XY OU Force of Nature: an in-depth guide to Zard-Y

Valentine

show yourself
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Championis a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion


Introduction

This year's current trophy tournaments, SPL and OST, started before the XY OU metagame was fully developed. Over the course of these tournaments, we have seen users cultivate new Pokemon, sets, and teams. With SPL playoffs starting in two weeks, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the tier, and what teams have evolved over the season. Watching replays made it apparent that Mega Charizard-Y was a strong Pokemon that had a solid strategy behind it. This strategy's popularity among tournament players, and continued success have provided one of the first 'cookie-cutter' teams of the generation. This RMT will cover different versions of the team, ways to build it yourself, and an in-depth look at my ladder version. Please enjoy 'Force of Nature'.

Zard-Y in Tournament play

These teams are a few examples taken from SPL. If you look at similarities, you can see the basic formula for the team, and how users have adopted this formula to their own play styles. The function of each Pokemon slot is detailed in the next section.


SPL Week 2: AB2 vs Dekzeh
the replay can be seen here here.


SPL Week 3: Masterclass vs GaryTheGengar
the replay can be seen here.


SPL Week 5: CrashinBoomBang vs Adam
the replay can be seen here.


SPL Week 5: Valentine vs Lord Elyis
the replay can be seen here.


SPL Week 7: papai noel vs Sinclair
the replay can be seen here.

Building with Zard-Y
Slot 1 | Mega Charizard-Y:
Even before the Genesect and Mega Lucario bans, Zard-Y was one of the best Mega Pokemon in the tier. Although Banded ExtremeSpeed was a pain, Zard has an obvious type and speed advantage over Gene. Zard also resists Lucario's Fighting/Steel dual STAB, and took miniscule damage from its coverage moves. Even though these two pokemon are no longer in the tier to beat up on, Zard-Y still does an excellent job of ripping through teams with its perfect coverage.

Slot 2 | Defog/Rapid Spin: One of Zard's main problems is its x4 weakness to Stealth Rocks. Removing them is crucial, which makes a sturdy Defogger/Spinner fundamental to any Zard-Y team.
Lati@s: When it comes to offense and balance, the Lati twins are by and large the most exercised Defog users. They offer a solid counter to common Pokemon like Rotom-W, Mega Venusaur, Heatran, Keldeo, Landorus-I, and opposing Zard-Y. The Latis also sport a healthy 350 max speed, which allows them to check Pokemon like Garchomp, Kyurem-B, Terrakion, Manaphy, Dragonite, and tons more. If you take a look at these short lists, you notice that Lati@s deals with a lot of Pokemon Zard-Y can have trouble with. This is part of what makes Lati the only hazard remover used with Zard-Y at the top level of play.
Zapdos: If you want to experiment with alternative Defog users, I feel like Zapdos is the best place to start. Every XY OU team should have multiple counters to Mega Pinsir and Talonflame, and Zapdos provides that. Zapdos can also take advantage of the Sun, creating a psuedo-STAB for its Heat Wave.
Excadrill: The introduction of Aegislash made the majority of spinners impossible to use. Right now Excadrill is the only viable spinner XY OU, because the best ghost types, Gengar and Aegislash, don't appreciate Mold Breaker Earthquake. Excadrill forms a neat mini-core with Zard-Y, since Zard resists Fighting, Ground, and Fire, while Excadrill resists Rock, is immune to Electric, and can take advantage of Sun to neutralize its Water weakness. Although Mold Breaker is generally the better ability, Excadrill can also utilize Sand Rush, since Tyranitar works well with Zard-Y and can supply Sand.

Slot 3 | Pursuit Trapper: The Lati twins, along with dedicated special walls, like Chansey, are some of the only things that can switch into Zard-Y's excellent coverage. Using Pursuit allows you eliminate opposing Lati, which permits Zard-Y to spam Fire Blast and SolarBeam freely.
Aegislash: Picking your Pursuit user is the first real choice you have between balance and offense. Aegislash tends to be bulkier than other Pursuit users, which often leads to a more balanced team. This, however, is by no means a bad thing. Aegislash offers a reliable switch-in to just about any non super effective move, and can pressure your opponent with STAB Shadow Ball. Aegislash also has the unique ability to trap Deo-S and Alakazam, other Pursuit users can't because they are x4 weak to Superpower/Focus Blast.
Bisharp: Picking Bisharp means opting in to full offense. Bisharp is an excellent offensive Pokemon, boasting an impressive 383 max attack, which can be further boosted by Swords Dance and Defiant. Defiant is a very valuable resource, allowing Bisharp to shrug off Intimidate users, and punish opponents that try to Defog. Bisharp can take advantage of common slow Pokemon like Aegislash to spam powerful STAB Knock Off, and cripple members of your opponents team. Bisharp is also the only real Pursuit user that can offer your team priority. To maintain rounded coverage, Aegislash has to give up Shadow Sneak to run Pursuit. However, Bisharp can easily fit both Sucker Punch and Pursuit into its four moveslots. Sucker Punch allows Bisharp to pressure frail offensive Pokemon. For example, Life Orb Sucker Punch kills Thundurus 100% of the time after Stealth Rock damage.
Tyranitar: Most Tyranitar on Zard-Y teams are Choice Scarfed, and for good reason. Reaching a seemingly perfect speed of 364 allows Tar to outpace pesky Pokemon like Raikou, Thundurus, Adamant Talonflame, Lati@s, Keldeo, Terrakion, Mega Pinsir, Garchomp, Lucario, Bisharp, and tons more. The most common set is Pursuit | Crunch | Stone Edge | Earthquake, which allows Tyranitar to handle most of the aforementioned Pokemon. The only room for change is running Ice Beam over Earthquake or Crunch, which allows you to hit both forms of Landorus, Gliscor, and Garchomp harder. However, you miss out on Earthquake's ability to hit Sucker Punch users like Bisharp and Mawile. Dropping Crunch is also a bad idea, since it hits a lot of mons for neutral damage.

Slot 4 | Fighting type that resists Steel: Since most Zard-Y teams rely on Defog to clear entry hazards, it's a good idea to have a Pokemon that can switch into Bisharp, which often come in when you Defog. Your Fighting type is also your primary way of removing Chansey and Blissey for your Zard.
Keldeo: Keldeo is the best and most used option in this category. All Zard-Y teams at the top level of play have hosted a Choice Specs Keldeo. At first it might seem counterproductive to put a Pokemon that relies on Water attacks on a Sun team, but think about it. We have already added a Pursuit user to remove the Lati twins. With Lati@s removed, Keldeo's best set, Hydro Pump | Scald | Secret Sword | HP Flying, tears holes in every type of team. Only certain Pokemon like Amoonguss, Mega Venusaur, Jellicent, and Tentacruel are problems, but these can be easily dealt with by Zard and Latios.
Lucario: No user has really ventured away from Keldeo, but if you wanted to use something else, Lucario is probably the best place to start. When switching in on Bisharp, be wary of Low Kick. Later down the list I talk about adding a Ground type, and although it isn't listed, Rock Polish Landorus-I forms a very nice offensive core with Lucario, and would probably be the Ground type I used if I wanted Lucario over Keldeo.
Infernape: Again, you don't have to look past stats to see that Infernape is inferior to Keldeo. However, it does have some interesting prospects, like Sun boosted Fire attacks. It also has access to U-Turn, which you can use on common switch ins like Lati@s, which allows you to go into your Pursuit user and trap them. If i had to run Infernape, I would probably run a Mixed Life Orb set with Close Combat | Overheat, or a Banded set with Close Combat | Flare Blitz | U-Turn | Mach Punch.

Slot 5 | Flying spam check: So far, unless you chose Tyranitar as your Pursuit user, we have nothing to deal with Flyspam teams. Even if you already have Tyranitar, every XY OU team should have multiple checks to Talonflame and Pinsir, since they are often paired together to wear down each others counters.
Thundurus: Thundurus is number one in SPL usage for good reason. Its base 115 Atk, 125 SpAtk, 111 Speed, deep movepool and stellar abilities give it more than enough to shred through unprepared teams. It has access to Prankster Thunder Wave and Taunt, which often act as an emergency outs to Pokemon like DD Zard X and DD Mega Tar, or pass strategies like Scoliopede, SmashPass, and full Baton Pass. Its second ability, Defiant, allows it to punish Intimidate users, and opponents who think they are free to Defog. It can use its Defiant boost very effectively, with powerful physical moves like Wild Charge, Knock Off, Superpower, and even Power Herb Fly. It can use Bulk Up to boost these Physical moves, or Nasty Plot to boost its special movepool, which is Thunderbolt, Grass Knot, Focus Blast, Hidden Power Ice, Hidden Power Flying. Its only counters depend on what four moves you are running, which makes it a very strong Pokemon to use.
Tyranitar: Most Tyranitar on Zard-Y teams are Choice Scarfed, and for good reason. Reaching a seemingly perfect speed of 364 allows Tar to outpace pesky Pokemon like Raikou, Thundurus, Adamant Talonflame, Lati@s, Keldeo, Terrakion, Mega Pinsir, Garchomp, Lucario, Bisharp, and tons more. The most common set is Pursuit | Crunch | Stone Edge | Earthquake, which allows Tyranitar to handle most of the aforementioned Pokemon. The only room for change is running Ice Beam over Earthquake or Crunch, which allows you to hit both forms of Landorus, Gliscor, and Garchomp harder. However, you miss out on Earthquake's ability to hit Sucker Punch users like Bisharp and Mawile. Dropping Crunch is also a bad idea, since it hits a lot of mons for neutral damage.
Rotom-W: Rotom, even on balance, is generally an inferior option in tournament play. On the ladder, Rotom-W probably works just fine, since SpDef Talon with WoW isn't common. Rotom can just be very predictable, which makes it bad for tours. It also adds a little bit too much water to your team, since you already have Keldeo. Rotom does a great job of Volt Switching on Lati@s switch ins, allowing you to trap with your Pursuit user. Rotom also does a good job of spreading burns and wearing down your opponents team, and maintaining momentum with Volt Switch. It's just inferior to Thundurus and Tyranitar at the moment, since they offer more to your team, and are less predictable.

Slot 6 | Bulky Ground: Every team needs Stealth Rocks, and this is the slot that usually carries it. Your bulky ground is also your primary answer to strong physical attackers like Zard-X and Mega Mawile.
Hippowdon: Hippowdon in this slot should go fully defensive (over spdef). Zard-X can hit incredibly hard, and since Hippo doesn't have access to Intimidate, you'll often have to tank +1 attacks to get the Toxic off. The most common Hippo set seems to feature Stone Edge to hit Talonflame, Zard switch-ins, Pinsir, Volcorona, and Thundurus. Earthquake is required STAB to round off QuakeEdge, and to beat things like Aegislash and Heatran. Your fourth move goes to Slack Off, which is the main lure to running Hippo over Lando-T.
Garchomp: Garchomp is a cool offensive option. Adamant Choice Scarf is by far the best option, offering a check to a plethora of offensive Pokemon like Greninja, Thundurus, Mega Manetric, Dragonite, Zard X, and more. I guess the next best option is Focus Sash with Stealth Rocks | Outrage | Earthquake | Fire Blast. Focus Sash is an emergency out for Zard X, Dragonite, and Tyranitar who get too many Dragon Dances under their belts. Fire Blast gets boosted in Sun, and stops Skarmory from Defogging away Rocks.
Landorus-Therian: Intimidate allows Lando-T to switch in to many of the tier's strong physical attackers, like Zard X, Garchomp, Talonflame, Pinsir, and set up Stealth Rocks. U-Turn makes Lando-T one of the best bulky pivots in the tier, and allows you to keep offensive momentum. Lando has very nice coverage in the form of QuakeEdge, even uninvested hits coming from 145 base Attack hurt. Lando also has access to support moves like Knock Off and Toxic, which can severely cripple your opponent's physical sweepers. Smack Down is also an interesting option to hit Rotom-W on the switch in.


In-Depth



Latios @

IVs: 29 HP
Ability: Levitate
Nature: Hasty (+Spd, -Def)
EVs: 4 Atk | 252 SAtk | 252 Spd
Draco Meteor | Psyshock | Earthquake | Defog​

Latios' primary function is to remove hazards from the field, giving Charizard and Thundurus room to breathe. Apart from Aerodactyl and Crobat, Lati@s is the fastest Defog user in the tier, which means it performs its job excellently. Draco Meteor offers your team a high damage nuke that obliterates any non-fairy or steel types. Psyshock is a secondary STAB that allows you to exploit traditional special walls, hitting them from their defensive side. This makes Latios a dangerous mixed attacker that can 2HKO a large majority of the tier, including Fairy types like Azumarill and Sylveon. Earthquake, although admittedly suboptimal, is a fun gimmick that is used to catch Heatran off guard. The early removal of Heatran gives you the whole match to spam Zard-Y Fire Blasts. Earthquake also rounds off Latios' coverage, allowing you to hit pesky Steel types, like Bisharp and Aegislash, before they take you out with Pursuit.

alt options: Thunderbolt | Shadow Ball | Roost



Thundurus @

Ability: Prankster
Nature: Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EVs: 28 HP | 228 SAtk | 252 Spd
IVs: 30 HP | 2 Atk | 30 Def | 30 SAtk | 30 SDef
Thunderbolt | Hidden Power [Flying] | Nasty Plot | Thunder Wave​

Ever since its reintroduction to the OU tier, Thundurus-I has been one of the most used Pokemon at the top level of play. Its superb offensive stats, deep movepool, typing, and relevant abilities make it one of the easiest mons to fit onto offensive teams. Before I talk about this particular set, I want to highlight the fact that as long as you keep Thunder Wave, you can change the moves, item, nature, and EVs around to your liking. Replacing Nasty Plot with Knock Off would probably be the first place to start, since you can bait things like Chansey, and remove their Eviolite. The reason why I used this Nasty Plot set was to bait Pokemon like Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss, and weaken them with HP Flying for Keldeo. Thunderbolt is required STAB, and helps you threaten annoying waters like Azumarill and Manaphy. Thunder Wave acts as an emergency out for fast sweepers like Greninja, Dragon Dance Dragonite, Mega TTar, and Zard X, that can roll through the rest of the team if they get too many boosts. 28 EVs in HP, with 30 IVs for HP Flying, hits a Leftovers number. If you decide to try a Life Orb set, move these EVs into an offensive stat.

alt options: Knock Off | Superpower | Focus Blast | HP Ice | Grass Knot | Taunt



Keldeo @

Ability: Justified
Nature: Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EVs: 4 HP | 252 SAtk | 252 Spd
IVs: 30 HP | 2 Atk | 30 Def | 30 SAtk | 30 SDef
Hydro Pump | Scald | Secret Sword | Hidden Power [Flying]​

Keldeo is the tier's best, if not only, Choice Specs user. Its exclusive Water/Fighting STABs, only shared with Poliwrath, requires your opponent to have a specific Pokemon to counter you (namely Jellicent, Mega Venusaur, Amoonguss, Celebi, Azumarill, Gyarados, Tentacruel, Dragonite or Lati@s). If your opponent doesn't have one of these Pokemon, they will essentially be dropping a member of their team every time Keldeo comes in. The most common Keldeo counter, the Lati twins, are removed from the game by Aegislash Pursuit. Gyarados and Azumarill risk an unnerving 30% burn chance if they switch directly in. The remaining counters are handed beautifully by Charizard, Thundurus, and Latios. While teammates help Keldeo wear down its counters, Keldeo pressures Heatran, Chansey, and Blissey, Zard-Ys only remaining switch-ins.

alt options: Hidden Power Electric | Icy Wind



Hippowdon @

Ability: Sand Stream
Nature: Impish (+Def, -SAtk)
EVs: 240 HP | 192 Def | 76 SDef
Stealth Rock | Earthquake | Toxic | Slack Off​

Hippowdon is a defensive behemoth with the ability to soak up immensely strong attacks. Even with this mixed defensive spread, Adamant Zard X fails to 2HKO Hippo with Flare Blitz. The special defense investment allows you to take two Quiet Aegislash Shadow Balls. This insane bulk gives Hippo plenty of opportunities throughout the game to set up Stealth Rocks. Toxic, in combination with Sand, allows you to put dangerous sweepers like Zard X, Gyarados, Thundurus, Volcorona, and Mega Tyranitar on a clock. Earthquake allows you to threaten Mega Mawile, Bisharp, Zard X, Heatran, Excadrill, Aegislash, and Tyranitar. Slack Off is superb recovery that helps you wear down sweepers that have already been crippled by Toxic. Although it is not featured on my move set, Stone Edge is a great option to consider over Toxic. For starters, it rounds off the unresisted QuakeEdge coverage. But more specifically, it lets you OHKO Mega Pinsir, Talonflame, Volcorona, Zard switch-ins, and heavily damage Thundurus. Stone Edge also permits Hippo to beat common Balloon users like Excadrill, Heatran, and Aegislash on its own. Scarf Garchomp can be used in this slot to patch the team's Greninja and Thundurus weakness.

alt options: Stone Edge | Whirlwind



Aegislash @

Ability: Stance Change
Nature: Quiet (+SAtk, -Spd)
EVs: 240 HP | 16 Atk | 252 SAtk
King's Shield | Pursuit | Shadow Ball | Iron Head​

Aegislash, one of the only competitive minded Pokemon we have been gifted, acts as the team's only Steel type. This makes it a primary switch-in to a lot of attackers, namely Lati@s, Mega Gardevoir, Azumarill, Terrakion, Alakazam, and Deoxys-S. Its main function on the team is to force damage onto Lati@s with Pursuit, which allows Keldeo and Zard to spam attacks freely. Aegislash finds a lot of free switch-ins thanks to its excellent typing and bulk, allowing you to spam Shadow Ball, which 2HKOs most of the meta. Aegi's main problem, Bisharp, is dealt with handily by Hippo and Keldeo. Iron Head allows you to hit Clefable for consistent damage, but honestly if it's Magic Guard you're pretty fucked. Toxic can be used instead to hit Mandibuzz, Zapdos, and Unaware Clef, but Magic Guard still beats this team. Bisharp can be used in this slot to patch the Clefable weakness.

alt options: Toxic | Shadow Sneak | Sacred Sword | Flash Cannon



Charizard @

IVs: 0 Atk
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Modest (+SAtk, -Atk)
EVs: 40 HP | 252 SAtk | 216 Spd
Fire Blast | Solar Beam | Focus Blast | Roost​

After the initial bans, Charizard-Y was one of the most threatening Megas in the tier. The metagame has shifted away from it, opting for mons with better typing, but unprepared teams still get demolished by Zard. The team supports Zard very well, keeping hazards off the field, and weakening its counters, which helps Zard apply offensive pressure and score a plethora of KOs. Its unresisted coverage gives it very few switch-ins, and even Dragons can be hit hard if you bother to run Dragon Pulse or Air Slash. The physical set, Flare Blitz | Earthquake | Solarbeam helps you break Chansey and friends easier, but the Special set is much more consistent. Specs Keldeo already puts a lot of pressure on stall, and once you wear down Venu the game is pretty much over.

alt options: Flamethrower | Flare Blitz | Earthquake

Threat Lists:

Abomasnow Mega: zard switches in and kills, aegislash can even eat two EQs, keldeo sword
Absol Mega: never seen one but actually kinda scary. hippo beats SD, mix kinda wins though since Thund cant sac itself to twave
Aegislash: hippo can take any two hits and retaliate with EQ, Zard OHKOs, Keldeo 2HKOs
Aerodactyl Mega: thund can para, aegi lives any hit, Hippo walls
Alakazam: Aegi walls, Hippo can take any hit, thund can twave
Alakazam Mega: thund can twave, aegi walls cept shadow ball is scary, hippo/zard can take any hit
Ampharos Mega: hippo, latios
Azelf: thund para, aegi walls, hippo takes any hit except maybe LO grass knot
Azumarill: very threatening to just about every team. keldeo can bait it in to try for a scald burn, thund can OHKO, zard can OHKO w/ solar, lati can do like 80% with psyshock, zard can OHKO, but nothing switches in
Bisharp: keldeo demolishes, hippo takes 40% max from ada LO knock off
Blastoise Mega: lol
Breloom: aegi, latios, HP fly thund
Celebi: HP fly thund, aegislash, zard
Chandelure: keldeo, hippo takes any hit, lati if not scarf, thund can para
Charizard Mega X: hippo counters, thund can para
Charizard Mega Y: lati counters, thund OHKOs, Keldeo does a bunch
Cloyster: thund can twave, aegi walls, hippo can take anything cept +2 Surf/hydro
Cofagrigus: hippo toxic, zard takes any hit and OHKOs with Fire Blast
Conkeldurr: HP Flying Thundurus, Zard if no Rock Slide, Aegislash outspeeds and kills with previous damage, Latios OHKOs
Crawdaunt: Keldeo is the only thing that switches in, Thund can para DD sets, Thund OHKOs with Tbolt, Latios OHKOs with Draco, Zard OHKOs with Solar and probably Fire blast
Darmanitan: thund can para scarf, hippo pretty much walls cept band, Keldeo OHKOs
Deoxys-S: thund can wave, hippo can take any hit and EQ, aegi can take any 2 hits and pursuit trap
Diggersby: hippo can probably take any two hits and Toxic, scarf and agility might be scary cuz thund cant twave, latios can OHKO with draco, keldeo OHKOs
Ditto: just dont set up with Thund
Dragonite: a well played ddlum absolutely shits on zardy teams. luckily hippo can live a +2 outrage, but usually you swap in, they DD, then go right for outrage, only allowing you to peel lum, not apply toxic, cuz you die to second outrage. thund can para at that point, but ES wins if they get a 2turn outrage and dont confuse. you can use thund to peel lum, but you swap in on dd, they +1, then +2 as you peel lum, and just ES. you can hippo toxic at that point, but you're down 2 pokes after the second +2 outrage, unless you want to swap to aegi and save hippo for sac.
Dugtrio: dies to everything
Entei: hippo can take banded hits, keldeo OHKOs, lati prob OHKOs
Espeon: aegi, thund, hippo, zard
Escavalier: zard, thund, keld prob does a lot
Excadrill: hippo beats scarf, zard OHKOs, Keldeo OHKOs
Froslass: eh
Galvantula: kill then defog when you can afford to
Garchomp: RUN HP ICE ON THUND IF THIS IS A PROBLEM FOR YOU. hippo if scarf, keld outpaces and does a bunch, lati OHKOs
Garchomp Mega: keld, lati OHKO, hippo provides Sand Force boost so probably doesnt win 1v1, even with non SD
Gardevoir: Aegislash, Zard, thund can para scarf, if people bring them over from VGC
Gardevoir Mega: Aegislash counters, keld outpaces, zard can take any 1 hit, thund can tbolt
Gengar: sets up subs on hippo, only thund outpaces and breaks them. zard can take any1 hit but subdisable is annoying. aegi can take a shadow ball and trap with suit, but cant switch in.
Goodra: actually super annoying, most damaging things are probably latios and keldeo ss, best shot is probably toxic from hippo
Greninja: one of the teams biggest problems is fast, strong attackers with large movepools. greninja most definitely fits the bill, outspeeding and pretty much OHKOing every member of the team apart from Aegi. unfortunately, there isnt really a way to fix this weaknesses. twave from thund is the only shot you have against this. aegi can eat up a hit and get off a sacred sword, but between flinches, crits, and previous damage, this is a pretty shitty answer. some users opt to run choice scarf chomp or lando-t over hippo, or scarf thund(-t) which fixes the inja issue, but opens up the door for other strong physical attackers, since you either lose a wall or priority twave.
Gyarados: make sure to not lock keldeo into a move other than scald, so they dont set up. thund can twave if they get a free dd off aegi. you can run toxic over SS on aegi to make it less setup fodder, but some gyaras carry taunt anyways.
Gyarados Mega: keldeo can eat up +1 EQ and OHKO with SS. hippo can live a hit and toxic, then kings shield can help stall. thund can twave if they get too many DDs, then you kill with pretty much any other mon.
Honchkrow: hippo pretty much walls and toxics, zard OHKOs, keldeo can take sucker punch and hydro probably OHKOs
Heatran: keldeo, EQ lati, focus blast zard, hippo
Heracross Mega: HP flying thund, hp flying keld, aegi, zard
Houndoom Mega: i dont think this thing got much of a speed boost, so lati and keld prolly outspeed and OHKO, too lazy to look its speed up atm
Kabutops: zard comes in, takes away rain, and kills. aegi lives any hit. hippo takes away rain and cn live any hit. keldeo resists dual STABs and OHKOs.
Keldeo: kind of a pain in the ass, but thats why we run lati, which is kinda funny because it makes mirror match 'who can trap lati first'
Kingdra: zard takes away rain and solarbeam is like 80%, aegi can eat up any hit except maybe rain specs hydro, thund can twave
Kyurem: keldeo OHKOs, lati OHKOs, zardy has high spdef so it beats this 1v1, aegi can eat up and EP or two and doubles SS for a KO
Kyurem-B: nothing in the tier really switches in on this thing, its only counters depend on its moveset. lati and keldeo outpace and OHKO, but you have to scout for scarf, which just makes it plain scary, since you might be switching in like Aegi to LO EP. scary mon scary life.
Landorus: lati takes any hit even from RP and OHKOs. zard takes any hit even from Rp and OHKOs. hippo probably eats up EP and can Toxic. thund lives sludge wave from full and can get hp flying damage off i guess. very scary obviously if your team is weakened and it RPs, but that goes for any team
Landorus-T: eh, hippo beats scarf, everything else pretty much OHKOs
Latias: aegi forces pursuit damage, bulky sets are annoying tho
Latios: aegi forces pursuit damage, cant switch in on anything after that
Lucario: zard eat up any hit and OHKOs, lati puts nice dmg on with shock, keld outpaces and OHKOs, aegi eats up any hit and sball does like 80-90%
Ludicolo: zard takes away rain and fire blast probably does like 90-100, aegi can live any hit, thund can twave
Machamp: eh aegi, i guess payback is annoying, keldeo does a bunch, lati OHKOs, zard does a bunch, hppo lives any 2 hits
Magnezone: EQ lati baits it into KOs, Keldeo SS kills, Zard kills.. it doesnt trap anything
Mamoswine: honestly just a weaker and more predictable kyu-b with consistent counters (zong,skarm). however, not much of the tier switches in, and absolutely nothing on this team switches in unless you get a prediction right. keld OHKOs, zard OHKOs
Manaphy: thund, lati, zard, aegi
Manectric Mega: with the addition of hippo to the roster, im a lot less weak to this. lati lives HP ice and OHKOs, Aegi eats up 1 overheat and sballs, hippo lives like 3 HP ices and just flat out beats it
Mawile Mega: hippo is the only thing switching in, but play rough hurts like a motherfucker. keldeo can eat up sucker punch and scald/hydro, hippo can EQ, zard OHKOs but i think dies to +2 sucker. EQ lati only does like 45-50% after intimidate
Medicham Mega: terrifying if fire punch, since aegi cant wall. HJK 2hkos hippo, notta counter. lati outpaces, keld outpaces, thund outpaces, but this thing is probably getting a kill everytime it comes in.
Mew: aegi cuz you dont want other stuff to get statused
Nidoking: lati, keld, zard
Noivern: aegi, thund can para
Pinsir Mega: thund, hippo, lati without previous damage since i run hasty its scary
Politoed: lati, keld, thund, zard can switch directly in if not like specs
Rotom-W: lati, thund, zard solar
Salamence: thund para, hippo, aegi kinda, lati
Scizor: keldeo scld, hippo, aegi cept for knock off, zard fire blast
Scizor Mega: zard fire blast, keldeo hydro/scald
Sharpedo: keldeo cept for zen headbutt, aegi lives LO crunch and SS, zard can weaken its hits with sun and solar, might still die to LO waterfall but probably eats it up
Shaymin: zard, hp fly thund, lati, aegi if no EP
Staraptor: aegi counters, hippo, thund
Smeargle: kill w/ anything then defog hazards
Starmie: aegi traps and blocks spin
Suicune: annnnoyyinnngg. you can set up alongside with thund, or force it to rest and swap to keldeo and lock urself into SS, which 3hkos depending on rolls, sand can help here.
Sylveon: cant even eat up 2 modest fire blasts, psyshock from lati does a bunch, keldeo can fish for scald burns, aegi walls it but it can get off wishes and heal bells
Talonflame: hippo, thund
Terrakion: aegi, hippo, lati, keld
Thundurus-I: Speed tie with your own Thund, Hippo walls this shit, Zard eats up a non LO attack and OHKOs, Lati eats up any non-Knock off attack and OHKOs, Aegislash beats most sets 1v1
Thundurus-T: Aegi, Hippo, Thund
Togekiss: Aegislash, Thundurus, Zard prolly does a shitton
Tornadus-T: Aegi, Thundurus, Zard makes Hurricane 50% acc and does a shitton
Tyranitar: Prankster Para, Keldeo, Hippo
Tyranitar Mega: Hippo, Twave Keldeo
Volcarona: Hippo, Keldeo, Twave
Zygarde: Hippo Toxic, Keldeo, Aegislash eats up a hit, i dont friggin know man but im DONE :]
I've put a lot of work into this RMT, so i'm just going to mention some defensive Pokemon this team has trouble with, and how to beat them, instead of covering every single defensive mon.

Chansey: This is part of what makes Keldeo so great with Zard. You can pressure Chansey, and predict switches, which helps a lot in breaking down stall. You can run Flare Blitz on MixZard or Physical Zard to completely break Chansey. Sacred Sword on Aegislash is also an option.
Clefable: This is definitely the biggest defensive threat. Magic Guard CM can't be worn down by Toxic, and once it gets two CMs, not even Zard Fire Blast can 2HKO. Running Bisharp over Aegislash is the only thing you can do to not consistently lose to this. Every time Clef comes in, without Bisharp, you are forced to go to Zard as it CMs, and hope for Fire Blast crits as it CMs and heals off your damage. Iron Head on Aegislash can force damage on it, but in the end your efforts are in vain.

Gliscor: SubTox Gliscor can get a sub on Hippo, Aegislash, or SS locked Keldeo, and proceed to beat any member of your team 1v1. A very annoying mon that you just have to play around correctly. Keeping Aegislash in to make sure it doesn't get a sub is your best bet, then switching out to Lati or Zard on a predicted Earthquake. Don't keep your Hippo out, and don't lock yourself into SS, or this WILL get a Sub and kill something.
Heatran: If you drop EQ Lati, this can become a bit annoying. Running EQ over Focus Blast on MixZard or just running Physical Zard can fix your Heatran problem quickly, since you bait it in easily.
Zapdos: Running Toxic on Aegislash is the quickest fix.


Importable:
Latios (M) @ Life Orb
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Hasty Nature (+Spd, -Def)
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Earthquake
- Defog

Thundurus (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Prankster
EVs: 28 HP / 228 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Nasty Plot
- Thunder Wave

Keldeo @ Choice Specs
Trait: Justified
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Hydro Pump
- Scald
- Secret Sword
- Hidden Power [Flying]

Hippowdon (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 240 HP / 192 Def / 76 SDef
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Slack Off

Aegislash (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Stance Change
EVs: 240 HP / 16 Atk / 252 SAtk
Quiet Nature (+SAtk, -Spd)
- King's Shield
- Pursuit
- Shadow Ball
- Iron Head

Charizard (M) @ Charizardite Y
Trait: Solar Power
EVs: 40 HP / 252 SAtk / 216 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Focus Blast
- Roost
Latios (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Hasty Nature
IVs: 29 HP
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Earthquake
- Defog

Thundurus (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 28 HP / 228 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Nasty Plot
- Thunder Wave

Keldeo @ Choice Specs
Ability: Justified
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 HP / 2 Atk / 30 Def / 30 SAtk / 30 SDef
- Hydro Pump
- Secret Sword
- Scald
- Hidden Power [Flying]

Hippowdon (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 240 HP / 192 Def / 76 SDef
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Slack Off

Aegislash (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 240 HP / 16 Atk / 252 SAtk
Quiet Nature
- King's Shield
- Pursuit
- Shadow Ball
- Iron Head

Charizard (M) @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 40 HP / 252 SAtk / 216 Spd
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Focus Blast
- Roost


Shout-Outs:
 
Last edited:

Arcticblast

may or may not be a lich
is a Forum Moderatoris a Battle Simulator Driveris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
How can you talk about good defoggers with out mentioning Empoleon. He's a damn good utility pokemon and decent special wall who also has some good synergy with Charizard Y besides the Electric weakness.
Empoleon (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 SDef
Calm Nature
- Scald
- Stealth Rock
- Knock Off/Roar
- Defog
Empoleon is poorly suited to the offensive teams Char-Y works best on. With its three weaknesses being very common types in the metagame (Electric, Ground, and Fighting) it's often a liability since it can't switch into a lot of top threats, and on top of that its general lack of power (especially under Sun) means it's easy to switch in against, sacrificing momentum and putting yourself in a bad position.
 
I'm probably gonna be the only person using Ape over Keldeo because I'm dumb lmao.

Nice team, really glad you made it so detailed, might try out something similar because I actually am not that good at teambuilding. :)

Jw though why is HP Flying on your Thundurus? I don't see any reason why your team would need Thundurus would need HP Flying but idk, HP Ice in theory would have better coverage in case you can get Thundurus to sweep late game but idk.
 

Tokyo Tom

Somewhere between psychotic and iconic
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I'm probably gonna be the only person using Ape over Keldeo because I'm dumb lmao.

Nice team, really glad you made it so detailed, might try out something similar because I actually am not that good at teambuilding. :)

Jw though why is HP Flying on your Thundurus? I don't see any reason why your team would need Thundurus would need HP Flying but idk, HP Ice in theory would have better coverage in case you can get Thundurus to sweep late game but idk.
As an avid user of this team (Val gave it to me a while back to try and get a ladder peak with it before realizing I was absolute garbage at XY OU - thanks for believing in me man) HP Bird is mainly another Mega Venusaur lure to aid Keldeo, OHKOing it after a NP and rocks. Even without the boost you'll push enough damage on it to force the Synthesis/switch, which is helpful in keeping momentum, etc. Another niche use for it is Mega Heracross, which is a slight PITA as only Aeg can switch into it. It also gets off slightly stronger hits on Conk and Pinsir that don't Mega-Evolve in order to take Thunderbolt (HP Bird has a 60+% chance for a clean OHKO iirc) if you're into that.

Moreover, the coverage of HP Ice isn't necessarily needed, as there are multiple 'Mons to take care of Dragons (Aeg, L-T, Keld, depending on which it is), and Grass types are manhandled by Bird anyway. Plus stuff like Latias and Goodra don't really care about Ice either way.

Anyway, nice team man, really helped me out in getting used to XY OU. I'd still prefer Sneak > Sacred Sword on Aeg (I think that was the original back in the day), even though Diggersby pressures L-T more and Keld has to take more shots at blobs, having some sort of priority on the team is nice, but that's just personal preference.
 
Last edited:
Honestly I would avoid using Landorus-T and would use Hippowdon instead. Landorus-T compounds were weakness to Bisharp and Defiant Thundurus-I, since it is another foder for an attack boost in addition to Defog, which you rely heavily upon for Charizard Y. Some of the teams are a clean sweep for physical Thundurus-I because it outspeeds all the Pokemon on the team, can hit them supereffectively, and can't be counterplayed by Prankster Twave nor by Landorus-T's Intimidate.

Hippowdon is superior for three reasons. First, it prevents a clean sweep by physical Thundurus-I and Bisharp when Keldeo is down. Second, Sand Stream has an interesting interaction with Charizard Y's Drought. If Charizard Y switches out and switches in again within 4 turns, it doesn't reset the turns of Drought. This can lead to some scary situations where you will be unable to wallbreak a Pokemon since the sun turns ran out because the opponent stalled out the sun turns. Interestingly, Hippowdon you can reset the turns of Sun by activating sandstorm! By playing Charizard Y (turn 3 of sun) ----> Hippowdon ----> Charizard Y instead of Charizard having 1 turn of Sun to work with when it comes back in, it has a full five turns to do work with Fire Blast and Solarbeam. This will make Charizard Y a much more consistent threat throughout a match. Also it helps with keeping Keldeo's Water-STAB powerful. Lastly, Hippowdon's Sand Stream can be used to interrupt Mega-Venusaur's recovery, a wall to 3 of your pokes (Keldeo has to predict with weaksauce hp flying every time which kinda sucks).

CB Azumarill with Knock Off and DD Gyarados seems to be other large threats to this team, having move to hit every single Pokemon very hard. To resolve this problem, I would use Hidden Power Electric ---> Hidden Power Flying. You already have two STAB moves that can take Venusaur out and with Hippowdon you can keep its recovery to a minimal so it won't stick around for long. HP Electric gives you an option to lure Azumarill and Gyarados in, and an option to check offensive water types like Manaphy, Azumarill, and Gyarados in general.
 
Bit too offensive for my tastes. Prefer Latias over Latios, etc. I'm not big on rating teams, but it looks good other than that imo. I also really like the "guide" format here, well done on that.

However, I feel like Gliscor needs a mention in the bulky ground part there, he's essentially a bulkier but weaker Lando-T with reliable recovery and no fear of status or knock off (Making him a better check to Bisharp) and with no reliance on intimidate. I feel like he deserves the mention over Garchomp especially since he (Like Lando-T) is immune to most entry hazards.
 
really solid guide val, all that effort paid off oO

also just realized my team follows this basis to the letter god damn. Its a bit more balanced as opposed to really offensive though, with sub bisharp and Mandibuzz as my defogger, which is a really good defogger for the team, I've found.
 
really solid guide val, all that effort paid off oO

also just realized my team follows this basis to the letter god damn. Its a bit more balanced as opposed to really offensive though
Me too Lasagne, except mine has a couple different 'mons as well. I think you were in IRC when I was getting help with my team! It turned out a lot like these guidelines though so I'm not sure if I should put it in another RMT post because I feel like I'll get yelled at for copying lol (Even though I didn't, my team was complete minus some set tweaking before I even looked at this thread ;o ). I want to post it though because I have a really awesome name for it xD My team also follows a ROYGBV color scheme and has one pokemon from each generation! It's pretty cool haha ;P
 
Greninja @ Life Orb
Ability: Protean
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Dark Pulse
- Extrasensory

252 SpA Life Orb Protean Greninja Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Latios: 304-359 (101.6 - 120%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Protean Greninja Ice Beam vs. 28 HP / 0 SpD Thundurus: 393-463 (128.4 - 151.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Protean Greninja Extrasensory vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Keldeo: 315-374 (97.2 - 115.4%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Protean Greninja Ice Beam vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 785-925 (211.5 - 249.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Greninja Dark Pulse vs. 240 HP / 0 SpD Aegislash-Shield: 205-244 (63.8 - 76%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Life Orb Greninja Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Charizard Y in Sun: 174-205 (58.3 - 68.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

It outspeeds everything too. I guess you deal with this by letting it weaken itself with Life Orb, while you make switches to mitigate the damage. And then if given a free switch in with Thundurus, you Thunder Wave it. Or if Greninja gets low enough, KO with Aegislash Shadow Sneak?

Seems very hard to deal with at a glance.
 
This is a cool idea. I used this guide to build my own "standard" CharizardY team. Note "standard" is quoted because most of my team choices are very strange. The Pokemon are shown in the respective order of the steps of your "mold." Note, however, I use Klefki to halt Bisharp rather than one of the Fighting-types you mentioned. Other than that, this team works pretty well, especially Salamence. I guess this could be an additional alternative form of a team.

Charizard (M) @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Focus Blast
- Roost

Krookodile (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 HP
Jolly Nature
- Pursuit
- Crunch
- Earthquake
- Superpower

Salamence (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 SDef
Impish Nature
- Defog
- Roost
- Dragon Claw
- Fire Fang

Klefki (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder Wave
- Swagger
- Spikes
- Foul Play

Torterra (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 Atk / 200 HP / 56 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Wood Hammer
- Stone Edge

Aggron (M) @ Salac Berry
Ability: Sturdy
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 HP / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Heavy Slam
- Thunder Wave
- Ice Punch


Note: From experience I encourage other battlers to do the same as a team building exercise.
 
Last edited:
Here's a question, how does your team (Or any team made using these guidelines that doesn't use Rotom-W) survive against Greninja? Just Prankster Thunder Wave him and hope for the best or what? My team currently has the Greninja problem, I was thinking of possibly even using Choice Scarf Thundurus-T to shut down that frog. He OHKO's everything on this team except Yzard in the sun (Hydro Pump/Ice Beam/Dark Pulse/Extrasensory).

Edit: Wow I totally missed Ziaf999 talking about the same exact thing haha.
 
Last edited:
Hey nice team! I was playing around with it a little when I ran across a problem. Magic Gaurd Clefable's are problems, seeing how you have nothing that's super effective against it.

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk
Quiet Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Kings Shield
- Sacred Sword
- Flash Cannon

I would highly recommend this set for that annoying pink blob. And again, very nice team.
 
Amazing team. The only thing I can think of is moving 20 EVs from SpAtk into Atk in order to get the OHKO on standard specially defensive Heatran after rocks.
 
Hey nice team! I was playing around with it a little when I ran across a problem. Magic Gaurd Clefable's are problems, seeing how you have nothing that's super effective against it.

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk
Quiet Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Kings Shield
- Sacred Sword
- Flash Cannon

I would highly recommend this set for that annoying pink blob. And again, very nice team.
And now how do you deal with Lati@s?
 
I ran this team for a little bit and I had to put Iron Head on Aegislash because otherwise fairies trolled the everliving shit out of me.

Otherwise, good team, good guide.
 
I dont see a way for this team to handle greninja, I mean i know greninja is hard to deal with because of stab everything, but other than keldeo(some have extrasensory) I dont see anything that can switch into greninja very comfortably. I dont really know what to do about it, just thought id point it out.
 
I dont see a way for this team to handle greninja, I mean i know greninja is hard to deal with because of stab everything, but other than keldeo(some have extrasensory) I dont see anything that can switch into greninja very comfortably. I dont really know what to do about it, just thought id point it out.
The only real option on this team is to Thunder Wave it. In my team (Which is similar to this team and these guidelines, hence why I troll around this thread) I deal with Greninja through the use of Scarf Thund-T or AV TTar, TTar can tank the hydropump and OHKO, Thund-T outspeeds and kills.

On the other variant of my team which uses Scarf TTar and Thund-I, there is no way to deal with Greninja other than Twave, which is why I made the switch.
 
Great Team! I tested it for a couple of time now and its really a very nice Team, but i have one Question:
How do you handle Clefable with CM or Cosmic Power + Stored Power?
I had some strange Problems against that guy...
 
i made this same build a while ago practically and i think i've revised it enough i feel like lol

i reallly think roost is necessary on lati@s simply because keldeo can become problematic otherwise; heatran being lured isn't as beneficial for the team as you would think

i use hp flying on specs keld as well to help lure in venu, so i run hp ice on thund for chomp. chomp can really be a dick otherwise, and it also revenge kills shit like gliscor which commonly harasses bulkier sand offenses

i run toxic on aegi b/c i find iron head kinda unimportant here and toxic is just nifty in general and also helps weaken spdef hippo which can be a thorn in zard-y's side

i've played around with zard-y and while special is more consistent vs the typical team, i think physical is the best set on this build as stall is a huge pain otherwise

but ya this is pretty much the standard zard-y team now; pdc used an edited version of my original in week 2 (manaphy > keld, changed soon after due to bisharp :() of spl and i'm glad to have seen others pick up the techs i was using
 
You my man are such a troll everything with lefties is running a lefties number +1 in hp :] (feel free to delete this if you want to keep this a surprise but messages me you did so that way I'll know if it was intentional haha) Also why 29hp ev's on lati?
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top