Battle Spot Singles Good Cores


Credits to blazenix for the banner

Building a team is the first step to get into battles. This can be quite difficult at times and it can leave new players disoriented. Having a few rules for building a team would make this process a lot easier. One of the best ways to ways to start building a team is to build a team around a core.

What is a Core?
A core involves the natural synergy between certain types, either in offense and in defense. Cores mostly involve three types, mainly because this strikes a perfect balance between having enough resistances to cover each type's weakness and not having too many weaknesses to end up becoming too vulnerable to a certain type. Cores built around two Pokémon also exist. Cores are great tools for teambuilders, as they enable them to create a solid backbone for their teams without having to worry too much about specific threats. It is also true that it's always important to cover actual threats instead of general types, but at the same time, there are so many usable Pokémon that it's impossible to cover everything individually, and you always need a starting point to your team.

The Cores
There are many different types of cores. For example the most popular and well known one is the Fire/Water/Grass (FWG) core, that has been present since the beginning of competitive Pokémon, The Steel/Fairy/Dragon (SFD) core also exists, born with the introduction of the Fairy-type. This core has become even more notorious than the first one. Also, even inside the same core group you can distinguish between Balanced, Offensive and Defensive cores. No matter which tier you're building a team for, cores will always be a great starting point for every one who is building a team. Battle Spot Singles is no exception to this. However, the 3 versus 3 format means that the mechanics will differ thom those in 6 versus 6, and this leads to different cores being used.
In this thread we will try to list the most common and succesful cores in the Battle Spot Singles metagame

Everyone can post nominations, but must be done so with a logical point of view. When posting, remember to describe the core.


Balanced cores


Generation VII Mega Kangaskhan bulky offense

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Fake Out Mega Kangaskhan is commonly paired with a defensive pivot such as Rocky Helmet Landorus-T in order to quickly rack up chip damage against most physical attackers. Toxic Aegislash has great type synergy and spreads more chip damage, whereas Mimikyu adds more offensive presence or some key status with Will-O-Wisp and Curse. Tapu Fini can be used as a Water-type and Fighting-type sponge for the team. While the priority from Mega Kangaskhan reduces a need for a revenge killer, the core needs a solution to defensive teams, such as Xurkitree or Mega Gengar.
Mega Salamence + P2 bulky offense
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Mega Salamence and p2 make a great core, with both being able to recover their HP and switch into each other weaknesses. MMence into fighting-types such as Blaziken and Porygon 2 as an answer to opposing Megas such as Salamance itself or Charizard. Tapu Fini, Ferrothorn and Heatran make all good partners making the core even more balanced.
Mega BlazPass Balance


Mega Blaziken is a strong attacker but is hard-stopped by certain threats like Mimikyu and Tapu Fini and such. This core takes a more defensive approach with the defensive core of Zapdos and Ferrothorn, which can repeatedly switch into Water-types, Salamence, and Mimikyu for Blaziken. Blaziken acts as the cleaner. However, these teams generally may add more offensive secondary options despite the main core being defensive.

Celesteela + Tapu Fini balance
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Standard Steel/Fairy core with Tapu Fini covering Celesteela's Fire-type weakness and Celesteela Fini's poison-type one. Their weakness to Electric-type mandates a Ground-type partner. These Pokemon are appropriately listed with cores featuring Mega Charizard X, Mega Lopunny, Mega Blaziken, Mega Gengar, and so on. But it was worth a mention as a standalone pair for its general effectiveness.
Mega Charizard X SFD balance

Mega Charizard X is a great add to the Steela/Fini duo, completing the Steel/Fairy/Dragon core. This core packs a pretty solid synergy both defensively and offensively after Charizard mega evolves. Pre mega evolution, the core has to be wary of Electric-types such as Tapu Koko and Thundurus, which can hit for super-effective damage and potentially sweep the whole trio. For this reason, Ground-types such as Landorus-T or Electric-type resistant Pokemon are much appreciated teammates. Will-O-Wisp support from Mega Charizard X can be a key tool, making the core's strategy even more balanced. This is why this core's Mega Charizard-X often leans towards bulky EVs spreads and support moves such as WoW and Roost.
Mega Venusaur Balance
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Pseudo SFD core. These three offer a perfect sample of a balanced core, being hit with neutral damage just by Rock- and Ice-type, when using Celesteela, and having no weaknesses at all if using Aegislash.
The main issue of this core is its poor ability to control the speed.
Mega Heracross balance

These three have a very good defensive synergy. Heatran provides special and Cresselia physical Bulk. Furthermore Cresselia can set up a Trick Room for Mega Heracross or also use Thunder Wave / Icy Wind for Speed Control. Lunar Dance allows Mega Heracross a "new life".
Mega Lopunny balance

Mega Lopunny and Aegislash can guard each other pretty well, where the first can easily take out opposing ghosts thanks to its ability Scrappy, whereas the iron shield can come into Psychic- , Fairy- and Flying-type attacks for its fellow mega. Suicune completes the core being a decent answer to Fire-types.
Metagross Bulky Offense

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Rotom-Heat, Tapu Fini, and Mega Metagross has great type synergy. Rotom-Heat acts as a Ground immunity and uses Volt Switch to set up advantages matchups for Metagross and Tapu Fini. Tapu Fini covers Fire-types and Greninja for Mega Metagross, while Zen Headbutt Metagross takes care of Pokemon such as Venusaur and Toxapex that Tapu Fini invites. Landorus-T is a common partner for its ability to use U-turn and provide Speed safety net, as the team is otherwise weak to fast attackers such as Mega Gengar or Tapu Koko. The core is usually to be paired with Pokemon that can act as a defensive stop such as Focus Sash Mimikyu or Snorlax, as well as stallbreakers such as Z-move Tyranitar, Nasty Plot Porygon-Z, or Tail Glow Xurkitree.

Offensive cores

Generation VII Mence-Aegi Offense

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Salamence and Aegislash have been good partners from the whole ORAS days, already forming a great core themself. Hippowdon supports the duo with its signature Stealth Rock + Yawn combo, speaking cheap damage and fishing for setup opportunities. Tapu Koko is a fantastic add to the deam due to its fairy-type, which completes the fairy-steel-dragon core, and it's ability to deal with bulky water-type such as Tapu Fini who could otherwise but a problem for Mega Salamance. Mimikyu and Greninja are great offensive adds as well, the former being not only a fairy-type but also being great in 1vs1 scenarios, and the latter being able to hit almost everything with supereffective or at least neutral damage.
The Japanese Sand

Very popular core, especially in japanese teams. The cores rotates around Excadrill's and Mega Salamence's speed and power, while also having a sand setter that can either support them or hit with powerful attacks as well.
Mega Blaziken Offense
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Mega Blaziken provides a lot of sweeping potential with an SD set or a simple 3 attacks set. It can also Baton Pass out of tough matchups and pass Speed boosts to slower offensive Pokemon. Mixed Blaziken often gets supported by Stealth Rock from Landorus-T. The team commonly carries multiple ways to resist Water-type and Ground-type moves, either to Baton Pass safely, or to let the next Pokemon get a setup turn. It is possible to go for a more bulky offense approach with pivoting moves like Volt Switch Zapdos or U-turn Landorus-T, but the Pokemon options are similar, just with different sets.

The Hippo-Luke-Dnite Offense

This is a very well known core, that relies on Mega Lucario and Dragonite's ability to hit hard, specially after boosting up with Sword Dance, Nasty Plot (Lucario) and Dragon Dance (Dragonite). Hippowdon completes the core trying to open ways for them to setup thanks to its signature combo Yawn + Stealth Rock

Weird Weather

Popular double weather core. Hippowdon's role here is to spread chip damage and put threats in KO range, while also resetting the weather for its Mega. Charizard and Tapu Lele have great offensive synergy as Charizard gets a free Fire-type attacks against Steel-types, while Tapu Lele provides a speed safety net and forces in the Steel-types for Charizard to take advantage of. Rocky Helmet Hippowdon is a solid option, since it affords this team a cushion against strong physical attackers. Most common partners include Mimikyu to stop sweeps from likes of Naganadel and Volcarona which can clean up easily against the team. Pokemon such as Greninja and Tapu Fini is also common due to the team's crippling weakness to Heatran. Steel-type like Aegislash, and Celesteela, also patch up defensive synergy. Pokemon like Xurkitree and Breloom can also be used to patch up weak matchups against stall.
Charging under the Sunlight

A variant of the Hippo-ZardY core that has more offensive presence. This core rotates around the VoltTurn combination to try to open a way for Charizard Y to set up with Flame Charge or for Koko to sweep.
Mega Gengar Offense

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Gengar is excellent at removing checks to Pokemon like Landorus-T and Mimikyu due to its ability to guarantee a KO on a physically defensive Pokemon. It is also able to trap and remove Pokemon such as Tapu Fini, which does well for Pokemon like Greninja. The team also tends to have at least one Water-type for their ability to beat Hippowdon, check Fire-types and deny Volcarona setup turns. The team has multiple options: it can opt for defensive pivots such as Celesteela and Porygon2 as Choice Scarf Tapu Lele and other attackers can be a problem. Setup sweepers such as Volcarona or even Vivillon can take advantage Shadow Tag from Gengar, combined with the multiple speed control options available on this team.
Screens Setup
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The Screens strategy heavily relies on hyper offensive oriented builds. They always pack a setup screener, followed by sweepers who can close games alone once they're all set up and side pokemons which mitigate their weaknesses, or simply a second sweeper who can hit stuff that the first doesn't. In the sextet these teams usually carry Pokemon which can keep in check the ones that could threaten your screener. Stealth Rock support might be helpful in order to help the sweepers to do their duty.
Here there are listed here some solid samples, such as Mega Gyarados and Naganadel or Thundurus-T, Mega Salamence and Aegislash, Volcarona or Cloyster, Mega Charizard Y and Aegislash, Mega Charizard X and Azumarill.
The screener choice can be team specific. Tapu Koko is the fastest between the three and is often able to outspeed opposing Pokemon and set up at least a screen. It's gets Taunt and two moves that pivot him out (Volt Switch, U-Turn) and its Electric Terrain could potentially cover the sweeper from being asleep. Espeon has the access to Magic Bounce which prevents Stealth Rock and is immune to Taunt, plus it gets Yawn which can fish for opportunities and openings to set up. Alolan Ninetales gets Aurora Veil, that despite being weather-dependent, it sets both screens in a single move. It gets Icy Wind to control the speed and Encore to gain the required momentum for these teams. Its Hail could potentially break Focus Sashes.
The Hydragross Offense
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Metagross's weakness to Ghost, Ground, Fire, and Dark are perfectly covered by Hydreigon, which gives Metagross safe switches with U-turn. It is imperative to add Pokemon that can act as a stop to coverage attackers such as Blaziken and Greninja that nullify the supposed type synergy. Tapu Koko completes the Steel/Fairy/Dragon core hitting Water-types that could otherwise threaten the duo. Tapu Lele could be an option over Koko to deal more damage to Fighting-types and increase Mega Metagross' Zen Heatbutt power. Tapu Fini does complete the SFD core as well, while offering a strong check to Blaziken, while Greninja offers great offensive coverage.
Yawning on the rocks
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Lead Hippowdon to set up rocks, yawn and deal chip damage with Sand storm or Skarmory to get up most of the time guaranteed hazards while taunting other hazard leads & maybe get a kill with z-move. When hippo or skarm go down Snorlax abuses Yawn+Whirlwind to rack up hazard damage, Mega Gengar cleans with Hex when Snorlax goes down. You can also replace Gengar with almost any setup sweeper.
Mega Mawile Offense
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Mega Mawile's core has grown in popularity with it being paired with a trick room setter or a thunder-wave user such as p2 or Latias and a fairy-type, most likely being Tapu Fini, forming a solid steel-fairy core. Porygon2 sets up Trick Room for Mega-Mawile and can also hit very hard on it's own with great coverage and its abilities Download and Analytic. Whereas Latias has great type synergy with Mawile as they cover each other's weaknesses very well. Latias is either able to break defensive Steel-type Pokemon for Mawile with an appropriate Z-move, or is able to act as a pivot and spread chip and Thunder Wave for Mawile to outspeed the opponent. Good partners are Pokemon that can deal with Ground-, Fighting- and Electric-type attacks such as Landorus-T and Thundurus-T
GyaraNaga offense
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Mega Gyarados and Naganadel forms a very straightforward but potent hyper offensive setup duo. The team is commonly paired with Focus Sash Landorus-T that sets Stealth Rock for Gyarados to beat Mimikyu. Non-Mimikyu Naganadel checks such as Aegislash and Tyranitar only concede setup turns to Gyarados. As with most hyper offensive teams, this core can be vulnerable to a combination of hard counters to the sweepers. Combination of Mimikyu + Gyarados check such as Tapu Fini / Ferrothorn, or Heatran + Ferrothorn will leave the core with no way out. As a result, it is mandatory to pair this with secondary modes that can beat them, such as Tapu Koko or Mega Scizor.
Mega Scizor offense
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This core overlaps very heavily with the above Gyara-Naga core, as these two Mega Evolutions tend to go together on Naganadel teams. However, it is not unheard of to use a U-turn Scizor instead of an hyper offensive SD one to apply some kind of volt-turn pressure with Naganadel, Tapu Koko, or Latios.
Mega Swampert Rain Offense
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A straightforward rain core with Pelipper setting Rain and U-turning out to Mega Swampert. It is mandatory to use it with checks to Water-types like Tapu Fini, or Grass-types like Ferrothorn, though Pelipper helps a bit against Grass-types already. Popular options for anti-Water types are listed above. Instead of just trying to complement the rain mode with Pokemon that beat rain counters, which leaves your strategy fairly one-note, it is also good to take advantage of the fact that Rain scares out Pokemon like Metagross or non-Grass Knot Tapu Koko / Thundurus, and use Pokemon like Mega Salamence alongside it.
Lele + Volcarona Offense
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A riff on the Fire-type + Tapu Lele combo similar to Meta-Zard offense. Volcarona is more vulnerable to defensive teams, but is better suited to sweep bulky offensive teams with its coverage. It is also compatible with a Z-move and can be brought alongside Mega Metagross. Metagross can use Zen Headbutt for synergy, but so can Volcarona with Shattered Psyche. 3 Psychic moves are rarely needed on a team, and Metagross values its moveslots very much.

Mega Lopunny Offense

This core works in a similar way as the Mega Kangaskhan + Mimikyu core, however being more offensive. The first two cover each other pretty well, while Zapdos protects Lopunny from pokemon such as Mega Salamence or Tapu Fini, and can switch into Steel-type attacks for Mimikyu.
The Intimidating punks
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Offensive duo, that share great synergy. Manectric can switch into Electric attacks, and even absorb them in its normal form, while Gyarados protects its partner from Ground-type attacks. Manectric's Volt Switch is a key to keep the momentum and spam Intimidate on the foes, while Gyarados can easily Dragon Dance in front of an Intimidated enemy. A third member that can set up Stealth Rocks and act like a stall breaker or fast sweeper can be a pretty good partner for the duo, such as Garchomp or Landorus.

Defensive cores

The Skarmsey core

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This core relies on the healing abilities of the two Pokémon, their bulk and ability to cover each other weak spot, abusing of status moves such as Toxic. Skarmory can also offer Stealth Rock and Whirlwind support. Ideal partners for the duo are the ones that can get rid of pokemon such as Charizard X or Mega Gengar, such as Mega Slowbro for the first or TTar for the second, who can trap it thanks to its Pursuit.
Mega Venusaur seeds stall

The core rotates around Venusaur's and Celesteela's ability to Leech Seed opponents and Toxic immunity. Also, the two cover each other weakness' very well, the first being one of the bulkiest mega in the tier and the second guarding it from Flying- and Psychic-type. Whereas Porygon 2 offers additional bulk to the duo.
The flying guardians stall

This core heavily relies on the poison to stall the opposing team. It has three poison immunity, and each one of the mons have a way to heal up health points.
The Infamous ToxBULex
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Tapu Bulu and Toxapex have great synergy: Toxapex resists all of Bulu's weaknesses besides Flying while Bulu resists all of Toxapex's weaknesses except Psychic. Furthermore, Bulu has Grassy Terrain, which not only provides terrain control against stuff like Koko and Fini (for Toxapex's Toxic/Toxic Spikes) but also halves the damage from an opponent's Earthquake, allowing Toxapex to stay in on physical ground types like Landorus-Therian if it needs to. Toxapex is usually limited to a defensive role because of its relatively low attacking stats, but this does not make it bad by any means, as it can stop setup with Haze and cripple physical attackers with Scald burns. Bulu, on the other hand, can run multiple sets, from all-out defensive to a speedy subseed staller. When paired with Toxapex, Bulu is also usually defensive of some sort, but it can run some attack EVs and has a heightened damage output thanks to terrain and a high base attack. Heatran completes the core adding a key check to Tapu Lele and completing the steel-fairy core with bulu.
 
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Space reserverd for more particular and underused, yet succesful cores.



Niche Balanced cores

Mega Blastoise pseudo FWG core

Another pseudo Fire / Water / Grass core, with an Electric-type replacing the Fire-type. The core rotates around Mega Blastoise, trying to cover its weak spots as much as possibile, both in typing and speed control if needed, thanks to Serperior's Glare.
The beauty and the beast

Dragon-Steel-Fairy core. Even suffering the competition from Tapu Lele, Gardevoir has a pretty wide move pool, making it able to control the field, specially when talking about speed control. Thanks to moves such as Trickroom, T-wave and Icy Wind, it is able to support the core while Ferrothorn and Hydreigon will protect its weak spots.
The Dragon Fairy and its Steel guardian
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Heatran and Celesteela can both defend Mega Altaria's weaknesses pretty well, both defensively and offensively. While Serperior is there to mitigate either Heatran's Ground-type weakness or Celesteela's Electric one, help with the Cune/Fini match up, and offer speed control for its fellow mega thanks to Glare.


Niche Offensive cores

Mega Pinsir Offense

Despite being called the poor man's Mega Salamence, Mega Pinsir has some good tools in its arsenal such as a priority move that works with Aerilate and the access to Sword Dance. This core is built around it, with Rotom-Wash and Aegislash both offering a reliable switch ins for its weaknesses, while being able to hit hard as well
Don't phaze me bro

The core rotates around the Eeveeboost strategy. Whisicott can support the team with Light Screen, Charm, Tailwind, Encore and Memento, helping Eevee's setup. Espeon is, obviously, the baton pass recipient.
Psychic-spam Offense

Tapu Lele sets up Psychic Terrain for MegaZam and lures in Steels and weakens them for MegaZam. MegaZam can abuse the Terrain very good because of it's great Speed, SpA and STAB Psychic. Furthermore it is immune to Priority now. A good 3rd partner would be sth that deals with Steels and Mimikyu and SR Setters are also pretty useful.
Moody setup

Serperior supports Glalie with Glare and possibly screens. Against a paralyzed opponent, Glalie may get to keep Substitute up, and then, well, you know what it does... (in case you don't, it spams sub/protect until it gets a ton of evasion or SpA boosts with moody, then starts spamming Sheer Cold / Freeze-Dry / Frost Breath and sweeps your whole team!) Possible partners include something that can deal with Electric types like Koko that are immune to Glare, and also Volcarona, who gives this team a lot of trouble with Bug Buzz. These include Ground-Types like ScarfChomp.
Offensive HypnoGrav


The goal of the core is to set up Gravity with Lando-T so you can raise Hypnosis' accuracy for HexGengar. Lando also helps against Blaziken and some Dark-types that can ruin Gengar's day, such as Tyranitar and Alolan Muk. The core appreciates help to deal with mons that are faster then Gengar and Choice Scarf users.
Mega Tyranitar Offense
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Mega Tyranitar has little trouble setting up Dragon Dance or trading favorably due to its obscene stats. Tyranitar's numerous weaknesses are well covered by Tapu Fini, Celesteela, and Landorus-T. Tyranitar also safeguards the core against the likes of Bulky Volcarona and Naganadel without being forced to bleed momentum.

Sun Offense

Torkoal sets sun and Stealth Rock + Yawn combination can earn Venusaur a free Growth turn.
Webs Offense

Shuckle sets Stealth Rock + Sticky Webs. Gyara and Kartana are strong sweepers that very much invalidate Mimikyu as a stopper.


Niche Defensive cores

Mesozoic era Stall


Classic Skarmsey core with Mega Aerodactyl acting as a fast clearner for threats such as Mega Gengar and Mega Charizard X that could otherwise be a problem for the duo.
 
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Lead Skarm to get up most of the time guaranteed hazards while taunting other hazard leads & maybe get a kill with z-move, when skarm goes down Snorlax abuses Yawn+Whirlwind to rack up hazard damage, Mega Gengar cleans with Hex when Snorlax goes down. You can also replace Gengar with almost any setup sweeper.

I'd probably consider this an offensive core but it could maybe go under balance too.
 
Offensive Trick Room

Mega-Mawile + Porygon2

Porygon2 sets up Trick Room for Mega-Mawile and can also hit very hard on it's own with great coverage and Download. Mega-Mawile abuses the Trick Room and sweeps. Good partners are Pokemon that can deal with Ground-, Fighting- and Fire-Mons, Pokemon that weaken walls Mawile can't break that good and a second Trick Room setter.
 
The first core is a Niche Offensive Core:
Psychic-Spam Offense
Tapu Lele + Mega Alakazam
Tapu Lele sets up Psychic Terrain for MegaZam and lures in Steels and weakens them for MegaZam. MegaZam can abuse the Terrain very good because of it's great Speed, SpA and STAB Psychic. Furthermore it is immune to Priority now. A good 3rd partner would be sth that deals with Steels and Mimikyu and SR Setters are also pretty useful.
And yes soLerme, of course you can also go with Espeon > MZam ;)

The second core is a Balanced Core:
Mega Heracross Balance
MHeracross + Cresselia + Heatran

These three have a very good defensive synergy. Heatran provides special and Cresselia physical Bulk. Furthermore Cresselia can set up a Trick Room for Mega Heracross or also use Thunder Wave for Speed Control. Lunar Dance allows Mega Heracross a "new life".

And I have one question:
MGengar/Tyranitar/Chansey/Skarmory/Toxapex/Gliscor have proven to be a very good stall core but is it able to add a 6-Mon Core to the list? This core is made out of a few cores ("The Flying Guardian Stall", a kind of "Skarmsey Heal 'n Stall", MGengar + Skarmsey and Tyranitar/A-Muk + Skarmsey) so we could also add all these cores on their own.
 
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Here's a Niche Offensive Core...

Cancerous Core

Serperior supports Glalie with Glare and possibly screens. Against a paralyzed opponent, Glalie may get to keep Substitute up, and then, well, you know what it does... (in case you don't, it spams sub/protect until it gets a ton of evasion or SpA boosts with moody, then starts spamming Sheer Cold / Freeze-Dry / Frost Breath and sweeps your whole team!) Possible partners include something that can deal with Electric types like Koko that are immune to Glare, and also Volcarona, who gives this team a lot of trouble with Bug Buzz. These include Ground-Types like ScarfChomp.
 
Oh, here's one more!

Offensive HypnoGrav

Landorus-T + Mega Gengar

The goal of the core is to set up Gravity with Lando-T so you can raise Hypnosis' accuracy for HexGengar. Lando also helps against Blaziken and some Dark-types that can ruin Gengar's day, such as Tyranitar and Alolan Muk. The core appreciates help to deal with mons that are faster then Gengar and Choice Scarf users.
 
Updated the thread with new cores, featuring Mega Lopunny, Mega Manectric and Mega Altaria and new strategies such as the dual screens one in the offensive teams. Also added new options with other mons in cores that already were in the thread.
 

ethan06

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is a Community Contributor Alumnus
Niche Offensive Core:
Tapu Koko + Golisopod




This core is hard to pull off, but really fun. Golisopod is a fine partner for Tapu Koko thanks to its Ground resist, which makes it tremendously useful for greatly weakening threatening archetypes, such as sand and stall, and chunking a not-so-insignificant portion of the meta with First Impression and Liquidation. Tapu Koko takes care of some of the scarier threats to Golisopod as well, such as Salamence, and the two have some great pivoting synergy together which can be augmented by intelligent use of Emergency Exit.

Side note: Golisopod is a fantastic team member for the Tapu Koko/Salamence/Aegislash core, due to its fantastic matchup vs Mamoswine.

e: if this is /too/ niche then I guess that's fair but Golisopod has been talked about and I can say from experience that it's both fun and effective when it's used properly :)
 
Niche Offensive Core:
Tapu Koko + Golisopod




This core is hard to pull off, but really fun. Golisopod is a fine partner for Tapu Koko thanks to its Ground resist, which makes it tremendously useful for greatly weakening threatening archetypes, such as sand and stall, and chunking a not-so-insignificant portion of the meta with First Impression and Liquidation. Tapu Koko takes care of some of the scarier threats to Golisopod as well, such as Salamence, and the two have some great pivoting synergy together which can be augmented by intelligent use of Emergency Exit.

Side note: Golisopod is a fantastic team member for the Tapu Koko/Salamence/Aegislash core, due to its fantastic matchup vs Mamoswine.

e: if this is /too/ niche then I guess that's fair but Golisopod has been talked about and I can say from experience that it's both fun and effective when it's used properly :)
added Goli as a possible partner in the koko/mence/aegi core
 
Defensive Core

The Infamous ToxBULex

Tapu Bulu and Toxapex have great synergy: Toxapex resists all of Bulu's weaknesses besides Flying while Bulu resists all of Toxapex's weaknesses except Psychic. Furthermore, Bulu has Grassy Terrain, which not only provides terrain control against stuff like Koko and Fini (for Toxapex's Toxic/Toxic Spikes) but also halves the damage from an opponent's Earthquake, allowing Toxapex to stay in on physical ground types like Landorus-Therian if it needs to. Toxapex is usually limited to a defensive role because of its relatively low attacking stats, but this does not make it bad by any means, as it can stop setup with Haze and cripple physical attackers with Scald burns. Bulu, on the other hand, can run multiple sets, from all-out defensive to a speedy subseed staller. When paired with Toxapex, Bulu is also usually defensive of some sort, but it can run some attack EVs and has a heightened damage output thanks to terrain and a high base attack.
 

Mega Mence, Thicc Lax, Jet Fuel Balance Core

I've been testing these 3 together on various ladder alts and I've got to say I really enjoy using them. They cover each others weaknesses very well and Salamence's and Celesteela's are able to run their set up sets as well as their more passive ones. Snorlax is able to come in on Ice for Salamence and Fire for Celesteela. All in all they are fairly easy to understand and use. Below I have listed some sets I've been using for you guys to enjoy!

Celesteela @ Rocky Helmet / Flynium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Air Slash
- Flamethrower / Substitute
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
Happiness: 0
EVs: 188 HP / 128 Def / 192 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Frustration
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge
- Earthquake
- Roost / Fire Fang
- Dragon Dance


Celesteela @ Expert Belt / Assault Vest / Flynium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
- Air Slash
- Hidden Power Ice
- Flamethrower
- Flash Cannon

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
Happiness: 0
EVs: 188 HP / 128 Def / 192 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Frustration
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Toxic
- Substitute
- Roost
- Double-Edge
 
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marilli

two, but one
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Championis the defending Battle Spot Circuit Champion
Hey guys this is pretty much a dead thread but I thought it'd be cool to update this with what is popular in the meta and also trim down the list of redundant cores that are basically secondary modes of the same team. As an example Hippo + Mence + Mimi and Mence + Koko + Aegis are listed as a different core, but is essentially a team of the same mold, and like how Bulu + Tran and Bulu + Pex are listed as separate cores, when they often are all on the same team.

This was a rough draft of what I wanted to trim down the list to, and to make up for the fact that we cut up the "redundancy" I probably would want some notes about common Pokemon that end up filling those flex slots, so people can see that the Hippo Mence Aegis team actually commonly runs both Tapu Koko and Mimikyu.

Bulky Offense Archetypes

Bulky Offense in essence is an offensive team. However, instead of relying on setup moves and frail Pokemon, they have a lot of bulk that allows it to cycle for positive matchup, leading to attacks that the opponent cannot absorb. The bulk also allows them to win head-to-head matchups more easily, forcing switches if they need to preserve a Pokemon. They use slower hit-and-run attackers effectively, as they need a defensive cushion to truly trade favorably.

Hippo-Mence Bulky Offense
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Hippowdon sets Stealth Rock and earns Salamence a setup turn with Yawn. Toxic Aegislash beats defensive Salamence checks such as Porygon2, Cresselia and Metagross. Salamence provides the team a check to Fire-types and a Ground-type immunity. While the core is quite complete on its own, it has a very poor matchup against Calm Mind Tapu Fini, which can easily set up Calm Minds against the core, and only needs some chip damage on Aegislash in order to beat it. As a result, Tapu Koko and Kartana are common sights on this team. The team also likes having ways to check opposing setup sweepers such as Naganadel and Volcarona, with Mimikyu, Snorlax, and Focus Sash users such as Breloom and Greninja.
Hippo-Zard Bulky Offense

Charizard and Tapu Lele has great offensive synergy as Charizard gets a free Overheat against Steel-types, while Tapu Lele provides a speed safety net and forces in the Steel-types for Charizard to take advantage of. Rocky Helmet Hippowdon affords this team a cushion against strong physical attackers. Most common partners include Mimikyu to stop sweeps from likes of Naganadel and Volcarona which can clean up easily against the team. Pokemon such as Greninja and Tapu Fini is also common due to the team's crippling weakness to Heatran. Steel-type like Aegislash, and Celesteela, also patch up defensive synergy. Pokemon like Xurkitree and Breloom can also be used to patch up weak matchups against stall. Because of how common this core is, be mindful of lure sets such as Rock Tomb + Grass Knot Metagross and other tech moves designed to counter it. While Mega Charizard Y is the better and more popular choice, keep in mind the possibility of the other Charizard Mega Evolution when facing it, as some trainers try to take advantage of such assumptions.
Metagross Bulky Offense
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Rotom-Heat, Tapu Fini, and Mega Metagross has great type synergy. Rotom-Heat acts as a Ground immunity and uses Volt Switch to set up advantages matchups for Metagross and Tapu Fini. Tapu Fini covers Fire-types and Greninja for Mega Metagross, while Zen Headbutt Metagross takes care of Pokemon such as Venusaur and Toxapex that Tapu Fini invites. Landorus-T is a common partner for its ability to use U-turn and provide Speed safety net, as the team is otherwise weak to fast attackers such as Mega Gengar or Tapu Koko. The core is usually to be paired with Pokemon that can act as a defensive stop such as Focus Sash Mimikyu or Snorlax, as well as stallbreakers such as Z-move Tyranitar, Nasty Plot Porygon-Z, or Tail Glow Xurkitree.
Salamence Double Steel Bulky Offense
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Mixed Salamence puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, and there are very few Pokemon that can actually outspeed and OHKO it, or switch in safely. Heatran checks Fire-types, Ferrothorn checks Water-types, and both check Fairy-types. It is prone to common Fighting-type move users such as Blaziken and Hammer Arm Mega Metagross.
Mawile-Latias Bulky Offense
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Mawile and Latias have great type synergy as they cover each other's weaknesses very well. Latias is either able to break defensive Steel-type Pokemon for Mawile with an appropriate Z-move, or is able to act as a pivot and spread chip and Thunder Wave for Mawile to outspeed the opponent. This core employs multiple pivots to get Mawile in safely on favorable matchup.
Metagross + Hydreigon Bulky Offense
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Metagross's weakness to Ghost, Ground, Fire, and Dark are perfectly covered by Hydreigon, which gives Metagross safe switches with U-turn. It can also flinch the hell out of you. It is imperative to add Pokemon that can act as a stop to coverage attackers such as Blaziken and Greninja that nullify the supposed type synergy.
Balanced Archetypes

Balanced teams have offensive tools similar to bulky offense teams, but have a clearly defined defensive backbone to fall back to, and often have full-fledged defensive win conditions in addition to offensive ones. This allows flexibility in their gameplan. For instance, their offensive pressure can make it difficult to preserve the check to a defensive win condition. Or, they have a lot of ways to do chip damage and whittle the opponent playing defensively, which allows some weaker, faster offensive Pokemon to clean up.

Mega Kangaskhan Balance
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Fake Out Mega Kangaskhan is commonly paired with a defensive pivot such as Rocky Helmet Landorus-T in order to quickly rack up chip damage against most physical attackers. Pokemon such as Greninja can easily take advantage of U-turn from Landorus-T to safely get a free switch against physically defensive Pokemon. If it is able to safely remove a threat with a Z-move, it allows Kangaskhan to wreak havoc with Fake Out. Toxic Aegislash has great type synergy and spreads more chip damage. Tapu Fini can be used over Greninja as a Water-type and Fighting-type sponge for the team. While the priority from Greninja and Mega Kangaskhan reduces a need for a revenge killer, the core needs a solution to defensive teams, such as Xurkitree or Mega Gengar.
Mega Gengar Balance
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There are multiple ways to complement a Mega Gengar fairly well. Skarmory gets up guaranteed hazards most of the time while taunting other hazard leads. Snorlax abuses Yawn+Whirlwind to rack up hazard damage and force a Pokemon to fall asleep. They form a fairly good defensive duo while Mega Gengar checks Tapu Fini and Tapu Koko that nullify the pressure from Yawn, and cleans with Hex against Pokemon that falls asleep when Snorlax goes down. A slow pivot Pokemon such as Rocky Helmet Landorus-T or Assault Vest Incineroar can safely let Gengar switch in and KO an offensive threat without taking any damage. Tapu Fini is also a common choice for its ability to stop Mega Blaziken, Mega Charizard X, and provide a valuable Water-type resist. While it is possible to divide up the archetype into Gengar + Lax + Skarm and Gengar + Lando + Fini, these team options often bleed into each other.
Celesteela + Tapu Fini Balance
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Steel-types are broken, Water-types are broken, terrain control is obligatory. Celesteela and Tapu Fini don't really have a common goal in mind, but hits all the right notes together that they simply cover a huge chunk of the metagame on their own. Their weakness to Electric mandates a Ground-type partner. This duo are appropriately listed with cores featuring Mega Lopunny, Blaziken, Gengar, etc., but I believe with Bulky Will-O-Wisp Charizard-X it really shines. It takes care of Fire-types and Electric types that can pressure the core, and softens hits with Will-O-Wisp, and beats Steel-types for the core.
Mega Lopunny Balance
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Lopunny makes its way on many semi-stall teams for its ability to outspeed most wallbreakers, apply offensive pressure, and spread chip damage with Fake Out. Snorlax and Skarmory is a defensive core can spread chip damage with Yawn + Stealth Rock, but Celesteela is a more independent Steel-type that does not rely on Yawn support. Tapu Fini is a common choice as the team can be vulnerable to Fighting- and Fire-types. While it is also possible to divide up the archetype into Lopunny+ Lax + Skarm and Lopunny + Celesteela + Fini, these team options often bleed into each other. Again, it is worth noting that Snorlax + Skarmory and Celesteela + Tapu Fini individually is a versatile core that can be perfectly fine on this.
Metagross Defensive Balance

Offensive Metagross is the primary progress maker for the team. Porygon2 and Toxapex safely switch into Greninja, Toxapex checks Fire-types for Metagross, and Gliscor gets free switches on Earthquake aimed at Metagross. The defensive core chips down the opponent and spreads status for Mega Metagross to clean up. The core tends to be weak to Electric-types such as Z-move Tapu Koko.
Mega Venusaur Balance
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Venusaur's weakness to Flying-types and Psychic-types like Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross are covered by Celesteela fairly well. Heatran provides a check to likes of Charizard-Y, Volcarona, and Naganadel.
Blaziken + Zapdos + Ferrothorn Balance
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Mega Blaziken is a strong attacker but is hard-stopped by certain threats like Mimikyu and Tapu Fini and such. This core takes a more defensive approach with the defensive core of Zapdos and Ferrothorn, which can repeatedly switch into Water-types, Salamence, and Mimikyu for Blaziken. Blaziken acts as the cleaner. However, these teams generally have a more offensive secondary options despite the main core being defensive.
Manectric Balance
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This is another iteration of the Tapu Fini + Celesteela core. Manectric provides an interesting package with Electric immunity, Intimidate, Volt Switch pivot, and a fast revenge killer.
Bulu-Pex Balance
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Tapu Bulu's Grassy terrain helps Toxapex, Heatran, and Mega Tyranitar that love to switch around but need help staying healthy. Sees minimal use as the core can be too slow and passive, and Bulu isn't that good on its own.
Mega Heracross Trick Room Balance

Classic Heracross core from Gen 6. Cannot be picked in any consistent fashion due to Mimikyu, and thus failed to see consistent success in recent past.
Hyper Offense Archetypes

Hyper Offense is all about dictating the flow of the game. They often use dedicated leads that force the opponent to react defensively, often setting hazards or using status moves for a setup opportunity, or in rare cases, putting field effects such as Weather or Trick Room in play. They have multiple setup sweepers that complement each other, either by overloading on a defensive threat, or ensuring the next Pokemon on deck has easy setup opportunity against whatever that just switched in to counter the first attacker.

Mega Gengar Offense
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Gengar is excellent at removing checks to Pokemon like Landorus-T and Mimikyu due to its ability to guarantee a KO on a physically defensive Pokemon. It is also able to trap and remove Pokemon such as Tapu Fini, which does well for Pokemon like Greninja. The team also tends to have at least one Water-type for their ability to beat Hippowdon, check Fire-types and deny Volcarona setup turns. The team has multiple options: it can opt for defensive pivots such as Celesteela and Porygon2 as Choice Scarf Tapu Lele and other attackers can be a problem. Setup sweepers such as Volcarona or even Vivillon can take advantage Shadow Tag from Gengar, combined with the multiple speed control options available on this team.
Meta-Zard Offense
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Charizard and Metagross are such versatile Mega Evolutions that they make a great backbone for hyper offensive teams. Tapu Lele invites in Steel-types for Charizard and Landorus-T. Landorus-T can be a defensive pivot set, in which case it is meant to be used with Greninja and Metagross which provide fast offensive pressure, or it can be a SD Z-move set which absolutely obliterates defensive cores in tandem with Swords Dance Charizard X. It is commonly used with Mimikyu, or Water-type checks such as Snorlax, Primarina, Kartana, and others. While Mega Charizard mindgame is always present even on other cores, this core accentuates the problem because both Charizard Mega Evolutions have seen high level success and thus must be kept in mind when facing it.
Gyara-Naga Offense
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Mega Gyarados and Naganadel forms a very straightforward but potent hyper offensive setup duo. The team is commonly paired with Focus Sash Landorus-T that sets Stealth Rock for Gyarados to beat Mimikyu. Non-Mimikyu Naganadel checks such as Aegislash and Tyranitar only concede setup turns to Gyarados. As with most hyper offensive teams, this core can be vulnerable to a combination of hard counters to the sweepers. Combination of Mimikyu + Gyarados check such as Tapu Fini / Ferrothorn, or Heatran + Ferrothorn will leave the core with no way out. As a result, it is mandatory to pair this with secondary modes that can beat them, such as Tapu Koko or Mega Scizor.
Mega Scizor Offense
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This core overlaps very heavily with the above Gyara-Naga core, as these two Mega Evolutions tend to go together on Naganadel teams. However, it is not unheard of to use a U-turn Scizor instead of an hyper offensive SD one to apply some kind of volt-turn pressure with Naganadel, Tapu Koko, or Latios.
Mawile + Porygon 2 Trick Room

Mawile + Porygon 2 is one of the better Trick Room cores remaining in the metagame thanks to Porygon 2 being a very independently strong attacker. It tends to let Z-move Mimikyu clean up after Mawile breaks defensive Pokemon in Trick Room, or take advantage of Mimikyu and Breloom's 1v1 capabilities to trade favorably. Suropoke's team pairs with Mega Gyarados + Naganadel. It is generally good to pair it with other Pokemon that could take advantage of Celesteela, which can be overwhelmed alone, but can turn into an auto-loss paired with more threats to the core.
Mega Blaziken Offense
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Mega Blaziken provides a lot of sweeping potential with an SD set or a simple 3 attacks set. It can also Baton Pass out of tough matchups and pass Speed boosts to slower offensive Pokemon. Mixed Blaziken often gets supported by Stealth Rock from Landorus-T. The team commonly carries multiple ways to resist Water-type and Ground-type moves, either to Baton Pass safely, or to let the next Pokemon get a setup turn.
Mega Swampert Rain Offense
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A straightforward rain core with Pelipper setting Rain and U-turning out to Mega Swampert. It is mandatory to use it with checks to Water-types like Tapu Fini, or Grass-types like Ferrothorn, though Pelipper helps a bit against Grass-types already. Popular options for anti-Water types are listed above. Instead of just trying to complement the rain mode with Pokemon that beat rain counters, which leaves your strategy fairly one-note, it is also good to take advantage of the fact that Rain scares out Pokemon like Metagross or non-Grass Knot Tapu Koko / Thundurus, and use Pokemon like Mega Salamence alongside it.
Lele + Volcarona Offense
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A riff on the Fire-type + Tapu Lele combo similar to Meta-Zard offense. Volcarona is more vulnerable to defensive teams, but is better suited to sweep bulky offensive teams with its coverage. It is also compatible with a Z-move and can be brought alongside Mega Metagross. Metagross can use Zen Headbutt for synergy, but so can Volcarona with Shattered Psyche. 3 Psychic moves are rarely needed on a team, and Metagross values its moveslots very much.
Mega Tyranitar Offense
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Mega Tyranitar has little trouble setting up Dragon Dance or trading favorably due to its obscene stats. Tyranitar's numerous weaknesses are well covered by Tapu Fini, Celesteela, and Landorus-T. Tyranitar also safeguards the core against the likes of Bulky Volcarona and Naganadel without being forced to bleed momentum.
The Hippo-Luke Offense
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A straightforward hyper offensive core with Hippowdon setting Stealth Rock and Yawn for setup turns for Lucario and Thundurus-T. As these Pokemon are prone to being revenge killed, it is also often paired with speed boosting sweepers such as Dragonite (which has good type synergy with Lucario) or Mega Charizards. It is especially tough to figure out the Lucario and Charizard variants on this team.
Japan Sand

An old sand core. Salamence has good type synergy with both Tyranitar and Excadrill, resisting their weaknesses.
Psychic-spam Offense
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Tapu Lele powers up Mega Alakazam, chips down Steel-types in KO range, and protects it from priority attacks.
Sun Offense

Torkoal sets sun and Stealth Rock + Yawn combination can earn Venusaur a free Growth turn.
Webs Offense

Shuckle sets Stealth Rock + Sticky Webs. Gyara and Kartana are strong sweepers that very much invalidate Mimikyu as a stopper.
Stall Archetypes:

Stall is defined by its ability to react to as many offensive threats as possible. Using hard walls such as Chansey and Skarmory allows them to take hits from the strongest attackers in the format. They often rely on residual damage to make progress, but often have offensive win conditions like trapping in order to have outs against offensive setup that they cannot deal with.

Mega Gengar Standard Stall
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Mega Gengar provides a much needed offensive mode for most Stall teams, and its ability to trap and remove offensive threats is invaluable. Mega Gengar trades favorably against common wallbreakers, and takes advantage of status and chip damage spread by defensive cores. While other Defensive Pokemon such as Quagsire, Toxapex, Gliscor, etc. are needed to cover physical attackers, Chansey is near mandatory for its ability to stuff nearly all special attacker in the game.
Mega Gengar Semi-Stall
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As Stall faces more and more challenges, stall has adapted. Now it carries far more offensive win conditions than ever, with Pokemon such as Greninja, Mimikyu, and more. While it is usually still paired with stall staples from the above list such as Chansey, it is not rare to see more bulky-offense type Pokemon like Celesteela and Porygon2, which can dish out damage when necessary and is not completely helpless to opposing setup or Mega Gengar.
Mega Sableye Stall

Stall teams can use Shedinja to bypass certain wallbreakers. Mega Sableye keeps the field clear of hazards. In exchange for offensive win condition of Mega Gengar, it employs a unique win condition of Shedinja instead, enabled by Sableye.
Mega Aerodactyl Stall

Stall teams can use Mega Aerodactyl to act as a defensive Fire-type check and a cleaner in one in addition to Pursuit trapping Gengar.
Miscellaneous:

These teams really defy categorization into other archetypes as they are rather unique. Gimmicky teams are placed here.

STAG

Mega Gengar and Wobbuffet are terrifying to many Defensive Pokemon that are completely helpless as they strategically remove the necessary defensive Pokemon to stop their sweeper. It is weak to Ghost-types like Mimikyu, but they tend to thrive on playing the team preview mindgame, baiting out the Mimikyu and countering it with their secondary, defensive mode well-equipped to deal with Mimikyu, such as defensive Porygon2 and Landorus-T.
Kangaskhan + Cresselia Moody Setup
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Classic Kangaskhan core from Gen 6. While standard options like Heatran are still available, It has failed to see recent success playing it straight. It now revolves around Glalie instead, which relies on the Thunder Wave support.
Moody Setup

Use Glare Serperior to paralyze something so Glalie can spam Substitute and get Moody evasion boosts. Serperior is generally favored as the
Don't phaze me bro
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Straightforward Eevee pass. Clefable is common, too, as Curse Mimikyu otherwise beats the core. Scolipede exists in a similar vein.


Highly recommended, Metagame-dominating archetypes
Viable, strong archetypes that exist in the meta

Niche, overlooked, and often unreliable archetypes.


There's definitely some stuff that I missed or probably could stay, but I thought this is a fine first draft for an update. I'd love to hear other opinions on this.
 
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Asides from what I mentioned on Discord, just going down the list from top to bottom.

Hippo + Lele + Zard: As with all Zard cores, Zard Y can be replaced with Zard X and function fine. You have to be very wary of Heatran in particular when building with this core.

Meta + Fini + Lando + Rotom-H: When it comes to this core, the three core members are Meta/Fini/Lando and Rotom-H is the 4th complimenter, which can be replaced with other mons such as Thund-T and to an even lesser extent Hydreigon to better fit the composition.

Mega Venusaur Balance: One particular noteworthy core from Mega Venusaur is Venu - P2 - Tran

Rain Offence: Ferrothorn is a really important mon that is worth mentioning as a 3rd, as important as Kart/Koko

Shedinja Stall: Shed + Mega Sableye + (Shed Shell/Tech Blissey, Toxapex, Celesteela/Skarmory) is probably the second major variant where you are generally going to see Sableye instead of Gengar used as a hazard stopper and check to opposing gar

Sun Offence: Perhaps Torkoal + Venusaur is worth putting in other stuff
 

marilli

two, but one
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Championis the defending Battle Spot Circuit Champion
Not trying to start an argument just trying to go in depth w/ explanations.

Hippo + Lele + Zard: As with all Zard cores, Zard Y can be replaced with Zard X and function fine. You have to be very wary of Heatran in particular when building with this core.
This core is pretty different from other entries in that it is a core of 3 very specific sets (Helmet Hippo, Scarf Lele, Zard Y). Most Zard-X + Hippo teams are Meta + Zard X teams or Lucario + Zard X teams. There's very few teams that aren't, and there's even fewer teams with Tapu Lele even though their synergy on paper should be good. On nouthuca there's only 1 entry of the "core" and it's essentially 1 guy using the same Hippo / Lele / Kang / Zard X / Mimi team and updating it with tech options every season. I'm always going to have problems classifying teams into solid categories because that's not how Pokemon works. I thought it's fairer to tie those teams with Meta + Zard X and Lucario + Zard X cores.

Meta + Fini + Lando + Rotom-H: When it comes to this core, the three core members are Meta/Fini/Lando and Rotom-H is the 4th complimenter, which can be replaced with other mons such as Thund-T and to an even lesser extent Hydreigon to better fit the composition.
My tl;dr update is heavily influenced by other japanese bloggers. They all tended to say the core is Rotom-H with Landorus-T complement, so that is what I went with.

Mega Venusaur Balance: One particular noteworthy core from Mega Venusaur is Venu - P2 - Tran
Actually Porygon2 is significantly less common than either Celesteela or Heatran as its partner according to usage stats despite them having similar (or less, in Heatran's case) usage. While you could say both can be good cores, just one of them underutilized, but searching Nouthuca gave me a single entry of that core that broke 2k in USUM, so I felt comfortable adding Celesteela as by far and away the best "standard core" with Venusaur.

Rain Offence: Ferrothorn is a really important mon that is worth mentioning as a 3rd, as important as Kart/Koko

Shedinja Stall: Shed + Mega Sableye + (Shed Shell/Tech Blissey, Toxapex, Celesteela/Skarmory) is probably the second major variant where you are generally going to see Sableye instead of Gengar used as a hazard stopper and check to opposing gar

Sun Offence: Perhaps Torkoal + Venusaur is worth putting in other stuff
Fair, will add.

but as an aside on shedinja stall I definitely don't think it is the most common variant - as I am seeing much more semi - stall teams that have a stall mode and a more exaggerated offensive mode aside from chansey + gengar, or semistall in the more traditional sense by using pokemon such as slowbro and porygon2 who are actually capable of dealing retaliatory damage, and on my cartridge run this week I ran into quite a few teams with the same idea sitting on / about to break 2k points. Traditional stall and defensive cores are having a lot of issues in the meta, which is why many "balance" teams lean on the offensive end, and the ones that do lean on the defensive end (Venusaur / Bulu+Pex) is fairly low on the power rankings. I want to add an entry to represent this semistall trend, but I am still unsure of how to go because it seemed much more like a work in progress as opposed to a consensus on what should be used.

what I mentioned on Discord
Those have been all implemented by adding Breloom to Mawile+p2+mimi core, adding p2 to mence core, prioritizing aegis, slashing dnite on hippoluke, adding sand, and rearranging Lopunny Balance.

Thanks for all the feedback!
 
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Not trying to start an argument just trying to go in depth w/ explanations.



This core is pretty different from other entries in that it is a core of 3 very specific sets (Helmet Hippo, Scarf Lele, Zard Y). Most Zard-X + Hippo teams are Meta + Zard X teams or Lucario + Zard X teams. There's very few teams that aren't, and there's even fewer teams with Tapu Lele even though their synergy on paper should be good. On nouthuca there's only 1 entry of the "core" and it's essentially 1 guy using the same Hippo / Lele / Kang / Zard X / Mimi team and updating it with tech options every season. I'm always going to have problems classifying teams into solid categories because that's not how Pokemon works. I thought it's fairer to tie those teams with Meta + Zard X and Lucario + Zard X cores.
I look at stuff less in terms of Rocky Helmet Hippo, which is obviously more needed in the context of Zard Y as opposed to Zard X. When you are looking at Hippo + Zard + Lele, nearly 40% are Zard X, but if you are talking specifically Hippo with Rocky Helmet, that might be different but that is not tangible from team preview. I was merely mentioning that Lele Zard X is a common core, which also covers the bases Lele Zard Y does, but also covers opposite sides of the offensive spectrum (physical vs. special) as well as naturally being better vs. Heatran, with all Zard cores, you are going to get the X vs. Y element to it.


My tl;dr update is heavily influenced by other japanese bloggers. They all tended to say the core is Rotom-H with Landorus-T complement, so that is what I went with.
I have read this blog amongst others, they tend to look at it as a pairing of Rotom-H and Metagross, similar to Hydreigon and Metagross from earlier on in the generation and add on Fini/Lando on the end, but it's my personal opinion that these mons naturally lend themselves to the core (Gross, Lando, Fini) and that Rotom-H is a disjoint and anti-meta pick specifically for certain matchups, albeit very important ones. I acknowledge that is my own opinion though.

Actually Porygon2 is significantly less common than either Celesteela or Heatran as its partner according to usage stats despite them having similar (or less, in Heatran's case) usage. While you could say both can be good cores, just one of them underutilized, but searching Nouthuca gave me a single entry of that core that broke 2k in USUM, so I felt comfortable adding Celesteela as by far and away the best "standard core" with Venusaur.
I only mentioned it due to continued tournament usage which tend to have porygon2 in, I do not personally believe mega venusaur cores to be particularly strong.

Fair, will add.

but as an aside on shedinja stall I definitely don't think it is the most common variant - as I am seeing much more semi - stall teams that have a stall mode and a more exaggerated offensive mode aside from chansey + gengar, or semistall in the more traditional sense by using pokemon such as slowbro and porygon2 who are actually capable of dealing retaliatory damage, and on my cartridge run this week I ran into quite a few teams with the same idea sitting on / about to break 2k points. Traditional stall and defensive cores are having a lot of issues in the meta, which is why many "balance" teams lean on the offensive end, and the ones that do lean on the defensive end (Venusaur / Bulu+Pex) is fairly low on the power rankings. I want to add an entry to represent this semistall trend, but I am still unsure of how to go because it seemed much more like a work in progress as opposed to a consensus on what should be used.
Well when it comes to semi-stall, generally you are looking at merely a chansey and skarmory or something similar plus offence, one of my favourite team of recent utilises this:

https://pokepast.es/89f353e97690df01

I think stalls need to have tricks and baits and the like in order to manipulate the game board into the position where stalling is possible by removing the key stall breaking threat, which is why stall is such a dynamic and (ironically) aggressive playstyle. Id argue that Gliscor + P2 + Pex is probably the best semi-stall core currently, generally with some more offensive pressure from a mon like mega metagross.
 
I've been going through the common cores for a video I've been making. I do think that Tapu Fini, Celesteela + Charizard X should be added as a core.
What i don't like about it is that you have 0 electric-type switch ins, and literally 0 answers to Koko if you don't have a mega evolved charx. So let's say that you don't lead with Charizard cause opponent has a Landorus, Hippowdon or a Tapu Fini too, things would often end up with you being forced to sacrifice a mon and then get in with charX. You'd probably get a free boost then, but if opponent has a check such as the ones we've said upwards who can switch in for Koko you'd pretty much have a wasted +1 charizard and be 2v3 at that point.
This is why i really don't see it as a staple core, but more like a team specific one. This being said i do like that trio, but i'm not 100% sure that i'd like to have it in a thread made for people who want to learn the basics of the tier
 
What i don't like about it is that you have 0 electric-type switch ins, and literally 0 answers to Koko if you don't have a mega evolved charx. So let's say that you don't lead with Charizard cause opponent has a Landorus, Hippowdon or a Tapu Fini too, things would often end up with you being forced to sacrifice a mon and then get in with charX. You'd probably get a free boost then, but if opponent has a check such as the ones we've said upwards who can switch in for Koko you'd pretty much have a wasted +1 charizard and be 2v3 at that point.
This is why i really don't see it as a staple core, but more like a team specific one. This being said i do like that trio, but i'm not 100% sure that i'd like to have it in a thread made for people who want to learn the basics of the tier
It's strange you say that, personally I'm of the opinion that it is one of the most stable trios in the current meta.

Those team archetypes have bulky Charizard X with Will-o-wisp so if you really need to, you can mega evolve and burn hippo/lando T1 if desperate. As well as this, you are generally going to see these teams paired with an electric immunity of some kind, whether that be Lando/Chomp or on some variants Thundurus-T as options to cover weaker matchups such as when there is an opposing Tapu Koko. Often top teams also have a bulky normal such as Snorlax or Porygon2 which further block Koko making Tapu Koko a less free bring in the matchup despite the major two components being weak to electric. I do think Marilli covers your concerns to an extent in the parentheses where he mentions adding a ground type.

I'm not personally of the opinion that people should merely be slapping these cores on their team and expecting a 100% coverage of the meta with just two or three pokemon. Rather than having answers to the entire metagame, these cores should instead be seen as a starting point, a backbone on which to build upon to create that solid team of six. The vast majority of the cores here have weaknesses to specific threats. To just use the first listed core by Marilli as an example, Mamoswine has always been a terror for Hippowdon + Aegislash + Salamence cores to deal with, which is why you have other pokemon there to mitigate these weaknesses. Mamoswine is not the only pokemon either, Protean Greninja, Calm Mind Tapu Fini, Taunt Mega Gyarados, Rotom-Heat are other problems that I can just list in 20-30 seconds when I'm just considering the three main pokemon of the archetype. I doubt that most people would say Hippo-Aegi-Mence is not a staple core given its success though.

I think these cores can be a useful starting point, but I wouldn't expect someone to come into this thread slap a core and some random pokemon together and make a teambuilding masterpiece. That will always come with experience.
 
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Making a masterpiece out of a core isn't easy, and most of the listed ones here are basic ones who are overall solid, but need backups in order to deal with their weaknesses.
However it is another thing when a core straightly loses to one of the most used mons out there, such as Tapu Koko.

This being said, i could probably add it and put a bold statement in the description with "Please add something that can deal with Koko and bring it in 90% of the games"
 
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1_TrickPhony

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Making a masterpiece out of a core isn't easy, and most of the listed ones here are basic ones who are overall solid, but need backups in order to deal with their weaknesses.
However it is another thing when a core straightly loses to one of the most used mons out there, such as Tapu Koko.

This being said, i could probably add it and put a bold statement in the description with "Please add something that can deal with Koko and bring it in 90% of the games"
Koko, while a threat, does not like having to face many forms of Tapu Fini head to head as the lead, as it kills it's terrain, can OHKO w/ Specs or Water-Z, and scarf doesnt get ohkoed when under misty terrain unless Koko expends its Z, and can 2hko back. It can Volt Switch, but that doesn't particularly do much and with a wallbreaker/bulky attacker spread on Fini, that switch-in is going to take a large chunk. If he pivots to Cele/Aegi, for example, Char-X comes in and can set up/wreck havoc. Similarly, Charizard-X can set up on Koko after Mega, and without it's Z move it can't dent Char-X. I think as long as you don't start Celesteela this core does fine, as it has no options for Koko, and once again, you have other team slots, just bring an electric immunity ffs.
 

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