SM LC Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Berks

has a Calm Mind
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#1
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Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

A CLEAR FORECAST
Ever since Mambo posted this thread about Rain in Little Cup, I've wanted to build a successful rain team. The biggest issue with that proposition, however, is that most rain teams are extremely obvious. Have you ever been laddering and come across a team with a Voltorb and three Swift Swim users? Exactly. Rain teams are really easy to play around when you can see them coming, so I wanted to make a team that used common cores and Pokemon to throw people off the scent of rain. In order to do that, I knew I needed to use a lot of inconspicuous rain setters and a few inconspicuous rain abusers. I decided to build around Damp Rock Pawniard, which I believe is the ultimate surprise set! Furthermore, I wanted my Rain Dance users to be common, solid Pokemon that nobody would ever even think about putting on a rain team, and I wanted my rain abusers to be common enough as to not raise too much suspicion. The result was Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, so named for the really cool Credence Clearwater Revival song and also for the fact nobody sees this rain team coming!


FORMING CLOUDS

Building a manual rain team necessitates that you run a couple solid Rain Dance users. You can't simply add one setter and rely on it wholly; you'll need a different setter for a lot of different situations. Pawniard, Spritzee, and Staryu were my choices, as each of them can set rain in a different situation, and the three Pokemon happen to have pretty great synergy. One of them needed to hold a Damp Rock so that I could have an extended sweep with my rain sweepers in an endgame scenario, and I picked Pawniard; ideally, Pawniard would force a switch in the endgame into one of its checks (Fighting-types, Ponyta, and other Steel-types), set up an eight-turn rainstorm on the switch, then get KOed to make way for either Croagunk or Mantyke. The other two setters can either set rain in the midgame or serve as a last-ditch backup plan to Pawniard.


With my remaining three teamslots, I added Croagunk and Mantyke, my aforementioned rain abusers. Why did I pick Croagunk and Mantyke, you ask? Well, I had actually been messing around with Damp Rock Pawniard and wanted to pick two rain sweepers that could most efficiently capitalize on what Pawniard could bring to the team. Croagunk has phenomenal synergy with Pawniard, and can capitalize on most of its major checks—namely Fighting- and Steel-type Pokemon. Those checks that Croagunk can't stop, such as Ground- and Fire-type Pokemon, are picked to pieces by Mantyke, which also happens to threaten Fighting-type Pokemon as well. At this point, however, I still had a free slot, and I still needed Stealth Rock, so Ferroseed joined the team as well. Adding Ferroseed to the team also happened to complete the feared FerroSpritz core, giving my team an extremely solid defensive backbone and furthering the illusion of this being a normal team.

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Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
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Pawniard
Item: Damp Rock | Ability: Defiant
EVs: 156 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SpD / 196 Spe | Jolly Nature
Knock Off | Sucker Punch | Iron Head | Rain Dance

Damp Rock Pawniard is the focal point of this team; oftentimes the difference between a win and a loss is whether or not I can get my eight-turn rainstorm. The set is mostly standard in that the EVs and first three moves are something you can find on just about any other Pawniard—what makes it special is Rain Dance. Meant to capitalize on Pawniard's penchant for forcing switches, the basic idea with this Pawniard set is to Rain Dance at some point in the mid- to late-game when you can force a switch from your opponent. This scenario comes up a lot, be it against a weakened or frail Pokemon you threaten with Sucker Punch or against a slow Pokemon like Snubbull. Depending on what Pokemon your opponent sends in and at what point of the game you're at, you'll usually either hard switch into Croagunk or sack Pawniard and bring in Mantyke. Pawniard also provides strong priority, a decent Flying resist, and solid Knock Off support, and it's just a really really good Pokemon in general.



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Spritzee
Item: Eviolite | Ability: Aroma Veil
EVs: 212 HP / 196 Def / 12 SpA / 76 SpD / 12 Spe | Bold Nature
Wish | Protect | Rain Dance | Moonblast

No Pawniard team is ever complete without a Fighting resist, and Spritzee is the best one out there! Additionally, it happens to learn Rain Dance, which is both a) pretty cool and b) a great way to mess with SunnyBeam Ponyta. Outside of being a surprise Rain Dance user, Spritzee pretty much just does Spritzee things: checking Fighting-types, passing big Wishes, and being generally impossible to KO.



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Staryu
Item: Eviolite | Ability: Analytic
EVs: 156 Def / 116 SpA / 236 Spe | Timid Nature
Hydro Pump | Psychic | Rapid Spin | Rain Dance

Because I was planning on adding Mantyke later, I decided I needed hazard removal; what better hazard remover than Staryu? Adding Staryu also gave me another Rain setter, a pseudo-Rain abuser, and a much needed Croagunk check. Having a Staryu with no recovery can bite you in the ass if you don't play cautiously, but with this team it usually isn't a problem. I run fast offensive Staryu to make its Hydro Pumps really really difficult to switch into without a Water immunity, and because why bother being defensive without Recover?



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Croagunk
Item: Eviolite | Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 52 HP / 108 Atk / 116 Def / 116 SpD / 116 Spe | Adamant Nature
Drain Punch | Gunk Shot | Sucker Punch | Bulk Up

This Croagunk set is hit or miss in that it can either rip through teams or do absolutely nothing. I chose to use Bulk Up Croagunk because I felt it best took advantage of the recovery provided by Dry Skin in the rain. I run Drain Punch for further recovery and good Fighting STAB, Gunk Shot to obliterate all in my path, and Sucker Punch to bop Abra, Gastly, Abra, and Abra. The truly unfortunate thing about this Croagunk set is that it tends to lose to other Croagunk, which is a big threat to the team.



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Mantyke
Item: Waterium Z | Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 36 Def / 200 SpA / 40 SpD / 196 Spe | Modest Nature
Hydro Pump | Air Slash | Hidden Power [Ground] | Rain Dance

There are certainly better rain sweepers than Mantyke, but they all have one thing in common: they struggle against Fighting-type Pokemon. Mantyke, however, carries STAB Air Slash and veritable nuke in rain-boosted Hydro Vortex. Jox is to credit for the decision to run Waterium Z, after he beat me due to me having been running Life Orb (I think is how it went). I elected to add Hidden Power Ground as well due to my fear of missing Hydro Pump and eating a Volt Switch from Magnemite or Elekid. Overall, if I had to pick a member of the team to replace, it'd likely be Mantyke; though I think it is very cute and enjoy its Flying STAB, I'm beginning to feel as though I could use another rain sweeper to better effect.



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Ferroseed
Item: Eviolite | Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 164 HP / 188 Def / 148 SpD | Careful Nature
Stealth Rock | Bullet Seed | Knock Off | Thunder Wave

Ferroseed was a natural 6th member to add to the team, as it took care of every role I had yet to check off of the teambuilding checklist. Ferroseed provides entry hazards, adds Knock Off support, completes the FerroSpritz core, and is in general another Pokemon that is really difficult to KO. It also benefits from the fact that rain effectively removes its quad weakness to Fire attacks, making it that much more difficult to take out. Bullet Seed helps me take on bulky Water-type Pokemon and is a good STAB attack in general, and Knock Off is simply the best move in the tier. Lastly, I opted to run Thunder Wave because I literally couldn't think of a better option.


CLIMATE CHANGERS
Croagunk - One of the unfortunate downsides of running a rain team is that you struggle to beat Pokemon immune to Water. No Pokemon is more threatening than Croagunk, which can single-handedly wall four out of my six Pokemon. Running Psychic on Staryu helps alleviate this weakness to an extent, but it oftentimes falls short. Additionally, if Croagunk manages to receive a boost to its Speed, your list of checks gets even shakier.

Flying-types - Having your Flying resist be a) a Pawniard and b) an Eviolite-less Pawnaird means you'll naturally struggle against the tier's strong Flying-type Pokemon. However, the team can usually handle a Doduo or Vullaby; generally, you'll accomplish this feat with some combination of Pawniard, Spritzee, and Mantyke under the rain. Just play real smart against the big birds and you should be able to pull through!

Zigzagoon - I suppose it looks odd to put Zigzagoon here when I have three of its best checks on the team, but for various reasons it still poses a huge threat. It can set up on three of my six Pokemon, which is already a significant problem; once it's set up, however, the threat only grows. Pawniard, Spritzee, and Ferroseed can all avoid an OHKO from Extreme Speed, but none of them can OHKO back, and all of them are KOed by the attack with a bit of chip. Additionally, Zigzagoon can steal an Eviolite from Spritzee or Ferroseed, making it that much more difficult to take down.


AFTER THE RAIN
I hope you've enjoyed this team! As usual, I have to make shoutouts to my good friends:

Holiday - big fan of this brown nerd, have you rebuilt your home since the big explosion?

Shrug - you can seize my means of production if you know what I mean

Nineage - your friendly neighborhood Berks impersonator

Fiend - the most reliable user for tearing apart my teams from a building standpoint

Dundies - the most reliable user for tearing apart my teams from a battling standpoint


Here's an importable if you like the team, and I welcome your comments!
Pawniard @ Damp Rock
Ability: Defiant
Level: 5
EVs: 156 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head
- Rain Dance

Spritzee @ Eviolite
Ability: Aroma Veil
Level: 5
EVs: 212 HP / 196 Def / 12 SpA / 76 SpD / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Rain Dance
- Moonblast

Staryu @ Eviolite
Ability: Analytic
Level: 5
EVs: 156 Def / 116 SpA / 236 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Psychic
- Rapid Spin
- Rain Dance

Croagunk @ Eviolite
Ability: Dry Skin
Level: 5
EVs: 52 HP / 108 Atk / 116 Def / 116 SpD / 116 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Gunk Shot
- Sucker Punch
- Bulk Up

Mantyke @ Waterium Z
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 5
EVs: 36 Def / 200 SpA / 40 SpD / 196 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 1 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 SpD
- Hydro Pump
- Air Slash
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Rain Dance

Ferroseed @ Eviolite
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 5
EVs: 164 HP / 188 Def / 148 SpD
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Bullet Seed
- Knock Off
- Thunder Wave



Thanks! <3
 

Fiend

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#2
I've spent a long time rating this; roughly 3 hours now and I'm at my wits end trying to make Rain seem worthwhile outside of being fun. I'm pretty sure this is close to as reliable you can get after these changes, and you have some pretty okay matchups with this as well. Current meta trends seem to heavily disfavor Rain however, as Slowpoke, Torchic, Gastly, Wynaut, Nasty Plot Croagunk, and even some old trends such as HP Grass and also Scarf Vullaby really force it on the backfoot. Rain Dance is also just not good enough to "waste" a turn on anymore, much like Trick Room has been for awhile now. I'm pretty sure this is just an unviable archetype, truth be told, but here is what I'm suggesting for you despite this.

Chinchou > Pawniard
You really can't be that weak to Flying-types, which makes me want to naturally suggest Chinchou to you over Pawniard, as it not only weakens Water-checks for Tyke, but it also gives you something to lean on defensively and to get momentum back. Pawniard, as it is, hardly does anything for you and really does little to increase the viability of your team outside of Sucker Punch being a nice buffer against being swept. However the weaknesses that Pawniard adds to your team is far too much for the little it brings while Chinchou builds upon your main core of the team while patching up a few weak points. Really doubling down and making opposing Elekid, Staryu, and Torchic as unthreatening as possible is going to be significant for your team.

Gastly > Croagunk
Gastly seems to be solution to problems that your team desperately needs; being a Ghost-type is super hand, especially as Gastly makes Croagunk wish it had a coverage option for you. It also helps weak the opposing team and goes far in giving you a lot of useful defensive utility while being a super good offensive tool for the team. Gastly helps relieve your issue of poor speed control somewhat, leaving you with more flexibility in which Choice Scarfer can replace Staryu. As it happens, Gastly also makes for a perfect Zigzagoon counter. Gastly also gives the team a somewhat reliable lure to Ferroseed, as the somewhat reductant HP Fire will hardly be expected. Against teams with Grimer-A, Gastly will use Destiny Bond to remove it and itself from the match as currently Grimer-A is incredibly difficult to manage. HP Fire OHKOs Scarf Pawniard on the switch as well, which is handy in a pinch. You can also opt for a more standard Gastly set (Sub Hex with Berry Juice or Sub HP Ground with Life Orb), but do be aware this can make Zigzagoon an issue again if Life Orb is dropped, and makes Ferroseed a larger main to deal with if HP Fire is dropped.

Vullaby > Staryu
I've looked at about 30 different options for this slot, and as much as I would like to not change a 3rd Pokemon, I think the best way to make Rain viable is use it as a wincon, not an rk method. Due to this idea, and an understanding that without Pawniard, Abra comes in and kills a Pokemon rather freely, I feel that it has to change anyway. Additionally, a lot of teams just won't mind dancing around Spritzee and Ferroseed as much, meaning that the other 4 Pokemon need to have as much of an offensive impact on the match as possible. Generally speaking, the team struggles greatly with Abra, Gastly, Wynaut, and Curse Torchic, and pretty much anything else which can Substitute up on you. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to address this currently and most of your wins against Wynaut and Torchic (and against them paired together!) will have to come from great playing instead of a team advantage. However Abra and Gastly can be addressed with some ease, as Scarf Vullaby is a great way to revenge kill and it even has some decent bulk switch in on the right attack. Vullaby even has some flexibility in its last, though I recommend Heatwave as your best option but Rain Dance is something to consider. I opted for an Adamant Nature as you have a Spritzee for Scraggy and the sheer damage is more valuable than anything else.

Here is the import for the 3 sets I'm suggesting:
Gastly @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
Level: 5
EVs: 200 SpA / 76 SpD / 200 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Destiny Bond
- Sludge Bomb

Chinchou @ Eviolite
Ability: Volt Absorb
Level: 5
EVs: 76 HP / 212 Def / 72 SpA / 144 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Scald
- Rain Dance
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Vullaby (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Overcoat
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 76 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Brave Bird
- Heat Wave / Rain Dance
 

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