Do you fear Azelf? (Peak #4)

One of the most outrageously powerful Pokemon in the tier with superb speed to boot, and yet a mere #19 in usage statistics. It's such a tremendous injustice ... this team aims to let Azelf rule the battlefield. Do you fear Azelf? After being on the delivering end of several Azelf sweeps, I'll say I have never respected Azelf more. Yes, Azelf is but one part of the team and yes, without team support Azelf usually cannot get much done. But with that team support, it blazes through teams with little hesitation or fear.

I peaked at #4 with this team somewhere around 1410 rating. Could've gotten higher maybe, but I don't play that much, and the team's major weaknesses did drag it down ...

On to the team:

Venomoth @ Leftovers
Trait: Tinted Lens
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Bug Buzz
- Sleep Powder
- Quiver Dance
- Baton Pass

Venomoth is an essential part of the Azelf sweep. It's quite reliable at passing Quiver Dances and, in a pinch, it's a decent sweeper as well. This is a standard Venomoth set, so not much to say. I use maximum speed partly because Breludicolo outsped my +1 Venomoth with Scarf Honchkrow once, and partly because maximum speed is necessary to at least tie Deoxys-D. Roost has proved quite unnecessary for me. If my opponent is staying in with something I can safely Roost against, he's probably bad and besides, I don't usually need to stack more than two Quiver Dances. In every other case, it is almost always better to use Quiver Dance instead of Roost.

In the ideal scenario, Venomoth will get in safely, Quiver Dance on the switch, Sleep Powder the next Pokemon, Quiver Dance again and then Baton Pass out. I usually don't wait because sleep wears off relatively fast this generation. If this works, there's a strong chance the game ends right there. Of course, this often fails to work (Sleep Powder miss sup?), and when that happens I utilize the rest of my team.

Azelf @ Lum Berry
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Psyshock
- Substitute
- Flamethrower
- Grass Knot

The primary Quiver Dance receiver, Azelf is a formidable sweeper. With 2 Quiver Dances, it outspeeds everything and sweeps almost everything. I've lost count of the number of games where Azelf simply went through an entire team. It can be stopped even at +2/+2/+2, and there are a few Pokemon it can't sweep through, but I'll cover that later.

Lum Berry is here in part to dodge status effects and in part to allow Azelf to switch into Pokemon like Smeargle without fear. A great thing about this set is that, after using Lum, Azelf is usually fast enough to Substitute and block the next status move. What happens next is maximum pain. I've had a couple of sweeps with a +0 Azelf, simply by virtue of Substitute. Substitute also goes a long way to dodging Sucker Punch, and if my opponent misplays / falls into the status trap then a +2/+2/+2 Azelf behind a Substitute is almost always gg.

Azelf is fast enough to outspeed all base 100s even with a Modest nature, not to mention Azelf needs Modest to 2HKO Chansey at +2 (without Life Orb), hence the choice of nature. I run Grass Knot because otherwise getting walled by Quagsire is just sad, while Flamethrower is forced as a 100% accurate move for BP receivers.

Raikou @ Leftovers
Trait: Pressure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Rash Nature (+SAtk, -SDef)
- Aura Sphere
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Thunderbolt
- Calm Mind

So, which Pokemon does +2/+2/+2 Azelf not sweep through? There are a few actually: Umbreon, Victini, Empoleon and Houndoom all survive and can hit back. That's where Raikou comes in. Everything Azelf cannot sweep through, Raikou can. This is where team preview comes in so handy - I scan my opponent's team, find out which sweeper is better suited and pass accordingly.

Raikou is the secondary Baton Pass target, and its moveset reflects this: no Lum Berry for instance, and Calm Mind. Aura Sphere is necessary to sweep through Umbreon and Houndoom, so the Rash nature is similarly forced. I have Calm Mind for the case where I can't pass Quiver Dances. Since Raikou, like Azelf, is also fast enough to outrun base 100s, it's a dangerous sweeper even without Quiver Dance. I have Leftovers just so Raikou does not get worn down so easily. If it looks like my opponent's defence to an Azelf sweep is priority, I will choose Raikou as the pass target because of Leftovers. Leftovers also allows Raikou to play havoc with hail teams, smashing through with +1 Aura Sphere while Calm Mind reduces Blizzard damage.

Empoleon (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd
Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)
- Stealth Rock
- Roar
- Ice Beam
- Scald

Raikou, Venomoth and Azelf form a formidable offensive core, but every offensive Pokemon still needs hazards to support them. Empoleon is my Stealth Rock user of choice, with excellent typing and the ability to phaze to go along with it. The moveset is pretty standard, with maybe the only strange move as Roar. It's much appreciated as a phazing move and it goes through Substitute, which is always welcome. It also shuffles for SR damage. Some of the biggest threats to my team are weak to Stealth Rock, which makes this an invaluable move.

Not much to say about Empoleon, he's proved a very consistent member of my team.

Quagsire (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)
- Recover
- Waterfall
- Toxic
- Curse

Quagsire is ... eh. The undisputed weak link of my team, Quagsire has more often been giving my opponent free switch-ins than not. But I can't drop Quagsire: it's needed to wall so many threats, including Flygon, Kingdra, Rhyperior, Victini, and so on. There simply isn't a replacement, at least not one that I've found.

As such I make do with the best I can. Curse is frankly quite silly, but then Earthquake is equally silly, so I just have it there. Occasionally I do get to Curse up against walled Pokemon who stay in, but those games are rare. Scald would be good if it didn't conflict with Toxic, which is absolutely necessary since Quagsire's offenses are so bad. Recover is obvious. More often than not I find I switch Quagsire in, Recover as my opponent switches out, and then switch out myself ~_~

There's no doubt Quagsire is the weakest member of my team, so if anyone can offer suggestions, please help! Threats walled by Quagsire that the rest of my team cannot handle: Flygon, Kingdra, Rhyperior, Victini, Cobalion, Rotom-H, Heracross, Raikou, Zapdos, Golurk, most unboosted physical attackers.

Heracross (F) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Guts
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Close Combat
- Megahorn
- Stone Edge
- Pursuit

And finally, the last member of my team is a Scarfed Revenge killer. Whenever things look bleak, I can often sacrifice a Pokemon to bring in Heracross and save the day. Losing one Pokemon is way better than losing the game, hence Heracross is here. Sometimes I also lead with Heracross if I need the immediate power, or if none of my other Pokemon feel like good options to lead with.

This is a very standard Heracross set, so there's nothing to say. I run Jolly to at least tie other Heracross, which are quite common.

Short threat list

: Yeah Chansey. No idea why everyone is so up in the arms about Chansey, it is the biggest set-up bait ever. I simply send Venomoth in and Quiver Dance. If it has TWave, so be it, I get my second Quiver Dance in and can predict a switch with sleep. If it has Toxic, even better. If it stays in to Seismic Toss, I laugh, boost to +3/+3/+3 and go to Azelf. Lum Berry stuffs any status moves down Chansey's throat, and +2 Psyshock easily 2HKOes.
: Same as Chansey. It has to run max speed to Taunt me before I Quiver Dance. If it Taunts me after I Quiver Dance, I usually stay in: Taunt does not last that long anyway and Tinted Lens +1 STAB Bug Buzz is quite painful. Of course if Deoxys-D stays in to Spike then I just hit it (even better if it uses Recover), wait for Taunt to run out and then either Baton Pass or Quiver Dance again when Taunt expires.
: Send in Azelf, then Substitute. No Spore for you, no Smashpass either unless you want the receiver to die.
: This guy has gotten significantly more dangerous after Magic Guard was released, so need some help against him. Empoleon can survive a Focus Blast and Heracross can revenge, but still it's very painful.
: Incredibly enough, and it's not just for Hitmontop, Venomoth is my spin-blocker. How is Venomoth a spin-blocker, you ask? Well Hitmontop is completely unable to touch Venomoth, so I'm guaranteed a Quiver Dance. That usually makes me faster, which means I can Sleep Powder the next Pokemon and Quiver Dance again - see the ideal case with Venomoth. I've actually had a few games where Hitmontop using Rapid Spin actually lost my opponent the game. Venomoth also blocks spin from Blastoise, Claydol and to a lesser extent Donphan. While Donphan does 2HKO Venomoth with Earthquake, Venomoth is faster and can sleep (and a lot of them seem intent on spinning, which means I already get +1/+1/+1!).
: Quagsire does quite well against most Zapdos. If I see Substitute, I send Heracross in on a predicted Toxic, send Quagsire back in on the forced Thunderbolt, and then send in Venomoth. It won't have Heat Wave, and I can Quiver Dance to force Zapdos out.
: A massive threat. See below.
: A massive threat. See below.
: The most massive of the massive threats. Celebi, Roserade and Shaymin all get free switch-ins on Quagsire (which is partly why I'm so certain Quagsire is the weak link of my team) and they are ALL deadly Pokemon against my team. I have two Grass resists, but both of them are quite jealous of their HP, and Roserade's / Celebi's second STAB are very dangerous. To top it all off ALL of them have Natural Cure, so Quagsire can't even Toxic. I'm pretty much forced into fancy footwork like double switching Quagsire out at first opportunity to Heracross, or trying for a sweep before they can sweep me. My team definitely needs improvement against these three. Help?
: The thing about other Azelf is that one of the few Pokemon a +2 Azelf cannot sweep through is Empoleon, and what do you know, I have one!
: Big threat. Quagsire can absorb V-Create, but if it's Expert Belt with Grass Knot, I'm almost forced to switch to Venomoth / Heracross after. Both are however weak to Fire, and if I'm unaware of Victini's held item (it could equally be Scarf) then they risk death. Scarf Victini can also switch into Venomoth at +1/+1/+1 and force it out. Dangerous, but once I catch on I can still attack or sleep on the switch.
: Hail in general is pretty tough to play against. I only have one Ice resist, but it does quad resist Ice and can put up SR, so it's not too bad. I generally try for SR and then try to Quiver Dance once the opportunity presents itself. Missing Sleep Powder against Froslass sucks, but at least Heracross, Raikou and Azelf are all still quite deadly against hail even without Quiver Dance passes.
: Dangerous. CB Return seriously hurts my team. Quagsire and Empoleon can take a couple of hits, but Empoleon dies quickly after (it does take a lot of damage) while Quagsire is within 2HKO range if enough hazards are up / it's taken a bit of damage. It's not THAT bad since it can't switch in easily, but it's still dangerous.
: Jirachi is here as a substitute for hax. Hax beats every team of course, but since mine is partially based on Baton Pass hax hits my team more severely. A missed Sleep Powder can cost Venomoth's life, for example. Thankfully, my sweepers are all reasonably competent even without receiving Quiver Dance.

And that's it! Rate, and please help with some of the holes still present in the team!
One day + 181 views later, and no rates? I mean, I know the tiers updated like ten minutes after I posted this RMT, but still I do think this team can be salvaged. Darmatian is walled to some extent by Quagsire, Whimsicott shouldn't be a problem, Porygon2 is set-up fodder. Chandelure should be a threat but it can be slept by Venomoth if it tries to break the chain, while Heracross can revenge, etc. On the up side, Celebi did leave the tier too.



Banned deucer.
Well, i will rate this team, cause i used a similar one in Dream World UU before the moth got banned, but in Beta Server metagame and going full offensive imo. I used a Xatu/Venomoth/Nidoking/Celebi/Darmanitan/Feraligatr team which ranked #15 with +1400 points.

So i suggest you using xatu/spinner and then using Darmanitan (now that it's available) to handle with that pesky grass types who give you trouble. Also, using xatu&darmanitan, allows you to bounce back sleep powders/spikes and then proceed for the KO.

Solid team anyway, and i agree that quagsire is the weakest link of the team, and i see it also redundant having it and empoleon together.

Bad Ass

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is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis the 2nd Grand Slam Winneris a Past SPL Championis a Three-Time Past WCoP Champion
if Quagsire isn't working for you, you could always toss in a Hippowdon. it seems like it would be a great fit. you can either toss Stealth Rock on it and replace Empoleon with a CM Roar Suicune or something of the sort, or you can use a Curse Hippowdon. I'd probably go with that, Curse Hippowdon can be pretty dangerous with the omnipresent threat of a double switch to Venomoth as they bring in Roserade or Milotic or whatever.

My set:

Hippowdon (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 72 Def / 184 SDef
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Crunch
- Slack Off
- Earthquake
- Curse

edit: also this Hippowdon takes like 65% from Modest LO Fire Blast from Chandelure (maybe Timid? couldn't tell. also might have been a low roll, but still), so you can actually manage to not get swept vs Scarf Chandelure with smart play with Hippowdon's health.
I did try using Xatu once, but it didn't do well. 252/0 Xatu gets 2HKOed by uninvested Roserade's Sludge Bomb iirc, while Xatu can't stop Empoleon unless it has Calm Mind, too. Xatu's just too fragile for its own good. How did Xatu work for you?

Very good suggestions Bad Ass, I'll probably give Hippowdon a try. Like you said, if I give Hippowdon SR, that also opens up Empoleon's movepool or even to replace it with Suicune / Milotic. Hippowdon doesn't have to have a Curse set too - Quagsire was barely using Curse anyway. I'll start with Sand Force though, because sandstorm does hurt the team more than it benefits it.

Thanks for rates :)

Bad Ass

Custom Title
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis the 2nd Grand Slam Winneris a Past SPL Championis a Three-Time Past WCoP Champion
Sand Force is cool too. I mainly use Hippowdon because he can tank those special threats that hit medium-high and physical threats that hit medium-high. For example, he can take on a Flygon while also being able to beat CM Cobalion and Scarf Rotom-H (barring Trick). Not many Pokemon can do that. I would highly recommend Sand Stream, however, because of how Hail kind of smashes you.

edit: sand force is unreleased :/
you're overrating your grass weakness, and i dont know why - scarf hera and quivermoth royally fuck up any grass-type, and you have excellent recipients of a quiver dance in raikou, azelf, and empoleon to take a seed flare or leaf storm and then attack back

its a solid team, theres nothing really to suggest because you have a great core of bp recipients and 2 coverage mons, and if you wanted to really change the team, youd probably have to change all of those up. uhhh if heras just there to revenge, you could throw sash zam over it as a second boost taker and revenge killer, as he is equally good against hail but gives you coverage of shadow ball psyshock focus blast and filler for chansey and those grass-types ..

but thats not really a change im saying "go make" its just something to try out if you're ever bored of hera and dont want to lose too much coverage while gaining an excellent quiver dance taker.

good team
I thought speed was Spe. If you put Spd it confuses me. Otherwise this team looks crazy good, glad to see somebody's not using Azelf like it was in Gen. 4.
Thanks for rate kd24. The problem with grass types is that they are all very dangerous. Celebi was wont to Nasty Plot on Quagsire, and then use LO Earth Power on Empoleon, while Empoleon can't do anything back. It's gone now, thank our OU players. Shaymin remains very dangerous. Empoleon can take Seed Flare, but if a SpD fall occurs and Shaymin goes for Earth Power next, Empoleon is dead. Roserade is the least immediately threatening, but it does get Sleep Powder and I have to scout for it before bringing in Venomoth, which sometimes means a couple of layers of Spikes down. With Celebi out of the tier that's one big threat gone, but the remaining two are still very dangerous.

Magic Guard Alakazam is a great suggestion, I've started using it and it's done well. Only thing then is, my entire team is special haha. If you would change more of the team, what would you do? If you pick different receivers, who?

@Bad Ass, hail isn't THAT bad, but I did forget to list SubSplit LO Rotom-F as a big threat to my team. Once again, Empoleon can live a hit, but without Leftovers recovery it just dies shortly after. Any suggestions against that would be welcome. I'd much rather not use Sand Stream though. Playing without Leftovers on Venomoth means it can't take grass attacks nearly as well, while Azelf's sweeping is also on a timer.

And yeah Sand Force unreleased =/ I'll give Hippowdon a try, after all half my team would be immune to it. Thanks!


is a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Having played against this team with a roserade, (I believe you were testing your own alakazam at the time) I don't see why you consider him to be such a threat, as those lacking hp fire (as more and more of them do nowadays in my experience are easy set up fodder for venomoth, I had to keep double swithing into my roar cune to prevent him from setting up. Also, as you found in your warstory (which was marvellous by the way), a scarf scyther could tear you up (although I am referring to the version that I played) being threatening to azelf, venomoth, either alakazam or heracross, and being able to do significant damage to raikou, but fortunately they are uncommon to say the least, and if you can somehow prevent them from spinning away your rocks (i.e. Keep the offensive pressure on them), then you're good to go. My only real advice is to keep your two water types alive for as long as possible to tank his hits in a pinch (although brick break will do not insignificant damage to empoleon, but it means a free set up/sub for venomoth or azelf). Anyway, this is a fantastic team, and good luck!
Yeah Roserade is a lot less of a threat now; very few of them seem to have Sleep Powder, so it's usually an immediate switch to Venomoth and set-up. This team works a lot less well in this meta than the last one though. It's still good enough to get to 1300+ on the ladder, but it won't reach 1400+. Darmanitan has emerged as the biggest new threat; it can OHKO everything except Quagsire on the team with Flare Blitz, but even Quagsire is in danger of getting 2HKOed with Spikes. Machamp is another problem. I've got nothing to wall it (Azelf is good for one Dynamic Punch I guess?) and it easily kills Venomoth with Stone Edge. Hippowdon being in the tier also led to an upsurge of Stoutland, a Pokemon that the team already has trouble with.

If there's a fix to all this, it probably involves Slowbro taking over Quagsire. The extra Electric weakness led me to use Flygon as the Scarfer. It works, but there's a deeper problem with the team. Venomoth gets fewer setup opportunities now. Even if I predict a Darmanitan switch-in for example I can't do anything: on the first turn of sleep I Quiver Dance, but beginning on the second turn it may wake-up. If I pass to anything that's not Quagsire / Slowbro, I risk death to Flare Blitz, but neither Quagsire nor Slowbro are ever going to sweep. So sweeps happen less often, and I find myself questioning its spot in the team ... but if I replace Venomoth, it'll be a completely new team.

That I think is the future. Thanks for rate and compliment :)
A suggestion you could try is Omastar over your empoleon...Shell smash omastar is a deadly sweeper in this metagame right now and image if it got Quiver dance boost pass +shell smashing O_o and even though it adds your grass weakness it defintely cushions your darminitan weakness..and if your quiver dancing gets haxed omastar is still a very deadly sweeper without really any support..but again just a suggestion
I have seen people suggest Hippowdon in place of Quagsire, but I suggest another poke, that being Cofagrigus. Cofagrigus is one of those pokes who have very high defenses, but lack other things which don't make them perfect. Still, with Mummy against Natural Cure (although most of Celebs/rose's/Shays attacks aren't physical...) and good defenses, alright Sp.Atk to try and deal with at least Celebi, I think the Golden Ghost can help you.
Here's the set:

Calm, 252 Def/ 4 Sp.Atk/ 252 Sp.Def
-Shadow Ball/Hex
-Calm Mind/Will-o-Wisp
-Psychic/Hidden Power optional.

So this set is made to cover those two threat you were talking about. With it's high defenses, the Cofag would be able to come in on said threats and strike back.
-Shadow Ball or Hex takes care of Celebi for you.
-Calm Mind to boost your stats and WoW to go with Hex.
-Haze to ignore stat changes just like Unaware used to do.
-Psychic to kill Roserade, and HP Ice/Fire (?) for Shaymin? Otherwise just HP Fight for coverage.

Cap'n to your service,
Well at this point Shaymin and Roserade are far less dangerous than Darmanitan, Stoutland and (to a lesser extent) Machamp + Chandelure. Cofagrigus will help with Stoutland, but leaving me with no Fire resist vs. Darmanitan, Victini and co is very risky indeed. Omastar is a nice idea though, albeit not over Empoleon on this team. That would give up Stealth Rock and leave all sorts of weaknesses viz. to Chandelure. Still, after almost getting swept by one LO Omastar with a different team I want to try it myself. It might be able to take over one of the receivers, or I can try Shell Smash Gorebyss instead of Venomoth.

I'll take another serious look at fixing this team when I find the time, but for now I'm thinking of posting another RMT *hint, hint* :)
Im probrably too late for a rate but I just read over this and the threat lists and something popped in my head, why not use Slowbro over Quagsire?

Slowbro allows you to handle your weakness of Victini, Stoutland to an extent, and lessens your overexaddurated grass weakness somewhat, just a quick suggestion since they can both provide similar roles, its just I believe Slowbro to be better.

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