BH Balanced Hackmons

Sniper MMX + Shedinja Semistall | more information
I've tested this team and it's pretty solid. Basically after a Focus Energy MMX kills any switchin besides Shed, not even caring about Strength Sap or King's Shield or anything. Shedinja improofs MMX, Regenvest Ho-Oh is a really fat special tank, Registeel bounces hazards to support Shed, Giratina walls almost any physical attacker, and Chansey is an excellent scout. I've also tried using Focus Energy Baton Pass Shedinja as a much cooler way to give MMX Focus Energy without it needing to take a hit or force something out, but I needed more insurance against opposing Shedinjas so I decided against it.

Snow Warning Lapras Stall
May seem like a meme but it isn't (really). Hail is a really nice way to chip things since it hits everything but Ice-types, and no defensive Ice-types really exist (besides Lapras). Regenvest Registeel is a nice blanket check to big special attackers like Specs Gengar-Mega and Mewtwo-Mega-Y; PH Giratina spreads burns, removes Toxic Orb and Safety Goggles for Lapras; Ho-Oh beats problematic mons like Diancie-Mega and Xerneas; Prankster Xerneas blanket checks physical attackers; and Chansey glues the team together.

Might add another team or two as I keep testing.
 

DaWoblefet

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Apologies if this belongs in a SQSA thread, but it was most relevant to BH so I thought I'd post it here: is Sand common enough in BH to warrant running Shore Up over a move like Heal Order, Recover, etc.? Because Shore Up rounds down on 0.5 where moves like Recover round up, you'd lose out on recovery if your HP wasn't evenly divisible by 2 (I recently did research on HP recovery moves, but I assumed that part was already known). In addition, some Pokemon are using Recover variants on Pokemon with HP evenly divisible by 2, where I can't see a downside to using Shore Up. Some examples from the sample teams:
  • a loser's sample: Giratina has 503 HP stat, which means it only recovers 251 HP from Shore Up. A move like Recover would restore 252 HP.
  • OM's sample: Giratina has 504 HP stat but is using Milk Drink, when Shore Up recovers an identical amount of HP and would be optimal if there was sand.
  • Superskylake's sample: Chansey, Zygarde-Complete, and Audino all have even HP stats, but only Audino uses Shore Up.
Basically, I'd like to know why Shore Up would ever be used on Pokemon with odd HP, and why Shore Up isn't always used on Pokemon with even HP. Thanks!
 
Apologies if this belongs in a SQSA thread, but it was most relevant to BH so I thought I'd post it here: is Sand common enough in BH to warrant running Shore Up over a move like Heal Order, Recover, etc.? Because Shore Up rounds down on 0.5 where moves like Recover round up, you'd lose out on recovery if your HP wasn't evenly divisible by 2 (I recently did research on HP recovery moves, but I assumed that part was already known). In addition, some Pokemon are using Recover variants on Pokemon with HP evenly divisible by 2, where I can't see a downside to using Shore Up. Some examples from the sample teams:
  • a loser's sample: Giratina has 503 HP stat, which means it only recovers 251 HP from Shore Up. A move like Recover would restore 252 HP.
  • OM's sample: Giratina has 504 HP stat but is using Milk Drink, when Shore Up recovers an identical amount of HP and would be optimal if there was sand.
  • Superskylake's sample: Chansey, Zygarde-Complete, and Audino all have even HP stats, but only Audino uses Shore Up.
Basically, I'd like to know why Shore Up would ever be used on Pokemon with odd HP, and why Shore Up isn't always used on Pokemon with even HP. Thanks!
I was told to ignore Imprison + Shore Up. But I feel that unless Giratina is the last Pokémon, or cannot switch out (say I had a Shedinja and Stealth Rocks on my side of the field), then - as a Ghost type, it could just switch out of trapping moves like Anchor Shot.

Shore Up is otherwise ideal. Good insight into the math.

EDIT:
The only thing I would add is Strength Sap. How does that round?

-1 Atk is really 1/3, so since the first use lowers the Attack by 1/3, then heals, how does the -Atk round on an odd number? Up or down?

This is also key for Big Root. If you have 101 total Attack after the -1 Attack, then heal 101 with Strength Sap, but also have Big Root, does it heal 33 or 34?

Edit 2: And what about Pain Split?
 
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DaWoblefet

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The only thing I would add is Strength Sap. How does that round?
It doesn't round in and of itself; it's just using whatever the raw attack stat of the target is, including boosts/drops, not including Abilities/items.
-1 Atk is really 1/3, so since the first use lowers the Attack by 1/3, then heals, how does the -Atk round on an odd number? Up or down?
As a clarification, -1 Attack is not 1/3; it is 2/3 times the "starting attack stat", where by that I mean the attack stat on the summary screen on cartridge. Boosts/drops for Attack, like Defense/Sp. Atk/Sp. Def/Speed, all floor (round down) their calculation. So a Pokemon with 100 starting attack would be at 66 Attack at -1 (because floor(100*2/3) = floor(66.66666...) = 66), and Strength Sap would heal 66 HP in such a situation before dropping the target down to -2 Attack.
This is also key for Big Root. If you have 101 total Attack after the -1 Attack, then heal 101 with Strength Sap, but also have Big Root, does it heal an additional 33 or 34?
Big Root takes the HP gained from a draining move/Leech Seed/Strength Sap and multiplies it by 5324/4096, then it pokeRounds the result (do normal rounding, but round down on 0.5). So in your case with targeting Pokemon with 101 Attack, Strength Sap would heal pokeRound(101*5324/4096) = pokeRound(131.2802734375) = 131 HP.
It would be interesting if healing off the Atk of the foe, (or on oneself due to Magic Bounce), rounds differently than the Recovery moves based on the user’s own Max HP.
Strength Sap doesn't use any rounding at all by itself. The rounding that gets used for Attack boosts/drops (floor) is different from what's used for "normal" recovery moves, which is school rounding, i.e. round up on 0.5 (e.g. Recover, Roost), which in turn is different from Shore Up, which uses pokeRounding. See my linked research for a more in-depth look at HP recovery mechanics.


Edit 2: And what about Pain Split?
Pain Split floors its recovery. For example, if a Pokemon with 50 HP averaged health with a Pokemon at 101 HP, both Pokemon would have 75 HP after the Pain Split. Floor((50+101)/2) = Floor(75.5) = 75.
 
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Basically, I'd like to know why Shore Up would ever be used on Pokemon with odd HP, and why Shore Up isn't always used on Pokemon with even HP. Thanks!
I'd just like to add that it's generally a good idea to have a different healing move on anyone carrying one on the team to minimize the impact imprison (+transform) could have on you. So like in OMs team if someone tries to pull off the trapping + imprison + transform, OM can counter that strat with Giratina and then still heal with his Muk.

There was a point in time early gen where ppl got really passionate about "correcting" everyone's healing moves to shore up and it became popular enough that imprison shore up on its own could decimate defensive teams. It was kinda funny when it happened.
 
While really interesting about the rounding and everything, you're far, far more likely to either benefit from stray Sand or get ducked by Imprison than have the 1 HP healing difference matter.

The only situation I could maybe see the 1 HP mattering a lot might involve getting hit by Nature's Madness and probably at certain HP values. There's also probably some sort of possible minor optimization involving Life Orb that might let you get another hit in, but I'm struggling to imagine a situation that could realistically occur. Maybe also a same boat with Substitute?

Regardless, it's really cool info, but I'm really struggling to think of situations you can properly take advantage of it where the opponent hitting you isn't potentially mucking things up.
 
While really interesting about the rounding and everything, you're far, far more likely to either benefit from stray Sand or get ducked by Imprison than have the 1 HP healing difference matter.

The only situation I could maybe see the 1 HP mattering a lot might involve getting hit by Nature's Madness and probably at certain HP values. There's also probably some sort of possible minor optimization involving Life Orb that might let you get another hit in, but I'm struggling to imagine a situation that could realistically occur. Maybe also a same boat with Substitute?

Regardless, it's really cool info, but I'm really struggling to think of situations you can properly take advantage of it where the opponent hitting you isn't potentially mucking things up.
I think it would matter if you come in on say Stealth Rocks, and you designed your Pokémon to have 1 HP (# divisible by 16+1 for 25% damage and divisible by 2+1 for 50% damage) after enough hazards, same rules for Belly Drum, Curse, *Not Mind Blown - this move actually rounds up*, and Substitute.

I think this would matter if you don’t want to lower your HP to a number divisible by 16+1, such as Ho-Oh or Lugia:
This is because they may barely survive some attacks, and they don’t want to jeopardize their bulk by losing 15 HP just to maximize a situational Substitute scenario.

This is because their max HP is 416, which makes their closest HP number being divisible by 16+1 = 401 HP).

For a simple example, let’s say Lugia comes on Stealth Rocks, takes 25%, uses Substitute and loses another 25% making it 50% even. Then it’s Substitute is broken the next turn, and it uses it again.

Now it’s at 25% exactly, but uses Roost to heal 50% +1 to 75%. Suddenly, you would be able to switch into Stealth Rocks 3 more times, or use Substitute 3 more times, whereas with Shore Up you couldn’t (since Shore Up rounds down). This is all without relying on 16+1 or Leftovers to achieve an extra Substitute.

If you make Lugia’s HP an odd number (415 instead of 416), that would make it require 2 Roosts to make it Substitute 4 times without Leftovers
————
This may also benefit Leftovers and Poison Heal, because it allows you to reach a different threshold for 50% damage like Ho-Oh coming in on Stealth Rocks.
 
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Yeah, but that all still requires you not getting tickled by one of dozens of U-Turns thrown around every match, let alone an actual attack. If the opponent isn't attacking that mon at all, then it works. But if they're not attacking then I'm not sure it'd matter since you'd probably use recovery at 50-25% regardless unless there was some reason you couldn't or it'd be a really bad idea.
 
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Yeah, but that all still requires you not getting tickled by one of dozens of U-Turns thrown around every match, let alone an actual attack. If the opponent isn't attacking that mon at all, then it works. But if they're not attacking then I'm not sure it'd matter since you'd probably use recovery at 50-25% regardless unless there was some reason you couldn't or it'd be a really bad idea.
There are plenty of reasons Ho-Oh won’t take Attack damage, coming in on non-1K Arrows Ground moves and forcing out the foe, a Magic Bounce Ho-Oh coming in on Parting Shot and getting forced out (making any prior Roosts benefit it), coming in on a double switch (Shedinja vs Shedinja), or coming in on a double KO (Destiny Bond from last Turn), etc.

Using it at 25% is important bc if you get hit by Nature’s Madness from Kanga, or use Substitute after taking Stealth Rocks, any prior Roost gives you the 1 spare HP to use another Substitute.

Anyways, I just figured since you brought up Substitute, Stealth Rocks is a big consideration as well, especially when super effective.
 
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Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

bh's very own pseudo-intellectual
is a Community Contributor
playstyle showcase: explosion spam offense

id like to show off this playstyle here because ive had some decent success with it and i havent seen anyone else using it. everyone knows that im not the biggest fan of hyper offense, but this specific type of it is more consistent than a lot of others.

https://pokepast.es/288842ceb7a12107

this was the first team that i had in my builder that fits under this, with the explosion diancie being a great early-game option to open up for the wincons later on. this team was originally built around the deoa set but in testing the deoa rarely did anything of note, so i felt that the playstyle had more potential than that specific team. i was able to draw several conclusions from it though:

:sm/mewtwo: :sm/mewtwo-mega-y: :sm/gengar-mega: :sm/deoxys-speed:
suicide leads are some of the best mons in explosion spam. i find having a layer or two of guaranteed hazards every game to make it so much easier for my other guys to effectively pressure the opposing team, and something else cool is thanks to taunt you can prevent them from getting their own initiative. imprison is cool on some builds that are ok with being put in a bad spot if imposter wins the speed tie but i think its kinda wack in general. sash is nice to live hits from like bee or something but in most cases u cant get ohkod.

Hazard Lead (Mewtwo-Mega-Y/Gengar-Mega/Arceus/Giratina/Mewtwo/Deoxys-Speed) @ Mental Herb / Focus Sash
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Spikes
- Taunt / Imprison
- Explosion / Memento / Defog
:sm/diancie-mega: :sm/rayquaza: :sm/xerneas: :sm/kyurem-black: :sm/yveltal:

of course, you always need the explosion mon. i prefer ate explosion to final gambit for a few reasons, they can offer utility with espeed and spin, they dont need to rely on scarf for speed, they actually threaten mans out, and you dont need full hp on them for them to do their job. despite not ohkoing resists, it still heavily dents them and leaves you with momentum so winning the game becomes much easier after that.

2 more perks of ate are beating imposter 1v1 with lowered defense and being able to spin on the hazard lead if they go to imposter as well as beating opposing hazard leads (taunt/spore deos vs ur slower lead for example).

diancie is the explosion user i have had the most success with, but there are definitely other good options as well. these are the ones i used:

Diancie-Mega @ Pixie Plate
Ability: Pixilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Explosion
- Extreme Speed
- Rapid Spin
- V-create

Rayquaza @ Sky Plate
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Lonely Nature
IVs: 0 Def
- Rapid Spin
- Extreme Speed
- Explosion
- V-create
:sm/xerneas:
prank xern is really an incredible mon on all hyper offense teams and i cant recommend it enough, imposter proofing it can be annoying at times but this mon puts in so much work thanks to its ability to beat fat and ho alike.

Xerneas @ Fairium Z / Pixie Plate
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Haze
- Strength Sap
- Moonblast
- Taunt
:sm/gengar-mega: :sm/rayquaza: :sm/regigigas:
obviously you need something to take advantage of the explosion user beating up mans on the opposing team, so here are wincons. gar is the best one ive used by far because he can run several different sets while being self sufficient with all of them and dangerous in general, but triage and ph regi are also cool.

SUB GAR (HIDDEN THREAT) (Gengar-Mega) @ Spooky Plate
Ability: Queenly Majesty
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shell Smash
- Judgment
- Secret Sword
- Substitute

hehe man (Gengar-Mega) @ Spooky Plate
Ability: Normalize
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Entrainment
- Boomburst
- Quiver Dance
- Judgment

walter (Regigigas) @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Spore
- Shift Gear
- Facade
- Knock Off

triage ray (Rayquaza) @ Life Orb
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Oblivion Wing
- Tail Glow
- Secret Sword
- Giga Drain
:sm/yveltal: :sm/ho-oh: :sm/muk-alola: :sm/xerneas:
one of my favorite parts of explosion offense is how creative you can get with the last 1-2 slots (depends on how many wincons ur running). thanks to near guaranteed hazards + constant offensive pressure + prank xern being so good, you dont need to worry about all the offensive threats in the game. a secondary explosion user that can also cover things like gar and stuff is really nice, which is why i like scarf hooh/yveltal so much in this role (they can trick scarf too).

jeff (Ho-Oh) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Explosion
- V-create
- Sunsteel Strike
- Trick

jeff (Yveltal) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Knock Off
- Boomburst
- Explosion
- Trick

why am i here (Muk-Alola) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Nuzzle
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Nature's Madness

here are the finished explosion teams ive made so far:
https://pokepast.es/b17fc7bc86676abd
https://pokepast.es/8e22775330457da0

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-975232212
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-975025259
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-977287974

i think you guys should give this playstyle a try, its a promising way of making offense work and i think it has even more potential. thanks for reading.
 

Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

bh's very own pseudo-intellectual
is a Community Contributor
playing to win IS BACK BABY. only one part today sorry
6) Study the Details of the Enemy
Carefully study the details of the enemy so you can glean his future moves. On this point, Sun Tzu’s advice in war is not so different from Mike Caro’s advice in the game of poker.

Mike Caro, “the Mad Genius of Poker,” is a poker teacher, a poker writer, and one of the best poker players in the world. He uses computer analysis, but he is also famous for his work on the psychology and philosophy of gambling. Let’s compare advice from Caro’s Book of Poker Tells to Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Weak Means Strong, Strong Means Weak

When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying on the natural strength of his position. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious for the other side to advance. If his place of encampment is easy of access, he is tendering a bait.
—Sun Tzu
In a poker game, the urge to act strong when weak can be overpowering for most players. Its reverse—weak when strong . . . is also widespread.
—Mike Caro
When players go out of their way to act weak, it’s because they hold strong hands.
—Mike Caro
This concept goes back in part to something we saw earlier on, the idea of bluffing a set you don't have or not bluffing one you do. This could mean playing aggressively early on with an easily walled Pokemon, trying to convince them you have a lure set that can break through their wall, or switching out a Pokemon with no counters just to see how they react to it (and scouting out any potential lures for it in the meantime).

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-940813668 This game is an example of how this concept plays out. On turn 8-9 Anna brings in PH Xerneas on the U-turn, letting in Mega Gengar. Xerneas typically gets hard punished by Gengar, but considering the two sets (Gengar revealed Mold Breaker while Xerneas has Knock Off), Anna is able to take advantage of jasprose misjudging the situation and get rid of Gengar almost for free.

Sudden Action
The sudden rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambush at the spot below. Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.
—Sun Tzu
Always be alert for a player who suddenly perks up and plays a pot. Usually it takes a genuine hand to rouse a player from a lethargic condition and get him interested in gambling.
—Mike Caro
This section describes the tendency of players to spend valuable resources when they believe that the opponent won't see it coming. Although this concept applies differently for BH than for other games because of the turn-based system, ease of access to near-optimal play, and lack of real-life interaction, it still has some applications.

Going back to the previous game, Anna wasn't hesitant to reveal Knock Off and Force Palm on Xerneas, and although it might have been the best play in the situation and worked out, jasprose could potentially have played more conservatively to scout out these options.

Smoke Rising
When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, and spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry. When it branches out in different directions, it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.
—Sun Tzu
Players who are bluffing and are therefore afraid will be reluctant to exhale their cigarette smoke in a conspicuous manner. Remember, bluffers try to do nothing to bring attention to themselves and promote a call. Most bluffers would like to be invisible if they could. When a player exhales a huge cloud of smoke, he’s not as likely to be afraid of your call.
—Mike Caro
Players will take any possible option to further conceal their true set and intentions. This may involve playing extremely passive, never bringing in the Pokemon in question, and focusing on "not losing" rather than trying to make progress faster than their opponent, instead waiting for the perfect moment to bring in their lure.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-963540415 In this game, Chessking was able to completely conceal Necrozma's Ultranecrozmium Z until the right time came, then used it and had a good chance at winning if not for the low roll. He put himself in an otherwise bad position in this game to give himself the chance to turn it around with Ultra Burst into Core Enforcer.

Clues from Appearances
When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears, they are faint from want of food. If those who are sent to draw water begin by themselves drinking, the army is suffering from thirst. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted.
—Sun Tzu
Well-dressed people tend to play conservatively. However, a man wearing a rumpled business suit with a loosened tie is probably in a gambling mood and will play looser than he would if that same suit were recently donned and his tie were in perfect position.
—Mike Caro
"Appearances" in the conventional sense of the word don't apply to BH, but the way people conduct themselves through mood still holds true. Players less passionate about the metagame will typically default to already built teams, while those interested in BH in particular will typically build their own. Each of these approaches has its own strengths and weaknesses, the latter of which can be exploited.

Order and Disorder
Clamor by night betokens nervousness. Fear makes men restless, so they fall to shouting at night in order to keep up their courage. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general’s authority is weak. If the banners and flags are shifted about, sedition is afoot. If the officers are angry, it means the men are weary.
—Sun Tzu
Glimpses of an opponent’s true nature can often be gained by watching the way he stacks his chips. The very organized manner in which these chips are arranged suggests that this player will probably choose his hands carefully, seldom bluff and won’t display a lot of gamble. Of course his mood may change during the game, but in that case his stacks will probably become less neatly arranged. Notice that there are a few extra chips on top of his large stacks. This could be his profit.
—Mike Caro
Order is a much more applicable topic for BH, because it can be conveyed not only through words and appearances but also through playing style. The easiest example of this to spot is the sudden disorder that can occur after a player loses a winning position due to an unexpected occurrence.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-940344950 In this game, for example, MAMP gets to a good position with PH Primal Kyogre, but then overlooks PDT's Imposter Chansey. After Chansey comes in to force Kyogre out, MAMP has to deal with a chaotic position and ends up losing both Ho-Oh and Giratina. Although the plays do make sense (trying to sack something to sleep so Chansey could be brought in), they weren't nearly aggressive enough considering the situation.

Reckless Opponents
When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang their cooking pots over the campfires, showing that they will not return to their tents, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death.
—Sun Tzu
Certainly, players displaying good-luck charms or showing superstitious behavior tend to be more liberal with their poker dollars than average players.
—Mike Caro
This section talks about overly confident players who are willing to put more than they should on the line. As with many other of these sections, this behavior can be observed through the player's conduct in chat rooms and general attitude towards the game. This also includes players who try to gain reputation and value results when facing them on ladder.

Remember: Weak Means Strong, Strong Means Weak
Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat. When the light chariots come out first and take up a position on the wings, it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank, it means that the critical moment has come. When some are seen advancing and some retreating, it is a lure.
—Sun Tzu
When players encourage your bet, it’s because they think they have a winning hand . . . . The most common visual methods opponents use to make your bet appear safe are: (1) Looking away as if uninterested; (2) Pretending to pass; and (3) Keeping their hands off their chips.
—Mike Caro

i gotta head out because these take an hour to make but ill try to make more progress (hopefully finish) in the rest of the week. i think including replays in this was cool in helping me get my point across better, so ill try to do that more in the future especially since i have a whole ompl full of replays to work with. see you guys later
 

xavgb

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Alright this is like two weeks late but i've been busy with other things. Since an entire one person asked (thank you pazza), I thought I may as well drop some of my thoughts on building in BH along with the teams I built and used during BHLT.

MRay meta teams

1569804260219.png


https://pokepast.es/95f6d7d57eaf12d6 - Lazy team because I was scared of Andy bringing 6 Ray, nothing to see here.

1569804276688.png


https://pokepast.es/7f83ec09e534d3d6 - Ignore this one too because it's a mess with 0 good counterplay for Mgar in general, only posting it because it had some cool ideas individually. This is also a ray meta team hence the sand Ttar.

1569804392796.png


https://pokepast.es/f6744f98660364bd - I mean this is an improvement I guess, but I probably wouldn't use it outside of taking the ideas for another team. The main thing I was looking to do was have a hazard stacking build similar to penguin, but this time running a spinner + a bouncer as hazards counterplay as opposed to defog + bounce on the same mon. Overall, I think the amount of different things I was trying to compress into one shed team wasn't going to work out, resulting in what we have here which crutches on MMY + hazards in an attempt to dodge some poor matchups, such as band MMX and a few MGar sets again. In any case, I'd still encourage any attempts to keep the hazards counterplay spread across multiple mons so that shed teams can cover more setters, but honestly from experience one Magic Bounce mon running Defog works fine at least most of the time, because Shedinja can typically come directly in on predicted attacks and threaten out setters with Endeavor.


Post-Ray Meta

1569804421554.png


https://pokepast.es/e28b31685919c83a - And we're back to more questionable stuff. The general idea was to abuse Quiver Prank Xern + cool hazard setters to wear down Imposter, but the team kinda broke down once I started worrying about Gar, in particular I really felt like having priority in the back because of Electrify Gar and another check to other Gar sets because Scrappy Zyg is literally designed to die. I wouldn't use this unless you're planning to do something about the last two slots because they just don't really fit, but at least this team was helpful both in figuring out that offense has access to a lot of cool hazard stacking gameplans and also that my future teams would need a larger effort to compress defensive roles across multiple mons, otherwise it would be too difficult to make ends meet when getting to the last couple mons. This generally involves something along the lines of Imp + a couple Gar checks + a couple Xern checks, singling out Gar and Xern here in particular because they can't be sponged by imp but are good enough mons that they warrant two checks on teams.

1569718254802.png


https://pokepast.es/28efbe15b65613d8 - My new take on HO, featuring less broken mons and more sashes. This build is much safer than triplegar because of the sash MMX, sash Diancie, and Prankbond Dawn Wings. Otherwise the structure is fairly similar, suicide lead + Triage + Dazzlegar which puts a lot of pressure on most defensive cores and generally play off each other with Gar being able to check impostered Zard Y obviously and Zard Y coming in freely on one of the more comfortable Gar Checks in Prank Zyg (considering hazard pressure and Taunt). The Dawn Wings set is something I stole off Volkner and helps keep pressure up whilst smashing Pranksters and just teams without solid Ghost resists in general. It's also providing a lot of utility here, helping with spinblocking both from opposing Regenvesters in an emergency and also from impostered Diancie, whilst also providing something for impostered MMX in a pinch. Ice Beam MMX just provides more support to beat down teams relying on Prank Zyg or i guess Prank Registeel for setup counterplay, and it also adds some freedom when improofing Zard Y. There's probably a few things you could mess about with on the team, such as running Sludge Bomb/Substitute on Dazzlegar or changing the lead, but in its current version the most notable difficulties are like Bounce Audino, Normgar (if anyone runs that still), and also the fact that Imposter can mess about with the first two mons here. Imposter's hazards can put some pressure on the team, so it may be better to run Ditto lead instead of Gar idk. Impostered Dawn Wings can pose a threat to the team as well, but only really if it manages to get a play right and then win two speed ties, so really your opp would have to be crazy or desperate to try it in the first place.

1569804567431.png


https://pokepast.es/0ac7cad67b40eb90 - I feel like this team is alright, but mostly uninteresting. Fridge LO SD MMX is a cool set though, hitting a bunch of nice calcs vs the likes of Prank Giratina, Xerneas, and various offensive threats. Of course it's pretty hard to improof, but luckily FC Solg is actually a decent mon so I guess it works out. Xern + Gar generally always gets at least one hazard up so you can pressure from there, Gar + Zyg is something that ends up on a few of my more recent teams as well, as I already prefer Zyg outside of the lack of Ghost typing for Shedinja and hazards Gar helps that matchup nicely. Wish Zyg + FC Chans at the end may have been because I wanted to try things and had a lot to get through, both are kinda fine on the team but particularly with Chansey there's always the concern that it ends up trying to carry too much pressure for the team or ends up simply being too passive to actually stop some variants of mons that it's supposed to check.

1569728963865.png


https://pokepast.es/efc06b8cb0194ef6 - The original team idea was to have Volt Switch Xern + a breaker that could take advantage of free turns on Ho-Oh and Steel types etc. This started with Hoopa-U in like the third slot but after trying to finish that variant of the team i decided that I didn't like how it turned out, and I also just wasn't a fan of how Hoopa-U was looking, largely because it was slow and frail physically in particular. That being said, I did really like PH Ceus + Entrain Tina for the team, and it's definitely helpful for being able to take on important defensive roles without letting in powerful offensive threats freely. The PH Ceus set here is also really cool for buying some free turns by hitting checks with Knock + Spore, which both helps the team get momentum and helps Ceus recover after switching into threats like Gar. After going back to those first 4, I went on the search for a breaker again. I was looking for something with a strong spammable STAB, that Imposter cant come in freely against, whilst still being able to abuse Ho-Oh in particular and free switches on other mons in general. Primordial Sea Ash Greninja surprisingly ticks all of these boxes, 2HKOing evio imp and even being able to switch directly in on Ho-Oh if it has to, whilst also taking advantage of the general lack of sturdy water resists in the tier right now (Regenvest Ogre seems to have disappeared, same deal for Regenvest Dialga, Pdon isn't particularly common either). Pdon goes in the last slot as an easy improof that would have been easier if i'd remembered that Night Daze on Greninja was a move but w/e, and it also adds a switchin to the Fairies which can be useful, as well as also providing rocks. The main issue here is that we straight up don't have removal or even bounce, which is playable most of the time but still very risky. In terms of fixing it, we'd probably have to ditch the hazard-stacking aspect of the team and run Defog Pdon, but right now I don't know whether Mold Spikes Gar + this offensive pressure is enough for a Shed MU in practice. Alternatively, switching the Arceus to the King's Shield + Defog variant could work, but it feels like a bit of a waste to keep up so much pressure with everything else and then lose out on having setup and the ability to gain free turns with Spore. One last fringe option would be to fully lean into Xern's role as a pivot and drop Earth Power for Rapid Spin, but it should go without saying that this would be p wack.


I'd also like to try and explain one mon in my building, both in the teams here and just in general for other teams I've been building recently.

- This is probably the obvious standout pick when looking at my building in general, and i guess it's not particularly surprising that I'm posting about it. I've been having a lot of fun messing around with various Gar sets because of how much they can enable in the meta. To list some of the things that Gar can do for building:

- Frees up Zyg-C as a dragon prank slot, as you don't necessarily need another Ghost-type against Shedinja builds. This in turn gives you a check to opposing Gar which reduces the cost of fitting Imposter onto teams, whilst also handling your own Imposter matchup much better and keeping a utility slot open for anything you want. It's also worth noting that a lot of Gar checks struggle in general vs the rest of the meta, so being able to run a check to Gar that actually isn't falling off is super nice.

- Mgar is also a solid hazards setter in the current meta, with a few notable perks over other choices such as Xern, Diancie, or MMX. The first notable trait over other hazard setters is that Mgar isn't scared out immediately by Shedinja. This is actually pretty useful as often Shed teams manage to handle hazard setters that put pressure on the bouncer by hard switching into Shedinja on a predicted attack and then forcing the setter out with Endeavor. They can also repeat these cycles by taking advantage of more passive Ghost-types as an opportunity to U-turn into their defogger. Another reason why Gar fits well on hazard-stacking teams is that it has mostly separate prep to the popular hazards setters, and as a result it can form nice cores with most other setters, notably with Xerneas which is really good rn. Lastly, MGar is a fairly low maintenance setter in the builder. Obviously its lack of recovery and meh bulk mean that it's generally more effective on offensive teams in general especially when considering the other benefits I've listed, but outside of that as a hazard setter you don't really have to worry about Imposter setting hazards on you, and the last moveslot on Gengar is generally pretty free so 4MSS isn't much of an issue.

- Mgar can surprisingly help some teams with one important matchup in Xerneas. It might seem weird that I'd even bother bringing up any defensive utility with this mon, but a good amount of teams can benefit from an extra offensive check to Xern, particularly against Strength Sap variants, which can antagonize otherwise decent checks like Pdon and PH Normals (if they lack Spectral). This does require you to run Poison STAB though which isn't necessarily ideal depending on how scared you are of the likes of Ttar.

- Gar is also one of the best mons for HO, as most of its sets benefit nicely from hazards support and free turns that are created in general. As I mentioned earlier Triage + Dazzlegar is still a very solid core which keeps up a lot of momentum naturally due to setup forcing the opponent to react immediately. There isn't much else to say here as it's not particularly surprising that one of the most frail but more powerful offensive mons in the tier benefits from being put on offensive teams.


Btw it would be awesome to have more posts going in-depth about why you guys are using whatever you're using, at least some of the discussion on this thread is cool but I think part of the fun of playing an OM that's as expansive as BH is trying to figure out what the meta looks like as a whole and everyone posting teams or just general observations about the meta more often would help with that.
 

Attachments

Who Needs a Steel-type Anyway?

Most teams in BH feel like they just have to have a Steel-type. Mega Diancie existing makes Steel-types almost needed but Steel in general is a great defensive typing. Its many resistances to common attacks like Fairy, Ice, and Flying to name a few make it valuable in this meta. But what I bring you today are a few teams that are not weighed down by these Steel-types and have had some success on the ladder. Not having a Steel-type on the team frees up some more options of teammates and let you choose mons that aren't necessarily as passive as most Steels can be.

pic1.PNG
This first team is a little outdated as it was made before the sleep clause, but it is still fun to use. Choice Band Adaptability MMX is the main wall breaker while No Guard Beedrill is a stallbreaker. The Yveltal set is pretty weird and Lovely Kiss just kinda ended up on it since I liked how it worked with the evasion drop Defog gives. Arceus stops things like PH setup Xern and gets up some random rocks. Giratina traps and kills PH Regigigas and can even threaten PH Fairies if healthy enough and has stolen boosts. Audino is the sacrificial lamb of the team that can ease up the Diancie matchup earlier on with a well timed Destiny Bond. The Beedrill set can be changed to a Tough Claws Band set without changing the team dynamic if that suits you better.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-754759260
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-989090900
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-989134755

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This team not only features no Steels but also has no Prankster. This can be very bad if the opponent has certain Belly Drum or setup users but even those can be played around if things go your way. But Dazzling Gengar is a nice sweeper that can be devastating once setup. The Blaziken set is a little different having Leftovers but not being choice-locked allows me to take out Flash Fire Steels and trap Sturdy Shed on a pivot all while getting rocks up on walls. Nuzzle on regenvest Yveltal is a really neat support move that can help with speed ties against opposing offense. Since there isn't really have a Diancie switch-in on this team, Eviolite Imposter is used to try to soak up some of those hits. It also helps this team's matchup with certain setup sweepers along with Nuzzle support. This Giratina is an effective scouter with Spiky Shield and Worry Seed and it actually isn't Imposter bait since it doesn't have a healing move. Arceus is fairly standard Unaware except I changed it up and went with Quiver Dance and a Modest Nature to have a really strong Boomburst. This one is probably my favorite of the four and it also has some good nicknames.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-957813266
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-974511211

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The legend of Swords Dance Shedinja. This team is pretty wack but has some interesting players. PH setup Diancie is used here since it is faster and stronger than Xerneas while sacrificing bulk. I've ran a meme double setup move set but Spikes + Quiver Dance is more effective. Shedinja is designed to setup on Ghost-types that hope to force it out while still Endeavoring everyone else. 167 Speed lets it outspeed min speed Prankster Giratina, if that's even a thing, with Ice Shard. Bounce Ho-Oh improofs Diancie and helps keep rocks off the field for Shed. If rocks get up and Ho-Oh is low health, Rapid Spin on ReGenGar can force out spinblocking Ghost-types. Yveltal is there to help me not lose to opposing Gengar.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-909053327
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-909615272
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-989086546

pic4.PNG
This team's main wall breaker is Specs Gengar, but the defensive core of Sand Stream Nihilego and PH Ttar is fun to play with. I feel like the Rock-types and PH MMX are the main players on this team but Specs Gengar is a nice wallbreaker to come in when the time is right. Nihilego has great special bulk with sand and can force out PH Xerneas and other special attackers like Gengar or Triage users not using Secret Sword. Having Unaware Arceus, who fills a similar role, is a little overkill but Nihilego lacks physical bulk, which Arceus has. Prankster Yveltal serves as role compression to check most opposing Gengar sets with Revelation Dance and halt setup threats with Haze and recovery.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-910047066
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-910126421

One thing that these teams have in common is Poison-types. This is useful because it resists the Fairy-type attacks that Steels are generally used for. The Poison-types don't have many defensive options, so things like Gengar or Beedrill can be used as one or two time checks to Fairy-type attackers like Xerneas or Diancie. Outside of Poison-types, it is also useful to have a Poison Heal mon on a team without Steels so that you aren't as threatened by the poison status.

These teams are fun to use but don't always have the best matchups. Things like Kartana and MMY can also be scary if you don't have a fat Steel-type wall, but those matchups can be played around carefully. But I feel like this is a neat way to build, without having to worry about throwing a Registeel on every team you make.
 
Hazard Removal
An summary to removing pesky hazards on your team and what mons are good at it.
Note mons are arranged in no particular order.

The Setters
:mewtwo-mega-x: :toxic-orb:
Great longevity and good damage output keeps rocks up well.
:xerneas: :toxic-orb:
Amazing longevity and very hard to remove helps setup multiple Spikes on dragons and stuff.
:diancie-mega: :pixie-plate: :leftovers:
If lefties has good longevity. Very threatening, can OHKO tons of stuff, coverage requires immunity abilities often. Forced switches gets rocks up.
:kyogre-primal: :toxic-orb:
Has great longevity and offensive presence. Can burn opponents with Scald to get rocks up.
:regigigas: :slaking: :toxic-orb:
Good longevity and high damage output to set rocks.
:groudon-primal: :red-orb:
Insane damage output and very good bulk forces tons of switches to get rocks.
:mewtwo-mega-y: :life-orb:
Unparalleled coverage helps it setup spikes to beat its own checks.
:gengar-mega: :spooky-plate:
Mold Breaker ignore bounce, and self improof along with good damage output gets rocks or tspikes up well.
Miscellaneous offensive mons can run hazards if they have the room.

:audino-mega:
Super annoying typing as well as good matchup against most defensive mons to get rocks or spikes up.
:giratina:
Checks many offensive threats to have opportunity to get rocks up (side bonus is less passivity for imp). Can also run moldy for other hazards.
:zygarde-complete:
See above. Rocks help pressure flying type switch-ins.
Miscellaneous defensive mons can have it as filler.

:shedinja:
Should be banned. Gets easy free switches and forces out almost everything to get free rocks.

The Bouncers
Since Defog has fewer pp than hazards, it’s often necessarily to have a bouncer. Often Defog is on the bouncer too as it can prevent hazards from going up again.

:audino-mega:
Due to a very good defensive typing, Mega Audino is able to counter many defensive mons to prevent their rocks. Mega Audino also prevents rocks from PH MMX unless Close Combat and if it has the right movepool and high health PH Xern too. Defog opportunities come from free turns against defensive mons as well. Also beats NormGar which is useful as a bouncer. Also fairy so core doesn't work.
:giratina:
Has the ghost typing to prevent Shed hazards which is nice. It’s nice bulk and typing also prevents hazards from PDon, PH MMX, Ogre (burned unfort), and (Gigas/Slaking).
:kyogre-primal:
Has good special bulk which allows it to prevent hazards from PH Xern, PH POgre, some versions of SF MMY, and also beat Moldy Gar. It also beats NormGar too. This is definitely a less used set as there are better bouncers probably.
:xerneas:
A unorthodox choice but this is like Audino but less passive while still doing well against Dragons and better against Steels with Thousand Waves. Also prevents PH MMX from getting up rocks even if its Close Combat. Also checks NormGar to a certain degree by beating unboosted Gar 1v1. Also fairy so core doesn't work.
:magearna:
Also like Audino but its resistant to rocks and immune to tspikes which is very good. Can prevent hazards from non-CC PH MMX, no coverage PH Xern, and PH Gigas/Slaking. Also fairy so core doesn't work
:ho-oh:
Solid bouncer as it beats some very threatening setters even with common coverage, including PH MMX, PH Xern, Pixi Diancie, Moldy Gar, and defensive mons like Mega Audino and sometimes Zyg. Downfall is its own 4x weakness to rocks which is kinda awkward. Also checks NormGar.
:dialga:
More of an offensive bouncer but it prevents hazards from non EP PH Xern, PH Gigas/Slaking, PH POgre, and beats Mega Audino and Giratina. Wins 1v1 against NormGar.
:yveltal:
Not as effective at keeping hazards off but is really effective at deleting NormGar through Pursuit. Keeps hazards off against Moldy Gar.
:zygarde-complete:
Has sheer bulk to check a bunch of stuff and prevent hazards such as PH MMX, PH Gigas/Slaking, Moldy Gar, PDon, while underspeeding 90s to annoy stuff like Giratina. Also checks NormGar.
:cresselia:
A very rare mon, it prevents hazards from PH MMX, SF MMY, sometimes PH Xern with the right moveset. Kind of passive though (possibly even more than Audino as no slow pivoting) so somewhat outclassed.
:slowbro-mega:
Possibly better than Cress as it is less passive. Prevents hazards from PH MMX, PDon, sometimes PH POgre. Also very very slow to block hazards from defensive mons.
:toxapex:
Prevents hazards from PH MMX, PH Xern, Pixi Diancie, and can absorb Toxic Spikes which is very rare (other defensive poison is Nihi and Mega Venu).

The Spinners
The other way to beat hazards is to use Spin which has more PP. Or you can use multiple Defog users but thats kinda silly.

:magearna: :metronome:
Pixilate Magearna has good defensive utility and offensive presence. It is improof as an -ate mon and its Rapid Spin utility is heavily appreciated. As a Steel it is immune to Tspikes and resists rocks. Metronome makes it very difficult to check because Boomburst spirals out of control on passive mons like Registeel and Celesteela.
:ho-oh: :sky-plate:
Kinda like Bounce Ho-Oh but it is threatening offensively because Return/Frustration is broke with 32 pp and sheer power.
:xerneas: :groundium-z:
Could be bounce too but basically you beat Giratina naturally and you beat Aegislash/Gar with Z-Waves. Missing Shed is unfortunate but oh well.
:diancie-mega: :leftovers:
Pixilate Diancie is a nice secondary removal in case you have like Shed or cannot fit Defog on your bouncer. Lefties alone provide good longevity and just like how it gets opportunities to get up rocks it can also get opportunities to Spin.
:yveltal: :assault-vest: :dread-plate: :leftovers: :toxic-orb:
Yveltal has strong Dark STAB to force out most Ghosts to spin. Also immunity to tspikes. Can run on the Magic Bounce set as well.
:registeel: :assault-vest:
Or like other steels, but the specific moveset of Poison Fang and Core Enforcer helps pressure most Ghosts except Aegislash (Gengar is chipped) or Comatose Giratina to allow spinning.
:garchomp-mega: :toxic-orb:
Niche set but the combination of Thousand Arrows, Dragon Hammer, and Will-O-Wisp beats every relevant Ghost which is cool.

Anyways I hope this extremely undetailed guide helps you in picking your hazard setters and bouncers to complement your team better.
 
Prevents hazards from PH MMX, PH Xern, Pixi Diancie, and can absorb Toxic Spikes which is very rare (other defensive poison is Nihi and Mega Venu).
I would also name muk alola as a defensive poison. It have some niche sets like regenvest, mbounce or fur coat that kinda let him to run hazard removing in a reliable way. Muk alola also have the niche of being (by far) the best gengar counter in the whole metagame, interesting since gengar is becoming (even) more common these days, since mbounce muk can check every gengar set without very very ankward coverage. Muk alola also have a good mashup against some ttar sets, mmx and mmy. As a poison type wall, removing tspikes is always helpful. The dark type lets him to spread knock offs with happines, and that is always cool.
 
I would also name muk alola as a defensive poison. It have some niche sets like regenvest, mbounce or fur coat that kinda let him to run hazard removing in a reliable way. Muk alola also have the niche of being (by far) the best gengar counter in the whole metagame, interesting since gengar is becoming (even) more common these days, since mbounce muk can check every gengar set without very very ankward coverage. Muk alola also have a good mashup against some ttar sets, mmx and mmy. As a poison type wall, removing tspikes is always helpful. The dark type lets him to spread knock offs with happines, and that is always cool.
I agree. In the personal experience I had using it, and in creating the Sample team (with some tips from Chessking345) listed in the Sample Teams section, I can say that Muk-A is underrated. Oftentimes it is typecast as just a RegenVester, but that is underselling it’s versatility in its defensive contributions to a team.

Muk-Alolan has done something miraculous. It was single-handledly the one of the 2 safest Contrary MMY switch-ins (barring V-Create), competing only with Meloetta. While that niche is gone, due to the Contrary ban, it can offer more than just pivoting in and out, it can literally force out the foe; and take their precious items with it.

Overall, don’t **** w/ Muk.

Personally, I think Magic Bounce serves it best; as it can simultaneously function as a status (Magic Bounce) and hazard absorber (Toxic Spikes), while disrupting the foe’s team.

Once people try it, on a balanced team, they will likely buy it. I anoint it “The Underdog of Generation 7”... in fact...

Okay, I’ll say it...

But she still can pull off L’Oréal with that hair.
So
 
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Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

bh's very own pseudo-intellectual
is a Community Contributor


bh guide, i dont mean a huge collection of stuff, more just a small collection of the stuff ive learned from my time here since the gens almost over. this will probably be applicable to future gens as well though

note: i will not be covering anything that can be learned through simple questions, setpedia, casually watching tournament games, looking at samples/team dumps, and just playing on the ladder. at that level, experiencing the metagame yourself is more helpful than any words i could give you.

building in bh is possibly the height of creativity in all of pokemon, and being good at it is absolutely necessary to becoming good at the game. getting teams from others can get you pretty far, but at the highest level of play, you must know what teams are the best and be ready to build your own.

remember that building is composed of both tech skill and meta knowledge. tech skill is defined as being able to do more things with the team and it being more sound. if you look at low ladder, they usually use very inefficient methods to accomplish things with their pokemon, like the boosting wall sets that are inherently easy to counter and one-dimensional sweepers that somehow all lose to prank giratina. even the best pokemon player can accomplish nothing with a low ladder team against a competent team used by a competent player. meta knowledge, on the other hand, consists of taking advantage of metagame trends and overlooked pokemon that are actually very solid.

of the two, i would say tech skill is by far the more important aspect, because it is what pushes the metagame. shed shell imposter became a thing because people got good at punishing imposter by running widespread trapping. blanket checks like the former regenvest dialga (rest in peace), prank giratina, and ho-oh are beginning to lose viability as people figure out the most efficient ways to punish them. similarly, offensive mons like diancie, mmx, and mmy are still great, but people are figuring out the best and least exploitable methods of counterplay. meta knowledge is important, but without fantastic tech skill you're getting nowhere with it.


on stall:

i think stall is viable but can be hard to build; semi-stall is generally more consistent and easier to make work. the biggest and hardest to solve problem with stall is passivity. by this, i mean reducing the amount of time your opponent has to get something started. "time" doesn't necessarily mean turns, stall games will generally go for longer and this is fine. but any decent opponent will have a window to get something started at some point. hazards going up, hazards coming off, a threatening breaker finding a chance to come in. if you're giving your opponent these windows all the time (in building, not playing), it's only a matter of time before your team loses. think of this in terms of the whole team, not individual passive mons, and read this.

another issue with stall is building with a consistent game plan in mind. this isn't ou, everything that needs recovery will have it and mons can be incredibly difficult to chip down. and some game plans can be matchup-based or inconsistent. pp stall celesteela can win, but only if none of the threatening pokemon it lets in for free are around. ph utility ogre can eventually put in work even against teams with mons like pdon and bounce gira, but it's going to take a super long time for it to do anything. mold breaker hazards can lose to defog trappers, trappers in general, and spinners, which are becoming more common.

overall stall still has some potential, which is shown in unconventional builds like card's stall team, but it's overall probably the hardest style to succeed with and its ceiling is still unknown.

all defensive pokemon can be categorized: nonpassive to passive spectrum, pivot/trapper/neither, easy vs hard to wear down, and so on. trappers are cool because they beat all non shed shell imposter while usually dealing more damage than pivots, but pivots can be incredibly dangerous with the right support (including something to hard punish imposter). passive mons are usually better at preventing the things theyre meant to wall from doing anything, but can cause you to lose initiative in the game while nonpassive mons are the opposite but are generally a bit easier to force out.

a few rough spectrums:
<passive--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------nonpassive>
fc chans aegi registeel audino hooh steela yveltal ogre gira ttar gear bounce kart pdon shed

<easily worn down----------------------------------------------------------------harder to wear down>
fc chans gyara imposter yveltal ogre imposter regenvest xern fini shed

know the implications of using a pokemon based not only on type and the things it can counter, but also these spectra.

punishing imposter is one of the most important displays of tech skill. being able to punish imposter in different ways is incredibly beneficial for allowing different ways of building. hard walling it is rarely the best solution, offensive pressure is really solid while getting hazards on it is also pretty amazing. hand them the L for daring to bring this pokemon. the best part of prepping for imposter is that it doesnt even weaken you to other things

dont lose to shed shell, it might sound fun but its really not. have at least some sort of contingency plan.

build teams that can be played flexibly. teams where you have 0 room to make plays generally turn out pretty horribly. even stall in some situations.

i know i said that tech skill and meta knowledge were the two factors involved in building, but really there's something else i've been leaving out. the above two skills are meant to supplement your own creativity. tech skill is nothing without ideas. this is why the improvement processes of two different players have so many differences, and there are a lot of ways to get good at the game. the reason i didn't mention this before is because creativity is a skill innate to all people, and i have yet to draw conclusions on becoming "more creative". so don't worry about that for now.


building skill and playing skill really go hand in hand. being good at building means you'll have teams that have the potential for better playing, while being good at playing means you'll have a better sense of how games play out, which will help your building.

don't get carried by building. you need to learn the fundamentals of risk/reward and similar concepts. there are a lot of guides out there that apply to competitive mons in general that can work here, pdc's on youtube is my personal favorite.

i think a lot of people underestimate the complexity of the plays you can make. look at a competitive game of super smash bros. instead of just mindlessly charging at each other, the players are dancing around, mixing up their approaches and responses in any way they can. similarly in pokemon, switching is an incredibly powerful tool. punish your opponent for playing predictably. make multiple doubles in a row when they're expecting the punish, putting them in an even worse spot. seize control of the hazard game.

a cool way to practice the above is by using shed teams, because they're typically really good at rewarding this type of play. skillful maneuvering is part of what makes shed teams so incredibly powerful.

similarly, playing against opposing shed teams (preferably without ur own shed bc shed vs shed SUCKS) is cool for teaching how to restrict opposing momentum. this can be through out-maneuvering, seizing the advantage state, and running with it. taking advantage of midgrounds is something i don't see a lot of people doing. get them stuck into 1 possible option. stack up the risks for them.

if your team is good, when you lose games there's usually a play you could have made better. playing is not "optimized", regardless of what the people who don't play bh have led you to believe.

something i comment on often is the subjectivity of bh. it's really crazy how there are so many people doing completely different things in the builder. just as an example, look at the posts of loser and stresh above me. these teams have absolutely nothing in common except a few pokemon here and there.

i dont think anyone has noted what an INCREDIBLE RESOURCE these are. if you can understand how and why these teams function, you'll be able to build types of teams you could never hope to create before. not trying to understand these teams is just a blatant limitation of your tech skill.

there are a ton of teams out there. most of em are incredibly stupid, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to squeeze out every little thing you can from them. not saying use every team ever made, but if there's something you don't understand or something that works better than you thought it would, gain a better understanding of it. yes, this includes stupid stuff like imprisonform. take the teams above for a spin. ask another person to build around an idea you had and see how it differs from your stuff. subjectivity is such a fantastic tool for improving and expanding your understanding of the game.

the exact same thing applies to playing. hba im sorry i have to put you guys (including myself) on blast here. calling tour games "bad" without actually looking at them in-depth is passing up an opportunity to learn. yea, they didnt do anything sick. who cares? look at the way they played the early game, the mid game, the late game. stop clicking the "skip turn" button, in fact put it on really slow or pause. what were their priorities? how did they accomplish the things they wanted to and prevent the opponent from doing the opposite? did they use the team the way it was "intended" to be played, or not? use the team on ladder and bop some ppl that offer little to no resistance. now go back to the game.

you might say "this person played bad". how did they play bad? what specifically did they fail with? if this was you, why? if a person looks like theyre playing bad but its working out, they arent playing bad. look harder. get better.

your goal should never be a certain skill level. no matter where you end up, if you don't improve after that, you won't be satisfied. your goal should be constant improvement, not necessarily a linear line, but always going up a bit from one day to the next even if you don't play for that day.

this game would not be beautiful if it were not also disgusting. even then, the biggest problem (bigger than hax) is people just not knowing how to get good and having to grind it out thru too many games themselves. hopefully this will help at least a bit

 
Sylveon and florges set?
Both of these pokemon are almost perfectly outclassed by xerneas, with them having a very marginal advantage in special bulk but much much worse physical and power, so they don't really have much use. If you just want to use a fairy then Xerneas is extremely good, especially Poison Heal sets and mega Diancie is another good fairy type (but isn't so similar to the mons you mentioned) and Mega Audino is also useful as is Magearna.

This is probably the most common Xern set, but there are others like prankster, soundproof and pixilate that aren't bad.
Xerneas @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Moonblast
- Spikes / Strength Sap / Taunt / Nuzzle
- Earth Power / Lava Plume

And here's a nice defensive Audino set, the moves can be basically any defensive utility moves - I just took the first audino i saw in my teambuilder.
Audino-Mega @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Knock Off
- Core Enforcer
- Will-O-Wisp
- Baneful Bunker
 

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