All Gens Little Synergies

One of my favorite intricacies of Pokemon is seeing combinations that deal with the metagame in unconventional yet effective ways. They don't have the renown of SkarmBliss, but they are the real deal. One of the more well-known examples is the pairing of Heracross or Celebi with Dugtrio in ADV; Hera/Cele will force the opposing Dugtrio to lock into Aerial Ace or HP Bug, which allows one's own Dug to remove it from the game - this makes for a great pairing with powerful Pokemon that commonly struggle with getting trapped, such as DD Tyranitar and CM Jirachi. Here are some of my lesser-seen favorites.


Pursuit FB Tyranitar + CurseQuake DE Snorlax

Pursuit Tar and Fire/LK/ST CurseLax is nothing new - trap ghosts and go wild with Lax, especially FireLax, who now mows Skarm down. Trouble is that you'll still struggle against opposing rocks. Curse EQ Lax beats ghosts and rocks, but Skarm remains troublesome, especially because it's immune to Spikes. However, if you want to play a longer game, you can run Curse EQ and use Tyranitar to slowly whittle Skarm into a nasty position. Get Tar in as Skarm Rests and you are in business. Skarm never wants to stay in on Tar because if it eats Fire Blast then it's just lights out, so you can Pursuit it, and this is easily done repeatedly given the glacial pace Skarm teams move at and how Lax forces Skarm in every time. You can even Roar around with Tar and potentially drag Skarm in just to scare it out and Pursuit it again (this trick is also very nice against Forretress). DE is necessary on Lax to actually do enough damage to pressure sleeping Skarm.

Tyranitar Crunch vs. Skarmory: 53-63 (15.9 - 18.9%)
+1 Snorlax Double-Edge vs. Skarmory: 81-96 (24.3 - 28.8%)

One note is that against the newly popular Sleep Talk Skarm, this isn't nearly as reliable. However, there are two silver linings: one, it won't have Whirlwind, meaning you don't have to worry about it phazing your other guys around and then getting picked off by Raikou later. Two, while the support factor of weakening Skarm with Pursuit is most universally applicable to the "no counters besides Skarm" EQ CurseLax, it absolutely can be useful in conjunction with something else - most notably Machamp or Marowak.

This could also be pulled off with Houndoom.


(Sub) Leech Seed Celebi + Sub Magneton

Celebi + Magneton is generally a great combination given how annoying Cele is when Skarmory isn't in the picture, but the aim of this combination and the specificity of Substitute on Mag has another purpose. Mag can pick off another crucial Steel-type - weakened Metagross - pretty easily, but weakening Meta in the first place can be a tough task, and before that can happen it might boom on a crucial defensive member. This combination reliably lets you, at worst, sacrifice your Magneton to bring down Metagross - definitely a trade favorable for the Mag user - or, at best, KO Meta for free, which is the more common outcome. Meta won't want to Earthquake against Celebi, so once you've Leech Seeded it - most effective alongside Sub, making Meta wary of just booming Cele that it thinks will try to stall it - you can freely switch to Magneton and spam Sub until Meta is in Thunderbolt range, staying healthy with the Leech recovery.

Two things to keep in mind: first, though it's not required, ideally you have Baton Pass on Celebi to make sure Meta doesn't switch out as you try to Mag it. If you're using Sub Cele you'll have it anyway, but non-Sub sets can also make great use of it as well and should consider it, especially since BP is also useful for safely nailing the trap on Skarm and generally nice because Leech Seeding slow stuff tends to force switches which you can then safely scout. Second, make sure Meta is in Thunderbolt range, but you don't want to let a non-Lefties set get too low in case it's Salac.

This combination is also great for other slow setup Pokes like CurseLax and bulky CM Jirachi.

Mach Punch Breloom + Pursuit Tyranitar

Pursuit Tar is an obvious Breloom partner since it removes Gengar, but the duo are also excellent against their mutual enemy Dugtrio. If Dug comes in against Loom, it it will eat a Mach Punch as it locks itself into Aerial Ace. Tar will then come in and Pursuit the Dug to death. It can also work the other way around: Tar can live Dug EQ at high health, and while it won't KO back without Ice Beam, it will leave Dug low enough to where it can no longer revenge Loom because it will always be in range of Mach Punch.


Lead SR Empoleon + second Stealth Rocker

Emp is a terrifying sight at the beginning of the game because it slams most offensive leads and gets up rocks easily against bulkier teams. Its problem is that against offense it has to make a decision: either KO the opposing lead while being brought to low health, all but ensuring that it won't get rocks up, or get rocks up at the cost of its life. Four attack Emp is pretty good, but being able to get early, easy SR against defensive teams can be crucial. So, simply slap Stealth Rock on a second team member, and enjoy the benefits of Emp being able to get a beneficial trade against offensive leads without worrying about not having rocks; there are plenty of great Pokemon who don't at all mind making room for it and don't have their offensive effectiveness compromised by doing so. Plus, having two Stealth Rockers exerts an enormous amount of pressure against defensive teams that rely heavily on keeping them off, such as those that rely on Zapdos.


Disclaimer: these aren't really unconventional or uncommon as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, but I think they deserve to be highlighted anyway.

Latios + abuser of weakened Tyranitar

Rather than trying to avoid the Tyranitar trap, this forces the opponent into it and punishes them for doing so. (Not that you can do much better. Latios is absolutely insane.) Tar takes heavy damage while dealing with it, and as such won't be able to stay at the high health it needs to be at to check other dangerous Pokemon. It's even more dangerous with Spikes, as Tar definitely won't be able to switch in - it has a tough time doing so with just rocks up - and something will have to get sacrificed first, making it even easier for Latios' teammates to clean up. This works well on sand, with Alakazam as the cleaner, or rain, with Agility Thundurus-Therian. Rain generally appreciates the advantage in the weather war.

Keldeo + Agility Thundurus-Therian

Devastating on rain. Many times, all that's keeping the opponent from immediately getting swept by Thund is their healthy Latios, which they are hard-pressed to keep at high health when they are forced to weather brutally powerful hits from Keld. They're also good at dealing with each others' harder counters: Thund preys on Jellicent, and Specs Keld messes with Gastrodon. Scarf Keld is also a solid choice; it can still force in and weaken the opposing Lati, but it also has the option of being the cleaner itself if Thund is sacrificed to land that all-important HP Ice. Requires caution against Scarf Latios (though it doesn't KO Thund from full health) and Trick + Recover shenanigans, although the latter is more of an issue for rain in general.

Just to be clear: this thread is not about claiming invention or stuff like that - it's just to show cool combos that people appreciate in their respective tiers. I hope to see many contributions :)
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Cool thread: DPP OU
Sub Rotom

+ Agility E.N.D Zapdos

Zapdos appreciates ttar / grounds in general weakened and/or incapacitated

Sub rotom does this really well, not to mention it is a really solid mon in DPP currently. Punishes more bulky builds as well as there isnt that can safely break subs without getting burnt or smacked by electric type moves.


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Mega-Metagross + Scarf Magnezone + Rotom-W

This is a combination on my favourite ORAS OU team:

(Pretty sure it's an ABR team with Rotom-W > Keldeo).
MetaZone is a core used on a ton of ORAS teams but Rotom-W has pretty good synergy with it. Rotom-W is surprisingly annoying to deal with, if they switch in Ferrothorn you Volt Switch to Magnezone and trap it. If they go into Latios or Clefable (to absorb a burn) you Volt Switch into Metagross and get off a hit. These are just a few examples. There's also obvious defensive synergy in that Rotom-W switches into Ground and Fire types that might force out Metagross or Magnezone.

Perhaps the best answer to this core is Gastrodon. But simply having a Rotom-W guarantees a burn which is a big help in wearing it down.

Tldr: Rotom-W is great support for Metazone teams. Keeping up momentum, forcing in things for them to take advantage of and having defensive synergy.
:xy/rotom-wash: :xy/excadrill:
WoW Rotom-W + Rapid Spin Excadrill
Rotom-Wash burns Ferrothorn, Excadrill now wins against Ferrothorn and keeps Spikes off the field.
Rotom-Wash is a great groundcheck, is short-term counterplay against water types and a momentum machine.
Excadrill is the best hazard removal in the tier, elec/poison immu, great clefable counterplay and pivots into most spA-Attackers.
Exca doesn't have to be spdef mold breaker, bulky rush works too. SPL sample replays below, user of the core listed first:

W2 Santu vs Garay Oak
W3 xImRaptor vs False
W5 xImRaptor vs Sjneider
W8 Erzengel vs xImRaptor

Boom Heatran + Boom Gengar + Rain Dance Kingdra / Agility Empoleon

Heatran and Gengar both have an incredible wallbreaking potential which Kingdra / Empoleon greatly appreciates. Heatran lures in and weakens Tyranitar with Will-O-Wisp/Earth Power, while it can catch by surprise Clefable/Blissey with Explosion, or even run Toxic which assists in wearing down Milotic. On the other hand Gengar lures in most Jirachis and can burn them with Will-O-Wisp, or Boom on Special walls such as Clefable and Blissey. A set I've been liking a lot is this one which compresses Boom and WoW in one set, which can take by surprise some Jirachis/Clefables. Taunt + Will-O-Wisp obviously is also a very effective set to cripple Jirachi and Clefable.
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Wanted to talk about one of my favorite little strategies in BW since Kev mentioned that the ones he posted were a tad more well known than what he would have preferred for this thread.

Mail Ferro on Offensive Rain

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

The idea behind mail ferro on rain is that you cannot be tricked by roost latios, which means that it cannot handle thundy or offensive waters like keldeo and scarf rotom well as it would if it could normally, making it easier to overwhelm it. An important thing to note with this is that you’ll need an alternative way to chip away at ferro, whether that be something like gem thief toed or the aforementioned scarf wisp/trick rotom, since you cannot trade knocks turn one, as knock off removes mail.
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Pairing these two together gives immense synergy for alot of teams. Having one of the best pivots in ORAS, Tornadus-T offers a wide range movepool combined with the utility and pressure that Excadrill has in removing hazards, along with threatening mons like Rotom-W with Moldbreaker EQ. These two together can be paired with Rockyhelmet Garchomp for pressuring bulky offense teams with chip, or mons like Tyranitar to have sand pressure.
Tornadus-T's capabilities of gaining momentum in battles with uturn, and suffering little punishment with regenerator allows Torn to make use on a wide range of teams. HP Ice is becoming more prevalent, as it threatens mons such as Gliscor, Garchomp, and Landorus (mostly meant for Gliscor), while also punishing common switchins like Rotom-W and Heatran. Heatran for example has zero recovery after leftovers, which in the mid-late gameplay, this is actually quite problematic for teams with Heatran. Excadrill, is arguably the best hazard removal user, with the leftovers set becoming more dominant than scarf, Excadrill is also used to punish common switchins with Toxic, such as Slowbro, Jellicent, and Rotom-W when moldbreaker isn't in use. Overall, these two mons make up some of the best teams up to date in ORAS, and are major threats within the tier.
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нет, товарищ генерал, это вы даёте
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These two are absolutely devastating together, even though Mega Charizard Y isn't a common thing and Garchomp has fallen down. Mega Charizard Y is tough as fuck to handle defensively; actually, the only reliable switch-ins to it are Toxapex, Mega Lati duo, and Chansey. This is where Garchomp comes in, and specifically the Dragonium Z set for Lati goons. It can destroy all of Mega Charizard Y's defensive answers, which in return makes up for Garchomp's lack of Continental Crush for Celesteela and Tapu Bulu. Amazing breaking duo for aggressive teams, especially VoltTurn ones, overall.

Heroic Troller

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Zapdos and Articuno form together the strongest special offense in the game, Articuno's Blizzard for the record is the strongest special attack of rby, stronger than Mewtwo's Psychic. These are some of the calcs to give a better understanding of what it does:

Articuno Blizzard vs. Tauros: 191 - 225 (54.1 - 63.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Articuno Blizzard vs. Snorlax: 197 - 232 (37.7 - 44.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Articuno critical hit Blizzard vs. Chansey: 285 - 336 (40.5 - 47.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

The power is immense, so how does the core work? Big 4 teams consist in Leader+Tauros+Chansey+Snorlax+Exeggutor+Last mon, and they can't block both reliably, Rhydon means Starmie will be leader and paralized, easy prey for Explosion Exeggutor/Cloyster, and Chansey can easily be lured by your own Self Destruct Snorlax. At that point the setup is ready, for you to sweep with either bird. Rhydon team stand no chance vs Articuno, all 4 remained will be overwhelmed by the Ice spam. On the other hand Starmie back means Zapdos has free room to outplay. Clearly there is no such thing as a free win of match up in rby, this is the complete opposite, this core will allow any big 4 match up to be outplayed with confidence and good play. Big alert this core loses very hard to Cloyster+Rhydon/Jolteon, it is to be used vs Big 4 users only.


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:Gengar: + :Zapdos:
Nightshade Mega Drain Gengar and Zapdos
This is an idea I have used a lot over the years, but I never really shared it because it seemed a little too reliant on the element of surprise. But recently I have actually grown incredibly fond of this combination.

There are just some really obvious Synergies here, where Normals need to Earthquake Gengar which gives opportunities to bring in Zapdos (which can otherwise be quite difficult). And Gengar is good at exploding on Blissey or Jolteon.

But the trick to this set is that a Rhydon is always very tempted to come in against Gengar as it threatens a OHKO and it removes the danger of Explosion. A Night Shade + a Mega Drain puts Rhydon on low enough health that it wont be able to Sub, and actually Night Shade + Mega Drain + Drill Peck + Drill Peck is a better than 50/50 shot at KOing before even factoring in Critical hits.

The cheese line is you can Night Shade on the switch, and provided your Exeggutor or Starmie are still unparalysed then that Rhydon is going to be very tempted to Body Slam. Meaning most of the time you can get out of this and still have the Explosion available, or you can even do it if your Gengar gets Paralysed. What I have decided lately is that this actually works really well even without the cheese line. It just doesnt make any sense for a Rhydon user to try to keep it in back when facing a Gengar even if they know about this combination (unless you have already exposed your Zapdos).

:Victreebel: + :Zapdos:
Victreebel and Zapdos
This is basically the same idea as Troller's but with Vic over Articuno. The most common Rhydon builds are overwhelmingly Mie/Jynx, Egg/Mie, Chan, Lax, Rhydon, Tauros. These really suck against Victreebel. Victreebel on the other hand, hates double psychic builds, which dont really enjoy facing Electrics much at all.

Victreebel is also very likely to chip things, which can put them nicely into KO range of Zapdos. Zapdos often 3hkos Chan, often 2hkos Exeggutor, sometimes 3hkos Lax, and has a faint chance to 2hko Tauros. A few turns of Wrap turns those into alwayses.

Also, Victreebel is even better at getting Zapdos in than Gengar. Zapdos is especially great at taking advantage of sleeping pokemon trying to take advantage of wrap to wake up.

One thing to note though, Zapdos means you can expect to have to switch into Rhydon at some point. And Victreebel is awful at switching into Rhydon. It can actually worth it to have Eggy as well for that reason, but that does leave you very vulnerable against Jynx, the less embarassing option is just to run Starmie and hope you get away with it.


Banned deucer.


A year ago in a sudden rush of COUNTER IS OP i tried all the mons possible with counter sets, and Blissey has been the one it worked on the best. The overall best Counter Blissey set for me has been max hp/def bold with stoss tuwave counter softboiled. After thinking about how i can make the best use out of it i came up with using offensive Swampert alongside it. For one you can relieve a lot of pressure from Swampert, since it wont be as tanky as you are normally used to. This includes catching a lot of mons offguard, that would include mainly non CB Metagross, MixMences, CB Aero, Tyranitar (as long as you dont stay in on focus punch, lol), stuff like Drill Peck Zapdos, Swampert Earthquakes, Flygons, Claydols, even Snorlax Body Slams or DPeck Skarmorys, and very importantly you wont be that easily trapped by Dugtrio anymore.

The paralysis supports very nicely complements Swamperts ability in breaking through stuff, since it wont ever be the fastest and can now hugely damage stuff like Skarmory without letting it set up a lot. Big important mention would be paralysing a Jirachi to later kill it with pert.

The combo has some obvious flaws obviously, like Milotic and Celebi sitting one dead, but especially vs more offensive oriented teams this can work insanely well and you have 4 other slots to easily make up for those flaws.

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Self-Destruct Snorlax + Light Screen Zapdos

Usually, in a more straightforward gameplan, you try to achieve the Snorlax vs. Snorlax bait-kill via Self-Destruct to give room for Zapdos to wreak havoc, but teambuilding-wise, it has several issues. Due to the lack of Rest on Snorlax, unless you run Double Electric, it performs poorly against the opposing Zapdos and Raikou, and the lack of Rest(Talk) Lax leads to several issues against status users in Stalls and mainly Sleep-inducers, especially Jynx and Nidoking.

That's where LS Zapdos kicks in. Light Screen Zapdos covers the issue vs. opposing Zapdos, while Snorlax with screens has more room to wallbreak and invite Lax vs. Lax with more ease, while giving a slight breathing room against RoarKou, if necessary.

This core with an extra Sleep Talker makes an effective and cohesive combo. For example, Vaporeon provides a very important backup vs Jynx and Nidoking and it appreciates Zapdos' screen support; If needed, Snorlax can be more flexible and run a dedicated Curse + Self-Destruct set (one of the most fantastic Skarmory bait-killers) for ST Heracross or Machamp, and these threats appreciate Zapdos' support as well - all of them are legitimate threats under Screens, and they compensate the lack of Hidden Power on Zapdos by generating momentum against the majority of defensive Ground-types.

+ x
Baton Pass Celebi + Magnezone + [spinner] (sand/wless)
Anti-spiking strategy which works wonders against ferrothorn teams. Baton pass + magnet pull completely turns the tables in the Celebi-Ferrothorn matchup, allowing the onion to threaten ferrothorn with Baton Pass rather than being setup field.


Gyarados + SD Superpower Landorus-T (preferably rain)
A simple yet effective core where Lando baits and hopefully destroys ferro/rotom so that Gyarados can sweep later. Contrary to the majority of the offensive cores often theorized, GyaraLando also offers many things defensively speaking (2 ground immunes, 1 water resist, double intimidate, 1 kion soft check, and even 1 mienshao check).


Signal Beam Alakazam + Earth Power Hydreigon (sand)
The "try to beat ttar without relying on Focus Miss" core. Meant to work with spikes; ep hydre also gives an easier time against sdef heatran and rain jirachi who were a thorn in the side for my build.


Stealth Rock Seismitoad + WishTect Jirachi (rain)
Seismitoad just screams to be paired with Jirachi since it frees up the Stealth Rock slot and checks many special attackers not covered by Jirachi (Starmie, Thundurus-T, Heatran), while Jirachi can fill it up with Wish. They just compliment each other very well, albeit you will have to accept some compromises when it comes to the Seismitoad EV spread/moveslot. Protect on toad is almost mandatory due to Latios


21 IV Volt Switch Specially Defensive Forretress + Choice Band Tyranitar
My attempt at making CB Tyranitar work. Forretress offers a meteor switchin (ttar isn't sdef) plus a pivot against opposing Reuniclus, which would otherwise focus blast ttar to death (this also comes in useful against scald users such as jellicent/slowbros that you don't want to get a burn from), while ttar removes jelli from play so that forry can actually spin. Forretress is a very inusual pick for modern BW, but I needed this core for a Acid Armor Reuniclus team that happened to greatly benefit from forry's Toxic Spikes too!


Stealth Rock or U-turn or Body Slam Jirachi + fat SubPunch Toxicroak (rain ofc)
Many of you will remember how SubCroak was a nightmare to face during the Sand Rush Excadrill days, well it's still very threatening albeit a bit hard to fit into teams. Stealth Rock / U-turn Jirachi can lure in Tentacruel and Ferrothorn respectively, allowing Toxicroak to set up a free substitute. Body Slam on the other hand comes in useful as a mean to cripple ground-types such as Landorus-T and Garchomp, so that Toxicroak can Sub against them thanks to yellow magic or just outspeed and kill them with Ice Punch. Many rain teams hate ferrothorn being accidentally paralyzed by Jirachi, however this is not a problem if you have a Toxicroak in the back.


SD RP Rock Gem Terrakion + SD RP Landorus-T (sand / wless offense)
One of my all-time favorite cores. I remember using it against my friend Cry_A7X the very first day BW2 was available on Pokemon Online, in some sort of improvised hyper offense. Basically you take a look at the opponent's team structure and choose who will be the breaker and who the cleaner, depending on whether your opponent is weak to kion or lando. Very funny and straight-forward


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baton pass celebi + dugtrio

This duo works well for a couple of reasons. First, baton pass on Celebi allows teams that rely on Dugtrio to handle celebi with hp bug to be reverse trapped and left prone to Celebi recovering up and causing issues in the future. Celebi also is able to draw in certain offensive answers to handling it once it shows moves like Leech seed or CM, and Celebi is able to baton pass in Dugtrio to trap possible switchins such as Metagross, HP Bug ttar, Blissey if they suspect recoverless etc. Lastly, another nice aspect of it is being able to pass a CM / SD depending on the Celebi set in order to pick up some traps that otherwise may not be obtainable, Blissey being a prime example.


roar moltres + explosion forretress

I've generally stopped using Moltres as I dislike the concept of being hard-walled by mons on 50% of teams (Blissey and less-so but Milotic), however with roar and a spiker these two hard-walls actually become negotiable. Moltres already is a pain for offense, but with roar on switchins it also becomes tricky to manage for TSS/balance -- especially if there is a dugtrio to double in on weakened targets too. Forretress works with it better than Skarmory in my opinion as it is less-often going to be magneton-bait making it easier to spike up to 3 times. More importantly though, Forretress can come in and scare out some of the less passive Moltres answers in Snorlax, Suicune, Zapdos with the threat of boom-death. I think this is the best setup for Moltres in the current meta.


wish umbreon + toxtect donphan + magneton

This trio makes for a nice little alternative defensive core when put together, as Umbreon is able to keep Donphan alive through wish-passing + pursuit on it's only hard counter in Gengar. Donphan keeps Umbreon alive through spikes removal, as hazards+phazing tends to be one of the more effective ways to deal with Umbreon generally. Magneton helps them both out as it removes the spiker to make sure the hazards war isn't lost, as well as the added bonus of taking out CB meta as that is one of the few reliable offensive breakers to the Donphan/Umbreon core.


spikes + mixed zap + roar jolteon

The one thing a lot of offensively oriented teams struggle with more than one electric type... is two electric types. Going mixed Zapdos allows you to mess up Blissey and especially Celebi when Spikes are set, helping Jolteon in the late game more effectively. Similarly, using Roar with spikes up on Jolteon to chip down Blissey and Tyranitar can often be the damage points needed to finish off kills with Zapdos. Another benefit of the two electrics together is that your Zapdos can take a trade / suicide for Twave on opposing threats like Zapdos, Gengar, Jirachi, while still having a back Jolteon to be the fast sweeper you need in the late game.


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:sm/heatran: :sm/tapu_bulu:

While not unconvential, Heatran and Tapu Bulu are a perfect example of synergy between Pokemon. Heatran very much appreciates Grassy Terrain's passive recovery and its property of weakening Earthquake as well as boosting Heatran's potential Bloom Doom. Additionally, their typings synergize perfectly. Tapu Bulu provides resistances to all of Heatran's weaknesses, namely Ground, Water, and Fighting, while Heatran in turn resists or is immune to all of Tapu Bulu's weaknesses, namely Poison, Fire, Flying, Ice, and Steel. They also cover eachother offensively enabling aggressive double switches, as Heatran deals massive damage to Steel-, Grass-, and Bug-types resisting Tapu Bulu's attacks, such as Celesteela, Ferrothorn, Scizor, and Serperior, while Tapu Bulu can take out Water-, Ground- and Rock-types that can switch into Heatran, such as Tapu Fini, Rotom-W, Gastrodon, Garchomp, and Tyranitar. Heatran's Stealth Rock also significantly weakens many of the Pokemon Tapu Bulu is weak to, more specifically Flying- and Fire-types like Zapdos, Tornadus-T, Charizard, and Volcarona. Overall, Heatran and Tapu Bulu almost seem like they were made to be used together and form a strong foundation for a team to be built upon.
Since Tyranitar is super common in DPP OU having Sand up makes Cresselia's sweep not as smooth as it would like. This is where Rain dance Kingdra comes in, it removes the Sand making Cresselia's leftovers heal it and make it much easier for it to sweep with the passive recovery while it is sleeping. Often Tyranitar wont be able to get its Sand back up since Cresselia should always be paired with a Dugtrio to remove Tyranitar. You can also substitute Kingdra with another Pokemon that can be used to remove Sand.

John W

Banned deucer.
This duo is pretty common but effective for a couple simple reasons. Offensively Mega Maw enjoys Lando T and steel types such as Heatran, Jirachi, and Magearna being gone which Dragonium-Z Garchomp takes on and some of the main Dragonium-Z Garchomp answers such as Bulu, Celesteela, Skarmory can be taken on by Mega Mawile so synergy wise these two compliment each other against common metagame threats relatively well. Another nice luxury of the core is that Heatran is one of the most used mons throughout SM OU and while knock mega mawile is generally pretty good vs Heatran as well as sub focus punch, it is known that Heatran is generally a solid counter to mega mawile which makes chomp a great switchin to put on offensive pressure vs an opposing team since Heatran with wisp or z steel is rare in the current metagame. Overall these two offensive threats are perfect at putting up offensive pressure while complimenting each others weak points very nicely.

:Dugtrio: (jolly) + :Skarmory: (any) + :Gengar: (SpD)
This backbone is for any team that definitively wants to keep up Spikes. Skarmory's largest weakness is Magneton. Pairing it with Dugtrio gives you an out against it as you can counter-trap any Mag that comes in, given you scout with phazing from Skarm or aggressively double against obvious Mag structures. Gengar is the best spinblocker in ADV and abuses Spikes extremely well. One of the biggest stops to Gengar is Pursuit Tyranitar. Dugtrio gives you a way to effectively trap Tyranitar after SpD Gar lives its Pursuit, ensuring Gar stays alive to cockblock Forretress or keep momentum against Starmie or Claydol. Finally, Dugtrio traps Starmie - which might be the most important of the 3. Recover Starmie can consistently spin against Skarmory, and can generally outlast SpD Gengar or just outright kill it with Surf + Psychic. Dugtrio gives this core a way to remove weakened Starmie that get overly ambitious with killing Gengar or eating Toxic damage. Ultimately, strong play with this core enables you to keep up hazards against all 3 major spinners and their common supporting cast - Dug + Gar for Forre + Pursuit, Dug + Skarm for Mag + Claydol, and the synergy between all 3 for Starmie. Few spiking cores can accomplish this feat.

(@ sleep powder + leech seed) +

(disclaimer - all my own opinion, and, of course, a product of a limited understanding)

more than once it has been bemoaned that for such a specialised pokemon, that is one that has relatively little utility outside of a narrowly defined application, magneton can be frustratingly inconsistent in its functioning: for a variety of reasons, magneton can often fail to efficiently remove it's primary target, skarmory, from the game. venusaur, on the other hand, often operates as a 'sleep abuser' (i dislike this term, as is seems to moralise the issue - i just can't think of another off of the top of my head), forcing large value trades, exploiting the prevalence of special walls with the natural cure ability - read 'blissey' and 'celebi' - and leveraging the difficulty in effectively sleep foddering a pokemon. steel types, and skarmory in particular, can find themselves as leading candidates to be slept - in general, steel types totally shut down venusaur's offense, so might constitute a natural response. stated more concretely, venusaur draws skarmory onto the field, that is a condition of any pokemon being trapped, and does so under generally advantageous conditions for the venusaur user, skarmory being either slept and/or leech seeded. the synergy between venusaur and [edit] magneton might be clear(er) - a sleeping skarmory is considerably easier to remove, or otherwise nullify, than an awake one; the function of venusaur enables the function of magneton. moreover, this relationship is bi-directional - removing a sleeping skarmory has the added significance of removing a sleep sack, thus affording venusaur the potential to sleep another member of the opposing team, in accordance with sleep clause - a prize made more accessible and sweet, like a low calorie dessert. in short, it might be said, venusaur's functioning enables magneton's, and in turn magneton's enables venusaur's.
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Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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Boom Heatran + Boom Gengar + Rain Dance Kingdra / Agility Empoleon

Heatran and Gengar both have an incredible wallbreaking potential which Kingdra / Empoleon greatly appreciates. Heatran lures in and weakens Tyranitar with Will-O-Wisp/Earth Power, while it can catch by surprise Clefable/Blissey with Explosion, or even run Toxic which assists in wearing down Milotic. On the other hand Gengar lures in most Jirachis and can burn them with Will-O-Wisp, or Boom on Special walls such as Clefable and Blissey. A set I've been liking a lot is this one which compresses Boom and WoW in one set, which can take by surprise some Jirachis/Clefables. Taunt + Will-O-Wisp obviously is also a very effective set to cripple Jirachi and Clefable.
To ease the prediction/luring game even further, you can make Heatran Magma Storm so it traps the bulky water/blissey/clef etc that it wants to boom on.


:bw/politoed: :bw/tentacruel: :bw/kyurem:

Toed and Tentacruel are obviously a classic combination, but the somewhat off-the-beaten-path Kyurem fits in very nicely with them, both benefitting from their support and taking on most of the Pokemon that handle that classic rain core well.
Politoed and Tentacruel are great at supporting Kyurem by keeping up a friendly weather (no residual sand damage), removing hazards, and laying TSpikes. Kyurem takes advantage of this with its classic Sub Roost set, which can scare off most Pokemon that would either absorb or be immune to TSpikes, such as Landorus-T, Tentacruel, Heatran, Breloom, Amoonguss, and Gliscor. Essentially, get Kyurem safely onto the field when TSpikes are up, and something is very likely getting poisoned or dying while they pivot around to handle the situation. Kyurem also less directly handles a few additional Pokemon that annoy Politoed and Tentacruel and don't particularly mind TSpikes, perhaps most importantly Rotom-W, through bulk and Pressure stall, though you still want to avoid getting Kyurem burned. It also similarly handles Chansey/Blissey due to 101 HP subs, Starmie, and Celebi.
Of course the core still has issues, such a generally low speed and nothing to take a hit like Latios' Draco Meteor or to beat CM Reun. These can be handled by adding in a specially defensive steel type, which is most often, but not necessarily Jirachi. You can also remedy the speed somewhat by making Politoed Scarf.
All of this supposes you don't just want to use Latios instead though lol.

Torment Tran + Dugtrio + Life Orb Calm Mind Clefable

These three pokemon are overflowing with synergy. While Torment Tran excels at dealing with Choice item breakers among many other offensive Pokemon, it usually has a difficult time dealing with Water-types, setup sweepers (Dragon Dance), and stall-oriented builds consisting of Pokemon like Clefable, Dugtrio, CroCune, and opposing Heatran. Dugtrio can reliably remove non-Choice Scarf Heatran from the game while Torment Tran can hold its own versus ScarfTran. In addition, Dugtrio can trap specially defensive Knock Off Clefable if played around well. Where both Torment Tran and Dugtrio alone don't cover stall super well and are liabilites versus Dragon Dance sweepers like Dragonite and especially Gyarados, Life Orb Calm Mind Clefable can offset these weaknesses significantly. While holding Life Orb, Clefable has significantly improved damage rolls vs Gyarados, Dragonite, and Dugtrio; in the latter case, it can lure in Dugtrio and remove it so that Heatran has an easier time coming in and staying. In addition, it also has significantly better odds vs CroCune, which is unique from Leftovers Clefable. The additional power helps it break defensive builds with Pokemon like Milotic even more effectively, further supporting Torment Tran. You can see flashes of this in my finals game vs Emeral. While my play in this game is not exemplary, you can see how much more threatening Clefable is to his stall team with Life Orb than without. The real win condition for me was actually Torment Tran, which I failed to identify in the game and instead hyperfocused on the Clefable. Regardless, it's a decent example of how you can complete a build around these Pokemon.

Curse Gastrodon + Life Orb Stealth Rock Clefable

Curse Gastrodon is another Pokemon that really appreciates Clefable's ability to soft check (Dragon Dance) Dragonite and Gyarados with a physically defensive BoltBeam set. Because Gastrodon is the win condition here, you can afford to use a role-compressing Clefable with Stealth Rock to make it significantly easier to complete a build around these two. A huge drawback of using Clefable without Seismic Toss (and Calm Mind) is that it's worse versus opposing Clefable and really despises Knock Off. Thanks to Gastrodon's Sticky Hold, it cannot lose its item and is a fantastic switch-in versus all types of Clefable, so it's a really cool way to help your Clefable keep its Life Orb intact.
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toward new horizons
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T-wave Uxie + Choice Banded Tyranitar + 3 Atks Jirachi

This an interesting tried and true core where we have a breaker supported by the paralysis. The synergies between those pokemons are multiple either on the offensive and defensive sides. Twave Uxie should be lead as messing up with the opposing leads is generally what Uxie is best at in DPP OU. Uxie is not able to beat most leads on pure 1v1 (bar things like champ/loom/rade), but the paralysis on them makes things so easier as it cripples them and provides opportunities for the big Ttar to enter the field and start breaking havoc early. In theory, many current leads get paralyzed and have their sash broke by U-turn making Ttar able to switch into some of them and force the opponent to choose between: switching into banded Ttar to preserve the lead or sac it to preserve health on other mons. In addition, Uxie's still a great mid-game pivot that is able to take advantage of the incoming Breloom/Infernape / Lucario wanting to click a Fighting move on Tyranitar or even absorb the mushroom's spore. Then, thanks to its slow U-turn, Uxie still a cool way to bring Ttar in later which also appreciates the random paralysis spread mid-game. The other cool thing about this core is that Jirachi makes a profit of their presence in numerous aspects. Ttar gets up sandstorm which definitely makes things easier for Rachi to flinch down everything, forces great damage on Water/Ground Types as well as pursuiting Starmie/Rotom while the paralysis spread by Uxie supports Jirachi at being a late-game nightmare. On the defensive side, Jirachi can be used to used soft check Tyranitar, Lucario, Brelom and Scizor which can give the core trouble long term. Overall, they share nice typing complementarity and are able to cover each other weaknesses. Just pair it with some type of response to water types + a secondary fighting check and you're good to go with a decent build.

Rest Talk Machamp + Scarf Twave Magnezone + Impish Wish Tect Jirachi

I think that this trio is very restricting in teambuilder as it's slow and tends to have many weaknesses to patch. However, in a state where Calm Mind Clefable (or even the standard one) is in the process of becoming a staple of DPP OU, having a solid bulky fighting type not easily trappable by Dugtrio/Magnezone that (with some SpeDef evs) does not care about the weak Ice Beam/Thunderbolt even from +1 SpA Clefable is a nice way to have the match up at your advantage. It is horrifically difficult for squads that rely on Clefable + Dugtrio/Skarm to deal with this Machamp as it is relatively doable for the champion to stay healthy in the long run due to the low damage input those archetypes tend to have. Machamp is also designed to work as a decent status absorber making sure that it does not get stopped by Will-O-Wisp from Rotom-A/Gengar, Lava Plume from bulky Heatran or any stray Toxic Spikes which are common with this type of stuff. Pairing this with paralysis makes sense as it allows Machamp to use the obnoxious para-fusion strategy, increasing the number of foes it threatens. For example, even if scarf Magnezone can not reliably trap reliably Jirachi, having it paralyzed still opens the door. Talking about scarf Magnezone, it provides some kind of necessary support by trapping the annoying steels which are Scizor/Lucario + Skarmory/Forretress, by bringing some kind of speed control and is a nice switch into Latias/Rotom in case they would threaten with Trick. Jirachi is self-explanatory here, providing paralysis and wish support to Machamp as well as switching into Draco-Meteor or any strong move that could be aimed at Machamp. Just make it Impish to make sure that Dugtrio/Gliscor does not threaten everything and to have enforced safety against Breloom. I apologize BIHI, I was too nervous to use non-tried and true core.

Healing Wish T-wave Scarf Latias + Offensive or Curse Swampert + Body Slam Jirachi

This a nice duo I've been using for a while now since Latias's release, another core rounded by the paralysis support. Scarf Latias is particularly effective at keeping at bay threats that like to set up on Swampert, especially when those threats are quickly threatening since it is all about Dragon Dance Gyarados or Dragonite (only Choice Locked for Dnite). They both share an excellent typing complementarity. While Latias is able to switch into Grass/Fighting/Water-type moves aimed at Swampert the mudfish can shut down reliably variants of Tyranitar, Jirachi, Metagross or Bronzong that gives Latias trouble. The typing synergy between those two pokemons is what makes the use of healing wish so appealing. When Latias comes onto the field to threaten something, it might force your opponent to switch into his Latias's check which is the majority of the time checked by a healthy Swampert. That way, using Healing Wish on the switch predicting the opponent to go to his Latias check (Ttar/Gross/Zone/Rachi, etc.) is potentially game-changing as a full HP late-game Swampert is a major threat whether for defensive or offensive archetypes. Builds that rely on Toxic Spikes to keep Swampert under control will also have a hard time dealing with this. If needed, Latias can even force the Healing Wish by coming directly onto Jirachi or Metagross as healthy Swampert will not have trouble tanking two hits from them especially with Leftovers. Talking about Latias's set, Twave might seem odd on choice on a Scarfer but spreading paralysis on Jirachi/Metagross/DD Ttar looks more useful than clicking Surf as Swampert will get the jump on those foes and smash them with a powerful STAB Waterfall or Earthquake. For those who want to push the concept to its limits, Curse + Rest Swampert can be woken up by Healing Wish if you can't afford to burn sleep turns. Jirachi is a nice paralysis abuser/spreader and a decent Healing Wish Receiver while its typing consolidates the core defensively.

Dual Hazards Skarmory + Dual Electric Type

Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory, Tyranitar and Ground-Types are the main switches to Electric-Types so guess what they are both grounded/hate spikes and In the case of Flygon or Gliscor, you can just HP Ice them anyway. The Spikes, in general, help them at reaching many KOs benchmark they would not get otherwise when Dual hazards Skarmory fixes the "no room for long term pivoting" this archetype has. The principle is to weaken the main Electric-type answers with the first breaker so you can overwhelm them and get the door open for the other one. Especially against offensive teams, Jirachi, Heatran or Metagross are often used to tank the one hit you need to (similarly to Ttar basically) but having early Spikes on their field forces them not to do their job properly since they quickly reach the KO/2KO range which provides the possibility of a clean Thunderbolt sweep late game or a "one Tbolt one KO" deadly assault. On top of that, Electric-types are effective at pressuring Starmie, giving it no room for a free rapid spin which helps at keeping those Spikes up when Rotom-A even acts as an anti-spinner. Forretress kinda have the same fate, it gets melted by powerful Electric-types and spikes. Agility Zapdos as SOMALIA mentioned right above is an example of a great late game cleaner that could round this core well. A Ttar on your own would make sense, to remove Latias especially or even Starmie.

The Hustler (Plusle) @ Magnet / Life Orb
Ability: Plus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
- Nasty Plot
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Grass Knot
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Toxic spikes Roserade+Torment Heatran/Sub Offensive Tran+CroCune/SubCM Suicune/RestTalk Roar Suicune

This is a nice FWG core between Heatran Suicune and Roserade. Heatran help take on opposing leads Roserade dislikes like jirachi. Suicune appreciates toxic spikes from roserade wearing down its checks. Heatran also appreciates toxic spikes because it forces so many switches. suicune and heatran also appeciate roserade switching into electric types and water types. overall this is a solid and consistent bulky offense/balance core in DPP. Rotom-A is a nice complement to this core as it takes on lead machamp and can spin block. sub zapdos also is nice partner for this core because it also forces switches like heatran and suicune.
Here is what the core would look like:
For players who just started DPP recently, you've probably not seen Bulky Sub punch breloom much compared to a few years back however it is such a good Pokemon in the current metagame.

If you cant be asked reading the theory behind this core I am about to post, you can just look at the Pokemon below.

The current metagame:

1) Heavily revolves around Clefable stall with Duggy who I love to face lol / Strong bulky offense with sleep talk choice latias with alot of people using latias as their sleep absorber if it is choiced. Strong water spam threatens pretty much every team nowadays and as such is also quite common to see 2-3 waters in one team, something not really seen back in the day. F/W/G cores are not the norm anymore as well.

2) Furthermore, as NON substitute Breloom is the more common type of Breloom nowadays, once you spore a Latias you would naturally switch to a trapper or something that can safely take the most threatening thing Lati can throw should it stay in a.k.a DRACO MET and pivot out.

Using Substitute Breloom (THE OG one and not the weak variant)
Focus Punch
Seed Bomb
Not going to post the spread I use here but you generally can modify it to whatever the needs of your team are, some people might want to outpace current versions of offensive swampert whilst others might want to be able to take 2 banded stone edges from ttar etc.

The really cool thing about using Breloom in general is that alot of players who arent as experienced will not assume you using Sub loom and will go to Latias.

You then switch out, A HUGE CHUNK of players will now for sure think you aint sub.

Say you go to a great partner in WISH SP.DEF JIRACHI on the Latias as it sleep talks and hits you with any move and you just shrug off the damage cauz Rachi is cool like that.

This is where things get interesting, for newer players, in DPP choiced locked mons cannot sleep talk more than once in a row which is great.

The Latias has to switch now, you bringing a fat rachi usually preempts them to bring their Heatran or something that Gyarados can maul.

You double bringing in Band Gyarados and you just spam the living daylights of WATERFALL on their fire type. they can boom but then they lose one other thing that can do damage to loom and spdef jirachi which is amazing.

The key with this core is that they play off each others weaknesses and you basically keep forcing your opponent to repeatedly bring in their latias, each time they risk you capatilizing with a set up steel/ttar or you can trade a mon and bring loom to safely sub.

It is such an insane cycle you create and when you learn the ins and out of the metagame the doubles you can make give you insane pressure against the opponent.

Wish from Jirachi is amazing, obviously its good to heal but it is key to help Loom and Gyara live out for longer AND more importantly scout the opposing team with less risk associated. I use Iron Head and Fire punch with the rachi to help burn Skarms + take out weak grasses or opposing bulky rachis.

I honestly enjoy the current metagame ALOT and despite Jirachi being annoying as hell I hold the unpopular opinion that everything is needed where it is to have a fine balance.

Substitute Breloom provides you insurance vs physical offense who might have flygon and or ttar meaning you get chances to set up. Alot of OGs can tell you how many times sub loom was the last mon standing vs an eq weakass flygon.

Usual scenario might be:

Scarf ttar locked into pursuit/crunch/eq/superpower or Flygon locked into tpunch/eq

They have scarf flygon/ttar + Kingdra + Infernape or w.e

You can already see that unless they have Celebi or Physical defensive zapdos etc they p much lose, you sub if they stay in they aint breaking your sub if you have the GOOD ev spread and then you just force them out BEFORE SPORING so that you can catch their mon that perhaps can take one hit and spore that one instead, uturn doesnt break your sub from weakass scarf flygon / scarf rachi / scarf ape so yeah lolol.

Before I reveal the core below a special shoutout to chople tran and sub loom as well, very nice to get rid of infernape and/or gengar for loom to go wild!

You do NOT have to be gimmicky to have fun in dpp, alot of superstar mons have sets which have been forgotten, not really explored and I urge everyone to try using this core and let me know how it is goes.




Oh yeah, vs stall this also shreds it, To be fair when vs stall, Band Gyarados usually can catch Skarm and if rocks are up, its in some serious trouble. Only their Latias can really take a hit but risks getting mauled by dark forces. Scarf Rotom seems to be what alot of players bring into your gyara so take advantage of it and USE CB GYARA, you wont regret it! You can look at some calcs, very fun.

:zapdos: + :metagross: + :swampert:

Zapdos + Metagross + Offensive Swampert

This is a fun little core that makes up the defensive backbone of a lot of offensive teams. Traditional defensive variants of swampert are able to cover things like DD tyranitar, Metagross and Aerodactyl without an explicit need for a back up but one of the sacrifices of running the offensive variant means it's a bit shakier against these threats. Metagross providing a back up to the offensive rocks while not sacrificing offense really shores up this issue but it's not perfect all on its own. CB Earthquakes from things like Salamence and Aerodactyl, as well as opposing metagross can still be problematic. That's where Zapdos comes in, its immunity to EQ allows it to deter choice banders from clicking it and it checks metagross quite nicely as well. Throw in something like snorlax, celebi, blissey or jolteon that can handle offensive electrics and waters and you have a solid defensive core that does not sacrifice on offense.

Speaking of offense these 3 have very nice offensive synergy with eachother. Swampert's invested hydro pumps put a huge dent in to things like skarmory which can give metagross a tough time. Mean while metagross' explosion can do a great job of eliminating key water resists like milotic, suicune and celebi clearing the way for swampert. Zapdos puts early game pressure on the water types that like to put a stop to metagross' and swampert's onslaught while also spreading late game twaves to allow them more opportunities to fire off powerful attacks. Additionally metagross puts a ton of early game pressure on the special walls like blissey and snorlax that can give Zapdos a hard time.

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