General Doubles Metagame Thread

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Pwnemon I would much rather run Sitrus Berry or an Iron Ball on that set. You aren't going to be staying in nearly long enough for lefties to be worthwhile with both Politoed's bulk and the fact that it needs to keep swapping in and out, and the fact that the enemy is likely to try and just flat out kill the frog rather then worry about it staying around to cause mayhem since Toed's power is something to be feared.

Also, why not run Scald over Hydro Pump on a set like that? It still has great power while giving you a decent chance at some burn hax while removing the chance to be misshax'd by hydro miss.
I've played against his team a few times and Politoed is more important for him as a Helping Hander that survives longer than 4 turns than as a weather reactivater. He also predicts well enough with Protect to stall 4 turns. I think it might be better with Scald though.


Second, and for most established singles players I cannot stress this enough, STRONGLY CONSIDER WHAT YOUR OPPONENT IS LIKELY DOING WHEN MAKING A MOVE.
So in essence, look around for established doubles/VGC players, practice on PS/GBU, and remember the game is NOT about executing your strategy, but how well you are able to deal with your opponent's team/moves/strategy.
^Yes this exactly. Prediction and stopping powerful plays from being successful is the key to doing well. That is why HITMONTOP is so great. It focuses on dismantling 99% of possible opposing strategies AND creates free turns for you to wreak havoc. It also feeds into Gastrodon's success by being able to switch into EITHER teamslot and redirect a Hydro Pump for a +1 boost. It also feeds into the success of Thunder Wave(particularly Prankster t-wave) by shutting down fast sweeps completely AND scoring parahaxes to hinder their strategy.


Habibs just made me see the light with Mantine on that replay.. I think it might be the best walling water type. The only thing I see troubling it(outside of the obvious Thunder/Thunderbolt) is Dragon Claw. Mantine is conveniently a fantastic abuser of Leftovers too haha. It also shows that people actually do use Toxic and as more than a way to shut down Cress.
I'd like to make another point about Leftovers. If you realize that your opponent doesn't have it, then you can switch your playstyle mentality to stall on the fly and get yourself an advantage with extra healing/residual damage on them.
 

Mr.E

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Eh, much of Hitmontop's usefulness is in its Intimidate + Fake Out. Once it's actually sitting on the field, you can pretty much ignore it so long as you don't have Fighting weaks active. Its support abilities are relegated to what, Helping Hand and Wide Guard? It doesn't cripple you like a Cresselia or Whimsicott. Unless it's offensive Technitop, in which case you can kill it pretty easily. ;[

How to sweep an entire rain team (except an ironic ending) featuring Volcarona.
VGC or Smogon Doubles, pretty much every single one of my wins against rain teams is a Volcarona sweep tbh. Storm Drain + Quiver Dance = :happybrain:
 
Doubles battlers, I will present to you a pokemon that you will probably not usually consider for support, that does it exceptionally well:



Breloom is a fantastic support mon that has great use against rain, sand and hail teams! Unfortunately it is rather useless against sun as most offenders can 2hko it at worst even after toxic recovery.

Breloom's doubles geared movepool and typing is simply fantastic, I'll list a few of the more awesome moves.

-Leech Seed
-Spore
-Helping Hand
-Fake Tears

It's important resistances are to surf, discharge, earthquake and rock slide and it can survive most non STAB blizzards and heat waves! I Highly Recommend toxic heal as the status immunity is priceless and the recovery allows you to deal better with occasional ice beams, flamethrowers and sludge bombs.

Here is a sample set:

Unconventional Wall

Breloom @ Toxic Orb/Leftovers
Trait: Poison Heal
252 HP / 8 Spd / 248+ SpDef
-Drain Punch / Helping Hand
-Protect
-Seed Bomb / Helping Hand
-Spore

Drain punch and protect keep it healthy and this Breloom is difficult to ohko from full hp with special attacks, seed bomb allows you to nuke specific threats on weather teams and spore works great with fake out support to neuter threats and especially trick room! Helping hand is a move that fits Breloom well and allows it to facilitate wall breaking for its partner. Leech seed is an option over seed bomb or spore in order to maximise healing and harassment. Leftovers is an option over toxic orb if you have something to toxic you earlier in the match.

Breloom is particularly good at countering disquake combinations and walling sand and sun teams in general, usually I find it best to pair it with a powerful sweeper that can put pressure on opponents immediately in order for breloom to give it the right helping hand and spore support.

For now, I haven't put too much effort into ev'ing it but it might be useful to EV it to take certain hits such as a non item boosted blizzard from 252+ Abomasnow or a draco meteor from Kingdra and pump enough ev's into attack to score critical ko's or 2hkos such as against Gastrodon, Excadrill, Politoed and Abomasnow

edit: 252/36/220+ Breloom gives you a good chance of ohkoing even the most defensive Gastrodon (without rindo) whilst surviving the aforementioned high powered moves (252+ Aboma blizzard + hail damage and LO 252+ Kingdra meteor). Unfortunately Breloom can never ohko Excadrill with drain punch but has a very good chance to ohko non-chople Tyranitar running max HP.
 
0Atk Technician Breloom (Neutral) Seed Bomb vs 252HP/252Def Leftovers Storm Drain Gastrodon (+Def): 93% - 110% (400 - 472 HP). Guaranteed 2HKO. 63% chance to OHKO.

Breloom's pretty much going to munch Gastrodon no matter what with Seed Bomb.

252SpAtk Abomasnow (Neutral) Blizzard vs 252HP/252SpDef Leftovers Breloom (+SpDef): 94% - 111% (306 - 360 HP). Guaranteed 2HKO. 66% chance to OHKO.

On the other hand, Obama shits all over him unless it has no investment in Special Attack:

4SpAtk Abomasnow (Neutral) Blizzard vs 252HP/252SpDef Leftovers Breloom (+SpDef): 72% - 87% (236 - 282 HP). Guaranteed 2HKO.

That set look's pretty awesome, I'm going to have to try it out myself.
 
252SpAtk Abomasnow (+SAtk) Blizzard vs 252HP/252SpDef Leftovers Breloom (+SpDef): 77% - 91% (252 - 296 HP). Guaranteed 2HKO.

Yeah forgot the conditions.

Well it survives a 252+ SpAtk Obama's Blizzard, just about. Can be a clincher if needed as your opponent probably won't expect it to survive at all. Spore the offending Ice type and heal it back with Drain Punch to cause many rage quits.
 
Making rain teams rage quit since I began using Mantine + Sunny day Sableye :)

http://pokemonshowdown.com/replay/smogondoubles9681799

This guy was pretty high ranked too..

My team isn't even good but is more about trolling and giving Sceptile some usage.. and I still absolutely butt rape the most common weather

Taking suggestions on alternative Sceptile sets, I want it in my team but am unsure on how to use it.

Volcarona for S Rank in "Doubles viability ranking thread" coming soon!! (She is so good/versatile and easily supported!!)

edit: At above.. your strat is so easily walled, my hitmontop cancelled white herb and fake out prevents set up... not a decent start against most players
 

Pocket

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Habibs, I enjoyed your Mantine and Breloom posts - thanks for sharing your unique findings! It was amusing to say the least to see Mantine (and Sableye) kicking standard doubles team! Do you happen to have any replays with some Breloom action?

Sceptile is shit, though - why use it over Skymin with better Speed and SpA (120/127 > 105/120)??? Not to mention you're using physical Sceptile x_x;; Unburden isn't worth it seriously - I hope you replaced Sceptile with your Breloom xP

Arcticblast - BDrum Lax is ballsy! The team would have better took advantage of Snorlax if they paired it with a Follow Me / Rage Powder user, imo. Too bad there are no Follow Me users that also sets up Trick Room. +6 Dusknoir / Sableye are weak shit, though. At least pair it with Psych Up Metagross and that team would have been less gimmicky!
 
Making rain teams rage quit since I began using Mantine + Sunny day Sableye :)

I still absolutely butt rape the most common weather

Volcarona for S Rank in "Doubles viability ranking thread" coming soon!! (She is so good/versatile and easily supported!!)

I won 4/5 against you with my pretty standard rain/sand team...please don't start bragging about beating rain when it's not at all hard to beat Mantine/Sunny Day/Volc. I don't mean to be a jerk, but don't get ahead of yourself here...

Volcarona is solid, but not the top of everything. It's not bulky enough to be super high tier, although it is definitely right below that.
AND WHAT IF MY VOLC IS A MALE D:
 

Pocket

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So I reached the top of the ladder and broke 2000 points (I've been playing the last few days as Boof Boof Boof.)



But I don't care if there's any reward or not honestly, since using the success I had as a teaching tool for others is enough of a reward ^_^. I decided I'd give a few tips to people looking to do well here, since I see a lot of dedication to the game in those I face, but very little knowledge of its mechanics.


This is sheer opinion, obviously, and I don't want to start an argument really, but doubles is a ton more strategic than singles. It focuses on a lot more elements than singles, and after playing a bit of both over the past year, I definitely believe this requires you to understand the workings of the game, damage rolls, mechanics, strategies, and everything far and wide. Many people are using 252/252 spreads, since that's common in singles; you have to do more calculations and take into account more when creating spreads in doubles, since Pokemon of BOTH attack types will be hitting you.

Second, and for most established singles players I cannot stress this enough, STRONGLY CONSIDER WHAT YOUR OPPONENT IS LIKELY DOING WHEN MAKING A MOVE. I have seen SO many straight 6-mon Trick Room, Sun, Rain, etc. teams that focus on THEIR STRATEGY and have zero concern for what the opponent could do to stop it (these teams don't work against seasoned players...almost ever.) Even if these players do look at what the opponent does, they still focus way too much on executing the strategy rather than making a good play. Put yourself in the opponent's shoes. If you were them, what would you do? Which Pokemon would be attacking which? Which Pokemon of yours are threatened? By spectating battles between high-rated players and observing their moves, and by simply playing them, you can understand why they're making specific moves. You're never above anyone else; always strive to get better. There's always something you can improve on at this game.

I recommend looking around for battle videos of experienced players, try to see what they're doing as far as team composition goes, and how they play. I also recommend not copying their team EXACTLY, but make sure you look at the concept and keep that consistent. For example, if there's a Cresselia/Metagross combination you like that utilizes Trick Room and Swagger/Lum Berry, but you don't like how Trick Room is used, try Thundurus with Swagger and Garchomp/Metagross instead. Just remember, as I mentioned in the tip above...you can't just think "IF I GET SWAGGER OFF, I WIN!" Your opponent may Rage Powder your Swagger with their Amoonguss and Heat Wave, effectively ending your attempt. Always take into account all possible threats. If someone shuts down your team and you failed to identify the threat or could not handle it, analyze it rationally (don't simply say "it was a gimmick, BS!!) and mold a Pokemon or a moveslot to better deal with that threat.


So in essence, look around for established doubles/VGC players, practice on PS/GBU, and remember the game is NOT about executing your strategy, but how well you are able to deal withyour opponent's team/moves/strategy.


Good luck to anyone out there giving this format a shot; keep an open mind, a winning mentality, and an attitude that promotes learning and improving!
Strong post, Braverius! Thanks for your participation in this fun endeavor :)

I urge you to take part in Double Conquest. Post a screenshot with any account with over 100 rated games of Smogon Doubles and you earn 5 points for every 100 played games! Register a fresh alt and climb up to top 5 for additional 2+ points! Finally our IRC Conquest is a fun challenge to get to know other players enjoying this tier at #doubles. Hope to see you sooN!
 
Lol, I seem to have a few haters now

http://pokemonshowdown.com/replay/smogondoubles9764135

Thats the one I recently lose to Braverius, Breloom was present in most of it so it shows how good it is.

And Tyranitar + Exca are not usually on standard rain teams.

The main flaw on my team seems to be 5 supporting pokemon and 1 sweeper, putting a lot of pressure on Volca leads to me losing every now and again.. but she still shoulders it well.

edit: http://pokemonshowdown.com/replay/smogondoubles9766322

I havent had a dis/quake team for a while but that should do for a little, it just shows Breloom checking thunderbolts basically, quite the special wall, I am trying to figure out how to combine guard split shuckle with toxic heal Breloom because that would probably be a defensive behemoth. You will notice my breloom atm doesn't have helping hand and it REALLY misses it.
 
Where has Cresselia gone? I've not seen one used against me in a while.
Metagame shift? More people are using Toxic and Tyranitar.
Trick Room is more common so Icy Wind spam hurts more than it helps...
Psychic/Psyshock is incredibly easy to switch into.
Dual Screens can be stalled out, but Taunt(particularly Prankster) is more common anyway. Plus, Dual Screen isn't that great anyway when Intimidate is basically a free Reflect.
It is outclassed as a Trick Room setter.
It is outclassed as a tank/Helping Hander by Ragepowder/Follow Me users because they can just aim at the thing causing all the damage.

Don't get me wrong, Cresselia is still good overall, but each of its niches are being yanked away from it one by one by things that can fill it better. Plus, things that make Cresselia's life harder are more common.
 

Huy

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I'm incredibly jealous of the some of the TR setting options that are allowed in Smogon Doubles as opposed to VGC. Mew and Victini offer unique things that a lot of the VGC TR setters would love to have (mainly having both bulk and offense) And Mew having access to both Fake Out and Transform make it so much fun to play with.
 

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Metagame shift? More people are using Toxic and Tyranitar.
Trick Room is more common so Icy Wind spam hurts more than it helps...
Psychic/Psyshock is incredibly easy to switch into.
Dual Screens can be stalled out, but Taunt(particularly Prankster) is more common anyway. Plus, Dual Screen isn't that great anyway when Intimidate is basically a free Reflect.
It is outclassed as a Trick Room setter.
It is outclassed as a tank/Helping Hander by Ragepowder/Follow Me users because they can just aim at the thing causing all the damage.

Don't get me wrong, Cresselia is still good overall, but each of its niches are being yanked away from it one by one by things that can fill it better. Plus, things that make Cresselia's life harder are more common.
I disagree with most of this. As of the last usage stats, both Politoed and Ninetales are higher than Tyranitar, so it's the 3rd most common weather setter. Also, Toxic hurts it, but definitely doesn't ruin it, nor is there any evidence to suggest there's been a sharp rise in either. To respond to you other points, Trick Room being more common is a plus for Cress usage since it's the premier TR setter in the tier. Psychic being easy to switch into is irrelevant for the most part since it's getting used for support anyways, so it not being able to deal huge damage with Psychic isn't a bug deal. I'm not a huge fan of dual screens, but their viability hardly hurts Cress since it can be used for so much more. Saying it's outclassed as a TR setter is bs since it's the bulkiest setter in the tier, and a staple on most teams. And it's different from rage powder/follow me users since its goal is to support the team through its move pool, not tank hits, so saying it's outclassed as a HH user (as if people use dedicated HH users or something) makes no sense.
So yeah. To answer your question Skore, you just ran into teams without it. The ladder's hardly representative of decent players anyways, and it's only what teams you faced, so I doubt there's been an actual drop in its usage.. To everyone else, keep considering Cress for your teams. It's one of the best supporters in the tier, and works well on many kinds of teams.
 
Having access to Event Legendaries is actually quite entertaining when you can do things like Contrary Vicinti, also the lack of an item clause really opens up a lot of strategy, though it does make Unnerve a rather bad ability since you can run a bunch of gems everywhere or sashes instead of Yache berry, et al.
 
I wouldn't call Cresselia the go-to Trick Room setter... it hardly even has ANYTHING to separate it from at least a dozen other great TR users.

If you are going to go with the pure bulk route, Porygon2 has equal bulk with perfectly mixed stats and higher bulk if you are specializing(such as max sDef for pairing with Hitmontop) due to how eviolite works, has a better ability, speed(for TR), offensive prescience, typing(arguably), and reliable recovery. Plus it is the cooler floating abstract duck and has more swag.
If you are going to go for how good it is, there are 4 viable ghosts for TR. They are all immune to Fake Out because of this and they function better than Cresselia in TR. Dusclops is fairly close to Porygon2 and Cress in bulk. Jellicent and Chandelure can sweep efficiently with powerful spread moves.

Bronzong has its amazing defensive typing. Victini has V-Create. Xatu is immune to Spore and Taunt. Musharna is mainly just a substitute for Cresselia, but it still exists. Whimsicott has a ridiculous number of support options. Slowbro(king) have Regenerator, Heal Pulse, reliable recover and an attacking presence. Reuniclus was basically created to do Trick Room.


Honestly, Dusclops almost directly outclasses Cresselia for TR. Ghost is a much better typing defensively, Fake Out immunity is crucial, their bulk is almost the same and they both basically just use Helping Hand afterward. You can explode with Dusclops's partner at anytime and Wil O Wisp is pretty good, their viable support movepool is pretty similar other that dual screens for Cress.


Sorry, I'm just not seeing Cresselia being all that great..
 
Cress isn't beast because of one thing. Cress is beast because it does a lot of things well and is the ultimate Glue if doubles.

Need bulk? Cress. Need HH? Cress. Need something to set TR and live? Cress.
 
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