Battle Tree Discussion and Records

So while trying to get higher on the leaderboard, fixing up my Charjabug team, I decided to try out some new ideas that I had come up with while playing with my other team. None of these are leaderboard streaks, with only one team making it close to that point. One of them didn't even break past the stamp requirement, but at the same time I only did play it once. Oh well, here they are.

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This team came about shortly after another attempt with my Charjabug team, deciding on having a break from that team for a little bit while I breed up some new components for it. I was messing around with the idea of a color-themed team, and I wanted to try out Naganadel, so purple is where I went to. While the team isn't all purple, I couldn't think of another Pokemon that could fill the role that I needed. So, here's the team.

Crying Naganadel:
(Streak: 46)


Naganadel @ Dragonium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 18 HP / 2 Atk / 22 Def
- Sludge Bomb
- Dragon Pulse
- Flamethrower
- Protect

142/71/89/179/94/190

One half of the lead pair of this team as well as the main sweeper, at least in theory. Sludge Bomb is the main STAB move of choice in most situations, while Dragon Pulse is a secondary STAB that gives a decently powerful Z-Dragon Pulse as well as an accurate option outside of the Z-Crystal. Flamethrower rounds out the coverage so that Naganadel can hit the entire Tree for at least neutral damage apart from Heatproof Bronzong and Flash Fire Heatran. Protect is near mandatory on a lead, especially one as frail as Naganadel.

The EV spread is really generic, max Speed and max Special Attack to hit as hard as possible as fast as possible. A Timid nature allows Naganadel to boost it's Speed with Beast Boost, which I felt was fine since Fake Tears would compensate for the slight lack of damage. When I soft reset'ed for the Poipole, my main goals were HP Ice and a low Attack, and this IV spread came up. Optimally speaking, it should be Hyper Trained, but I was too lazy to get it up to Level 100, and I don't feel that the slight lack in stats affected the streak, especially since it already has relatively poor bulk.

Naganadel's main job was to get an early Beast Boost, then be able to outspeed most of the Tree, enough to where it can run through teams with support from it's teammates through Fake Tears or just secondary attacks.

Liepard @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 3 SpA
- Fake Out
- Fake Tears
- Knock Off
- Encore

139/140/70/84/71/173

The other lead for this team and the general supporter for the team. Fake Out opens up opportunities for it's teammates to get some kind of setup going, as well as negate an opponent for a turn. Fake Tears acts as a pseudo-Nasty Plot for Naganadel and Aegislash, and helps fix the lower damage output of Naganadel and make some more guaranteed KOs. Knock Off is great for removing annoying items like Quick Claw and Bright Powder, and makes it so that Liepard isn't complete Taunt bait. Encore helps shut down some opponents temporarily and open up more opportunities for it's teammates to ruin the rest of the team.

The EV spread is incredibly generic, again, to hit as hard as possible as fast as possible. With a Focus Sash, bulk investment isn't really needed. Prankster makes it so that any support move can almost always go before Naganadel and the opponents, so Liepard can either weaken or cripple them without putting itself at risk.

Liepard's role was to help set up for a Naganadel sweep and help mitigate its overall poor damage output without a Z-Crystal or Beast Boost, and help ease the role of its teammates in the back, should it be needed.

Aegislash @ Life Orb
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- King's Shield
- Wide Guard

167/55/170/112/171/58

The bulky attacker of the team and general switch-in for most situations, as well as being the best way I have to deal with Trick Room. Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon are strong STABs that give relatively good coverage and power. King's Shield is necessary to keep Aegislash as safe as possible and give nice debuffs, and Wide Guard is covers spread moves that could otherwise threaten the rest of the team. Relatively standard moveset, one that most people run for Aegislash in Doubles.

The EV spread is really basic, made to hit as hard as possible while being as bulky as possible. The minimum Speed isn't necessarily a requirement, but it helps in dealing with Trick Room if it ever comes up. Normally, I would run a Z-Crystal with this set, but with it taken by Naganadel, I went with Life Orb to help get some more damage out of one of my attackers.

Aegislash functions as the bulky pivot of the team, being a reliable switch-in to most things that threaten the leads, while being able to take advantage of the openings they create, or further extend their usage.

Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 6 SpA
- Waterfall
- Crunch
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

Non-Mega: 171/177/99/61/120/146
Mega: 171/207/129/70/150/146

The only physical attacker of the team and back up plan for when things don't go completely right. Waterfall is the main STAB move of choice, being relatively strong with or without a boost, in Mega form or not. Crunch is a secondary STAB, mainly used when Gyarados has Mega Evolved. Earthquake rounds out the coverage, hitting opponents like Magnezone, which otherwise pose a minor problem to the team. Dragon Dance gives a way for Gyarados to fix its Speed problem and take advantage of any openings that its teammates can create for Gyarados to sweep.

The EV spread aims to max out the damage possible while doing it's best to try and fix the slight Speed issue. This team is fast enough as it is, and I didn't really feel like having two slower attackers in the back would be great for this team's momentum. Having the possibility of Mega Evolving also helps improve Gyarados's bulk immensely, not only through stats but through typing, and Intimidate further enhances this bulk.

Gyarados helps fix the problem this team has with Fire and Ground types as well as a way to break past bulky Special walls like Blissey and Snorlax, both of which would be relatively troublesome for my other attackers.

General Play:

The plan for this team was for Naganadel to get a quick KO, preferably Turn 1, so that it can attack with effectively +2 attacks. If not, just have enough raw power to break through the opponent's team.

Threats:

Paralysis: This team, especially Naganadel, relies heavily on how fast it is to get damage off before the opponent can do the same. Being paralyzed removes the speed advantage that I would otherwise have as well as open up opportunities for me to not be able to attack for the turn, something that is extremely detrimental to frail Pokemon like Naganadel.

Sandstorm and Rock types: With the Special Defense boost that Rock types get under Sand, Naganadel has huge problems trying to get past them, being forced to use its weaker STAB move. Plus, the Sand breaks Liepard's Focus Sash, reducing its survivability, making it susceptible to a KO Turn 1, without a double target. However, Aegislash can deal with most opposing Sand users, resisting Rock type moves and having Wide Guard for moves like Earthquake.

Tyranitar: Can set up the Sand as soon as it comes onto the field, takes Naganadel's attacks for relatively little damage, and does heavy damage to the team. All the sets pose different kinds of problems as well. Set 1 can paralyze the team, while Set 2 and 3 can outpace Gyarados in setting up, as it is usually too risky to set up Gyarados in front of Tyranitar. Set 4 does massive damage and can set up Sand again, if it wasn't up due to Unnerve.

Team Problems:

The team is relatively reliant on getting something set up in some way, and there isn't a super reliable way to get that done. Naganadel is relatively weak on it's own and often doesn't do enough damage without support from Fake Tears or other prior damage.

I was also building this team around the time when I wanted an all purple team. While this team isn't quite all purple, I called it as such because I couldn't think of something could deal with the problems that I was facing when building the team. This restricted the things I could use and probably hurt this team's viability more than anything. If I really wanted to keep the core concept of this team, while being more viable, I'd probably have to break this restriction.

Replays:

Battle 47: HPDG-WWWW-WWWQ-NZRH
Police Officer Lou (Lycanroc-Midnight2/Rotom-Mow4/Tyranitar4/Garchomp4)

This might have been a bad luck loss, maybe not, I dunno. Either way, Turn 1 goes as most of them went, Fake Out into Rotom-Mow out of fear of Thunder Wave, and Z-Dragon Pulse Lycanroc-Midnight, and hope for a KO. None this time, except the Fake Out into Rotom-Mow cause it to swap into Tyranitar. Yikes. Sand takes out Liepard after it finishes off Lycanroc, and I thankfully get a Poison onto Tyranitar. Without it, I probably had no chance of winning. Garchomp comes in as I bring in Aegislash and steals the Mega Evolution from Tyranitar, as I double Protect to scout the sets. At this point, I still don't know the exact Tyranitar set, being either Set 3 or 4, so I expect it to go for the same play as last time, Earthquake, and I Wide Guard, while I Dragon Pulse the Garchomp. Even after the Earthquake chip damage, Garchomp lives and KOs Naganadel, while Tyranitar hits Aegislash for most of its health with Payback. With only what seemed like one option left, I try to get a double KO with Earthquake, and just miss the roll, it seems, to KO Tyranitar, who in turn takes out Aegislash. At this point, Gyarados only beats Rotom-Mow with flinches or misses, but I didn't get enough of it.

This battle really highlights this team's weakness to Tyranitar, as well as it's low damage output. Naganadel being unable to KO Garchomp at around 80-85% health, and Gyarados missing the KO on Tyranitar by about 1 HP. However, I would have never even had the opening to KO Tyranitar had the Poison not occurred, so I got lucky in that regard.


Final Thoughts:

While I liked trying to make an all-purple team based around Naganadel, I feel as though it is just a tad too weak, being forced to either miss out on power or speed simply because of its stats. The concept of this team might be feasible with another backline, maybe not going for the all-purple theme, but it was relatively fun to try out. However, I'm probably not gonna come back to this team for quite a while.

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While playing with the last team, I really liked the idea of seeing more underrated, unused Pokemon on the leaderboard. With this in mind, my thoughts went straight to Pikachu, one of my favorites. While it did see a tiny bit of usage in the Maison, it was in the back of a Triples and otherwise unseen, from what I can tell.

Pika Rain:
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(Streak: 67/80)


Pelipper @ Focus Sash
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 4 Atk
- Scald
- Hurricane
- Tailwind
- Protect

136/51/120/161/90/117

The rain setter and one of the leads of the team. Scald is a generally strong STAB move, and under Rain, has some really decent power behind it. Hurricane is 100% accurate in Rain and is a good option against opposing Grass types. Tailwind is necessary to help Pikachu outspeed the rest of the Tree, as well as give Swampert the speed it wants to face opposing weather. Protect is mandatory as always, to help bait attacks once its Focus Sash is activated.

With the Focus Sash, Pelipper doesn't need an overly complicated EV spread, with the aim to max out its potential damage output, while taking the best advantage it can from Tailwind.

Pelipper is the most important member to the team, simply because it sets Rain for the rest of the team to take advantage of, as well as provide the speed control.

Pikachu @ Light Ball
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 30 HP / 30 Def
- Fake Out
- Thunder
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Protect

110/67/60/112/71/142

One of the special attackers of the team as well as a lead of the team. Fake Out gives a free turn for its teammates to work with, whether that be a free attack or setting up speed control. Thunder takes the best advantage of the rain and does heavy amounts of damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Hidden Power Ice rounds out the coverage, hitting Ground and Dragon types for heavy damage, otherwise an issue for the leads, mainly the Dragon types. Protect is again necessary in case Pikachu survives any attacks, allowing it to bait out attacks so its teammates can take advantage of the opening, as well as keep itself safe from Swampert's Earthquake, if necessary.

The EV spread makes the most Pikachu can out of Light Ball, as being able to do as much damage as possible for something as frail as Pikachu. I opted to not go for a Timid nature simply because the extra Speed provides very little for Pikachu, as it shouldn't be used too much outside of Tailwind. Plus, a max Speed Modest Pikachu is enough to outspeed the entire Tree under Tailwind, so I found that sufficient. Lightning Rod, paired along with Pelipper, is an extremely easy way for Pikachu to get free boosts, from things like Thunder Wave or other Electric type moves.

Plus, with this spread, Pikachu hits as hard as Tapu Koko...
252+ SpA Light Ball Pikachu Thunder vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 139-165 (84.2 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Light Ball Pikachu Thunder vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 208-246 (126 - 149%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunder vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine in Electric Terrain: 138-163 (83.6 - 98.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunder vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine in Electric Terrain: 205-243 (124.2 - 147.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

The lack of a Focus Sash and general frailness is actually somewhat of a benefit for this team in particular. If Pikachu gets KO'd really early, it means there are more turns of Tailwind to take advantage of for the rest of the team. And if Pikachu sticks around, it can run through teams by itself. Plus, Pelipper's ability to set the Rain is far more important than getting another attack off from Pikachu.

It's also important to have Pikachu in the second because the AI generally doesn't swap in something with Volt Absorb/Lightning Rod if it comes from the second slot. Behavior observed mostly from turskain I believe, and I haven't seen anything myself that neither confirms nor disproves this, but I may as well play it safe.

Pikachu's job on the team is to support Pelipper long enough to get Tailwind up, then take advantage of its newfound speed to run through as much of the opposing team as possible.

Swampert @ Swampertite
Ability: Damp
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 14 SpA
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Protect

Non-Mega: 175/178/110/87/111/112
Mega: 175/207/129/70/150/146

The main physical attacker of the team as well as the biggest Rain abuser. Waterfall is extremely deadly under Rain, combined with STAB and Swampert's immense power. Earthquake is a good secondary STAB that hits primarily Electric and Steel types that the lead struggles to deal with. Being a spread move is somewhat unfortunate, but the rest of the team have ways around it. Ice Punch rounds out the coverage, hitting Dragon and Grass types for decent damage when needed. Protect is needed to help stall out turns and bait out attacks, mainly Grass type ones.

The EV spread is really generic, max Attack and an Adamant nature to do as much damage as possible, and max Speed to outspeed the entire Tree under either Rain, Tailwind, or both. While the amount of Speed it has isn't needed for Swampert to outspeed the entire Tree, it is nice in cases where I can't or don't have Rain or Tailwind up for the team. Damp is used simply because it at least has a use on the turn Swampert comes into battle, as Swampert shouldn't be in range for Torrent to activate while not having Mega Evolved.

Swampert acts as the Rain abuser and hardest hitter of the team, as well as being the main win condition for most games.

Scizor @ Life Orb
Ability: Technician
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 8 SpA
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Superpower
- Protect

172/200/120/57/100/91

The secondary physical attacker of the team and main Trick Room counter through the use of priority moves. Bullet Punch and Bug Bite are practically mandatory STAB moves for any Scizor, taking advantage of Technician as well as having priority, at least for the former. Superpower provides coverage against opposing Steel types. Despite the debuffs, having coverage against the likes of Heatran, as well as a solid way to chunk bulky Normal types is too important to give up on. Protect helps keep Scizor around any opposing Fire types, as well as preventing friendly-fire from Swampert's Earthquake whenever needed.

The EV spread, while slightly more unusual, is still really basic. Max Attack and an Adamant nature to help maximize Scizor's damage output, and enough Speed to get out of the relatively crowded 85-90 Speed tier, then the rest dumped into HP for general bulk. Life Orb further increases the damage output, alongside Technician. A slightly faster spread might be viable, but this team already has very little bulk on it, and having a bulkier Pokemon in the back for switch-ins is probably a little bit more useful.

Scizor's role on the team is to deal with any opposing Grass types that threaten the rest of the team whenever Pelipper isn't around to take care of them.

General Play:

The team's goal was to safely get Tailwind up, then have the sweepers use their speed advantage to go through the opposing team, preferably with boosted attacks from Rain or Lightning Rod.

Threats:

Storm Drain: Like any other Rain team, this ability is the worst to see. This ability redirects some of this team's best moves away from the intended target, absorbs it, and boosts the opponent with the ability, allowing them to hit back much harder. Generally just painful to play around.

Opposing Weather: Primarily Sun, but anything that stops Rain from coming up is an issue. Pikachu loses its best attacking move, and Swampert loses its speed. Ability-based weather is the worst, as I can do nothing to do to stop them, especially if it involves Mega Evolution. At least manual weather can be stalled for a turn for me to prepare for it.

Rotom-Wash: Resists almost every move on the team. Pikachu and Scizor are the only ones that can hit it for decent damage, but both can get easily wiped out my a Rain-boosted Hydro Pump, or crippled by a Thunder Wave if Pikachu isn't out.

Gastrodon: Combine the nuisance of Storm Drain with immense bulk and an immunity to one of the strongest moves on my team. Add a Curse or Amnesia and it becomes incredibly difficult to break past this Pokemon, almost always requiring at least 3 hits to KO it. Arguably the worst opponent this team can face.

Team Problems:

If it wasn't clear enough already, this team has a pretty big issue against bulky Water types, especially those that either resist or are immune to Electric. Pikachu's Thunder is the best move for most bulky Water types, but it is too frail to survive for long, and thus isn't there when I need it sometimes.

This team is also relatively frail, able to be KO'd relatively easily. Pikachu has basically no defenses, Pelipper only lives because it has a Focus Sash, and Scizor eventually chips away its own health because of the Life Orb. Having the bulkiest member of the team also be the main attacker of the team, in this case Swampert, puts a lot of priority on keeping it safe and healthy enough to deal damage.

Replays:

Battle 68: AUCG-WWWW-WWWQ-NZRU
Scientist Stein (Oranguru3/Shiinotic3/Gastrodon4/Rhyperior3)

Just a bad lead right from the beginning. Oranguru can have Inner Focus, so I can't have Fake Out to stop Trick Room from coming up. Yet, if I ignore the Shiinotic, it can Spore something in the lead rendering that Pokemon useless. With no other option in mind, I decide to try to take on the worst of two evils, Trick Room. Deciding not to risk the possibility of Inner Focus, I double target Oranguru with a Thunder and a Hurricane, to try and maximize the chance for hax as much as possible to stop Trick Room from coming up. However, I think that this move choice costed me dearly, as Oranguru barely lived and set up Trick Room, while Shiinotic put Pelipper to sleep. With Trick Room up, I try to stall out turns with Protect and stalling, and am mostly successful, taking out Shiinotic with a Bullet Punch from Scizor and sacrificing Pikachu in the progress. I don't remember why I brought Pelipper in, maybe just to stall out a turn, but I manage to take out Oranguru on the last turn of Trick Room, leaving me against Gastrodon, who had already set up a few times, and a Rhyperior, who just went on the field. Unfortunately, with the potential of Storm Drain, I can't really hit Rhyperior as hard as I'd like, and I end up losing Swampert in an effort to take out a boosted Gastrodon. Pelipper remains asleep throughout the whole game, and Rhyperior adds insult to injury, ending the game by connecting a Horn Drill.

I honestly don't know how much I could have done that battle. I could have potentially gotten the KO onto Oranguru with a double target Turn 1 if I had Pelipper use Scald over Hurricane, but even then it's only a chance for that to work out.

252+ SpA Light Ball Pikachu Thunder vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Oranguru: 78-93 (47.2 - 56.3%) -- 78.9% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Scald vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Oranguru in Rain: 61-73 (36.9 - 44.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Oranguru: 57-67 (34.5 - 40.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

However, in choosing Hurricane, I gave up any chance of stopping Trick Room without any form of hax, relying solely on getting a paralysis from Thunder or confusion from Hurricane in my game. However, even if I had gone for the KO and got it, I still don't know how my team could have dealt with Gastrodon, as the best way to deal with it, with what was on the field, was with a Hurricane, assuming Pelipper wasn't targeted with Spore from Shiinotic.

I also misplayed slightly at the end, choosing to go for Superpower as Scizor's last move against Gastrodon instead of Bug Bite, since the latter is stronger, but it likely wouldn't have made a difference in the end, at that state.

Of course, all my plays assumed that the Gastrodon had Storm Drain. Near the end, I should have just risked it and gone for a Waterfall into Gastrodon from Swampert, as I would have already loss if it was Storm Drain, and if it wasn't, I would do the most damage possible while also getting a flinch opportunity.


Team Adjustment:

At this point, it's pretty clear that my team can't deal with Water types well, especially those that have a secondary type resistant or immune to Electric. Not only do they resist many of the moves from my team, they also hit hard with their own Water type moves in the rain. Nothing on the team hits them super effectively other than Thunder from Pikachu, so if Pikachu goes down, I basically have to chip them down slowly with 2, maybe 3 attacks, depending on who is out against it. Plus, there is nothing that hits Rotom-Wash or Gastrodon super effectively, two Pokemon that can cause many problems for the team, especially if the latter has Storm Drain. With this major trouble, I knew I needed something, likely a Grass type, to take care of opposing Water types. However, all the members play important roles on the team. In the end, I decided to replace Scizor with Kartana, as they have a very similar typing, while not giving another weakness to Fire, even if there is Rain to help survive things.

Kartana @ Assault Vest
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 116 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 132 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Smart Strike
- Sacred Sword
- X-Scissor

149/202/152/57/68/177

Kartana is a strong, physical attacker, one that isn't as reliant on Tailwind or Rain due to its already naturally high Attack and Speed. Leaf Blade is a strong STAB move and the main, almost signature attack of Kartana. Smart Strike is a secondary STAB move that also has the perk of never missing, giving a way to deal with anything with Bright Powder, Double Team, and any other evasion methods. Sacred Sword provides similar things as Smart Strike, but also gives a really good way to take care of bulky Normal types like Snorlax as well as the likes of Heatran and other bulky Steel types. X-Scissor provides a sort of reminiscent of Scizor, providing coverage for opposing Grass types primarily. I may have had Night Slash at the time of this streak, but I don't remember exactly when I changed it. However, Night Slash honestly doesn't provide too much coverage that other moves wouldn't be able to do, besides hitting maybe Bronzong for decent damage, as anything else it could hit decently hard are things that Kartana can't really deal with.

The EV spread isn't my creation, it comes from an old Assault Vest set from VGC 2017. Max Speed to make the most out of the Speed that Kartana has, with the rest of the EVs put into bulk. I have no clue what benchmark it hit in VGC, but the main logic was to fix as much of the Special Defense of Kartana as possible, since its Attack is already so naturally high and its Defense is already pretty good, both not needing any investment.

Kartana functions as a somewhat bulky switch-in for the team, while providing valuable coverage against opposing Water types.

Threats:

Opposing Weather: Much like before with Scizor, this team still doesn't like not having Rain up. Having the Sun up would be the absolute worst for this team, as there no longer something on the team that can handle multiple attacks from strong, potentially Chlorophyll-boosted Grass types. With an Assault Vest, Kartana's special bulk is only slightly worse than Scizor, but doesn't have as strong moves nor priority to help deal with them.

Trick Room: Losing Scizor meant losing something incredibly valuable for dealing with Trick Room: priority. The team is incredibly fast, and having it move last in a turn can be detrimental, as it is also really frail and will probably only able to take one attack before going down to the second. Lots of planning around needed for dealing with it.

Grass Types: With the loss of Scizor, the team no longer has a really good way to hit opposing Grass types. While Pelipper does carry Hurricane, its main purpose is to set up Tailwind, not attack. So, if it goes down early, I have no good, reliable way to hit them for a lot of damage. Rotom-Mow is especially notable because it resists almost all the STAB moves on the team, and can paralyze or just hurt the team badly with Leaf Storm.

Replays:

Battle 69: KELG-WWWW-WWWQ-NPVT
Scientist Stein (Oranguru3/Rotom-Frost3/Lickilicky4/Shiinotic4)

I learned from my previous loss and went straight for the stronger double target this time, Thunder and Scald into Oranguru. However, I miss the KO, and Trick Room goes up, but Rotom-Frost thankfully misses both targets of Blizzard. The next turn, I Protect with Pelipper while sacrificing Pikachu, trying to get one last attack in. Kartana takes its place, taking a Focus Blast the following turn and attacking Rotom-Frost with Sacred Sword while Swampert comes in to take a Thunderbolt from Rotom-Frost. This next turn, I get incredibly lucky, with a low HP Kartana under Trick Room without Protect. Rotom-Frost and Oranguru double targets Kartana with a Blizzard and Focus Blast, respectively, and both miss, with Blizzard missing Swampert as well, getting me a double KO that turn. I stall out the last turn of Trick Room by preserving Swampert and sacrificing Kartana, and as the turn ends, Rain and Trick Room go down, right as Pelipper comes in to reset the Rain. The battle ends cleanly, removing Shiinotic quickly to prevent the threat of Spore and finishing off Lickilicky the following turn.

I'm not completely sure how the game would have gone had the first Blizzard of the game had hit, or if Kartana wasn't able to help get a double KO on the second to last turn of Trick Room. However, I do know that those misses saved me, and made that game much easier than it could have been had those moves connected.


Battle 81: 6ALG-WWWW-WWWQ-NQWW
Veteran Xenophon (Virizion1/Whimsicott34/Rotom-Mow-4/Tsareena3)

Just a relatively bad matchup from the beginning. against a trainer with all Grass types. Whimsicott threatens Tailwind, which removes the speed advantage that I would have, and I found that more valuable to stop at the time, choosing to double into Whimsicott with a Fake Out and Hurricane, in case it has Tailwind, as Pikachu is taken out by Virizion's Leaf Blade. Swampert comes in to try and bait out attacks, as Rotom-Mow replaces Whimsicott. I try to preserve Swampert for as long as possible while I set up Tailwind, getting Pelipper paralyzed by Thunder Wave in the process. The next turn, Kartana comes in to take the Leaf Blade and Leaf Storm aimed at Swampert, in which the latter misses, while Pelipper attempts to attack, but gets a full paralysis, possibly costing me the game. Following that, Kartana goes for some chip damage onto Rotom-Mow with Sacred Sword, eating a Sacred Sword from Virizion as well as being paralyzed by Rotom-Mow, while Pelipper takes out Virizion with a Hurricane. I end up sacrificing Kartana the turn Tsareena comes into play, getting some valuable chip damage onto Tsareena with a Smart Strike while Pelipper hits Rotom-Mow with a Hurricane, but takes a Thunder in the face, going down to 1 HP. At this point, the Rain goes down, as does Tailwind, so I lose the speed advantage I would have had. Expecting Rotom-Mow to target a 1 HP Pelipper, I have it use Protect while Swampert takes out Tsareena with an Ice Punch. However, I instead have Swampert take a super effective Leaf Storm, going straight down leaving me at a 1v1 with a 1 HP paralyzed Pelipper against a low HP Rotom-Mow, my only win condition at this point being a miss from Rotom-Mow and no full paralysis.

I mentioned this briefly in the team analysis involving Kartana, but I'm not sure if I had X-Scissor on Kartana for this streak. I don't think I did though, as I think I would have gone for it into Rotom-Mow instead of a Sacred Sword if I had it. That may have mattered, getting a little more damage onto Rotom-Mow, but I honestly don't know, since that could have resulted in Rotom-Mow going down that turn and changing the endgame entirely. However, what did actually matter was the Leaf Storm from Rotom-Mow missing onto Kartana. I didn't realize it at the time, but because that missed, it left Kartana at enough HP to survive a Sacred Sword from Virizion and do even more damage to the team. Without that, Tsareena would have probably been at full health in the end, at the same time Swampert came in, or Rotom-Mow would have more HP remaining. Another important moment is the full paralysis onto Pelipper. The full paralysis almost definitely mattered, since it delayed a KO or some key damage, as I don't remember which play I went for anymore. Though, paralysis as a whole wasn't actually that crucial this match besides the full paralysis onto Pelipper, as Tailwind was up to compensate the speed loss. What really loss me the game though, was the sudden odd targeting from Rotom-Mow into Swampert. While I understand why it went for a Leaf Storm into Swampert over any attack into Pelipper, since both would be an OHKO, I'm still confused as to why the AI decided to target the full HP Pokemon instead of the one at 1 HP. Maybe there's an explanation that doesn't involve the fact that both Pokemon were potential OHKOs, making it a 50/50, I don't know. If that was the case, I lost the game to a coin flip, in the very end.


Final Thoughts:

This team was really fun to use, though it was kinda disappointing losing both times a little bit before it would be leaderboard eligible. The team has potential, but it needs a better way to deal with both Grass types as well as Water types. I've considered things like a Bug/Grass type on the team in the Scizor/Kartana slot, to take their best qualities for the team, or maybe replacing Swampert with another Swift Swim user like Ludicolo, but I haven't thought too much into it. However, it was really refreshing to go about something new, using a popular team format but with something uncommon.

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In the middle of one of my attempts with my Pika Rain team, paperquagsire mentioned in Discord his idea of a team consisting of Z-Snatch and Tail Glow. A little bit of discussion in Discord later, and I decided to snatch the idea and take it into a slightly different direction, resulting in the team I have.

Z-Snatch:
(Streak: 60)


Riolu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Level: 1
Jolly Nature
IVs: 10 Def
- Swords Dance
- Helping Hand
- Copycat
- Protect

12/6/5/5/6/6

The support Pokemon and bait for the team. Swords Dance is basically only used alongside Snatch to help give boosts to Krookodile, and Prankster ensures that Krookodile will Snatch Swords Dance and not some other move from the AI. Helping Hand helps support the entire team in case something goes wrong or as a last ditch move when Riolu is bound to go down that turn. Copycat is kind of niche, but it was put on Riolu as a safety measure against Trick Room. The theory is that Copycat would copy the last used move, in that case it would be Trick Room, and reverse it, opening up opportunities for the rest of the team to deal with any threats. Protect allows for Riolu to be bait for the AI whenever its Focus Sash gets broken, which is basically every game. It also prevents any Fake Out users to prevent the setup going and potentially ruin the team.

Normally this is when I talk about the EV spread of a Pokemon but...there's not a lot to talk about. There's nothing you can do when you're Level 1 in terms of bulk, everything is an OHKO. So, the Focus Sash is absolutely necessary, otherwise Riolu wouldn't even survive past the first turn. Riolu is also the only Pokemon that has the combination of Prankster and Swords Dance, so it's the only Pokemon that can be in this slot.

Riolu's job is to help get Krookodile get set up and bait attacks away from any of its teammates, while doing the best it can in supporting them at the same time.

Krookodile @ Darkinium Z
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 116 HP / 252 Atk / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 28 SpA
- Snatch
- Power Trip
- Stomping Tantrum
- Protect

185/185/100/75/90/130

The primary attacker of the team as well as the main setup Pokemon for the team. Snatch, combined with the Darkinium Z, gives Krookodile +2 Speed, allowing it to outspeed the entire Battle Tree after the boost, as well as letting Krookodile take the Swords Dance from Riolu. After the boosts, Power Trip becomes a 100 base power Dark type move, while off of a +2 Attack boost, combined with STAB. Plus, while I never encountered a chance to do this, if needed, with the Darkinium Z, Power Trip becomes a one-time, 160 base power move that I can use if I am not in need of the boosts from Z-Snatch. Stomping Tantrum gives Krookodile another STAB move to use, without being reliant on getting boosts and also not having to risk hurting its teammates in battle. Protect is mandatory to help stall out dangerous moves like Fake Out, help bait attacks when at low HP, and make it more likely for Metagross to obtain the boosts through Psych Up.

The EV spread puts Krookodile at exactly 130 Speed, which, at +2, is just enough to outspeed the entire Battle Tree besides Aerodactyl1, who doesn't even show up after Battle 40. An Adamant nature and max Attack investment lets Krookodile take as much of an advantage as it can of the boosts from Swords Dance, while still hitting hard without it. The rest of the EVs are invested into bulk to help Krookodile survive as many attacks that are aimed at it when the AI isn't properly baited by Riolu. Combined with Intimidate, this makes its bulk on the physical side at least good enough to live some otherwise lethal moves.

When first creating this team, my thoughts had always gone to Incineroar for being the setup Pokemon. Good typing, Intimidate, and the best bulk out of any Pokemon that had the combination of Snatch and Power Trip. However, what led me to use Krookodile instead was two things: typing, and Speed. Being a Fire type, Incineroar was weak to many common spread moves like Earthquake and Rock Slide, which I feared could be used heavily due to Riolu being the other lead. In the end, especially when looking at Garchomp3, the Speed issue really came to light, as it would take far too much investment to try and outspeed Garchomp3 at +2, but it would leave too little bulk if I tried to outspeed it.

Krookodile is the setup Pokemon and tries to get off as many attacks as it can before it can go down, while staying safe enough to pass the boosts off to Metagross.

Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 12 SpA
- Psych Up
- Iron Head
- Stomping Tantrum
- Bullet Punch

Non-Mega: 187/205/150/95/110/91
Mega: 187/216/170/104/130/131

The Mega Pokemon of the team and the stat boost copier, taking the boosts from Krookodile. Psych Up allows Metagross to copy the boosts that Krookodile gets, with the nice perk of being able to copy the stats even through Protect. Iron Head is the STAB move of choice for Metagross, being accurate and decently powerful, with the nice perk of the ability of flinching the opponent. Stomping Tantrum is the coverage move of choice, being boosted by Tough Claws once Metagross Mega Evolves, while providing valuable coverage against opposing Steel and Fire types that resist Iron Head. Bullet Punch gives a priority move in case Metagross can't get the Speed from Krookodile, or it needs to finish something off that would otherwise threaten the team.

The EV spread is still relatively basic, maximizing the HP and Attack to increase Mega Metagross's bulk and damage output as much as possible. Even with an Adamant nature, Mega Metagross has exactly enough Speed to outspeed the entire Battle Tree at +2, so the last 4 EVs went into Speed just so Metagross and Krookodile didn't speed tie, before or after the boosts.

Mega Metagross seemed to be the bulkiest, yet strongest user of Psych Up, being able to survive the turn that it tries to copy the stat boosts. It's job is to copy the boosts from Krookodile, to get a bulkier Pokemon to take advantage of the boosts so I don't have to be protecting Krookodile as closely once the boosts are copied.

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 18 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Grass Knot
- Protect

145/116/105/147/96/200

The only special attacker of the team and the Water type counter for the team. Thunderbolt is a generic STAB move, probably the best move of Tapu Koko. Dazzling Gleam is a secondary STAB move that also provides a nice spread move in case I need to attack both opponents in that turn. Grass Knot takes care of the Water and Ground types that otherwise could cause problems for the other members of the team. Tapu Koko is relatively frail, so Protect helps mitigate this issue, at least for a turn.

The EV spread is relatively generic, just to maximize the damage output and make Tapu Koko as fast as possible. A Life Orb increases this damage output even more without the drawback of being unable to switch moves, which I find really important since Tapu Koko is in the back, so there's rarely a chance where it is good to lock into a single move due to an item like a Choice Specs.

Tapu Koko helps deal with any physical walls that I can face and any Water types that would otherwise cause big problems for the other two attackers of the team.

General Play:

Theoretically speaking, Krookodile would safely get itself boosted up while Riolu baits the attacks away from Krookodile, then Metagross can copy the boosts and the duo can run through opposing teams with some help from Tapu Koko if needed. However, if Krookodile can't keep the boosts long enough for Metagross to copy it, Tapu Koko often has to be the one to do a lot of the big damage for the team.

Threats:

Moves that can OHKO Krookodile: Primarily the specially based ones like Focus Blast, Leaf Storm, and Hydro Pump. In my experiences, the AI would opt to attack into Krookodile instead of going after the Level 1 Riolu. Dangerous moves like this can quickly take down Krookodile and have me play without any boosts for Metagross. The main danger of this is the lack of predictability for opponents that can OHKO Krookodile.

Ground types: The two backline Pokemon are both weak to Ground types, and Tapu Koko can't even hit them with its best move. However, I don't think I faced too many of them without Krookodile being boosted, so they weren't too big of an issue this time around. That, or I just don't remember any super dangerous encounters.

Fire types: Nothing on the team resists their moves, and a lot of them have either powerful STAB moves are strong coverage moves like Solar Beam, if from a Sun team. If they're fast, like with Typhlosion3, they can threaten a 2HKO onto Krookodile, which makes it very difficult to give Metagross time to copy the boosts, since it is also weak to those moves.

Replays:

Battle 40: KJBG-WWWW-WWWQ-NQBU
Pokemon Trainer Kukui (Braviary4/Ninetales-A1/Incineroar4/Snorlax3)

I probably should have lost this battle, had I not gotten slightly lucky near the end. The lead Braviary had Defiant, and due to the lead with Intimidate, Krookodile went straight down to a boosted Superpower. Due to the fear of Tailwind, I bring in Tapu Koko to take care of Braviary, as well as make it impossible for Ninetales-A to put anyone to sleep with Hypnosis. The following turn, I take out Braviary with a Thunderbolt and Tapu Koko barely survives a Z-Blizzard. This whole time, Riolu hasn't been touched by an attack, and Incineroar comes in. I try to get Tapu Koko to KO Incineroar with a Helping Hand Thunderbolt, since Metagross can take care of Ninetales-A fairly easily. However, I just miss the KO, so Riolu gets taken down to a double target as Tapu Koko goes down to Life Orb recoil.

252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Helping Hand Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 199-235 (98.5 - 116.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO

I'm left in a 1v3, with a full HP Metagross against a full HP Ninetales-A1, 1 HP Incineroar4, and an unknown Pokemon in the back, with Electric Terrain up. Incineroar is the biggest threat to Metagross at this time, Quick Claw or not, so I take that out with a Bullet Punch and pray for no freezes. Then in comes the Snorlax.

Snorlax34 carries many dangerous moves for Metagross, from either a Life Orb Crunch/Earthquake from Snorlax3, or a slightly weaker Earthquake or the more devastating Fissure from Snorlax4. I decide to attack into Snorlax this turn, as I knew that a single target Earthquake from either set would be the end of me, so I couldn't take out Ninetales-A yet. Thankfully, Electric Terrain was still up, so it couldn't stop me right then with a Hypnosis. Unfortunately, Snorlax uses Protect that turn, wasting my attack and taking more damage from Blizzard. By now, I definitely could not touch Ninetales-A until Snorlax went down, as a Life Orb Earthquake or Crunch would do far too much damage, especially if the former move was a single target one. I go into Snorlax again with an Iron Head, praying for flinches, crits, or just no crits or freezes onto Metagross. Nothing game-ending happens, except that Snorlax hurts Ninetales-A with an Earthquake while putting Metagross into the red. At this point, Snorlax KOs me with any move, and Electric Terrain is down, so Metagross can get put to sleep with Hypnosis. I decide to go all in with a Bullet Punch into Ninetales-A, and hoping that Snorlax goes for the Protect, wasting its turn. And I get it, taking out Ninetales-A, removing the hax factor, and giving me free reign to take out Snorlax with an Iron Head.

Far too close of a battle. Had it been Snorlax4 in the back, or it didn't use Protect, I would have lost completely. In some ways, you could say I got lucky that Riolu never got targeted that battle, since it gave Tapu Koko chances to OHKO both Braviary4 and Incineroar34, which, without it, I probably would have lost if Tailwind went up or Incineroar got a lucky Quick Claw proc. But, I did get somewhat unlucky with the roll onto Incineroar, getting the one chance to not OHKO Incineroar, resulting in Riolu going down. Had I gotten the overwhelming chance to OHKO Incineroar, I could have had both Riolu and Metagross around for a 2v2 against Ninetales-A1 and Snorlax34, something much better since at that point I think I only lose to a Fissure connection onto Metagross, with my only way out being a Copycat Fissure connecting back the following turn.


Battle 46: KQLG-WWWW-WWWQ-NQUX
Scientist Cal (Reuniclus3/Oranguru34/Slowbro3/Aggron3)

A battle showing how Trick Room can be dealt with, but also how the AI is not consistent at all with targeting the Level 1 Pokemon, much like with the previous battle. Due to Riolu's extremely slow Speed, the AI never sets Trick Room when Riolu is on the field, something that Worldie pointed out to me on Discord and an observation I noticed as well, after putting it into practice on another team. However, since Oranguru doesn't have a need to set Trick Room anymore, if it could even have it, it attacks into Riolu, but Reuniclus decides to take out Krookodile at the same time. Thankfully, the rest of the battle still goes relatively smoothly, with a Helping Hand Iron Head stopping Oranguru from potentially setting up Trick Room, and the pair of Tapu Koko and Metagross taking care of everything else.


Battle 50: NXZG-WWWW-WWWQ-NQU9
Battle Legend Blue (Alakazam3/Arcanine4/Aerodactyl3/Gyarados4)

This battle was just a weird one. The lead is bad, with Alakazam34 threatening OHKOs onto Krookodile, and Arcanine just being potentially annoying with Extreme Speed and strong STAB moves. I decide to go for the boosts, getting the very crucial Speed that I need to take care of Alakazam. I end up going to only +1 Attack since Alakazam Mega Evolves and gets Intimidate through Trace, while Arcanine hits Riolu with an Extreme Speed and Alakazam gets Krookodile with a questionable Grass Knot. This leaves me at an awkward position with two low HP Pokemon against something that has a +2 priority Extreme Speed. For whatever reason, I decide that Riolu is the one worth saving at this point, and that Alakazam is more threatening than Arcanine, which was honestly quite wrong, I think, looking back. I have Riolu use Protect while Krookodile aims a Power Trip at Alakazam. Oddly, I get lucky and get the attack off onto Alakazam, something I didn't expect, since Arcanine went for a Flare Blitz into Riolu. Aerodactyl takes Alakazam's place, and Krookodile finally goes down to an Extreme Speed, while Riolu gets taken away by a Sky Drop. In a temporary 1v1, I bring in Metagross instead of Tapu Koko, I think because Tapu Koko can't get a KO onto Arcanine. Metagross does some slight damage onto Arcanine while losing about half of its health. Tapu Koko comes in to take Riolu's place, and I get a quick KO, now Tapu Koko being able to KO Arcanine due to the chip damage, and Metagross just missing the KO onto Aerodactyl with a Bullet Punch. As soon as the last Pokemon is revealed to be Gyarados, I knew the stressful lead was finally over, as these two would be two easy KOs.

Had I lost Krookodile a turn earlier, I'm not sure what I could have done, as no one really wants to deal with Arcanine, being unable to really deal with it, and Tapu Koko doesn't want to have anything faster than it, in this case in the form of Mega Alakazam. Now that I know the back, Tapu Koko could theoretically deal with the two in the back, but it would need at least someone there to support it, which would be really difficult to get without anything able to survive a lot of attacks from the opposing leads.


Battle 61: RLZW-WWWW-WWWQ-NR3U
Black Belt Bryson (Gogoat3/Typhlosion3/Rotom-Heat34/Haxorus34)

The losing battle, and a really rough one at that. Gogoat threatens pretty big damage onto Krookodile, and if it's Typhlosion3, I can't safely get off a Psych Up from Metagross, since a full-powered Eruption can KO Metagross.

252+ SpA Typhlosion Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Metagross-Mega: 170-204 (90.9 - 109%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

I opt to go for the usual Turn 1 setup with the team, and it ends up being Typhlosion3, with Krookodile taking heavy damage from Eruption, as Riolu goes down from a double target. I bring in Metagross to copy the boosts that Krookodile has, and I sacrifice Krookodile in exchange for taking out Typhlosion. Unfortunately, Rotom-Heat comes out, something that the remaining pair of Metagross and Tapu Koko can't hit too hard. I decide to sacrifice Metagross and double target Rotom-Heat to get some chip damage, probably a bad decision, as it leaves me in a 1v3 with Tapu Koko, with Rotom-Heat easily taking out Metagross with an Overheat. Gogoat unfortunately uses Protect on the turn I try to hit both of them with a Dazzling Gleam, honestly a really bad decision because Dazzling Gleam comes nowhere near KOing Rotom-Heat, the biggest threat that's on the field. Instead, Tapu Koko takes an Overheat from Rotom-Heat, taking far too much damage, even at -2 Special Attack. The turn after, I finally manage to take out Rotom-Heat, but Tapu Koko goes down, ending my run.

The hour or two after the battle had happened, I tried to figure out a way to win in this battle, voicing my things out on Discord.

PikaCuber 06/22/2018

And rip at 60. This team really needs a better way to hit Rotoms
Bound to happen eventually honestly. I already had some decent luck in Battle 40 and 50
Surprised I even got the stamp
Have no idea at this moment how I could have won the battle though, facing Gogoat34 and Typhlosion34

paperquagsire 06/22/2018

Yeah those two seem pretty bad for you
Maybe put a dragon somewhere

PikaCuber 06/22/2018

I don't think those two by themselves are that bad, but the fact that Rotom-Heat came in after Krookodile went down made it a big problem
Cause then I had no good way of hitting it, I had to play for a flinch in the end
A Dragon could be nice, but I don't really no what it could replace, plus it doubles the Ice weakness
Could try a different Snatch user, but having the ability to have a strong Z-Move just in case is also nice
A spread move would have also been nice, but there really aren't enough moveslots for it
If I use a different Snatch Pokemon, Mega Altaria might suffice
Though, not many Pokemon have the good combination of speed, attack, and bulk to use Snatch, from what I looked at, Incineroar being the closest other one
Actually, there might have been win potential if I wanted to risk a 50/50 on Metagross surviving Typhlosion3 Eruption
Actually no that's stupid. Typhlosion just takes out Krookodile instead
I guess...flinch Gogoat, KO Typhlosion is my only out, to preserve Krookodile
Then after, Krookodile can KO Rotom, or at least chunk it enough where something easy takes it out, and Psych Up at the same time to preserve boosts. Koko can handle the Haxorus in the back
I think I needed a flinch in that game at some point, regardless of who is still alive, to have any chance
Flinch something to preserve Krookodile, or flinch Rotom to keep Metagross alive
And it's not like bringing Koko in after Riolu goes down is gonna do anything, Koko probably just dies to Eruption and can't really touch Gogoat
252+ SpA Typhlosion Eruption (150 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Koko: 117-138 (80.6 - 95.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
No, stop it
Regardless, Krookodile goes down, unless I get a paralysis or something here
Yeah. From what I can tell, assuming Typhlosion locks into Eruption, I have no win potential without a flinch or paralysis, full paralysis or not. The slowdown is enough
Actually, unless the AI does a dumb move and has Gogoat Protect, buying Krookodile another turn
Yeah, that's another out, with no flinches
So that's 3 outs I can see, flinch Rotom-Heat, flinch something instead of Psych Up Turn 2, or Gogoat Protects
None of which I control

So I figured a few potential ways out, but when writing this up, I figured that I may have had a chance to win even at the point of the 1v3 with Tapu Koko, had I just taken out Rotom-Heat before it managed to attack me. Since, Gogoat does relatively little damage with Horn Leech, due to the Intimidate from Krookodile, I can theoretically take on Haxorus with little problem, being able to OHKO it a decent amount of the time. Though, if I miss that KO, I just lose anyways.

-1 252 Atk Gogoat Horn Leech vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 42-49 (28.9 - 33.7%) -- 0.9% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Haxorus: 143-172 (94.7 - 113.9%) -- 75% chance to OHKO

So, basically, I can't see the most simple way out right after a battle, with only hax able to guide me out, in my head.


Final Thoughts:

This team was really fun to mess around with, but it has quite a few flaws, especially against opposing Fire types. Like paperquagsire mentioned in the Discord bit, a Dragon type or some other Fire type resist would be really nice, but I have no idea what slot it could go into, as everyone on the team right now plays a really important role, with very different jobs. I may try again with this team though, but I would either play much more cautiously, something I should be doing anyways, or with a little bit of adjustment in what Pokemon I'm using.

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While these teams are honestly quite interesting and they were very fun to play with, I wish I could have more time, to mess around with some other ideas I have. While a few are some Multis ideas that will probably utterly fail, if I ever get around to doing them, I have a little bit of hope for the ones I have planned for Doubles, if I ever get myself out of the mindset of needing the best possible EV spread for a first try with a team. Probably not though. But, it was fun to take a little break from my Charjabug team, just to get away from some of the upsets I've had with it.
 
I've got a streak of 79 wins, followed by 167 wins in Super Doubles to report from a rain team consisting of lead specs Tapu Koko, Stoked Sparksurfer Raichu-Alola, with sash Pelipper and Mega Swampert as the backline. This is the furthest I've made it in the tree so far in Ultra Sun, but given the second loss was due to a horrendous misplay stemming from me not using a damage calculator against a mon with a custap berry, I'm quite confident the team can make it much further than that.

The Team


Raichu-Alola @ Aloraichium Z
Ability: Surge Surfer
Level: 50
EVs: 172 HP / 84 Def / 252 SpA
IVs: 31/2/(HT)/31/31/31 (HP Ice)
Modest Nature
- Fake Out
- Thunderbolt
- Rain dance
- Psyshock

I chose Raichu for the crazy amount of turn 1 offensive momentum it has to offer with its absurd speed tier under terrain and access to fake out + a powerful Z move nuke that's highly disruptive even against mons that survive it. It hits a blazing 260 speed under terrain, allowing it to outrun the entire tree after 40 battles, which eliminates any concerns of random scarfers outspeeding and OHKOing it or Koko turn 1, since Aerodactyl 1 simply won't appear at this point, and the next fastest mon is scarf manectric4 at 258. Rain dance and psyshock are there to get rain up while preserving pelipper's sash,, and to hit special walls like goodra, virizion, blissey, and such harder than thunderbolt. They are, however, filler moves that I'd be happy to change if need be.

The EVs may seem odd at first glance, as you wouldn't normally expect this much bulk on something as frail as raichu, but because no speed investment is needed, it gives Raichu room to tank a surprising amount of neutral hits, and even some crazy powerful super effective ones like Mega Alakazam's shadow ball.
252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 172 HP / 0 SpD Raichu-Alola: 132-156 (84 - 99.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

That said, I couldn't just max out HP and call it a day, since its horrible base 50 defense ensures that an EV there offers quite a lot more physical bulk than an EV in HP. I found the current spread gives it the best overall bulk when keeping the megazam benchmark into account.


Tapu Koko @ Choice Specs
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: (HT)/(even)/(HT)/31/31/31 (HP Ice)
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder
- Volt Switch
- Dazzling Gleam
- Grass Knot

Obviously raichu would be worthless without electric terrain, and who better to provide that than Tapu Koko? I'm sure we're all familiar with how this mon plows through large swathes of the tree. Thunder's a no brainer on a rain team, but since I can't use it turn 1 without going hard pelipper or manually setting rain with raichu, I mostly use it for cleaning late game, and volt out or gleam instead.

You'll notice grass knot in place of HP Ice, despite this koko being fully capable of running it. I found it to not hit the relevant grass types hard enough to matter, and a much larger array of ground types are dealt with by grass knot. For instance, grass knot has saved my rear against many a Rhyperior in the past, and quite a few other ground types would completely annihilate my koko and raichu without it. I know the horrors of being locked into specs grass knot first hand, but life orb missed out on too many OHKOs for me to drop the specs, like this one:

252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Grass Knot (60 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Gastrodon4: 196-232 (105.3 - 124.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Grass Knot (60 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Gastrodon4: 177-208 (95.1 - 111.8%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO


Pelipper @ Focus Sash
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/X/31/31/31/31
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hurricane
- Scald
- Rain Dance
- Protect

This mon is just as important and self explanatory as Koko, providing both a second layer of speed control to be exploited by Swampert and my best way of hitting grass types in rain boosted Hurricane. Rain dance is chosen over Tailwind because I don't need to match opposing tailwind due to there being almost no tailwind setters in the tree, let alone ones that can successfully get one off against my leads.

There are however loads of opposing weather setters, in both Drought/Snow warning/Sand stream mons and manual weather setters, so I need to be as aggressive as possible in keeping the rain up against them. The sash is especially handy for that purpose, as it guarantees a free turn for pelipper to do whatever it likes, as long as its not double focused.




Swampert @ Swampertite
Ability: Damp
Level: 50
EVs: 60 HP / 252 Atk / 196 Spe
IVs: 31/(HT)/31/31/31/31
Adamant Nature
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Protect

Swampert is naturally the premier rain sweeper for this team, however I prefer not to lead with it since, as we all know, grass types are the bane of its existence. If I led with my rain duo against, say, Ferrothorn, I lose enough momentum to potentially lose the match before it even begins. Pert's here because it can annihilate the many ground types that would threaten koko and raichu and the handful of electric types that give them a hard time, like a potentially volt absorb Lanturn. Not to mention it has a great matchup against most lightning rod users, only being threatened by Mega Sceptile, which gets outsped in the rain and OHKO'd by ice punch regardless.

As for the EVs, it turns out there's only one scarfer that's faster than this pert but slower than 252 speed pert, which is Terrakion2. Since that barely 2HKOs from full, I figured I can get away with that being slower than pert. Meanwhile the next fastest scarfer would be Lando2, which carries Grass Knot, so there is no way in hell I'm letting pert be outsped by that in the rain. Getting down to 1 point above that left a pretty sizable 60 HP EVs, which were crucial in letting it survive one of my recent battles. against a sylveon3, where this happened:

252+ SpA Sylveon Moonblast vs. 60 HP / 0 SpD Swampert-Mega: 75-88 (40.9 - 48%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

I also couldn't care less about Swampert's speed tier outside the rain due to how stubborn this team can be in keeping rain up with 2 manual rain setters, one of which being Pelipper with its auto-rain.


Noteworthy battles:

Losses:
LS9W-WWWW-WWWR-XAT7 - 168

Raichu wasn't surviving this lead regardless, but I don't know why I sacked it by faking torterra out instead of Z moving lickilicky and hard switching koko for pelipper on the earthquake. That 1hp survival into the deadly custap berry is exactly what happens when you forget or don't bother to check a mon's set and/or do damage calcs.

57TG-WWWW-WWWR-XAZ7 - 80

My team was quite a bit different in this Sina matchup, carrying a huge downgrade in power with sash raichu and life orb tbolt koko, and not having a rain boosted thunder against snow cloak and/or brightpowder glaceon was very much a death sentence. Those last few turns are also the reason I ran superpower for a while on pert, only to not find another abomasnow until battle 90, which was a koko/raichu 4-0.

Clutch wins and a steamroll:
46TG-WWWW-WWWR-XASK - 161

I have no idea why I DGleam'd turn 1. I guess I got the battle right before it where the lead was kang + alolan marowak. Either way, the play was obviously to volt switch like I usually do, as then that Sylveon wouldn't have lived on 1 HP. I'm just glad that guy only had set 34 latios, and that it conveniently locked itself into Thunder sealing the 1 HP victory for pert.

AA9G-WWWW WWWR XAP7 - 145

You would never expect me to 3-0 a team with a lead like that under tailwind but it happened. Raichu really carried this one, especially with that well timed Rain Dance at the end. Though admittedly keeping raichu in on a heatran in tailwind could have ended horribly, it managed to work surprisingly well here.

PYXW-WWWW-WWWR-XAP9 - 125 -

My most extreme weather war so far, which showcases just how hard it is to keep rain off against me, even under Trick Room. You can also tell how the AI needs more than just Trick Room to beat this team.

XKAW-WWWW-WWWQ-ACAZ - 115 -

This one went quite nicely until that sceptile revealed unburden... and I got locked into specs grass knot against it... and yet the AI still let me fire off all 5 of the grass knots I needed to KO sceptile with koko. :psyduck:

6SGG-WWWW-WWWR-XAZF - 90 -

Sina rematch. I got my revenge on her with a much more powerful version of this team that won the weather war. Not much else to say about it.


Threatlist:

Grass types
You would think fat grasses are the ones that wreck this team, like ferrothorn and mega venusaur, but the ones that actually screwed me over are the offensive ones, namely unburden White Herb Sceptile and Torterra3 as shown in the battle vids.

Trick room
While there isn't a setter on the tree that survives Stoked Sparkedsurfer into Volt Switch/Dgleam, there are still times I have to target the setter's teammate with koko when the setter won't die to just the Z move. I still dread the day I run into a Rhyperior4 next to a trick room setter from Stein or Cadel...

Lightningrod and Storm Drain
It should go without saying why the abilities that redirect and nullify my team's primary STAB moves are a threat. Special shoutout to Alolan Marowak, who completely walls my entire lead unlike, say, Rhyperior, which still dies to Grass Knot.

Those are the 3 main threats I've run into, with random Quick Claws being a hassle occasionally, although I'm sure there's more I missed and will come across in the future.
 
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Hello everyone, I'm building a team for doubles. This is the first 2 pkmn

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Zen Headbutt

This is the main pkmn of the team, just 2 problems with it:
-Bullet punch is useless in most of the fights, so I'm thinking to change it.
-EVs in speed or HP?

Tapu Fini @ Waterium Z
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Ice Beam
- Moonblast
- Scald

The idea of this pokemon is to cover fire and earth type to help metagross. I have the same problem than metagross.
-EVs spread, as I dont know to max Spe, SAt or HP, or take a mixed spread (also nature, depending on the EVs).

To complete the team I had tried dragonite, blaziken, mimykiu, terrakion and a few more.

What about using koko, alolan raichu or something electric? Can anyone help pls? Thank you!!!
 
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Hello everyone, I'm building a team for doubles. This is the first 2 pkmn

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Zen Headbutt

This is the main pkmn of the team, just 2 problems with it:
-Bullet punch is useless in most of the fights, so I'm thinking to change it.
-EVs in speed or HP?

Tapu Fini @ Waterium Z
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Ice Beam
- Moonblast
- Scald

The idea of this pokemon is to cover fire and earth type to help metagross. I have the same problem than metagross.
-EVs spread, as I dont know to max Spe, SAt or HP, or take a mixed spread (also nature, depending on the EVs).

To complete the team I had tried dragonite, blaziken, mimykiu, terrakion and a few more.

What about using koko, alolan raichu or something electric? Can anyone help pls? Thank you!!!
Well first off, megagross is the one that needs speed and fini's usually the bulky one, not the other way around. Also, if you're running Z on fini, you'll want hydro pump or muddy water as the base move, depending on whether you need to maximize your raw damage or get more utility out of the base move.

If you want to figure out how much speed your mons actually need, check the post 40 speed tiers.
 
Hello everyone, I'm building a team for doubles. This is the first 2 pkmn

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Zen Headbutt

This is the main pkmn of the team, just 2 problems with it:
-Bullet punch is useless in most of the fights, so I'm thinking to change it.
-EVs in speed or HP?

Tapu Fini @ Waterium Z
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Ice Beam
- Moonblast
- Scald

The idea of this pokemon is to cover fire and earth type to help metagross. I have the same problem than metagross.
-EVs spread, as I dont know to max Spe, SAt or HP, or take a mixed spread (also nature, depending on the EVs).

To complete the team I had tried dragonite, blaziken, mimykiu, terrakion and a few more.

What about using koko, alolan raichu or something electric? Can anyone help pls? Thank you!!!
I'm not fully sure about who you could pair with these two, but have you considered Stomping Tantrum instead of Earthquake? Does more damage than Earthquake does to a single target due to the boost from Tough Claws. You miss on the ability of a spread move, which you may find more valuable, but there is more damage available. Also, I'm not as sure about Zen Headbutt, though I understand why. Maybe just Protect, or Ice Punch. These moves could also replace Bullet Punch, if you really feel the need for it.

As for Tapu Fini, move wise, it seems relatively fine, but I'm not as sure about a Z-Crystal for it. While it can work, I feel like Choice Specs or Choice Scarf might be better suited for it, assuming that it is in the lead. Something else on the team might be able to take better advantage of the Z-Crystal. If you do that, maybe Dazzing Gleam for a fourth move, as Tapu Fini's coverage otherwise isn't the greatest.

However, at this point, these two don't really have the best of times dealing with Electrics or Water types, so whoever you have is definitely gonna need to be able to deal with at least one of them, the other one to take care of the other problem. Steel could also be a minor problem, though not as much as the other two I think. My first thoughts are a Grass type of some kind, but that just amplifies your Fire weakness. Normally I'd suggest a Dragon, for defensive reasons, but Tapu Fini kinda negates that. I guess Garchomp could work, since it isn't as reliant on Dragon type moves, but it can use the Z-Crystal if you decide to swap Tapu Fini's item.
 
I'm not fully sure about who you could pair with these two, but have you considered Stomping Tantrum instead of Earthquake? Does more damage than Earthquake does to a single target due to the boost from Tough Claws. You miss on the ability of a spread move, which you may find more valuable, but there is more damage available. Also, I'm not as sure about Zen Headbutt, though I understand why. Maybe just Protect, or Ice Punch. These moves could also replace Bullet Punch, if you really feel the need for it.

As for Tapu Fini, move wise, it seems relatively fine, but I'm not as sure about a Z-Crystal for it. While it can work, I feel like Choice Specs or Choice Scarf might be better suited for it, assuming that it is in the lead. Something else on the team might be able to take better advantage of the Z-Crystal. If you do that, maybe Dazzing Gleam for a fourth move, as Tapu Fini's coverage otherwise isn't the greatest.

However, at this point, these two don't really have the best of times dealing with Electrics or Water types, so whoever you have is definitely gonna need to be able to deal with at least one of them, the other one to take care of the other problem. Steel could also be a minor problem, though not as much as the other two I think. My first thoughts are a Grass type of some kind, but that just amplifies your Fire weakness. Normally I'd suggest a Dragon, for defensive reasons, but Tapu Fini kinda negates that. I guess Garchomp could work, since it isn't as reliant on Dragon type moves, but it can use the Z-Crystal if you decide to swap Tapu Fini's item.
The first idea was to built a team with Metagross, and due to previous experience on the tree, I wanted a water-type to cover him. I also can change Fini for anither one, but I can't think about one that i feel good.
Rotom-W: I used it before and I liked it, but I think its not top meta now.
Greninja: Hits hard, but I think I would need something more tank.
Toxapex/Pelipper: Maybe could work.

Also maybe something grass type resisting fire like alolan exeggutor or ludicolo, or something that can set rain.

Resuming, I think Metagross is a really nice pkmn but I cant find anything that fits it.
 
Greninja + Focus Sash + Mat Block is a tried and solid lead for doubles :)

Generally with Ice Beam, Dark Pulse and Grass Knot as offensive moves.
 
Greninja + Focus Sash + Mat Block is a tried and solid lead for doubles :)

Generally with Ice Beam, Dark Pulse and Grass Knot as offensive moves.
I made some changes, so by the moment this is what I have:


Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Zen Headbutt
- Stomping Tantrum
- Iron Head
- Protect

Greninja @ Focus Sash
Ability: Protean
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Mat Block
- Scald
- Dark Pulse
- Ice Beam

I must say that I feel better with this leads, anyway I keep with no idea about the 2 left to cover them. I guess i would need something tanky... Maybe koko and garchomp, as I would get some attacks that can hit both enemies (dazzing gleam, discharge, rock slide, earthquake).
 
Consider spread attacks have reduced power in doubles AND force you to use protect on your other mon often (+ issue of several being inaccurate).

Use strong single target accurate moves , it's usually better unless you specifically build the team around being immune to your own spreads.
 
Speaking of inaccurate spread moves... I need help with a doubles mon.

Not help improving it, though - I need your help to make me stop using it.

Rotom-Heat @ Wide Lens
Ability: Levitate
Nature: -Atk, +Def or + SpD
EVs: 252 HP / some kind of Def + SpD, maybe a dash of spA

-Electroweb
-Overheat
-Hidden Power: Ice
-Protect

Usually partnered with Life Orb Kartana, with Calm Mind Tapu Fini and a random fourth like Curse A-Muk in the wings. This build is so weak, but I just can't seem to get over its strong points.
I never really cared about Rotom in general, until I sat down and discovered that the vast majority of the teams I ever tried to brew up would benefit from a fire type an electric type. I had completely forgotten there existed one that was both, and with Levitate, to boot. I had always been turned off by Rotom’s non-electric STAB inaccuracy, but now that he has access to Electroweb, I decided to try out a Wide Lens set.

Electroweb is a weird speed control. It’s pretty ghetto at speed control itself, but it happens to halve most offensive flying types, break sashes, and generally soften everything up. However, it flops against speedy ground threats, electric-absorbent Jolteon and Electvire, and backfires horribly against Defiant-type abilities. Icy Wind definitely seems better for a wide variety of reasons, but getting STAB on that would mean you'd have significantly fewer resistances than Rotom-Heat. All things considered, the majority of the time, Electroweb + Protect usually sets up for a good opening, and I think Electroweb + Fake Out could be similarly stationed. Also, AI note: almost every turn where an AI Dragon Dances or Quiver Dances and is Electrowebbed, they will continue boosting so long as you keep dropping their speed, even to the points where a Salamance went to +3, a Rhibombee went to +4, and a Volcanroa went to +5, all still unsatisfied.

Overheat, even with stone zero SpA investment, seems pretty good. It does a surprisingly passable job at chunking problematic ice, steel, and grass types, often killing after an Electroweb. This Rotom doesn’t even care much about being -2, as its Electroweb's utility is still intact. I’ve tried a Firium-Z set with Will-O-Wisp, but base Overheat usually does enough damage, and none of my teams have taken enough advantage of Wisp for it to be worth a slot.

HP Ice is kind of underwhelming, but sadly kind of necessary. Losing momentum against ground mons is dangerous, especially because Levitate tends to give you the safe opportunity to stay in against them. Overheat can handle squishy ground mons well, but those aren't usually the ones you're worried about. It is nice being able to hit dragons, though.

I used to run Toxic in the Protect slot, but I’ve become less and less enamored with Toxic the more I play, especially in doubles. I’m just not sure what else I would run on this Wide Lens set. I've found Thunderbolt and Volt Switch to be a bit useless, but I think that might just be a result of this build being bad, and/or me just being dumb. Pain Split tends to net me very little survivability, Will-O-Wisp tends to backfire about as often as it does me good, and screens tend to not be a winning strategy. Ally Swap is incredibly fun, especially alongside Calm Mind Tapu Fini, but that requires Rotom to have some kind of recovery, and a single missed read is really bad.

Rotom-H takes Hydro Pumps and Stone Edges poorly. Other than that, not too many things bother attacking him. His defensive typing is quite unique, and it often seems to give him a free pass versus many offensive types. The AI only targets him with SE or strong neutral hits when he's at full health, although once he falls to half HP, he starts to look tasty, even to resisted attackers.

His typing often makes prediction and switching easier, especially with the right teammates. When alongside Kartana, you can usually safely bet that only poison, rock, water, and the occasional dragon attacks are pointed at Rotom (although my specially defensive Rotom-H takes every Fake Out ever, for whatever reason). Unfortunately, when that assumption fails, it tends to fail hard, because Rotom's bulk isn't good enough to take a second strong unresisted hit.

Switch-ins are where Rotom-H really shines. Switching him into attacks was never the best, since his bulk is so poor - but the tree AI has so much respect for his resistances that you can usually swap any teammate into his slot unmolested. Even if they do attack him, you can usually narrow it down to the only move they would choose - although the occasional wacky choice can be devastating.

Offensive
Obviously, with no investment, Rotom-H isn't sweeping anytime soon. However, Electroweb often does enough chip damage vs non-specially-defensive enemies to ensure his teammate a turn 2 KO (especially if Rotom also gets to move first). It also happens to halve a lot of offensive flying types, even through the doubles dispersion. HP Ice gives him a few cheap shots vs 4x targets, and Overheat against the right types is surprisingly potent.

That being said, he easily finds himself lost against any moderately bulky foes who aren't done in by speed drops. Toxic was my go-to for these situations, but residual damage isn't really where you want to be in doubles, and residual damage on a recovery-less set isn't really where you want to be, ever.

He seems untouchable, until he gets touched - but he gets touched so infrequently it can fool you into thinking his bulk is real. His utility is great, but there are enough holes in this Wide Lens gameplan that it is unlikely to hold water over hundreds of battles, let alone thousands.

Thus, I believe this Rotom is likely too passive and slightly too fragile to be a reasonable choice.


However, I can't stop trying. HELP
 
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turskain

activated its Quick Claw!
is a Community Contributor
Speaking of inaccurate spread moves... I need help with a doubles mon.

Not help improving it, though - I need your help to make me stop using it.

Rotom-Heat @ Wide Lens
Ability: Levitate
Nature: -Atk, +Def or + SpD
EVs: 252 HP / some kind of Def + SpD, maybe a dash of spA

-Electroweb
-Overheat
-Hidden Power: Ice
-Protect

Usually partnered with Life Orb Kartana, with Calm Mind Tapu Fini and a random fourth like Curse A-Muk in the wings. This build is so weak, but I just can't seem to get over its strong points.
I never really cared about Rotom in general, until I sat down and discovered that the vast majority of the teams I ever tried to brew up would benefit from a fire type an electric type. I had completely forgotten there existed one that was both, and with Levitate, to boot. I had always been turned off by Rotom’s non-electric STAB inaccuracy, but now that he has access to Electroweb, I decided to try out a Wide Lens set.

Electroweb is a weird speed control. It’s pretty ghetto at speed control itself, but it happens to halve most offensive flying types, break sashes, and generally soften everything up. However, it flops against speedy ground threats, electric-absorbent Jolteon and Electvire, and backfires horribly against Defiant-type abilities. Icy Wind definitely seems better for a wide variety of reasons, but getting STAB on that would mean you'd have significantly fewer resistances than Rotom-Heat. All things considered, the majority of the time, Electroweb + Protect usually sets up for a good opening, and I think Electroweb + Fake Out could be similarly stationed. Also, AI note: almost every turn where an AI Dragon Dances or Quiver Dances and is Electrowebbed, they will continue boosting so long as you keep dropping their speed, even to the points where a Salamance went to +3, a Rhibombee went to +4, and a Volcanroa went to +5, all still unsatisfied.

Overheat, even with stone zero SpA investment, seems pretty good. It does a surprisingly passable job at chunking problematic ice, steel, and grass types, often killing after an Electroweb. This Rotom doesn’t even care much about being -2, as its Electroweb's utility is still intact. I’ve tried a Firium-Z set with Will-O-Wisp, but base Overheat usually does enough damage, and none of my teams have taken enough advantage of Wisp for it to be worth a slot.

HP Ice is kind of underwhelming, but sadly kind of necessary. Losing momentum against ground mons is dangerous, especially because Levitate tends to give you the safe opportunity to stay in against them. Overheat can handle squishy ground mons well, but those aren't usually the ones you're worried about. It is nice being able to hit dragons, though.

I used to run Toxic in the Protect slot, but I’ve become less and less enamored with Toxic the more I play, especially in doubles. I’m just not sure what else I would run on this Wide Lens set. I've found Thunderbolt and Volt Switch to be a bit useless, but I think that might just be a result of this build being bad, and/or me just being dumb. Pain Split tends to net me very little survivability, Will-O-Wisp tends to backfire about as often as it does me good, and screens tend to not be a winning strategy. Ally Swap is incredibly fun, especially alongside Calm Mind Tapu Fini, but that requires Rotom to have some kind of recovery, and a single missed read is really bad.

Rotom-H takes Hydro Pumps and Stone Edges poorly. Other than that, not too many things bother attacking him. His defensive typing is quite unique, and it often seems to give him a free pass versus many offensive types. The AI only targets him with SE or strong neutral hits when he's at full health, although once he falls to half HP, he starts to look tasty, even to resisted attackers.

His typing often makes prediction and switching easier, especially with the right teammates. When alongside Kartana, you can usually safely bet that only poison, rock, water, and the occasional dragon attacks are pointed at Rotom (although my specially defensive Rotom-H takes every Fake Out ever, for whatever reason). Unfortunately, when that assumption fails, it tends to fail hard, because Rotom's bulk isn't good enough to take a second strong unresisted hit.

Switch-ins are where Rotom-H really shines. Switching him into attacks was never the best, since his bulk is so poor - but the tree AI has so much respect for his resistances that you can usually swap any teammate into his slot unmolested. Even if they do attack him, you can usually narrow it down to the only move they would choose - although the occasional wacky choice can be devastating.

Offensive
Obviously, with no investment, Rotom-H isn't sweeping anytime soon. However, Electroweb often does enough chip damage vs non-specially-defensive enemies to ensure his teammate a turn 2 KO (especially if Rotom also gets to move first). It also happens to halve a lot of offensive flying types, even through the doubles dispersion. HP Ice gives him a few cheap shots vs 4x targets, and Overheat against the right types is surprisingly potent.

That being said, he easily finds himself lost against any moderately bulky foes who aren't done in by speed drops. Toxic was my go-to for these situations, but residual damage isn't really where you want to be in doubles, and residual damage on a recovery-less set isn't really where you want to be, ever.

He seems untouchable, until he gets touched - but he gets touched so infrequently it can fool you into thinking his bulk is real. His utility is great, but there are enough holes in this Wide Lens gameplan that it is unlikely to hold water over hundreds of battles, let alone thousands.

Thus, I believe this Rotom is likely too passive and slightly too fragile to be a reasonable choice.


However, I can't stop trying. HELP
Ditch Wide Lens, I think 90% Overheat and 95% Electroweb are both a lesser evil for a defensive Pokémon than losing out on useful items. Have you considered Ally Switch? This move could actively rotate Kartana out of special attacks, letting Rotom take one for the team. If Wide Lens is ditched, you could have Sitrus Berry or a 50% recovery berry, or even an Assault Vest set (Volt Switch over Protect?) to assist the bulk somewhat. I think STAB Thunderbolt could also be worth a slot, in addition to Electroweb for occasions where reliable damage is more desirable - Ally Switch to replace Protect, and experimenting with different options for HP Ice and the held item would be my suggestions. Or a different team, that uses Rotom-Wash, the Rotom with good defensive typing without the Fire weaknesses.

I used a Rotom with Assault Vest and some offensive investment in the Maison - I don't feel like it was that great but if wanting to cut passivity a bit and have some bulk at the same time a tweaked spread with a Modest nature could give more value than investing in bulk, but ending up lacking in that department anyway.
 
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Hello! I am back again reporting a team of 59 wins on doubles battle tree. I am still working on this team and want to reach 100+ with it eventually.

I

When I first thinking of this team, I was thinking of Speed Swap Pheromosa onto something really slow to make it very effective. My first thought was Mega Garchomp, but then I realized that if it got too cold outside, I'd be giving up Pheromosa's speed and a mega, then my next thought went to Mega Slowbro, and it seemed like the perfect candidate. Shell Armor, bulky, and can set up.

I have tried this strategy before with a Mega Aggron but it didn't go too well

So here is the team started looking like this

Slowbro @ Slowbronite
Ability: Oblivious
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 44 Def / 236 SpA / 220 SpD / 4 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Slack Off
- Scald
- Psychic

This spread probably is not optimal, I maybe it bulky enough to live mega Gengar shadow ball (didn't see throughout this run) but it was still doing what it was meant to do. Setup, not die, and sweep.


Pheromosa @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
IVs: 1 Def
- Speed Swap
- Low Kick
- Ice Beam
- Protect

This is my shiny Pheromosa I hunted a while ago. I know this isn't the optimal Pheromosa, I was planning on hunting one for battle tree if this one went well. This at first had high jump kick, but ever since my consecutive 3 battles where I double missed high jump kick, I switched to low kick immediately.

After I had the core of the team, I wanted to build off of Slowbro, making him even harder to knock out, and also have mons that cover his weaknesses. At first I was thinking about Clefairy, but since I already knew the inevitable Charizard Y would pop up, I decided for a weather Pokemon. My mind went to Alolan Ninetales


Ninetales-Alola @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aurora Veil
- Blizzard
- Freeze-Dry
- Protect

Standard Aurora Veil Ninetales set. Nothing much to say here, was thinking of Moonblast but decided against it.

Next, I wanted a Pokemon that can deal with strong Electric/Grass types that would threaten Slowbro, so I went with heatran.


Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 36 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 10 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Substitute
- Protect

This is Heatran set I have used a lot in doubles, this spread isn't anything specifically for tree, just a sub leftovers Pokemon.


The Team:

When I first used the team, I started to realize that Speed Swap wasn't the definitive strategy of this team, in fact, it was only an alternative/last move Pheromosa gets off before it faints. there were instances where I knew Pheromosa was going to be knocked down to sash so I used Speed Swap and used Protect to pseudo redirect attacks away from Slowbro.

I am currently thinking of changing out Alolan Ninetales but I don't know what to, my initial thought was a lightning rod user, but I am torn between Togedemaru or Raichu
 
Reporting a 202 and going streak at doubles battle tree using this team:

"Darjeeling" Sceptile @ Sceptilite
Overgrow
Timid 252 SAtk/ 252 Spd/4 SDef
Detect
Energy Ball
Dragon Pulse
Nature Power

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Electric Surge
Timid 252 SAtk/ 252 Spd/4 SDef
Protect
Discharge
Dazzling Gleam
Taunt

"Pumbaa" Mamoswine @ Groundium Z
Thick Fat
Adamant 4 HP/ 252 Atk/ 252 Spd
Protect
Icicle Crash
Earthquake
Ice Shard

"Enterprise" Celesteela @ Electric Seed
Beast Boost
Adamant 100 HP/156 Atk/252 SDef
Acrobatics
Heavy Slam
Leech Seed
Wide Guard

Strategy is simple. Start with Sceptile and Koko and attack whatever you can kill or is a bigger threat. The other two are for clean up or the things the leads have trouble with.

Sceptile's set is just aiming at maximum coverage. Nature Power helps a lot with Electric terrain, turning into Thunderbolt and having pseudo-stab. Even Tri attack occasionally comes in handy against grass types. I started the streak with a modest Sceptile to abuse Timid Koko buffing it before it gets a hit off but the combo was too vulnerable to Crobats. Timid Sceptile can kill Crobats with Nature Power before they can become an issue.

Tapu Koko is the standard fare. Discharge is great because it cleans up what Sceptile leaves behind, dents whatever else is on the field and buffs Sceptile's Sp Attack all at once. Plus, with a 30% chance to paralyze, occasional paralysis hax is appreciated too. Taunt is mainly for preventing Trick Room but it's not used much since the most common setters I encountered were Slowbro/king or Carbink and they are mercilessly destroyed by the lead pair.

Mamoswine picks off most speed boosters that somehow survive the first two and provides a solid non-freezable ice resist. It's also immune to Discharge which is handy. Groundium because Koko is already using Life Orb and because having a super powerful Earthquake that doesn't require Koko to protect is always nice. I started off with Icium but encountered way too many situations where Earthquake+Discharge would have been more favorable and a lot of bulky waters in general. I initially chose Mamoswine to counter opposing Mega Sceptile and it's gone above and beyond that duty.

Celesteela rounds out the team with its Fairy resistance. There's that one veteran and the Pokemon Center ladies who like to use Fairies who give my other members problems. Celesteela demolishes them with Heavy Slam while taking pittance in damage in return. Aside from fairies, Grass types also rain on my parade so I gave it Acrobatics with the Electric Seed since Air Slash is meh at best. The bulk is unreal, though, I've only needed to soak up three hits at most. Celesteela is also untouchable by the Toxic/Double Team Tauros/Cresselia and Minimize Blissey and also has more PP than them, allowing my other members to deal with more immediate threats with the security of knowing that they cannot win against me. In fact, Heavy Slam destroys Blissey after minimize. Wide Guard protects my other team members from Earthquakes, Blizzards, Eruptions and Surfs while also ensuring Celesteela doesn't get hit by Discharge, although if it really has to, it's tanked a Discharge once or twice. Leech Seed was barely used. IDK what else to put there though. The EVs are mainly to ensure Heavy Slam 2HKOs uninvested Garchomp.

The biggest threat to the lead are Scarfchomp since they can KO either one and I don't know who they'll target. When the opponent leads with a Chomp, I double protect and let them play their hand first. If it Earthquakes, I switch Koko out for Celesteela. If Outrage, Celesteela goes in for Sceptile. Aside from that, Faries are a headache since they have generally good Special bulk and take Sceptile out easily. I generally switch Sceptile out for Celesteela until it's gone. Bulky Grass types were also a concern, especially Megasaur. If Sceptile has a few boosts under its belt, it's easily dealt with but otherwise, Celesteela comes in and uses Acrobatics on it either 2HKOing it or setting it up for a future KO. Whimsicott is the worst thing for this team to face since it will take at least two turns to get Swine or Steela in to KO it and Koko and Sceptile can't generally KO them without a lot of boosts. They're also fairly unpredicatable with the Twinkle Tackle one killing Sceptile and severely denting Koko and Mamoswine. This one's easily dealt with by Celesteela but there's one set that has Tailwind that ruins this team's day. This team is generally all about going first and Tailwind makes it so that they get outsped by a lot of things. Luckily, it's only four turns to stall out and quite a few times, Sceptile and Koko still outspeed anyway. Nidoking/Queen are an annoyance but I've dealt with them by Protecting with one of my leads, switching the other with Mamoswine and KOing them with Tectonic Rage/Icicle Crash. Rotom Heat resists all my major attacks but is easily worn down and Overheat weakens it the longer it stays around. I've also had trouble with that one Latios set with Brightpowder but that's just hax and Gleam + Ice Shard revenge kills nicely.

Overall, it's a fun team to play and I look forward to seeing how far it can go.
 

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Eisenherz

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\o/ Submitting an ongoing streak of 1000 in Ultra Sun Super Doubles, with the same team originally reported here, QR code version available here. \o/

Battle 1000 vs. Colress: XQ7G-WWWW-WWWR-BGQL


Since I already have a team report for it, I won't be going too much into the team as I usually would; everything I wrote in my previous streak report still applies, and the USUM changes didn't affect much (the team has a pretty good matchup against Kukui generally). However, having another long streak with it, I noticed a lot of things that I hadn't the first time around, and also probably got a bit better overall at handling the team, so I still have quite a lot to write about in this post!

I started the streak back in June. After my MimiLax streak ended, I took that opportunity to try out a lot of different fun teams, which I had been craving (Team LC being the only one of them to actually reach the leaderboard, lol), but I came to a point where I wanted to have a serious attempt at reaching 1000. I hesitated for a while between this team and MimiLax, since I firmly believed both could achieve it, but I went the rain route since I hadn't used it in a long time. Getting back into it was weird, even though I had hundreds of battles with it, it didn't feel that intuitive anymore. I constantly wondered what I used to do in this or that situation, and looking back at it, my first ~100 battles or so, I was playing pretty poorly!

The team takes experience; it’s straightforward, but about every turn offers multiple good choices, many of which could work out, and the best one isn’t always obvious (with experience, it becomes easier to pick the play - it took me about 250 battles this time to be fully comfortable with my patterns of play). Knowing when it’s ok to sacrifice, to let go of the sash, when to rather preserve and switch, when to bait... Pelipper can really make use of any of its 4 moves on turn 1... or switch! It's easy to form habits and forget about the other possibilities that exist, and I'm sure I can still gain more helpful experience with the team even now.

What I really love about the team is its nice mix of offence with the skill required, which keeps it from getting boring. Playing straightforward with the team can get you far, but not 1000-far. As soon as one starts making use of all the tools it offers, I think it becomes an extremely solid team, offering flexibility and second chances.

The team:

@ Focus Sash

Modest | Drizzle
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Tailwind / Hurricane / Brine / Protect


Nothing has changed about Pelipper... except I now have it in a Dive Ball over a Quick Ball. Can't underestimate how optimal aesthetics affect your gameplay! The droplets of water when Pelipper comes out of the Ball are just perfect, a foreshadowing of the upcoming deluge on the field!

I already explained my choice of Brine in the previous report and my points still stand - however, I have seen some people raising doubts about the necessity of having Tailwind, sometimes seen as somewhat of a filler, since on a rain team, rain itself is your speed control... right? I can see how this line of thought makes sense if you haven't used the team much, but I can assure that Tailwind is extremely important, so this time, instead of making Brine's plea, I will make Tailwind's plea:

- Pelipper's own speed. While Koko is very fast and outspeeds almost everything turn 1, Pelipper has a middling speed. If Pelipper is going to move after the opponent anyway, Tailwind is a no-drawback option, since next turn it will attack first, and be set up to attack first on the following turns as well, no matter whether the incoming Pokémon naturally outspeed it or not. This is the most basic line of thought of Tailwind, but Pelipper in particular gets a lot of mileage out of it, since it does have a pretty big offensive presence, and is the team's main way of dealing with Grass-types. When Serperior or Sceptile is in the opponent's backline, having Tailwind up already saves a lot of headaches.

- Opposing Tailwind. While Prankster Whimsicott is the main culprit, a handful of opposing Pokémon can set up Tailwind (including opposing Pelipper in rain matchups), and the opponent having Tailwind up while you don't can be fatal. While Trick Room tends to be managable to stall out thanks to Celesteela and Swampert's matchup against it, the trainers that carry Tailwind tend to have very threatening Pokémon that may make it difficult, if not impossible to stall out the turns. Speed is this team's main asset and losing that advantage is bad.

- Opposing rain. If I had to pick the most important reason, it would be this one. Opposing rain trainers may only be a rare case in a while, but depending on whether they roll Swift Swim as their ability, the trouble can be instant. For example, Kingdra can immediately OHKO Tapu Koko with a rain-boosted Hydro Pump, and there is no switch-in; incidentally, losing Koko is losing your best way of dealing with Kingdra, which is OHKOd by Thunder. The same can be said of Beartic4, which can OHKO Koko with Subzero Slammer (it will usually prefer Rock Slide, but that can be equally bad with flinches). With Koko gone, rain teams have immense offensive pressure since Swampert is not a resist and Celesteela can be overwhelmed quickly because of the rain boost. The answer to this madness is Tailwind, every time. It neuters the opposing Swift Swim, and gives Koko/Swampert their advantage back. With its sash, Pelipper is perfect here, because Tailwind is pretty much guaranteed, the only decision to make is whether to risk Tapu Koko turn 1 or not.

- Opposing weather. Weather is extremely common in the Tree (that's common knowledge), and I've seen several Tailwind detractors suggest Rain Dance in its place to deal with opposing weather. In the long run, this is a lousy plan, as Pelipper's speed doesn't allow it to Rain Dance reliably without being KOd. Against sun teams, the common Charizard Y is likely to target it, whether with Solar Beam or Heat Wave, and its partner will often outspeed as well, making it unsafe to Rain Dance even with sash. In the case the AI sets up Sunny Day manually, the same is often the case, especially since sun teams have several Chlorophyll users. Sand is not a big deal for the team, as Swampert and Celesteela don't mind being in sand or facing most sand users, so resetting weather is not a priority there, especially since Pelipper doesn't want to stay in on these Rock-types. If the AI manually sets up Hail, the sash gets broken on that turn (let's assume turn 1 since it's the most common), in which case Rain Dancing turn 2 is at the cost of Pelipper's life. And sacrificing Pelipper to set up the rain is asking for trouble, because weather teams usually have several setters, and there could easily be another lurking in the back, in which case losing Pelipper means the weather war is already lost (and losing the weather war against sun is usually fatal, even if you start as a 3v2). Against opposing weather in general, preserving Pelipper is key, and sacrificing it for one Rain Dance is not worth the trade. On the other hand, Tailwind offers about the same benefits as Rain Dance does, if not more against opposing weather. It will gives Swampert 2x speed just as Rain Dance would have, but since the entire rest of the team benefits from that speed boost, it's arguably more beneficial overall. You don't get the double Waterfall damage, but in weather matchups, this is usually not the most relevant factor, speed control is. Obviously, there are occasions where Rain Dance may help more than Tailwind, but Tailwind does a big part of the job Rain Dance does, but with a ton more benefit in other situations. I will confidently say that Tailwind and the possibility of resetting weather through switches is more helpful, for this team in particular at least.

- Free turns. It's not that uncommon for Swampert to score a double-KO through Earthquake (or Koko do the same with Dazzling Gleam) with Pelipper by its side. Pelipper can contribute nothing to that turn, and switching to Celesteela rarely provides anything. A free Tailwind in these occasions is extremely valuable for the long run.

- Speed boosters. Charizard X, Mega Latios, Volcarona... speed boosters can be a huge threat if you allow them to set up for enough turns. Tailwind has been lifesaver in several occasions for me against these boosters, since it's not always possible to target them early, and you sometimes have to let them setup. The sash + Tailwind combinations allows to build safe winning conditions against these.

Replay showcasing the importance of Tailwind: MREG-WWWW-WWWR-BJKS

@ Choice Specs

Timid | Electric Surge
IVs: 31/4/31/30(HT)/31/30(HT)
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Thunder / Dazzling Gleam / Hidden Power Fire / Volt Switch


Still the same trusty HP Fire Tapu Koko! I already explained HP Fire in the previous post and the reasons remain the same, and they remain relevant (it saved my streak twice in these 1000 battles, including a pretty epic one at 882 (replay: QPXW-WWWW-WWWR-BGRB). You may think "only twice in 1000? That's not worth a moveslot, surely there are better ways of dealing with Ferrothorn!", to which I would object that these two times are two times where the streak would have otherwise ended and therefore not reached 1000! There are only other ways to deal with Ferrothorn if I can freely attack it with Hurricane and Thunder (Earthquake quickly becomes worthless if it Curses even twice). As soon as its partner puts Pelipper and Koko under pressure, Ferrothorn becomes free to sit there and Curse up. Celesteela walls it, but doesn't 1v1 it, so an offensive answer is necessary in the back. And no, dropping Wide Guard from Celesteela for Flamethrower is not an option, because Wide Guard is a very important part of the team and has saved a lot more than 2 battles for me on its own. I know you were thinking it!! >:( In any case, there aren't better options for the 4th slot, so it's absolutely a no-drawback inclusion on the moveset!

@ Swampertite

Adamant | Damp -> Swift Swim
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
Waterfall / Earthquake / Ice Punch / Protect


New Swampert! I mean, it's pretty much the same, but it has Damp now...! and it's in a nice Dive Ball
I will say, I am myself surprised at how many times Damp was actually useful (9, I counted!). Sometimes through some luck - I didn't think the AI would explode, but it happened to try it on my switch - and other times I predicted the Explosion and switched (common Exploders like Metagross and Golem become fairly predictable after a while...!). A nice thing to note, the AI seems to completely ignore the fact it got stopped by Damp and will keep trying anyway on the following turns. Though stopping the explosion is not always preferable; if you can double-protect while the Explosion happens, it's even better! :P

Otherwise, nothing has changed because the moveset is optimal. In my previous report, I mentioned tweaking EVs to add some bulk, so I looked into doing that, and realized how important maximum speed actually is. The intuitive thought when looking at speed tiers for Swampert is to make sure it outspeeds things in rain, since this is a rain team, but in my opinion, this is actually secondary; the tough matchups where the use of these EVs will matter are the ones where rain isn't up for a reason or another, and they will happen. At 122 speed, Swampert outspeeds Landorus-I1 and 4, Gogoat4 (need to be able to finish it off with an Ice Punch after inflicting prior damage!), Tentacruel3, Zapdos2 and 4, and more. Since Swampert doesn't have any bulk problems without investment, I see no need to remove such crucial speed EVs. The nail in the coffin, however, is Ludicolo4, which Swampert speed ties with in rain. You obviously never want rely on winning that speed tie, but having the possibility of it can give you 50% odds of winning a game that may otherwise have been lost.

@ Leftovers

IVs: 31/30(HT)/31/30(HT)/31/31
Careful | Beast Boost
EVs: 244 HP / 28 Atk / 108 Def / 124 SpDef / 4 Spe
Heavy Slam / Leech Seed / Wide Guard / Protect


Same Celesteela, new EV spread! Truth be told, last time, I only grabbed the VGC Celesteela I had in my box and rolled with it, and since it was working great, I saw no reason to change the spread along the way.

So obviously, being a meticulous builder, this time around I..... pretty much decided to do the same. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The main difference is that this is a new VGC season, and I EVed my Celesteela to take on the new metagame. In the end, it's just a solid mix of bulk, and Celesteela's role means it will usually tanks several hits, and heal a lot in between them, so having very specific calcs for the Tree doesn't feel as important to me, as long as the one I have works as intended, and this one surely did. It may not be designed for the Tree, but I would not hesitate to recommend this EV spread for a defensive Celesteela, it worked out really well.


Other than that, my feelings about Celesteela are the same as last time. It's a wonderful switch-in to Grass, it does solid damage all-around with Heavy Slam despite the lack of investment, and has definitely won some games on its own with Leech Seed stall, even a grim-looking 1v3 once! But Wide Guard is still its best move (shoutout to Worldie Guard)! :D

As I went along on this new streak, I took a lot of notes, both general things about the team and very specific matchup notes that I wanted to remember, so here they are for anyone interesting in using the team - in no specific order...!

- WATCH OUT FOR ALOLAN-RAICHU! It's a very rare sight, but it outspeeds everything on the team (thanks, Koko!) and can't even be taken down in a single hit because of the sash! With Grass Knot in its arsenal, Swampert is not a check by any means - neither is Celesteela, obviously... taking it down involves Koko, usually sacrificing Pelipper's sash for a Tailwind, and using Protect smartly. Probably the one Pokémon I fear the most now.

- Xenophon, a Grass-type Veteran trainer, can be really bad to deal with. One of the very few trainers where it's a pretty safe call to lock Koko into Dazzling Gleam. Pelipper and Celesteela are key against him.

- Opposing rain is the second worst team matchup after sun. I already talk about Swift Swim Kingdra and Beartic4 in my Tailwind section up above. Prioritize setting up Tailwind and bank on smart Protects to get through rain trainers. Most of the time, they won't have enough of the right abilities to take full advantage of your rain, but the worst-case scenarios are bad. Dolly and Joaquin are the names to remember here.

- Even if Heatran could be scarfed and OHKO Koko with Earth Power, when it can also have Sunny Day, it needs to be targeted with Thunder + Brine, preventing sun is more important than preserving Koko. Always double down Heatran.

- Celesteela's speed tier comes in clutch against Primarina, whew! Tapu Koko is the only way to OHKO it, and it puts on a lot of offensive pressure.

- Quick Claw Uxie is a THREAT! It can quick claw Energy Ball Swampert (which tanks it when Mega, but barely), and quick claw Thunder Pelipper and Celesteela. It's also difficult to predict if it has the choice between the 2 moves. Needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

- Wide Guard is soooooo good against Jellicent3 and Bronzong34!!

- Slaking4 is always OHKOd by Thunder, but Slaking3 is a 62% roll. I find that it's worth taking a shot, it will work out most of the time, just make sure you're fine with losing Koko to Giga Impact if it doesn't.

- Volcarona can be ignored when it has a more threatening partner, just make sure to Tailwind as soon as possible (either turn 1 or 2) so Swampert can always revenge.

- In front of Raikou, don't bait the electric attack with Protect on Pelipper, just switch to Swampert instantly, because it could be Electrium Z. In the case of Jolteon, Goodra, Regice, most of the Lake Trio, etc. though, Protecting turn 1 is usually the better play, it's a free Thunder from Koko.

- Sometimes, it's worth testing for Lightning Rod/Storm Drain, you need to assess the risk vs. reward depending on the situation. For example, Alolan Marowak can be Brined, in which case it would only block 1 Thunder before going down - before even attacking. In the case of Rhyperior, though, usually it's *not* worth the risk. The Cradily set without Giga Drain can easily be tested for Storm Drain. There's always a chance they don't have the ability, and trying it out is sometimes relatively safe, so why not; much to gain, little to lose.

- For the longest time, I ignored Politoed and only targeted it with Thunder if I had nothing better to do. Now, I Thunder it on sight. Politoed3 is not really a threat, but Politoed4 is VERY dangerous. It does immense damage with Hydro Pump in the rain, it can freeze stuff with Blizzard, it can put Celesteela and Pelipper to sleep, and the worst part is that its move choices are extremely unpredictable. Get rid of it asap!

- Zapdos is OHKOd by Thunder unless it's set2, which Swampert walls.

- Ninetales-A12 has a slight chance to survive Thunder, so it's sometimes smarter to Protect Pelipper in front of it.

- Rotom-W is one of the biggest threats to the team, not only does it have offensive pressure, but it also walls the entire team except for Koko. Thunder it quickly (it's an OHKO).

- It might seem unintuitive at first, but Rotom-Frost is KOed by a double up on turn 1 (Thunder + Brine) - it's worth doing, otherwise dealing with it is asking for freezes!

- Charizard X outspeeds Swampert in rain after only 1 Dragon Dance. TAILWIND ASAP!

- Never lock yourself into Dazzling Gleam against a sun trainer, even if they lead with 2 Grass-types. Next thing you know, Arcanine or Heatran comes out, sets up the sun, and the nightmare begins.

At the start of the streak, we had a small discussion on Discord relating our experiences in the Tree with facing Megas; I felt like I faced Kangaskhan the most, while ReptoAbysmal vouched for Mawile being the most common, and Coeur7 had gathered data on his Singles streak showing Garchomp as the most common. Clearly, this depends on the version played, since the "boss" trainers are different and feature different Mega evolutions, but I thought it would be fun to take note of every mega I saw during my Ultra Sun streak. For anyone interested, here are the results!



Kangaskhan is a lot more common for me than Ultra Moon players because of Kiawe, same with Abomasnow because of Sina.

Just like last time with MimiLax, I also kept track of every boss battle I had. We already know the odds are the exact same for all of them except for Anabel (from datamining), but this is still a fun exercise to do!

10 - Sina
20 - Cynthia
30 - Kukui
40 - Colress
50 - Blue
60 - Kiawe
70 - Plumeria
80 - Cynthia
90 - Kiawe
100 - Wally
110 - Cynthia
120 - Wally
130 - Cynthia
140 - Kukui
150 - Colress
160 - Wally
170 - Sina
180 - Kiawe
190 - Colress
200 - Kiawe
210 - Grimsley
220 - Grimsley
230 - Kiawe
240 - Grimsley
250 - Wally
260 - Wally
270 - Wally
280 - Kukui
290 - Grimsley
300 - Cynthia
310 - Colress
320 - Anabel
330 - Sina
340 - Wally
350 - Kiawe
360 - Plumeria
370 - Wally
380 - Grimsley
390 - Plumeria
400 - Sina
410 - Wally
420 - Grimsley
430 - Kiawe
440 - Kukui
450 - Colress
460 - Grimsley
470 - Wally
480 - Kiawe
490 - Kiawe
500 - Wally
510 - Grimsley
520 - Sina
530 - Wally
540 - Wally
550 - Sina
560 - Kukui
570 - Kukui
580 - Kukui
590 - Kukui
600 - Kiawe
610 - Kukui
620 - Sina
630 - Colress
640 - Cynthia
650 - Colress
660 - Plumeria
670 - Plumeria
680 - Sina
690 - Cynthia
700 - Grimsley
710 - Sina
720 - Colress
730 - Colress
740 - Kukui
750 - Kukui
760 - Cynthia
770 - Colress
780 - Grimsley
790 - Colress
800 - Kiawe
810 - Plumeria
820 - Kukui
830 - Grimsley
840 - Grimsley
850 - Sina
860 - Kukui
870 - Colress
880 - Plumeria
890 - Anabel
900 - Kiawe
910 - Kiawe
920 - Wally
930 - Kukui
940 - Sina
950 - Kukui
960 - Cynthia
970 - Kukui
980 - Kiawe
990 - Wally
1000 - Colress


I rather spontaneously decided to do a live stream on Twitch of the final 25 battles of this streak (the VOD is available on my Twitch channel), and it was pretty fun despite my setup being really bad with no capture card :(. If I can find a way to get a setup of higher quality, I think I may stream most of the rest of this streak, whatever heights it may reach in the future!

For now, I will take a short break from the team and concentrate on an ongoing Singles streak I have, as well as various fun meme teams in Doubles on my Ultra Moon cartridge.

As usual, big shoutouts to all the good people on the Tree Discord server: Team Ezra (turskain, ReptoAbysmal, Smuckem, paperquagsire, Worldie), Coeur7, Level 51, Josh C., PikaCuber, wadusher, SadisticMystic and everybody else who makes the server a fun place to hang around! \o/

Thank you for reading! :heart:
 
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At the start of the streak, we had a small discussion on Discord relating our experiences in the Tree with facing Megas; I felt like I faced Kangaskhan the most, while ReptoAbysmal vouched for Mawile being the most common, and Coeur7 had gathered data on his Singles streak showing Garchomp as the most common. Clearly, this depends on the version played, since the "boss" trainers are different and feature different Mega evolutions, but I thought it would be fun to take note of every mega I saw during my Ultra Sun streak. For anyone interested, here are the results!



Kangaskhan is a lot more common for me than Ultra Moon players because of Kiawe, same with Abomasnow because of Sina.
Over a streak of 1000 double battles on Ultra Sun, these are the expected figures for encounters with each mega (though the observed numbers will inevitably trend lower than these, because a trainer might have multiple megas on their team, only one can use the opportunity, and the rest might get mowed down without giving you a chance to identify their set--particularly notable on Wally's team, such as Gallade or Garchomp):
Garchomp 21.34 (observed 17 / -4.34)
Kangaskhan 17.05 (Moon: 6.24; observed 16 / -1.05)
Mawile 15.66 (observed 17 / +1.34)
Metagross 15.36 (observed 16 / +0.64)
Salamence 14.55 (observed 8 / -6.55)
Latios 13.76 (observed 15 / +1.24)
Tyranitar 13.33 (observed 13 / -0.33)
Gallade 12.62 (observed 5 / -7.62)
Gengar 11.57 (Moon: 6.71; observed 12 / +0.43)
Alakazam 11.19 (observed 10 / -1.19)
Steelix 11.08 (observed 9 / -2.08)
Gyarados 10.76 (observed 9 / -1.76)
Charizard Y 10.73 (observed 17 / +6.27)
Latias 10.34 (observed 14 / +3.66)
Slowbro 10.15 (Moon: 13.89; observed 9 / -1.15)
Gardevoir 9.80 (observed 12 / +2.20)
Venusaur 9.57 (observed 7 / -2.57)
Aggron 9.30 (observed 2 / -7.30)
Houndoom 9.23 (observed 10 / +0.77)
Sceptile 9.08 (Moon: 12.55; observed 5 / -4.08)
Charizard X 8.98 (observed 10 / +1.02)
Aerodactyl 8.77 (observed 3 / -5.77)
Swampert 8.40 (observed 3 / -5.40)
Camerupt 8.34 (observed 8 / -0.34)
Manectric 7.42 (observed 4 / -3.42)
Altaria 6.95 (observed 8 / +1.05)
Blaziken 6.91 (observed 5 / -1.91)
Ampharos 6.13 (observed 2 / -4.13)
Medicham 5.75 (observed 5 / -0.75)
Abomasnow 5.59 (Moon: 1.85; observed 6 / +0.41)
Absol 5.51 (observed 1 / -4.51)
Beedrill 5.45 (observed 5 / -0.45)
Scizor 5.24 (observed 4 / -1.24)
Lopunny 3.77 (observed 5 / +1.23)
Audino 3.69 (observed 3 / -0.69)
Lucario 3.53 (observed 3 / -0.53)
Glalie 3.44 (observed 2 / -1.44)
Heracross 3.23 (observed 2 / -1.23)
Pidgeot 3.19 (observed 2 / -1.19)
Sharpedo 2.70 (observed 5 / +2.30)
Banette 1.93 (observed 0 / -1.93)
Pinsir 1.61 (Moon: 5.08; observed 2 / +0.39)
Sableye 0.96 (observed 0 / -0.96)
Blastoise 0.19 (observed 0 / -0.19)
overall 364.15 (observed 311 / -53.15)
 
Here is my team(and first post) for super singles after some suggestions in the discord.It has 11 wins so far(will edit this when my streak of 90 is done(for leaderboards)...
lead: blaziken...
evs: 252 attack/252 speed
speed boost
wide lens
nature: adamant
moves: thunder punch(for fliers and waters), flare blitz(ohkos stuff and is the best fire stab for this man), sub(suggested by Coeur(props to another frenchman), says goodbye to status and i think debuffs) and high jump kick(main move i click(gotta be careful of protect mons) and accuracy isnt a problem due to the lens.
opinion and thoughts: really good suicide lead that has SOLO'ED entire teams on its own.
garchomp
evs: 252 atk, 252 speed
choice scarf
Jolly
moves: rock slide(was unsure), confide(suggested in the discord. haven't used it yet but it can apparently help the last member set up), outrage(i dont fear locking in it because of not only of the last member, but also of garchomp's role) and ofc EQ

role: cleans up what blaziken can't. rarely have to use this dude because of how good my lead is so far.

hilarious note: i somehow hatched my first shiny(that i hatched), which was a gible while trying to get the stuff for this set.

scizor:
evs: 252 hp, 252 atk
@megastone
moves: roost, swords dance, u-turn and bullet punch.
notes: generic mega scizor. second one i bred because the first got traded to someone in the gts because i do not have a second ds.

threats: TR(if scizor is down, haven't run in that yet) and Char X(hope to fucking god that it doesn't appear and/or doesnt decide to dragon dance and sweep)
 
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took a break at 20 as i will go hang out with buds.Will continue as soon as i come back
edit; a like from the Legend himself, GG Unit? I am speechless
 
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i thank turskain and Coeur from discord(idk your name on here, sorry about that) for not only answering questions about my team in discord, but also about stuff such as enemy sets and the like.I am deeply grateful from the bottom of my heart
Edit: as such... i am ready to give away some breedjects (ha mareanie, gibles, scythers and torchic's) with guaranteed HA and least 5 ivs(natures can be decided by you). i will also have some pheromosa's ready(cause ik how much the community loves those). The breeding may take time, but idrc as it will be worth it.
 
Team LC:

@ Eviolite

Relaxed | Aroma Veil
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/0
EVs: 188 HP / 188 Def / 132 SpDef
Trick Room / Moonblast / Odor Sleuth / Helping Hand


I wasn't too fond of Spritzee's design when I first saw it in Gen 6, but seeing it on field, floating around, flapping its tiny wings, Spritzee has certainly won me over. Or it might be the fact it was tanking many hits surprisingly well, even surviving between 1-10 HP in a few clutch situations to set up Trick Room. More than for any other team I ran in the past, Trick Room was an absolute necessity here if I wanted to have any hope of winning, which is why Aroma Veil was so important to prevent Taunt - as uncommon as the move is, a single one would have meant the end. Thanks to Spritzee, Trick Room reliably went up for 120 games in a row without fail, which I find to be an impressive record. Surely, the fact a level 1 Aron was baiting attacks by its side was instrumental in its long-term success, but it still sometimes got double-targeted.

Moonblast is primarily meant to KO foes that have been brought down to 1-12 HP by Aron (or 25% more if they had a Sitrus Berry) before they can move. The extra power (vs. Dazzling Gleam) allows it to still KO Sitrus Berry Archeops, Thundurus and Rampardos, as well as deal very decent damage when super effective (many 2HKOs, as well as this blessed calc: 0 SpA Spritzee Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Hydreigon: 168-196 (100.5 - 117.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO).

Odor Sleuth plays the same role Foresight does on Dusclops FEAR teams; it allows Aron to Endeavor Ghost-types. In addition, it prevents Minimize from ever being an issue (I would have lost to +6 evasion Muk-Alola without it!).

Finally, Helping Hand turns both Clamperl and Mudbray into extremely powerful attackers that can OHKO a wide array of threats, even with neutral attacks. The extra power is much needed, as many of the calcs show them doing damage in the 80% range.

The EV spread is meant to live a Mega Gengar Sludge Bomb 100% of the time (and it did happen - Spritzee lived on 6 HP!) and a Mega Beedrill3 Poison Jab 100% of the time as well. Big bonus, Mega Metagross' Meteor Mash only has a 12% chance to OHKO (it usually opts to Bullet Punch or Brick Break Aron, in any case)!

@ Berry Juice

Brave | Sturdy | Level 1
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/0
EVs: -
Endeavor / Toxic / Rain Dance / Protect


Aron has been a staple in so many Tree teams of the past that I probably don't need to explain much. It Protects on turn 1 while Spritzee sets up Trick Room, drawing a majority of attacks into its slot, then in the following turns, combos with Spritzee to Endeavor + Moonblast as many foes as possible before going down. Sometimes, this combo simply sweeps the opposing team, but in most cases, one of the sweepers from the back has to come in and clean up.

The other moves are not particularly important and they will only rarely be used. Toxic is useful when facing Ghost-types that you don't have the luxury of Odor Sleuthing, or to finish off low-HP foes. Rain Dance is usually used right before going down, when an additional Endeavor wouldn't benefit the team or isn't possible. Clamperl is already very powerful, so boosting it with rain (and potentially Helping Hand) makes for some ridiculous damage output. I also used it a few times against Fire teams to weaken their output damage. Like Toxic, it's very situational, but still helpful at times!

@ Deep Sea Tooth

Quiet | Shell Armor
IVs: 31/0/31/30/31/0 (Hyper trained to 31/0/31/31/31/0)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef
Scald / Ice Beam / Hidden Power Grass / Protect


And now, the powerhouse! With the Deep Sea Tooth, Clamperl's Special Attack stat is doubled and reaches a whopping 276! As a comparison, Modest Mega Alakazam hits 249 at most, Modest Xurkitree hits 247 at most, and Modest Kyurem-White hits 244 at most. Clamperl is stronger than all of these, and by quite a bit!

Now, imagine boosting this monstrous Special Attack stat even further with Helping Hand support, and even boosting Scald one more stage with rain... needless to say, Clamperl can score OHKOs even with neutral attacks!

Clamperl's coverage options are pretty lacking, but Water, Ice and Grass is excellent coverage, so I didn't find it to be an issue. Scald is the strongest Water STAB that's guaranteed to hit (since Surf is much weakened by spread damage - I wouldn't want to hit my ally anyway). Ice Beam is used to deal with Grass-types, which are very threatening to the backline of the team. Helping Hand + Ice Beam can OHKO about any of them (I didn't take the time to run all of the calcs, but I have yet to see one survive). HP Grass prevents Water-types from walling Clamperl, and even the very bulky ones such as Jellicent and Milotic are 2HKOd. Mega Swampert has a 69% chance to be OHKOd without Helping Hand. Seriously, the Clamp does not mess around with its damage output!

Thanks to a (very generic) 252 HP investment, it could usually tank a hit, but just one (and not a super effective one, lol). But Clamperl is not meant to be used defensively at all, so it doesn't matter; if anything, tanking one hit was more than I even expected from it, so it was always a nice surprise!

@ Groundium Z

Brave | Stamina
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/0
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
High Horsepower / Close Combat / Rock Slide / Protect


Mudbray's typing and coverage compliment Clamperl's really well, and with one being special and the other physical, they created a near-ideal backline. It rocks one of the highest attack stats of LC Pokémon (base 100, same as Trapinch), and some actual decent bulk (70 base Defense and HP, plus Stamina). What it offers over Trapinch, however, is not just bulk, but also High Horsepower, a powerful single-target Ground move that trumps Earthquake big time (with how frail my team is, hitting my own teammates is the last thing I needed!).

Close Combat is one of the best Fighting-moves, and since the Tree is bursting with Normal-types, it was vital in several circumstances. With Helping Hand, it's guaranteed to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan; it also deals with Ice-types that heavily threaten it.

Rock Slide was added for lack of better options, and I ended up using it quite a lot. Missing is always scary, but a few risks need to be taken to win with a LC team! It's most useful when one of the opposing Pokémon is low on HP, and can deal some actual good damage on Pokémon that are weak to it, especially when Helping Hand-boosting it. Most importantly, it's Mudbray's only way to hit Flying-types, and since this team can never switch around (into Clamperl if I want to Ice Beam, for example), being able to hit almost everything for decent damage is really important.

There really weren't many items that Mudbray could have benefited from, so Groundium Z was a pretty obvious pick. In the end, I used Tectonic Rage about every single game in which Mudbray hit the field; having a Z-move nuke to score a OHKO is incredibly valuable for a team that cannot tank hits well; things need to go down fast!
I am curious how this team would hypothetically work if you removed the LC restriction but otherwise kept it the same. Clamperl obviously has to run as-is. Mudsdale looks like a straight upgrade over Mudbray, even losing speed for better TR use. Aromatisse is the questionable one. You'd gain HP and SpA (does this matter?), but you'd lose bulk due to no Eviolite, though now you can run an item. Better or worse overall? And for Aron, I know that Togedemaru is popular now, so would you switch? You'd just lose access to Rain Dance, which you said had some marginal use.
 

Eisenherz

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I am curious how this team would hypothetically work if you removed the LC restriction but otherwise kept it the same. Clamperl obviously has to run as-is. Mudsdale looks like a straight upgrade over Mudbray, even losing speed for better TR use. Aromatisse is the questionable one. You'd gain HP and SpA (does this matter?), but you'd lose bulk due to no Eviolite, though now you can run an item. Better or worse overall? And for Aron, I know that Togedemaru is popular now, so would you switch? You'd just lose access to Rain Dance, which you said had some marginal use.
ReptoAbysmal would be able to best assess how usable the team would be as a regular non-LC Trick Room team, since he has the most experience using TR in the Tree, but I agree that it could very well work!

Mudsdale would definitely be an excellent upgrade from Mudbray, and I would give it Heavy Slam over Rock Slide. Mudsdale is almost as heavy as Celesteela (2nd heaviest Pokémon of the entire dex!), so Heavy Slam is very often at max power! Poor lil' Mudbray can't make much use of that move since it's nowhere as heavy (110kg vs 920kg lol).

I would use Aromatisse over Spritzee since the bulk is about the same, but it can make use of a Lum Berry as well for more safety setting up TR, and Moonblast would do a lot more damage. Maybe a different setter could work too, such as Musharna (I would have said Dusclops as well, but I feel like Helping Hand was so crucial to the team that losing it would throw it off), but Aromatisse would be a fine choice in any case!

And I fully agree, Togedemaru is a much superior version of Aron, so I would replace it to a lvl. 1 Togedemaru in a heartbeat, Rain Dance isn't a big loss!

I'm not sure if you were thinking about trying this out, but if so, I do encourage you to! If the LC version can get to 120 so quickly, I have no doubts the grown-up version would go further!
 
I've got 1950 in a row in Super Singles and am about to stream for a couple hours (hopefully). It'll be on this here YouTube channel.

Did through 1970 in the stream, and now you can watch it at a higher speed multiplier so you don't have to relive the fast-paced thrills of a battle where I'm at -5 accuracy 40 turns in in real time.


Saved a couple battles from the stream

#1951: BF5G-WWWW-WWWR-EQH3

Specs Latios OHKOs Durant so I have to count PP while setting up. Glalie doesn't have the greatest boosts when Life Orb Entei switches in but is able to continue setting up on it and ultiately KO it from behind a Sub.

#1962: 9L8G-WWWW-WWWR-EQLZ

Wild one where Scizor-3 U-Turns out of Durant the first chance it gets both times, QC Bronzong gets the QC OHKO on Mimikyu and then explodes against Glalie the first chance it gets. Saved by the AI sending in non-mega Aggron rather than Scizor (Earthquake has more BP than Bullet Punch of course), but it still took a while due to awful accuracy boost luck, which was a persistent theme throughout the stream.
 
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ReptoAbysmal would be able to best assess how usable the team would be as a regular non-LC Trick Room team, since he has the most experience using TR in the Tree, but I agree that it could very well work!

Mudsdale would definitely be an excellent upgrade from Mudbray, and I would give it Heavy Slam over Rock Slide. Mudsdale is almost as heavy as Celesteela (2nd heaviest Pokémon of the entire dex!), so Heavy Slam is very often at max power! Poor lil' Mudbray can't make much use of that move since it's nowhere as heavy (110kg vs 920kg lol).

I would use Aromatisse over Spritzee since the bulk is about the same, but it can make use of a Lum Berry as well for more safety setting up TR, and Moonblast would do a lot more damage. Maybe a different setter could work too, such as Musharna (I would have said Dusclops as well, but I feel like Helping Hand was so crucial to the team that losing it would throw it off), but Aromatisse would be a fine choice in any case!

And I fully agree, Togedemaru is a much superior version of Aron, so I would replace it to a lvl. 1 Togedemaru in a heartbeat, Rain Dance isn't a big loss!

I'm not sure if you were thinking about trying this out, but if so, I do encourage you to! If the LC version can get to 120 so quickly, I have no doubts the grown-up version would go further!
Fake Out and Helping Hand would be tremendously useful. My own Aromatisse/Toge leads taught me beyond a doubt that FEAR sets can and will survive the entirety of many battles, making their ability to ensure tidy cleanup kills a major boon. Especially since you’ve got a poke like Clamperl and muscle like the horsie, don’t sleep on the benefits of HH. It’s for more than backline ghosts; you also assist in killing contact ability threats without wasting Sturdy, and can do something useful on a turn you anticipate dying to +1 priority (though I learned to never take this for granted!)
 
I am proud of you brandonplaysstuff , I knew that Naga set had potential, thanks for giving it glory :D

As note, you should have tried Pickpocket Weavile. It's nearly always useless, occasionally though can steal a berry or choice item ..... or Toxic Orb. That time i was just laughing at it :D
 

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