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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.
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.
Generation VII Mega Kangaskhan bulky offense
Mega Salamence + P2 bulky offenseFake 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 BlazPass BalanceMega 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 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
Mega Charizard X SFD balanceStandard 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 Venusaur BalanceMega 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 Heracross balancePseudo 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 Lopunny balanceThese 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".
Metagross Bulky OffenseMega 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.
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.
Generation VII Mence-Aegi Offense
The Japanese SandSalamence 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.
Mega Blaziken OffenseVery 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 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
Charging under the SunlightPopular 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.
Mega Gengar OffenseA 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.
Screens SetupGengar 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.
The Hydragross OffenseThe 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.
Yawning on the rocksMetagross'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.
Mega Mawile OffenseLead 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.
GyaraNaga offenseMega 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
Mega Scizor offenseMega 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 Swampert Rain OffenseThis 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.
Lele + Volcarona OffenseA 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.
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
The Intimidating punksThis 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.
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.
The Skarmsey core
Mega Venusaur seeds stallThis 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.
The flying guardians stallThe 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 Infamous ToxBULexThis 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.
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.