Magic Bounce) / weather damage pressure and the Ccarf Final Gambit Victini that could most times bring the game to 5v5 at the time that i found most beneficial. I expected all these factors to work in my favour especially well against EmbC since he was rather new to doubles i could be inexperienced against a bunch of things this team had to offer.
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Going into g2 i decided to try the edited Manectric team i had used in a previous round against shaian, adding Tapu Lele over Marshadow gave me a very strong offensive core between it and z move Landorus that typically those kind of HoopaU semitr benefit from the most. The idea behind of these archetypes is generally get as much damage as possible and then clean up with the tr mode and i hoped this kind of team would favour me, since dealing with this kind of momentum heavy teams generally requires more experience.
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Another momentum heavy team i planned for the set, this time Final Gambit / Tailwind / Stealth Rock with a good defensive backbone was supposed to put me in control for the most part, against a team like his i just had to get around the trick room possibility and i thought i had the advantage.
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I have decided against sharing my ORAS/BW teams as i don't believe they are the most optimal/very outstanding, also i plan on participating in DOU Tour in the future. In the qualifying phase for SM i have used plenty different teams, not one of which is particularly note worthy.


The improved variant of the Aero/Bulu balance i used in the spring seasonal, now with Ninetales over Tapu Bulu and Ferrothorn over Genesect it had improved its rain match up significantly. I gave Aerodactyl Stone Edge, because i found the Zapdos match up very tough to get around and Sky Drop for the recently introducted Marshadow, it also being the reason for Chople on Ferro. The team used to be my comfort zone, having rather unpopular Stealth Rocks on Heatran i didn't really understand why but i found it just very effective and thats why i went with it for my r1 and r2 matches. Later on i learned that the concept of Stealth rocks and Tailwind Zapdos was what made it so great and that unreliable SE Aerodactyl can't be a consistent answer to Zapdos.
games played:
vs Psynergy - https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7doublesou-613166443
vs Aurarayquaza - https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7doublesou-615252499


After having used the same team for two rounds straight i knew i needed to switch things up. It was around the time i had a little bit of teambuilding crisis and i was distracted from SM by testing and playing older gen tiers, so when i wanted to run something different i decided to try to bring Azumarill back and made an updated variant of the 'frania offense' team i used at the beginning at SM.
games played:
vs MajorBowman - https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7doublesou-618044167

Loser's Finals vs Z Strats

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One of the more offensive teams i used this season was the Salamence offense build by checkmater that i heavily edited in movesets. The goal was to make use of the popular core of Tapu Koko + LO Kyurem with Tailwind / Stealth Rock support the team had no defensive mode. I still like a couple ideas that the team had behind it, but now i believe its better to find a balance where you never should have to use Tyranitar as your rain answer. One interesting idea was the Life Orb Tyranitar that i don't see anywhere really, even though it offers a interesting trade of bulk for power, while not restricting my choices like Choice Band does.
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Another of my early teams where the concept of offensive pressure meant i had to sacrifice the defensive backbone. The new idea of Stealth Rock was really exciting to me, so i tried it on Aerodactyl as it could provide it often t1 with its very high base speed. With the lack of Metagross being used i found Choice Specs Tapu Lele to be particularly effective, it allowed me to get very impressive ko'd like on Landorus with Psyshock or just very good damage e.g. 80-90 % on Zapdos. Aegislash was chosen as it could threaten opposing steel types offensively or set up on then with substitute.
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Top 4 vs Demantoid

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After looking at Demantoid's teams i had two ideas: Rockium Tapu Bulu with Stone edge to lure in Zapdos, which was a solid moveset that i think is worth running in most match ups and that can work even if your opponent is awere of it and much more controversial Hp Flying Landorus that was meant to lure in the Buzzwole that he run often at the time. While it was a much more inconsistent option i didn't believe my Landorus would loose much from not having hp ice in that slot and the threat of fast Buzzwole was real enough that i decided to go for it. The team that featured both Special Lando and Tapu Bulu was the Aerodactyl balance is favored at the time so it was quite an obvious choice for me. I decided to go with it all three games as my techs didn't get reveled untill g3 and i wasn't worried about any match up this team couldn't handle.
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Finals vs Croven

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When i got into the finals it was the week that Kangaskhan got banned so i knew i didn't really want to experiment that much and just try to abuse the broken mon. Going into g1 i chose to went to go with the semitr that has won me a couple games in the previous rounds and that i found to be a very anti-metagame team with its fast mode that were capable of breaking the bulky teams at the time and the Trick Room that prevented it being outrun by Tailwind by Zapdos. When i learned my opponent was going to be Croven i already knew i needed to use a team like that as what he used was the most classical slow Kang / Fini / Lando / Zap you can see in the replay. Fast Mind Plate Lele with Psyshock punished the standard at the time Calm Mind Fini, also it outsped and ohko'd opposing Kang with the support of my own (that was also fast, despite the Trick Room). The team was originally created by Qsns and his variant was used in the SPL finals game, i build my own independently, but it was definitely inspired by what he run.
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The rain was another was of making full use of Kangaskhan's potential as Ludicolo offered a fast mode that outsped and threatened most of its checks leaving it to pressure the defensive backbone of the opposing team. I chose to run Fightinium ludi as it was able to ohko some of its counters like KyuremB or Kang. Scarf Politoed was an interesting choice that was supposed to lure in Charizard Y with Rain Dance as it mega evolved, but looking back at it i don't think its ever worth using over Pelliper. Another cool moveset i had was the Spooky Plate Aegislash that was supposed to ko kingdra with Shadow Ball + Sneak.
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Top 4 vs Demantoid

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The round before i managed to beat miltankmilk using the same team in all three games, so i figured i'd try to do the same against Demantoid. He was one of these people that favored very bulky Kang/Gengar balances at the time so i knew i wanted to use something that could break that. At the time i thought Tapu Lele had a lot of potential and while calcing i found out that with Choice Specs Psyshock it would be able to ohko a Landorus-T from 100%. As it was one of the very few checks to kang back then so i knew that using it with lele would bring very good results. I decided to run max spe on both, which allowed me to outspeed most Kangaskhan's and ohko with the combination of Stoss + Lele's STAB. Next i added Volcarona as it benefited both from Fake Out and Lando-T fainting in one, the rest is pretty self-explanatory: Zapdos provided Tailwind making sure Volc doesn't get outrun by opposing Zap teams, Lando helped check opposing Kang and Aegi was the mandatory steel type. As you might notice if you read through the whole post the most consistent style through the format seems to be the Landorus/Zapdos balance and i think this team is a very nice example of how it all started (i'm not claiming it was what started it, there have been better teams before, used in more important games, still i think its worth noting in the context of my teambuilding).
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That about sums it up, 2017 has been a fantastic year for me, both in doubles and irl, so i really wish that for everyone in 2018!! I wanted to say thank you to doubles council for hosting circuit this year, we have really good format thats open to everyone and that encourages being active and ambitious and i hope we keep it up for next year. Honestly i just hope someone finds its useful so gl to them too :x
 
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