SS UU Bad Bad Bad [Tier] (Peaked #1, 1825 Elo)

Pak

final flash
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(Shoutouts Accelgor as per usual)

INTRODUCTION
So as many of you already know, I am not a fan of Sword and Shield UU much at all right now, but I've become something of a ladder hero this gen in attempt to gain a better feel for it from the get-go, which really bit me in the ass at the start of Sun and Moon. In the few hundred games I've played across a number of alts, I've tried a variety of approaches to my favorite playstyles in bulky offense and balance. Due to the tier's limited options for basic roles like Stealth Rockers, hazard removers, Steel-types, etc. in combination with a dumb amount of constricting threats, building in this tier has become fairly formulaic. You'll always be stupidly weak to something moderately common, usually to the point where it isn't possible to outplay it, and that's come to be my least favorite part of this gen so far. As a result, building a truly consistent team has been a huge headache, especially on the ladder where you can see literally anything.

However, this notion ironically led me to exploring Durant further, which I had tried my best to avoid due to ever-frustrating Hustle misses. Despite the accuracy issues, Durant actually presents a strong offensive check or revenge killer to many of the tier's near-broken offensive threats such as Haxorus, Diggersby, Polteageist, Roserade, and Weavile. That provides a balance team like this a lot of flexibility in game when it comes to dealing with traditional breakers, in addition to a ridiculously potent wallbreaking presence, possessing only a handful of true checks. This handful of checks includes Hippowdon and Milotic mainly, which are usually forced to recover after eating a hit from the steroids ant. Due to this common line of play, I really wanted to pair Durant with Roserade, another one of my favorites. Its offensive presence, access to Sleep Powder/hazards, and its ability to threaten bulky Waters make it a fantastic Pokemon in the meta, and an ideal partner for Durant. These two alone have put the team on their backs. I'll touch on the team and their key interactions among each other below, but I have actually had a lot of fun using this team (in ss uu nonetheless cwl), having a lot of success on the ladder in the process. If you know me from old RMTs in any capacity, something I always strive for in building is maximizing favorable matchups and having the flexibility or tools to win as many games as possible if played well. This is another team that encapsulates the mentality as seen in the peak below:
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IN-DEPTH

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Durant @ Choice Band
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- First Impression
- Iron Head
- Superpower
- Crunch​

Despite everyone having their salad tossed by it at some point, Durant remains, in my humble opinion, the most underutilized Pokemon in the tier. This is due in large part to its unreliable ability in Hustle, which is obviously a notable fault, but the Pokemon's positives far outweigh that drawback in the right team structure. On top of at least 2HKOing nearly the entire tier, Durant stands out as a strong offensive check to many of the tier's most prominent threats, such as Haxorus, Diggersby, Roserade, and Weavile. That type of role compression on top of its already-ridiculous wallbreaking prowess has been the main selling point for me in throwing it on most of my teams lately. I opted for the ordinary Choice Band set featuring its standard set of moves, with the only real potential change being Life Orb instead. However, while its biggest selling point is avoiding the Choice-lock into First Impression, its recoil is especially notable versus foes such as Hippowdon and Milotic, some of its only decently reliable switch-ins. That residual damage along with hazards damage and the notable decrease in damage makes Choice Band the far superior option in my opinion, as there isn't a more threatening mon in the tier than an aggressively-played CB Durant that can keep coming in and out. It played a huge role in carrying this team to many of its wins, and is really the team's main source of immediate progress alongside Roserade.

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Roserade @ Black Sludge
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Sludge Bomb
- Sleep Powder
- Toxic Spikes​

One thing I do like about this generation is that Roserade is about as potent as ever, despite losing its pseudo-Flamethrower with Hidden Power's removal. Its prominence mostly comes as a result of the tier's extreme defensive reliance on bulky Water-types and also the vastly reduced number of viable Steel-types, which would ordinarily give Sword and Shield Rose a hard time. It and Durant form an absurd offensive core, as Durant still forces its two main checks in Milotic and Hippowdon to heal up in order to still beat it during the next sequence, in turn handing Roserade opportunities to put something to bed, set Toxic Spikes, or throw out powerful attacks. Given the team's eventual structure, I originally planned on utilizing Spikes instead of TSpikes, but the latter is just dumb good given our general lack of grounded Poison-types. Additionally, they go a long way in helping the team more thoroughly pressure things like Umbreon and the aforementioned Durant answers. Stalling any of them out has never really been an issue, especially given the presence of Vaporeon Wish passes and its ability to just sit on all of them as they're chipped down. This Pokemon is jesus, use it.

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Gigalith @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 16 Atk / 240 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Heavy Slam
- Stealth Rock​

One thing I knew after starting out with Durant in combination with Roserade was that Chandelure was going to be a threat if I didn't nip the issue in the bud. That mon is another not-quite-broken-but-super-hard-to-cover piece of shit, and luckily Gigalith mostly invalidates it. While that was the main draw of throwing it on the team, Gigalith is simply a really solid Pokemon, acting as a reliable Stealth Rock setter and a pseudo-check to almost every special attacker due to its Sand-setting. Chandelure was the most notable one, it also fucks up things like Noivern, Frosmoth, Gardevoir (to some extent), Heliolisk, Ninetales, and others. Given Durant's horrendous special bulk, this type of specially defensive utility came in handy time and time again. All Gigaliths do the same thing at their core, but on this variation, I opted to use Heavy Slam along with an Adamant nature, which really punishes Defog Weezing that assume they're safe for whatever reason. It's also just a generally safe move vs things like Weavile and a Roosting Noivern, since Stone Edge isn't always the ideal move to have in those scenarios. Super dope glue mon all around.

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Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Fire Blast​

I understand the hate for Flygon, I really do, but it found a really nice fit on this team. Going with Gigalith over Rhyperior obviously opens up the need for a Ground-type outside that team slot, and Flygon did just that while offering Speed in combo with a notable source of momentum. Flygon's biggest switch-ins are things like Bronzong, Galar Weezing and Milotic, Pokemon taken advantage of by either Durant or Roserade or both. Flygon is what lets the team's offensive core shine, while revenging what it may need to, such as a Dragon Dancing Haxorus. My fourth move choice, as you may notice, is super ratchet, but Flygon's last move means literally nothing and you probably won't click anything other than U-turn in most cases. However, my team is somewhat weak to Doublade and opposing Durants also pose a decent issue, so I said fuck it and put Fire Blast. It has a much better roll than Earthquake versus the former and of course sends the latter into the wind. Flygon is nothing spectacular by any means, but it is another important glue for this framework to really come together synergy wise.

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Vaporeon @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Wish
- Protect
- Ice Beam​

Vaporeon's cool. Initially, I was kind of skeptical of its impact over the tier's most popular bulky Water-type in Milotic. However, I spent a good amount of time before putting this team together with a core of Milotic/Gigalith/Roserade, and dealing with opposing Milotic made me want to pull my hair out. Roserade is a good check, but alongside a sand setter, it cannot use Synthesis effectively, making it a sub-par long-term check to the water snake demon thing. A lot of games would end in 40 turns of Haze spamming. That is where Vaporeon comes in. Vap doesn't care about Milotic at all, sitting on it all day, while freely passing Wishes into Roserade to make its life much easier as the game rolls along. It becomes much harder to chip down, and in turn, Vaporeon can sit on things all day when its TSpikes are down. Beyond that, Vaporeon is just here to do bulky Water-type things. It is the team's (shaky) check to Mamoswine and alleviates pressure off Gigalith against foes like Chandelure and Noivern. I've considered Haze as the last move to help the team out versus threats such as Doublade and Reuniclus, but opted against it given the tier's general disability to switch into Water Ice coverage, along with the fact that there are outs against those Pokemon.

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Alcremie (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Aroma Veil
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Mystical Fire
- Recover
- Calm Mind​

I don't think this Pokemon is good, but it was necessary to some extent. To this point, my team wasn't fantastic against foes such as Haxorus, Weavile, and Sirfetch'd. It isn't a fantastic answer to any one of them, but its presence is enough to minimize their offensive opportunities, decently filling the role that a bulky Fairy-type should. It removes some pressure from Durant in landing First Impression versus the former two as well. Its main selling point for me over something like Galarian Weezing was its ability to set up. My team had no real wincon outside of Alcremie, and even though there weren't many games it outright stole the show, it did do a nice job of putting Milotic/Umbreon/other stuff on the back foot when TSpikes were underneath them. Additionally, while Mystical Fire is cool coverage to hit mons like Doublade and Escavalier, it also provided nice utility in Special Attack drops on things such as Milotic, Reuniclus, opposing Roserade, among others, which would otherwise might be harder to play around. Overall, Alcremie is another mon that isn't exactly a world beater, but it pulled its weight enough to avoid being replaced, so there's that.

THREAT LIST
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Mamoswine - This one is pretty self-explanatory. My sole Ground-resist is Flygon...so yeah. It has the raw power to deal good damage to the rest of the team, but it isn't unplayable by any means. Bold Vaporeon is a decent check to Sash Mamoswine, and positioning for this team largely revolves around Durant's offensive pressure early on, minimizing any other Mamoswine set's opportunities.

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Calm Mind Reuniclus - This team's main check to Psychic-types is Gigalith, and Reuniclus obviously uses the sand rock as pure set up fodder. This is a situation where Mystical Fire on Alcremie really comes in handy, forcing opponents into Calm Mind loops and as a result, a potential free switch to Durant on Calm Mind. Luckily, when I made this team, Acid Armor Reuniclus was at an all time low after its initial hype completely fell off a cliff, but otherwise it would obliterate this team.

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Centiscorch - This thing is super annoying. With chip, it actively pressures my Fire-resists, mainly with Power Whip, and it finds 100% free turns from Alcremie and the occasional choice-locked Durant. I don't have a great switch-in by any means but it isn't the most common Pokemon and it can ordinarily be played around to some extent.

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Lucario -
This thing is pretty much the only reason that I would consider using Life Orb on Durant. It sees a number of somewhat-free turns or set up opportunities against most of the team, and to make matters worse, locking into First Impression is most common against the types of teams on which Lucario generally fits. Durant can still revenge kill physical variants, albeit while letting foes in the back set up potentially, and special variants are marginally easier to handle I suppose.

REPLAYS

I never really save replays while laddering so there aren't too many to share but here they are:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1058009564 ladder vs Lilburr
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1060207691 ladder vs GelatinPrince2364
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1060066040-6rqg8zn8ekbnogbbpin1uvhi0ihee8bpw UU Masters vs CBU
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1060071799 UU Masters vs CBU

CONCLUSION
I've had a lot of fun using this team and it's seen a lot of success. It's weird way of having redundant checks to many of the tier's biggest threats has paid dividends from a consistency perspective and like I said, it basically embodies what I aim for when throwing Pokemon in a teambuilder. On that note, generation 8 blows, give us things back etc. etc. Thanks for reading sirs.

IMPORT
Roserade @ Black Sludge
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Sludge Bomb
- Sleep Powder
- Toxic Spikes

Gigalith @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 16 Atk / 240 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Heavy Slam
- Stealth Rock

Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Fire Blast

Vaporeon @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Wish
- Protect
- Ice Beam

Durant @ Choice Band
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- First Impression
- Iron Head
- Superpower
- Crunch

Alcremie (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Aroma Veil
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Mystical Fire
- Recover
- Calm Mind
 
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