SM UU Hydeout (Terrakion Bulky Offense)

Pak

hydeout
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past Smogon Snake Draft Champion
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big shoutouts Accelgor as per usual

INTRODUCTION
Hello all, and welcome to what will presumably be my last RMT of generation 7. The time I intend to share isn't exactly innovative or ground-breaking, but it has essentially taken over the tournament scene in recent months due to the consistency brought about by its hard hitters and the natural synergy between them. In fact, I actually put together something quite similar during UUPL 6, which was probably around June 2018. Gliscor's presence as well as meta shifts drastically changed the sets of what they are today, including fully special Ice Beam Mega Altaria and the legendary fully offensive, HP Grass (so Terrak can shit on stall easier), Pain Split Rotom-H.
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Ironically the version I will share below wasn't intentionally derived from this ancestor of sorts, but really it is just the archetype I've found to best take advantage of Terrakion's offensive capabilities. There was a lot of flexibility here and while it was much less effective at the moment, mostly due to Mega Altaria not having room to run Dragon Dance + Refresh to effectively deal with bulky Waters, it really did a great job of setting the groundwork for future iterations of Terrakion bulky offense. Also here's my obligatory allusion to my ideologies of giving yourself the most playable matchups possible. If this set of mons is played at a high level, it will nearly always have a solid chance at winning, which to me is the most pure form of Pokemon as well as the most fun.

As I said above, this iteration of the team was made under entirely different circumstances: for the most recent UUPL this spring. It was a must-win game in the finals tiebreaker, which was originally meant to be Kushalos vs Shiba, but Gondra ended up subbing in and taking the reins for us. I wanted us to use something strong, consistent, and that could effectively reward aggressive play. The concept was pretty simple: some kind of Terrakion in combination with the uncommon Choice Band Knock Off Scizor. While it is usually hard to fit considering how valuable Pursuit usually is in that slot, it possessed great synergy with Terrak, given its ability to lure Gligar and Doublade in particular, which are traditionally two of the stronger pivots into both Terrakion and Scizors revealed to be CB. The team filled itself out pretty fast, so it's difficult to remember my exact thought process at the time, but it's all your general filler goons so nothing too spectacular. Rotom-H is the quintessential Terrakion partner, checking birds alongside it, providing a safe switch-in to Scizor Bullet Punch, nailing bulky Grounds like Hippo and Swampert with Toxic, the list goes on. It's quite possibly the most splashable Pokemon in UU for a reason. Amoonguss provides your general pivoting capabilities and more in-game flexibility as a result (shoutouts broken Regenerator. It is especially important in alleviating Scizor of its usual defensive responsibilities such as switching into U-turn and opposing Mega Altaria. Scarf Krook is Scarf Krook: the most splashable Speed in the tier as well as giving the team a Ground-type and Pursuit, the latter of which CB Scizor lacks. Dragon Dance Refresh Mega Altaria is the final member, providing a solid win condition, some important defensive utility, and shoring up the teams general uneasiness vs bulky Water-types.

Past UUPL, this team has been spread around an absolute fuck ton and has been used numerous times in the Smogon Snake Draft going on atm, albeit with different variations and edits thrown in. While everyone has their own metagame opinions and biases, I really just wanted to share my own personal take on this strong and consistent team framework, which has become one of the flagship bulky offense archetypes of SM UU as we know it today.

IN-DEPTH

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Terrakion @ Rockium Z
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Stealth Rock​

Terrakion is the best wallbreaker in UU. While many notable players have considered this Pokemon too strong for the metagame, I have always seen it as simply a mon that rewards good and aggressive play above all else, doing its part in keeping bulky teams in check. Despite its fantastic coverage between its two powerful STAB moves along with the raw power and Speed it possesses, the biggest knock on Terrakion is its lackluster defensive typing. Most passive foes, as well as popular offensive picks like Scizor, Latias, and Mega Altaria, have a way of hitting Terrakion for meaningful damage, limiting its true opportunities to make progress. Due to this property, Terrakion needs heavy assistance in finding these favorable positions, usually via U-turn and Volt Switch, along with solid pivots in the back to cover its defensive deficiencies. Both of these areas are adequately covered by teammates, opening up Terrakion to consistently reach its full potential in-game.

The set itself is nothing out of the ordinary. All Terrakion really needs is its two strong STAB moves in Close Combat and Stone Edge. Given the immediate offensive presence provided by Choice Band Scizor and the team's need for Stealth Rock, the most natural fit for Terrakion was a set featuring the ever-present entry hazard in tandem with Swords Dance and Rockium-Z. The latter two options allow Terrakion to nuke almost all foes in its path, but most notably the solid CB Terrak switch-ins in Slowbro and Gligar, while minimizing the impact of Stone Edge's shitty accuracy if need be. Unfortunately, many teams featuring Swords Dance Terrakion have a hard time fitting Stealth Rock elsewhere, so it is often forced to run it over options like Substitute, Protect, Earthquake, or Toxic.

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Scizor @ Choice Band
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
Adamant Nature
- U-turn
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- Knock Off​

As brought up above, Choice Band Scizor gives the team the immediate punch it may lack otherwise since Terrakion is not CB itself. It has been stalwart of the tier for years now, also providing teams with a reliable source of momentum and possessing the ability to hit its conventional checks much harder than other Scizor sets. It may trade off long-term defensive utility, that sets with Roost have over it, but punching an Aggron or Rotom-H or Cobalion etc. right in the mouth while unrevealed is a fantastic trait. Lastly, Choice Banded Bullet Punch is just ridiculously strong, allowing Scizor to function as one of the better revenge killers in the tier if necessary.

Choice Band Scizor finds a near perfect fit on this team, enabling teammates to succeed while lacking nearly any real defensive responsibility. Although, via its typing, natural bulk, and powerful priority, Scizor will always help against foes such as Latias, Mega Altaria, and Terrakion. To aid it in these efforts, I simply opted for maximum HP investment. Truth be told, I've never been one for EV wizardry, and that arrangement has simply gotten the job done to this point. Knock Off is the interesting wrinkle here, potentially crippling item-reliant Terrakion and usual CB Sciz answers in Gligar and Doublade. Aside from luring them and its defensive uses, Scizor also supports DD Mega Altaria nicely, possessing the ability to nuke opposing Steel-types and chunking the shit out of a common Sciz switch in Amoonguss, especially with rocks on their side.

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Rotom-Heat @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 232 HP / 28 SpA / 248 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Overheat
- Volt Switch
- Toxic
- Defog​

Rotom-H provides some much-needed role compression and general utility that's almost necessary next to Terrakion on bulky offense frameworks. A big part of its fantastic splashability is simply its defensive typing. Fire / Electric lets it check some key mons in of course Scizor, as well as some others like BoltBeam Latias, birds, Amoonguss, pretty much all fat Steels, etc. Alongside Rotom-H's defensive uses are its nice utility moves in Volt Switch and Defog among many others, providing momentum and really just a customizable mon that can fit the needs of almost any team.

Personally, I have never been a proponent of Defog Rotom-H, but at times it is definitely necessary and this is one of those cases. To go along with its general defensive uses mentioned above and hazard removal duties, Rotom-H's ability to generate momentum while crippling the bulky Grounds that give Terrakion a hard time via Toxic is simply invaluable. Mega Altaria in particular appreciates its ability to threaten Steel-types, and Terrakion of course often takes advantage of the Volt Switches following these favorable positions. In return, Mega Altaria can absorb status moves launched at it, while Terrakion threatens birds like Togekiss, alleviating Rotom-H of the need to run Thunderbolt. True team player, and one of the main glues of the team.

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Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 72 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Giga Drain
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Spore​

Insert: glue Pokemon number 2. Amoonguss is another mon that offers seemingly endless utility and defensive value game in and game out, thanks in large part to Regenerator. It finds itself as one of the tier's primary pivots into top threats like Scizor, Mega Altaria, and Primarina. To take advantage of these favorable positions, Spore essentially lets Amoonguss take a foe completely out of commission, coming in again and again to potentially dish out Sludge Bomb poisons too. Because of these various positive traits, Amoonguss often enables the user to play more free-flowing and aggressive, opening up their possible avenues of attack throughout the early- to mid-game.

Amoonguss is no different with its placement on this team specifically. Not that there is much to customize about Amoonguss anyway, as this its Spore + 3 atk set is by far its most effective. The only real deviation has been the rise of Sludge Bomb, which Amoonguss has the luxury of running here, considering Mega Altaria handles foes like Suicune while Choice Band Scizor helps cover opposing Mega Altaria. Sludge Bomb exponentially improves Amoonguss's offensive presence following its initial Spore use. Foes like Hydreigon and Latias, which would fear little otherwise, must watch out for a crippling poison. It and Rotom-H are what tie the whole team together, resulting in consistent means of flexibility for the user and checking essential boxes defensively.

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Krookodile @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Earthquake
- Pursuit
- Stone Edge​

I lied maybe Rotom-H isn't the most splashable Pokemon in UU. It could very well be Choice Scarf Krookodile, which also covers some important roles UU teams. The most obvious examples include its Ground-typing, cutting off Volt Switch users (forming a nice core with Terrak in dealing with opposing Rotom-H), and offering Pursuit support. This team isn't awful vs Latias between Scizor and Altaria, but Krookodile really ties it all together on that front, helping to remove one of Terrakion's premier offensive checks. Aside from Pursuit, Knock Off has some generally great utility, and having two strong users of it on this team is pretty nice.

The most prevalent appeal for it on this time, in tandem with the reasons above, is of course the Speed it provides the team. Choice Band Scizor is a solid revenge killer in its own right, but besides it and Terrakion, the rest of the team is pretty slow overall. Another valuable trait is that of Intimidate, aiding the team in dealing with scarf physical threats such as a late-game Mega Sharpedo. Stone Edge is the usual standard option, and it is preferred here as well given Krookodile's responsibility to handle foes like Mega Aerodactyl. Overall, Scarf Krook is simply a picture perfect fit here in what it brings to the table.

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Altaria-Mega @ Altarianite
Ability: Natural Cure
Happiness: 0
EVs: 64 HP / 252 Atk / 192 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Frustration
- Roost
- Dragon Dance
- Refresh​

While it may be a bit past its prime, Dragon Dance Mega Altaria will pretty much always be a premier sweeper in SM UU. Following Scizor, it may be the most unforgiving offensive threat in that regard. If given any free turns while its answers are weakened or gone, the game can end just like that. Seeing as it only truly needs one or two attacking moves to be effective, along with its amazing defensive typing, Mega Altaria will almost always bring more to a team than any one-time sweeper like a Haxorus or whatever else. It can effectively stick around, check what it needs to, and wear down its own answers throughout matches.

Its main defensive uses here lie in checking Hydreigon, Latias, and Infernape, while doing a fantastic job of punishing more passive, status-reliant foes. That is where Refresh comes in. Like I said, this particular set may be less potent than in past editions of the meta, but it helps tie the team together as a status absorber and win condition. Here, it much preferred a more offensive approach to this type of set, dishing out big damage mainly in hopes of overrunning opposing Amoonguss in combination with CB Scizor and Terrakion. It also helps in other areas like chunking the shit out of things like Primarina and Celebi, more so than a bulkier set could muster without multiple boosts. In the bigger picture, Mega Altaria gives the team a clear purpose as to what it is building towards, as opposed to the 'pivot around and hit things hard' approach that I originally came in with.

THREAT LIST
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Fighting-types - The team's Fighting checks are Amoonguss and Mega Altaria, which are generally solid for pivoting around and keeping attackers like these at bay, but it isn't the most unrealistic thing for them get out of hand, especially Lucario. Both of the team's revenge killers are weak to Fighting, meaning Nasty Plot + Vacuum wave can be a potentially nightmarish matchup if given proper setup conditions. Terrakion will almost always be a threat on paper, but Scizor along with the two aforementioned Fighting checks can usually keep it from doing too much damage. Lastly, there is Double Dance Cobalion, which has luckily fallen out of favor a bit due to its defensive deficiencies, but it is a threat nonetheless and can get out of hand if Amoonguss sleeps something else first.

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Scizor - This is another example of a threat you'll never be 100% great against. It is simply too strong and versatile on paper. The main issue here in theory is Life Orb sets featuring one or both of Bug Bite and Quick Attack. +2 LO Bug Bite eats the team's usual pivot in Amoonguss alive, while Quick Attack can obviously pick off a weakened Rotom-H after a Swords Dance boost if it is sufficiently chipped into range.

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Gengar - No, Pursuit does not entirely remove Gengar as a threat. Pretty much any bulky offensive Amoonguss-reliant team will have some sort of difficulty with Substitute 3 attack Gengar. With a free sub and rocks up, it can essentially pick one each time, since Krookodile can't come in initially barring a Focus Blast miss. However, like many other scary things in SM UU, dealing with Gengar is often a matter of positioning more than anything. Don't let it in on Amoonguss and you're usually alright to trade something to trap it.

REPLAYS
There was A LOT of use in settings such as UU open, and some other teams were very close, but here are some of the most notable uses of this combination of six in recent tournaments:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7uu-446362 Gondra vs Shiba, UUPL VII Finals Tiebreaker (original)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-943973059 Pak vs Tenebricite, UU Open (original)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7uu-454324 Accelgor vs Charmflash, Snake III Week 1 (original)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7uu-454865 TDK vs Lycans, Snake III Week 1 (variation)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7uu-456929 Lycans vs Durza, Snake III Week 3 (variation)


CONCLUSION
Thank you for reading sirs and hopefully you enjoyed my miscellaneous ramblings to some extent. Yata yata I have liked this team a lot and it basically epitomizes a lot of bulky offense flying around atm, providing one of the safest team picks available in the meta today. Play well and it will almost have a good chance to win, the way Pokemon is meant to be played and how it is the most fun, at least to me.

IMPORT
Terrakion @ Rockium Z
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Stealth Rock

Scizor @ Choice Band
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
Adamant Nature
- U-turn
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- Knock Off

Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 72 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Giga Drain
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Spore

Krookodile @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Earthquake
- Pursuit
- Stone Edge

Rotom-Heat @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 232 HP / 28 SpA / 248 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Overheat
- Volt Switch
- Toxic
- Defog

Altaria-Mega @ Altarianite
Ability: Natural Cure
Happiness: 0
EVs: 64 HP / 252 Atk / 192 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Frustration
- Roost
- Dragon Dance
- Refresh
 
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