SM LC Killshot

Serene Grace

Live for the applause
is a Tiering Contributor


Introduction

Yahallo vrothers, with Baton Pass finally banned I feel comfortable RMTing one of my favorite quick pass teams built around the corebreaker known as Z Me First Mienfoo. While previously known, it was still a totally obscure threat until I first used it in LC Open Finals for an effective turn 1 6-0. This form of explosive quick passing was far more threatening and viable than fullpass teams while also being much more effective than other quick passers like Venonat. At the time of Baton Pass's ban, Z Me First quick passing was indubitably the most popular (and most effective) baton pass strategy seeing usage (and wins) in tours like Snake, LC Open, and LCWC.​

For the uninitiated, I have a more detailed post explaining how Z Me first works but I'll recap it really quick:
  • Z Me First doubles your speed, copies the move your opponent is about to use but turns it into a Z Move, AND multiplies the power by x1.5. For example, if you Z Me First a Vullaby using Brave Bird, Mienfoo launches a base 190 Supersonic Skystrike with its power boosted 150% and then doubles its speed and is ready to pass. Yea.

  • Mienfoo is a great abuser of this because of its movepool like Swords Dance, Baton Pass, etc and its ability to disguise itself as just another Mienfoo. By the time you know it's a baton pass variant it's probably too late.
162331

162332

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These teams should serve as an example of how easy it is to disguise the nature of a team.

  • The "funneling" effect Mienfoo has. Mienfoo has a very limited set of counters and is the polar opposite of a sitting duck. The switchins to Mienfoo are very linear and this makes it very easy to pass to your designated recipients. Just use recipients which deal with Foongus, Mareanie or Spritzee, and it is very difficult to deal with the pass successfully. Not much likes taking STAB HJKs from the best Pokemon in the tier. Furthermore, The ability to copy attacks serves as a sort of shield while setting up; it just ohkoes you if you try and attack it while it's setting up. This is in comparison to something passive like Venonat, which can let heavy hitters come in to try and disrupt the pass.
This RMT is more about the concept of Z Me First than any one team; It would be impossible for any one team to solely define Z Me First Passing.
Surprise factor is one of Z Me First's Mienfoo's biggest asset as you literally can't tell Mienfoo's set at team preview. That utility is gone once a team has been used more than a few times. The real utility of the set lies in the fact that it is so easy to fit on teams unsuspectingly. The variant RMTed here was one of my favorites as it abused the best Baton Pass recipient in the tier: Rufflet. Rufflet was a perfect illustration of how dominant a Speed and/or a power boost can be as it even wins 1v1 vs onix with a speed boost.
How do you make the perfect Baton Pass recipient? For starters, the recipient should be able to:
  • take any hit from Foongus, Mareanie or Spritzee. Ideally Gastly or Abra as well.
  • Have a way to bypass Sash Abra
  • Sweep 6-0 with the speed and/or power
  • Ideally have a boosting move of some sort or recovery of some sort
There aren't many things that fit the bill. Vullaby does everything except beat Spritzee, Bulk Up Chespin isn't absurdly strong, Rufflet and Mudbray can't switch into Spore,Ferroseed isn't strong enough, Ponyta has recoil issues, etc. There are more than a few options to choose from however so it is often advantageous to run multiple recievers, each suitable for different circumstances. For example this team uses Vullaby+Rufflet as the core recievers. Vullaby for Foongus Spore and Rufflet for everything else. Rufflet is the closest thing to the ideal recipient, missing out only on Foongus's spore.


Note: In some cases you won't be able to get a pass off at all, or the recipient might be stifled quickly. That is still ok because quick passing like this doesn't require you to devote a lot of resources. Most teams are still functional even if the pass doesn't work out. This team is a team that can 6-0 turn 1 but is still prepared in case of life after ZMF.


The Team


Mienfoo @ Normalium Z
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Me First
- High Jump Kick
- Baton Pass

The star of the show, just pass and win. Inner Focus may seem odd but it is used to set up on opposing Mienfoo Fake Outs, especially useful for lead foo matchups were Fake Out is normally the safest play. Ideally you should be able to pass both SD and the speed boost but you may have to be content with only one out of the two. While you can opt for other coverage or boosting moves, HJK the most effective as it is still brutally strong and can sweep outright with a +2/+2 boost against less prepared teams. Likewise, SD is the boosting move of choice as it is quick and can be used immediately by Mienfoo if need be.


Vullaby @ Eviolite
Ability: Overcoat
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 76 Def / 156 SpD / 116 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Knock Off
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Roost
Rufflet is the main recipient but Vullaby is still an extremely threatening recipient. Its main selling point is Overcoat which lets it receive on a Foongus Spore. Vullaby's incredible natural bulk and power makes it a threat with or without any boosts. The moveset is relatively standard with HP Grass for Onix and the EV Spread designed to be all around bulky while still hitting 15 speed or 30 speed after a boost, which outspeeds most scarfers. An annoying drawback to Vullaby is Brave Bird's recoil damage. Rufflet is superior in that regard as it can afford to run Aerial Ace instead.


Spritzee @ Eviolite
Ability: Aroma Veil
Level: 5
EVs: 212 HP / 116 Def / 12 SpA / 76 SpD / 92 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Calm Mind
Spritzee, one of the bulkiest pokemon in the tier, serves as the glue of the team. It serves as a catch all for offensive threats while also being an ever important check to fighting types. Calm Mind Spritzee synergizes well with Diglett and becomes a threatening sweeper late game. While Spritzee won't normally be your recipient because poison types will be the ones forcing Mienfoo to pass, it is still good in a pinch if the circumstances are right. There is some speed investement to hit 10 speed so it outspeeds the 19 speed tier at +2.



Pawniard @ Eviolite
Ability: Defiant
Level: 5
EVs: 156 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch
- Stealth Rock
Pawn is the obligatory Stealth Rock setter and its strong priority and Knock Off support is always welcome. It's particularly useful even with only SD boosts from Mienfoo if the ZMF gets exhausted. Pawniard's are usually Jolly or Adamant. Adamant's advantages are hardly useful here so Jolly is used for a better matchup against opposing Pawniards and Vullabies.





Diglett @ Life Orb
Ability: Arena Trap
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Sucker Punch
- Rock Slide
It's starting to look like I just added the pokemon in A+ and S rank to the team, which isn't far from the truth. Diglett provides some speed control and traps rock and poison types for the birds and Spritzee. The moveset is pretty customizable but I opted for something relatively standard. You can never have enough priority. Z Ground would've been ideal but I already used my Z move on Mienfoo so LO is a suitable replacement.


Rufflet @ Eviolite
Ability: Hustle
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 12 Atk / 116 Def / 196 SpD / 36 Spe
Impish Nature
- Aerial Ace
- Superpower
- Bulk Up
- Roost

The ideal recipient. Besides Foongus spore, Rufflet dominates all other funneled opponents. Rufflet's insane bulk is easy to overlook but it shrugs off most hits. Spritzee does 30 with moonblast, sash abra doesn't 2hko, Onix loses 1v1 after a bulk up,etc. After a speed boost, Rufflet 6-0es most teams and is the single most threatening BP recipient in the tier.
12 SpA Spritzee Moonblast vs. 116 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Rufflet: 7-9 (28 - 36%) -- 1.1% chance to 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 9)

236 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 116 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Rufflet: 9-12 (36 - 48%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 12)

Replays
Some replays of Z Me First other than the ones I've linked earlier
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-822730199 not a big game but illustrates the concept
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-828880026 ninjadog vs pohjis
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-830403179 rufflet 6-0es with the boost as Mienfoo forces Spritzee in
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-826827460 Last Chance tour

Conclusion
While not the most used in tours mainly because it was a known team, it was still my favorite. Z Me first was, at least in my opinion, the last straw on the camel's back and got baton pass banned. On a personal note I want to thank the lc community for being vros, from LC Open to lcwc to LPL its always been fun and eventful

RIP Baton Pass

Shoutouts to my friends Melon dcae Corporal Levi Ninjadog13 tazz OP ggggd GotCookies trash Coconut
Shououts to Jox Fille for making the set a billion years ago
shoutouts to @teamasialcwc we'll get em next year
shoutouts to Quote my favorite Tier Leader
shoutouts to Mad0ka for if we're both still single in 20 years
shoutouts to train bumpers
shoutouts to snivy no contrary
Shoutouts to the lc elites
shoutouts to the LC Civ 5 Jerk and their production trade routes Starly
shoutouts to my exhibition team(s)
Shoutouts to taranteeeno
Shoutouts to LPL and all the goons there like zizalith
shoutouts Vhue the future of LC
shoutouts Taylor Swift
shoutouts to all the vrothers i forgot


Mienfoo @ Normalium Z
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Me First
- High Jump Kick
- Baton Pass

Vullaby @ Eviolite
Ability: Overcoat
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 76 Def / 156 SpD / 116 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Knock Off
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Roost

Spritzee @ Eviolite
Ability: Aroma Veil
Level: 5
EVs: 212 HP / 116 Def / 12 SpA / 76 SpD / 92 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Calm Mind

Pawniard @ Eviolite
Ability: Defiant
Level: 5
EVs: 156 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch
- Stealth Rock

Diglett @ Life Orb
Ability: Arena Trap
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Sucker Punch
- Rock Slide

Rufflet @ Eviolite
Ability: Hustle
Level: 5
EVs: 116 HP / 12 Atk / 116 Def / 196 SpD / 36 Spe
Impish Nature
- Aerial Ace
- Superpower
- Bulk Up
- Roost
 
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