SM NU Ferroseed Bulky Offense by Elodin

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Introduction

This is the team I built for my NUPL semifinals tiebreak match vs Snou. It’s a bulky offensive team mostly centered around pressuring the opponent with hazards while gaining momentum via U-turn and Future Sight. The idea behind it came up after scouting my opponent’s replays. His Steelix usage was very high in this tournament, so bringing a balanced Xatu build felt like the easiest way to go, since it’s the best way to prevent Steelix from setting up Stealth Rock. His usage stats also showed high usage of Kabutops and very little usage of Xatu, which sounded perfect for a team with Ferroseed. After deciding on those 2 members, the rest of the team further built upon this idea of controlling hazards and pressuring with momentum.

It’s important to note that some recent tier changes contributed heavily to this team’s final form. Not too long ago, when Slowbro was still allowed in NU, one of the sample teams in the tier used to carry Steelix / Xatu / Incineroar / Passimian / Slowbro, a build very similar to my own. You’d often see teams sharing these 5 members and only changing up the last slot in order to bring something good against a particular opponent. While this team was certainly very solid, new metagame trends coupled with Slowbro rising to RU - which made old threats become a lot more problematic - made this archetype fall out a favor for most players.

One could say this team is an updated version of this old sample, and that interpretation is fine. They have similar weaknesses, but I’d say they play differently due to the fact that this one is a lot more focused on stacking hazards and pressuring right off the bat. Overall, this is a good bulky offensive build that gets its job done more often than not while also bringing some of NU’s most prominent threats and interactions to the table.

Team Members


Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Reckless
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Stealth Rock

Rhydon’s role on this team is pivotal to its success. It’s the best Stealth Rock setter in the tier and fits perfectly here, as it is able to pressure most removal options that see play in the current metagame, with the exception of Blastoise. Rhydon is able to set up either Stealth Rock or Swords Dance in front of Xatu and Golbat, the two most common Defoggers in NU. The most common Rhydon set has a lot of investment in bulk, but this one goes all in on offense to start applying pressure immediately after setting up Stealth Rock. Offensive Rhydon is a very underrated threat, as solid Ground answers are extremely hard to find and stack in NU, especially ones capable of resisting EdgeQuake coverage. Despite Rhydon's monstrous Attack stat making an Adamant nature very appealing, Jolly is preferred here because this allows Rhydon to hit a very important Speed tier, which enables it to outspeed all of Dhelmise, Vaporeon, Guzzlord, Alolan Exeggutor, and Vikavolt most of the time. Despite not having any investment into bulk, Rhydon’s defensive typing still enables it to check most Incineroar variants and Electric-types Choice-locked into STAB moves.


Ferroseed @ Eviolite
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Gyro Ball
- Spikes
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Ferroseed was one of the first Pokemon added to the team. It works very well with Rhydon, as Ferroseed is great at taking advantage of Blastoise by chipping it with Iron Barbs and setting up Spikes or using Leech Seed against it, while Rhydon is great at pressuring Xatu, which is the Pokemon that shuts down Ferroseed the most. Ferroseed is the best way to take advantage of the Water-types that are used in NU, with the only exception being Assault Vest Slowking due to its Fire Blast coverage. Against Vaporeon, Blastoise, Kabutops, or Seismitoad, though, Ferroseed can easily sit in front of them and continuously apply pressure with hazards and Leech Seed. Like I mentioned before, it’s very hard to fit multiple Ground-immunes into one team in NU, and this is why Spikes are so good in this tier. Ferroseed is a Pokemon most people in the community think is not very good, but it’s extremely useful at dealing with the aforementioned Water-types and also at exploiting special attackers that miss their predictions or lock themselves into wrong moves. Ferroseed can easily punish Sceptile after it uses Leaf Storm, Alolan Exeggutor locked into Draco Meteor, Heliolisk locked into any move other than Focus Blast, Whimsicott, and many other special attackers. Not just that, but Ferroseed is also a great answer to most of NU’s most prominent Stealth Rock setters and hazard removers, since all of Steelix, Palossand, Golbat, Blastoise, and Seismitoad are usually forced out by it.


Xatu @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 240 HP / 204 Def / 64 Spe
Impish Nature
- Night Shade
- Roost
- Toxic
- U-turn

Xatu has recently suffered a decrease in popularity in NU, as current metagame trends have made it less effective at getting its job done. Most popular hazard setters are able to beat it, including Rhydon, Garbodor, Weezing, and Druddigon, which is the main reason why its usage dropped a bit recently. That said, Xatu is still able to force mind games due to Magic Bounce, so your opponent is never able to freely get hazards up while Xatu is alive, as one right prediction and your opponent’s advantage and momentum are turned against them. Not just that, but Steelix is still one of the most common Stealth Rock setters in the tier, and Xatu has no problem shutting it down. What’s most important about Xatu, however, is that it’s also able to maintain momentum with U-turn, a feat very few other hazard control Pokemon carry. This, in conjunction with Magic Bounce, means Xatu not only doesn’t have to waste a turn to Defog or Rapid Spin to control hazards but also is able to keep momentum and apply pressure while doing so. Xatu also carries a great defensive typing, being able to stall out and chip threats for a very long time in some games with its moveset. Playing Xatu well is probably the most important thing about this team’s success, as letting your opponent get their hazards up might make your game much more difficult.


Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 244 HP / 100 Atk / 164 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Swords Dance

Incineroar is the best Pokemon in NU, and that’s not something that should be overlooked. A bulkier set is needed on this team in order to keep Sneasel, Comfey, and Grass-types in check, but this spread sacrifices Defense investment for Attack investment and an Adamant nature to always OHKO Assault Vest Slowking after Stealth Rock, which is quite important considering how threatening this Pokemon is to this team. Incineroar carries U-turn here to maintain momentum and pressure with hazards, which, like I said before, is the main idea behind this team. It’s not common to see U-turn and Swords Dance on the same set, as usually people would rather have Earthquake, Superpower or Low Kick on the final moveslot with U-turn, but Swords Dance is important here to handle Comfey better, as it would otherwise be impossible to deal with late-game. This is precisely why Incineroar is so good: being able to check multiple threats while constantly applying pressure and dealing huge amounts of damage in the process. If played right, Incineroar is able to pivot into all of Sceptile, Alolan Exeggutor, Delphox, Sigilyph, Rotom, and many other very dangerous threats in NU, which is why the cat is such an important glue to this team.


Passimian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Earthquake

Passimian is one of the best Pokemon in NU alongside Incineroar, mostly due to its Choice Scarf set. Passimian’s ability to offensively check many of the tier’s top threats makes its role pivotal to the team. This Pokemon is able to revenge kill the best sweepers this tier has to offer, and no matter how much you prepare for it, Passimian is always capable of getting its job done by forcing threats out and maintaining momentum with U-turn. Unfortunately Passimian is this team's only way of keeping faster foes in check, which means you have to play carefully when switching it into Incineroar, Sneasel, and other threats it can usually pivot into. Ideally you want your Choice Scarf user to avoid taking a Knock Off, but this varies from game to game, since sometimes being able to switch up moves has more value than hitting the Speed tier provided by Choice Scarf. The first three moves are staples on any Passimian set, and they are the reason why this Pokemon is so good. I opted for Earthquake on the last slot because, like I said before, Ground resists are not easy to find in NU, and sometimes teams are easily swept late-game by Passimian’s Earthquake. Not just that, but Earthquake also allows you to hit Garbodor super effectively while avoiding Rocky Helmet and Aftermath damage and revenge kill Calm Mind Delphox, which could be a pretty big threat to this team depending on its coverage. That said, Bulk Up is a very decent alternative on this moveslot, as it allows you to take advantage of Knock Off (which Passimian has to take pretty often) and also gives you a much more solid answer to Bulk Up Scrafty, one of the biggest threats to this team.


Slowking @ Psychium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Future Sight
- Nasty Plot
- Slack Off

Slowking rounds out the team by being one of the tier’s best answers to Ice-, Fire-, and Fighting-types. The most common set people run on Slowking is Assault Vest, but this team takes a different approach while maintaining Future Sight in order to constantly apply pressure. Psychium Z turns Future Sight into a 190-Base Power move that hits right away, which can be very handy for tricking opponents thinking they can play around your Psychic coverage. Immediate damage from Shattered Psyche is great for removing threats such as Druddigon, Heliolisk, Vaporeon, and others. Future Sight also has great synergy with Nasty Plot, because you increase the damage dealt by the first whenever you press the latter. This means you have 2 turns to press Nasty Plot whenever is more convenient to you after you used Future Sight, doubling the damage dealt by the move. This is particularly helpful because you get immediate results from pressing Nasty Plot, and you also don’t need to worry about setting up before pressing your attacking move for it to be boosted. The reason why a defensive set was preferred over Assault Vest here is because you need it to handle Passimian and Mega Glalie better. It’s also important to have a better switch into opposing Slowking, being able to Slack Off their damage and threaten them with Scald burns and Future Sights. This Slowking set works very similarly to the old Calm Mind Slowbro, a threat all teams in NU had to prepare for, so make sure to use it well, as it is definitely one of the most underrated Pokemon in the tier in my opinion.

Threatlist
Comfey - Comfey is by far the biggest threat to this team. Many consider this Pokemon to be broken because of its ability to 6-0 teams that lack Poison-types from Preview. This is not always true here, but avoiding a Comfey sweep late-game can be very difficult with this team, as your only Fairy resist takes over 50% from uninvested Hidden Power Fire, and your main answer (Incineroar) is easy to wear down if hazards ever go up. Comfey is particularly hard when paired with a Stealth Rock setter that beats Xatu, because you need to be extremely conservative with your Incineroar to prevent a late-game sweep.

Sceptile - Sceptile is one of the hardest Pokemon to counter in NU after Vileplume’s ban. It wasn’t seeing a lot of play in tournaments recently, as Vileplume was the best Pokemon in the tier, but now that it’s gone it’s certain that Sceptile is going to start seeing a lot more play again. Sceptile’s coverage is perfect against this team, being able to hit 5 members super effectively. Unlike other Grass-types such as Dhelmise and Decidueye, which Incineroar can easily pivot into most of the time, if Sceptile predicts your switch correctly with Focus Blast, it’s likely you’ll be in a lot of trouble playing around it. Fortunately Passimian is able to U-turn on it and force it out, but it’s still a very hard threat to deal with.

Scrafty - Bulk Up Scrafty is also one of the most annoying sweepers this team can face. Like I mentioned before, running Bulk Up on Passimian over Earthquake might be worth it just so you have a more solid answer to this monster. Scrafty is able to counter and set up in front of Slowking, Xatu, Incineroar and Ferroseed, so playing around it is extremely hard. Your best bet at dealing with it is by removing its Leftovers with Knock Off and chipping it with Rocky Helmet and Leech Seed before going to Passimian to hit it with a Close Combat. If you let it set up a Bulk Up for free, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to force it out ever. Dragon Dance is also a threat, but it’s definitely easier to handle, since it has a much harder time setting up and is revenge killed by Passimian unless it’s running Chople Berry.

Sigilyph - Choice Specs Sigilyph is impossible to counter unless you’re running Clefairy due to Tinted Lens. Since this team is so slow, this Pokemon works like Sceptile in the sense that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to play around it without sacking something then forcing it out with Passimian. Incineroar is never 2HKOed by it, but the damage done by Heat Wave and Energy Ball is so high that you must be very careful when bringing it in against Sigilyph. The Magic Guard Life Orb set is also pretty annoying because you can’t chip it with hazards, and its coverage hits all members of this team super effectively, but Incineroar has an easier time dealing with this set.

Slowking - Assault Vest Slowking can be extremely annoying to deal with. It might be hard for it to find free opportunities to switch in, but if it gets free turns it might be tricky to handle. Future Sight is very annoying for this team to deal with, because if Dragon Tail phazes in Passimian or Rhydon, you’re gonna be very far behind in the game. That said, you can easily force Slowking out with Incineroar, as it is EVed to always OHKO Assault Vest Slowking after Stealth Rock, and you have a very solid counter in your own Slowking as long as you don’t get unlucky with their Dragon Tail bringing out Pokemon weak to Future Sight. Passimian does a lot of damage with both Knock Off and U-turn and Slowking fails to OHKO you in return, and Xatu can Toxic to cripple it for the entire game.

Druddigon - The only reason why Druddigon is a nuisance is because it can set up Stealth Rock freely vs Xatu. If you’re facing Mold Breaker Druddigon, it’s likely your opponent will just lead with it to get Stealth Rock up turn 1, since this team has no hazard control outside of Xatu. This can prove to be very annoying, particularly if paired with one of the threats listed above, but you can usually punish plays like this by setting up your own hazards or setting up with Slowking for early-game breaking with Future Sight, Scald, and Shattered Psyche.

Toxic Spikes - Toxic Spikes are very annoying for this team. If you fail to prevent them with Xatu, they’re staying for the rest of the game and hitting 4/6 members of the team. Usually people run sets that beat Xatu on their Toxic Spikes users, such as offensive Garbodor and Electrium Z Weezing. This means playing around Toxic Spikes usually means getting your Xatu in on the right turns vs these Pokemon, or just setting up your own hazards with Ferroseed and Rhydon to force your opponent to Defog. It’s tricky to play around, but definitely manageable.

Replays
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ru-931283784 - NUPL Semifinals tiebreak vs Snou

Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Reckless
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Stealth Rock

Ferroseed @ Eviolite
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Gyro Ball
- Spikes
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Xatu @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 240 HP / 204 Def / 64 Spe
Impish Nature
- Night Shade
- Roost
- Toxic
- U-turn

Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 244 HP / 100 Atk / 164 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Swords Dance

Passimian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Earthquake

Slowking @ Psychium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Future Sight
- Nasty Plot
- Slack Off

Credits
Created by: elodin
Written by: elodin
Quality checked by: Eternally & Finchinator
Grammar checked by: The Dutch Plumberjack
Art by: Image by Stellar & Text by TPP
 

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