Gen 3 Late Game Zapdos - Team Analysis

Asta's Late Game Zapdos - Team Analysis

This is one of my recently made teams with helpful inputs from Fear, The real UD and Foggi. It's a team that has multiple ways to create win conditions and i find it quite fun to use.

Overview and Gameplan



A glance at the team lineup shows an overall well rounded team with two and a half (Dugtrio) rock resists, two flying resists, two ground resists, two steel resists and one normal resist. Heracross is partially accounted for thanks to Dugtrio. Given that my flying and normal resists are a CBTar and an offensive Zapdos, this means that the team won't be tanking hits for long on the physical spectrum. Aerodactyl and CB Mence can also be an issue late game, but Agility Zapdos denies them coming in to revenge. Blissey and SDef Claydol on the other hand should cover the majority of special attackers even if the team loses Blissey early on. With regards to offensive presence there's EndPert and Dugtrio to ensure the special walls are taken care off to setup Zapdos. You also have CB Tar who can take on Snorlax/Regice early and midgame. CB Tar can also pull an "Aero" late game if it gets passed an Agility. Claydol provides spin support and cleric support from Blissey means you can win the spikes war. Boom is a good backup move to stop setup sweepers towards endgame, notably Gyarados, Salamence and Snorlax, and it can also setup a Dugtrio revenge in mid-game thanks to ADV mechanics ending a turn when something dies.

It's vital that Zapdos stays at around 55% until late game as with the special walls gone and Agility to deny any revenge attempts from Aerodactyl and BoomGar means you'll be doing a lot of damage. Given that Blissey is there Zapdos is only really taking damage early on from Heracross and maybe a CBGross Meteor Mash.

Top priority threats that you could even consider trading one for one include Metagross (as no Ghost or dedicated steel means Metagross will have his way with Boom anyways) and also CB Mence. Claydol is EV'd in Defense specifically to get an extra switch in on this beast. Flygon can be annoying but non-CB variants are walled by Blissey. Heracross is also trade worthy, you can buffer at least one Megahorn and you can also revenge it with Dugtrio.

The Team


Tyranitar @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 80 HP / 188 Atk / 80 Def / 160 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Bug]
- Focus Punch

Tyranitar is the best lead to use for the team as it gets sand immediately up and its presence mitigates initial damage to the team. For instance, lead Zapdos would be forced out of an opposing Tyranitar lead and would force my offensive Swampert to take the hit and also reveal the set in turn 2. Getting sand early means:
1) Zapdos does more damage on Snorlax, Blissey and Celebi. The latter two are forced to Recover more often which in turn gives you free turns to get CB Tar in. Snorlax as an example takes 27% from Thunderbolt and will be forced to boom/rest earlier.
2) Endeavor Pert becomes scary. Without Sand the set loses its edge as it can't force as many KOes.
3) It stops Gengar's recovery making spinning easier.

So the lead CBtar mitigates damage taken to the team by (a) forcing an early switch to a wall and (b) getting sand in which boosts your damage capabilities. This is huge for a team who relies on 5/6 Pokemon on the team lacking recovery.

EV Spread:
Enough defenses to ensure Jolly Dugtrio and +1 Standard DDtar fail to OHKO. I've shifted some defense to HP to improve it's ability to take Special Attacks. 361 HP allows this notably to always be 3hkoed by Timid Zapdos Thunderbolt in case I am forced to switch into it. It also tilts the favour of the Offensive Celebi matchup in Tyranitar's favour as it reduces the possibility of being 2HKOed by 298 Giga Drain from 80% to 40%. I've stuck with 198 Speed as after one agility pass this should outspeed everything and kept the rest into Attack. If I was to increase the Speed of this to say beat other Tyranitars, I'd go 203 to outspeed 270 Speed DDmence in a +2 vs +1 situation.


Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 112 HP / 252 SpA / 144 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Agility
- Baton Pass

Zapdos was the main inspiration of the team. The idea was that Zapdos even with the special walls out of the picture gets passively countered by speedy revenge killers such as Aero, Boomgar, Flygon. Agility Zapdos acts in a similar sense to Agiligross in the team as it cannot be revenged late game and it also has the "get out of jail free" card in the form of Baton Pass. Baton Pass synergies well with all of the team as:
1) CB Tyranitar becomes a pseudo Aero in-case i pass the Agility, being able to one shot something. This could for instance be a CM Celebi/Jirachi.
2) Claydol outspeeds Gengar and therefore quarantees me the spin. This was shown in my battle against Tesung.
3) Swampert can pull the Endeavor stunt without getting revenged by Jolteon/Aero/Dugtrio.
4) I get a 50/50 situation to revenge Jolteons with Dugtrio which will prevent my Thunderbolts early game.
5) Blissey can outspeed Flygon which is a nuisance late game.

EV Spread:
112 HP EVs quarantee I always survive a +1 boosted 290 SAtk Ice Beam from Suicune even after Sand damage. This is the Special Attack that a 101 HP Substitute Suicune would run as they typically go for the 222 Speed for Tyranitar. Given that this is the only Suicune set that would be able to go through this team, surviving that hit is crucial. At the same time, while Speed with Agility might be counter-intuitive, it is also important to make sure i Outspeed Modest Cune, in case an Offensive Cune manages to go through my Blissey via a trap of some sort. Max Special Attack is obligatory for the late game sweep as it helps put pressure on the Special walls and also help tilt the 2HKO on Tyranitar towards my favour.

Since I don't have Spikes Hidden Power Ice loses its edge over grass as it can no longer stack enough damage on pert to make it any threatening. I prefer Hidden Power Grass as that way Zapdos won't be constantly phazed by Roar Swampert.


Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 Def / 180 SpA / 76 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Seismic Toss
- Ice Beam
- Aromatherapy
- Soft-Boiled

The team definitely benefits from a cleric. Whether its a late game +2 CBtar or the endeavor pert, all my win conditions become significantly weaker if I'm taking Wisps and Toxics early on. Aromatherapy allows Claydol to last the Spike war a lot longer against Skarmory and it makes Zapdos switching into its Toxics a lot less painful as well. People on TSS teams typically like to switch Skarmory on cleric Blissey. With the Agility + Claydol combination I'm not scared of getting Spiked to death. As such, getting in Seismic Tosses early on Skarmory is useful for the late game conditions as it softens it up for CB Tar.

EV Spread:
I gave this 165 Speed as at +2 I'd be able to scare away Flygon which I'm weak to late game. The Speed at +2 also helps against offensive Jirachi and Celebi in CM Spam teams. I prefer Bold to Modest on this as Blissey is my initial Swampert pivot. Thus its important to tank Earthquakes more so than the merits of having Modest to KO Dugtrio/Mence more often.


Dugtrio @ Choice Band
Ability: Arena Trap
EVs: 8 HP / 228 Atk / 40 SpD / 232 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 30 SpD / 30 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Aerial Ace
- Hidden Power [Bug]

Dugtrio is great with Baton Pass Zap and it also synergies well with Swampert, able to finish the job that endeavor might of left undone. It's my secondary method to take down the special wall in case Swampert falls short, something that benefits Zapdos alot.

EV Spread:
8 HP ensures i always take CBTar's Rock Slides. 8/40 allows me to always survive Bold Blissey's Ice Beams. I prefer Adamant to Jolly on this team as I'd rather take Blissey, Tyranitar and Celebi down rather than Raikou. Starmie is the only thing I'm missing out on and is definitely the reason I might contemplate getting back onto Jolly.


Swampert @ Salac Berry
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Surf
- Substitute
- Endeavor
- Roar

Endeavor pert with Roar over Ice Beam. While you miss out on coverage which equates to losing on opportunities to kill some pokemon, you gain opportunities on beating some others. For instance, defensive teams typically cover Endpert with Recover users. The bait is to force those fellas in and start baiting the Recover cycle after one or two endeavors. Once they get comfortable you Roar them out, putting them into a 50/50 situation. If you are behind a Sub, Endeavor instantly is a lot more backbreaking with their Recover user not in. Roar is also the more optimal choice for the team as it allows one to Roar Rest cune out while its attempting to stall out Seismic Toss Blissey with its Rest turns.

Roar puts Suicune in a bad spot as well as it will be in a predicament to break your subs rather than just CM in your face to outstall. Other uses of Roar involve typical phazing duties and also phazing a 100% Skarmory that wants to trade his HP to deny your sweep first.

This set would also become 5X better with Spikes support as well, albeit I don't have room for that here as it stands.

EV Spread:

252/252/4 I think is optimal as outspeeding <361 Speed Raikou and Starmie is more crucial than any stat point spent elsewhere.


Claydol @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 196 Def / 24 SpD / 40 Spe
Sassy Nature
- Earthquake
- Psychic
- Rapid Spin
- Explosion

Claydol is solid for this team. It's my secondary Rock resist and it does its job well, thanks to Fear's EV spread. Psychic so that it gets past Gengar and Earthquake so that the Special walls don't get in completely for free. Also beats SubCM Jirachi which would be problematic otherwise. Tyranitar is not that crucial to beat as I have Dugtrio and Swampert to cover for that. As such i kept Attack uninvested in favor of Speed in order to outspeed Gengar after a pass. Psychic is needed to force Spin with +2 Speed. Explosion for stopping setup sweepers late game and setting up Dugtrio midgame. Passing speed on it via Zapdos provides me with a fast boomer of my own as well.

EV Spread:
310 Special Defense is the magic number to quarantee a 4HKO from 310 Satk Bulky Gengar's Ice Punches. I'm also 4HKOed by 236 Ice Beams from Swampert which is also handy. 298 Defense means I am 3HKOed (80% of the time) by CB Salamence which can be an issue late game. 40 Speed EVs get me to 176 which allow Claydol to outspeed Gengar at +2.

The Team in Action

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen3ou-170952
My game against Tesung in WCOP had a pretty even matchup against a Jolteon TSS team. I call it even because these type of teams typically lose to Zapdos in end game, but I am shut down for the most part in early game. Notice how I am taking any damage I can get with my Blissey against Skarmory despite letting myself get spiked down. I was also playing Dugtrio very conservatively until i ensured he was no HP Grass variant on his Celebi. Tesung did a great job reading the Zapdos vs Jolteon matchup able to get the best of the exchange in all but one situation. That Jolteon was also HP invested, possibly 304 HP which is the reason why my Zapdos was only 4HKOing it.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen3ou-386545030
A ladder game against BKC. I changed my lead to Zapdos in my matchup against Tesung predominantly because of his previous lead history and secondarily to throw East off in case my alt was traced during this game. BKC's Reflect Celebi has me doing nothing for most game until i manage to get a Roar in on Celebi behind a substitute. Getting rid of Celebi mid game means Zapdos can do serious damage later on and the threat of Agility Passes restricts a lot of plays for my opponent in mid-game.

Reminder to update this with a few more.

RAW:
Tyranitar @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 80 HP / 188 Atk / 80 Def / 160 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Bug]
- Focus Punch

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 112 HP / 252 SpA / 144 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Agility
- Baton Pass

Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 Def / 180 SpA / 76 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Seismic Toss
- Ice Beam
- Aromatherapy
- Soft-Boiled

Dugtrio @ Choice Band
Ability: Arena Trap
EVs: 8 HP / 228 Atk / 40 SpD / 232 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 30 SpD / 30 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Aerial Ace
- Hidden Power [Bug]

Swampert @ Salac Berry
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Surf
- Substitute
- Endeavor
- Roar

Claydol @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 196 Def / 24 SpD / 40 Spe
Sassy Nature
- Earthquake
- Psychic
- Rapid Spin
- Explosion


Conclusion

The team is quite straightforward to use once the operator understands how to play the 1 vs 1 matchups based on the team's needs. It is a rewarding team to use. The exchange trades early on are crucial as they will gear the end game win condition. Thankfully there's many ways to make plays late game, whether its an Agility pass to Tyranitar, a sweep from Zapdos or a late game Swampert poking holes in their team.

The team certainly has its weaknesses, notably CB Mence and Starmie being major issues to circumvent. The latter is sort of alleviated with Jolly Dugtrio which i've ran on this in the past. Feedback is appreciated as I still believe there is room for optimization.
 
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Looks like a successful team for one without Toxic, without Spikes, and with 3 Ground types, so balance is a little whack. Interesting, no matter if I dislike it for those reasons...(and Blissey!)

I've been looking at it, only in theory, for the past couple days and thinking what could change without wanting to throw off the theme that much...

Particularly I wanted to keep the first four members and their sets the same (Tyranitar, Zapdos, Blissey, Dugtrio).

I came to realize that Aromatherapy + Attacks Blissey fits well here. Blissey is also the "Water and Ice resist" I see. No wonder Starmie is a bitch.

So that left me with how Swampert + Claydol could be altered. Well, they bring to the table their Rock resists and potential big time moves in Endeavor and Explosion. Rapid Spin for Claydol. Roar for Swampert. I ask: Could we add Toxic or Spikes somewhere? Any other neat Explosion users? In the context of the rest of the team, how do I keep the balance of grounded (Swampert) and flying/levitating (Claydol) that they both bring, but not exacerbate any BoltBeam weaks? Could anything take advantage of the AgiliPass theme better? Maybe a mixed attacker? But how do I keep a Phazer?

I dismissed my own wacky ideas like Lunatone and Gliscor, and the boring choices like Jirachi (shit for STAB) and Forretress (ugh). The best thought I mustered was a swap of Cloyster for Swampert, but after looking at the options, keeping Swampert the way it is seems to make the most sense. It goes with the theme of the team (offensive!). It is still a Phazer and a Rock resist, even with the uninvested defense EVs. It can scare off those harsh Rock Slide users and set up...and agility passing to be faster than Aerodactyl sounds like it happens frequently with this team anyway, so the argument of having sturdier Rock resists is really less of a thing with this team. You would just have to stand up to opposing CB Tyranitar with your own Tyranitar more often. Don't be timid on clicking EQ even if slower.

In the end, I am thinking about changing Claydol to Charizard. Oh well - I'm giving up on another (nicer) Rock resist , Rapid Spinning , and Exploding...and hey I kinda like Claydol too.

But I give some reasoning:

  • There are 2 EQ users already (Tar, Dugtrio) and Blissey, so stuff like Raikou and Jirachi are covered.
  • Losing Explosion sucks but whatever.
  • Rapid Spin is meh...2 out of 6 fliers/levitators and some smart switching...you can live without it, especially with the addition of Charizard to scare/switch into Skarmory and Metagross with. and not having the "spin spin spin" strategy interfere with your plans on offense.
Charizard is fairly fast to begin with, can hit fairly hard while not getting OHKO'd by non-STAB special attacks from the likes of Gengar, Jirachi, and Regice, or weaker STAB attacks from Suicune and Starmie (possibly?) and will help in match-ups against Skarmory and Metagross for sure. And gives a backup option against Regice if Blissey/Tar cannot be the primary response. Otherwise Regice throws out Ice Beams and they hurt as it stands if you do not have Blissey.

Oh and I guess it helps with Heracross too.

The set for Charizard I would try out would be conservative and to give it Leftovers and Swords Dance/ HP Flying / Fire Blast / Double Edge? I lean towards more physical power with my teams, but having a STAB Fire Blast as an option is awesome and much appreciated on the team. Belly Drum is way too risky, but you have to give it a set up move to hurt the Water types more with. If you manage to pass an agility why not try Swords Dance? It gets Dragon Dance too, but you’ll need the attack more.

I'm OK, even with no Spikes, with this update to the team. It would still be "rewarding" to use. Charizard is rather mediocre, but I think it fits well when you consider it over Claydol. The only thing you'll miss really is opening up opportunities and surprise kills against Waters with Explosion. (It seems like you need to do this against Starmie if Blissey is down.) Think you'll miss Rapid Spin? Don't sweat it! I might even battle with the team if I update it this way!

Still no Toxic or status, though...hard to fathom a team without those, but yep. It just occurred to me that Charizard could go a Sub/Toxic/Fire Blast/Focus Punch route if you think it's too weak to make it worth setting up. Have to distinguish it from Moltres...Swords Dance really does that.

I do like the no Steel-type aspect of the team too. Lately all the Steel types of ADV are just sucky/boring , momentum draining, over-prepared for. (more Theorymoning from me :D)
 
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Spikes are not a necessity for an advance team to be successful. The team revolves around getting the sand fast, which in turn shuts down specific A+ Tier pokemon in the longer run. Suicune(offensive), Gengar, Salamence, Raikou, Celebi, are troublesome set up pokemon whom with spikes down become very dangerous. Shutting down their leftovers recovery means that they have less turns taking hits. His own pokemon are not hindered as much by sandstorm.(Blissey's particular role is walling attacks and healbell, stops what needs to be stoped and gets out, Zapdos being offensive means it won't be taking many hits anyway). Having the sand out immediately helps him defensively as well in that regard.
The first game which he's posted showcasing the team he's having Zapdos as the lead which is not the usual case. I want to elaborate a bit more on this. This was because his other shown teams had a painful metagross lead weak concidentially, so in preparation against Tesung in wcop, he didnt want to be on the back step from turn one. Maybe Astamatitos can upload more games to showcase the team's natural flow, but Tyranitar is the definite best lead on the team.

Second, Toxic would be too slow for the team. None of his pokemon would rather to get status over what they currently have. 2 cbers are out of the question, Blissey lacks the rest of the support she needs to run it on this team(we could discuss this further if it were a defensive zapdos variant) and Zapdos has no business running it with BP agility. Usually he tends to get out swampert fast, preferably holding onto his salac earlier in the game. This allows him to check his opposing team, what they have to form his end game plan. Swampert is a good switch in into Stab RS for this purpose till mid game. Besides forming the endeavor offense which assures Zapdos' counters are severely weakened, he combos nicely with Dugtrio leaving the pokemon getting weakened in the process chiped down enough for his adamant Dugtrio to finish them. In the scenario he has described with Celebi or Blissey recovering off endeavors typical strategy, he can plainly go into Dugtrio and kill both them if they are at 51% while still keeping a 1% 240 speed Swampert in the backline. This can be proven fatal to the opposing if he carries a slowish team, as swampert is potentially another kill net for him. The synergy is just too good.

I was the one who calculated Claydol's use on the team. Nothing fills that slot better for this team as the primary rock resist. Swampert playing this tactic doesnt make it a reliable check for endgame Aerodactyl or CB tyranitar. Unhindered by Spikes and Sandstorm, I had calculated this Claydol to be able to take a max Suicune Hydro pump, Starmie's 299 hydro pump, casual 236 ice beams, tank Raikou's/Jolteon's/Zapdos' hidden power, 310 Gengar's ice punch. We came across a difficult decision on this slot when we were tasked in also having it take Salamence's CB attacks (we finalised this team around the time Astamatitos had to face M' from LA, whom Asta was incredibly cautious of his adamant CB mence usage,ultimately team was too fresh to be used in that game). We shifted some of the previous att evs(used to be 192 attack) in order to accomplish this. As it stands out, probably none of the OU barring CBHeracross ohkos this particular Claydol. And this is where the synergy comes, especially with Blissey. Besides covering CM Jirachi a pokemon standard Blissey struggles against(sub and hpgrass 3x attack variants, hp grass is 3hko after 1 cm - this was essential picking 310 special defense), he can live through any attack to get the spin off that will help his weakened pert, or trigger the explosion on Suicune or Starmie to help ease pressure vs Blissey and his team. As you can see, besides taking Gengar 1on1 almost all the times Claydol has a very specific but solid slot on this team to swap out. The team would crumble against decent spiking and lategame Aerodactyl otherwise. Our second by far worse alternative for this slot, was his signature Body Slam Sassy Jirachi with IcePunch on it.

What we had debated between us were these: Claydol needing the 40 speed, and Zapdos carrying the speed evs. I am agreeing partially on Adamant Dugtrio, although Jolly has his nice merits. It's aweful when Jolly Dugtrio traps your own adamant one but usually people wouldnt do that early so we thought adamant was the better case here. This is especially anoying when Swampert is lowered and you know that Jolly Dugtrio might be able to kill half of the pokemon. Still I find that AgilityPass max modest Zapdos in sand puts tremendous pressure on said Dugtrio team, give AgiZapdos a turn and he'll make Tyranitar a superior Aerodactyl. (396 speed, 385 att /w CB v 394speed, 308 att) Can't easily revenge with your own Dugtrio vs that Zapdos. I was against Claydol having extra speed, Asta wanted security vs max speed Gengars. Debatable. I find that the extra attack combined with explosion's huge Base Power could get pokemon like Bold Blissey much closer to getting KOed by his other pokemon's attacks (Swampert's Surf, Zapdos Tbolt in particular) in a scenario where his Dugtrio was dead. Or overall do more damage on Jirachi and Tyranitar even if it were in the 3% range. These could count potentially. I guess being faster than Gengar is also a very solid debate as well, which seems to structure the team nicely. Last but not least, I understand the value of 270 Zapdos with that much offense. There are times that being faster than that adamant Heracross or Modest Suicune is very vital, where you dont have time to set up and its kill or be killed. I also think though that having more Hp shifted into HP or defense could help Zapdos take Metagross or an additional Ice punch Gengar and whatnot whom could in turn allow it to agility at 7% and win. Both are likely scenarios, and its up to preferance, definitely being trivial infront of team synergy and preparation against each threat as a whole.
Took advantage of the questions and went into a monologue, sorry for the big wall of text.
 
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Thanks for the rate GGWK. Very thorough. This is the type of posts I was keen to provoke. I am not too hot on adding Charizard in and I'll explain shortly, but I find your trail of thought helpful towards improving this team.

I also wouldn't say Toxic/Spikes were ever 100% necessary in ADV. Notable such examples include for instance IPL's Dragon Dance Team which was adopted by a lot in the late nb days in 2008 (HP Grass Gross, DDMence, DDGyara, Magneton, Curselax, DD HP Bug Tar) and Jabba's CM spam (Cune, Celebi, Superachi, Swampert, Dugtrio, Tyranitar). The archetype of the team that I would keep would be the Zapdos/EndPert/Tyranitar/Dugtrio and would possibly consider changing Claydol and maybe Blissey.

Exchanging Claydol: This is inevitably gonna trigger a chain of modifications to ensure the team doesn't lose to Spikes. Not having spin would mean i lose to Taunt Gengar and regular Gengar becomes more difficult to handle with Spikes pressure. I'd say that in order to be Spike proof without spin in today's metagame you need at least 4 fliers or 5/6 Pokemon being able to hit Skarm for good damage (or Taunt him).

1) Swapping with another spinner:
Starmie would be a good option to further capitalize on the special wall pressure that this team puts. However, unlike Zapdos, Starmie is underwhelming late game imo, with threats such as Aerodactyl, Dugtrio denying your sweep and stuff like Celebi, Zapdos, Jirachi, Metagross and Swampert all being able to tank a hit in a pinch. (Starmie can only comfortably get passed an Agility from incoming Ice Beams aimed at Zapdos sadly and perhaps Rock Slides from Flygon. This would mean that quite often I am attempting the sweep unboosted.)

I think Cloyster is typically worth a slot on only two types of teams. One would be a heavy physical attacker team (Tyranitar/Metagross/Salamence) that allow Cloyster to setup on the incoming Swampert as well as in full stalls where Cloyster is getting all kind of support to make it a sustainable spiker that doesn't get trapped by Magneton.

Donphan would be neat as it retains the rock resistance. Without a means to remove Gengar, I'd have to go for a more defensive set that would capitalize AT Blissey, notably something like EQ/Spin/Rest/HP Ghost. Regardless its lackluster Special Defense opens me up to mixed attacks. It would also be inferior to Claydol as Will-o-Wisp Gengar would be forcing me to Rest more often than not and thus with Spikes in place it would be making my Blissey switchins more prone to be exploited (by double switches and what not).

2) Swapping with an Agility pass recipient: This is something I'm toying with in my head. Marowak comes to mind. With Focus Punch Skarmory can't setup Spikes on it either, albeit I'm still getting spiked on Blissey and Dugtrio. I'd have to change Blissey's set into something with Thunderbolt/Flamethrower (even Sing maybe) to deny Skarmory's spikes early on.

Charizard is not a bad suggestion, especially with the Agility Pass potential, I like it. This would be further exemplifying my CBMence/Starmie weakness however and the lack of a solid Rock resist will most certainly be an issue. Regardless, i'd go with a special variant If i was to add it since the team is dedicated at getting rid of special walls and I already have means of removing opposing Tyranitars. I'd probably use a Petaya Sunny Day moveset and change Blissey to Toxic over Aromatherapy, as mitigating toxic is less of an issue without Claydol.

Other notable substitutes would involve Metagross/Jirachi (open me up to Flygon more though), Heracross (Rock, Flying and Spikes weakness amplified). Giving other recipients a shot over Claydol is something I'll try though, with potentially using a bulky Agility Zapdos to minimize any issues that arise from being more weak to mixed attackers and boosted HP Flyings.

Regardless, I have actually found Claydol to fit nicely at the moment as a defensive pivot, able to ease pressure off Blissey and minimize weakness to spikes + rock abusers. Considering a one-Pokemon swap I don't think I'm getting something much better than it.
 
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Asta, I'm a big fan of this team. It covers all the bases that I usually obsess over in my own teambuilding (I believe you and I have talked about this a week or two ago, I'm always nervous about my opponent having rocks and spikes) but it seems you have a pretty decent anti-Suicune matchup, or as decent as you could get without Quagsire, I suppose.

Have you actually tried Ice Beam on Swampert before settling on Roar instead? I like the Roar tech, neat way to play against EndeavorPert checks (which is hard as fuck to check anyway). But I am sure you have noticed that the thing you are weakest to is Salamence, which given a free turn can really pressure your team.

HP Rock Gyarados can also give you a few issues, but that is an esoteric enough threat that it's not really worth worrying about I guess. You have enough counterplay to rock attackers that so long as you play decently, you will do fine against them, though perhaps you could worry a little bit against big Rock Spam teams (one I used in ADV Cup was like Gengar + DD Tar + Band Aero + Band Flygon). Your Swampert is skinny enough to not enjoy getting hit too often and everyone should know my opinion on Claydol at this time - doing 30% to a fat DD Tar is just embarassing.

However all of this can be mitigated, really, by playing well which I have seen you do plenty of times. It pains me to admit I like a team with Claydol in it, but I think this is a super solid squad and there is not a lot that can be done to make it too much better.

IronBullet
 
teal6 that's a good point, in the sense that quite often people will tend to run a "cool" set over the most optimal one. I've tried Ice Beam and Swagger (something that musicaltide runs on his ladder team) when deciding for this slot. Ice Beam gives me a better matchup vs DDMence and CBMence. DDMence is not a huge threat as I can patch it up with Blissey early game and later on with Claydol. With CB Mence however I won't be able to switch in regardless and will be only useful for it late game when I bring it in after I lose something. Most of the times you are better off subbing in that scenario as few would stay in to sac Mence, and even in the case they stay in you are staring whatever comes in next with a salac boost. I haven't found myself wishing I had Ice Beam much. I suppose that's because with Dugtrio I am not as worried at finishing off Celebi either.

Overall i found Roar to be the most solid option. Ice Beam wasn't helping much against what I was already weak to. Swagger is similar to Roar but the miss chance and confusion rate makes it too rng sensitive for the needs of this team. With Roar you have a shot at doing good damage even if you miss the 50/50 situation. The emergency phazer role was found to be more useful on the team to phaze rest cune when for instance i misread its set and let it stack too many
CMs. Other than that it fullfills the role of putting extra pressure on the sdef walls which swagger would as well, so for that matter i chose it as a superior option.

Rock spams can be hard if Dol and Pert are lost before Aerodactyl is gone, however you have some good tools of your own, notably removing the electric sponges with Dugtrio/Endpert. As these teams rely on Gengar/Aerodactyl for revenge killing threats late game, Zapdos usually gets a one up on them with Agility. Late game Flygon is by far the hardest this matchup can get, which is why i gave Blissey the Speed EVs, so that at least I have one way to counteract the CB set at the end of the game.
 
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about one year ago, i, a newcomer who didn't have patience to focus on adv ou, knew that maybe it's the most famous endpert team. now i would like to ask u a question:
how about going hydro pump>surf?
 

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