SM OU HP Ice Xard and Golem-A (1700 peak)

Whenever somebody tells me "X pokemon counters Y", I always get a strong urge to create some creation that can prove people wrong. Back in Naganadel meta when people told me AV Ttar counters Gengar, I used a Z focus punch set. When people told me AV Magearna countered Koko, I became a fan of the Z Wild Charge set, and when they told me Tangrowth countered it I tried Brave Bird Koko. Now I'm not here to argue viability here or anything. My goal here was to make a fun team specifically tailored to have an impact on the current meta in a way that would be difficult for people to expect or predict. So naturally, with the amount of people who told me "Charizard X sucks because Landorus and Toxapex are on every team" I took this as the perfect opportunity to have some fun and make a new team. Because at the end of the day, teambuilding has always been my favorite aspect of the game. Now, me and my friend worked together to playtest this team. He generally always gets higher on the ladder than me, and he passed me a few replays when he topped 1700, while I got it up into 1600 before stopping and deciding to make this RMT. I'm not going to claim that these numbers are amazing but I think they are good enough to show the team has potential.

Anyways, let's talk about the core concept of the game. I wanted to make a custom made Xard set that would take people by surprise. As it stands, there are 2 main pokemon (Toxapex and Landorus) that beat the standard 3 attacks (blitz,EQ, claw) set, as well as a few other mons like Heatran or Zygarde if EQ or dragon claw isn't ran respectively. So we need our team to be able to deal with these mons.

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Golem traps 3 steels:

Dealing with protean Ninja:

Dealing with Medicham:

Dealing with Charizard X:

1700 replay:

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Charizard-Mega-X @ Charizardite X
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Thunder Punch
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Roost

The first customization I did to the standard set was to add HP ice. From what I've heard and seen, HP ice on Xard has never really been seriously considered as the majority of the time Dragon claw does the same thing but better. All HP ice hits realistically is Landorus. But with the insane usage that Landorus gets, this tool is a resource I find myself using every other game, hell I find I use it more often than I used dragon claw on previous teams with standard Xard. HP ice guaranteed ohkos defensive landorus after a flare blitz, even with a minus spa nature, which makes predictions unnecessary the majority of the time. The second customization I did is something that looks really weird, but I'm running thunder punch over EQ. This is to help out primarily versus Toxapex when we have terrain up, as well as hitting fire resists like Rotom or Gyarados or even a Fini. The biggest gripe anybody will have with this team is the speed. Not outspeeding jolly Landorus and driller sucks a lot, but I really want that extra power against fatter teams.

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Golem-Alola @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 16 HP / 252 Atk / 240 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Wild Charge
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Fire Punch

This is where things start to get fun. I mentioned Heatran earlier, and I'm sure the very first thing you'll notice about the above Charizard set is "hey, wtf my mans is really out here running mono-walled by Heatran charizard??" Don't you worry fam. We've got the best heatran answer in the entire game. Out of every single game I've faced a Heatran, I've killed every single one with Golem. Another kind of interesting thing is when people see you have a Golem on your team, they automatically assume you're bad and don't give the mon the same respect that you would with a Magnezone. But jokes aside, Golem can semi-reliably trap almost every steel type in the tier, most notably Heatran for Charizard, not-scarf Magnezone, as well as Ferrothorn. While it may seem odd for me to mention Ferrothorn on a team with Charizard, getting rid of Ferrothorn is nice because my defogger can't defog on it. This set outspeed max+timid Heatran by like exactly 2 points. Golem's phenomenal natural bulk also lets it check the likes of Mega Mawile and Bisharp as +2 sucker punch fails to kill from full. Also, fun fact: Golem guarenteed lives a crit bullet punch from mega scizor at +2. I've been considering swapping stone edge for something random like volt switch to let me pivot on stuff like zapdos, or explosion to damage Lando/Zygarde after I've finished trapping the steel, since realistically I never actually use my rock STAB. But anyways, this is the set.

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Tapu Koko @ Electrium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Dazzling Gleam
- Taunt

The next mon I knew was non-negotiable. Well, to be fair, the first 3 mons on the team are all non-negotiable. Since those 3 provide the entire theme of the team. Koko+Xard is easily my favorite core to use in USUMO. Anything that Koko can't handle, Xard destroys. Facing stall is kind of annoying since my main breaker just dies to recoil, but Xard+Koko can beat it if you play smart I guess. If I were to change something on the team, I'd give something setup. I've been considering swapping taunt on Koko for Calm Mind, and then swapping Ferrothorn for taunt rocks Mew. But anyways, the idea of the Koko set is: we don't need hp fire (Golem traps Ferro) and we don't need HP ice (Xard lures Lando+bulu beats Zyggie). So taunt helps out versus the webs matchup a lot. Webs teams in general just hate dealing with taunt lead Koko. The moves are pretty standard and the Z move is kind of just filler lol. I was originally specs but the Z move kind of fits better. Oh also for what it's worth, Koko means I don't insta-lose to Hawlucha.

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Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 208 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Leech Seed
- Gyro Ball
- Protect

I talked about this mon in the last section, but here it is. I'm essentially running the brainless standard smogon although I guess I'm running protect over power whip. I feel like the biggest weakness the team has (other than the dank Xard+Golem sets) is that Ferrothorn is pretty redundant with Tapu Bulu. I've been considering 2 mons over Ferro: Taunt Mew or calm mind Clefable. Both mons offer rocks+check Zygarde+check Lopunny (which the current team does not). Mew has the added benefit of being able to actually stop Medicham and Lele. Ferro has this nice benefit of being able to deal with Gren and Kyurem, so I really don't know. I was hoping to get some feedback about this.
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Rotom-Wash @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 204 Def / 56 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Toxic

I'd played around a little bit with Hawlucha in this slot, and even with Tapu fini. But I'm using Rotom for a few very specific reasons. First of all, this is the month of Joey's next "To The Top". So that means all the fanboys are going to be using Mamoswine. Not that I'm complaining, I actually love Mamo kek. But the point is until it dies down I don't trust Ferrothorn to be enough to cut it. Especially on this team where Mamo outspeeds 4/6, walls and switches easily into 2/6, and hits 4/6 for supper effective damage with STABs. Anyways, the other 2 main reasons for this set is because it defogs on Lando, which supports Charizard, and because it stops opposing Xard's from sweeping. I was originally pain split as my last move, but I soon realised that my team got 6-0'd by opposing DD charizard, or to be more accurate any type of Charizard X. Toxic therefore prevents Xard and Volcarona from setting up on Rotom. Volcarona being another terrifying mon to deal with, particularly HP ground volc.

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Tapu Bulu @ Assault Vest
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 60 Atk / 56 SpD / 144 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Horn Leech
- Wood Hammer
- Superpower
- Nature's Madness

Tapu Bulu as my last mon is to help against the likes of Greninja, Zygarde, Keldeo and to an extent Tapu Lele. It's a pretty standard set. I was originally banded, and then tried SD Bloom Doom, but I always found myself missing on bulk against Greninja. Superpower hits Kartana and Ferrothorn on the switch, although I've been considering running stone edge instead considering how annoyed by Volcarona the team is. Natures madness is just an all around safe move to go for.
Hi! I really like your team, I used Alolan-Golem in the early days of SM with a similar trapping set, and it's a lot of fun. I think it has a niche over magnezone because it does trap every single steel type with fire/edge/quake/charge coverage. I think I used firium Z, but I like scarf too.

Your defensive core does really well against mons like ashgren, lele, koko, mag, etc, which is really hard to do in this meta. I wouldn't change anything about your first two mons. I would have trouble playing with the zard, but you seem very familiar so if it works, I trust your judgement. The one thing I noticed that runs through your team is sand, namely Mold Breaker Excadrill. If your zard has mega evolved, excadrill kills every mon on the switch but ferro (who can't touch it with only gyro) or koko (who outspeeds, but can only dazzling gleam it). DD MegaTar also gives this team issues. Rotom is a solid counter, but not having wisp, no recovery, and only relying on pump could make it come down to misses on either side. Bulu/koko/zard get edged, ferro gets fpunched, and golem cant do much besides eq and gets hit with crunch or eq or whatever else the set is. However, I don't think DD with three moves can beat your team, so you can probably play around that. My suggestion would be indeed changing your ferrothorn to something like Colbur Berry WoW Mew (standard smogon set probably) or possibly even Rocks Whirlwind Skarm, which I know isn't amazing in this meta, but it gives you hazards and a way of dealing with drill/megalop that has reliable recovery and doesn't have to run defog. That makes you weaker to ashgren, but keep bulu/rotom healthy and that shouldn't be an issue. Skarm makes you weaker to band zygarde, but if it's physdef it can whirlwind, and you have bulu as well and could but HP ice on koko, but it may not be the best option. That's what I can think of off the top of my head; there's probably a better solution. Clef could be a cool option too, especially with wish to pass to zard, but that may not be a reliable defensive member with all the band zygardes and specs ashgrens running around.

I don't have access to a calculator rn, so I can't give you specific sets but those are my suggestions. I plan on playing around with this team; it seems really fun! Hope these suggestions were helpful!
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