SM NU I No Longer Fear The Razor Guarding My Heel


Hey guys, this is my first major RMT, surprisingly not in my main tier of UU. I took up NU during last slam, and got washed out pretty quickly after deciding I didn’t need to learn the meta and could finesse with passed teams. Obviously, this strategy didn’t work out. I took up NU again about four months or so ago after UU had begun to grow stale. I started asking for help from friends like Ren-chon and PILZ , two people who helped immeasurably with building and playing. I initially stole the Choice Specs Tinted Lens Sigilyph set from Pilz’ replays, and began to build around it, though I believe Osh was the initial creator of the set. I then showed this team to Mili, who made a few changes, thus creating the final version. I used this team to great success in NUL, reaching the winner’s bracket finals in large part due to this build, which was undefeated up until the last rounds of my run. It makes use of fairly niche NU mons, ones that have been frequently panned in recent weeks- namely Blastoise and Torterra. The success I’ve had with this team ultimately reveals just how viable these mons can be if built correctly, while also highlighting the immense merit of Specs Sigilyph, which only saw usage in one SPL game despite the largely overwhelming pressure it can provide as a wallbreaker. The following team has been spammed immensely in all facets of NU tour play, ranging from discord leagues, to Brazilian snake, to NUL and NU majors, and I felt like now was the opportune time to show it off.


At a Glance

[Image: incineroar.gif]



Teambuilding Process


There are a few initial versions of this build, but in the interest of not making this RMT overly extensive and convoluted, I’m going to solely focus on the building process behind the final copy. This isn’t exactly how the building process went, but rather how it would have went in an ideal scenario, as I’d prefer to highlight how this team meshes together rather than the history of building the team itself.


I started with Specs Tinted Lens Sigilyph, a mon that I knew I needed to build with once I saw it 2HKO a defensive Steelix on Pilz’ replays. Specs Sigilyph is an amazing wallbreaker, 2HKOing a bevy of threats, essentially freely clicking psychic versus builds lacking dark types, as Tinted Lens Psychic is unresisted in the tier outside of the aforementioned dark types.


I then added Figy Berry pivot Incineroar, a mon necessary for checking Vanilluxe, the dominant NU threat at the time, and Sneasel, one of the most threatening mons for Sigilyph to face at preview. Incineroar also provides momentum, with U-Turn garnering free initiative for Sigilyph. In general, Incineroar serves as a multifaceted pivot, now serving as the team’s main means of M-Glalie counterplay.
[Image: incineroar.gif]


From there, I chose Torterra, in part because of my ignorance as to how Torterra was largely panned by the NU community at large. Torterra was selected because of how readily it checks all variants of Heliolisk, a niche I thought was invaluable at the time, particularly on a build built around a mon that Heliolisk rather freely revenge kills. I opted to eschew the analysis set, in part because I believed that more special bulk was necessary to freely switch into Heliolisk.
[Image: incineroar.gif]


Next, I added Blastoise, completing the Fire/Water/Grass core and adding a spinner, a necessary tool for a team whose main means of breaking in Sigilyph and Aerodactyl are weak to Stealth Rock. Blastoise also serves as valuable counterplay for Incineroar and other physical threats such as Medicham, Aerodactyl, and Sneasel.

[Image: incineroar.gif]

I then decided on Rocky Helmet Garbodor as the fifth mon, as I wanted Spikes and Toxic Spikes support to further facilitate Sigilyph’s breaking potential. Garbodor also serves as counterplay for Passimian, Sceptile, and Comfey, three ‘mons that greatly threatened this build.
[Image: incineroar.gif]


Lastly, I needed speed control and secondary counterplay for Incineroar. I initially thought of Passimian, but the mon’s susceptibility to Knock Off and Flare Blitz ultimately turned me off from using it. As a result, I settled on Z-Sky Attack Aerodactyl, a fast, offensive mon that largely counters Incineroar.

[Image: incineroar.gif]



In Depth



Sigilyph @ Choice Specs
Ability: Tinted Lens
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Air Slash
- Heat Wave
- Energy Ball

Sigilyph serves as the primary means of breaking, with Psychic going unresisted by teams lacking dark types. I opted for Timid over Modest in order to outspeed ‘mons such as Rotom, Vivillon, and standard defensive Delphox. As a consequence, you do lose some breaking power, but in the majority of cases you don’t lose crucial 2HKOs on mons such as Steelix and Incineroar (after rocks).


Incineroar @ Figy Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 244 HP / 112 Def / 132 SpD / 20 Spe
Careful Nature
- Flare Blitz
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Earthquake

Figy Berry pivot Incineroar was chosen because this team was built at the height of the Vanilluxe meta, and I believed this mon to have the perfect mixture of general viability and the ability to switch in on Vanilluxe. Incineroar also provides much needed momentum and utility, knocking off the leftovers on mons that Sigilyph would otherwise have difficulty pressuring, such as Vaporeon. U-Turn serves as the perfect momentum tool for Sigilyph, providing free initiative for the mon in a large majority of cases, in part due to Incineroar’s low speed giving way to ever-valuable slow U-Turns

Torterra @ Leftovers
Ability: Shell Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Wood Hammer
- Synthesis


Torterra’s role on this team is rather simple, and can be divided into two valuable functions: setting Stealth Rock and countering Heliolisk. Strong Heliolisk counterplay is necessary in large part due to the nature of using Sigilyph, as following successful kills, you freely let in Heliolisk, which can naturally cause problems for unprepared builds. I didn’t want to be unprepared, which led me to settle on Torterra as the rocks setter. This set chooses to maximize Special Defense so as to counter Heliolisk fully, rather than losing to specs variants after rocks damage/other chip.


Blastoise @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 32 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Rapid Spin
- Ice Beam
- Toxic

Blastoise serves as the team’s means of hazard control, while also acting as a physical sponge. I chose Blastoise largely to complete the FWG core while serving as hazard control, and because of its ability to check the majority of Incineroar variants. I opted for 200 speed and Ice Beam in order to creep Diancie while threatening Dhelmise and Exeggutor-Alola, two ‘mons which would’ve generally caused problems for this build otherwise. However, now with Diancie gone, the speed EVs can be taken out.

Garbodor @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 148 SpD / 56 Spe
Careful Nature
- Spikes
- Toxic Spikes
- Gunk Shot
- Pain Split

I was initially reluctant to use Garbodor, but I found its defensive set to be incredibly valuable as a glue mon, particularly with its niche of countering non-earthquake variants of Passimian, a ‘mon that would’ve otherwise been incredibly threatening to this team. Garbodor also counters (non HP Ground) Comfey and standard Sceptile, further providing value. Rocky Helmet serves to chip Passimian, providing passive damage while also de-incentivizing U-Turns. Spikes and Toxic Spikes are vital for chipping counterplay to Sigilyph and Aerodactyl, while also generally weakening opposing teams. Stomping Tantrum can be chosen over Pain Split as a means of hitting Steevally, Togedemaru and Klinklang, but Pain Split increases Garbodor’s longevity, while also aiding in the 1v1 versus Xatu.


Aerodactyl @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 Atk / 76 Def / 180 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Sky Attack
- Roost

Aerodactyl serves as the primary switch-in for Incineroar, freely sponging all means of coverage that standard Incineroar variants make use of. Z-Sky Attack is inordinately strong, hitting 300 base power with STAB factored in, essentially always being able to finish off chipped mons that don’t resist it. Roost serves to maximize Aero’s longevity, while also ensuring that Incineroar can’t freely and irreversibly chip Aero with Knock Off. The given EVs spread allows Aero to to outspeed Sceptile, with the remaining EVs going into defense to improve its longevity.




Threatlist:


Stealth Rock+ Ghost Types: With the sole means of hazard control being Blastoise, and three members of the team having rocks weaknesses, Stealth Rock can become fairly overbearing, particularly against mons such as Dhelmise, hence the addition of Ice Beam to Blastoise. Ultimately, you have to play fairly aggressively so as to limit rocks going up, or chip Dhelmise/Rotom/other ghosts wherever possible. The game versus Azogue featured in my replays section, played during Brazilian Snake is a perfect example of this matchup being problematic. Although I played rather poorly, the threat of hazards + Glalie breaking was far too overbearing for the build to handle.


Scrafty/Medicham: These two fighting-types can ultimately prove fairly problematic, as my only fighting resist is Sigilyph, a mon that can’t readily switch in on either mon. Scrafty in particular is problematic, as only Aero outspeeds after a Dragon Dance.


Vikavolt: Substitute+ Metronome can become particularly overbearing, as it freely chips a ton of my team, with my main switch-ins in Garbodor and Incineroar taking massive amounts of chip from Thunderbolts.


Glalie-Mega: Aside from Incineroar, the entire team is essentially M-Glalie fodder, which can become immensely problematic, particularly when coupled with hazard stack and M-Glalie’s propensity to set spikes.


Replays:


https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-878099332 - NUL winners’ finals (Eternally)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-871155469 - NUL semis (Sanjay)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-875198805 - Brazilian Snake (Azogue) (Loss)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7nu-426223 - NUL (Insult)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-852093604 - NUL (Lycans)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-861036273 - Brazilian Snake (Hyogafodex)



Shoutouts:


I don’t personally believe in long-winded shoutouts, but I would like to shoutout my good friends on this site, particularly in MSPL, meus amigos do Brasil/brazilian affiliates, Lixx & Sand homies, smashers/smasher affiliates, and everyone i’ve generally befriended over the course of the past two years, it means a lot.​
 

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