SS UU Caged Bird

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
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UU & Tour Head

OVERVIEW:

While most people have focused on HO and setup spam in this early ladder, I’ve mostly been veering toward stall and semistall. I’m finding it a really consistent playstyle right now, with Unaware in particular being an incredibly useful tool to help deal with the myriad setup sweepers infesting the tier.

Rather than going full stall, though, I wanted to put together a team that could put on some decent offensive pressure when necessary while still primarily focusing on defensive answers to most threats. In particular, I was interested in something that used the combination of defensive Kommo-o and Doublade. Defensive Kommo-o is a really great set at the moment thanks to the addition of Body Press, which gives it a powerful STAB move (to put things into perspective, it hits almost as hard against a neutral target as a 252 SpA Clanging Scales) without sacrificing any of its defensive utility. Doublade, meanwhile, is the epitome of incorporating defense into your offense, and with Wish support can consistently check a number of threats throughout the game while also serving as a potent offensive threat that can close games on its own.

The rest of the team came together fairly quickly. Sigilyph was another powerful offensive threat, and I specifically wanted to use a Roost set to more reliably switch in on common ‘mons like Galarian Weezing. Umbreon and Quagsire followed suit, providing the very necessary Wish support and Unaware. Finally, I closed with a Taunt Drapion set to provide Toxic Spikes and Knock support while also serving as a defense against opposing TSpikes teams.

I’ve been really happy with the results. The team has been extremely consistent for me on the ladder, in roomtours and in private matches. An afternoon of laddering with it was enough to propel me to #2 on the UU ladder (EDIT: #1 now), and those that I’ve shared the team with have had similar success. I wanted to share it here as an example of how bulkier teams can still thrive in the UU dynamax meta.



THE TEAM:

:Kommo-o: :doublade: :sigilyph: :umbreon: :quagsire: :drapion:

:SM/kommo-o:
Kommo-o @ Leftovers
Ability: Soundproof
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Body Press
- Dragon Tail
- Protect

Defensive Kommo-o was the main set I wanted to use. It has a fantastic typing and got a huge boon in Body Press, which gives it a strong STAB attack without sacrificing its bulk. It is one of the absolute best checks to the always-deadly Crawdaunt available. Soundproof makes this a very nice check for Clangorous Soul Kommo-o as well (though obviously you have to watch out for dynamax). Dragon Tail can be a bit of a risk in dynamax meta but is still really useful. As for the last move, I’ve toyed with both Flamethrower and Protect, but I prefer Protect for scouting and the extra turn of Leftovers.

:SM/doublade:
Doublade @ Eviolite
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Close Combat
- Shadow Sneak

Doublade has managed to find its way onto almost every single one of my UU Alpha teams. The reduced distribution of Knock Off is huge for it. So is the addition of Close Combat to its movepool, which hits neutral targets harder than Shadow Claw while also tearing through bulky Steels. Shadow Sneak is also great at picking off big threats like Gengar, Polteageist and opposing Sigilyph. And Doublade becomes especially deadly under dynamax, where it’s damned near unkillable and can boost its attack and defense with Max Knuckle and Max Steelstrike. It provides a ton of defensive utility to the team as well, especially with Wish support, and it completely shuts down pretty much every spinner in UU bar Earth Power Claydol.

:SM/sigilyph:
Sigilyph @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Air Slash
- Stored Power
- Roost

LO Roost Sigilyph is probably my favorite dynamax sweeper. It has a great Speed tier right off the bat, beating out the crowded base 95s, and even without dynamaxing LO Air Slash hits surprisingly hard. If it gets a Calm Mind off at any point, it can easily turn into a full sweep: +1 LO Max Airstream is outrageously strong, OHKOing resists like Duraludon and 2HKOing bulky special walls like Umbreon while also boosting Speed. Better still, after dynamax expires you’re often left with a base 120 Stored Power. It also serves as a status sponge, a ground immunity and a stallbreaker. It’s really excellent at turning around games, and I believe it’s right up there with Charizard as one of the most deadly Airstream users (and unlike Charizard, can still put in decent work even without dynamaxing). As for the set, I’ve toyed with a couple of variations but Roost is huge for switching into Pokemon like Galarian Weezing, and Stored Power tends to overwhelm stall once you break through Umbreon.

:SM/umbreon:
Umbreon @ Leftovers
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Foul Play
- Yawn
- Protect
- Wish

I mentioned Wish support, which is really important for this team. That meant looking to the Eeveelutions, specifically Umbreon or Sylveon. I’ve had good success with both, but Umbreon got the nod for its ability to more reliably check the offensive Ghosts (Gengar in particular). Yawn is very handy for forcing out dynamax users, and can keep things like Charizard and Sigilyph from getting out of hand. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory. I run Careful instead of Calm and don’t drop my Attack EVs because Foul Play becomes a physical Max Darkness if you dynamax.

:SM/quagsire:
Quagsire @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
- Curse
- Scald
- Earthquake
- Recover

Since UU doesn’t have Ditto, I think most bulky teams really need an Unaware ‘mon to keep from being overwhelmed in this meta. Mostly I prefer Pyuk for its Ice and Water resists but I wanted a Ground type on this team, so Quagsire ended up going in. It’s also a bit less passive than Pyuk, and can Curse up against things like Mamoswine and Weavile to become less reliant on dodging flinches to survive. Basically this provides me with a solid defensive answer to the majority of physical setup sweepers that Kommo isn’t able to check.

:SM/drapion:
Drapion @ Black Sludge
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Knock Off
- Poison Jab
- Toxic Spikes

I think most of the hazard removal in UU is kind of garbage right now, which means TSpikes are absolutely deadly. Based on that, I wanted both a grounded Poison type on the team to absorb opposing TSpikes, and I wanted a way to set them myself. There are only a few viable ‘mons that can do that. On other teams I’ve had some really good success with Mareanie, but that was a bit too passive for this one, and so I decided that I would go with either Rose or Drapion. Both are pretty decent, but in general I found Drapion performed better overall. Knock Off is always in high demand and Taunt is excellent, especially against the Sub sweepers that people have taken to running to cteam stall. It’s been really fantastic glue in general, able to capture that balance of defensive utility and offensive pressure that I was going for with this team.



THREATS:

Sirfetch’d
- Sirfetch’d runs through Doublade thanks to Scrappy, can punish Kommo-o with a powerful Brave Bird and can dynamax to boost its Speed and avoid the revenge kill from Sigilyph. Quagsire is theoretically an alright check thanks to Curse but it struggles to switch in, since CC does enough that it’s forced to spam Recover and risk crits (and once it gets knocked, Adamant Sirfetch’d has a 30% chance to 2HKO, making it far from reliable anyhow). If the opponent is using this, it’s often worthwhile to blow your dynamax to take this out.

Frosmoth - #snommunistmanifesto. Mostly I think Frosmoth isn’t very good in UU, but as it doesn’t have trouble breaking through Umbreon or Quagsire, it can turn into a threat if you aren’t careful. Doublade is still a very strong check, but a +1 Max Hailstorm can do 75%, so staying healthy is important. Otherwise, focus on not letting it set up and don’t be afraid to dynamax Doublade if necessary.

Charizard - I feel like Charizard should show up in most teams’ threat lists. Considering how deadly this thing is even in OU, it should be no surprise that it can run through UU, and without really niche checks like Mantine or Mareanie it pretty much always at least punches a hole in most teams. It’s not unstoppable, though. Without sun Umbreon can check it, so if you can predict it coming in you can usually force it out. If they get it in on something that it can safely Max Flare on, don’t hard switch Umbreon in. Instead, the most reliable way to deal with it is to sack something so that Umbreon can get in without taking damage, and then Yawn it. Once it blows its dynamax, it is much less of a threat.

Spikes - While Rocks, Webs and TSpikes don’t bother you much, Spikes can definitely get annoying due to your lack of hazard control. How you deal with this is going to be dependent on what they use as a setter, but you should be able to restrict them to one layer at most with Doublade or Drapion. Against Spike-focused teams, try to lay your own hazards down early and play aggressively to avoid taking too much unnecessary damage early on.

---

DYNAMAXING:

Dynamaxing on a team like this is just as important as it is on a team full of sweepers, though it’s not always straightforward. When in doubt, though, follow the golden rule: with a team like this, nine times out of ten it’s better to dynamax second, not first.

My general advice is to pay attention during preview to consider reasons why you might need to dynamax. The first thing I generally look at is the Sigilyph matchup. A surprisingly large number of teams pretty much lose to this at preview if you can get a free CM up. More often they’ll have one or two soft checks, which you can focus on wearing down with hazards, Knock, etc. I also like to look at their Doublade matchup as well, since Doublade is another great target for offensively dynamaxing. Finally, you’ll want to think about threats you can take out with a surprise early dynamax that can open up holes for the rest of the team. For example, it might be worthwhile to pop your dynamax early if it means taking out the opponent’s only reliable Doublade check, or their only way of dealing with Toxic Spikes.

The next thing you’ll want to keep in mind is whether you’ll be required to dynamax defensively. There are a few things that will likely require dynamaxing to properly handle. Sirfetch’d, for example, can be a real pain for the team unless you max. Gengar is another one that might require dynamaxing if it’s LO Focus Blast, so until you scout the item or it reveals Thunderbolt, you’ll want to keep that in your back pocket. Substitute sweepers that can break Quagsire such as SubNP Rotom-Fan are also much easier to deal with if you haven’t maxed yet.

In general, be patient but don’t be afraid to click that dynamax button. If you can maneuver your opponent to using their dynamax first, you can usually get yourself into a winning situation. That said, you can’t win if you let yourself get swept or have half the team broken down before you get a chance to go on the offensive yourself. If the opponent has a threat that can break your team and you need to dyna to reliably stop it, pull the trigger and trust that you can close the endgame without requiring a dyna sweep.

Finally, don’t fall into the sunken costs fallacy. I see a lot of people who keep their dynamax’d mon in play for all three turns even when it would be at a disadvantage to do so, because otherwise it feels like they’ve “wasted” it. If the optimal play is to switch out, do it! Things like Sigilyph are surprisingly good at coming back to life in the late game thanks to hazard immunity and a speedy Roost. Don’t throw it away when you don’t have to just because you won’t get another chance at a Max Airstream boost. The same goes for defensive dynamaxing; often you just need to dynamax for a single turn to stop a particular threat, and the best play is to immediately switch out afterwards.

REPLAYS:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1026212569
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1026597124
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1024429914
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1024241673
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1024352853-ej9n0ao6yls1yws0i6k6aceqkaq5se5pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8uu-1026207367-i8mhzpjeiq4j7vnb28nj012b97gdxbwpw

IMPORTABLE:
Kommo-o @ Leftovers
Ability: Soundproof
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Body Press
- Dragon Tail
- Protect

Doublade @ Eviolite
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Close Combat
- Shadow Sneak

Sigilyph @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Air Slash
- Stored Power
- Roost

Umbreon @ Leftovers
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Foul Play
- Yawn
- Protect
- Wish

Quagsire @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
- Curse
- Scald
- Earthquake
- Recover

Drapion @ Black Sludge
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Knock Off
- Poison Jab
- Toxic Spikes
 

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
Just a quick update: just cracked the 1700s with the team, which I think is the first team to do so on the UU ladder.



(Apologies for the massive image, it's a mobile screenshot... Will make it smaller when I get to a computer tonight.)
 
Cool team man, I thought that now that dynamax is banned, switching quagsire for centiskorch could help to check those sirfetch and frosthmost, and even Charizard if he doesnt run any flying move

Centiskorch @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Flame Body / Flash Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Fire Lash
- Knock Off / Will-O-Wisp
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Tell me what you think about this change
 

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