Battle Spot Singles Good Cores

#1

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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.

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

Classic Mega Kangaskhan Balance
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One of the most classic and succesful core. Cresselia offers protection from Fighting-types for its Mega partner, while also being a great Dragon-type check thanks to its bulk and access to Ice Beam; Garchomp acts like a stall breaker, hitting or weakening Pokémon that Kangaskhan struggles with, whereas the latter is a one of the most hard hitting Mega in the tier.
Thundurus can acts in a similar way as Cresselia, offering a switch in for Fighting-type attacks and dealing with some of the common Dragons such as Mega Salamence, also supporting the average speed of the duo with its Thunder Wave if needed.
Mega Blaziken pseudo FWG core

These three creates a pseudo Fire, Water, Grass core, with the Water-type being replaced by Zapdos' ability to hit hard Water-types and deal with Flying-type.
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.
BuluTran FWG Balance
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Fire / Water / Grass core with even a Steel / Fairy combination in it. Bulu's Grassy Terrain (and obviously Bulu itself) lightens Heatran's Ground-type weakness, while being protected from its weaknesses by the latter in return. Suicune completes the core, offering a check for Pokémon such as Mega Salamence. Even Mega Gyarados, or a regular Gyarados as well, can fit in the core pretty well.
Elemental Fantasy

This core includes inside it the FWG and the SFD core at the same time. For this reason, and for its three pokemon's ability to take hits and fire back with strength, it is a very balanced and well rounded core.
Generation VII Mega Kangaskhan balance
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Mega Kangaskhan / Mimikyu core. With the disguised ghost protecting its mega partner, switching into Fighting-type attacks, and Kangaskhan being able to switch into Ghost-type attacks. The core it's usually completed by a third member that can deal with Steel-types, such as Heatran, or act as a wallbreaker like Garchomp.
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.


Offensive cores

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.
Generation VII Mence-Aegi Offense

Salamence and Aegislash have been good partners from the whole ORAS days, already forming a great core themself. With Tapu Koko in the team they complete the Steel/Fairy/Dragon core, also adding a way to demolish Water-types that otherwise can be a problem for the duo.

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

Extremely offensive core, made by three hard hitting Pokémon. Its strategy rotates around the VoltTurn combination, trying to open a way for Charizard Y to set up with Flame Charge.
The Hydragross SFD offense

Steel / Fairy / Dragon offensive core based on Metagross' and Hydreigon's great synergy and Koko's ability to hit Water-types that could otherwise threaten the duo.
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. Whereas Mega Charizard Y and Tapu Lele, being two of the most hard hitting Pokémon in the tier, apply offensive pressure.
Mega Salamence offense

Works almost like the Blaziken pseudo FWG core, but being slightly more offensive thanks to Mega Salamence's ability to hit pretty hard.
Yawning on the rocks

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.
Trick Room Offensive Duo

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. 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.
Rocks 'n Screens setup
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Hyper offensive core, with Landorus that can set up Stealth Rock, which can be a pretty decisive tool to break sashes or grow the chances to get OHKOs with the sweeper; that can guard Mega Gyarados from Electric-type attacks, while hitting Electric-types with its STAB, and support it with Rock Tomb and its ability as well. Gyarados itself has Intimidate, giving the core a dual-intimidate combination, and considering its great offensive coverage, it can sweep whole teams after a Dragon Dance or two. The screens are, of course, to aim its setups opportunities.
As the Dual Screener, Koko can Taunt opposing setup sweepers or hit Water-types, that might be a problem for the core, while Espeon can guard the field from Stealth Rock and fish for switches (spreading chip damage thanks to Stealth Rock) or for setup opportunities, thanks to its Yawn.
Dragon-Fairy Hyper Offense

Straightforward hyper offensive core, with Hippowdon using its signature Stealth Rock + Yawn combo to support the Dragon-Fairy core. Thanks to its support, Mega Salamence and Mimikyu can easily find setup opportunities with Dragon Dance, for the first, or Sword Dance for the second.
Defending both, the Dragon and the Bunny

Another hyper offensive core that works with the dual screens strategy. Ninetales can break sashes with its Hail and set Aurora Veil to help Mega Charizard's and Azumarill's setups. While the two attackers share a pretty good defensive and offensive synergy. A Steel-type such as Celesteela can work as a fantastic fourth partner for the three.
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

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.
 
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#2
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.


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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#3

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.
 
#5
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.
 
#6
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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#7
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.
 
#9
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.
 
#10
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
#11
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 :)
 
#12
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
 
#13
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.
 
#14

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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