SM PU Fighting Spam Balance by HJAD

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Fighting Spam Balance by HJAD



Introduction

Given the current climate of this PU meta, I wanted to design a team that had no real issues taking apart the threat-heavy teams without much defensive synergy that had invaded the tier. With this ultimate focus in mind, I decided to partner a Choice Scarf Adamant Passimian with a standard Bulk Up Gurdurr. Passimian was a Pokemon that had been getting a lot of attention due to how difficult it was to switch into and how easily it got said opportunities to break. I wasn't so interested in how good it was as a breaker, but more so in how well Scarf sets utilized Passimians natural bulk and strength to really impose its mark on the common "threat spam with little defensive synergy" type teams that had been ever popular in not only Smogon Exhibition but the PU meta as a whole. Gurdurr was the second part of this dynamic Fighting spam core, with the idea being to either use Passimian to break for Gurdurr to sweep or vice versa. In order to synergize with the Fighting spam core, I decided to add a dual Pursuit core of Spiritomb and Skuntank. These two Pokemon add the aforementioned focus to the team, with either Pokemon being capable of trapping all the tier's Psychics and Ghosts bar Palossand and thus providing invaluable support to the Fighting spam core originally outlined. Spiritomb had the added bonus of being able to carry Psychic, luring Weezing and opposing Gurdurr. Skuntank provided the ability to absorb Toxic Spikes, Defog support, and a typing that allowed it to check a huge section of the metagame, thus making it a natural selection to the dual Pursuit core. With these four Pokemon in the builder, the team really lacked a backup wincon, in case the entire Fighting spam philosophy went off the rails, as well as a special tank to take hits from the various high-powered threats in the tier. Type: Null fit this role with perfection, as it performs both of those roles well and goes extremely well with Pursuit trapping due to its inability to hit Ghost-types otherwise. Looking at the team, it was evident that it struggled vs Fighting- and Ground-types alike, and the only Stealth Rock user capable of having a strong matchup vs either type was Mesprit. The utility a slow U-turn and Healing Wish provide to the Fighting spam core would also add to the team immensely. Why I deem this team to be successful is for two main reasons: how focused the team's wincons are and how they all play for a common goal. No Pokemon on this team is remotely out of place, and this allows the player to really use every resource they have to its highest potential.

Team Members


Passimian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Receiver
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Gunk Shot​

This team was built during the time when Passimian had been gaining traction as one of the tier's best Pokemon. Its mixture of perfect coverage, incredible bulk, good power, and solid speed was enough to cement it as one of the more centralizing PU threats of this era. The set I wanted to utilize on this team was a Choice Scarf set, a set that dominates matchups vs more offense-based teams, as opposed to a Banded set, which does similar vs bulkier teams. It separates itself from Primeape by being incredibly bulky and having Knock Off, and thus it allows you to play much more aggressively and be more able to cripple defensive switch-ins too. The team was dedicated to getting Passimian to clean up in the late game; consider that it didn't take much for it to have a good shot at cleaning regardless, and then dedicate the entire support system to help it in every way possible.

Thanks to Passimian's bulk, you often found yourself hard switching it in to pressure a Pokemon currently in play, a trait that was unique to this Pokemon. It checks threats such as Magmortar, Abomasnow, and even Alolan Sandslash in a pinch before they get too out of hand. Gunk Shot is to handle Clefairy, which is a nuisance for the team.


Gurdurr @ Eviolite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Atk / 64 Def / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Knock Off​

Gurdurr completes the Fighting spam core. At this point in the meta, the one true easy-to-use Gurdurr check, Mesprit becomes extremely easy to chip given the fact that Gurdurr carries Knock Off, Mesprit's lack of recovery, and how the support network of the team is set up. Gurdurr shares most of its checks with Passimian, so the fact that either can cripple the other's checks (but most of the time Gurdurr is weakening for Passimian and seldom the other way around) is vital to how the team functions. The nice thing about Gurdurr is that it really punishes defensive play around Toxic or Will-O-Wisp; the best Fighting-type checks at the time such as Altaria and Weezing tended to struggle versus this Fighting spam core, since I could often force them in with Gurdurr and then cripple them for the late-game Passimian cleanup. Drain Punch gives Gurdurr good longevity and, in the scenario where Passimian is breaking for it, the ability to stick around for longer as well as dealing good damage. Bulk Up allows it to pressure assumed switch-ins such as Weezing much more capably.

Gurdurr also provides this team with a pseudo-Normal check, considering the team doesn't have a natural switch-in to the likes of Kangaskhan, providing the team with some good defensive security that wouldn't otherwise be possible. It also allows you to keep Passimian's health in case a bad moment occurs or an easier cleaning opportunity lends itself.


Spiritomb @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Brave Nature
- Sucker Punch
- Pursuit
- Psychic
- Will-O-Wisp​

The first member of the dual Pursuit core, Spiritomb's job is to remove most of the common Psychic- and Ghost-types that prevent Passimian, Type: Null, and Gurdurr from sweeping. Beyond this, its solid bulk and access to strong priority make it a useful asset in keeping many setup sweepers in check, and it is key in keeping Fighting-types such as opposing Passimian under control. While Mesprit lacks any kind of recovery and can be significantly weakened by one solid prediction with U-turn, Spiritomb can pivot into Passimian and Primeape repeatedly and heal back some of that damage. It is also key in keeping Gurdurr in check, which can outlast Mesprit and break through the rest of the team.

Aguav Berry is critical to the set, allowing Spiritomb to heal back a significant portion of its HP once it has been knocked below 25%. This allows it to pivot into many dangerous Pokemon such as Haunter and attempt to Pursuit trap them while having a safety net, as well as keeping it alive in emergencies for Mesprit to later give it another chance with Healing Wish. Psychic is another useful tech, being the only way Spiritomb can beat Gurdurr in a one-on-one scenario as well as allowing it to lure and chunk Weezing. Spiritomb can easily afford to run a Speed-reducing nature to most effectively use Psychic, as it is more concerned with bulk than Speed regardless. Will-O-Wisp helps cripple wallbreakers such as Aggron, which Spiritomb can otherwise do very little against.


Skuntank @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Crunch
- Pursuit
- Sucker Punch
- Defog​

Skuntank glues the team together, acting as its main Psychic- and Grass-type check and entry hazard remover and an important source of chip damage all at once. Despite not running defensive EVs, it takes quite a bit of pressure off of Spiritomb and Type: Null to keep Pokemon such as Lilligant and Dazzling Gleam Mesprit in check. Skuntank is also far more expendable unless it is required to remove entry hazards. While the team is mostly grounded and quite reliant on Skuntank to handle matchups versus teams built around Spikes, Skuntank can otherwise be used to check a few specific Pokemon and rack up chip damage with Pursuit, Aftermath, and Rocky Helmet before being going down relatively early.

Maximum Speed investment and a Jolly nature, while not incredibly common, are vital here for outspeeding Magmortar and Stoutland, allowing Skuntank to pressure two important threats far more easily. Rocky Helmet is another somewhat rare option that helps the team to punish certain problematic physical wallbreakers such as Passimian and the aforementioned Stoutland. Rocky Helmet and Aftermath provide significant chip damage and can put these threats in range of Spiritomb's or Gurdurr's priority attacks. Defog is mandatory for removing entry hazards, while triple Dark STAB maximizes Skuntank's effectiveness at being an annoyer. Sucker Punch can chip faster wallbreakers, Pursuit helps remove problematic Ghost- and Psychic-types in conjunction with Spiritomb for the rest of the team, and Crunch is used over Poison Jab in order to better pressure Palossand.



Mesprit @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 180 Spe
Bold Nature
- Stealth Rock
- U-turn
- Psychic
- Healing Wish​

As the team's only entry hazard setter, Mesprit is critical for racking up chip damage as the rest of the team forces switches. Defensively, it adds a Ground immunity to prevent Pokemon such as Mudsdale from freely spamming Earthquake and acts as a secondary Fighting check should Spiritomb become too weakened. Healing Wish is a critical part of the team as well, capable of healing any member which may become too weakened to do their job properly. It also allows more leeway when playing with Passimian and Gurdurr and can effectively give the team three separate chances to sweep with a Fighting-type.

Stealth Rock is mandatory for the chip damage it provides, and Psychic allows Mesprit to effectively wall Fighting-types such as Gurdurr. U-turn takes pressure off other team members by allowing Mesprit to take a hit before pivoting out, as well as preventing it from being fodder for Dark-types. Colbur Berry also helps with this, making it much more difficult for Pokemon such as Absol and Alolan Raticate to break the team. The unusually fast EV spread allows Mesprit to outpace dangerous wallbreakers such as Aurorus and Golurk, allowing it to weaken them with Psychic before being KOed, while otherwise prioritizing Mesprit's physical bulk.


Type: Null @ Eviolite
Ability: Battle Armor
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 240 SpD / 16 Spe
Careful Nature
- Toxic
- Frustration
- Rest
- Sleep Talk​

Type: Null was the final piece of the jigsaw. It was added as to give the team a blanket check to most special attackers as well as, originally, a backup wincon; however, as the team evolved, it was soon evident that the Palossand matchup was too much of a compromising factor in running Swords Dance. Therefore, I ended up swapping it out for Toxic, which I feel adds a completely different factor to Type: Null, providing a really strong foundation to play a long-term game of Pokemon. The fact that none of the clerics in the tier really enjoy taking on the originating Fighting spam core also makes this really important to the team. Type: Null's main niche within the PU metagame is just how bulky it is, both physically and specially. It's an extremely difficult Pokemon to KO, and as such it baits in a vast majority of the tier's wallbreakers (and thus, inadvertently, Gurdurr checks). It also benefits immensely from the support Skuntank and Spiritomb provide:

Type: Null depends upon a mono-Normal STAB, and the result is a dependence on Pursuit support to remove the Ghosts that it cannot touch. Skuntank also allows any physical breakers that come in to pressure Type: Null (think about the likes of Stoutland) to take a mixture of Rocky Helmet and Aftermath damage. The end result is that the support network set up with this team allows Type: Null's main checks to be removed from play, thus making it on this team in particular very difficult to KO.

Threatlist


The team's method of handling Fire-types is using Type: Null's natural raw bulk to wall them when necessary, checking them offensively with Passimian's revenge killing capabilities, and whittling away with entry hazards and priority. While this works for weaker Fire-types such as Pyroar, Magmortar poses a much larger threat if it is running a Z-Focus Blast or Choice Specs set, both of which can break through Type: Null much more easily.


Once again the team is reliant on Type: Null and chip damage to handle Ice-types, and while it's more successful here due to their more limited opportunities to switch in, both Abomasnow and Aurorus are very difficult to switch into. Aurorus is a more consistent breaker that is less annoyed by Pursuit, but Abomasnow's access to Focus Blast can be more annoying for Type: Null to handle. Both can be handled by limiting their switches with smart play, but once inside neither can be stopped very easily.


Choice Specs Drampa and Alolan Exeggutor are both fairly difficult for the team to stop. While Type: Null can stomach a Draco Meteor and Rest off the damage, it cannot consistently handle either Dragon-type if they manage to get multiple chances to wallbreak. Meanwhile, everything else on the team is OHKOed, and neither Spiritomb nor Mesprit can pressure either very well in return. However, their mediocre bulk and lack of recovery can leave them quite pressured as long as Passimian is played very carefully.


Palossand's unique typing and attributes allow it to wall almost the entire team with minimal risk. Aside from Type: Null's Toxic, there is very little that can be done to threaten a Ghost-type that cannot be Pursuit trapped and isn't afraid to tank Knock Offs from Gurdurr or Passimian. If Type: Null is lost, Palossand will simply just win.


Tangela can also wall most of the team, although not quite to the extent that Palossand is capable of. It is more afraid of Knock Off and can be broken through by Gurdurr somewhat more easily thanks to Drain Punch being normally effective. However, it is still an excellent stop to most of the team, fearing very little even from Skuntank. None of the Pokemon enjoy absorbing Knock Off either, and as a bulky user that generates plenty of free turns, Tangela's ability to remove items is particularly obnoxious.

Importable
Type: Null @ Eviolite
Ability: Battle Armor
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 240 SpD / 16 Spe
Careful Nature
- Toxic
- Frustration
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Passimian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Receiver
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Gunk Shot

Spiritomb @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Brave Nature
- Sucker Punch
- Pursuit
- Psychic
- Will-O-Wisp

Mesprit @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 180 Spe
Bold Nature
- Stealth Rock
- U-turn
- Psychic
- Healing Wish

Skuntank @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Crunch
- Pursuit
- Sucker Punch
- Defog

Gurdurr @ Eviolite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Atk / 64 Def / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Knock Off

Credits
Created by: HJAD
Written by: HJAD & Megazard
Grammar checked by: The Dutch Plumberjack
Art by: TPP
 

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