SM OU Celestial Alignment: a Semi-Stall Team

Charmflash

Michelle Light
is a Tiering Contributoris a Tutor Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion



Hello and welcome to another RMT of mine. I've been asked by various parties about what I've been using for OLT and now that I've qualified I feel comfortable going over the only team I've been using for this cycle, from start to finish. I already revealed this team in my WCoP post, however, I would like to go more in-depth than the three lines I've said about it there, and I'd also like to address why this team is a great choice for ladder play, which managed to single-handedly carry not one but two players past the finish line.




Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Impish Nature
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed
- Spikes
- Protect

My starting point for this team. I've always enjoyed Ferrothorn as a Pokemon, however, I was unable to make him work much lately, prior to this team. In my opinion, you need another Steel-type neutral to Fighting-type moves in order to be able to play Ferrothorn towards his strengths, rather than trying to switch him into Tapu Lele and Mega-Alakazam. Luckily I had a core in mind that consisted of two Steel-types, namely Ferrothorn+Celesteela+HP Ground Ditto. Since we are not looking towards Ferrothorn to check the previously mentioned special attackers, we can afford to run significant physical investment for threats like Mega-Gyarados/Gyarados and Mega-Swampert. A healthy chunk of special defense is kept intact in order to check Pokemon such as Manaphy and three attacks Mega-Lati@s lacking HP Fire as well as certain Magearna sets. Power Whip, Leech Seed, and Spikes are a given for reasons mentioned above while Protect got filled in later for scouting reasons and to improve recovery while being able to weaken Z-moves from the likes of Magearna and Gyarados. Protect is a reoccurring theme on this team as it too is a form of priority, especially paired with many status-inducing moves and Leech Seed.



Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 228 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 7 Spe
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower
- Leech Seed
- Protect​

Celesteela is our secondary Steel-type and he is another Pokemon I hold in high regards, but unlike Ferrothorn I've managed to frequently fit him onto teams in the past. To no one's surprise, Celesteela has fantastic defensive utility and has an insanely annoying Leech Seed. In tandem with Spikes / Stealth Rock this Pokemon can serve as a win condition in its own right and it is in fact the only Pokemon able to boost on this team. Heavy special defense is used in order to switch into the aforementioned Psychic-types while also allowing Celesteela to serve as the Spike-immune Ash-Greninja check as best as possible. 7 Speed IV's underspeeds min speed Magearna, which is particularly important against AV variants (so they cannot shake off Leech Seed via Volt Switch by creeping slightly below you) but also helps vs. Trick Room versions. None of the moves actually need any introduction, although the second Protect is notable.



Ditto @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Imposter
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 SpD / 1 Spe
- Transform

The godliest of blobs himself, Ditto, completes our double Steel-type core. Not only does he offer protection from Magnezone via a double-switch (our Steel-types are very slow so we will be able to switch out 2nd and copy Magnezone most of the time) / sack of Steel-type #1 with Hidden Power [Ground] IV's, he also provides us with the necessary Scarf / Unaware Pokemon. Ditto is unrivaled when it comes to revenge killing boosted threats, oftentimes preventing their boost by its sheer existence as your opponent would just end up sweeping himself. Moreover, Ditto also offers other utility than being the best revenge killer in the tier, namely the aforementioned Steel-type protection as well as infinite PP and access to clutch moves / abilities, which is essential for desirable Choice Scarf user in the modern metagame. 1 Speed IV is the least amount of Speed we can run while keeping 31 HP IV's and Hidden Power [Ground]



Latias-Mega @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
-Roost​

Next, I needed some Fire-resists to go with my Steel-types and Mega-Latias actually covers all 3 Steel-type weaknesses. Mega-Latias deals with an absurd amount of offensively oriented Pokemon ranging from Kartana to Tornadus-Therian due to its insane base-stats and coverage options. Particularly the great speed tier is a very welcomed change, giving us another fast mon besides Ditto. Mega-Latias also helps us deal with some setup-sweepers Ditto dislikes such as SD Facade Gliscor as well as Calm Mind Reuniclus to some extent. The EV's are pretty straight-forward, they simply aim to maximize speed and bulk. As for moves, there are actually a variety of decent choices one can opt for. Initially I had Ice Beam / Surf / Hidden Power Fire, however, you can run into problems when facing the likes of Hawlucha / Mega-Charizard X (the fire/ground/dd/roost set) and most importantly Manaphy, so Psychic was something I really wanted to fit in as it also hits the likes of Toxapex and Tapu Fini for good damage while 2hkoing Mega-Medicham. In order to fit Psychic, I had to find a move that could one-hit Kartana and hit Heatran for decent damage and there are only two moves in Mega-Latias' arsenal capable of the first feat without SpA investment, while only one move out of those two can also hit Heatran: Hidden Power [Fighting]. This option was especially appealing as it can also hit Pursuit-trappers for insane damage (good chance to OHKO Weavile / 2HKO BandTar) and 2HKO Ash-Greninja.



Toxapex @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 204 SpD / 52 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Recover
- Haze
- Baneful Bunker

Toxapex is a major pillar this team desperately requires. Not only does he have access to the obligatory Regenerator, he also comes with an immunity to Toxic and some other key traits such as its ability to absorb Toxic Spikes and spread status in order to whittle at opposing Pokemon via Hazards / Status / Leech Seed. As one of the most reliable Fire-resists in the tier I knew pretty early on that this Pokemon was destined to be on the team. Scald and Recover are mandatory moves on Toxapex (outside of Z-Liquidation lures) and I have a strong dislike for Haze-less Toxapex overall, but it can be justified at times. Now is not one of those time, however, as Ditto absolutely adores Toxapex his ability to Haze bulky setup-sweeper he is unable to revenge due to them walling themselves. Last but not least, Baneful Bunker was chosen as the filler move of choice in order to fix some otherwise iffy (to say at least) matchups, namely Mega-Medicham, Ash-Greninja, Crawdaunt, Subdrum Kommo-o etc. . Baneful Bunker also gives us our third Protect on the team, allowing even the slowest of our members to have a say on the matter at any time. The EV's have been optimized to take on Reuniclus as best as possible.



Gliscor @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 52 Def / 188 SpD / 24 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Roost
- Knock Off
- Stealth Rock​

And finally there is the obligatory Ground-type, in this case Gliscor, completing the team. Gliscor encompassed everything this team was missing such as a Stealth Rock setter, a Knock Off user, a Toxapex and SpD Heatran switch-in, and the ability to have unlimited switches (when paired with Toxapex). Roost and Earthquake are also mandatory. As for its EV spread, I decided to run the standard spread but only with enough speed for modest Heatran and slot the remaining EV's into SpD. This way Gliscor can combat things such as Tornadus-Therian, Peliper, Tapu Fini, modest Heatran etc. much better. This set is highly flexible, however, and should be focused around what you are personally facing (more speed for Mega-Tyranitar or timid Heatran / Hoopa-U ...).



Kyurem-Black
Probably the single most threatening Pokemon. You need to figure out this Pokemon's set via Protect / Ditto before attempting to play accordingly against it. Against physical z-Freeze Shock sets your play will be to try and protect / catch the z-move with Toxapex and then beat it via Latias + Pex or Ferrothorn if it lacks Substitute. Versus other variants your best bet, usually, is to try and status it early or stall its 8 Fusion Bolts while not losing your entire team.
Manaphy
Is a bit of a bummer to deal with as the whole game will revolve around not letting Manaphy to Rest too many times and revenge killing something with Ditto. Is more of a problem for non-Psychic Mega-Latias versions than for this team, however, be wary of it one-shotting your water-resists at +3 in rain via Z-move.
Ash-Greninja
No Dark-resist. Take any chip you can on this, if you can burn it its over for Ashgren. If it attempts to Spike up just match by setting your own Spikes
Substitute
Substitute allows your opponent to dodge Ditto's ability and it can be set up on one of your many Protects. You need to figure out which Pokemon are likely to use it and play accordingly
Mega-Sableye Stall with Spikes
This is quite simply unwinnable in the long run, usually. Without Spikes you can go infinite with Toxapex, Gliscor and Ditto while pressuring some specific PP, depeding on the stall you are facing.
... Mega-Heracross / Hoopa-U / Crawdaunt-esque Pokemon
Trade smart against them. It is oftentimes fine if you give 1 1/2 Pokemon or so up for one of these if you wall the rest of their team with your remaining stuff


-Draco Meteor on Mega-Latias for: Kyurem-Black
-Ice Beam / Surf / Hidden Power [Fire] on Mega-Latias for: Scizor / Ferrothorn as well as Tran and some other Fire-types.
- Thunder(bolt) on Mega-Latias for: Water-types, particularly nice for Manaphy
-Speed EV's on Gliscor can very easily go up to Hoopa-U, perhaps even higher.
-Toxapex can run more speed for hard creeping Reuniclus, however, with the given EV spread you barely lose any special bulk which isnt the case if you remove any more of it.
-Metal Sound + Air Slash Celesteela or otherwise Block shenanigans are possible. Former is for: Bulky CM such as Reuniclus

might update this later


Toxapex @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 204 SpD / 52 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Recover
- Haze
- Baneful Bunker

Gliscor @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 52 Def / 188 SpD / 24 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Roost
- Knock Off
- Stealth Rock

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Impish Nature
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed
- Spikes
- Protect

Ditto @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Imposter
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 SpD / 1 Spe
- Transform

Latias-Mega @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Roost

Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 228 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 7 Spe
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower
- Leech Seed
- Protect


Why this team?

- Usually has multiple defensive answers to the most prominent threats in the tier
- Absurd amounts of resources on Knock Off Gliscor, Toxapex, Ditto etc.
- Tripple water-resists match up great against non-Manaphy rain.
- Able to take on Manaphy rain as a Semi-Stall team.
- Tripple Spikes immunity, really doesnt mind trading Spikes
- Fully immune to webs as you have 3 levitating / flying mons, Ditto copies the opposing stat changes (this includes +0) and Ferro/Pex dont care about their speed getting reduced any further.

Keep in mind that you will not always have the perfect counter to everything, but play with hazards and around your fast Pokemon when needed, trade smart (hazards, status, Pokemon HP - keep the mons you need to win the game, PP), pressure the right opposing power points and I can guarantee you, ladder wont see whats coming to them.

 
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