OU GSC OU Sample Teams Breakdown

Siatam

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GSC OU Sample Teams Breakdown
Approved by Earthworm
Welcome to the GSC OU sample teams thread! With the recent update of the GSC OU sample teams now is a great time to improve the resources and generate discussion on some of the most popular and influential teams in the meta. Each sample team will have a dedicated post covering four topics:
  • A general team overview
  • How the team checks common offensive threats and breaks defensive walls
  • A breakdown of team member and move set synergy
  • Example replays of the team in action
Hopefully these resources can be useful to people learning GSC OU, providing a starting point from which they can develop their skills playing the sample teams. The explanation of team and move synergy can also help people in their own teambuilding.

These breakdowns are fairly brief, and I do not expect them to cover everything about any one team. If you have any insight, suggestions or comments to make about the sample teams please do not hesitate to post your thoughts in this thread.

Table of Contents:
(Click pictures for the team, click name for the post detailing the team)
Offense:
:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::nidoking::gengar::tyranitar:
Nidoking + Gengar Offense

:nidoking::zapdos::cloyster::machamp::snorlax::tyranitar:
Nidoking + Machamp Offense

:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::gengar::golem::jynx:
Jynx + Gengar Offense by Fear

:jynx::zapdos::cloyster::snorlax::nidoking::gengar:
Triple Thief + WW Zapdos by Cased

:zapdos::snorlax::cloyster::exeggutor::steelix::vaporeon:
Vaporeon + Explosions Offense by Borat

:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::tyranitar::marowak::starmie:
Paralysis & Marowak by Earthworm

:raikou::snorlax::cloyster::golem::exeggutor::heracross:
Heracross + Explosions by Lavos & Sulcata

:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::vaporeon::jynx::rhydon:
Growth Pass by D0nut

:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::houndoom::golem::machamp:
Houndoom + Golem by TC

Spikeless Offense:
:smeargle::scizor::snorlax::marowak::jolteon::machamp:
Standard Agility Baton Pass

:snorlax::raikou::miltank::starmie::skarmory::marowak:
Rest Marowak + Heal Bell Support

:jynx::snorlax::entei::houndoom::moltres::exeggutor:
Sunny Day Spam by Siatam

:zapdos::quagsire::snorlax::miltank::tyranitar::starmie:
Paralysis + Drum Quagsire

:exeggutor::charizard::raikou::rhydon::snorlax::starmie:
Paralysis + Drum Charizard Offense

Stall:
:zapdos::snorlax::cloyster::golem::skarmory::raikou:
Double Electric Stall

:raikou::snorlax::forretress::tentacruel::tyranitar::skarmory:
Spin Tentacruel Stall by Zokuru

:snorlax::raikou::forretress::starmie::skarmory::umbreon:
Forretress + Umbreon Stall

:snorlax::raikou::cloyster::suicune::golem::skarmory:
Double Dog Golem Stall by ABR & BKC

:snorlax::zapdos::cloyster::blissey::misdreavus::skarmory:
Blissey + Misdreavus Stall

:raikou::suicune::cloyster::gengar::snorlax::skarmory:
Double Dog & Gengar by M Dragon


Huge shout outs to Fear and Earthworm for their insight and feedback on this thread as well as Holly for her invaluable replays thread!
 
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Siatam

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:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/nidoking: :gs/gengar: :gs/tyranitar:
Nidoking + Gengar Offense
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
The quintessential GSC offense team, this lineup boasts impressive offensive and defensive abilities. It utilizes the offensive and defensive powerhouse of Monolax (Normal STAB + Curse + Rest + Sleep Talk) supported by the pursuit wielding Tyranitar. Nidoking and Gengar serve as dangerous mixed attackers, able to break through many defensive walls with their expansive coverage and combination of Lovely Kiss + Explosion. The offensive staples of Cloyster and Zapdos round off the team, providing Spikes support and powerful special attacks, respectively.
This team seeks to wear down opposing teams with Spikes and a combination of Zapdos, Nidoking, and Gengar in order to set up for a Snorlax end-game. Conversely, Snorlax can weaken the opponent's team to a state where the other team members can secure KO's.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:nidoking: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jolteon: :dragonite:

:gengar: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :porygon2:

:tyranitar: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :exeggutor: :misdreavus: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :houndoom: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax: MonoLax is the premier offensive threat in GSC, with winning 1v1 matchups against everything bar Curse normal resists, Ghost types, Machamp, and Explosion users. With the correct checks eliminated, Curse Double-Edge Snorlax can easily win games.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes, there are very few opponents that can comfortably switch into Zapdos, namely Raikou and Blissey. If these defensive answers are removed Zapdos + Spikes is a viable win condition.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. If Spikes cannot be removed by the opponent, Cloyster becomes a valuable tool used to forces trades with the opponent.

:nidoking: Nidoking's mixed physical/special move set can punish the majority of the metagame when combined with the threat of Lovely Kiss. Only a few mons using Sleep Talk can effectively check Nidoking, namely Snorlax, Zapdos, and Suicune. Nidoking is particularly powerful against stall teams, but still immensly valuable in offensive matchups.

:gengar: Another mixed attacker, benefitting from Electric + Ice coverage, Gengar can threaten specially defensive walls with Explosion. Opposing Snorlax, Raikou, and Zapdos are important targets for Gengar's Explosion, as their absence can make the opponent much weaker to Zapdos and Nidoking. Dynamic Punch gives Gengar the chance to turn around the Tyranitar match-up, preserving Gengar's health in the face of a Pursuit-trapper. Gengar also provides the invaluable trait of being a Rapid Spin blocker, making it more difficult for the opponent to removes Spikes from their side of the field.

:tyranitar: Tyranitar's main goal is the Pursuit trap and eliminate any Ghost types on the opponent's team, for the benefit of Snorlax. While Tyranitar cannot switch in on many offensive mons, Rock Slide + Earthquake has very threatening coverage. When combined with Pursuit Tyranitar can spread damage against many opposing teams.

Team Synergy:

This team is considered the standard GSC offense with good reason. Every member on the team uses some of the most common move sets, but they combine their Electric + Ice coverage and Tyranitar's Rock + Ground coverage to create a core of offensive threats that are very difficult to switch into after Cloyster has used Spikes.
While it is not mandatory to use Pursuit when using MonoLax, Tyranitar simplifies the matchup against Gengar and Misdreavus, though it must be careful of Hypnosis and Dynamic Punch from Gengar and Toxic from Misdreavus. The presence of Curse Sleep Talk Snorlax on the team is important for multiple reasons. 1) Snorlax has incredible value as a defensive mon, being able to answer most special attackers and importantly Jynx. 2) The lack of setup moves from the rest of the team can create can make it difficult to break through defensive teams, or face down a last-mon Curse Snorlax.
Nidoking is also an important inclusion when using MonoLax + Tyranitar as Nidoking is a much needed pivot into Electric-types. It can threaten both Raikou and Zapdos, as well as allowing Snorlax to switch in on weaker Hidden Powers. This role is commonly be filled by Golem/Steelix/Rhydon, all of which are not used in favor of Tyranitar.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 3: Conflict vs Zokuru (NidoGar vs NidoGar)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs zwhy (NidoGar vs Nidoking Offense)
 
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Siatam

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:gs/nidoking: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/machamp: :gs/snorlax: :gs/tyranitar:
Nidoking + Machamp Offense
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Nidoking + Machamp offense is a tried and tested team structure and has performed successfully for multiple years. Its goal it to spread paralysis and weaken the opposing team to a point where Machamp can perform a late-game sweep. Nidoking using its mixed attacking set to weaken opposing teams, or out right break defensive cores. Snorlax serves at a method of spreading paralysis against physical walls for the benefit of Machamp, while also being a stand-alone threat and effective special wall. Tyranitar drops the more common Earthquake set in favor of Fire Blast in order to damage Skarmory into range of Machamp's Cross Chop. Tyranitar retains its ability to Pursuit trap ghosts to assist Body Slam Snorlax. While the team commonly uses Machamp in a late game setting, the inclusion of offensive powerhouses RestTalk Zapdos and Spikes Cloyster enable to team to play a more dynamic game, where Machamp might be used in a supporting role in order to enable other teammates to win the game.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:nidoking: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jolteon: :dragonite:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:machamp: Checks: :tyranitar:

:snorlax: Checks: (Non Curse:snorlax:) :zapdos: :raikou: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:tyranitar: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :exeggutor: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :houndoom: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:nidoking: Nidoking's mixed physical/special move set can punish the majority of the metagame when combined with the threat of Lovely Kiss. Only a few mons using Sleep Talk can effectively check Nidoking, namely Snorlax, Zapdos, and Suicune. While any sleeping mon can be taken advantage of by Machamp, if Nidoking can sleep Zapdos, Machamp has a much easier time breaking through offensive teams.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes, there are very few opponents that can comfortably switch into Zapdos, namely Raikou and Blissey. If these defensive answers are removed Zapdos + Spikes is a viable win condition.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. When combined with Machamp, Cloyster is an excellent bait for Starmie, as Starmie will frequently switch in on Cloyster in order to remove Spikes. Even if Exploding on Starmie results in losing Spikes for the rest of the match, it can be beneficial if the opposing team can be cleaned up by Machamp.

:machamp: Machamp notably has little utility as a defensive switch-in. While Machamp has the bulk needed to take hits, its sheer offensive power makes it more valuable for Machamp to preserve its health to trade blows against opposing walls. A +1 Critical Cross Chop, which has 25% odds in Gen 2, can outright KO any mon that does not resist fighting moves. +1 Machamp also 2HKO's Zapdos with Rock Slide while surviving 2 Thunders, comes close to an OHKO on Nidoking with Earthquake and OHKO's Gengar.

:snorlax: While Body Slam Snorlax does not share the same offensive presence of Double-Edge Snorlax, it is still easily capable of defeating non-Curse Snorlax sets and non-Normal resists. Considering the Snorlax and Machamp share Skarmory as a check, the paralysis spread by Body Slam can be invalauble. Other Snorlax switch-ins such as Cloyster, Golem, and Steelix all use Explosion. Machamp also benefits from being able to outspeed and KO these threats with Curse boosts.

:tyranitar: Along with Pursuiting ghost types to assist Snorlax, Tyranitar is also needed to trap and damage Exeggutor and other Psychic types which would otherwise defensively check and threaten to KO Machamp. While Fire Blast does not offer as useful coverage as Earthquake, the increased damage to Exeggutor and Skarmory makes it the more common option on Machamp offense.

Team Synergy:

Machamp is a devastating offensive threat in its own right, but cannot reach its full potential unless supported by a team. All five teammates serve a role to assist Machamp. Nidoking is excellent as a consistent way to status opposing Zapdos. Snorlax can spread paralysis to opposing physical walls. Zapdos has the oppurtunity to paralyze switch-ins such as Snorlax and Raikou and can chip Nidoking into Machamp Earthquake range. Cloyster lays Spikes for general benefit to the team, and acts as Starmie bait. Finally Tyranitar using Pursuit to handle difficult Ghost and Psychic types, while using Fire Blast to ensure Machamp's checks are sufficiently weakened.
In order to support Machamp, the team must make sacrifices in other matchups. However the presence of Machamp helps make up for these short-comings. Body Slam Snorlax is less effectively than Double-Edge against other Curse Snorlax sets, but Machamp ensures that the team has another answers against a boosted Snorlax. Tyranitar choosing Fire Blast over Earthquake makes it less effective against Nidoking, Golem, Rhydon, and other Tyranitar, which Machamp can handle with its own Earthquake and Cross Chop combination.


Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
GSC OU Ladder: Gabraltar vs. Sample Sampler (NidoChamp vs Double Electric Offense)
Lavos vs Charmflash (NidoChamp vs Exeggutor Stall)
 
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Siatam

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:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/gengar: :gs/golem: :gs/jynx:
Jynx + Gengar Offense by Fear
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
A potent special offense team, this squad utilizes Whirlwind Zapdos, Thief Gengar, and Substitute Jynx to harass and break through the opponent's special walls. Snorlax is utilized in a mainly specially defensive role, but is more than capable of dishing out damage. Cloyster and Golem check a variety of physical offensive threats, but lack long term sustain, to make up for it they can use Explosion when their defensive utility is spent.
While lacking in defensive capacity, once this team lays Spikes it is an incredible menace that can easily pressure offensive and defensive teams alike. There is no single late game threat or win condition on this team, instead it combines the effects of Spikes chip + special attacker to create unrelenting offensive pressure. Even in difficult situations, the team has the triple Explosion threat of Cloyster, Gengar, and Golem to eliminate key defensive walls.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.
:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:gengar: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :porygon2:

:golem: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:jynx: Checks: :cloyster: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Snorlax serves a defensive role on the team as a status sponge and general special wall. Despite this, Snorlax is still able to leverage its powerful Double-Edge and longevity to be an enduring threat to opponents. Snorlax is able to safely switch in on many of the special walls that will check Zapdos, Gengar, and Jynx and apply pressure with Double-Edge. While FireLax has a multitude of checks, all are susceptible to Spikes and special attackers.

:zapdos:What Whirlwind Zapods loses in longevity, it makes up for it in offensive pressure. Once Spikes have been laid, Zapdos wants to switch in safely and start forcing switches. Thunderbolt provides reliable damage against most of the meta-game while HP water lets Zapdos more easily pick of KO's against Golem, Steelix and Rhydon. Notably making opposing Golem have a much more difficult time using Rapid Spin to remove Spikes. Protect helps Zapdos increase it's sustain with Leftovers and can absorb Explosions, however it does nothing to helps Zapdos against status, which the Whirlwind set is susceptible to.

:cloyster:Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. Since this team has Rapid Spin Golem, Toxicing the opposing Cloyster becomes more valuable. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions.

:gengar:Both Thief and Explosion give Gengar options to pressure opposing special walls and provide opportunities for Zapdos + Jynx. Thief can frequently hit opposing Snorlax and Raikou to the benefit of Zapdos and Jynx. Tyranitar can be a recipient of Thief, though the lack of Leftovers and presence of Spikes will make Snorlax much more dangerous. Gengar is not limited to only a supporting role, Electric + Ice coverage enables it to be a stand-alone fast offensive threat.

:golem:Golem's utility is that is can check Snorlax, spin away Spikes, and explode as a last-ditch effort. The relative frailty of the team means that it appreciates the absence of Spikes. Golem also nicely threatens the spinblockers of Gengar and Misdreavus with Earthquake. While Golem can pivot into Raikou and Zapdos on an electric move, it is forced to use Explosion if it wishes to threaten Zapdos. RestTalk Zapdos is not a terrific threat, but has an advantage against Whirlwind Zapdos so exploding can be a valuable trade. Additionally Golem can trade damage against other grounded normal resists, which can secure OHKO's from the special attackers on the team.

:jynx:With Substitute and Lovely Kiss Jynx has options in both the late and early game. Using Lovely Kiss against a special wall in the early game can make dealing with Zapdos and Gengar much more difficult. Substitute in the late game gives Jynx more opportunities to use its inaccurate Lovely Kiss as well as apply the secondary effects of Psychic and Ice Beam. Substitute will also improve the team's matchup against Exeggutor which can otherwise be difficult to deal with as Zapdos lacks HP Ice and Snorlax may not want to take an Explosion.

Team Synergy:
Any team with Snorlax, Spikes, Whirlwind Zapdos, and 3 Explosions will be threatening, but certain team and move set choices make a large difference in its performance. Thief Gengar is not always the best move choice for Gengar, but this team has options to take advantage of every common switch-in to Gengar lacking Leftovers.
Earthquake Snorlax has a better offensive presence than Flamethrower Snorlax but critically gives up the advantage in the Skarmory matchup. Jynx and Gengar do not enjoy switching into a Drill Peck, while Zapdos taking Toxic will ruin its longevity. FireLax checks on the contrary are affected by Spikes and easier to switch into and threaten with Golem, Zapdos, or Cloyster (and Gengar in the case of Miltank).
Part of Golem's duties on the team is to act as an electric pivot. Normally this role would be better performed by Steelix, who shares Earthquake, Roar and Explosion. However, since this team heavily relies on Spikes with Zapdos and lacks sustain, Golem valuably contributes to playing the Spikes war. Additionally Golem spinning away spikes invites in the opposing Spiker, which often gives a free switch to Zapdos.
Opposing Sleep Talk Snorlax can be difficult for this team to remove, but the presence of Explosion Gengar, Cloyster and Golem all help in the Snorlax matchups as Snorlax is a possible switch-in to Gengar while Cloyster and Golem will find many opportunities to switch in and face off against Snorlax.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
SPL XI Week 1: Fear vs HODOR (Jynx + Gengar Offense vs Nidoking + Vaporeon Offense)
SPL XII Week 3: TC vs false (Jynx + Gengar Offense vs Double Electric Stall)
GSCPL Week 3: Siatam vs ALICE (Jynx + Gengar Offense vs Starmie Offense)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/jynx: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/snorlax: :gs/nidoking: :gs/gengar:
Triple Thief + WW Zapdos by Cased
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
This team takes the offensive potential of Whirlwind Zapdos and turns it up to 11. The three Thief users of Jynx, Nidoking, and Gengar provide overlapping Thief coverage for almost every Zapdos switch-in along with copious mixed coverage. Standard Toxic Cloyster provides the usual Spikes support, physical bulk, and Explosion. Curse RestTalk Snorlax acts as a general special wall, check to other Curse Snorlax, and overall Physical threat. The star of the show: Magnet double electric move Zapdos abuses the lack of Leftovers from the opponent, the added power from Magnet, the Whirlwind + Spikes combo, and the duo of powerful Thunder and accurate Thunderbolt to precisely pick apart opposing teams.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:jynx:Checks: :cloyster: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon:

:zapdos:Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel:

:cloyster:Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:snorlax:Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:nidoking:Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jolteon: :dragonite:

:gengar:Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:jynx:Jynx leads off the team with a versatile offensive presence that often forces a switch from the opponent. Rest Sleep Talk Raikou and Suicune are perhaps the only safe lead Jynx answers, as lead Snorlax fears the possibility of Counter Jynx. To take advantage of this immediate momentum, Jynx prefers to immediately Thief Leftovers from the incoming Sleep Talking special check before firing off a Lovely Kiss or switching. In the late-game Jynx tries to keep sleep on the opponent as well as offensively pressure opposing Machamp to switch, as this team can struggle with switching into Machamp and immediately threatening a KO. Jynx's common Thief targets are: Raikou, Snorlax, Suicune, Vaporeon.

:zapdos:Lacking Leftovers and RestTalk sustain, Zapdos needs to preserved to achieve its full potential. While Zapdos may have many opportunities to switch-in throughout the game, it prefers to start apply pressure after Spikes have been laid and multiple Thiefs have taken away Leftovers from the opponent. From that position Zapdos can optimally leverage Whirlwind and its boosted electric moves. Magnet generally makes Zapdos more difficult to switch into, but notably secures a 3HKO on Snorlax switching in on Spikes without Leftovers. Depending on the situation Zapdos also has the option of picking between Thunder and Thunderbolt depending if the increased damage is necessary of if the guaranteed damage of Thunderbolt is more valuable. HP water over HP Ice more effectively damages the ground type switch-ins to Zapdos, namely Golem, Steelix, and Rhydon. Of course Zapdos must still be wary of status, Explosions and the odd grass type, but if given the opportunity to switch in freely it has the ability to severely weaken or break the opponent's team.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. Since this team has no tradition Normal resist, Cloyster serves a much more important role as a Snorlax check. If the opposing Snorlax has not been Thiefed, Cloyster may be wary to switch in and try to Spike up, as a Curse Earthquake Snorlax can quickly get out of hand, even with Cloyster's Toxic. Explosion is also an important final check against opposing Snorlax, as even without Curse, a RestTalk Earthquake Snorlax is immensely threatening to this team.

:snorlax:Despite the incentive to utilize MonoLax as an offensive presence, Snorlax serves a defensive role on the team as a status sponge and general special wall. In addition to its defensive role, Snorlax can leverage its powerful Double-Edge and longevity to be an enduring threat to opponents. Snorlax is able to safely switch in on many of the special walls that will check Zapdos, Gengar, and Jynx and apply pressure with Double-Edge. Since Snorlax is the team's best answer to opposing Zapdos, it is more important than usual to keep check of Snorlax's health and remaining sleep turns. Also of note: this team lacks Pursuit, but still requires the end-game presence of Curse MonoLax. When playing against ghost-types the other team members will have to make up for the lack of physical offense, unless a Struggle Snorlax sweep is a viable win condition.

:nidoking:Lacking Lovely Kiss, Nidoking is not as immediately threatening, but this does not diminish the effectiveness of Nidoking's mixed coverage. While Zapdos or Snorlax are the most common ways this team wins, Nidoking is capable of breaking down teams that lack Leftovers. Nidoking most often gets to use Thief after pivoting in on an electric type attack, but can also be doubled to achieve the same effect. Without Lovely Kiss, Nidoking can struggle against Curse Machamp, especially so if Machamp has Earthquake. Nidoking's common Thief targets are: Snorlax, Zapdos, Suicune, and Heracross.

:gengar:Gengar's normal immunity and access to Explosion make it an important tool in the Spikes war, and inevitable Snorlax matchup. Gengar frequently switches in on Cloyster in order to force a switch Thief an opponent. While Gengar can switch in on Snorlax and use Thief, it comes with the added risk of running into Earthquake Snorlax, or being frequently Pursuit trapped in the event of MonoLax . As one of only two Explosion users on the team, the health and status of Gengar must be carefully managed to extract the full use out of its moveset. Gengar's common Thief targets are: Snorlax, Raikou, Tyranitar, and Steelix, and Umbreon.

Team Synergy:
While spamming three Thief mons to hit special walls may seem a little over the top, Gengar, Nidoking, and Jynx have enough variation in checks to still be effective. All three commonly share Snorlax as answer, which is an advantage, Snorlax will be in every serious GSC game and it is useful to insure that the most common Zapdos check will have its Leftovers stolen.
By design this team lacks a solid defense, but makes up for it the best it can with Sleep Talk Snorlax, Cloyster, and Gengar. While a Sleep Talk Snorlax with two attacks would be more consistent on defense, Curse is required to make up for the poor matchup the team has against other Snorlax.
Zapdos is the primary abuser of Spikes and triple Thief but, Gengar, Nidoking, and Jynx are still powerful offensive threats with their standard movesets. Overall, this team effectively compromises between extreme offense and light defense, which allows it to have an even matchup against opposing offense, but superior matchup playing against stall teams.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
RoA Tour VII Semi-Finals: BKC vs Serpi n_n (Triple Thief + WW Zapdos vs Double Electric Stall)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs lonestall (Triple Thief + WW Zapdos vs Blissey Raikou Stall)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/zapdos: :gs/snorlax: :gs/cloyster: :gs/exeggutor: :gs/steelix: :;gs/vaporeon:
Vaporeon + Explosions Offense by Borat
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Borat built this team in 2010 (with versions dating back to 2004!) yet it still retains viability. This team popularized many new strategies in the meta, and has for many years been recommended as the go-to team to learn GSC. On the positive side, this means the team is very robust and optimized, but on the downside it means that many players know the team and have experience playing against it. One of the most prolific strategies this team popularized in the meta is the bait Explosion. Exeggutor excellently fills that role on this team, baiting and exploding on the opponent's Zapdos or Raikou to improve Vaporeon's chances of a sweep. Snorlax utilizes the dangerous Curse/Double-Edge/Earthquake/Rest set as an alternative win condition if Exeggutor can explode on the opponent's Snorlax, or Curse Steelix can nab a boosted Explosion on Skarmory. Zapdos, Cloyster, and Steelix all fill their standard offensive roles, but it is worth noting that this team can be seen as the progenitor to the modern GSC offense structure.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:zapdos: Checks::cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:snorlax:Checks: (Non Curse:snorlax:) :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::starmie: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:cloyster:Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:exeggutor:Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :machamp: :vaporeon: :marowak: :espeon: :alakazam::quagsire:

:steelix:Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :heracross: :porygon2:

:vaporeon:Checks: :tyranitar: :starmie: :jynx: :moltres: :houndoom:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes, there are very few opponents that can comfortably switch into Zapdos, namely Raikou and Blissey. If these defensive answers are removed Zapdos + Spikes is a viable win condition.

:snorlax: While dropping Sleep Talk on Snorlax comes with its defensive challenges, this team accommodates nicely and allows Curse/DE/EQ Snorlax ravage opponents not using Skarmory. Snorlax is effective in any stage of the game, with only one mon in the meta that consistently walls it (Skarmory) and very few options that can force it out. (Machamp and Explosion) Rest allows Snorlax to not be crippled by status, and provides it with more oppurtunities to switch in and threaten the omni-present electric types, but comes at the cost of giving 2 free turns to the opponent. So while this Snorlax can threaten almost every mon in the meta, it must keep a close eye on its health and status in order to be fully utilized.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. If Spikes cannot be removed by the opponent, Cloyster becomes a valuable tool used to forces trades.

:exeggutor: Exeggutor's favorite thing to do on this is to explode on Zapdos, but has much more utility outside of a bait Explosion role. Exeggutor's dual STAB is important to cover Gengar, Tyranitar, Machamp, which can otherwise be difficult to switch into. Sleep Powder is useful for drawing in opposing Sleep Talkers, commonly Snorlax and Raikou, which are also good Explosion targets for Exeggutor.

:steelix: Steelix has great value as a pivot and short term check to many top threats in the metagame, but lacks the sustain to completely wall anything it checks. Before it runs out of HP, Steelix tries to spread some damage with Earthquake and Roar and pick off targets with Explosion. Zadpos and Snorlax are popular Explosion targets, but in the matchup against stall, Steelix also has the potential to boost with Curse and explode on the opponent's Skarmory making your own Snorlax that much more dangerous. In offensive matchups, if the opponent's Zapdos has been removed, Steelix's boosted Earthquake is a viable method to clean up a grounded team.

:vaporeon: The star of the show, Vaporeon uses the only consistent Special attack boosting move in the game: Growth. With enough boosts, Vaporeon is able to muscle through almost every wall in the meta, though it is often more frightened about running out of HP rather than being stalled out. In this sense, it is more useful to think about what mons can prevent a Vaporeon sweep. Most commonly: Zapdos, Raikou, a healthy Snorlax, Cloyster, Exeggutor. While other mons can give Vaporeon problems, the previously mentioned are capable of switching into Vaporeon's attack, and threatening it out with a super effective hit, a powerful STAB attack or an Explosion. If these threatens can be removed, Vaporeon will have an easier time setting up Growth, while the opponent will struggle to switch into and threaten Vaporeon.

Team Synergy:
The alignment of Exeggutor and Steelix's Explosion targets with Snorlax and Vaporeon's checks is the most prominent example of team synergy here, but is not the only instance of intelligent design in the team.
While Steelix has many downsides, it does not perfectly counter EQ or FireLax, and lacks the Pursuit or Rapid Spin support of Tyranitar and Golem. What Steelix lacks as a Snorlax check it makes up for as an electric pivot, offering short-term utility against many of the top threats in the meta. Using Steelix over other normal resists helps enable Snorlax to run a Sleep Talk-less set, as Snorlax is often saddled with the role of an electric check. The presence of Exeggutor also provides another electric pivot, helping reduce the team's double electric type weakness.
This team predates Jynx's rise in popularity but survives with Vaporeon, one of the few offensive options that comfortably checks Jynx, once again freeing Snorlax from Sleep Talk.

For more about this team (and other topics) see this post.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs Luigi (Vaporeon + Explosions Offense vs Gengar + Jynx Offense)
WCOP 2017 Group Stage: Earthworm vs Isa (Vaporeon + Explosion Offense vs Heracross Stall)
 
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I'm loving the breakdowns of these teams, as someone who was new to GSC not that long ago I think having a breakdown of these teams is great. I'm confused as to why sunny day spam is on a sample team resource though, given how much of a gimmick it is.
 

Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
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:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/tyranitar: :gs/marowak: :gs/starmie:
Paralysis & Marowak by Earthworm
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
While Marowak is commonly thought of as a stall breaking mon, this paralysis spamming team aims to enable Marowak to bust through stall or out speed and crush opposing offense. Snorlax serves a largely defensive role, with the ability to spread paralysis and bait opposing Cloyster with Thunder. Whirlwind Zapdos and support Starmie act as the other two paralysis spreaders on the team with Zapdos in a mixed offensive phazing + utility role. Cloyster does what is does best as a physical check, Spiker, and valuable Explosion user. Tyranitar and Marowak are the physical powerhouses, sharing unresisted Ground + Rock coverage. Tyranitar encourages bulky checks to switch in and get chipped for the benefit of Marowak, while also generating offensive pressure of its own with Screech. While this team has many utility moves, you will find that is plays a more fast-paced offense.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:tyranitar: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :houndoom: :porygon2:

:marowak: Checks: Nothing

:starmie: Checks: :cloyster: :exeggutor: :machamp: :tentacruel: :jynx: :espeon: :alakazam:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Snorlax's most important role is acting as a status observing and offensively threatening all of the common sleep users. But outside that Thunder Snorlax, Thorlax, has a few more applications. Double-Edge + Thunder is an excellent combination to bait opposing Cloyster, 2HKO'ing 65% of the time (45% of the time with accuracy included). While it is not completely reliable, it is a combination that is not often expected or checked for by the opponent. Notably, Thunder also can paralyze some fairly common Snorlax checks, Tyranitar and Gengar. Thunder can also pick up some valuable damage on an unexpecting Skarmory, helping Marowak secure a 2HKO later. Of course, even with only Double-Edge Snorlax is still very threatening to most mons.

:zapdos:Whirlwind Zapdos is capable as a stand-alone offensive threat combined with Spikes, but comes with the added benefit of spreading paralysis for the team. Common paralysis targets for Zapdos include opposing Zapdos, Raikou, Gengar, Exeggutor, and Jynx. HP Ice is the preferred hidden power on Zapdos, used to super effectively damage grass types which Marowak can struggle to OHKO. Whirlind Zapdos can also valuably rack up Spikes chip on bulky water types such as Cloyster and Suicune, also helping Marowak secure KO's. With a combination of offensive power and ultilty, Zapdos is a versatile mid and late-game threat.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. However, toxicing the opposing Cloyster may not always be the best option for this team. Paralyzing the opposing Cloyster is also a viable win condition with Marowak. The decision to KO a paralyzed Cloyster with Marowak, or slowly wear down a poisoned Cloyster is a choice that needs to be made on a by-game basis. Cloyster's combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. Considering Marowak's offensive potential exploding on a key threat at the expense of long-term Spikes can be a beneficial trade.

:tyranitar:Tyranitar is typically viewed as a Snorlax check with some extra utility. While Tyranitar remains a Snorlax check, it serves a much more offensive role. With the same Ground + Rock Coverage as Marowak and the psuedo +2 attack boost of Screech. In a pinch, Tyranitar can clean up paralyzed opponents, but not nearly as efficiently as Marowak. What Tyranitar excels at is forcing in shared checks with Marowak such as Cloyster, Suicune, and Skarmory. When combined with Spikes, Screech can act as a chipping psuedo-phazing move, as many switch-ins do not wanted to take a neutral or super-effective hit at -2 defense. Dynamic Punch strongly threatens opposing Snorlax and can remove opposing Tyranitar, which can be difficult to paralyze.

:marowak:Ground + Rock coverage is un-resisted in generation 2. Combined with Thick Club, at +2 boosted Marowak is able to OHKO almost every Pokemon in the metagame. Once an opposing team is sufficiently paralyzed and weakened, Wak will be able to find opportunities to set up its Swords Dance on much of the metagame. Its 60/80/80 bulk is enough to survive almost any one attack, but the lack of Leftovers will limit Marowak's ability to set up multiple times. While Marowak would prefer everything that out speeds it to be paralyzed, spreading paralysis anything that can hit Marowak super effectively should be a priority. Chipping opposing Cloyster, Suicune and Skarmory will be necessary for a Marowak end game, as all three can survive a +2 Marowak's attack and threaten heavy damage or phazing. Skarmory has the distinction of being 3hko'd by +2 Maorwak's Rock Slide, so Marowak runs Fire Blast solely to be able to 3HKO Curse Skarmory.

:starmie:Starmie only has one attacking move, an uncommon choice on offensive teams. However, all of Starmie's utility moves serve an important part in supporting Marowak's offensive abilities. Rapid is important to keep Thick Club Marowak healthy, while Substitute and Thunder Wave enable Starmie to fulfill its true offensive role: paralyzing Marowak's checks. Substitute valuably allows Starmie to dodge status, or remove the need for prediction by giving Starmie a free option if Substitute is used while the opponent switches. Common paralysis targets include Zapdos, Cloyster, Raikou, Gengar, and Exeggutor. Psychic is useful as an offensive check against a Curse boosting Machamp, and can do work against Heracross, which Marowak can struggle to break.

Team Synergy:
The most apparent synergy in this team build is using the slow but powerful Marowak and four sources of paralysis: Snorlax/Zapdos Thunder, and Zapdos/ Starmie Thunder Wave. Of course more sources of paralysis could be used, namely Body Slam, but this would result in the team being overall less optimal. This option is not pursued as it would make Snorlax much less of an offensive threat, failing to secure 3HKO's on Zapdos and Raikou and being helpless against Curse Snorlax.
Whirlwind Zapdos and Screech Tyranitar have an interesting dynamic, making up for each others' short comings. In order for Zapdos to use Thunder Wave (and not be walled by ground types) it must drop RestTalk. Whirlwind nicely fills the last move slot, as one source of phazing almost necessary for any GSC team. Tyranitar could choose to use Roar, but that would open up a serious vulnerability to last mon Curse pokes. Without Screech the team would have no options against a Curse Snorlax that cannot be phazed out.
A difficult match-up against Curse Snorlax is the consequence of using non-Curse Snorlax, having on one Explosion, and no normal resistant phazer, but the team can make up for it with Screech, paralysis, and Marowak.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
GSC Circuit Championship: Earthworm vs Pohjis (Paralysis & Marowak vs Rhydon Marowak Offense)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs Century Express (Paralysis & Marowak vs Double Electric Offense)
 
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I'm loving the breakdowns of these teams, as someone who was new to GSC not that long ago I think having a breakdown of these teams is great. I'm confused as to why sunny day spam is on a sample team resource though, given how much of a gimmick it is.
One of our objectives with the sample teams is to have a significant amount of variety. We're not going to include teams that we assess as being unviable, but we are open to including teams that are different from what you might consider "standard", as long as they have their place in the metagame and have been demonstrably successful. The team is certainly one of the more challenging teams to pilot, but I believe it has the potential to go toe-to-toe with many of the more standard teams (and indeed I have lost to it in a tournament while using a very standard team).
 

Siatam

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:gs/raikou: :gs/snorlax: :gs/cloyster: :gs/golem: :gs/exeggutor: :gs/heracross:
Heracross + Explosions by Lavos & Sulcata
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
This team takes the concept of a bait Explosion and pushes it to the extreme with four members that can go boom. Cloyster, Golem, and Exeggutor fulfill their standard roles of Explosion users with additional utility. These three are supplemented by Curse Self-Destruct Snorlax, a unique Skarmory removal tool and always useful offensive threat. Rest Talk Raikou and Heracross round of the team, providing some defensive backbone and long-term sustain. Heracross and Raikou are also an effective 2v2 duo which can cover each other's weakness in the event that the other four members of the team have blown themselves up. While Explosion is rightfully seen as one of the most offensive moves, this team has the capabilities to play both in a hyper offensive boom happy playstyle and in a slower, more methodical fashion. Just because there are 4 booms, doesn't mean you have to use them! (see replay #3)

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard::moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:golem: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:exeggutor: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :machamp: :vaporeon: :marowak: :espeon: :alakazam::quagsire:

:heracross: Checks: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :machamp: :marowak: :quagsire:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:raikou:While Zapdos overshadows Raikou as the go-to electric type for offense teams, Raikou is still an exceptional mon. It fills largely the same offensive role as Zapdos, with wide coverage moves and slightly less powerful special attacks. Though Raikou is susceptible to Spikes chip, its combination of special bulk, speed, and longevity allow it to frequently switch in on the meta's special attackers and throw out Thunders. HP Water improves Raikou matchup against the ground type normal resists, Golem, Steelix, and Rhydon, at the expense of the matchup against grass types. This can prove difficult against opposing Exeggutor, but the opponent must be wary of Thunder paralysis.

:snorlax:The first and most powerful of the exploders on this team, Snorlax is capable of threatening every single mon in the metagame. The expense of running such a set is that Snorlax has much less defensive utility as a special check, and is more susceptible to status conditions. Curse+ Normal STAB + Earthquake is a terrific offensive Snorlax set, on this team Snorlax specifically utilizes Body Slam + Self-Destruct to KO opposing Skarmory. At +1 Self-Destruct does 82-96% to Skarmory, KO'ing with minimal chip damage, Body is necessary to consistently paralyze Skarm, ensuring that the opponent cannot use Curse first, surviving the boom attempt. In games with Skarmory, Self-Destruct Snorlax is almost guaranteed to successfully trade with the opponent while spreading damage to other members of the team.

:cloyster:Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. Since this team has Rapid Spin Golem, Toxicing the opposing Cloyster becomes more valuable. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions.

:golem:Golem's utility is that is can check Snorlax, spin away Spikes, and explode as a last-ditch effort. The lack of a flying type the team means that it appreciates the absence of Spikes more than usual. Golem also nicely threatens the spinblockers of Gengar and Misdreavus with Earthquake. While Golem can pivot into Raikou and Zapdos on an electric move, it is forced to use Explosion if it wishes to threaten Zapdos. Zapdos is countered by RestTalk Raikou, but is one of the best Heracross checks, so exploding can still be a valuable trade. Additionally Golem can trade damage against other grounded normal resists, which can secure KO's from Heracross.

:exeggutor:Exeggutor's favorite thing to do on this is to explode on Zapdos, but has much more utility outside of a bait Explosion role. Sleep Powder Exeggutor's dual STAB makes Exeggutor a viable stand-alone offensive threat, especially if checks like Skarmory, Raikou, and Snorlax are removed. Sleep is a very powerful status condition on Explosion offense teams, by way of creating an imbalance in the number of effective mons each player has. If the opponent lacks safe switch-ins to Explosion, it is very simple to trade down to a winning 1v1 or 2v2 endgame.

:heracross:Heracross is a very effective user of Curse + Sleep Talk, but suffers from the common checks of Zapdos, Skamory and Explosion. With these removed the only offensive checks to Heracross are Psychic users, which are deathly afraid of Megahorn. While there are other defensive checks to Heracross, notably ghost and poison types, Heracross is able to muscle past them with Curse boosts while not being threatened in return. Barring Megahorn missing, Heracross impressively has a winning matchup against Snorlax 1v1 and easily outspeeds Snorlax even after one Curse boost. Lastly, though uncommon in OU, Heracross and this team needs to be wary of the occasional fire type.

Team Synergy:
Zapdos is the go-to electric type on offensive teams because of its sheer power and sustain. However; Raikou counter intuitively fits better on hyper-offensive teams, as Raikou's specially defensively capabilities are appreciated when Snorlax is not running Rest.
This team also makes the most of Heracross's offensive abilities with multiple bait explosions intended to take out the most common checks to Heracross, Zapdos and Skarmory. Heracross is also a key defensive piece on the team as a ground resist with longevity, important on an 100% grounded team. When combined with Raikou, Heracross can truely shine as the duo can defensively check and offensively threaten virtually the entire metagame.
It is also useful to recognize the importance of Exeggutor's Sleep Powder in any explosion offense team, providing instant momentum and helping the team trade down with Explosions.
Very importantly, this team has solid checks against the tier's common sleep spreaders. Raikou is able to check Gengar, Exeggutor, and Jynx, while Heracross dominates non fire move Nidoking. These roles are most frequently filled by RestTalk Zapdos and Snorlax, which this team lacks. Any GSC team without reliable answers to the sleep status will struggle to achieve consistent viability in the metagame.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
SPL XI Week 8: sulcata vs Mr. E (Heracross + Explosions vs Blissey + Tyranitar Stall)
GSC Global Championship 2018: Week 4 Lavos vs giara (Heracross + Explosions vs Exeggutor + Machamp Offense)
Smogon Classic V Semi-Finals: Lavos vs McMeghan (Heracross + Explosions vs Double Dog Stall)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/vaporeon: :gs/jynx: :gs/rhydon:
Growth Pass by D0nut
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
One of the most defining characteristics of the GSC offensive metagame is the lack of moves that can raise a Pokémon's special attack. Outside of Ancient Power's 10% chance to boost all stats, the only option is Growth, providing a +1 SpAtk boost with very limited distribution. In terms of OU viable mons, Growth is limited to the Eeveelutions and fringe Venusaur sets. In order to share this rare stat boost with the rest of the team and flip the defensive meta on its head, this team utilizes Growth + Baton Pass Vaporeon to boost the offensive power of Zapdos and Jynx, some of the meta's most dangerous special attackers. This special raise can be difficult to deal with for many opposing teams as common specially defensive walls are often ill equipped to deal with the extra power. Snorlax, Cloyster, and Rhydon round off the team, providing a physical attacking win condition, Spikes support, and offensive normal resist respectively.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:vaporeon: Checks: :tyranitar: :starmie: :moltres: :houndoom:

:jynx: Checks: :cloyster: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon:

:rhydon: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:This team is filled with win conditions and Curse Flamethrower Snorlax can be one of them depending on the team matchup. While Snorlax gives up coverage against the popular rock types, and give up the longevity/reliability of Sleep Talk, it has unique utility. Flamethrower is more effective than Earthquake at chunking Steelix, allowing a boosted Zapdos to pick up a KO when it would otherwise be threatened out by Explosion. Since Curse + Fire Snorlax is a fairly uncommon set, it can be a last-mon win condition against some stall builds. Due to the ubiquity of Curse Skarmory as a Snorlax check on stall, teams that are lacking/lost Curse Snorlax, Miltank, Umbreon, or Curse Rock types will have a very difficult time dealing with last mon Curse Fire Lax. Stall teams are not oblivious to this weakness, but a proper game plan can turn this Snorlax set into a win. This Snorlax set is also very successful at forcing in a rock type from the opponent, which can be exploited by Vaporeon.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes and Growth boosts, only Raikou can comfortably switch into and hope to beat Zapdos 1v1. (Excluding the niche Quagsire and Piloswine) Zapdos must still be afraid of Gengar's speedy Explosion, and the Explosions of mons capable of living boosted attacks, such as Steelix, Exeggutor and occasionally Golem. Without these checks Zapdos is undoubtedly the most threatening boosted special attacker in the metagame. An important matchup to understand is boosted Zadpos vs Raikou, at +2 SpAtk Zapdos and Raikou do roughly the same damage to each other, while at +3 Zapdos has the advantage.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. If Spikes cannot be removed by the opponent, Cloyster becomes a valuable tool used to forces trades with the opponent. It is worth noting that if Cloyster can explode on the opponent's Snorlax, Zapdos, or Raikou, Vaporeon will have a much easier time passing Growth boosts.

:vaporeon:Vaporeon is here to Baton Pass Growth boosts, but that does not mean it cannot sweep teams on its own or soft up opponents before passing a boost. Since this Vaporeon set lacks any sustain Hydro Pump is a fine option as Vaporeon rarely has to worry about the limited PP. Hydro Pump also comes with the added benefit over Surf of being able to 2HKO Raikou at +1. Ice Beam is useful to hit common switch-ins such as Zapdos and Exeggutor. Due to a lower speed stat, Vaporeon will find it difficult to pass or sweep if the opponent has a healthy Cloyster, which can switch in on Vaporeon attacks and threaten an Explosion or Toxic before Vaporeon can move.

:jynx:Jynx is another one of GSC's most dangerous special attackers. Ice + Psychic coverage is close to unresisted and Jynx packs Lovely Kiss to harass anything with the bulk or typing to survive its attacks. With substitute on its set, Jynx is able to sleep an opponent and safely recover HP or evade attacks. When combined with special attack boosts, Jynx behind a Substitute can be used to devastating effect.

:rhydon:Rhydon is generally accepted as the least reliable Snorlax check out of the most popular Ttar/Skarm/Golem/Steelix/Rhydon normal resists. This is mostly due to lacking the Explosion of Golem/Steelix, the Pursuit utility of Tyranitar (yes Rhydon learns Pursuit, no it is not good), or the ground immunity of Skarmory. Rhydon makes up for these shortcoming with access to unresisted STAB Earthquake and Rock Slide coming off a 130 base attack stat. Rhydon can find it difficult to switch in, but once it does the opponent is often left with limited options when playing either offense or stall. Overall Rhydon is a temporary counter measure against opposing Snorlax that can dish out plenty of damage to the opposing team and close out a game in rare situations.

Team Synergy:
Jynx and Zapdos are arguably more important team members as Baton Pass recipients than the team defining Growth Vaporeon. The longevity and coverage provided by Zapdos, and sleep status provided by Jynx give the team excellent tools to play the game both before and after receiving a SpAtk boost. Flamethrower Snorlax also presents an interesting pass recipient which is generally not optimal, but occasionally can generate additional value. Without boosts, Snorlax is also valuable to damage Steelix, and be an alternative win condition against some stall teams.
Rhydon's offensive presence on this team can be very forcing for the opponent, with a very limited number of switch-ins on stall and offense. Most of Rhydon's switch-ins are water or grass types which can be taken advantage of by the special attackers on the team.
The decision to use Vaporeon and the stat passer on this team should not be overlooked either. Out of all the Eeveelutions, Vaporeon offers the best mix of offensive ability and defensive stats. Specially defensive phazers are a rarity in GSC while Vaporeon has the typing and bulk to not be scared of the physicallly defensive phazers while being offensively threatening. In the event that Vaporeon is offensively threatened, its large special bulk allows it to take any super effective grass or electric type attack from full health and get a baton pass off in return.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
SPL X Week 8: d0nut vs Earthworm (Growth Pass vs Double Dog Stall)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs plainjane (Growth Pass vs Paralysis & Marowak)
 
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:gs/jynx: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/snorlax: :gs/nidoking: :gs/gengar:
Triple Thief + WW Zapdos by Cased
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
This team takes the offensive potential of Whirlwind Zapdos and turns it up to 11. The three Thief users of Jynx, Nidoking, and Gengar provide overlapping Thief coverage for almost every Zapdos switch-in along with copious mixed coverage. Standard Toxic Cloyster provides the usual Spikes support, physical bulk, and Explosion. Curse RestTalk Snorlax acts as a general special wall, check to other Curse Snorlax, and overall Physical threat. The star of the show: Magnet double electric move Zapdos abuses the lack of Leftovers from the opponent, the added power from Magnet, the Whirlwind + Spikes combo, and the duo of powerful Thunder and accurate Thunderbolt to precisely pick apart opposing teams.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:jynx:Checks: :cloyster: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon:

:zapdos:Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel:

:cloyster:Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:snorlax:Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:nidoking:Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jolteon: :dragonite:

:gengar:Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:jynx:Jynx leads off the team with a versatile offensive presence that often forces a switch from the opponent. Rest Sleep Talk Raikou and Suicune are perhaps the only safe lead Jynx answers, as lead Snorlax fears the possibility of Counter Jynx. To take advantage of this immediate momentum, Jynx prefers to immediately Thief Leftovers from the incoming Sleep Talking special check before firing off a Lovely Kiss or switching. In the late-game Jynx tries to keep sleep on the opponent as well as offensively pressure opposing Machamp to switch, as this team can struggle with switching into Machamp and immediately threatening a KO. Jynx's common Thief targets are: Raikou, Snorlax, Suicune, Vaporeon.

:zapdos:Lacking Leftovers and RestTalk sustain, Zapdos needs to preserved to achieve its full potential. While Zapdos may have many opportunities to switch-in throughout the game, it prefers to start apply pressure after Spikes have been laid and multiple Thiefs have taken away Leftovers from the opponent. From that position Zapdos can optimally leverage Whirlwind and its boosted electric moves. Magnet generally makes Zapdos more difficult to switch into, but notably secures a 3HKO on Snorlax switching in on Spikes without Leftovers. Depending on the situation Zapdos also has the option of picking between Thunder and Thunderbolt depending if the increased damage is necessary of if the guaranteed damage of Thunderbolt is more valuable. HP water over HP Ice more effectively damages the ground type switch-ins to Zapdos, namely Golem, Steelix, and Rhydon. Of course Zapdos must still be wary of status, Explosions and the odd grass type, but if given the opportunity to switch in freely it has the ability to severely weaken or break the opponent's team.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. Since this team has no tradition Normal resist, Cloyster serves a much more important role as a Snorlax check. If the opposing Snorlax has not been Thiefed, Cloyster may be wary to switch in and try to Spike up, as a Curse Earthquake Snorlax can quickly get out of hand, even with Cloyster's Toxic. Explosion is also an important final check against opposing Snorlax, as even without Curse, a RestTalk Earthquake Snorlax is immensely threatening to this team.

:snorlax:Despite the incentive to utilize MonoLax as an offensive presence, Snorlax serves a defensive role on the team as a status sponge and general special wall. In addition to its defensive role, Snorlax can leverage its powerful Double-Edge and longevity to be an enduring threat to opponents. Snorlax is able to safely switch in on many of the special walls that will check Zapdos, Gengar, and Jynx and apply pressure with Double-Edge. Since Snorlax is the team's best answer to opposing Zapdos, it is more important than usual to keep check of Snorlax's health and remaining sleep turns. Also of note: this team lacks Pursuit, but still requires the end-game presence of Curse MonoLax. When playing against ghost-types the other team members will have to make up for the lack of physical offense, unless a Struggle Snorlax sweep is a viable win condition.

:nidoking:Lacking Lovely Kiss, Nidoking is not as immediately threatening, but this does not diminish the effectiveness of Nidoking's mixed coverage. While Zapdos or Snorlax are the most common ways this team wins, Nidoking is capable of breaking down teams that lack Leftovers. Nidoking most often gets to use Thief after pivoting in on an electric type attack, but can also be doubled to achieve the same effect. Without Lovely Kiss, Nidoking can struggle against Curse Machamp, especially so if Machamp has Earthquake. Nidoking's common Thief targets are: Snorlax, Zapdos, Suicune, and Heracross.

:gengar:Gengar's normal immunity and access to Explosion make it an important tool in the Spikes war, and inevitable Snorlax matchup. Gengar frequently switches in on Cloyster in order to force a switch Thief an opponent. While Gengar can switch in on Snorlax and use Thief, it comes with the added risk of running into Earthquake Snorlax, or being frequently Pursuit trapped in the event of MonoLax . As one of only two Explosion users on the team, the health and status of Gengar must be carefully managed to extract the full use out of its moveset. Gengar's common Thief targets are: Snorlax, Raikou, Tyranitar, and Steelix, and Umbreon.

Team Synergy:
While spamming three Thief mons to hit special walls may seem a little over the top, Gengar, Nidoking, and Jynx have enough variation in checks to still be effective. All three commonly share Snorlax as answer, which is an advantage, Snorlax will be in every serious GSC game and it is useful to insure that the most common Zapdos check will have its Leftovers stolen.
By design this team lacks a solid defense, but makes up for it the best it can with Sleep Talk Snorlax, Cloyster, and Gengar. While a Sleep Talk Snorlax with two attacks would be more consistent on defense, Curse is required to make up for the poor matchup the team has against other Snorlax.
Zapdos is the primary abuser of Spikes and triple Thief but, Gengar, Nidoking, and Jynx are still powerful offensive threats with their standard movesets. Overall, this team effectively compromises between extreme offense and light defense, which allows it to have an even matchup against opposing offense, but superior matchup playing against stall teams.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
RoA Tour VII Semi-Finals: BKC vs Serpi n_n (Triple Thief + WW Zapdos vs Double Electric Stall)
GSC OU Ladder: Sample Sampler vs lonestall (Triple Thief + WW Zapdos vs Blissey Raikou Stall)
The link to the first replay with BKC doesn't seem to work. It might just be me, but if you could update that link it would be greatly appreciated as I'd love to see that game
 

Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/houndoom: :gs/golem: :gs/machamp:
Houndoom + Golem by TC
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
What's one of the best counters to MonoLax? Ghosts. What's one of the best counters to Machamp? Psychic types. Do you could remove both of these counters using one niche, stylish threat? If you answered yes to the last question, this team is for you. Surrounded by the popular offensive framework of Snorlax, Zapdos, Cloyster, and Golem, Houndoom and Machamp combine their strengths to punish specially offense teams and slower stall teams. Lovely Kiss Curse Snorlax also makes an appearance as a great way to punish offensive teams with only one normal resist while also crippling stall teams with multiple physical walls that could stand in the way of Machamp. With many tech options, Explosions and the classic RestTalk Zapdos, this team is prepared for any matchup in the meta.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:houndoom: Checks: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx::espeon::alakazam:

:golem: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:machamp: Checks: :tyranitar:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Lovely Kiss Snorlax is perhaps the most difficult Snorlax set to consistently deal with. In exchange for the sustain offered by Sleep Talk, Lovely Kiss can cripple one of the opponent's Snorlax checks as well as provide free turns of Curse set-up. Common targets for Lovely Kiss include Spikers and normal resists. Sleeping Cloyster or Forretress can give this team a huge advantage in the Spikes war while sleeping a normal resist can immediately be taken advantage of by Snorlax or Machamp.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes, there are very few opponents that can comfortably switch into Zapdos, namely Raikou and Blissey. If these defensive answers are removed Zapdos + Spikes is a viable win condition.

:cloyster: Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. Toxic can commonly be used to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest. Since this team has Rapid Spin Golem, Toxicing the opposing Cloyster becomes more valuable. The combination of Surf + Explosion is able to threaten almost every mon in the meta-game, allowing Cloyster to secure KO's with good predictions. When combined with Machamp, Cloyster is an excellent bait for Starmie, as Starmie will frequently switch in on Cloyster in order to remove Spikes. Even if Exploding on Starmie results in losing Spikes for the rest of the match, it can be beneficial if the opposing team can be cleaned up by Machamp.

:houndoom:Houndoom has niche overall viability in GSC. It lacks the offensive power to be an independent special attacking threat, but has has exceedingly one sided matchup's against some of the tiers strongest special attackers. With a combination of its typing and powerful Pursuit, Houndoom is a supporting member of this team, switching into and trapping annoying ghost and psychic types. Since Exeggutor, Jynx, and Gengar often carry some sort of status, Houndoom can freely switch in with Miracle Berry and threaten the opponent's team with Thief, Pursuit, or a stronger Crunch/Flamethrower. If the opponent does not bring any of Gengar/Exeggutor/Jynx/Misdreavus/Espeon/Alakazam Houndoom can have few uses. However, the absence of these mons is great news for Machamp, while Houndoom can almost always get value out of Thief and Pursuit. Such as by switching in on an opposing Cloyster's Toxic.

:golem: Golem's utility is that is can check Snorlax, spin away Spikes, and explode as a last-ditch effort. While removing Spikes is always preferable Sleep Talk-less Snorlax and Machamp particularly appreciate the absence of Spikes. Golem also nicely threatens the spinblockers of Gengar and Misdreavus with Earthquake. While Golem can pivot into Raikou and Zapdos on an electric move, it is forced to use Explosion if it wishes to threaten Zapdos. Zapdos is a good offensive check to Machamp, so exploding can be a valuable trade.

:machamp: Machamp notably has little utility as a defensive switch-in. While Machamp has the bulk needed to take hits, its sheer offensive power makes it more valuable for Machamp to preserve its health to trade blows against opposing walls. Protect helps increase Machamps longevity and ability to take multiple hits, particularly in stall matchups and when Spikes are on the field. A +1 Critical Cross Chop, which has 25% odds in Gen 2, can outright KO any mon that does not resist fighting moves. +1 Rock Slide will also 2HKO the ever present fighting resist, Zapdos. Another benefit of Protect Machamp is that opponents will find it difficult to predict if Machamp will switch out against an offensive threat as Machamp can always Protect for one turn and take advantage of any over-predicting opponents.

Team Synergy:
As alluded to in the team overview, Houndoom has great synergy with MonoLax and Machamp, it can freely switch in on the ghost and psychic types on the tier with the help of Miracle Berry, while the opponent has little recourse other than to accept the Pursuit damage or use Explosion. Even in matchups without the mons, Houndoom is able to use Thief and Pursuit to make Spikes damage stick on opponents that would the difficult to take down.
Besides being an excellent choice on offensive teams, Cloyster is also an effective bait Explosion for Starmie, the sole OU Psychic type that Houndoom cannot reliably remove. Exploding on other Cloyster is also a viable option as Houndoom can secure the KO with Pursuit and Golem can spin away Spikes for good. Opposing Cloyster can also stand in the way of Snorlax and Machamp with Toxic and Explosion.
Lovely Kiss Snorlax can be devastating on its own, but also pairs well with Machamp. A sleeping Steelix or Golem cannot explode and a boosted Machamp which they would otherwise outspeed, additionally using Lovely Kiss on Skarmory is almost mandatory if Machamp does not want to rely on a critical hit to take it down. On the flip side Machamp can threaten Snorlax's checks, namely the aforementioned normal resists as well the Umbreon and Miltank.
Lastly, Golem provides excellent utility on any offensive team, but is particularly appreciated here due to the lack of Sleep Talk and Snorlax and because Machamp highly values its own HP being as close to 100% as possible.

Replays: (May feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 6 FriendOfMrGolem120 vs. TC (Gengar + Exeggutor offense vs. Houndoom + Golem)
SPL XI Week 3 sulcata vs. McMeghan (Houndoom + Golem vs. Tyranitar + Forretress Stall)
RoA Room Tour Sample Sampler vs. TopLel TopKek (Houndoom + Golem vs. NidoGar + Umbreon)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/smeargle: :gs/scizor: :gs/snorlax: :gs/marowak: :gs/jolteon: :gs/machamp:
Standard Agility Baton Pass
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Full Baton Pass: a team style almost impossible in future generations, GSC the only generation with Baton Pass that has not outright banned it or implemented bans to limit its power. Despite Baton Pass's broken nature in other generations, it is totally balanced in GSC. The main reason for this is that it is easy to disrupt BP chains in GSC with phazing moves, and that phazing moves are virtually required on every team. As a consequence, full BP is not a reliable playstyle in GSC OU, but it is dangerous regardless, as a single misplay from the opponent can end a game. Additionally, teams with only one phazer have a disadvantage against Spore + Baton Pass Smeargle, which can be taken advantage of by a shrewd player.
Putting that spiel aside, this team uses Agility + Baton Pass from Smeargle, Scizor, and Jolteon to enable Snorlax, Marowak, or Machamp to outspeed and sweep opposing teams.
Read this excellent post by Jorgen for more information: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/gsc-bp.3541165/ (Note this post was made in a time before Sleep move + Trapping move was banned)

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:smeargle: Checks: Anything with less than 248 speed when Sleep Clause is not active. Otherwise nothing.

:scizor: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor:

:snorlax: Checks: Nothing.

:marowak: Checks: Nothing.

:jolteon: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster::raikou:

:machamp: Checks: Nothing.

It may be strange to see so little defensive utility on a team. This just puts into perspective how full Baton Pass is an all or nothing strategy. While Snorlax, Marowak, and Machamp have defensive utility in a vacuum, if you actually need to use that utility you have almost certainly already won or lost the match. This team always wants to be in control of the pace of the game.

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:smeargle:Smeargle is the tier's most potent speed passer because of access to Spore. Against a lead Smeargle the opponent has to make an difficult choice: will this Smeargle use Spore or Agility? This is even confounded by the existence of lead Smeargle with Mirror Coat or even the rare Counter which make deciding on the correct course of action even more difficult for an opponent without knowledge of the team. Ideally the opponent switches out to a slower Sleep Talker as Smeargle uses Agility allowing the BP to increase the pressure while keeping Smeargle healthy and without activating Sleep Clause. The worst case scenario for this team is for Smeargle to use Spore without first using Agility, as the opponent can then switch to their Phazer or Spiker with little threat. What really makes Smeargle the best speed passer is the threat of Spore, once it has been used Smeargle's utility is much diminished. However just the threat alone can force the opponent to waste turns (switch) which is a common tactic used by this team.

:scizor:Scizor's niche as a Baton Passer is access to both Swords Dance and Agility, and being a normal resist. With these traits Scizor can boost both important stats so that Snorlax, Marowak, and Machamp can sweep without taking damage when they set up. As a normal resist, Scizor will also survive any one Explosion that can otherwise prevent a Baton Pass chain. As a trade-off for these benefits, Scizor is easily phazed by most common phazers, while only being truly threatening to Tyranitar. Conveniently, many offense and some stall teams use Tyranitar as their sole phazer.

:snorlax:Snorlax is the least desirable agility pass recipient on this team as it must sacrifice 50% of its HP to maximize attack, while still being outsped by anything is base 110 speed or greater when at +2 speed. However since Snorlax has all the physical coverage it needs with Double-Edge and Earthquake, it can afford to run Protect to block Explosions and allow for Leftovers recovery after using Belly Drum or taking DE recoil damage. Though this set is defeated by Skarmory the damage Skamory takes will assist Marowak or Machamp. It is also worth noting that Steelix will always survive a +6 Snorlax Earthquake and can explode or Roar in return.

:marowak:Marowak receives +2 speed and uses Swords Dance to sweep almost the entire tier. Only a few mons can in Marowak's way, namely Cloyster, Skarmory, and Suicune. In order to allow a Marowak sweep, these opponents must be chipped down before, either with Spikes or Snorlax/Machamp, or Marowak must rely on Rock Slide flinches. Curse + RestTalk Heracross can also stop Marowak, though HP Flying over HP Bug removes that roadblock.

:jolteon:Jolteon is an excellent speed passer because there are very few mons that can safely phaze it. Roar Raikou, Zapdos, and Tyranitar are the most reliable, though Roar Raikou and Zapdos are less common variants while Tyranitar is susceptible to being worn down if it only uses Roar. Other common phazers such as Golem, Skarmory, Steelix, and Rhydon will have a difficult time phazing Jolteon more than once. Like Smeargle, the threat of Jolteon's attack can force the opponent to switch out, providing free turns.

:machamp:Machamp recieves +2 speed, and preferably +2 attack from Scizor, since Scizor is not the most reliable passer, Machamp also uses Meditate to boost its attack without the speed lowering consequences of Curse. With attack and speed boosts, Machamp can sweep through teams at a similar level of efficiency as Marowak though lacks some reliability with Cross Chop accuracy, and a few walls to this set such as Nidoking and Heracross. One benefit of Machamp is that it can OHKO Skarmory with a +1 attack Critical Cross Chop, something that Marowak is incapable of. As Skarmory is also one of the few phazers that can answer Machamp, this damage can also be useful if Marowak can be passed to later in the game.

Team Synergy:
This team is considered the standard baton pass because it uses the three best agility passers combined with the three best physical speed pass recipients. Smeargle, Scizor, and Jolteon work well together with their different strengths: status, Swords Dance, and special coverage which allows at least one of the passers the opportunity to pass against an opponent who cannot immediately phaze out the pass recipient. Snorlax, Marowak and Machamp are the to-go pass recipients because of their high attack stats, low speed, and because they share similar physically defensive checks, increasing the odds that the team can overload the opponent's defense.
While this team is not the most consistent, it is always present in the meta to catch lazy teambuilders or conservative players off guard. As such, being able to consistently beat standard baton pass can be seen as a benchmark for good teambuilding and competent playing.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
GSC OU Ladder Sample Sampler vs. lehealthymetafairy (Standard Baton Pass vs. Starmie Stall)
GSC OU Ladder Sample Sampler vs. WeR#3Hay! (Standard Baton Pass vs. Jynx Gengar Offense)

It is difficult to find replays of full baton pass where there is significant counter play from both the opponent and user. Frequently the Baton Pass team wins because the opponent did not have the tools to deal with BP, or they misplayed. As a substitute I will write briefly about Baton Pass counter play in this section. Ordered in level of importance,

1. Don't let your phazer(s) get slept. Unlike in future generations, the only way to block a phazing move is to use a move with lower priority. If a baton passing team has activated sleep clause, it is much easier to prevent a BP chain, try to force the use of their sleep move on a Sleep Talk mon if possible.

2. Survive the first pass chain. Due to the Smeargle's Spore, it is almost impossible to prevent BP teams from getting one agility pass off. If your team survived the first boosted attacker, it is much easier to prevent it from happening again. The most common mon for this on offense is Cloyster, while on stall, Skarmory. Keep your checks to Snorlax/Marowak/Machamp awake and at 100%.

3. Set up Spikes. Baton Pass teams do not use Leftovers on every slot. By getting Spikes up you can prevent the BP team from endlessly Baton Passing while a phazer can also quickly wear down the fragile team structure.

4. Be bold. The baton passing team does not want to waste turns attacking without proper setup. The baton pass team wants to spend its turns setting up and baton passing. Stay in with Skamory on Jolteon, let Tyranitar take an HP Bug/Fighting. Playing predictable make it much easier for the BP. But don't rely on risky plays as the first choice, they can backfire spectacularly.
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/raikou: :gs/miltank: :gs/starmie: :gs/skarmory: :gs/marowak:
Rest Marowak + Heal Bell Support
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Spikes is one of the most defining aspects of GSC. Though limited to one layer and only dealing 12.5% damage, without Spikes many teams will struggle to break through the ubiquitous use of Leftovers in the tier. One way around this problem is by using Marowak: the strongest physical attacker in the tier which is capable of boosting to max attack with a single turn and breaking down almost any defensive wall with it's perfect Ground + Rock coverage.
This team takes a more balanced approach to supporting Marowak with paralysis and features common defensive mons such as Raikou, Skarmory, and Starmie. The combination of Rest Marowak + Heal Bell Miltank also allows Marowak multiple opportunities to set up and break the opponents team even if it takes damage in the process. Since this team strikes a balance between Spikes offense and stall, it is important to preserve Marowak and/or Snorlax, else the team will find it difficult to exert any offensive pressure on the opponent.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:miltank: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :porygon2:

:starmie: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jynx: :rhydon::espeon: :alakazam: :charizard:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire: :porygon2:

:marowak: Checks: :raikou: :tyranitar: :rhydon:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:The combination of Body Slam + Thunder allows Snorlax to spread paralysis to many of the bulky mons in the tier. Curse also forces the opponent to respond to Snorlax with a defensive check, as Body Slam without boosts is not threatening to anything with Sleep Talk. Thunder serves an important role to bait damage/paralysis on Cloyster and Skamory while also giving Snorlax and option to paralyze Ghost types, all of which are important targets for Marowak.

:raikou:Without Sleep Talk on Snorlax, Raikou serves as this team's catch-all answer to special attackers. When facing off against the special attackers of GSC, Raikou has an easy time throwing off Thunders and clicking Sleep Talk. While the opponent's Snorlax will be the most common answer, Raikou still has the opportunity to paralyze opposing Raikou or Blissey. While Raikou without Spikes support is predominantly a defensive piece, its offensive stats and coverage will force the opponent to make a reactive move.

:miltank:Miltank has one significant niche in GSC: it is a cleric while also a passable physical wall. Miltank has the ability to spread paralysis with Body Slam and check non-Belly Drum variants of Snorlax, though it only actively tries to accomplish these tasks if it has ample free turns, or is forced to be the primary Snorlax check (such as against FireLax). For the most part, Miltank seeks to remain healthy with Milk Drink, and keep its teammates healthy with Heal Bell. If Miltank is KO'd or cannot use Heal Bell for it's teammates, the team overall becomes much more passive as Snorlax, Skarmory, and Marowak are hampered by Rest.

:starmie:Spikes removal is an important aspect of any defensive team, doubly so when the team relies on Marowak to make offensive progress. Against a Cloyster, Starmie and immediately switch in to keep Spikes off of the field, while also threatening Paralysis on it's switch ins. Common Paralysis targets for Starmie include Zapdos, Raikou, and Gengar. While Psychic can be a useful move choice to improve the team's matchup vs. Machamp, Starmie appreciates Surf to threaten Thunder Wave immune ground types (Steelix mainly) and prevent Tyranitar from easily Pursuit trapping it. Even though Starmie has the added utility of Paralysis spreading, its primary focus is keeping Spikes off of the field. Without suffering Spikes chip, the combination of Snorlax/Raikou/Miltank/Skarmory can be almost impossible to break while Marowak has the ability to defeat any team in the long-run.

:skarmory:Skarmory, like Raikou, is a mostly defensive asset to this team. Almost every defensive archetype in GSC has to run Skarmory as a reliable check for Curse Earthquake Snorlax. However, Skarmory's choice of moveset determines if Skarmory play proactively or only as a reactive check. While more mons are threatened by Toxic, poisoning an opponent conflicts with this team's paralysis spreading synergy while also heavily limiting Skamory's effectiveness against opponents with Rest or that are Toxic immune. On a defensive team without Spikes, any passive play can be easily punished, which pushes Skarmory into a slightly more active Drill Peck moveset. With Drill Peck Skarmory can immediately force out threats like Exeggutor, Machamp, and Heracross who otherwise might stay in to take Toxic. Additionally, though Drill Peck Skamory is easily stopped by the common Zapdos and Raikou, it has the potential to be a late-game win condition in some scenarios. While Sleep Talk over Whirlwind would make Skarmory a more consistent defensive wall, 0 phazing moves on a team can lead to inconsistent performance.

:marowak: Ground + Rock coverage is un-resisted in generation 2. Combined with Thick Club, at +2 boosted Marowak is able to OHKO almost every Pokemon in the metagame. Once an opposing team is sufficiently paralyzed and weakened, Wak will be able to find opportunities to set up its Swords Dance on slow or passive opponents. Its 60/80/80 bulk is enough to survive almost any one attack, and Rest permits Marowak multiple attempts to break the opponent's team even if it has to take otherwise unrecoverable damage to do it. Marowak is the primary win condition for this team, and its health and safety should be valued highly.

Team Synergy: (may feature small variations of the team)
This team straddles the line between offense and stall, it effectively synergizes defensively with a primary and secondary special check in Raikou/Snorlax and EQ/FireLax checks with Skamory and Miltank. It also spreads paralysis with Snorlax/Raikou/Miltank/Starmie to enable Marowak. As a direct consequence of these abilities, the team most forgo Spikes and become weaker to Explosion with only one normal resist. Gengar can prove to be a difficult opponent, since it can switch in freely against Miltank, and if it explodes on Raikou, the team is susceptible to Zapdos and sleep users. Nidoking can also become a problem for this team as the only status absorber, Raikou, is weak to Earthquake. Exeggutor can also be difficult to deal with since it effectively walls Marowak, and threatens Explosion + Sleep, Raikou runs HP Ice mainly to improve the matchup. This culminates in a team that is spread a little thin offensively and defensively, and often finds itself on the back foot against Spikes focused offenses. However; with skillful and proactive play, this team can win the Spikes war and navigate into a position where it is almost impossible to break, while having a long-term win condition in Marowak.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 7 FriendofMrGolem120 vs. ABR (Rest Marowak + Heal Bell Support vs. Miltank + Golem Stall)
Past Gen Championship 2020 Round 2 Aliss vs. TC (Rest Marowak + Heal Bell Support vs. DrumLax Stall)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/jynx: :gs/snorlax: :gs/entei: :gs/houndoom: :gs/moltres: :gs/exeggutor:
Sunny Day Spam by Siatam
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Spikes is one of the most defining aspects of GSC. Though limited to one layer and only dealing 12.5% damage, without Spikes many teams will struggle to break through the ubiquitous use of Leftovers in the tier. In order to break through defensive walls that would normally be impervious without Spikes damage, this hyper offensive team takes advantage psuedo-stat passing effect of Sunny Day. Along with boosting Fire type attacks and allowing Solar Beam to viably be used, Sunny Day also provides defensive utility, weakening water types attacks and reducing Thunder accuracy from 70% to 50%. Entei, Houndoom, and Moltres are the team's sun setters and primary abusers, while the supporting cast of Jynx, Snorlax, and Exeggutor help support the fire types by weakening or removing special walls and switching in when the fire types face a difficult matchup. While this team does have some very difficult matchups, it also can be nigh unstoppable and take advantage of popular defensive picks and offensive archetypes. Hopefully this team can inspire creative teambuilding in GSC.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:jynx: Checks: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon:

:snorlax: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:entei: Checks: :gengar: :exeggutor: :heracross:

:houndoom: Checks: :gengar: :exeggutor: :jynx: :espeon: :alakazam:

:moltres: Checks: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :jynx: :heracross:

:exeggutor: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :machamp::vaporeon: :marowak::jolteon::quagsire:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:jynx: For the most part in GSC, most teams have multiple viable options for the lead slot. However, on this team Jynx serves a very critical role as an offensive momentum generator. With the combination of Ice STAB and Lovely Kiss, Jynx will force most common leads to switch out, with the only regular exceptions being Sleep Talk Snorlax and Raikou. The combination of Lovely Kiss and Thief also prevents this team from immediately losing to Baton Pass, as the team lacks phazers. From the lead slot, Jynx's priorities are to Thief Leftovers from a special wall on the opponents team, then use Lovely Kiss to allow one of the team's Fire types to switch in and continue the assault. Jynx commonly takes significant damage in the early game to fulfill this role, but in the later stages of the game Nightmare can act as a useless utility move to finish off bulky Sleep Talker users that are frequently the last mon remaining.

:snorlax: Snorlax provides much needed specially defensive utility while immediately threatening many special walls with physical attacks. Additionally, many of Snorlax's common checks; Cloyster, Forretress, Skarmory, Golem, Rhydon, have poor matchups against the team's Fire types under the affect of Sunny Day. Switching Snorlax out into one of these Fire types can be a very effective way to keep Sunny Day and offensive pressure up. Self-Destruction can be an invaluable tool to remove the opponents Snorlax, while Earthquake is useful for its coverage against Gengar and Tyranitar.

:entei: Entei's respectable bulk and speed stat makes it the primary option to set up Sunny Day in the early game, usually immediately after Jynx has used Thief and Lovely Kiss. Even though Entei is the most bulky Fire type on the team, the pure fire typing is not very useful defensively, and as such has the least defensive utility. Because of its typing Entei prefers to switch in against a sleeping opponent or on the opponent's switch and set up Sunny Day in exchange for taking a neutral hit. Fire Blast and Solar Beams' utility are self explanatory, while HP Fighting is an important tool against opposing Tyranitar and Blissey, while also providing reliable damage against Snorlax if you cannot afford to miss with Fire Blast.

:houndoom: Houndoom plays very similarly to Entei but trades the speed and bulk for damage output. Since Entei frequently trades health for Sunny Day, and Moltres lacks type coverage, Houndoom's offensive role is best utilized in the late game. Against weakened opponents Houndoom can secure KO's without taking too much damage in return. If both Entei and Houndoom are KO'd, the team's synergy is greatly reduced as Moltres is much easier to wall. Since this team has an overall poor matchup against Recover + Surf Starmie, Houndoom's Crunch is important offensive coverage.

:moltres: Moltres’ primary role is simple: launch off the meta’s strongest special attack to either revenge kill or force resists to Rest, setting up Houndoom/Entei to later threaten to 2HKO them. Moltres also serves an important secondary role: absorbing status and giving this team some much needed sustainability with Rest+ Sleep Talk. This sustain makes Moltres the best option to refresh sun mid-match without sacking a mon. With the power of Charcoal and Sun boosted Fire Blasts, Moltres is also this team primary revenge killer.

:exeggutor: Exeggutor, like Snorlax, can switch in on many opponents that the Fire type core has difficult dealing with. After switching in, Exeggutor can use its perfect coverage and Explosion to threaten any defensive check. As one of the two members on the team with Explosion/Self-Destruct Exeggutor has an important role in bating/removing any of the opponent's special walls. With Exeggutor's all out attacking move set no OU viable normal resist has an easy time switching into its special coverage. Although demanding skillful predictions, Exeggutor is this team's best tool against bulky mons such as Blissey, Suicune, and Snorlax.

Team Synergy:
Without Spikes, a normal resist, long term sustain, or completely solid defensive core, this team goes all in with special offense and must synergize well to get past the opponent's team. Jynx lead perfectly synergizes with the team's many specially offensive threats, frequently stealing Leftovers from specially defensive walls and generating momentum from turn 1.
After Jynx opens the game, the team is well positioned to start chaining together Sunny Days. An important mechanic to know is that Sunny Day can be refreshed before it expires, allowing the team to function with almost permanent in the best case scenario, while also catching out opponents who think they can make a switch out on the turn that sun ends.
Another important team design is that the only Sunny Day abusers are all capable of setting up sun for themselves which cuts down on the turns spent switching and optimizes the team's offensive abilities. Snorlax and Exeggutor support the fire types as defensive switch ins to difficult matchups while being immediately threatening with offensive coverage moves and Explosion.
The sun archetype in general synergizes well with current team building trends takes advantage of common defensive mons that are weak to fire and grass coverage. Sunny Day can also exploit Zapdos and Raikous' tendency to run Thunder and significantly hamper their offensive abilities. Combined with the fact the many offensive teams only run Snorlax as a specially defensive wall, Sunny Day spam exists as a viable albeit niche alternative to more standard offensive teams.
While this shouldn't be relied on to win every game, it is important to consider that this team spends most if its time attacking, leading to a higher net number of critical hits against more passive opponents. Combined with the increased power of Fire types moves and super effective coverage, a single opportune crit can be all it takes to win the game. It is by no means safe to attempt to stall out this team with recovery.

If you would like more information about this team, see my RMT.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
GSC SSNL 2020 Round 9 Siatam vs. False (Fire Spam vs. Vaporeon Baton Pass Offense)
RCoP 2020 Siatam vs. Starmaster (Fire Spam vs. Espeon + Gengar Offense)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/zapdos: :gs/quagsire: :gs/snorlax: :gs/miltank: :gs/tyranitar: :gs/starmie:
Paralysis + Drum Quagsire
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Spikes is one of the most defining aspects of GSC. Though limited to one layer and only dealing 12.5% damage, without Spikes many teams will struggle to break through the ubiquitous use of Leftovers in the tier. Aside from a Swords Dance Marowak, the only way to immediately max out an attacking stat is through the use of Belly Drum, a move with fairly limited distribution. Quagsire is one of the few users of Belly Drum, and with Ground + Rock coverage it can function very similar to Marowak.
In a pure offensive sense, Quagsire is inferior to Marowak, with a lower speed tier, a weaker Rock move, and needing to sacrifice 50% of its HP to boost its attack stat. However; Quagsire has much more defensive utility than Marowak. Quagsire has comparable physical and special bulk to Marowak, but it able to run Leftovers increasing its survivability substantially over the course of a game. Quagsire's typing also makes it one of the best counters to the ever present Zapdos and Raikou who are unable to hit Quagsire super effectively with HP Ice or HP Water.
This team combines paralysis spreading and a supporting defensive core to fully utilize Quagsire in order to outlast offensive teams and methodically break down stall teams.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel:

:quagsire: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :tyranitar: :moltres: :charizard:

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:miltank: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :heracross: :porygon2:

:tyranitar: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :exeggutor: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :houndoom: :porygon2:

:starmie: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jynx: :rhydon: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:zapdos:Zapdos is a great lead for this team. Thunder Wave is an uncommon move option on Zapdos and from turn 1 it can grab an important paralysis on opposing Zapdos or Raikou. Thunder Wave also frequently lands on opposing Snorlax and while the speed control is not important for Quagsire, the 25% paralysis chance is a benefit that should not be ignored. Lead Zapdos is also useful to prevent Cloyster from immediately forcing a Starmie switch. As a secondary phazer on the team, Zapdos helps the team deal with Vapreon, Heracross, and Tentacruel, all set up users that are challenging for Tyranitar or Miltank to deal with. Whirlwind Zapdos from the lead position also helps the team deal with lead Baton Pass + Spore Smeargle, as the team lacks a status absorbing Sleep Talker. This weakness can be mitigated with Miltank's Heal Bell, but Zapdos is the most frequent sacrificial recipient of Lovely Kiss. Sleep Powder, and Hypnosis. Sacrificing Zapdos to sleep in the short term is also an optimal play if Zapdos can spread paralysis to Jynx or Exeggutor, which can otherwise be difficult for the rest of the team to paralyze.

:quagsire:Quagsire utilizes its unique typing in GSC to be an unbreakable electric type check and is a secure switch in to Tyranitar and most fire types. From these easy avenues of entry, Quagsire is in a free position to max out its attack with Belly Drum, but most of the time prefers to wait until most of the opponent's team is paralyzed. Obstacles to Quagsire included any fast mon with Explosion, or bulky mons such as Suicune. Exeggutor, and Heracross who can survive a +6 attack and 2HKO Quagsire from ~50%. Skarmory is also a significant obstacle to Quagsire as it can switch into Quagsire as it Belly Drums and win 1v1 with Curse and Rest.

:snorlax:Even though Zapdos and Starmie have direct ways of spreading paralysis through Thunder Wave, Snorlax is still a very reliable paralysis spreader with Body Slam. While Body Slam is not threatening on its own, when combined with Curse it will force an opponent to switch out to a defensive Snorlax check. This can be relied on over the course of a game to paralyze many defensive mons for Quagsire. Common paralyis targets include: Cloyster, Tyranitar, Skarmory, Golem, Steelix, Suicune, Umbreon, Miltank, and Rhydon. While Snorlax carries Fire Blast mostly for Skarmory, it can be useful to paralyze opposing Skamory before revealing Fire Blast.

:miltank:Miltank serves an important role on this team as a general answer to most physical attackers and Curse users. As a consequence Miltank spends most of its time using Growl to prevent set up or Milk Drink to stay healthy. When Miltank has free turns, it will prefer to use Heal Bell to keep its teammates healthy. In the event where none of the above is a priority, Miltank can utilize Body Slam for a 30% chance to spread paralysis on some of its common switch ins, such as Zapdos or a normal resist. While Miltank is largely a physical wall and cleric on this team, it can contribute to the goal of spreading paralysis.

:tyranitar:Tyranitar assists the team as a normal resist and phazer, while providing offensive utility to weaken or remove mons that Quagsire, Snorlax, and Miltank have challenging matchups against. Pursuit's ability to trap and remove ghost types is much appreciated by this team. Ghost types can block Starmie's Rapid Spin, freely switch in on Miltank, and wall Snorlax. Due to Miltank and Snorlax providing ghosts with almost free switch ins they can also be difficult to paralyze and provide a nuisance to Quagsire attempting to sweep. Fire Blast is also very useful for damaging Skarmory and Exeggutor which are two of the best checks to Quagsire.

:starmie:Spikes removal is an important aspect of any defensive team, this is even more important on a team lacking Spikes as it cannot attempt to match the offensive pressure of Spikes. Against a Cloyster, Starmie can immediately switch in to keep Spikes off of the field, while also threatening Paralysis on it's switch ins. Common Paralysis targets for Starmie include Zapdos, Raikou, and Gengar. While Psychic can be a useful move choice to improve the team's matchup vs. Machamp, Starmie appreciates Surf to threaten Thunder Wave immune ground types (Steelix mainly) and prevent Tyranitar from easily Pursuit trapping it. Even though Starmie has the added utility of Paralysis spreading, its primary focus is keeping Spikes off of the field. On a team that relies on Rest + Heal Bell, the lack of Spikes chip goes a long way to keeping the team healthy.

Team Synergy:
While this team does feature the uncommon choice not to have a Sleep Talker/ status absorber, this weakness is mitigated by Miltank's Heal Bell and the team makes the most of the extra utility it runs in the place of Sleep Talk.
Every move choice on this teams contributes to its two main goals: spreading paralysis and weakening Quagsire's checks. Zapdos/Snorlax/Miltank/Starmie have the ability to paralyze almost the entire metagame by virtue of the switches they force. Fire Blast on Snorlax and Tyranitar helps weaken Skarmory and Exeggutor (as well as Heracross in a pinch) all of which are Quagsire's hardest checks. Tyranitar's Pursuit also helps support the team by trapping ghost types and chipping targets on the switch out, a valuable trait on a team lacking Spikes.
All this synergy does not mean Quagsire is the team's only win condition, but the team is designed around Quagsire's offensive and defensive abilities and should be valued highly. Although Quagsire is officially a UU mon, with the proper team support and its inherent defensive characteristics, Quagsire has the ability to play the game slowly and wait for optimal sweeping/ breaking conditions.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 8 ziloXX vs. ABR (Paralysis + Drum Quagsire vs. Exeggutor + Jynx Offense)
SPL XI Week 9 Conflict vs. gorgie (Paralysis + Drum Quagsire vs. Tentacruel + Espeon Offense)
 
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Siatam

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RoA Leader
:gs/exeggutor: :gs/charizard: :gs/raikou: :gs/rhydon: :gs/snorlax: :gs/starmie:
Paralysis + Drum Charizard Offense
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
Spikes is one of the most defining aspects of GSC. Though limited to one layer and only dealing 12.5% damage, without Spikes many teams will struggle to break through the ubiquitous use of Leftovers in the tier. Aside from a Swords Dance Marowak, the only way to immediately max out an attacking stat is through the use of Belly Drum, a move with fairly limited distribution. Charizard is one of the few users of Belly Drum, and with 100 base speed packs Ground + Rock + Fire coverage. The addition of Fire Blast allows Charizard to threaten Exeggutor and Skarmory, two common checks to Ground + Rock based attackers and give Charizard to notable niche over Marowak, Quagsire, and Belly Drum Snorlax.
While Charizard is the fastest user of Belly Drum, it lacks the important defensive typing of Quagsire or the colossal bulk of Snorlax. Additionally, while base 100 speed is enough to out pace most of the metagame, there are multiple faster offensive threats that can KO a Charizard weakened by Belly Drum. Because of these weaknesses, Charizard requires some support before being able to sweep an opponent. In order to support Charizard, this team Exeggutor and Starmie carry paralysis spreading moves to target key opponents faster than Charizard. Raikou and Rhydon also provide secondary paralysis support through Thunder and Zap Cannon in addition to special and physical walling abilities. Lovely Kiss Snorlax rounds out the team, providing utility with Lovely Kiss and Self-Destruct.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:exeggutor: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :machamp: :vaporeon: :marowak: :espeon: :alakazam:

:charizard: Checks: :heracross: :houndoom: :moltres:

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:rhydon: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :vaporeon: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:starmie: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jynx: :rhydon: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:exeggutor:Exeggutor serves as an excellent lure to two of Charizard's most common checks: Zapdos and Raikou. Both electric types will frequently switch in on Exeggutor, leaving them open to an Explosion or Stun Spore. While Zapdos speed ties Charizard, this team would prefer not to risk a Belly Drum sweep on coinflip odds. With Charizard's Fire Blast, Fire type coverage on Exeggutor is less important, and instead can opt for Giga Drain for better sustain and damage against bulky water types.

:charizard: The premier sweeper on this team, Charizard seeks to come in once the opponent's team has been weakened, and its fast threats paralyzed. Since Charizard's defensive typing is quite poor it can be difficult for Charizard to use Belly Drum safely, and as such prefers to Drum on sleeping opponents or those that are threatened by Fire Blast, such as Exeggutor, Skarmory, and Steelix. One of the drawbacks of using Charizard as a Belly Drummer, it that it lacks STAB on Ground or Rock moves. Despite perfect coverage and a maxed attack stat, Charizard can still struggle to secure OHKO's on many OU mons. Popular mons on this list include: Snorlax, Cloyster, Starmie, Machamp, Vaporeon, Marowak, and Suicune. This entire list will run moves that threaten to KO a ~50% Charizard. In order to secure a sweep, these mons must be weakened, or in Starmie's case, paralyzed and weakened.

:raikou: Without Sleep Talk on Snorlax, Raikou serves as this team's catch-all answer to special attackers. When facing off against the special attackers of GSC, Raikou has an easy time throwing off Thunders and clicking Sleep Talk. While the opponent's Snorlax will be the most common answer, Raikou still has the opportunity to paralyze opposing Raikou or Blissey. While Raikou without Spikes support is predominantly a defensive piece, its offensive stats and coverage will force the opponent to make a reactive move. Raikou can also be used an intentional bait for an opponent's Gengar, as many players will attempt to remove Raikou with Gengar's Explosion if Charizard has not been revealed.

:rhydon:Rhydon is a less common normal resist since it lacks to Spin of Golem, Explosion of Steelix/Golem or Pursuit support of Tyranitar. In spite of this, Rhydon pairs excellently with Charizard since it shares Ground + Rock coverage and has the option to paralyze opponents with Zap Cannon. Many water types that also check Charizard from full health will switch in on Rhydon and suffer chip damage or paralysis. Since Rhydon frequently switches in on the opponent's Snorlax, it will find also opportunities to weaken Snorlax. Even by itself, Rhydon is a slow, powerful attack with perfect STAB coverage than can excel on a paralysis heavy team.

:snorlax:Since Snorlax's typical role of a specially defensive tank for offensive teams is filled by Raikou, Snorlax is freed to run a more offensive and unpredictable set. Double Edge + Earthquake is threatening coverage from Snorlax even without Curse and allows for another method of dealing with Gengar, something not possible with a MonoLax set. Checks to EQ Lax include bulky water types, which pairs well with Charizard, as Snorlax can chip, sleep, or Self-Destruct on with this set. Even if Lovely Kiss does not hit an important defensive piece or faster attacker, the sleeping opponent is an great opportunity for Charizard to freely use Belly Drum. Self-Destruct is an important tool for this team to deal with opposing Curse Snorlax, as the team lacks a long-term check to it. While this set is easily walled by Skarmory, Skarmory is easily threatened by Charizard and can provide an opportunity for Zard to used Belly Drum.

:starmie:Starmie's typing and speed tier and Thunder Wave pair well with Charizard. Starmie can easily switch into many of Charizard's water type checks and threaten paralysis. Since Starmie also threatens Rapid Spin, in is not uncommon for an opponent to switch into Gengar on Starmie, leaving themselves open to paralysis on one of the few mons faster than Charizard. Zapdos and Raikou are also common switch ins to Starmie and targets for paralysis. Espeon is another one of the mons in the tier that can outspeed Charizard, and Starmie's ability to switch into and paralyze the psychic cat is welcome. While Rapid Spin support is not mandatory for Charizard, Starmie still assists the rest of the team and enables a slower style of play than focuses on paralysis before setting up.

Team Synergy:
This team has synergy between Charizard and paralysis on the surface level, but also features teammates that pair well with Charizard defensively and offensively. Snorlax and Rhydon can effectively bait in shared checks with Charizard and force chip damage and debilitating status effects. Exeggutor, Raikou, and Starmie can switch into the same Charizard checks and threaten the opponent's team with special attacks and paralysis.
Even though Charizard is lacking defensively, this team retains a defensive backbone with Raikou, Rhydon, and Starmie's Rapid Spin. So while this Spikeless Belly Drum team is more offensive than Quagsire or Marowak variants, it still has room to play the game and set up advantageous game states for Charizard.
With Raikou as the team's only Sleep Talk user, this team has a an unfortunate weakness to Lovely Kiss Nidoking, but with skillful play can be mitigated with Exeggutor, Snorlax, and Starmie. Other offensive threats include Marowak and Machamp, which are mitigated by Starmie and Exeggutor.
This team has lots of room for other options, such as Cloyster over Starmie, Steelix instead of Rhydon, or a different Snorlax set but each change comes with a set of defensive and offensive drawbacks. Charizard has many potential partners and synergies and this team exhibits only one of many options. Altogether, this team balances offensive and defensive abilities but is overall a more offensive take on Spikesless teams.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
GSC Global Championship 2018 Semi-Finals Tiebreak Lavos vs. Costa (Paralysis + Drum Charizard Offense vs. Umbreon + Zapdos Stall)
Lavos vs. idiotfromars (Paralysis + Drum Charizard Offense vs. Double Electric + Gengar Stall)
GSC OU Ladder Sample Sampler vs. JackmanJones (Paralysis + Drum Charizard Offense vs. Exeggutor + Gengar Offense)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/zapdos: :gs/snorlax: :gs/cloyster: :gs/golem: :gs/skarmory: :gs/raikou:
Double Electric Stall
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
While stall's playstyle can be view as "playing not to lose" this team can generate offensive momentum with Spikes, Explosion and Rest Talk Zapdos + Roar Raikou. Snorlax and Skarmory serve as the team's primary special and physical walls, but still provide offensive utility to prevent the team from devolving into a passive, "hard stall" team.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:golem: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire: :porygon2:

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:zapdos: The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. When combined with Spikes, there are very few opponents that can comfortably switch into Zapdos, namely Raikou and Blissey. Combined with Roar Raikou, Zapdos + Spikes is this team's primary avenue to victory.

:snorlax: Although Snorlax has great offensive potential, on the team it serves a defensive role as a status sponge and general special wall. Despite this, Snorlax is still able to leverage its powerful Double-Edge and longevity to be an enduring threat to opponents. Even without Curse boosts, Double-Edge + Earthquake Snorlax is very threatening to much of the metagame. Snorlax can be a great switch in to many of the special attacking threats that come in on Cloyster/Golem/Skarmory and from that position can force the opponent to switch out to a defensive or Curse boosting teammate.

:cloyster: On stall, Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. While Toxic is commonly used on offense teams to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest, stall teams are less inclined to take these trades since they feature other methods of dealing with these threats. Since almost all stall teams feature Rapid Spin, trading Toxic with opposing Cloyster can be advantageous if you believe your Cloyster can outlast the opponent's. Once Cloyster's Spiking utility is no longer required, Cloyster can be used secure KO's with its un-resisted combination of Surf + Explosion.

:golem: Golem's utility is that it checks Fire and Mono attacking Snorlax, spins away Spikes, and can explode as a last-ditch effort. Rapid Spin is very important as every GSC stall team requires some way to play the Spikes game. Spikes are overall #1 threat to any stall team, and any defensive team without Rapid Spin will find it very difficult to withstand the chip damage assault. To assist Golem in its Rapid Spinning endeavors, Earthquake nicely threatens the spinblockers of Gengar and Misdreavus. While Golem can pivot into Raikou and Zapdos on an electric move, this usually is a needlessly risky move when the team also has Sleep Talk Snorlax and Raikou. As such, Golem is limited to Rapid Spinning after it switches in on Snorlax or a statused opponent.

:skarmory:Skarmory is a staple on almost all GSC stall teams as the tier's only reliable Earthquake Snorlax check. The major downside to Skarmory is that it is incredibly passive and non-threatening which allows the opponent to switch in a variety of threats with impunity. While stall teams feature enough defensive pieces to prevent Skarmory's passive playstyle from being crippling, it is still preferable to mitigate this weakness when possible.
Skarmory's moveset of Toxic/Curse/Drill Peck/Rest make sure Skarmory is not a free switch for the opponent. Toxic can be used force opponents to eventually use Rest, slowing down offensive momentum or outright cripple opponents that do not have recovery. Drill Peck allows Skarmory to immediately threaten mons like Exeggutor, Heracross, and Machamp. Combined with Curse, this moveset can enable Skarmory as a viable endgame win condition.

:raikou:Like Skarmory, Raikou is a popular pick on many stall teams due to its abilities as a special wall. While Roar Raikou is still viable as a secondary check to special attackers, Raikou's primary job on this team is to exert offense pressure through the combination of Roar + Spikes. Combining the the virtually perfect coverage of Thunderbolt and HP Ice and impressive speed stat, Roar Raikou is able to immediately threaten many mons after they have been phazed in. This feeds into a cycle where the opponent if encouraged to continue switching to a Raikou check while Raikou is free to rack up Spikes chip with Roar. One downside to Roar Raikou is that it is an momentum sink once it is forced to sleep, so despite its defensive utility, Raikou prefers to stay healthy and not subject to status.

Team Synergy:
Like any functional stall team, this team has primary and secondary checks to all of the offensive threats in the tier. Skarmory and Golem form a cohesive physically defensive core, while Snorlax and Raikou preform similarly on the special side. These primary and secondary checks extend beyond just physical and special attacks. For example, Snorlax and Zapdos both share the role as Lovely Kiss Nidoking checks while Cloyster and Skarmory can both check Marowak. But overlapping defensive roles the team can remain defensively stable even if multiple members are KO'd. (Frequently by Explosion)
Since stall team frequently rely on Skarmory and phazing to check opposing Curse Snorlax, an important situation to consider when building a stall team is the last-mon Curse FireLax scenario. Everything considered, this team can struggle with Snorlax if it is unable to phaze or walls Snorlax with Skarmory. This is mitigated by Explosion Cloyster and Golem. Against a fully Curse boosted Snorlax, they will not win, but can are important to keep healthy so they can force a KO in a last-mon situation.
With Roar Raikou and Zapdos, this stall team falls closer to the offensive side of the spectrum and as such can suffer some poor offensive matchups. Even with Spikes support, this team can struggle to break past special walls such as Sleep Talk Raikou and Blissey. In matchups like these, the team can pivot to using Cloyster and Golems' Explosions proactively to force and endgame similar to an offense team.
With a combination of offensive tools and classic defensive core, this stall team is able to alter its playstyle as the matchup demands, effectively able to play both as a stall and offense team.

Replays (may feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 1 TC vs. Hyogafodex (Double Electric Stall vs. Gengar + Vaporeon Offense)
Past Gen Championship 2020 Semifinals TC vs. kenix (Double Electric Stall vs. Jynx + Gengar Offense)
WCoP 2019 Semifinals Tiebreak bruno vs Raichy (Double Electric Stall vs. Jynx + Steelix Offense)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/raikou: :gs/snorlax: :gs/forretress: :gs/tentacruel: :gs/tyranitar: :gs/skarmory:
Spin Tentacruel Stall by Zokuru
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
Spikes is one of the most defining aspects of GSC, and one of the few options to punish switches. Without Spikes on the field, it can be incredibly difficult to break a core of Snorlax + Raikou + two normal resists. This team utilizes Rapid Spin Forretress and Tentacruel to consistently win the Spikes war and prevent the opponent from having Spikes on the field. Tentacruel has an excellent matchup against Cloyster and Forretress, and without a ghost type, the opponent will never be able to keep Spikes up. Even with a ghost type, it can be a struggle to keep Spikes on the field against Pursuit Tyranitar and dual Rapid Spin support. Overall this team seeks to utilize the lack of Spikes and defensive core of Raikou/Snorlax/Tyranitar/Skarmory to prevent an opponent from making offensive progress. While on the flipside it can consistently apply offensive pressure with Spikes, Sleep Talk Raikou, Curse MonoLax, Pursuit Tyranitar and Toxic from Forretress, Tentacruel, and Skarmory.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :charizard: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:snorlax: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:forretress: Checks: :snorlax: :exeggutor: :jynx: :heracross:

:tentacruel: Checks: :cloyster: :forretress: :moltres: :houndoom:

:tyranitar: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :exeggutor: :misdreavus: :espeon: :alakazam: :moltres: :houndoom: :porygon2:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:raikou:Raikou serves as this team's electric resist and general purpose special wall. Raikou does not have the same offensive power of Zapdos, and as such has a more difficult time breaking through special walls even with the help of Spikes. So while Raikou is not a standalone win condition on this team, it is able to force the opponent to make switches and potentially spread paralysis with Thunder. HP Water allows Raikou to better threatenground types like Golem, Rhydon, Steelix, and Piloswine as the expense of some bulk and the ability to hit grass types effectively. However, the combination of Sleep Talk Skamrory and Tyranitar can handle Exeggutor, which Raikou typically answers. Raikou's primary job is defensive, but with a good special attack stat and electric + water coverage it usually able to force an opponent to switch out instead of other than always attacking, an important trait on a stall team.

:snorlax:Curse + Sleep Talk Snorlax is a staple on Tyranitar offense teams due to its special + mixed walling abilities and offensive potential. The same it true on stall teams, Snorlax serves as excellent defensive glue while also being this team's best offensive threat. Curse Snorlax on its own can be a potential win condition, but will require Spikes and/or Toxic support to remove the opponent's normal resists. Overall, Snorlax functions similarly to Raikou, easily switching in on special and mixed attackers and forcing the opponent to switch out into something that can beat of wall it. Curse Sleep Talk Snorlax is also an important tool on this team to beat last mon Curse FireLax, which is otherwise able to beat the other five members of the team.

:forretress:Forretress has a good defensive typing, but little long term defensive utility due to lack of sustain. In most games, Forretress will try to remain healthy as possible in order to keep Spikes on the field for the team. Forretress is better than Cloyster at fulfilling this role on stall due to the Toxic immunity and Normal resistance granted by its steel typing. The tradeoff for using Forretress over Cloyster, is that overall Forretress is much more passive. Outside of Spiking, Forretress can use Rapid Spin, though this role is usually fulfilled by Tentacruel and Forretress only needs to spin if the opponent has a Gengar than prevents Tentacruel from spinning every time the opponent's Spiker switches in. The remaining move slots on Forretress are used in the Spiker vs. Spiker matchups, where Toxic is able to cripple Cloyster and HP Fire mauls opposing Forretress. Of course Forretress can also threaten Toxic on things like Snorlax, Exeggutor, Jynx and Hercross, which it can easily switch into. Likewise, HP Fire can chip other Toxic immune steel types.

:tentacruel:Overall Tentacruel has very niche defensive utility. It has fantastic special defense and a great speed tier, but is weak to three common attacking types: electric, psychic, and ground. However, with an immunity to Toxic, water resistance, high speed stat and Rapid Spin, Tentacruel is uniquely able to thwart and attempt to Spike by opposing Cloyster or Forretress. If the opponent has no ghost type, there is virtually nothing this can do to keep Spikes on the field, as Tentacruel will only switch into Cloy/Forre as they use Spikes, and the immediately use Rapid Spin. The opponent can choose to use Explosion to remove Tentacruel, but that trade is in the stall team's favor, as the opponent gives up Spikes for a mon whose only purpose is to remove Spikes. Tentacruel accomplishes its job on the team by virtue on its typing and one move. The other three moves are useful in the event that Tentacruel cannot spin or if Spikes are permanently removed. Surf is a good STAB option if Tentacruel has the opportunity to attack and can sting Gengar/Misdreavus. Protect is useful to passively recover HP from Leftovers, its main uses are vs. Gengar + Roar Raikou/Zapdos and Toxic stalling opponents. Toxic rounds out the set and can threaten to cripple opponents, force Rests from the opponent and is an important tool against Machamp, which can be difficult for this team to KO.

:tyranitar:Rest Tyranitar is a consistent FireLax check, but also can provide offensive utility to the team with STAB Rock Slide, Pursuit, and Roar. Pursuit is commonly used to trap ghost types to help MonoLax and Rapid Spin Tentacruel, but when combined with Roar and Spikes it is a great way to rack up chip damage on the opponents team. Without Spikes, Pursuit is one of the few options on the metagame to prevent endless switching to defensive mons and should be regarded as an important offensive tool on this team. Pursuit is also useful to trap HP Fire Exeggutor that can beat Sleep Talk Skarmory and Thunder/HP Water Raikou.

:skarmory:Skarmory is purely a passive, physically defensive wall that aims to stop any Curse boosting attackers by PP stalling their attacking moves or wearing them down with Toxic. With a moveset of Curse/Toxic/Rest/Sleep Talk, Skarmory is able to wall any non-fire move variety of Snorlax, including dangerous Lovely Kiss and Belly Drum variants. Without a phazing move, Skarmory is relegated to a passive role and can be vulnerable to opponents using Curse + Roar. Toxic allows Skarmory to threaten or wear down the many special attackers or Curse + Roar users that would switch into it. Clicking Toxic when the opportunity present itself is Skarmory's only offensie role.

Team Synergy:
This teams uses the classic stall structure of Snorlax + Raikou + Skarmory + FireLax check while its remaining two slots are dedicated to playing around Spikes with Forretress and Tentacruel. This defensive core is able to handle the entirety of the metagame defensively while having secondary backup checks to almost everything. A notable exception is Nidoking, this team only has Sleep Talk Snorlax. However, Snorlax has only one attacking move, and with more Sleep Talk and sleep turn luck, it is possible for Nidoking to break Snorlax. The main way to prevent this possibly is to make sure that the opponent does not have Spikes on the field, which Tenetacruel frequently accomplishes. Additionally, Skarmory can often take a Nidoking Lovely Kiss while Raikou and Tentacruel can 1v1 a chipped Nidoking.
Another threatening attack for this team is Machamp. This is one of the disadvantages to running Tentacruel over Starmie, which is a worse defensive matchup against Machamp - specifically Earthquake Machamp. Even Skarmory is not completely safe against Machamp as it can be vulnerable to Cross Chop critical hits and poor Sleep Talk rolls. Without a consistent Machamp switch in, this team often uses Toxic from Tentacruel, Forretress, or Skarmory to eventually KO Machamp. However, this exchange is sure to leave the team damaged and needs to be navigated carefully.
Of course the advantage Tentacruel provides is an excellent matchup against any team without as ghost type, as this more passive team is difficult to punish without consistent Spikes chip damage. Even teams with ghost types will find themselves pressured by Pursuit Tyranitar. Pursuit Tyranitar also synergizes well with Curse + Sleep Talk Snorlax as well as HP Water Raikou and Sleep Talk Skarmory. Typically Exeggutor is a threatening special attacker and bait exploder for specially defensive walls. However Skarmory and Tyranitar combined wall both Giga Drain and HP Fire Exeggutor variants, and reduce the risk the Exeggutor can explode on Raikou.
Overall this stall team is more passive than many other teams and has limited win conditions. Outside of PP stalling the opponent, this team wins through a combination of Spikes, Toxic from Forretess/Tentacruel/Skarmory, special attack from Raikou, Curse Snorlax, and Pursuit Tyranitar. By themselves, no team member is able to win games independently, but together they are able to wear down defensive walls and offensive threats. By virtue of Tentacruel + incredible defensive coverage, this team is able to make a passive stall playstyle work.

Replays: (may feature small variations of the team)
SPL XII Week 2 Zokuru vs. TC (Spin Tentacruel Stall vs. NidoGar + Forretress Offense)
GSC OU Invitational Zokuru vs. Finchinator (Spin Tentacruel Stall vs. Heracross + Raikou Offense)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/raikou: :gs/forretress: :gs/starmie: :gs/skarmory: :gs/umbreon:
Forretress + Umbreon Stall
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
This team follows a very similar structure to the team posted above. Both share Snorlax/Raikou/Skarmory/Forretress, with a FireLax check that uses Pursuit and a water type Rapid Spinner. While the previous team aims to permanently remove Spikes to be unkillable and facilitate its passive playstyle, this stall team needs to remove Spikes in order remain defensively viable. Even though both teams share similar members, more offensive sets are used on this team which give up Sleep Talk in exchange for proactive moves. These non-Sleep Talk sets can make the team very passive if Snorlax/Raikou/Skarmory are forced to constantly use Rest, but if piloted properly, this team can be very difficult to break or defend against.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon::jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:forretress: Checks: :snorlax: :exeggutor: :jynx: :heracross:

:starmie: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :machamp: :jynx: :rhydon: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire:

:umbreon: Checks: :snorlax: :gengar: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :jynx: :rhydon: :alakazam: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Curse + Fire move Snorlax is classic threat to stall teams, as its only checks, ghost and rocks types, can be worn down with Pursuit, Spikes, and Toxic. While Rest Rock types have recently become more common on stall teams, FireLax and Roar Raikou combined have good offensive presence and can wear down offensive and defensive teams alike. Without Sleep Talk, Snorlax does need to be more careful with its HP and in order to preform its offensive roles, it needs to share its defensive duties with Raikou.

:raikou: Raikou is a popular pick on many stall teams due to its abilities as a special wall. While Roar Raikou is still viable as a secondary check to special attackers, Raikou's primary job on this team is to exert offense pressure through the combination of Roar + Spikes. Combining the the virtually perfect coverage of Thunderbolt and HP Ice and impressive speed stat, Roar Raikou is able to immediately threaten many mons after they have been phazed in. This feeds into a cycle where the opponent if encouraged to continue switching to a Raikou check while Raikou is free to rack up Spikes chip with Roar. One downside to Roar Raikou is that it is an momentum sink once it is forced to sleep, so despite its defensive utility, Raikou prefers to stay healthy and not subject to status.

:forretress:Forretress has a good defensive typing, but little long term defensive utility due to lack of sustain. In most games, Forretress will try to remain healthy as possible in order to keep Spikes on the field for the team. Forretress is better than Cloyster at fulfilling this role on stall due to the Toxic immunity and Normal resistance granted by its steel typing. The tradeoff for using Forretress over Cloyster, is that overall Forretress is much more passive. The remaining move slots on Forretress are used in the Spiker vs. Spiker matchups, where Toxic is able to cripple Cloyster and HP Fire mauls opposing Forretress. Of course Forretress can also threaten Toxic on things like Snorlax, Exeggutor, Jynx and Hercross, which it can easily switch into. Likewise, HP Fire can chip other Toxic immune steel types. While Rapid Spin could work in the 4th moveslot, this team prefers Explosion as it allows Forretress to be useful even at low health and when the Spikes war is resolved. Explosion can be a useful tool to regain offensive momentum, but can also catch opponents off guard, as Explosion Forretress is relatively uncommon on stall teams.

:starmie: Spikes removal is an important aspect of any defensive team, and the multiple teammates without Sleep Talk greatly appreciate not switching into Spikes. Against a Spiker, Starmie can immediately switch in to keep Spikes off of the field, while also threatening spinblockers with Psychic and Surf. While Substitute can be a useful move choice to held Starmie evade Toxic and Thunders, this team appreciates Psychic so Starmie can wall and threaten Machamp. Even though this team prefers not to switch into Spikes, the team will not immediately crumple to Spikes pressure, so Starmie's roles as a Rapid Spinner and check to Machamp + Rock types need to be balanced.

:skarmory:Skarmory is a staple on almost all GSC stall teams as the tier's only reliable Earthquake Snorlax check. The major downside to Skarmory is that it is incredibly passive and non-threatening which allows the opponent to switch in a variety of threats with impunity. While stall teams feature enough defensive pieces to prevent Skarmory's passive playstyle from being crippling, it is still preferable to mitigate this weakness when possible.
Skarmory's moveset of Drill Peck/Curse/Whirlwind/Rest make sure Skarmory is not a free switch for the opponent. Drill Peck allows Skarmory to immediately threaten mons like Exeggutor, Heracross, and Machamp. Combined with Curse, this moveset can enable Skarmory as a occasionally viable endgame win condition. Since this team lacks a physical phazing wall, Whirlwind is needed on this Skarmory set. Whirlwind can also mitigate Skarmory's passive nature by chipping opponents with Spikes and making sure that the opponent doesn't always have a free switch to their mon of choice.

:umbreon:Umbreon spends most of its time switching into mixed attackers and attempting to stay healthy with Rest, Sleep Talk, and Charm. When Umbreon has health and free turns its offensive responsibility is to Pursuit trap ghost and psychic types. When Umbreon is both healthy and does not have the oppurunity to deal any significant damage with Pursuit, Umbreon can use Charm to help its relatively frailer teammates pivot in. Umbreon is overall very passive when it cannot deal super effective damage with Pursuit and can give free switch ins to mons like Zapdos and Nidoking, who are free to fish for secondary status effects. However, this drawback is well worth it considering that Umbreon can compress the roles of a FireLax check, Pursuit trapper, sleep absorber, and mixed wall.

Team Synergy:
This teams uses the classic stall structure of Snorlax + Raikou + Skarmory + FireLax check while its remaining two slots are dedicated to playing around Spikes with Forretress and Starmie. However the team heavily relies on Umbreon as a FireLax check, sleep absorber, and mixed walls. This can make Umbreon a significant weakpoint for the team, as it is not a great Snorlax check unless it uses Charm, which can be prevented by poor Sleep Talk rolls. Explosion users like Exeggutor and Gengar may also find the chance to Explode on Umbreon, as Umb frequently switches into the two to absorb status and trap with Pursuit.
While stall teams try to have primary and secondary checks to a variety of threats as good practice, it is a necessity on this team. Any defensive wall that takes too much damage will be forced the use Rest, which gives the opponent free turns that can be used to stabilize their position or press and offensive advantage. Additionally, if the teams falls behind in the Spikes game, the additional chip will make the team much easier to break and less effective offensively. While the defensive walls on the team will inevitably be forced to Rest throughout the game, if they are able to apply enough offensive pressure, they can find the opportunity to heal while the opponent is unable punish their inaction. This becomes more apparent in stall vs stall matchups, as Snorlax, Raikou, and Skarmory will be difficult to break even if asleep, and can immediately pick up attacking, boosting, and phazing when they wake.
Despite all defensive "short comings" this team is completely viable and defensively sound. The above analysis is only to show that the team balances its synergy between defense, with two special walls and two Snorlax checks, and offense with Curse FireLax, Roar Raikou and Explosion Forretress. Both the Snorlax and Raikou sets are excellent at pushing an offensive advantage while Forretress can explode to regain offensive momentum or pick off a threat at an opportune time. The overview of the team cautions against overly passive stall teams in GSC, and this team perfectly encapsulates that as a primarily defensive team that must play proactively in order to maintain itself.

Replays:
SPL XI Week 7 FriendOfMrGolem120 vs. Haru (Forretress + Umbreon Stall vs. Nidoking + Machamp Offense)
WCoP 2019 Round 2 FriendOfMrGolem120 vs. ninjadog (Forretress + Umbreon Stall vs. Standard Agility Baton Pass)
WCoP 2019 Round 2 Jimmy Turtwig vs. Century Express (Forretress + Umbreon Stall vs. Exeggutor + Tyranitar Offense)
WCoP 2019 Pools FriendOfMrGolem120 vs. Arifeen (Forretress + Umbreon Stall vs. Heracross + Explosions)
GSC Past Gen Championship 2019 Pohjis vs SamuelBest (Forretress + Umbreon Stall vs. Double Electric Offense)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/raikou: :gs/cloyster: :gs/suicune: :gs/golem: :gs/skarmory:
Double Dog Golem Stall [ABR & BKC]
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
In isolation, Suicune appears to be a fantastic defensive mixed wall which is difficult to remove and has many options for utility. However, Suicune is not seen often on modern stall teams. As a mixed wall, Suicune does not have a lot of unique defensive utility and on many teams is unnecessary since its defensive roles are filled by a combination of other mons. However, Suicune can be incredibly useful if some typically defensive teammates would like to use more offensive movesets and shirk some of their defensive duties. This team utilizes Sleep Talk Suicune in order to support the more offensive movesets of Double-Edge/Toxic/Flamethrower Snorlax, Roar Raikou, Explosion Cloyster, and Explosion Golem. Sleep Talk Curse Skamory rounds out the team as a very solid physical wall with late game cleaning abilities. Overall this team is able to play both offensively and defensively depending on the situation and is effective in both playstyles.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::exeggutor: :vaporeon::jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:cloyster: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :vaporeon: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:suicune: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :jynx: :marowak: :rhydon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :quagsire: :houndoom:

:golem: Checks: :snorlax: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Snorlax's defensive checks come in two varieties: checks to Earthquake Snorlax (Skarmory) and checks to Fire Snorlax (ghost and rock types). With the combination of STAB Double-Edge, Toxic, and Flamethrower, Snorlax is able to threaten every one of its defensive switch-ins, bar Gengar. While Gengar can check this Snorlax set in the short term, it still needs to be wary of being chipped down or being burned by Flamethrower. Rock types using Rest can wall this set indefinitely, but in turn are easily checked by Suicune and are susceptible to the combination of Spikes + Roar Raikou. Even though this Snorlax set exceeds at breaking past defensive teams, Snorlax still has defensive roles to fill and without Sleep Talk, does need to be more careful with its HP and share its defensive duties with Raikou.

:raikou: Raikou is a popular pick on many stall teams due to its abilities as a special wall. While Roar Raikou is still viable as a secondary check to special attackers, Raikou's primary job on this team is to exert offense pressure through the combination of Roar + Spikes. Combining the the virtually perfect coverage of Thunderbolt and HP Ice and impressive speed stat, Roar Raikou is able to immediately threaten many mons after they have been phazed in. This feeds into a cycle where the opponent if encouraged to continue switching to a Raikou check while Raikou is free to rack up Spikes chip with Roar. One downside to Roar Raikou is that it is an momentum sink once it is forced to sleep, so despite its defensive utility, Raikou prefers to stay healthy and not subject to status.

:cloyster: On stall, Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. While Toxic is commonly used on offense teams to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest, stall teams are less inclined to take these trades since they feature other methods of dealing with these threats. Since almost all stall teams feature Rapid Spin, trading Toxic with opposing Cloyster can be advantageous if you believe your Cloyster can outlast the opponent's. Once Cloyster's Spiking utility is no longer required, Cloyster can be used secure KO's with its un-resisted combination of Surf + Explosion.

:suicune:Suicune's fantastic mixed bulk allows it to be a good switch-in to the majority of offensive threats in GSC. The only things that can threaten a healthy Suicune are electric types, mons with set-up and Explosion. While these defensive traits are valuable, Suicune can struggle to threaten the opponent in return due to its lackluster attacking stats and ubiquity of Snorlax/ specially defensive walls. Without a type advantage, Suicune will struggle to pick up KO's Similar to Skarmory, Suicune can sometimes be forced into a defensive position where it is forced to switch into the opponents threat, but in turn gives the opponent a low risk switch to another attacker. However, Suicune can use Ice Beam to prevent the opponent from switching in without risk. Over the course of a long game a freeze is almost guaranteed and can swing the odds in the favor of this team. So once Suicune switches in, its offensive role is to either immediately threaten what is in front of it with a super effective attack or threaten the opponent with the risk of being frozen.

:golem:Golem's utility is that it checks Fire and Mono attacking Snorlax, spins away Spikes, and can explode as a last-ditch effort. Rapid Spin is very important as every GSC stall team requires some way to play the Spikes game. Spikes are overall #1 threat to any stall team, and any defensive team without Rapid Spin will find it very difficult to withstand the chip damage assault. To assist Golem in its Rapid Spinning endeavors, Earthquake nicely threatens the spinblockers of Gengar and Misdreavus. While Golem can pivot into Raikou and Zapdos on an electric move, this usually is a needlessly risky move when the team also has Sleep Talk Snorlax and Raikou. As such, Golem is limited to Rapid Spinning after it switches in on Snorlax or a statused opponent.

:skarmory: Skarmory is purely a passive, physically defensive wall that aims to stop any Curse boosting attackers by PP stalling their attacking moves. With a moveset of Curse/Drill Peck/Rest/Sleep Talk, Skarmory is able to wall any non-fire move variety of Snorlax, including dangerous Lovely Kiss and Belly Drum variants. Without a phazing move, Skarmory is relegated to a passive role and can be vulnerable to opponents using Curse + Roar. This weakness is mitigated by the presence of Suicune, Cloyster and Golem, but needs to be recognized and played around. While Toxic on this moveset can be effective, Drill Peck allows Skarmory to immediately threaten mons like Exeggutor, Heracross, and Machamp. Combined with Curse, this moveset can enable Skarmory as a viable endgame win condition. Without a Drill Peck, this team could struggle to close out games without any boosted attacking moves.

Team Synergy:
This teams uses the classic stall structure of Snorlax + Raikou + Skarmory + FireLax check while its remaining two slots are dedicated to Spiking with Cloyster and holding the team together with Suicune. Suicune is an excellent defensive glue and checks virtually anything that does not use set up moves. By running Sleep Talk Suicune, the team can afford to run more offensive Raikou and Snorlax sets that lack Sleep Talk. On many defensive teams, Sleep Talk Snorlax and Raikou are needed to check common sleep move users while on this team Suicune switches into the common Nidoking, Exeggutor, and Jynx.
Explosion Cloyster and Golem may seem odd on a stall team, but this move choice does not change their defensive utility. Once Cloyster and Golem are at low health, Explosion can be used to simplify the game and make it easier to wall the opponent's remaining team. Additionally, Explosion is an important tool to deal with last mon Curse FireLax or threats like Curse Machamp. Rest + Sleep Talk Suicune also shares many of the defensive roles of Cloyster/Golem as a check to non-Curse Snorlax and offensive ground/rock types. This defensive overlap makes sure the team is defensively sound even after Cloyster or Golem have exploded.
Snorlax and Raikou combined serve as the team's checks to electric types and special attackers while also providing the team with offensive capabilities outside of Explosion. Both use wide coverage and combined with Spikes/Toxic/Roar are very difficult to wall. Nothing is able to wall both of these threats and with skillful play, Snorlax and Raikou can wear down the majority of defensive teams. On the flip side, the combination of 2 Explosions + Sleep Talk Suicune/Skarmory is able to break down and wall the remaining members of offensive teams.
Despite the defensive synergy of this team, it needs to watch out for Gengar. Since Snorlax and Raikou are the team's only reliable checks to electric type attacks, if one of these is removed by Explosion Gengar, the team can struggle against Zapdos or Raikou.

Replays:
WCoP 2018 Finals Tiebreak ABR vs. Lavos (Double Dog Stall vs. Nidoking + Vaporeon Offense)
GSC Past Gen Championship 2020 Semifinals TC vs. Kenix (Double Dog Stall vs. Marowak + Blissey Stall)
 

Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/snorlax: :gs/zapdos: :gs/cloyster: :gs/blissey: :gs/misdreavus: :gs/skarmory:
Blissey + Misdreavus Stall
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
This stall teams uses Blissey as a hard special wall and Heal Bell user in order support its offensive teammates of Belly Drum Snorlax and RestTalk Zapdos. Skarmory and Misdreavus serve as the team's checks to all varieties of Snorlax, and can stall out many physical attackers with moves like Toxic, Protect and Pain Split from Misdreavus and Curse/Rest/Whirlwind from Skarmory. Cloyster serves as both the Spiker and Rapid Spinner for this team and important check to rock and ground types. With a complete defensive core, Zapdos, and Belly Drum Snorlax this team is able to wall many offensive threats while also threatening to sweep outright with Snorlax.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::exeggutor: :vaporeon::jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:zapdos: Checks: :cloyster: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :starmie: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :dragonite:

:cloyster: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:blissey: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar: :exeggutor: :vaporeon: :jynx: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:misdreavus: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :starmie: :machamp:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:snorlax:Belly Drum Snorlax sacrifices its special walling abilities for the opportunity to become one of the tier's most dangerous physical attackers. With Rest + Heal Bell support from Blissey, Snorlax does not sacrifice all of its defensive utility, and can still switch in to many special attackers and threaten them out with Body Slam paralysis or Earthquake damage. Even without attack boosts, Body Slam + Earthquake Snorlax is threatening enough to many teams, and can slowly chip down its defensive checks. For the majority of the game, Snorlax will find itself unable to safely use Belly Drum, but after spreading enough paralysis and/or forcing its defensive checks to use Rest, Snorlax can set up to sweep or force a KO on the opponent. Often only one successful Belly Drum is needed to win the game however, with the help of Light Screen + Heal Bell Blissey, Snorlax should be able to find multiple opportunities to use or threaten to use Belly Drum during the course of a game.

:zapdos: One upside of using Blissey as the team's primary special wall, it that it frees up the team slot that would normally be dedicated to Raikou. This allows the ground immune and more offensively threatening Zapdos to slot in as a mixed wall, status absorber, Vaporeon check, and general offensive threat. The combination of Thunder and HP Ice, along with the sustain offer by Rest and Sleep Talk enables Zapdos to deal impressive damage while remaining healthy for the duration of the game. Thunder is the preferred electric STAB to spread paralysis to assist Belly Drum Snorlax, while HP Ice helps this team's matchup against Exeggutor. Zapdos's role is mixed between offense and defense but with electric + ice coverage it usually able to force an opponent to switch out instead of other than always attacking, an important trait on a stall team. While this team falls heavily on the stall side of the spectrum, sometimes Zapdos + Spikes can be all that is needed to win a game.

:cloyster: On stall, Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. This Cloyster set also uses Rapid Spin which adds an additional role on to Cloyster, making it paramount that it stays healthy. While Toxic is commonly used on offense teams to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest, stall teams are less inclined to take these trades since they feature other methods of dealing with these threats. Since almost all stall teams feature Rapid Spin, trading Toxic with opposing Cloyster can be advantageous since the Heal Bell support from Blissey will keep Cloyster healthy throughout the game.

:blissey:Blissey alone can fulfill any team's need for a universal special wall, but comes at the cost of being passive and stacking another Machamp weakness on the team (since virtually every team is also running Snorlax). What Blissey brings to a team is its aforementioned unmatched special walling abilities, and Heal Bell, a move with very limited distribution. Soft-Boiled and Heal Bell are self evident move choices and what give Blissey its niche. Flamethrower gives Blissey some offensive option, and prevent Forretress and Cloyster from switching in and setting up Spikes for free. Since Blissey lacks offensive options, another coverage move or Toxic could be used in the fourth move slot, but on this team Blissey opts for Light Screen to support Belly Drum Snorlax and allow for its teammates to more easily switch in on special moves and start attacking on Blissey's behalf. Once Blissey hits the field, its priorities (in order) are to stay healthy with Soft-Boiled, use Heal Bell if necessary, set up Light Screen to allow its teammates to more easily pivot in, and use Flamethrower if none of the above are relevant or its teammates cannot switch in.

:misdreavus:Misdreavus is in an interesting position as one of the two ghost types in GSC OU. It has identical physical bulk to Gengar, lower attacking stats, lower speed, and a more restrictive move pool. The advantages Misdreavus has over Gengar are: a better defensive typing, slightly higher special bulk, and access to Pain Split. These differences make Misdreavus mostly unsuited for offensive teams, but offer a small niche on stall teams. Misdreavus most often switches in on Mono/Fire Snorlax, or on a predicted Rapid Spin. From there Misdreavus can harass the opponent with Toxic while stalling turns/remaining healthy with the combination of Protect and Pain Split. Psychic allows Misdreavus to be useful against Gengar and Nidoking who would otherwise switch freely into Toxic. Protect + Pain Split also allows Misdreavus to 1v1 non-Rest Tyranitar from full HP, provided that the opposing Tyranitar does not have/use Crunch on the first turn vs. Misdreavus. This alone can win some team matchups that rely on Tyranitar to remove ghost types. Misdreavus also has the important role of switching into and Toxicing opposing Machamp who can be a threat to the rest of the team.

:skarmory:Skarmory is a staple on almost all GSC stall teams as the tier's only reliable Earthquake Snorlax check. The major downside to Skarmory is that it is incredibly passive and non-threatening which allows the opponent to switch in a variety of threats with impunity. While stall teams feature enough defensive pieces to prevent Skarmory's passive playstyle from being crippling, it is still preferable to mitigate this weakness when possible.
Skarmory's moveset of Drill Peck/Curse/Whirlwind/Rest make sure Skarmory is not a free switch for the opponent. Drill Peck allows Skarmory to immediately threaten mons like Exeggutor, Heracross, and Machamp. Combined with Curse, this moveset can enable Skarmory as a viable endgame win condition. Since this team lacks a physical phazing wall, Whirlwind is needed on this Skarmory set. Whirlwind can also mitigate Skarmory's passive nature by chipping opponents with Spikes and making sure that the opponent doesn't always have a free switch to their mon of choice.

Team Synergy:
This team follows the standard stall formula of Skamory + FireLax check + Snorlax + special wall, but deviates with Blissey instead of Raikou in the special wall slot. By running Blissey with Heal Bell, the team is able to run both Snorlax ad Skamory without Sleep Talk as well as support Rapid Spin Cloyster. Without Heal Bell, Cloyster would frequently find itself worn down by status while Skamory and Snorlax using Rest would lead to substantial loses in momentum. Since Blissey is capable of walling almost every special attacker own her own, Snorlax is also able to run a more aggressive Belly Drum set, and is less important to the team as a special wall.
While Snorlax is self sufficient at spreading its own paralysis, Thunder Zapdos also assists in the role and is able to paralyze targets that would not frequently take a Snorlax Body Slam, such as other electric types. Toxic on Cloyster and Misdreavus can also support Belly Drum Snorlax by forcing opponents to use Rest.
In order to fit every member of the team Cloyster is necessary to compress the roles of Spiker and Rapid Spinner. On this team, Cloyster is preferable to Forretress for its ability to check Curse + Roar users like Tyranitar and Rhydon. Overall Cloyster is a more active user of Rapid Spin, which can be useful as this team lacks Pursuit support.
On the flip side, Cloyster is a less consitent Rapid Spinner, and can find itself in matchups where it is difficult to keep Spikes off the field. However, this team has two Spikes immune mons in Zapdos and Skarmory, while the presence of Spikes does not hamper Blissey as much as it would Raikou. While this team (like all others) would prefer to play without Spikes on the field, it will not immediately crumple to the entry hazard.
Lastly, Light Screen can be critical to Belly Drum Snorlax's success, as it allows it to set up on many of the tier's special attackers.
Some threats to watch out for when using this team are Jynx, Gengar, and Exeggutor. Jynx and Gengar can threaten the teams only stauts absorber Zapdos, while Gengar and Exeggutor often have an easy time exploding on the team's specially defensive walls, all of which are necessary for the team's success.
A benefit of this team running Belly Drum Snorlax and Rapid Spin Cloyster, is that these sets are less common than the typical Curse Snorlax and Explosion Cloyster. This can frequently lead to opponents playing around threats that this team does not possess. However, once these move choices are revealed, the opponent is likely to taker advantage of the shortcomings of the sets.

Replays:
SPL XII Week 1 Conflict vs. TDK (Blissey + Misdreavus Stall vs. Golem + Vaporeon Offense)
GSC OU Ladder Sample Sampler vs. Dr Venomstein (Blissey + Misdreavus Stall vs. Porygon2 + Marowak Offense)
 
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Siatam

is a Tutoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
:gs/raikou: :gs/suicune: :gs/cloyster: :gs/gengar: :gs/snorlax: :gs/skarmory:
Double Dog & Gengar by M Dragon
(click sprites for team)

Overview:
GSC has a largely outdated stigma as the "stall generation." A more up to date perspective on GSC would show that offense is GSC is a thriving playstyle and overall more popular than stall. This is not to say stall teams are unviable or unable to succeed at high levels of play. Stall and offense strike a fine balance in the metagame. While offense has the tools to break through defensive cores over the course of a game or in a few decisive turns, stall has the ability to lock down favorable positions into consistent victories. Stall teams can be viewed as more resilient against poor luck as they have the defensive cores to fall back upon in case of untimely critical hits. However, if stall team play too passively they become susceptible to inevitable instances of "hax" such as Freezes, worse-case-scenario Sleep Talk rolls, and consecutive critical hits.
In isolation, Suicune appears to be a fantastic defensive mixed wall which is difficult to remove and has many options for utility. However, Suicune is not seen often on modern stall teams. As a mixed wall, Suicune does not have a lot of unique defensive utility and on many teams is unnecessary since its defensive roles are filled by a combination of other mons. However, Suicune can be incredibly useful if some typically defensive teammates would like to use more offensive movesets and shirk some of their defensive duties. This team utilizes Sleep Talk Suicune in order to support the more offensive movesets of Double-Edge/Toxic/Flamethrower Snorlax, Roar Raikou, and Explosion Gengar. Skarmory utilizes its unique skillset as an Earthquake Snorlax counter and general physical wall to round out the team defensively. Cloyster serves as this team's designated Spiker and Rapid Spinner, using HP Electric tech for a better matchup against opposing Explosion Cloyster. All together this team melds offensive and defensive abilities into a effective and proactive stall team.

Matchups:
Defensive checks: This list is simplified and only describes a general overview. Depending on the game state, HP remaining on/status condition of the team, the opponent's move sets, and presence of status moves/Explosion, the defensive matchups may change.

:raikou: Checks: :zapdos: :cloyster: :raikou: :gengar: :vaporeon: :jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :houndoom:

:suicune: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :nidoking: :exeggutor: :jynx: :marowak: :rhydon: :alakazam: :charizard: :moltres: :dragonite: :quagsire: :houndoom:

:cloyster: Checks: :cloyster: :tyranitar: :marowak: :rhydon: :quagsire:

:gengar: Checks: :snorlax: :cloyster: :machamp: :vaporeon: :heracross: :tentacruel: :porygon2:

:snorlax: Checks: :zapdos: :raikou: :gengar::exeggutor: :starmie: :vaporeon::jynx: :tentacruel: :espeon: :alakazam: :jolteon: :moltres: :houndoom:

:skarmory: Checks: :snorlax: :tyranitar: :exeggutor: :machamp: :marowak: :rhydon: :heracross: :quagsire: :porygon2:

Offensive abilities: It is much easier to discern the offensive roles of the team just by looking at each members' move sets. This section will cover each mon's specific offensive duties required to support the team.

:raikou: Raikou is a popular pick on many stall teams due to its abilities as a special wall. While Roar Raikou is still viable as a secondary check to special attackers, Raikou's primary job on this team is to exert offense pressure through the combination of Roar + Spikes. Combining the the almost perfect coverage of Thunderbolt and HP Water and impressive speed stat, Roar Raikou is able to immediately threaten many mons after they have been phazed in. This feeds into a cycle where the opponent if encouraged to continue switching to a Raikou check while Raikou is free to rack up Spikes chip with Roar. One downside to Roar Raikou is that it is an momentum sink once it is forced to sleep, so despite its defensive utility, Raikou prefers to stay healthy and not subject to status.

:suicune: Suicune's fantastic mixed bulk allows it to be a good switch-in to the majority of offensive threats in GSC. The only things that can threaten a healthy Suicune are electric types, mons with set-up and Explosion. While these defensive traits are valuable, Suicune can struggle to threaten the opponent in return due to its lackluster attacking stats and ubiquity of Snorlax/ specially defensive walls. Without a type advantage, Suicune will struggle to pick up KO's Similar to Skarmory, Suicune can sometimes be forced into a defensive position where it is forced to switch into the opponents threat, but in turn gives the opponent a low risk switch to another attacker. However, Suicune can use Toxic to prevent most opponents from switching in without drawbacks. Conveniently, Suicune's Surf also stings most of the poison immune mons in the tier.

:cloyster:On stall, Cloyster's primary job is to get Spikes up, and stay healthy to keep Spikes on the field if the opposing teams has the means to remove them. This Cloyster set also uses Rapid Spin which adds an additional role on to Cloyster, making it paramount that it stays healthy. While Toxic is commonly used on offense teams to wear down opposing Cloyster and force Snorlax to use Rest, this team opts to run HP Electric for the matchup against other Cloyster. While Toxic will wear down Cloyster in the long term, HP Electric has a 28% chance to 2HKO Cloyster, meaning that the HP Electric Cloyster will win the 1v1 much faster than the Toxic Cloyster. This is advantageous on Rapid Spin Cloyster as it often results in Spikes being spun away after the opposing Cloyster switches out, fearing a second HP Electric.

:gengar: Gengar provides miscellaneous utility to this team as a FireLax check and general offensive threat. Electric + Ice coverage provides decent damage against most of the metagame, while Explosion threatens to remove special walls. Hypnosis helps prevent Gengar from being Pursuit trapped and is a simple way for the team to start making progress. While no target is critical to hit with Explosion or Hypnosis, common targets include Raikou, Snorlax, Tyranitar, and Blissey. Gengar also provides the invaluable trait of being a Rapid Spin blocker, making it more difficult for the opponent to removes Spikes from their side of the field.

:snorlax: Curse + Fire move Snorlax is classic threat to stall teams, as its only checks, ghost and rocks types, can be worn down with Pursuit, Spikes, and Toxic. While Rest Rock types have recently become more common on stall teams, FireLax and Roar Raikou combined have good offensive presence and can wear down offensive and defensive teams alike. Without Sleep Talk, Snorlax does need to be more careful with its HP and in order to preform its offensive roles, it needs to share its defensive duties with Raikou.

:skarmory:Skarmory is a staple on almost all GSC stall teams as the tier's only reliable Earthquake Snorlax check. The major downside to Skarmory is that it is incredibly passive and non-threatening which allows the opponent to switch in a variety of threats with impunity. While stall teams feature enough defensive pieces to prevent Skarmory's passive playstyle from being crippling, it is still preferable to mitigate this weakness when possible.
Skarmory's moveset of Drill Peck/Curse/Whirlwind/Rest make sure Skarmory is not a free switch for the opponent. Drill Peck allows Skarmory to immediately threaten mons like Exeggutor, Heracross, and Machamp. Combined with Curse, this moveset can enable Skarmory as a viable endgame win condition. Since this team lacks a physical phazing wall, Whirlwind is needed on this Skarmory set. Whirlwind can also mitigate Skarmory's passive nature by chipping opponents with Spikes and making sure that the opponent doesn't always have a free switch to their mon of choice.

Team Synergy:
This teams uses the classic stall structure of Snorlax + Raikou + Skarmory + FireLax check while its remaining two slots are dedicated to Spiking with Cloyster and holding the team together with Suicune. Suicune is an excellent defensive glue and checks virtually anything that does not use set up moves. By running Sleep Talk Suicune, the team can afford to run more offensive Raikou and Snorlax sets that lack Sleep Talk. On many defensive teams, Sleep Talk Snorlax and Raikou are needed to check common sleep move users while on this team Suicune switches into the common Nidoking, Exeggutor, and Jynx.
While Rapid Spin Cloyster may struggle to keep Spikes off the field against other stall teams, the short term advantage HP Electric Cloyster gains over can be all that is needed to create a favorable position against offensive teams. Even if Cloyster cannot remove Spikes from the friendly side of the field, Hypnosis Gengar is an excellent spin blocker and makes it difficult for the opponent to remove Spikes either. The persistent presence of Spikes is greatly appreciated by Roar Raikou and Curse + FireLax, whose checks are worn down by Spikes.
Since this team takes a more offensive approach to stall, Gengar works well as both a FireLax check and offensive tool. If Gengar's defensive utility is no longer needed, it can harass the opponent with Ice Punch freezes and Hypnosis and can remove special walls with Explosion that would slow down Roar Raikou. Even though Suicune is mostly a defensive piece, Toxic is also useful to frequently hit electric types, Snorlax, and Cloyster which are all important to wear down or force to Rest for Roar Raikou. (or good to wear down in general for Cloyster)
One matchup to watch out for is Nidoking, even though Suicune is a good check the combination of Sleep Talk + Toxic makes Suicunes matchup against Nidoking worse when it is asleep. After Spikes chip, Thunder is a guaranteed 3HKO on Suicune (accuracy not withstanding). Every other teammates matches up poorly against Lovely Kiss Nidoking, so in exchange for better synergy with Roar Raikou, Suicune must be played carefully around Nidoking.

Replays:
WCoP 2019 Pools: M Dragon vs. Diophantine (Double Dog & Gengar vs. Houndoom + Machamp Offense)
GSC Ladder Sample Sampler vs. LittleBlueHat (Double Dog & Gengar vs. Paralysis + Drum Quagsire)
 

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