[box]Love me, hate me, idgaf. Most people will recognize this team from laddering during various suspect voting rounds over the past year. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to get around to posting a RMT about it until just now, as I've been busy, which brings me to the name of the title. Many of you creepily know that the reason why I was too busy to post a RMT was because I'd been recently accepted to UCLA as a Chemistry major, so I decided to base the team name around that. Aromaticity has to do with how six ordinary carbon atoms held together in a ring with alternating carbon-carbon double bonds contain much higher stability than expected. Similar to that concept, this team operates off of the sheer synergy between these six ordinary pokemon, using zero S-rank threats and two non-OU pokemon.
The idea to put together this team began once Hippowdon was banned from UU. I always found that Hippowdon himself wasn't overpowering, but the synergy he had with a lot of top UU threats was so disgustingly strong that it caused him to get banned. I decided to take this synergy for a spin in the OU environment and found the Hippowdon/Stoutland/Roserade/Bulky Water core to be just as strong, but with the added aspect of being able to have an amazing spinblocker, Latias, Skarmory, and not having to use Roserade for spikes. Not to be one of those people that insists on their pioneering, but Stoutland began to pop up on a lot more teams once I peaked #1 with this team, and is now considered a legitimate B-rank threat in the viability ranking thread. With the recent bans of Genesect, Tornadus-T, and Deoxys-D, this team has only become more difficult to break. As a result, I'd like to present to you, Aromaticity.[/box]
Trait: Sand Stream
Nature: Careful (+SpD, -SpA)
EVs: 252 HP | 4 Def | 252 SpD
Moves: Stealth Rock | Slack Off | Earthquake | Whirlwind
[box]Tyranitar eat your heart out. Hippowdon serves as a much better sandstorm inducer for this team due to its reliable recovery and its durability against many top threats, and especially for its insusceptibility to Dugtrio's trapping shenanigans. The specially defensive spread is really good in this meta, allowing it to take on pokemon from both spectrums. As one of the sturdiest mixed walls in the game, many teams run out of ways to overcome Hippowdon, allowing Whirlwind spam to rack up damage for a Stoutland clean.
Stealth Rock on Hippowdon has its pros and cons. While Hippowdon has many opportunities to put it up against teams of all archetypes, it lacks the offensive presence to deter Xatu from coming in. Jellicent, Latias, and Stoutland can all punish Xatu from coming in, but they can all be outpredicted in the process, giving the Xatu user an early game advantage in momentum. Hippowdon's weaknesses to Water, Ice, and Grass are not as crippling to the team, as those flaws are easily covered by teammates. I'd say the only crippling flaw of Hippowdon is his free invitation for Skarmory, Forretress, and Ferrothorn to come in unscathed and set down Spikes, which is exacerbated by my lack of Rapid Spin, meaning that any layers that do wind up on my field will remain there until the end of a match.
However, Hippowdon's synergy with Stoutland cannot be understated. With his impressive mixed bulk, opponents will need to rely on power boosts to break through him. When the opponent has to utilize boosts such like Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, Choice Band, and Choice Specs, they wind up slow, allowing Stoutland to pick them off for an easy OHKO. Similarly, many opponents that boost their speed, such as Scarf Terrakion, Agility Thundurus, and Rock Polish Landorus, cannot hope to OHKO Hippowdon, getting phazed in the process and having to suffer more hazard damage the next time they enter the field. The only pokemon that can outspeed Stoutland and OHKO Hippowdon is Keldeo, which has three of its strongest checks present throughout my team. All in all, Hippowdon is a solid foundation to the team by preventing the opponent from winning just through sheer abuse of speed boosting threats.[/box]
Trait: Natural Cure
Nature: Calm (+SpD, -Atk)
EVs: 252 HP | 48 Def | 16 SpD | 192 Spd
Moves: Sleep Powder | Toxic Spikes | Giga Drain | Hidden Power Fire
[box]The idea to implement Roserade on the team came from witnessing the synergy she provided during the BW1 days where the HippoStout core was still legal in UU. However, she becomes much more lethal in the OU environment, as she can now set down Toxic Spikes without having them soaked up, as Poison-types are far less omnipresent. Roserade usually leads the game, as an early Sleep Powder and/or Toxic Spikes can provide such an astounding early-game advantage that prevents the opponent from making a comeback. Roserade is also synergistic with the team in that she provides an early-game check to both Keldeo and Breloom that isn't weak to CBtar. Her ability to alleviate offensive pressure from those two and Rotom-W allows Latias to hide in the wing until Tyranitar has been sufficiently crippled, usually in part due to the Toxic Spikes she provides. In fact, this powerful utility provides heavy assistance in winning opposing weather wars, as none of the inducers are immune to the Toxic Spikes she provides.
The given EV spread allows Roserade to do many things. 192 Spd EVs in conjunction with the 30 IV from HP Fire give her the jump on Jolly Breloom and Jolly Skarmory leads to prevent an early-game Spore. It also helps against other Jolly Cloyster, and Timid Politoed. The Def EVs are important to provide a Breloom check, prevent a surprise death from first-turn Scarftar's Stone Edge, and also cushion against Scizor's Bullet Punch and Pursuit. Her ability to survive against all of these physical attacks allows her to toy with them to the point where they can no longer check Latias or Stoutland.
Roserade's strongest aspect as a hazard layer is her claim to fame in the UU environment which is coverage that prevents Spinners and opposing Spikers from having their way with her. Ironically, in the OU environment, this coverage is simultaneously her biggest downfall, as it gives a free invitation for Dragons to come in unscathed once Sleep Clause has been activated, which is bad as my team lacks the appropriate resists to neutralize these threats. Another one of her downfalls is her mediocre performance against Sun teams, which Hippowdon and Latias help to alleviate. The early-game advantage that Roserade secures for my team outweighs her downsides, as many teams are not equipped to handle the utility she provides.[/box]
Trait: Water Absorb
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EVs: 248 HP | 156 Def | 104 Spd
Moves: Recover | Scald | Shadow Ball | Taunt
[box]Although there were many better bulky waters that I would have loved to be able to implement into my team, Jellicent is by far my favorite spinblocker to use on stall teams. Any of these other bulky waters would mean choosing a different spinblocker, none of which have the reliable recovery and bulk that Jellicent has. This bulk and reliable recovery gives Jellicent the ability to prevent every spinner from removing my entry hazards except Offensive Starmie, Sub/Toxic Tentacruel in the rain and the rare Sandslash in the sand. Against Starmie and Tentacruel, aggressive measures must be taken to secure a constant Sandstorm, as otherwise Stoutland will be unable to Pursuit Starmie afterwards and Tentacruel will be able to outheal the weakening that Jellicent's Shadow Ball inflicts. Sandslash is almost always ran on a team without Toxic Spikes absorption, so an early game set-up by Roserade puts him on a timer that he most likely won't beat. Even if he manages to take down Jellicent, he gets immediately forced out by Stoutland, causing him to have to come in and take hazard damage again while trying to find an opportunity to spin.
Aside from spinblocking duties, Jellicent is important in that it serves a purpose against every team archetype. Water Absorb is the preferred ability to take on rain teams, as Jellicent is never 2HKO'd by Specs Politoed, and even if it's within KO range, the mere presence of Jellicent prevents Hydro Pump spam, lest it get a chance to heal back up. Against sand teams, it serves to weaken Reuniclus and burn Tyranitar/Ferrothorn on Sand teams. Relying on Scald to burn might not be everybody's cup of tea, but with my style of play, I've found it better to take the risk, as Shadow Ball provides too much utility. Not to mention that having to rely on Will-o-Wisp is one of my biggest pet peeves. Against sun teams, it is able to tank high-power Fire moves from Victini-esque threats and prevent Donphan/Forry spins. Even against opposing stall teams it has a niche, as its fast Taunt in conjunction with the right hazards can oftentimes secure an early game victory.
The benchmark chosen for my Jellicent was to outspeed Max Spd Wobbuffet to Taunt any of its attempts to Encore. The rest is put into physical bulk to give it a chance to burn SD/Roost Scizor, as well as cushion various CB Pursuits. Even though its top three switch-ins (Rotom-W, Celebi, Hydreigon) are all specially-based, those can all be taken on by teammates, with the exception of Hydreigon, who must be properly scouted. To be honest, I don't see any appeal for Specially Defensive Jellicent.[/box]
Nature: Impish (+Def, -SpA)
EVs: 252 HP | 232 Def | 24 Spd
Moves: Roost | Spikes | Whirlwind | Brave Bird
[box]Of all of the OU Spikers available, Skarmory ended up making the best fit, as a second phazer was deemed preferable to provide further weakening of Stoutland's counters. Skarmory is able to handle a lot of bulky sand threats that Stoutland has trouble 2HKOing or even 3HKOing such as Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Garchomp. His ability to use them as set-up fodder helps to punish the opponent for their presence, as although they can prevent Stoutland's sweep, they'll have to choose between staying in and getting Spiked on in order to heal up to be able to take on Stoutland's assaults, or U-turning out to prevent Skarmory's spikes, with a large chunk of health missing. While Gliscor can carry Taunt to deal with Skarmory, it often means the sacrifice of Protect, giving Stoutland an easier time overcoming him. Gliscor is really rare in this meta anyway.
Skarmory, while shining against opposing sand teams, is not dead weight against the other weathers. Skarmory uses the recent outbreak of SpDef Celebi as set-up fodder, as none of them run HP Fire in the rain. Skarmory is also fine with spiking up alongside Ferrothorn, as rain teams cannot abuse their spikes with phazing, leading to their Spikes being much less potent than mine. Skarmory can also abuse an early-game Sturdy against most Sun teams to kamikaze its premier sweepers such as Venusaur or Volcarona down with it, as many of them often lack an early-game Stealth Rock.
While Magnezone is threatening, DragMag teams haven't been running any anti-weather techniques since the Excadrill days, meaning that they're usually prone to taking quite a few assaults from Stoutland. Alongside the massively underrated recovery of Leftovers, the choice was clear that Shed Shell would not be considered.[/box]
Nature: Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EVs: 252 HP | 4 Def | 252 Spd
Moves: Roost | Calm Mind | Dragon Pulse | Hidden Power Fire
[box]Although not the sixth member in the order of this RMT, Latias was the sixth member chosen for the team. Her ability to maintain a defensive presence while outspeeding the majority of OU, especially the 100-108 benchmark, is what solidified my choice over something like Hydreigon, which was much too slow to even consider. The presence of a fast and speedy attacker on a stall team is priceless, as many times you'll want to take out a threat without having to incur a hit. In fact, her speed is the difference between how shaky of a check Latias was against Thundurus-I vs. how solid of a check it is against Thundurus-T.
Since Roserade often kicks it to the curb early, Latias usually makes her debut mid-to-late-game to pick up on special tanking duties. Latias is the only one on the team that is able to switch into Sheer Force Landorus and not wind up 2HKO'd. She also takes on other threats that Roserade can not, such as Heatran without Toxic/Roar, Keldeo, Thundurus-T, NP Celebi, and more. She then differentiates herself from Roserade by threatening a Calm Mind sweep after early game antics have appropriately weakened or eliminated her counters. Hidden Power Fire fits into her set as it gives her the ability to weaken Steel-types like Scizor and Ferrothorn, either for her own sweep or to lighten the burden Stoutland will have to take on. Together, they form something of a psuedo-Salamence/Rayquaza core, where they both hit from opposing ends of the spectrum while simultaneously knocking out each other's mutual Steel-Type counters.[/box]
Trait: Sand Rush
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
EVs: 252 Atk | 4 Def | 252 Spd
Moves: Return | Superpower | Pursuit | Wild Charge
[box]Meet the most awkwardly tiered pokemon in the entire game. Although Stoutland has recently fallen to the depths of NU, it simultaneously manages to boast B-rank on the OU Viability Ranking thread. The mere presence of Sandstorm makes CB Stoutland one of the top five fastest viable pokemon in the tier, only being outsped by Scarf Terrakion, Scarf Keldeo, and Scarf Lati@s. However, unlike those four pokemon, Stoutland is able to wield a boosting nature and a boosting item, giving it much more power. Aside from those four pokemon, the only thing other thing that goes before Stoutland is priority, which he has more than enough bulk to take as long as it's not Mach Punch.
In addition to the obvious cleaning duties, many people manage to overlook another enticing aspect of Stoutland, which is the trapping support he offers. His Pursuit serves to eliminate weakened 110+ base Speed threats to Latias' sweep, such as Latios, Starmie, Gengar, and Sashless Kazam. The utility of his Pursuit isn't limited to just fast and frail Psychic/Ghost-types. Hippowdon can often sacrifice itself to an attack of a weakened Politoed or Ninetales to have Stoutland Pursuit them to a health where hazards prevent future switch-ins that'll change the weather. Due to this, I find all of Stoutland's moves to be staple, except Wild Charge, which can be interchanged for similarly situational moves such as Ice Fang, Fire Fang, and Crunch.[/box]