Gen 3 ADV OU SkarmBliss Spikes

Rikelek

Guest
Hello all. In the past I've frequently heard of SkarmBliss teams, not really knowing what it meant. It was only recently that I realized that it is one of the best cores in the game and so I decided to try out a team with it.


Skarmory @ Leftovers
Ability: Keen Eye
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Impish Nature
- Spikes
- Whirlwind
- Toxic/Drill Peck
- Protect
The first half of the SkarmBliss combo. Its a spiker and phazer which does its job very well due to its immense defense and typing which grants it resistances to all but 2 physical types which neutrally affect it. It is used to cover up Blissey's poor physical bulk. This beast finds it amazingly easy to lay Spikes and take advantage of them with Whirlwind, particularly against Choice Band users such as Metagross and Snorlax. Whirlwind can force out any Pokemon trying to set up on Skarmory and can stop Baton Pass teams. Toxic is Skarmory's best way to damage Pokemon, and can be used in conjunction with Protect or Rest to stall out opponents. It's also Skarmory's best weapon against Cloyster and Claydol, two common spinners. However, it does nothing against poison and steel types. Therefore, I would like to know whether toxic or drill peck is a better option for Skarm.


Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 106 HP / 252 Def / 152 SpA
Modest Nature
- Aromatherapy
- Soft-Boiled
- Seismic Toss
- Ice Beam
The second half of the SkarmBliss combo. Patches up Skarmory's mediocre special defense. This set sacrifices a significant offensive presence in order to support her team. Blissey is found on nearly all stall teams, and with Aromatherapy Swampert and Skarmory's burns will disappear along with healing a poisoned Celebi and destroying a rampant status inflicting Gengar.Seismic Toss is Blissey's most reliable way of dealing damage to opposing Pokemon. Although Seismic Toss makes Blissey a less efficient check to Calm Mind users with recovery moves, Seismic Toss still lets Blissey check a number of important Pokemon such as Raikou, offensive Jirachi, offensive Suicune without Substitute, offensive Zapdos, Jolteon, and many more. As for the last moveslot, there are a number of legitimate options. Ice Beam is preferred by many players as it allows Blissey to beat Dugtrio.Will-O-Wisp Gengar is a good partner for switching to the Fighting-type attacks that Blissey lures in, and burning physical attackers that threaten Blissey. Skarmory is a good partner, as it can take nearly all the physical attacks that Blissey hates, with the exception of STAB Fighting-type attacks; set up Spikes, and defeat physical attackers with Hidden Power Flying, Drill Peck, or Toxic.


Swampert @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpA
Relaxed Nature
- Earthquake
- Ice Beam
- Hydro Pump
- Protect
It was pretty obvious from the start that Swampert was going to be on this team. Along with stamping even more bulk on to the team, Swampert has considerable offensive presence as well. It counters OU behemoths like Metagross, Salamence, Flygon and Tryanitar solidly. As opposed to being an offensive threat itself, this set aims to act as a solid utility counter and defensive pivot; it is excellent at forcing switches. Earthquake is a strong STAB move that threatens many Pokemon that Swampert counters, such as Metagross and Jirachi. Ice Beam provides excellent coverage and, in conjunction with Earthquake, enables Swampert to hit everything in OU for neutral damage. Ice Beam takes a decent chunk out of any Celebi switching in and forces it to Recover, which in turn allows a teammate to switch in without fear of Leech Seed or Psychic. Hydro Pump is the primary option in the third moveslot because it takes a good 50% out of standard Skarmory, stopping Skarmory from setting up on Swampert; it also deals good damage to Gengar. The main reason for Swampert being on this team though, is its symbiosis with Skarmory. The pair has excellent type synergy and together they can check numerous threats, such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Heracross, and Salamence.


Starmie @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 40 SpA / 216 Spe
Timid Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Recover
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
As the best rapid spinner in the game, Starmie's role is to scare away the opposing Skarmory and spin away spikes. I chose Starmie over Forretress because it doesn't get trapped by Magneton and over Cloyster because Starmie has considerable offensive presence as well. Other than getting rid of entry hazards, Rapid Spin is also useful for getting rid of Celebi's Leech Seed, thus giving Starmie another easy switch in to take advantage of and use Rapid Spin. Recover is another very important move for Starmie. With Recover, the blue star can repeatedly switch into and Rapid Spin on Metagross, Snorlax, and other prominent physical attackers. Surf is non-negotiable on Starmie, allowing it to defeat Skarmory, non-Hidden Power Bug Forretress, and Cloyster if Starmie lacks Thunderbolt. There's no need to use Hydro Pump because its low PP and mediocre accuracy is not worth the increase in power. The final moveslot comes down to personal preference. Thunderbolt is good against opposing Water-types. I was wondering if I should use psychic though, to nail Gengar. Please advise me on that.


Gengar @ Leftovers
EVs: 172 HP / 148 SpA / 188 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Punch
- Will-O-Wisp
- Hypnosis
A very common choice on SkarmBliss Spikes teams, Gengar is viable in this set up due to its amazing spin-blocking ability which is second only to Dusclops. None of the spinners can possibly win against it except for Starmie and Claydol. Starmie must have Psychic to beat Gengar(which is uncommon) otherwise Gengar will OHKO it with thunderbolt. Gengar 2HKOs Claydol with Ice punch so it should win unless a swich to Gengar is expected. This set combines Gengar's great coverage with a variety of support moves to cripple Pokemon that normally switch into it. Thunderbolt and Ice Punch create a pseudo-BoltBeam combination, which hits all but dedicated special walls for huge damage. Giga Drain is a great attack to nail Swampert, who can be problematic due to its bulk and immunity to Thunderbolt. However, Will-O-Wisp can be used in its place, as Giga Drain has little use outside of Swampert, who is crippled by Will-O-Wisp anyway. Will-O-Wisp also shuts down other physical attackers, such as Tyranitar and Metagross, both of whom Gengar is otherwise virtually useless against. A myriad of choices are available in the last slot. Hypnosis is the preferred option as it allows Gengar to put one Pokemon to sleep and essentially render it useless; its terrible accuracy is its main drawback though.


Heracross @ Choice Band
Ability: Guts
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Megahorn
- Earthquake/Focus Punch
- Rock Slide
- Brick Break
And here you have it, the final member of my team. I realized that I didn't have a reliable physical attacker in my team and that my team was weak to bulky water types like Suicune, Swampert and Milotic. Heracross, however really fit the bill as it shrugs off Swampert's Earthquake and Suicune's Hydro Pump for less than 50% and outspeeds and 2HKOs all of them with Megahorn. Its truly brilliant. I believe it fits perfectly into my team. It can deal good damage to any Pokemon in the game. It has a hard time staying alive for long, but it packs a great, great punch. If Heracross switches into the likes of Blissey's Thunder Wave, its Focus Punch will OHKO Skarmory. Hidden Power Ghost is mostly to take down Gengar and Dusclops, but Megahorn will usually do more than enough damage to them. Brick Break is a reliable move which breaks through screens. However, I have one doubt. Focus punch or Earthquake? Because unless Heracross has a status ailment, Focus Punch won't OHKO Skarmory which is kinda its main function. However, Focus punch will screw up anything else. However, Earthquake is more reliable and has a great attacking type.

Well, that's my team. I hope you wil answer the questions I have asked and also provide me with any criticism or suggestions that you think will make my team better.
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
Yo Rikelek, if you ever log in again, here is your rate. I'm gonna separate it in three sections: individual sets suggestions, overall comments and answers to your questions.

  • Skarmory: you might wanna go with a Careful nature, the extra SpDef allows you survive a Magneton's Tbolt so you can get two spikes vs Mag teams, and your team is pretty reliant on them if you face someone with a Dugtrio or a good Heracross switch-in.
  • Blissey: you get more physical bulk out of a 16 HP | 252 Def | 240 SpAtk Bold spread, while the loss of SpDef bulk is irrelevant, you keep the same SpA to nail Dugtrio after one layer of Spikes. You don't really need Aromatherapy in your team by the way, consider trying out TWave or Toxic to better deal with some threats like CM Wish Rachi or CM Celebi.
  • Starmie: I usually prefer using Psychic, otherwise bulky Gengar can be sort of a twat, especially without sand damages here. Thunderbolt doesn't do shit to most bulky Waters coming from bulky Starmie anyway, only useful for Gyarados really and you get to annoy SpDef Skarm better.
  • Gengar: keep Hypnosis, you need to get out of Tyranitar's trap, and Gengar is essential to your success vs Forretress teams. WoW/Giga Drain is up to you, Swampert isn't really a problem for your team.
  • Heracross: Focus Punch > Earthquake every single day. You don't need to OHKO Skarmory anyway, and most of them can't touch Heracross nowadays. If anything, you could consider Sleep Talk as it gives you a sleep absorber.
---

Regarding the team overall, a similar build was dominating the tier like 2 years ago. It had Tyranitar over Heracross tho. Sand helps a lot to rack up damages from Spikes/Status/Gengar and deal with some threats like Snorlax and Suicune.

One of the team's main issue is that it's vulnerable to trappers. Skarmory is helpless as soon as the opponent is using a Magneton, since there is no Magneton/Dugtrio on your side. In the same vein, Dugtrio could easily take care of Tyranitar or Heracross in your case. This makes the team weak to some combo of Pokemon X + Trapper (for example, Cune + Dugtrio to get rid of Heracross would put a lot of pressure on your team). MagneLax is awful to deal with, and if you add a Dugtrio, you pretty much lose the game, especially without Sand's residual damages.

As it is, you're also pretty weak to Jirachi. Maybe you should try using Dugtrio over Heracross. You'll lose a lot of punch, but at least you can play around Magneton in a way that'll let you keep Skarmory. It's also a good asset for Gengar and getting rid of some Pokemons that threaten your defensive core such as Heracross.

---

"Therefore, I would like to know whether toxic or drill peck is a better option for Skarm."

Toxic is usually the better option, Drill Peck is only really useful for Heracross and I guess not giving free switch-ins to Gengar (but Toxic-Less Skarm gives a lot of free switchs too). Heracross kinda pushes your shit in, even with Gengar tho.

"I was wondering if I should use psychic though, to nail Gengar. Please advise me on that."

See first part of the post.
 

Rikelek

Guest
Yo Rikelek, if you ever log in again, here is your rate. I'm gonna separate it in three sections: individual sets suggestions, overall comments and answers to your questions.

  • Skarmory: you might wanna go with a Careful nature, the extra SpDef allows you survive a Magneton's Tbolt so you can get two spikes vs Mag teams, and your team is pretty reliant on them if you face someone with a Dugtrio or a good Heracross switch-in.
  • Blissey: you get more physical bulk out of a 16 HP | 252 Def | 240 SpAtk Bold spread, while the loss of SpDef bulk is irrelevant, you keep the same SpA to nail Dugtrio after one layer of Spikes. You don't really need Aromatherapy in your team by the way, consider trying out TWave or Toxic to better deal with some threats like CM Wish Rachi or CM Celebi.
  • Starmie: I usually prefer using Psychic, otherwise bulky Gengar can be sort of a twat, especially without sand damages here. Thunderbolt doesn't do shit to most bulky Waters coming from bulky Starmie anyway, only useful for Gyarados really and you get to annoy SpDef Skarm better.
  • Gengar: keep Hypnosis, you need to get out of Tyranitar's trap, and Gengar is essential to your success vs Forretress teams. WoW/Giga Drain is up to you, Swampert isn't really a problem for your team.
  • Heracross: Focus Punch > Earthquake every single day. You don't need to OHKO Skarmory anyway, and most of them can't touch Heracross nowadays. If anything, you could consider Sleep Talk as it gives you a sleep absorber.
---

Regarding the team overall, a similar build was dominating the tier like 2 years ago. It had Tyranitar over Heracross tho. Sand helps a lot to rack up damages from Spikes/Status/Gengar and deal with some threats like Snorlax and Suicune.

One of the team's main issue is that it's vulnerable to trappers. Skarmory is helpless as soon as the opponent is using a Magneton, since there is no Magneton/Dugtrio on your side. In the same vein, Dugtrio could easily take care of Tyranitar or Heracross in your case. This makes the team weak to some combo of Pokemon X + Trapper (for example, Cune + Dugtrio to get rid of Heracross would put a lot of pressure on your team). MagneLax is awful to deal with, and if you add a Dugtrio, you pretty much lose the game, especially without Sand's residual damages.

As it is, you're also pretty weak to Jirachi. Maybe you should try using Dugtrio over Heracross. You'll lose a lot of punch, but at least you can play around Magneton in a way that'll let you keep Skarmory. It's also a good asset for Gengar and getting rid of some Pokemons that threaten your defensive core such as Heracross.

---

"Therefore, I would like to know whether toxic or drill peck is a better option for Skarm."

Toxic is usually the better option, Drill Peck is only really useful for Heracross and I guess not giving free switch-ins to Gengar (but Toxic-Less Skarm gives a lot of free switchs too). Heracross kinda pushes your shit in, even with Gengar tho.

"I was wondering if I should use psychic though, to nail Gengar. Please advise me on that."

See first part of the post.
Dear McMeghan,
Its an honour to receive a team rating from one of the most respected ADV OU users.
Now, down to business, what if I abandoned the concept of SkarmBliss and replaced it with BlissTress.
Foretress would serve as both my rapid spin user as well as a spiker and earthquake from it OHKOs Magneton. Its been going through my mind for the past couple of days. Foretress is a great defensive wall as well. The obvious drawback though is the loss of a phazer.
However, it means that I could replace Starmie with Celebi providing me with checks to Suicune, Gengar and many others. I have already taken your suggestion of replacing Heracross with Gengar.
Do you think this change will be viable?
 

Jorgen

World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
So here's the thing: Forretress is pretty much only good for Spikes. He's just not going to wall things the way Skarm is, mostly because his typing isn't as good and he isn't able to Phaze. McMeghan seems to think Heracross is pretty scary for you, so getting rid of Skarm certainly doesn't help with that. Not saying Forretress can't fit, just that it's not going to replace Skarm defensively.

I've found that this sort of team also struggles mightily with the ol' CM Spam team. Blissey can be overloaded or beaten by the right sets. I generally ran Lax > Blissey because I'm a GSC dude though, so that probably made my experience more difficult than necessary.
 

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