Battle Tree Discussion and Records

Hi, I’d like to submit a streak of mine in Super Singles that I started last week and is still ongoing. The team is quite simple now, though I have switched some Pokémon around as battles have progressed.

I began with:

Durant @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Truant
Nature: Jolly
EVs: 252 Spe / 252 Def / 4 HP
-Entrainment
-Crunch
-X-Scissor
-Iron Head

Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate —> Aerilate
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Spe / 252 Atk / 4 HP
-Protect
-Substitute
-Dragon Dance
-Return

Xurkitree @ Electrium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
Nature: Timid
EVs: 252 Spe / 252 SpA / 4 HP
-Protect
-Energy Ball
-Tail Glow
-Thunderbolt

About 60 wins in, I swapped out Xurkitree for Glalie.

This is my Glalie:

Glalie @ Leftovers
Ability: Moody
Nature: Timid
EVs: 192 Spe / 172 HP / 140 SpA / 4 SpD
-Protect
-Frost Breath
-Substitute
-Taunt

At 101 consecutive wins, I swapped out Salamence for Mimikyu.

This is my Mimikyu:

Mimikyu @ Red Card
Ability: Disguise
Nature: Jolly
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Spe / 20 SpD
-Thief
-Thunder Wave
-Taunt
-Destiny Bond

I currently have a streak of 105 straight wins as can be seen below. Thank you.

1711637212174.jpeg


This streak is still going :)
 
Reporting a blown streak in Super Doubles at 270... Due to poor play and an unfortunate CRIT, I blew it vs Sightseer Ezra!!

Video of the loss: WYNG-WWWW-WWXF-DHR2

The Team:

Latias-Mega (F) @ Latiasite

Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 68 Def / 4 SpA / 100 SpD / 124 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Tailwind
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Protect

Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Atk / 52 Def / 132 SpD / 84 Spe
Impish Nature
- Fake Out
- Flare Blitz
- Snarl
- Knock Off

Landorus-Therian (M) @ Yache Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 188 SpD / 100 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Smack Down
- U-turn
- Protect

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 60 Def / 20 SpA / 124 SpD / 76 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Scald
- Haze
- Taunt

** Yes, I dropped Rock Slide on Landorus for SMACK DOWN! Smack Down picks up the same 1/2HKOs with the added bonus of 100% Accuracy and the ability to put some Mons on the ground (being able to EQ Skarmory, Rotom-Wash/Heat, and Zapdos is wonderful).
When I NEED Rock Slide to hit a target, it always seems to hit the partner and the Mon I needed to hit somehow dodges the Attack and smokes Landorus back.
Landorus's little bit of extra bulk allows it to live Rotom-Wash Hydro Pump 100% of the time at full health. A calc that lets me be comfortable in front of a good amount of Water type attacks**

The Loss (story/excuses):
Despite a very unfortunate CRIT on Landorus, the loss was absolutely avoidable! Since the last update, I hadn't seen too many super offensive leads by the AI but Ezra led with Mega-Alakazam and Expert Belt Porygon-Z... Two mons that can already be problematic on their own.
I let Mega-Latias eat a lot, albeit manageable, of damage Turn-1 so it could set up Tailwind. Then a couple turns of switching that slot to absorb some less effective damage while getting off two Snarls with Incineroar.
Yache Berry Landorus-T is is usually CLUTCH but its EQ missed the KO on Porygon-Z and was subsequently CRIT by an Ice Beam. Landorus should have eaten that Ice Beam with EASE with PZ at -2 but c'est la vie
Later, I STUPIDLY didn't anticipate and let Incineroar go down to Gengar's Destiny Bond. That was basically the game right there. Without Incineroar, Latias and Landorus got smoked by Glaceon in the back.

Moving Forward:

For next time, I intend on dropping Snarl completely on Incineroar. Snarl can be very useful with how well it synergizes with the double Intimidate but U-Turn helps the team in a better way in my opinion. A little more Speed on Tapu Fini (124-156 EVs to hit 121 to 125Spe) would be nice to out-speed some Zapdos, Volcarona, etc
I often think of changing Landorus's item/moves too. A move like Superpower or an item like Groundium-Z would have helped me BIG TIME in this game. Yache Berry spends half the games in the Battle Tree being completely useless BUT... The other half of the time it can literally win games.
Another idea is running Mega-Latios over Mega-Latias?? It would turn a good amount of 3HKOs into 2HKOs or 2HKOs into OHKOs. Unfortunately, the missing bulk makes that same fact true defensively as well.

Threats:

Threats remain the same. OHKO-Walrein is just a menace to any team will it's dice-roll antics. Phys-Def Mega-Venusaur walls my team outside of Latias. My team's biggest weakness are any Dragon Dance Gyarados/Mega-Gyarados forms, Tyranitars with Ice coverage alongside Rock Slide and Crunch, and the handful of Defiant/Competitive Mons.
 

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I know this thread is minimally active these days, but I’d still like to keep it occasionally alive by documenting my best runs of one of my niche hobbies of breaking personal records in the Battle Tree. Last time I posted was actually my first ever post on Smogon, and I used a completely different team for my first run of 120 wins. This time I managed to break 145 wins in Super Doubles with the following team. I doubt the leaderboard will ever be updated again as it looks like it has been defunct for a while now, but if it ever is updated again I’d be happy to see my streak make it up there despite being paltry compared to the topmost scores on the list. Nonetheless, let’s get down to the team report. First, here’s photographic proof of the streak:

IMG_4826.jpg


Replays are included at the end of the report.

The Team:



Spaquette3.0 (Ninetales-Alola) (F) @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 29 Atk
- Freeze-Dry
- Dazzling Gleam
- Aurora Veil
- Protect

My girlfriend’s all-time favorite Pokemon are the Alolan forms of the Vulpix family. We made it a goal early into our relationship to get all of the trainer stamps available in Ultra Sun, and since she still has yet to do that, I figured I’d build a team to both motivate her and honor her favorite Pokemon in the process. There’s only one reason to ever bring A-Ninetales to any battle, especially in Gen 7. I’m sure anyone bothering to read this knows that A-Ninetales is the only Pokemon with both access to Snow Warning and Aurora Veil (as of Gen 7, this distribution was widened to include Abomasnow and Vanilluxe in Gen 8). This means it is the only Pokemon that can set up Aurora Veil in a single turn without outsourcing the Aurora Veil setup to a different Pokemon. Aurora Veil is a nearly unmatched level of team support, as it makes every Pokemon, even incredibly frail ones, able to take game-breaking hits. Even though doubles are incredibly quick matches, some of the computer trainers use annoyingly stall-reliant tactics that can make games a bit of a crapshoot in terms of length. On average though, I’d say games usually end in about five to six turns with this team. Even though there were several times where a Focus Sash probably would have been the ideal item for Ninetales, I personally preferred using Light Clay to make the effort of building a team around A-Ninetales all the more worth it. A-Ninetales has just enough of a movepool to be decent. Freeze-Dry was crucial coverage, as it is the best ice type move it learns in my opinion. I could have run Blizzard, but hail wasn’t guaranteed to be up, and Dazzling Gleam was a perfectly fine spread move. However, anyone who has used A-Ninetales (or heck, even Kantonian Ninetales) knows that it is an incredibly high-maintenance Pokemon. Its typing is pretty crummy, it is super frail, and oddly enough, its speed is a bit problematic. In most scenarios, its blazing speed would be great - and it is great, don’t get me wrong. However, the key problem with its speed is that it is a fast weather setter. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the fastest weather setter in Gen 7. For the uninitiated, which I’m certain anyone reading this already knows (but just in case), if two weather setting Pokemon are sent out simultaneously, the slower weather setter prevails because passive abilities that set up field conditions activate based on speed. This is one of the reasons that, when it comes to setting up Sun, Torkoal is much preferred over Kantonian Ninetales. This was one of the main challenges I had, as weather setters are actually really common in the Battle Tree. However, this is where our next member comes in…

Sparky (Manectric-Mega) (M) @ Manectite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Overheat
- Volt Switch
- Protect

A-Ninetales has really poor defensive stats, so I searched through several Intimidate Pokemon. Incineroar was a candidate for obvious reasons, and I did use Incineroar for a while in a previous run, but then I found out Manectric has amazing utility to ensure that Aurora Veil can go up. As I mentioned before, if a slower weather setter (which is basically all of them) is sent out and changes the weather, Aurora Veil can’t go up. However, if I switch out Ninetales on turn one, then Volt Switch with Manectric, I can reset the weather back into Hail and perform a sort of ramshackled Ally Switch, keeping A-Ninetales safe. This also has the added benefit of cycling Intimidate, which is a nice plus. Manectric’s main job for the team was to help get Aurora Veil set up, and then blast the opposing team with Thunderbolt. It really had a simple game plan that doesn’t need much of an explanation outside of that. The only nuance is that there were certainly some scenarios where I probably would have benefitted from a Timid nature instead of Modest, but the extra power was appreciated in so many scenarios that I didn’t really care. Also, I felt I didn’t need HP Ice because Manectric was standing right next to an Ice-Type Pokemon. Let’s just ignore the fact that I’m lazy and don’t breed for the right Hidden power types basically ever. That probably explains why I can’t break into higher streaks though, huh?

Metagrass (Ferrothorn) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 108 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 23 SpA / 18 Spe
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Honestly, looking at the EV spreads and movesets for these Pokemon makes me realize this is a pretty stock team. I’m still proud of it nonetheless. Do I even need to say anything about Ferrothorn? This thing is a win condition, plain and simple. Ferrothorn is an incredibly good Pokemon in every way. Even having a -Speed nature powers up its Gyro Ball. A-Ninetales and Manectric were the leads for this team, so I needed something incredibly bulky in the back to shore up this glaring flaw. I also wanted a Steel type to cover Kommo-o’s glaring weakness to Fairy types. As such, it was really a no brainer to slap Ferrothorn on the team and call it good. In my run, there were a handful of battles that Ferrothorn genuinely could have beaten on its own due to how good its typing + Leech Seed recovery were. Leftovers were chosen over anything else to ensure it was always recovering and to offset hail damage. Ferrothorn is such a well-known Pokemon that honestly you could skip over this entire paragraph because I’m not adding anything new to the conversation. I will say though - props to whoever came up with that nickname. I can’t take credit for that one, I found it from someone online years ago.

Komodo Joe (Kommo-o) (M) @ Kommonium Z
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 4 HP / 196 Atk / 252 SpA / 56 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Clanging Scales
- Drain Punch
- Flamethrower
- Protect

Kommo-o is the team’s star player. Every Pokemon on this team did great, but it won’t surprise you to know that the Pokemon with a 185 base power spread move that provides an omniboost did all of the heavy lifting offensively. When choosing to design a team around A-Ninetales, I needed to find ways to negate hail damage. This narrows it down to three options essentially: 1) a team with multiple ice types, 2) Pokemon with Magic Guard and 3) Pokemon with Overcoat. I could slap Safety Goggles on anything to be fair, but they would be practically useless outside of that effect in the Battle Tree. Magic Guard has a few good choices, but honestly there was no point in debating it when I noticed Kommo-o had Overcoat as an ability. Drain Punch was chosen over Close Combat so as not to lose the boosts accrued from using Clangorous Soulblaze It also ensured that Kommo-o could stick around to take advantage of the omniboost for as long as possible. Flamethrower ensures that I hit the most things super effectively combined with Clanging Scales and Drain Punch. The only Pokemon to resist all three of these types in the tree is Primarina, which is destroyed by Ferrothorn. It was tempting to just throw out Kommo-o, get the boosts, and try to sweep, but I had to play carefully with him on the field. Kommo-o works especially well with Ferrothorn, but if Ferrothorn can’t pick up a KO quickly enough, it would occasionally put too much pressure on Ferrothorn to handle the rest of the battle. Just something for me to think about in a future run I suppose. Overall, Kommo-o was the main offensive member of the team, and I think he performed admirably. I just need to tweak some aspects about the team to better support him if I want to use Kommo-o again for another team.

Threats:

Fire-types are the main issue this time around. A-Ninetales and Manectric offer BoltBeam coverage together, and that alone hits almost the entire Battle Tree for neutral damage except for Magnezone, Togedemaru, and Rotoms Heat and Frost. All of those were covered by Kommo-o super effectively, so coverage was never the issue. The key problem this team faces is a lack of synergistic resistances. Aside from A-Ninetales switching into Dragon moves meant for Kommo-o, which is a scenario that virtually never happened, switching felt somewhat undesirable. This was always the case against Fire-types. Kommo-o is the only Pokemon with a resistance to Fire, and Kommo-o isn’t really on the team to switch in and take hits. He needs to stay in pristine condition, so switching him in to absorb Fire-type attacks is something I avoided doing unless I felt it was completely necessary. It’s not that Fire-types are insurmountable, they can just be a nuisance because if they aren’t taken care of quickly enough they can cause serious problems. One reason I was so shocked this team did so well was because, after a while, I just kind of noticed that there is not even a single form of speed control on this team. No Tailwind, Trick Room, Icy Wind, Electroweb… anything. I was also lacking in Taunt, which meant stopping Trick Room was next to impossible. However, I was generally totally willing to trade Trick Room for a free set usage of Aurora Veil. Nonetheless, Trick Room was awfully annoying at times. Bulky Fairy-types like Aromatisse could be a nuisance as well. Honestly, the team has pretty good type coverage all around and Ferrothorn carried the defensive side. It’s not perfect by any means seeing as it of course lost, but really the team only ever got into dire straits because of shoddy plays on my part or bad positioning from the lead matchup. I felt the team was very competent at handling most Pokemon, the proper Pokemon just needed to be out front at the right time - a statement that’s as obvious as it is true for this team.

Replays:

The Loss: PXRG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ4

I lost to Scientist Cadel. Fitting to his trainer class, his team almost seemed engineering to perfectly screw over my team. His team consisted of Dusknoir, Drampa, Shiinotic, and Turtonator. Obviously a Trick Room team, I lost due to a mix of poor plays on my part, my team lacking defensive synergy against this specific team, and a hint of bad luck. I set up Aurora Veil on turn 1 while using Thunderbolt on the Dusknoir. Drampa uses Glare to paralyze A-Ninetales and Dusknoir sets up Trick Room. I used Protect to burn a turn of Trick Room with Manectric and have A-Ninetales Dazzling Gleam. Dusknoir wastes his turn with Pain Split into Manectric, but Drampa uses Devastating Drake which chunks Manectric through the Protect. Next turn, I’m able to take down both Drampa and Dusknoir, but the Dusknoir uses Destiny Bond which takes out Manectric with him. Shiinotic and Turtonator were honestly the most perfect Pokemon Cadel could have had on his team at this point, especially with their particular movesets. I sent out Ferrothorn because I figured it would be prudent to get a Leech Seed off whatever he sent in, but I wasn’t able to do that easily. I had Ferrothorn Protect and used Freeze-Dry on Shiinotic. From previous runs (and from the list of Trainers on Serebii) I knew Shiinotic could have a Weakness Policy, and this happened to be that set. Freeze-Dry procs the Weakness Policy, and the Turtonator uses Shell Smash. Trick Room was still active so I was able to get a Leech Seed on the Turtonator, but it didn’t matter. Fire Blast wipes out Ferrothorn, and Moonblast gets a Sp. Attack drop on Ninetales, so I’m looking pretty bad here. Trick Room ends, and Turtonator wipes out Ninetales with a Fire Blast. I tried to block it with Protect, but the paralysis from Drampa finally came back to haunt me and immobilized me. I’m able to get off a Clangorous Soulblaze and knock out Turtonator, but a Moonblast from Shiinotic knocks out Kommo-o and ends the run. Honestly, rewatching that replay, I’m not sure what I could have done differently. I was sitting on the couch watching TV when it happened, so I guess I could have googled Cadel’s potential sets, but really I just made bad calls and got outplayed. It’s a shame, but this team was super successful and I still had a lot of fun using it.

Extra Match #1: 92UW-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ2

Extra Match #2: XTNG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ3

Here are two other matches I had with this team if you wanted to see how it functioned. One match was just funny because of how often I had to switch out Pokemon just to make it through without taking too many risks. I won’t do any other play-by-plays because this document is already six pages long and frankly I’m sure only like 5 or 6 people on planet Earth will even see this. I’m posting this 2 days before 3DS online shuts down altogether, so there’s a nonzero chance these replays will never be visible to anyone other than myself. Nonetheless, thank you for reading and I hope you’re having a fantastic day.

- Spaku​
 
If you ever play Manectric again, you should consider Eerie Impulse, even with Aurora Veil (but really Aurora Veil is overkill with Manectric and Ninetales-A should be something else, ideally with a move like Calm Mind). Manectric is not Tapu Koko. It's meant to facilitate setup by crippling, it's not good at killing things. You don't need both TBolt and VS on it, choose one.

I would also never run less than 252 Speed (neutral nature) Kommo-o, particularly on a TW-less team. Indeed I would put Focus Sash on Ninetales instead of Light Clay and give it Icy Wind over Freeze-Dry (Manectric smashes most Waters anyway, Water/Ground is handled by Ferrothorn). Also Moonblast over Gleam because Gleam seriously hits for nothing.

I suggest ANTS Ferro (Zoom Lens) for Curseless sets (which makes sense to omit here because of Primarina; Power Whip brings it into Drain Punch range but not reliably -- miss is heart- and neckbreaking).

You definitely could have avoided your loss by just not attacking Dusknoir, especially with a Z-move already spent by your opponent (Z-DBond redirecting is about the scariest thing it can do). It is a do-nothing set. If Shiinotic or Turtonator comes in with Dusknoir next to it, it's gg (in your favor) because one of your backliners kills it and then the other while Dusknoir -1 Shadow Sneaks or whatever. Field control is the foremost principle of Kommo-o teams.
 
If you ever play Manectric again, you should consider Eerie Impulse, even with Aurora Veil (but really Aurora Veil is overkill with Manectric and Ninetales-A should be something else, ideally with a move like Calm Mind). Manectric is not Tapu Koko. It's meant to facilitate setup by crippling, it's not good at killing things. You don't need both TBolt and VS on it, choose one.

I would also never run less than 252 Speed (neutral nature) Kommo-o, particularly on a TW-less team. Indeed I would put Focus Sash on Ninetales instead of Light Clay and give it Icy Wind over Freeze-Dry (Manectric smashes most Waters anyway, Water/Ground is handled by Ferrothorn). Also Moonblast over Gleam because Gleam seriously hits for nothing.

I suggest ANTS Ferro (Zoom Lens) for Curseless sets (which makes sense to omit here because of Primarina; Power Whip brings it into Drain Punch range but not reliably -- miss is heart- and neckbreaking).

You definitely could have avoided your loss by just not attacking Dusknoir, especially with a Z-move already spent by your opponent (Z-DBond redirecting is about the scariest thing it can do). It is a do-nothing set. If Shiinotic or Turtonator comes in with Dusknoir next to it, it's gg (in your favor) because one of your backliners kills it and then the other while Dusknoir -1 Shadow Sneaks or whatever. Field control is the foremost principle of Kommo-o teams.
I really appreciate all of the constructive criticism here. I won't lie, I did not expect this team to make it anywhere beyond 50 matches, so the fact that it was my PB was a total shock. I totally get why it seems like this team is a mess, because it frankly is.

Zoom Lens Ferro is honestly a great suggestion! I'm not the most creative player (as the sets in my post show) so I love seeing suggestions like this that I would never think of. It's not like Ferro needs Leftovers if it also has Leech Seed, so I really like that suggestion.

You're also right about not attacking Dusknoir. I mentioned in my post that I was watching tv while I lost and was paying more attention to that than the game, so I have nobody to blame but myself for poor play. If I was thinking at all I would've left Dusknoir alone since all the Dusknoir sets in the Battle Tree are a joke lol.

If I ever attempt a run at the Battle Tree again, it'll likely be with an almost entirely new team. A-Ninetales was super high-maintenance and I don't like Hail in general because it barely provides any benefits. Nonetheless, I will gladly take these suggestions to heart because they were all super insightful and I agreed with basically everything you said. Thanks again!
 
I know this thread is minimally active these days, but I’d still like to keep it occasionally alive by documenting my best runs of one of my niche hobbies of breaking personal records in the Battle Tree. Last time I posted was actually my first ever post on Smogon, and I used a completely different team for my first run of 120 wins. This time I managed to break 145 wins in Super Doubles with the following team. I doubt the leaderboard will ever be updated again as it looks like it has been defunct for a while now, but if it ever is updated again I’d be happy to see my streak make it up there despite being paltry compared to the topmost scores on the list. Nonetheless, let’s get down to the team report. First, here’s photographic proof of the streak:

View attachment 622547

Replays are included at the end of the report.

The Team:



Spaquette3.0 (Ninetales-Alola) (F) @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 29 Atk
- Freeze-Dry
- Dazzling Gleam
- Aurora Veil
- Protect

My girlfriend’s all-time favorite Pokemon are the Alolan forms of the Vulpix family. We made it a goal early into our relationship to get all of the trainer stamps available in Ultra Sun, and since she still has yet to do that, I figured I’d build a team to both motivate her and honor her favorite Pokemon in the process. There’s only one reason to ever bring A-Ninetales to any battle, especially in Gen 7. I’m sure anyone bothering to read this knows that A-Ninetales is the only Pokemon with both access to Snow Warning and Aurora Veil (as of Gen 7, this distribution was widened to include Abomasnow and Vanilluxe in Gen 8). This means it is the only Pokemon that can set up Aurora Veil in a single turn without outsourcing the Aurora Veil setup to a different Pokemon. Aurora Veil is a nearly unmatched level of team support, as it makes every Pokemon, even incredibly frail ones, able to take game-breaking hits. Even though doubles are incredibly quick matches, some of the computer trainers use annoyingly stall-reliant tactics that can make games a bit of a crapshoot in terms of length. On average though, I’d say games usually end in about five to six turns with this team. Even though there were several times where a Focus Sash probably would have been the ideal item for Ninetales, I personally preferred using Light Clay to make the effort of building a team around A-Ninetales all the more worth it. A-Ninetales has just enough of a movepool to be decent. Freeze-Dry was crucial coverage, as it is the best ice type move it learns in my opinion. I could have run Blizzard, but hail wasn’t guaranteed to be up, and Dazzling Gleam was a perfectly fine spread move. However, anyone who has used A-Ninetales (or heck, even Kantonian Ninetales) knows that it is an incredibly high-maintenance Pokemon. Its typing is pretty crummy, it is super frail, and oddly enough, its speed is a bit problematic. In most scenarios, its blazing speed would be great - and it is great, don’t get me wrong. However, the key problem with its speed is that it is a fast weather setter. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the fastest weather setter in Gen 7. For the uninitiated, which I’m certain anyone reading this already knows (but just in case), if two weather setting Pokemon are sent out simultaneously, the slower weather setter prevails because passive abilities that set up field conditions activate based on speed. This is one of the reasons that, when it comes to setting up Sun, Torkoal is much preferred over Kantonian Ninetales. This was one of the main challenges I had, as weather setters are actually really common in the Battle Tree. However, this is where our next member comes in…

Sparky (Manectric-Mega) (M) @ Manectite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Overheat
- Volt Switch
- Protect

A-Ninetales has really poor defensive stats, so I searched through several Intimidate Pokemon. Incineroar was a candidate for obvious reasons, and I did use Incineroar for a while in a previous run, but then I found out Manectric has amazing utility to ensure that Aurora Veil can go up. As I mentioned before, if a slower weather setter (which is basically all of them) is sent out and changes the weather, Aurora Veil can’t go up. However, if I switch out Ninetales on turn one, then Volt Switch with Manectric, I can reset the weather back into Hail and perform a sort of ramshackled Ally Switch, keeping A-Ninetales safe. This also has the added benefit of cycling Intimidate, which is a nice plus. Manectric’s main job for the team was to help get Aurora Veil set up, and then blast the opposing team with Thunderbolt. It really had a simple game plan that doesn’t need much of an explanation outside of that. The only nuance is that there were certainly some scenarios where I probably would have benefitted from a Timid nature instead of Modest, but the extra power was appreciated in so many scenarios that I didn’t really care. Also, I felt I didn’t need HP Ice because Manectric was standing right next to an Ice-Type Pokemon. Let’s just ignore the fact that I’m lazy and don’t breed for the right Hidden power types basically ever. That probably explains why I can’t break into higher streaks though, huh?

Metagrass (Ferrothorn) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 108 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 23 SpA / 18 Spe
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Honestly, looking at the EV spreads and movesets for these Pokemon makes me realize this is a pretty stock team. I’m still proud of it nonetheless. Do I even need to say anything about Ferrothorn? This thing is a win condition, plain and simple. Ferrothorn is an incredibly good Pokemon in every way. Even having a -Speed nature powers up its Gyro Ball. A-Ninetales and Manectric were the leads for this team, so I needed something incredibly bulky in the back to shore up this glaring flaw. I also wanted a Steel type to cover Kommo-o’s glaring weakness to Fairy types. As such, it was really a no brainer to slap Ferrothorn on the team and call it good. In my run, there were a handful of battles that Ferrothorn genuinely could have beaten on its own due to how good its typing + Leech Seed recovery were. Leftovers were chosen over anything else to ensure it was always recovering and to offset hail damage. Ferrothorn is such a well-known Pokemon that honestly you could skip over this entire paragraph because I’m not adding anything new to the conversation. I will say though - props to whoever came up with that nickname. I can’t take credit for that one, I found it from someone online years ago.

Komodo Joe (Kommo-o) (M) @ Kommonium Z
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 4 HP / 196 Atk / 252 SpA / 56 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Clanging Scales
- Drain Punch
- Flamethrower
- Protect

Kommo-o is the team’s star player. Every Pokemon on this team did great, but it won’t surprise you to know that the Pokemon with a 185 base power spread move that provides an omniboost did all of the heavy lifting offensively. When choosing to design a team around A-Ninetales, I needed to find ways to negate hail damage. This narrows it down to three options essentially: 1) a team with multiple ice types, 2) Pokemon with Magic Guard and 3) Pokemon with Overcoat. I could slap Safety Goggles on anything to be fair, but they would be practically useless outside of that effect in the Battle Tree. Magic Guard has a few good choices, but honestly there was no point in debating it when I noticed Kommo-o had Overcoat as an ability. Drain Punch was chosen over Close Combat so as not to lose the boosts accrued from using Clangorous Soulblaze It also ensured that Kommo-o could stick around to take advantage of the omniboost for as long as possible. Flamethrower ensures that I hit the most things super effectively combined with Clanging Scales and Drain Punch. The only Pokemon to resist all three of these types in the tree is Primarina, which is destroyed by Ferrothorn. It was tempting to just throw out Kommo-o, get the boosts, and try to sweep, but I had to play carefully with him on the field. Kommo-o works especially well with Ferrothorn, but if Ferrothorn can’t pick up a KO quickly enough, it would occasionally put too much pressure on Ferrothorn to handle the rest of the battle. Just something for me to think about in a future run I suppose. Overall, Kommo-o was the main offensive member of the team, and I think he performed admirably. I just need to tweak some aspects about the team to better support him if I want to use Kommo-o again for another team.

Threats:

Fire-types are the main issue this time around. A-Ninetales and Manectric offer BoltBeam coverage together, and that alone hits almost the entire Battle Tree for neutral damage except for Magnezone, Togedemaru, and Rotoms Heat and Frost. All of those were covered by Kommo-o super effectively, so coverage was never the issue. The key problem this team faces is a lack of synergistic resistances. Aside from A-Ninetales switching into Dragon moves meant for Kommo-o, which is a scenario that virtually never happened, switching felt somewhat undesirable. This was always the case against Fire-types. Kommo-o is the only Pokemon with a resistance to Fire, and Kommo-o isn’t really on the team to switch in and take hits. He needs to stay in pristine condition, so switching him in to absorb Fire-type attacks is something I avoided doing unless I felt it was completely necessary. It’s not that Fire-types are insurmountable, they can just be a nuisance because if they aren’t taken care of quickly enough they can cause serious problems. One reason I was so shocked this team did so well was because, after a while, I just kind of noticed that there is not even a single form of speed control on this team. No Tailwind, Trick Room, Icy Wind, Electroweb… anything. I was also lacking in Taunt, which meant stopping Trick Room was next to impossible. However, I was generally totally willing to trade Trick Room for a free set usage of Aurora Veil. Nonetheless, Trick Room was awfully annoying at times. Bulky Fairy-types like Aromatisse could be a nuisance as well. Honestly, the team has pretty good type coverage all around and Ferrothorn carried the defensive side. It’s not perfect by any means seeing as it of course lost, but really the team only ever got into dire straits because of shoddy plays on my part or bad positioning from the lead matchup. I felt the team was very competent at handling most Pokemon, the proper Pokemon just needed to be out front at the right time - a statement that’s as obvious as it is true for this team.

Replays:

The Loss: PXRG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ4

I lost to Scientist Cadel. Fitting to his trainer class, his team almost seemed engineering to perfectly screw over my team. His team consisted of Dusknoir, Drampa, Shiinotic, and Turtonator. Obviously a Trick Room team, I lost due to a mix of poor plays on my part, my team lacking defensive synergy against this specific team, and a hint of bad luck. I set up Aurora Veil on turn 1 while using Thunderbolt on the Dusknoir. Drampa uses Glare to paralyze A-Ninetales and Dusknoir sets up Trick Room. I used Protect to burn a turn of Trick Room with Manectric and have A-Ninetales Dazzling Gleam. Dusknoir wastes his turn with Pain Split into Manectric, but Drampa uses Devastating Drake which chunks Manectric through the Protect. Next turn, I’m able to take down both Drampa and Dusknoir, but the Dusknoir uses Destiny Bond which takes out Manectric with him. Shiinotic and Turtonator were honestly the most perfect Pokemon Cadel could have had on his team at this point, especially with their particular movesets. I sent out Ferrothorn because I figured it would be prudent to get a Leech Seed off whatever he sent in, but I wasn’t able to do that easily. I had Ferrothorn Protect and used Freeze-Dry on Shiinotic. From previous runs (and from the list of Trainers on Serebii) I knew Shiinotic could have a Weakness Policy, and this happened to be that set. Freeze-Dry procs the Weakness Policy, and the Turtonator uses Shell Smash. Trick Room was still active so I was able to get a Leech Seed on the Turtonator, but it didn’t matter. Fire Blast wipes out Ferrothorn, and Moonblast gets a Sp. Attack drop on Ninetales, so I’m looking pretty bad here. Trick Room ends, and Turtonator wipes out Ninetales with a Fire Blast. I tried to block it with Protect, but the paralysis from Drampa finally came back to haunt me and immobilized me. I’m able to get off a Clangorous Soulblaze and knock out Turtonator, but a Moonblast from Shiinotic knocks out Kommo-o and ends the run. Honestly, rewatching that replay, I’m not sure what I could have done differently. I was sitting on the couch watching TV when it happened, so I guess I could have googled Cadel’s potential sets, but really I just made bad calls and got outplayed. It’s a shame, but this team was super successful and I still had a lot of fun using it.

Extra Match #1: 92UW-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ2

Extra Match #2: XTNG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ3

Here are two other matches I had with this team if you wanted to see how it functioned. One match was just funny because of how often I had to switch out Pokemon just to make it through without taking too many risks. I won’t do any other play-by-plays because this document is already six pages long and frankly I’m sure only like 5 or 6 people on planet Earth will even see this. I’m posting this 2 days before 3DS online shuts down altogether, so there’s a nonzero chance these replays will never be visible to anyone other than myself. Nonetheless, thank you for reading and I hope you’re having a fantastic day.

- Spaku​
I know this thread is minimally active these days, but I’d still like to keep it occasionally alive by documenting my best runs of one of my niche hobbies of breaking personal records in the Battle Tree. Last time I posted was actually my first ever post on Smogon, and I used a completely different team for my first run of 120 wins. This time I managed to break 145 wins in Super Doubles with the following team. I doubt the leaderboard will ever be updated again as it looks like it has been defunct for a while now, but if it ever is updated again I’d be happy to see my streak make it up there despite being paltry compared to the topmost scores on the list. Nonetheless, let’s get down to the team report. First, here’s photographic proof of the streak:

View attachment 622547

Replays are included at the end of the report.

The Team:



Spaquette3.0 (Ninetales-Alola) (F) @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 29 Atk
- Freeze-Dry
- Dazzling Gleam
- Aurora Veil
- Protect

My girlfriend’s all-time favorite Pokemon are the Alolan forms of the Vulpix family. We made it a goal early into our relationship to get all of the trainer stamps available in Ultra Sun, and since she still has yet to do that, I figured I’d build a team to both motivate her and honor her favorite Pokemon in the process. There’s only one reason to ever bring A-Ninetales to any battle, especially in Gen 7. I’m sure anyone bothering to read this knows that A-Ninetales is the only Pokemon with both access to Snow Warning and Aurora Veil (as of Gen 7, this distribution was widened to include Abomasnow and Vanilluxe in Gen 8). This means it is the only Pokemon that can set up Aurora Veil in a single turn without outsourcing the Aurora Veil setup to a different Pokemon. Aurora Veil is a nearly unmatched level of team support, as it makes every Pokemon, even incredibly frail ones, able to take game-breaking hits. Even though doubles are incredibly quick matches, some of the computer trainers use annoyingly stall-reliant tactics that can make games a bit of a crapshoot in terms of length. On average though, I’d say games usually end in about five to six turns with this team. Even though there were several times where a Focus Sash probably would have been the ideal item for Ninetales, I personally preferred using Light Clay to make the effort of building a team around A-Ninetales all the more worth it. A-Ninetales has just enough of a movepool to be decent. Freeze-Dry was crucial coverage, as it is the best ice type move it learns in my opinion. I could have run Blizzard, but hail wasn’t guaranteed to be up, and Dazzling Gleam was a perfectly fine spread move. However, anyone who has used A-Ninetales (or heck, even Kantonian Ninetales) knows that it is an incredibly high-maintenance Pokemon. Its typing is pretty crummy, it is super frail, and oddly enough, its speed is a bit problematic. In most scenarios, its blazing speed would be great - and it is great, don’t get me wrong. However, the key problem with its speed is that it is a fast weather setter. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the fastest weather setter in Gen 7. For the uninitiated, which I’m certain anyone reading this already knows (but just in case), if two weather setting Pokemon are sent out simultaneously, the slower weather setter prevails because passive abilities that set up field conditions activate based on speed. This is one of the reasons that, when it comes to setting up Sun, Torkoal is much preferred over Kantonian Ninetales. This was one of the main challenges I had, as weather setters are actually really common in the Battle Tree. However, this is where our next member comes in…

Sparky (Manectric-Mega) (M) @ Manectite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Overheat
- Volt Switch
- Protect

A-Ninetales has really poor defensive stats, so I searched through several Intimidate Pokemon. Incineroar was a candidate for obvious reasons, and I did use Incineroar for a while in a previous run, but then I found out Manectric has amazing utility to ensure that Aurora Veil can go up. As I mentioned before, if a slower weather setter (which is basically all of them) is sent out and changes the weather, Aurora Veil can’t go up. However, if I switch out Ninetales on turn one, then Volt Switch with Manectric, I can reset the weather back into Hail and perform a sort of ramshackled Ally Switch, keeping A-Ninetales safe. This also has the added benefit of cycling Intimidate, which is a nice plus. Manectric’s main job for the team was to help get Aurora Veil set up, and then blast the opposing team with Thunderbolt. It really had a simple game plan that doesn’t need much of an explanation outside of that. The only nuance is that there were certainly some scenarios where I probably would have benefitted from a Timid nature instead of Modest, but the extra power was appreciated in so many scenarios that I didn’t really care. Also, I felt I didn’t need HP Ice because Manectric was standing right next to an Ice-Type Pokemon. Let’s just ignore the fact that I’m lazy and don’t breed for the right Hidden power types basically ever. That probably explains why I can’t break into higher streaks though, huh?

Metagrass (Ferrothorn) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 108 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 23 SpA / 18 Spe
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Honestly, looking at the EV spreads and movesets for these Pokemon makes me realize this is a pretty stock team. I’m still proud of it nonetheless. Do I even need to say anything about Ferrothorn? This thing is a win condition, plain and simple. Ferrothorn is an incredibly good Pokemon in every way. Even having a -Speed nature powers up its Gyro Ball. A-Ninetales and Manectric were the leads for this team, so I needed something incredibly bulky in the back to shore up this glaring flaw. I also wanted a Steel type to cover Kommo-o’s glaring weakness to Fairy types. As such, it was really a no brainer to slap Ferrothorn on the team and call it good. In my run, there were a handful of battles that Ferrothorn genuinely could have beaten on its own due to how good its typing + Leech Seed recovery were. Leftovers were chosen over anything else to ensure it was always recovering and to offset hail damage. Ferrothorn is such a well-known Pokemon that honestly you could skip over this entire paragraph because I’m not adding anything new to the conversation. I will say though - props to whoever came up with that nickname. I can’t take credit for that one, I found it from someone online years ago.

Komodo Joe (Kommo-o) (M) @ Kommonium Z
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 4 HP / 196 Atk / 252 SpA / 56 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Clanging Scales
- Drain Punch
- Flamethrower
- Protect

Kommo-o is the team’s star player. Every Pokemon on this team did great, but it won’t surprise you to know that the Pokemon with a 185 base power spread move that provides an omniboost did all of the heavy lifting offensively. When choosing to design a team around A-Ninetales, I needed to find ways to negate hail damage. This narrows it down to three options essentially: 1) a team with multiple ice types, 2) Pokemon with Magic Guard and 3) Pokemon with Overcoat. I could slap Safety Goggles on anything to be fair, but they would be practically useless outside of that effect in the Battle Tree. Magic Guard has a few good choices, but honestly there was no point in debating it when I noticed Kommo-o had Overcoat as an ability. Drain Punch was chosen over Close Combat so as not to lose the boosts accrued from using Clangorous Soulblaze It also ensured that Kommo-o could stick around to take advantage of the omniboost for as long as possible. Flamethrower ensures that I hit the most things super effectively combined with Clanging Scales and Drain Punch. The only Pokemon to resist all three of these types in the tree is Primarina, which is destroyed by Ferrothorn. It was tempting to just throw out Kommo-o, get the boosts, and try to sweep, but I had to play carefully with him on the field. Kommo-o works especially well with Ferrothorn, but if Ferrothorn can’t pick up a KO quickly enough, it would occasionally put too much pressure on Ferrothorn to handle the rest of the battle. Just something for me to think about in a future run I suppose. Overall, Kommo-o was the main offensive member of the team, and I think he performed admirably. I just need to tweak some aspects about the team to better support him if I want to use Kommo-o again for another team.

Threats:

Fire-types are the main issue this time around. A-Ninetales and Manectric offer BoltBeam coverage together, and that alone hits almost the entire Battle Tree for neutral damage except for Magnezone, Togedemaru, and Rotoms Heat and Frost. All of those were covered by Kommo-o super effectively, so coverage was never the issue. The key problem this team faces is a lack of synergistic resistances. Aside from A-Ninetales switching into Dragon moves meant for Kommo-o, which is a scenario that virtually never happened, switching felt somewhat undesirable. This was always the case against Fire-types. Kommo-o is the only Pokemon with a resistance to Fire, and Kommo-o isn’t really on the team to switch in and take hits. He needs to stay in pristine condition, so switching him in to absorb Fire-type attacks is something I avoided doing unless I felt it was completely necessary. It’s not that Fire-types are insurmountable, they can just be a nuisance because if they aren’t taken care of quickly enough they can cause serious problems. One reason I was so shocked this team did so well was because, after a while, I just kind of noticed that there is not even a single form of speed control on this team. No Tailwind, Trick Room, Icy Wind, Electroweb… anything. I was also lacking in Taunt, which meant stopping Trick Room was next to impossible. However, I was generally totally willing to trade Trick Room for a free set usage of Aurora Veil. Nonetheless, Trick Room was awfully annoying at times. Bulky Fairy-types like Aromatisse could be a nuisance as well. Honestly, the team has pretty good type coverage all around and Ferrothorn carried the defensive side. It’s not perfect by any means seeing as it of course lost, but really the team only ever got into dire straits because of shoddy plays on my part or bad positioning from the lead matchup. I felt the team was very competent at handling most Pokemon, the proper Pokemon just needed to be out front at the right time - a statement that’s as obvious as it is true for this team.

Replays:

The Loss: PXRG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ4

I lost to Scientist Cadel. Fitting to his trainer class, his team almost seemed engineering to perfectly screw over my team. His team consisted of Dusknoir, Drampa, Shiinotic, and Turtonator. Obviously a Trick Room team, I lost due to a mix of poor plays on my part, my team lacking defensive synergy against this specific team, and a hint of bad luck. I set up Aurora Veil on turn 1 while using Thunderbolt on the Dusknoir. Drampa uses Glare to paralyze A-Ninetales and Dusknoir sets up Trick Room. I used Protect to burn a turn of Trick Room with Manectric and have A-Ninetales Dazzling Gleam. Dusknoir wastes his turn with Pain Split into Manectric, but Drampa uses Devastating Drake which chunks Manectric through the Protect. Next turn, I’m able to take down both Drampa and Dusknoir, but the Dusknoir uses Destiny Bond which takes out Manectric with him. Shiinotic and Turtonator were honestly the most perfect Pokemon Cadel could have had on his team at this point, especially with their particular movesets. I sent out Ferrothorn because I figured it would be prudent to get a Leech Seed off whatever he sent in, but I wasn’t able to do that easily. I had Ferrothorn Protect and used Freeze-Dry on Shiinotic. From previous runs (and from the list of Trainers on Serebii) I knew Shiinotic could have a Weakness Policy, and this happened to be that set. Freeze-Dry procs the Weakness Policy, and the Turtonator uses Shell Smash. Trick Room was still active so I was able to get a Leech Seed on the Turtonator, but it didn’t matter. Fire Blast wipes out Ferrothorn, and Moonblast gets a Sp. Attack drop on Ninetales, so I’m looking pretty bad here. Trick Room ends, and Turtonator wipes out Ninetales with a Fire Blast. I tried to block it with Protect, but the paralysis from Drampa finally came back to haunt me and immobilized me. I’m able to get off a Clangorous Soulblaze and knock out Turtonator, but a Moonblast from Shiinotic knocks out Kommo-o and ends the run. Honestly, rewatching that replay, I’m not sure what I could have done differently. I was sitting on the couch watching TV when it happened, so I guess I could have googled Cadel’s potential sets, but really I just made bad calls and got outplayed. It’s a shame, but this team was super successful and I still had a lot of fun using it.

Extra Match #1: 92UW-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ2

Extra Match #2: XTNG-WWWW-WWXF-DLQ3

Here are two other matches I had with this team if you wanted to see how it functioned. One match was just funny because of how often I had to switch out Pokemon just to make it through without taking too many risks. I won’t do any other play-by-plays because this document is already six pages long and frankly I’m sure only like 5 or 6 people on planet Earth will even see this. I’m posting this 2 days before 3DS online shuts down altogether, so there’s a nonzero chance these replays will never be visible to anyone other than myself. Nonetheless, thank you for reading and I hope you’re having a fantastic day.

- Spaku​
I wouldn't worry about a "stock" team, bud. Play with what you like and are comfortable with... You'll notice, a LOT of teams on the Leader Board a very similar.
My only question is: How do you beat 255Hp/255Def Mega-Venusaur?? I only ask because, for some reason, that freaking Venusaur set always gives me trouble. To the point where I specifically account for it when building a team lol! Maybe boosted Kommo-O 2HKOs it? I'm too lazy to run the calcs
 
Replying to a recent post has me wondering something so I'll ask the group and see what comes back... Keep the thread active, dig?
What Mons in the Battle Tree give you the most trouble? Are there any enemy sets that you think about and are sure to have specific answers for every time you build a team?

For me, there's a few:

ALL Gyarados sets: With decent coverage on its sets, Gyarados can just easily get out of hand if it can get pull off a Dragon Dance. With proper support or another offensive partner, Gyarados can even punch holes in a well balanced team. Mega-Gyarados does hit harder but the added weaknesses are very much appreciated. Regardless, Gyarados makes Electric coverage a must-have for me.

Mega-Venusaur: 255Hp/255Def with Thick Fat and a moveset of Synthesis, Substitute, Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain ALWAYS gives me trouble. Basically making me ALWAYS have Special Psychic and/or Flying coverage on my teams

Alakazam: Specifically the Choice Specs and Mega sets. Zam is a scary lead with its Speed, coverage, and possible Fake Out immunity. Its Mega form can trace my Intimidate lead to prevent it being OHKOd and is almost always guaranteed to chunk something with damage (I don't ever run Scarf in Super Doubles). The Specs set hits even harder than Mega-Zam which can be disastrous if it doesn't flinch from Fake Out. And, lets be real... Zam is ALWAYS going to hit that Focus Blast when you NEED a miss.

Competitive/Defiant Mons: I've been running the rotating, dual-Intimidate pair of Landorus-Therian and Incineroar on MOST of my BT teams... Needless to say, Competitive Milotic can be a MENACE! Defiant Bi sharp is, usually, easily played around but Defiant Passimian can be damn scary too. If AI leads with a Competitive ot Defiant Mon, they're GUARANTEED a boost from my primary lead Incineroar. Scarf Passimian's Rock Slides can be incredibly annoying with a Defiant boost. Same goes for Braviary under Tailwind... Tho +1 Brave Birds hurt no matter what the Speed Tiers are
 
I wouldn't worry about a "stock" team, bud. Play with what you like and are comfortable with... You'll notice, a LOT of teams on the Leader Board a very similar.
I think too many beginners worry too much about "originality" in the wrong way. Customizing your sets to maximize team performance with a given four species is important, of course. But e.g. playing Manectric instead of Tapu Koko (not to harp on this, just bringing it up because it's fresh on my mind), but then playing Manectric as if it were Tapu Koko (rather than Zeraora with Intimidate but no FO and consuming a Mega Stone, which is also bad because you can't have AV / Sitrus -- if you look at DOU you'll see lots of Zera running Snarl/Volt Switch), is a mistake. To some extent your choices are always going to be "stock" if they're good, Zapfini is three top-tier mons from the DOU VR running their known best sets, plus a proven defensive core from that mode, 4K is another absurd goodstuff stack, and mons like Talonflame and Togedemaru would be S-tier on a Tree viability ranking (with a single definitive standard set) despite being bad in DOU, too.

Playing established sets/teams, or at least being heavily inspired by them, is a good way to learn what works. Yes, you should absolutely build your own teams once you're past the beginner's stage. But that can take half a year of playing every day or so.

The Tree Doubles leaderboard (top 20 longest streaks, i.e. not the thread leaderboard) actually stands out for its diversity, both on its own merits and compared to other facilities, if you overlook early-2017 Pherolele spam and later 4K. Granted, Kommo-o, Mega Kangaskhan (with a single use of Rabbit Forme) and "Tapu" make up a large share, but the teams around them differ substantially. Moreover, between the four Trick Room teams in top20, the only repeating species are Oranguru and Araquanid. Nothing like e.g. BDSP (or HGSS) tower where TR dominates and it's nearly always with FEAR or Hariyama respectively and Machamp/Snorlax/Octillery (although this might be due to a relative lack of players).
My only question is: How do you beat 255Hp/255Def Mega-Venusaur?? I only ask because, for some reason, that freaking Venusaur set always gives me trouble. To the point where I specifically account for it when building a team lol! Maybe boosted Kommo-O 2HKOs it? I'm too lazy to run the calcs
Many options. You could be running Bulletproof Kommo-o, which takes like 10% from Giga Drain, who cares if you 2HKO it, it just sits there and clicks Synthesis anyway. Mega Kangaskhan 2HKOs it with Seismic Toss. Talonflame (or Mega Salamence) birds on it. Dragonium Z Dragons do well against it. Any Steel-type walls it, and Steel is one of the best types available. Setup mons (particularly with Calm Mind / Quiver Dance) kill it eventually. Putting Fly on Lando-T instead of U-turn might also have helped your specific case.

Zapfini is probably the best team that struggles the most against Mega Venusaur (which is why the thing is such a successful anti-meta pick in DOU). Your team is basically a Zapfini variant (yeah) so it is no wonder you have issues with it. Zapfini handles Venu by preserving Mega Metagross while killing its partners, basically.
What Mons in the Battle Tree give you the most trouble? Are there any enemy sets that you think about and are sure to have specific answers for every time you build a team?
Not really, no. Good teams need to answer "everything" anyway, usually using a strategy that kills a large chunk of the Tree outright, and normally lose to specific circumstances vs. a full set of four (planning for every possible opposing team is unfeasible). What I do as a litmus test is to make sure I can generally beat speed trainers (i.e. have speed control that can at least very likely, if not assuredly go up against every single mon they use, and/or copious priority), which means that unless you're using priority Tailwind you need to answer Jolteon/Crobat/Aerodactyl foremost, Scarf Eruption lead, Band Slaking/Archeops lead, Electric/Psychic/Fairy specialists, Mega Mawile / Mimikyu / Primarina not only for Kommo-o teams (if you can get these three, you can probably defeat all other Fairies too), and any Trick Room lead. Having countermeasures for Blizzard / T-Wave (even if it's just Fake Out) wins you 1000 more. In Subway, the scariest trainers by a good margin are those with legends (which essentially double as speed trainers, but also pack annoying fat shit like Suicune, the Regis and Cresselia), followed by Psychics and Ice Workers.

In EisenTree, you can't possibly plan for everything (unless the plan is FEAR) and have to accept that you lose to matchup with most teams, but here it is very good to plan for the highly likely Eisenherz encounter (four of Lando-T, Incineroar, Tapu Fini, Zapdos, Mega Metagross, Araquanid), by far the no. 1 streak killer you can actually plan for (Incineroar is also the most common mon in the facility, and guaranteed to be Intimidate, and unlike its Tree incarnation -- which is already dangerous enough -- comes with FO and Parting Shot), and the best mon to slap on if your first three can't deal with him well is Waterium Z Rotom-Wash, I think. You will also need to deal with Tailwind and Trick Room going up (can't possibly check all the users all the time, unlike regular Tree where Tailwind is mostly rare outside of Dexio and the full roster of TR users can be checked by two leads, such as the 4K ones which OHKO every single one jointly -- and Neo-4K just Encores most of them, only Aroma Veil Aromatisse remains a problem, Dusknoir/Slowking die to -2 Bolt iirc), so mons like Ferrothorn vastly increase in viability because you can slap them on as a TR check that also does well by virtue of bulk against speed teams.
 
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I think too many beginners worry too much about "originality" in the wrong way. Customizing your sets to maximize team performance with a given four species is important, of course. But e.g. playing Manectric instead of Tapu Koko (not to harp on this, just bringing it up because it's fresh on my mind), but then playing Manectric as if it were Tapu Koko (rather than Zeraora with Intimidate but no FO and consuming a Mega Stone, which is also bad because you can't have AV / Sitrus -- if you look at DOU you'll see lots of Zera running Snarl/Volt Switch), is a mistake. To some extent your choices are always going to be "stock" if they're good, Zapfini is three top-tier mons from the DOU VR running their known best sets, plus a proven defensive core from that mode, 4K is another absurd goodstuff stack, and mons like Talonflame and Togedemaru would be S-tier on a Tree viability ranking (with a single definitive standard set) despite being bad in DOU, too.

Playing established sets/teams, or at least being heavily inspired by them, is a good way to learn what works. Yes, you should absolutely build your own teams once you're past the beginner's stage. But that can take half a year of playing every day or so.

The Tree Doubles leaderboard (top 20 longest streaks, i.e. not the thread leaderboard) actually stands out for its diversity, both on its own merits and compared to other facilities, if you overlook early-2017 Pherolele spam and later 4K. Granted, Kommo-o, Mega Kangaskhan (with a single use of Rabbit Forme) and "Tapu" make up a large share, but the teams around them differ substantially. Moreover, between the four Trick Room teams in top20, the only repeating species are Oranguru and Araquanid. Nothing like e.g. BDSP (or HGSS) tower where TR dominates and it's nearly always with FEAR or Hariyama respectively and Machamp/Snorlax/Octillery (although this might be due to a relative lack of players).

Many options. You could be running Bulletproof Kommo-o, which takes like 10% from Giga Drain, who cares if you 2HKO it, it just sits there and clicks Synthesis anyway. Mega Kangaskhan 2HKOs it with Seismic Toss. Talonflame (or Mega Salamence) birds on it. Dragonium Z Dragons do well against it. Any Steel-type walls it, and Steel is one of the best types available. Setup mons (particularly with Calm Mind / Quiver Dance) kill it eventually. Putting Fly on Lando-T instead of U-turn might also have helped your specific case.

Zapfini is probably the best team that struggles the most against Mega Venusaur (which is why the thing is such a successful anti-meta pick in DOU). Your team is basically a Zapfini variant (yeah) so it is no wonder you have issues with it. Zapfini handles Venu by preserving Mega Metagross while killing its partners, basically.

Not really, no. Good teams need to answer "everything" anyway, usually using a strategy that kills a large chunk of the Tree outright, and normally lose to specific circumstances vs. a full set of four (planning for every possible opposing team is unfeasible). What I do as a litmus test is to make sure I can generally beat speed trainers (i.e. have speed control that can at least very likely, if not assuredly go up against every single mon they use, and/or copious priority), which means that unless you're using priority Tailwind you need to answer Jolteon/Crobat/Aerodactyl foremost, Scarf Eruption lead, Band Slaking/Archeops lead, Electric/Psychic/Fairy specialists, Mega Mawile / Mimikyu / Primarina not only for Kommo-o teams (if you can get these three, you can probably defeat all other Fairies too), and any Trick Room lead. Having countermeasures for Blizzard / T-Wave (even if it's just Fake Out) wins you 1000 more. In Subway, the scariest trainers by a good margin are those with legends (which essentially double as speed trainers, but also pack annoying fat shit like Suicune, the Regis and Cresselia), followed by Psychics and Ice Workers.

In EisenTree, you can't possibly plan for everything (unless the plan is FEAR) and have to accept that you lose to matchup with most teams, but here it is very good to plan for the highly likely Eisenherz encounter (four of Lando-T, Incineroar, Tapu Fini, Zapdos, Mega Metagross, Araquanid), by far the no. 1 streak killer you can actually plan for (Incineroar is also the most common mon in the facility, and guaranteed to be Intimidate, and unlike its Tree incarnation -- which is already dangerous enough -- comes with FO and Parting Shot), and the best mon to slap on if your first three can't deal with him well is Waterium Z Rotom-Wash, I think. You will also need to deal with Tailwind and Trick Room going up (can't possibly check all the users all the time, unlike regular Tree where Tailwind is mostly rare outside of Dexio and the full roster of TR users can be checked by two leads, such as the 4K ones which OHKO every single one jointly -- and Neo-4K just Encores most of them, only Aroma Veil Aromatisse remains a problem, Dusknoir/Slowking die to -2 Bolt iirc), so mons like Ferrothorn vastly increase in viability because you can slap them on as a TR check that also does well by virtue of bulk against speed teams.
The team I'm using is solid but the list of "threats" I put up is basically just stuff that I need to be weary of. Need to assume they're always in the back if they don't lead, play accordingly, and not be too aggressive and end up losing my answers to those sets. They're sets I feel I need specific and immediate answers for where the rest of the AI's sets can be handled by multiple members of my team... Does that make sense? Just engaging the thread seeing which sets people can't stand really.

My team is pretty much a ZapFini team with Mega-Latias instead of Zapdos for some extra bulk plus the Water resistance and Fini runs Taunt and Haze over Calm Mind and Protect. People love CM Fini but I play pretty conservatively so I, generally, value bulk and time/positioning over setup. Calm Mind just doesn't change the calcs enough for me. My offensive EV spreads are for getting the guaranteed 2HKOs with the least amount of damage possible (like if 4EVs does 52% and 252 EVs does 75-85%, I'd rather add bulk). The remaining EVs going to bulk have a bigger impact on my defensive calcs in my opinion. Taunt and Haze wasting turns for the AI and getting me free switches just fits my play-style better.
I also meant that a lot of teams are similar in terms of cores/strategy. A quick run through and you'll notice the type-cores dedicated to specific strategies or the roles certain typings fill vs the AI. I also kind of assumed that "using what you like and are comfortable with" had an understood "within reason" attached to it too haha!
 
Your team reminds me of a squad (two, actually) that I played in EisenTree (hey people itt, play EisenTree):

Latias @ Latiasite, 252 HP / Spe, Timid, Levitate; Calm Mind / Psychic / Ice Beam / Recover
Incineroar @ Mago Berry, ~ 252 HP / SpD, Careful, Intimidate; Fake Out / Flare Blitz / Knock Off / Parting Shot
Marshadow @ Marshadium Z, 252 Atk / Spe, Jolly, Technician; Spectral Thief / Close Combat / Shadow Sneak / Protect
Ferrothorn @ Leftovers, 252 HP / SpD, Sassy, Iron Barbs; Gyro Ball / Curse / Leech Seed / Protect
Celesteela @ Leftovers, ~ 252 HP / some SpD / some Atk, Sassy, Beast Boost; Heavy Slam / Iron Defense / Leech Seed / Protect

I used Mega Latias / Incineroar / Marshadow / Ferrothorn (95 wins) and Mega Latias / Marshadow / Incineroar / Celesteela (92 wins). The most obvious issue is Heatran, since your main out is Close Combat (but Latias can win 1v1 too). There are, of course, other issues; I remember that I lost without recourse to Rage Powder Volcarona. But all in all, getting 90+ in EisenTree is already a sign that your team has notably good matchups on average (most of my "average" streaks fall at 50-70).

I think you're underrating setup and chip (and by extension, mons working together in Doubles). If you're doing 75% to a mon, that isn't 25% excess damage to 2HKO, but rather it means the partner only needs to deal 25%. Investing offense on one mon (both by EVs and by setup) is what frees you up to invest bulk on others: here Marshadow is the fast glue holding everything together by OHKOing a wide variety of threats on demand; it fulfills the same role as Mega Metagross on Zapfini. The bulk investment on Mega Latias also makes sense because it has "enough" SpA (roughly 240 iirc) after CM -- it is a poster child of the two principles "invest speed" and "invest in your worst stats to make your mon good at everything" (what I call the "Ray Rizzo principle"). Similarly, Ferro and Incineroar mega-invest HP / SpD just to get the most out of Intimidate, which is already sufficient Def investment for most purposes (Ferro also has the purpose of switching into Trick Room and moving first to Curse right away, further eliminating the need for Def because of diminishing returns -- also for Atk since Gyro Ball's huge BP compensates: Curse Ferro essentially has a "+2.5 Atk / +1 Def" move).

I'm a fan of Haze (JetSawk in Subway used it). But I'm also a fan of gen5 Sitrus CM + Ludicolo coverage (i.e. Scald / Ice / HP Grass) Suicune, and it seems that it outperforms "Milotic"-likes (Haze is also antisynergic with Inti)... I'm not entirely sure which Fini I would prefer on your specific team, but I think that, particularly with Tailwind and two Intimidates, CM is actually a great "positioning tool" in its own right because it makes Fini tank that much better (if you can tank everything, you don't need to "reposition"), and it is also a wincon in a way that Haze is not (Haze is more "for the next few turns, I'm not going to lose", kind of like Follow Me or Wide Guard). "Please do damage with your teams."

I think what holds your team back the most might just be that it doesn't have the Mega Meta / Marsh role of a hyper offensive (but sufficiently defensively-typed/statlined to survive one hit most of the time) mon. This is where you might want to consider mixed Electrium Z Tapu Koko (Wild Charge / Volt Switch / Dazzling Gleam / Thunder Wave), which as a bonus is a pretty innovative set to Tree Doubles at this time, too. I went with T-Wave over Electroweb because it enables Incineroar better (-2 Spe is enough to make it outrun base 110 positive-natured if going 91 Spe, which you should) and you can boost SpD, which combined with Intimidate may allow defensive plays where T-Wave is essentially free (shame about 90% acc, but I think T-Wave is already a rare click -- should be fine). Koko would also synergize with a Soak Fini if you want that.

There certainly is a taxonomy of archetypal cores (such as Normal + Ghost, Zap + Fini, Lando + Fini, FO + Koko + Electric resist + Steel (4K is just the natural evolution of KokoKang teams), Salamence + Fini + Grass/Steel, Lele + any Steel answer, and the prevalence of FO / speed control) but overall I think there is, among the top20 teams, an impressive equilibrium both between teams that win on defensive type synergy ("cores") vs. teams that win on other synergies, and of balance vs. offense. You probably weren't there for DANA (some now-lost janky tool I wrote that pretty naively analyzes defensive type synergy) but it was able to predict the fourth mon for a given three of about half the leaderboard teams surprisingly well (such as Rain, S&F (Repto's team), Sharkanine (actually predicting Gliscor way before Josh used it), and Mega Lopunny), and completely failed at others (such as 4K and Zapfini). Here is the pastebin of its results: https://pastebin.com/ByQz1zs5 (I forgot how exactly the "k-value" is computed, but lower means more synergy).

Sets I can't stand... Blissey4 and its ilk. Bliss is really the worst of them and if you can beat it, you can beat all the others (also make sure you can beat "a generic Curser", like Hippowdon). I forgot it in my earlier enumeration, but it's certainly something that demands special respect in the builder too.
 
Your team reminds me of a squad (two, actually) that I played in EisenTree (hey people itt, play EisenTree):

Latias @ Latiasite, 252 HP / Spe, Timid, Levitate; Calm Mind / Psychic / Ice Beam / Recover
Incineroar @ Mago Berry, ~ 252 HP / SpD, Careful, Intimidate; Fake Out / Flare Blitz / Knock Off / Parting Shot
Marshadow @ Marshadium Z, 252 Atk / Spe, Jolly, Technician; Spectral Thief / Close Combat / Shadow Sneak / Protect
Ferrothorn @ Leftovers, 252 HP / SpD, Sassy, Iron Barbs; Gyro Ball / Curse / Leech Seed / Protect
Celesteela @ Leftovers, ~ 252 HP / some SpD / some Atk, Sassy, Beast Boost; Heavy Slam / Iron Defense / Leech Seed / Protect

I used Mega Latias / Incineroar / Marshadow / Ferrothorn (95 wins) and Mega Latias / Marshadow / Incineroar / Celesteela (92 wins). The most obvious issue is Heatran, since your main out is Close Combat (but Latias can win 1v1 too). There are, of course, other issues; I remember that I lost without recourse to Rage Powder Volcarona. But all in all, getting 90+ in EisenTree is already a sign that your team has notably good matchups on average (most of my "average" streaks fall at 50-70).

I think you're underrating setup and chip (and by extension, mons working together in Doubles). If you're doing 75% to a mon, that isn't 25% excess damage to 2HKO, but rather it means the partner only needs to deal 25%. Investing offense on one mon (both by EVs and by setup) is what frees you up to invest bulk on others: here Marshadow is the fast glue holding everything together by OHKOing a wide variety of threats on demand; it fulfills the same role as Mega Metagross on Zapfini. The bulk investment on Mega Latias also makes sense because it has "enough" SpA (roughly 240 iirc) after CM -- it is a poster child of the two principles "invest speed" and "invest in your worst stats to make your mon good at everything" (what I call the "Ray Rizzo principle"). Similarly, Ferro and Incineroar mega-invest HP / SpD just to get the most out of Intimidate, which is already sufficient Def investment for most purposes (Ferro also has the purpose of switching into Trick Room and moving first to Curse right away, further eliminating the need for Def because of diminishing returns -- also for Atk since Gyro Ball's huge BP compensates: Curse Ferro essentially has a "+2.5 Atk / +1 Def" move).

I'm a fan of Haze (JetSawk in Subway used it). But I'm also a fan of gen5 Sitrus CM + Ludicolo coverage (i.e. Scald / Ice / HP Grass) Suicune, and it seems that it outperforms "Milotic"-likes (Haze is also antisynergic with Inti)... I'm not entirely sure which Fini I would prefer on your specific team, but I think that, particularly with Tailwind and two Intimidates, CM is actually a great "positioning tool" in its own right because it makes Fini tank that much better (if you can tank everything, you don't need to "reposition"), and it is also a wincon in a way that Haze is not (Haze is more "for the next few turns, I'm not going to lose", kind of like Follow Me or Wide Guard). "Please do damage with your teams."

I think what holds your team back the most might just be that it doesn't have the Mega Meta / Marsh role of a hyper offensive (but sufficiently defensively-typed/statlined to survive one hit most of the time) mon. This is where you might want to consider mixed Electrium Z Tapu Koko (Wild Charge / Volt Switch / Dazzling Gleam / Thunder Wave), which as a bonus is a pretty innovative set to Tree Doubles at this time, too. I went with T-Wave over Electroweb because it enables Incineroar better (-2 Spe is enough to make it outrun base 110 positive-natured if going 91 Spe, which you should) and you can boost SpD, which combined with Intimidate may allow defensive plays where T-Wave is essentially free (shame about 90% acc, but I think T-Wave is already a rare click -- should be fine). Koko would also synergize with a Soak Fini if you want that.

There certainly is a taxonomy of archetypal cores (such as Normal + Ghost, Zap + Fini, Lando + Fini, FO + Koko + Electric resist + Steel (4K is just the natural evolution of KokoKang teams), Salamence + Fini + Grass/Steel, Lele + any Steel answer, and the prevalence of FO / speed control) but overall I think there is, among the top20 teams, an impressive equilibrium both between teams that win on defensive type synergy ("cores") vs. teams that win on other synergies, and of balance vs. offense. You probably weren't there for DANA (some now-lost janky tool I wrote that pretty naively analyzes defensive type synergy) but it was able to predict the fourth mon for a given three of about half the leaderboard teams surprisingly well (such as Rain, S&F (Repto's team), Sharkanine (actually predicting Gliscor way before Josh used it), and Mega Lopunny), and completely failed at others (such as 4K and Zapfini). Here is the pastebin of its results: https://pastebin.com/ByQz1zs5 (I forgot how exactly the "k-value" is computed, but lower means more synergy).

Sets I can't stand... Blissey4 and its ilk. Bliss is really the worst of them and if you can beat it, you can beat all the others (also make sure you can beat "a generic Curser", like Hippowdon). I forgot it in my earlier enumeration, but it's certainly something that demands special respect in the builder too.
What is the EisenTree?? You've mentioned it a lot now but I honestly have no clue what it is lol! Is it the Gen-9 Facility? I actually haven't picked up Scarlett and Violet since the week I bought it
 
It's a mod designed by Eisenherz, you can find it on the Discord server (and if you have cfw, you can play it on your 3DS with a legal instance of USUM -- installing cfw is not hard, imo, and afaik it's not at all illegal either). The aim is basically to make Tree more VGC/DOU-like; sets / rosters are much better (50% berries and Tailwind/Trick Room are everywhere) and updated for gen9 movepools (so e.g. Lando-T can have Sandsear Storm), some useless abilities have been axed (e.g. Pelipper is now always Drizzle), and you can use mons like Diancie, Zeraora and Marshadow (but so can the computer, which also uses Tapus, Ultra Beasts, Aegislash, etc.). Also, people from the Discord server (i.e. from the leaderboard) show up as opponents using their "signature" mons (prepare to get wrecked by Zapfini). It is pretty "hardcore": the top streak is only 325 (with FEAR) and, as mentioned, most teams die in the 50-70 range -- less than 10 have broken 100. The facility is engineered to hamper the strategies that excelled in regular Tree to some extent (I think Zapfini's best streak is ~40-50, and other leaderboard teams -- especially Tailwind/Trick Room ones -- have struggled similarly), but FEAR, LuchaLele, Rain and 4K actually got pretty good results anyway (with modifications... except 4K which Silverstar just plugged in and got 230 lol). What's also cool is that reduced-accuracy moves become a real consideration due to streak length being much lower: I stand by Hydro Cannon Greninja and Draining Kiss / Hydro Pump Tapu Fini. I prefer the mod to regular Tree not least because it takes much less time while nearly every battle is challenging, but also because, well, it's more like VGC. And like there, Incineroar (now with Parting Shot) is probably the best individual Pokémon in a way.

Gen9 has no facility at all. Yeah. It's people like you still fiending oldgens who keep this game alive now, so thank you. If you want, you can ask Eisenherz on Discord to participate in the amusingly-named EisenBerry Academy, which is essentially him playing you in SV PvP "like an AI" with a randomly-rolled team. I haven't played any Pokémon game past gen7 myself.
 
Gen9 has no facility at all. Yeah. It's people like you still fiending oldgens who keep this game alive now, so thank you. If you want, you can ask Eisenherz on Discord to participate in the amusingly-named EisenBerry Academy, which is essentially him playing you in SV PvP "like an AI" with a randomly-rolled team. I haven't played any Pokémon game past gen7 myself.
I was so disappointed in S/V not having a battle facility that I decided to invent sets for a hypothetical one. It took a few months to finish, but it was enjoyable and taught me a lot about the move pools and potential of many Pokemon.

https://pastebin.com/sXXKkjZ4

While I did use plenty of moves like Protect and Helping Hand on the sets, I did imagine that, like the Tree, the sets would be used by the NPCs for both Singles and Doubles, so Protect is not virtually ubiquitous like it would be on sets exclusively used in Doubles. I sincerely hope that Legends ZA throws facility players a bone, but I'm not optimistic.
 
It's a mod designed by Eisenherz, you can find it on the Discord server (and if you have cfw, you can play it on your 3DS with a legal instance of USUM -- installing cfw is not hard, imo, and afaik it's not at all illegal either). The aim is basically to make Tree more VGC/DOU-like; sets / rosters are much better (50% berries and Tailwind/Trick Room are everywhere) and updated for gen9 movepools (so e.g. Lando-T can have Sandsear Storm), some useless abilities have been axed (e.g. Pelipper is now always Drizzle), and you can use mons like Diancie, Zeraora and Marshadow (but so can the computer, which also uses Tapus, Ultra Beasts, Aegislash, etc.). Also, people from the Discord server (i.e. from the leaderboard) show up as opponents using their "signature" mons (prepare to get wrecked by Zapfini). It is pretty "hardcore": the top streak is only 325 (with FEAR) and, as mentioned, most teams die in the 50-70 range -- less than 10 have broken 100. The facility is engineered to hamper the strategies that excelled in regular Tree to some extent (I think Zapfini's best streak is ~40-50, and other leaderboard teams -- especially Tailwind/Trick Room ones -- have struggled similarly), but FEAR, LuchaLele, Rain and 4K actually got pretty good results anyway (with modifications... except 4K which Silverstar just plugged in and got 230 lol). What's also cool is that reduced-accuracy moves become a real consideration due to streak length being much lower: I stand by Hydro Cannon Greninja and Draining Kiss / Hydro Pump Tapu Fini. I prefer the mod to regular Tree not least because it takes much less time while nearly every battle is challenging, but also because, well, it's more like VGC. And like there, Incineroar (now with Parting Shot) is probably the best individual Pokémon in a way.

Gen9 has no facility at all. Yeah. It's people like you still fiending oldgens who keep this game alive now, so thank you. If you want, you can ask Eisenherz on Discord to participate in the amusingly-named EisenBerry Academy, which is essentially him playing you in SV PvP "like an AI" with a randomly-rolled team. I haven't played any Pokémon game past gen7 myself.
Draining Kiss Fini is something I've always wanted in USUM Super Singles for Calm Mind sets. I'm definitely going to check this out. Will it permanently change my current copy of USUM or is it a separate download?
 
Separate. It's a patch, you can remove it again at any time. There is also a save file available separately that gives you "100%" game completion -- you should back up your save before installing it. It's mostly not necessary if you use PKHeX, which is allowed for the EisenTree leaderboard -- in fact, policy has recently been changed to allow most legal hacks in oldgens (with an "asterisk" added to the streak), which I appreciate because our competition should really be purely about the battling, not who invests the most dead time into learning / executing RNG manipulation or goddamn Voltorb Flip, or was wise enough to collect / clone mons that can no longer be obtained (Dream World...). In current gens, it makes sense to ban PKHeX to level the playing field, but I believe it has the opposite effect if banned in oldgens, particularly since those who can still play them with "legit" mons probably use external software in the first place. (Side note: I played only with "legit" mons when gen7 was current. I happened to join during the first generation that made 95% of Pokémon creation in-game nearly as fair as PKHeX. But note that I didn't have access to such important mons as e.g. Seismic Toss Kangaskhan while others did; is that really fair in the spirit of competition? Equality of opportunity should not hinge on who buys the most Nintendo product on the aftermarket or who has the most tolerance for grinding, I think (I read about someone else's resetting for Adamant Kang in the Safari Zone and it was absurd). Support the game / devs, obviously.)
 
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It's been a long time but I am back with a new personal best, reporting an ongoing streak of 221 wins in USUM battle tree doubles.

I'm not sure how to provide proof now that the 3DS servers have gone away, but here is a picture of my in-game record, and I saved a few replays on the way. I don't have a capture card to record footage, but if I need to do more to provide proof I can add the extra bits.

PXL_20240505_120404242.jpg




This is part of my now years-long quest to achieve the battle tree ribbon with every mega pokemon. I've been tackling this extremely casually, sometimes taking weeks or even months off between attempts. After struggling for the better part of 6 months with Mega Sableye (It's soooo bad) I finally got the ribbon for it and moved on to better pokemon, starting with Mega Gardevoir, which has rewarded me with my longest streak yet.

I really liked the look of Couer7's Illumise/ Xurkitree team (shown here) and wanted to try something similar out myself. Gardevoir seemed like an excellent partner for it, but after taking a loss against a sturdy Magnezone in the early 40s, I decided to make some slight tweaks to the moveset and ended up with the team below. After my last leaderboard team (203 wins with Mega-Alakazam, detailed here) felt super strong but also boring af to play, this was a welcome new PB. This team is engaging, fun, and super powerful.

In additon, the opening pair feel like an absolute dream, like they were meant to play together. It's an iconic duo, leading to me naming this team:

TEAM MEAN GIRLS

0282Gardevoir-Mega.png

Gardevoir-Mega @ Gardevoirite
Ability: Pixilate
EVs: 100 HP / 76 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 76 Spe
Modest Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Psychic
- Taunt
- Protect

The centrepiece of the team. I wanted to go with Modest 252 SpAtk to maximize the damage output from Hyper Voice, and in Tailwind 76 speed is enough for Gardevoir to outspeed everything in the tree except Aerodactyl-1 (which doesn't appear after battle 40). With some EVs left over I invested the rest into bulk as I felt my first attempt with 252spe felt too fragile. This version will survive bullet punches from Mega Lucario and every Scizor except Mega Scizor, which is good enough for me. Taunt was an excellent control move, especially in conjunction with Illumise's encore, and the pair exerted incredible control over every battle.
This Gardevoir has Trace pre-mega, and while the traced ability has almost never actually been useful, scouting out the opponents has been critical to this streak's length. Knowing an opposing Magnezone doesn't have Sturdy has come up more than once, and so has knowing when a Metagross doesn't have clear body. This team has a great toolbox, and knowing how to play (or not play) certain turns maximizes its effectiveness.

0314Illumise.png

Diva (Illumise) (F) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 244 HP / 124 Def / 140 SpD
Bold Nature
- Struggle Bug
- Fake Tears
- Tailwind
- Encore

Honestly, this pokemon has been the star of the show. This is a slight variation on Couer7's Illumise, as my first run lost when Illumise was last mon standing against a Sturdy Magnezone with 1HP... with no attacking moves. I replaced Protect with Struggle Bug and I've never missed it. Struggle Bug is nice for chip damage, but it also has some decent utility, giving the team a bit more bulk against special attackers, as well as a much-needed option to do something against mono-dark trainers. The original version's Focus Sash felt a little redundant to me as after setting Tailwind it usually didn't matter whether Illumise survived a hit or not, and confusion/sleep/para/freeze would be much more threatening than a KO in that spot, so Lum berry felt like a much safer option. 220 battles later, opposing pokemon will still Thunder wave Illumise, only to get hit by Encore/ Taunt next turn, and having that anti-cheese option is incredibly satisfying. Encore has also been my primary answer to Trick Room, and outside of Tailwind is probably my most used move. Illumise has surpassed all my expectations - this thing rules.

konno-o SM.png

Kommo-o @ Kommonium Z
Ability: Soundproof
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Clanging Scales
- Flamethrower
- Close Combat
- Protect

This is just a classic Battle Tree set at this point and it partnered up incredibly well with both Gardevoir and Illumise, making it the perfect third pokemon. If Illumise goes down, very little survives the onslaught of Clangorous Soulblaze + Pixilate Hyper Voice. If Gardevoir goes down, Fake Tears pushes Clanging Scales' damage high enough for Kommo-o to OHKO almost the entire tree. I feel this slot could be optimized a little more as it's a little tough to switch in and Soundproof feels sub-optimal as an ability (Bulletproof would allow it to switch in on Shadow Balls/ Sludge Bombs aimed at Gardevoir, and Overcoat would make it sturdier in Sand or Hail), but it's more than holding its own. Close combat is great against Heatran even with the Modest Nature, and I'd use it at -10% damage 100 times out of 100 before I'd ever click Focus Blast. Luckily I'm rarely in that situation, and while CC is a great tool, Clangorous Soulblaze feels like a cheatcode, and it easily closes out games by itself. It's a huge shame this thing was nerfed so badly in later gens, it's awesome.

0555Darmanitan.png

OOGA BOOGA! (Darmanitan) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Rock Slide
- Encore
- Protect

In the final slot I really wanted a physical fire type because Mega-Mawile and all forms of Metagross completely demolish the rest of the team. I've wanted to try out Darmanitan for a while, and with the Z-move already allocated (locking out my usual Fire options of Arcanine, Entei and Incineroar), this was its time to shine. It has not disappointed. STAB Sheer Force Life Orb Flare Blitz in Tailwind dishes out absolutely absurd damage, even on resisted hits. Fire/Rock coverage is awesome, and Rockslide does some very respectable spread damage, even if the chance to miss is sometimes a bit painful. Having a second Encore pokemon sometimes feels redundant and sometimes feels excellent, but tbh 90% of the time it's either Flare Blitz or Protect with this thing, so having a sometimes excellent third move is more than good enough.
Tailwind made Jolly nature a bit redundant, but usually by the time Darmanitan hits the field Tailwind has expired, so the extra points in speed were useful more often than not.


THREATS

Unlike my last listed team, I feel like this team has a number of credible threats which actually take some very careful maneuvering to handle.

Mega-Mawile
It can OHKO the entire team. Darmanitan is the only pokemon on the team that can handle Mawile reliably, and it is not sturdy enough to switch in on it. When it comes out, the only play is to sac whatever's on the field to get a clean switch into Darmanitan and kill it ASAP. Darmanitan is the best option, but notably both versions of M-Mawile will also die at -2 SpDef to Kommo-o's Flamethrower, so you need to prioritize killing it over setting up Clangorous Soulblaze, which then leaves Kommo-o exposed. It's nuts. This thing forces the whole gameplan to warp around it more than anything else in the tree, and it is the number 1 threat to the team.

Metagross
Some versions are more threatening than others, but it's always a problem. If it's either Mega-metagross or not Clear Body, then Fake Tears makes Hyper Voice do some decent damage to soften it up well for Kommo-o, but realistically Gardevoir is not going to live vs this thing. The key decision vs Metagross is whether to sacrifice Gardevoir for some chip damage or risk taking damage on either darmanitan or kommo-o switching into it. It's never an easy decision.

Mono-Fairy Teams
It seems like a weird threat to identify as Gardevoir should mow down these teams easily, but if the opposing trainer has a Mawile you absolutely cannnot risk losing Gardevoir - Kommo-o is completely useless vs fairies, and Darmanitan will kill itself to recoil chip damage before the other team dies. Underestimate them at your peril. Play strategically, sac Kommo-o, conserve Gardevoir, and eliminate Mawile ASAP.

Magnezone
It resists both Gardevoir's STAB attacks and takes negligible damage even after Fake Tears, but worst of all, if it's Analytic it will also tear ENORMOUS chunks out of Kommo-o or Darmantian switching in. Disable on Gardevoir might have been nice vs this, but tbh Analytic Thunderbolt still does tons of damage, so it's not worth giving up Taunt for. Treat it with caution.

Primarina
It's no serious threat to the front two, but Kommo-o/ Darmanitan literally cannot beat this thing. Fake Tears + Hyper Voice should make short work of it, but getting the opportunity to land those attacks is not easy, especially as its Water attacks still deal tons of damage to Gardevoir. It's not as threatening as everything else on this list, but requires careful play to beat all the same.

Heatran
There's just no pretty way to handle this thing. Gardevoir + Illumise can barely touch it and Darmanitan's Flare Blitz is useless too. Kommo-o is a decent answer but it's not an easy switch in. Pave the way for a clean switch in to Kommo-o and hope that's good enough.



The run continues and I will update here when it inevitably ends, but I am glad this now my highest performing team. It's fun to play, has a ton of control options, a decent amount of hax insurance, and difficult but not insurmountable weaknesses. I feel like every win is earned, and when the inevitable loss comes it'll probably have been preventable somehow.

Only 8 megas remain, including Kangaskhan, Metagross, Salamence, and both forms of Charizard, so I expect this may not be my last leaderboard entry, but if it is - it's a great team to close out on.
 
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I'm glad you found something in Illumise, but cannot agree with your critique of my moveset (maybe we can discuss this again when you hit 1500+). Protect is necessary at least for opposing Fake Out and Focus Sash is indicated at least for Gale Wings Talonflame4, never mind that I've played both Illumise and Level 1 Cottonee to exhaustion and found that getting more actions out of the Tailwind setter instead of treating it as sacrificial is vital to success. (It's different in EisenTree.) I don't know why you consider KOs to Illumise unthreatening, yet status important enough to use Lum instead of a 50% berry; surely if Illu gets para'd/frozen/slept you can just Protect Garde and switch in Kommo-o on the KO'd Illu next turn, with pretty much no difference. Also paralysis barely impedes Illumise, sleep is rare, and you probably don't want to Encore Ice moves.

Bulletproof is best. Consider all the attacks it blocks, and then consider you don't want Mega Alakazam to Trace Soundproof. I don't think the Tree has many relevant sound moves, either (again, it's different in EisenTree where you may want to block Clangorous Soulblaze and Pixilate Hyper Voice). Spend an Ability Capsule. Kommo-o almost never switches in directly, that is part and parcel of Kommo-o teams. Bulk EVs would only compromise its main function and especially its ability to work outside of speed control.

If you struggle this much against Steels despite having Darmanitan (another choice I don't agree with -- why exactly can't it be Incineroar if you've already accepted losing to Primarina if your lead goes down? never mind that 244 HP / 252 SpD AV Incineroar has about a 55% shot to win 1v1 even against the Waterium Z set with Thunder Punch; that said you're possibly also losing to Soundproof Kommo-o if you can't Psychic it), maybe HP Ground on Mega Gardevoir would be worth it more than Taunt, more so because you can already Encore every T1 status move (with Focus Sash you'd be guaranteed to, too) including most Trick Rooms, and Aroma Veil Aromatisse doesn't get solved by Taunt either.

I've considered Mega Gardevoir and Sylveon as partners for Illumise on my team, but Xurkitree blows them out of the water, both defensively (no weaknesses with Air Balloon; immunity to T-Wave) and offensively (Beast Boost; Electric/Fairy coverage; Tail Glow).
 
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What Mons in the Battle Tree give you the most trouble?
Posting this from my phone, so I wouldn't be surprised to find that I botched the reply syntax somehow.

Anyway: Mega Gengar. Hate that guy. Immune to Fake Out, outspeeds almost the entire Pokedex, the fully offensive EVs mean you get nuked by the STAB with a 30% chance to poison you on top of the damage.
 

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