Other Metagames [MnM] Sandcastles (Peaked #1, 97-2 W/L)

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Hello, this is a team I've been meaning to showcase for quite some time now and I finally got around to writing up a RMT for it. It's no secret that I really love stall so I thought it'd be appropriate to showcase one of my better ones before the school semester starts. I originally got the idea to build MnM stall when talking in PMs with Zesty43 during OMPL VI, while we were chatting I threw together a team quickly and it seemed to do pretty well. I edited and revised that original team over a long period of time until eventually I got to the finished team that I'm presenting. This team was really successful when I laddered with it, managing a 97-2 overall W/L record and ending up 200 Elo above the 2nd place player at its peak. Hopefully this will inspire more people to experiment with stall in MnM, it's certainly matchup dependant but I think it has a lot of potential to become a more relevant playstyle.


Click on the sprites for a importable of each full version of the team!

:blissey::buzzwole:
When building stall I like to start with a special blanket check and physical blanket check. Sablenite Blissey and Aggronite Buzzwole were my choices, together providing important elements on a stall team: cleric support, hazard control, and a Steel-type.

::blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::
Gyaradosite Toxapex was the secondary special wall I chose; with its solid pre-mega and post-mega typings it can handle threats to Blissey such as Lucarionite Keldeo and Blastoisinite Darkrai. Toxic Spikes provide a key win condition for the team and pre-mega Regenerator is valuable in matchups against other bulky teams.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::giratina:
Next I wanted a Defog user, Giratina seemed like a solid choice for its ability to handle Primal Groudon as well as Metagrossite Kartana. Giratina and Sablenite Blissey combined could keep hazards off against most setters at the time.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::giratina::skarmory:
At this point the biggest threats were Pinsirite / Altarianite Entei and Salamencite Landorus-T, Blue Orb Skarmory seemed like an efficient way to check both while adding a Stealth Rock setter to the team.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::giratina::skarmory::ditto:
Ditto was a fairly obvious choice for the last slot. The 5 members I had already selected didn't have any overwhelming weaknesses, and Ditto just adds so much potency to a stall team by giving it room to play around threats that would otherwise cleanly break.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::hippowdon::skarmory::ditto:
I didn't touch the team for a while but when I came back to it I asked Andyboy and xavgb for some advice, they suggested that Lucarionite Terrakion and Swords Dance + Smack Down Primal Groudon were problematic. Their suggested changes were running Audinite Hippowdon over Giratina for a reliable Terrakion check, and then changing Buzzwole to Blue Orb to counter most offensive Primal Groudon variants (as well as Metagrossite Kartana). I managed to get reqs for the Landorus-T suspect test with a 35-0 W/L ratio using this version of the team.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::hippowdon::zapdos::ditto:
Around the time of the Landorus-T suspect I started collaborating a lot with Funbot28 while working on the team. After Landorus-T got banned both of us were keen to replace Skarmory with a more reliable Kartana check, we settled on Venusaurite Zapdos which retained the ability to check Pinsirite users like Magearna while improving the matchup against both Kartana and Ho-Oh.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::palossand::zapdos::ditto:
One consistent issue with the previous version of the team was it had little counterplay against Taunt Pinsirite Zeraora. I mentioned this in an OMGS prep Discord and highlighter suggested Aggronite Palossand. It was mostly laughed at initially but as it turns out, Palossand is just about the best Terrakion check in the game and can also check a whole slew of other threats. I settled on a Slowbronite set rather than Aggronite because I still needed a check to Altarianite Entei, and with that the team's namesake came into being.

:blissey::buzzwole::toxapex::palossand::mew::ditto:
The last change that occurred was swapping out Venusaurite Zapdos for Aggronite Mew. The reasoning was that I wanted a more reliable -ate check and Steel-types are just so useful for stall in general. Aggronite Mew also improves the matchup against Lucarionite Tapu Lele and is a more reliable Defog user against bulkier balances thanks to its resistance to Stealth Rock. This is the current version of the team that I used to go 97-2 on ladder, I'm very happy with it overall even though I think there's still room for improvement.



:sm/blissey:

Blissey @ Sablenite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Seismic Toss
- Confide
- Soft-Boiled
- Heal Bell

Sablenite Blissey is essential on this team due to the immense role compression it provides in addition to defensive utility. With its massive post-mega bulk and Magic Bounce, Blissey is able to keep hazards off the field against weaker setters like support Primal Groudon or opposing Blissey. Heal Bell is a mandatory support move on stall teams that Blissey is able to provide as well. Having massive special bulk and only 1 type weakness allows Blissey to handle most special attackers in the MnM metagame aside from those with a natural type advantage (only Lucarionite Keldeo really) or ones that can boost their Special Attack faster than confide can drop it (Manectite Xurkitree, Blastoisinite Darkrai, Red Orb Mew). The moves here are all standard except Confide, which allows Blissey to beat most CM users on its own even if they have Substitute. Toxic isn't too necessary on a team with Toxic Spikes support and the additional anti-setup option takes pressure off of Toxapex.

:sm/buzzwole:

Buzzwole @ Blue Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
- Lunge
- Earthquake
- Roost
- Bulk Up

Blue Orb Buzzwole is notable for its ability to counter offensive Primal Groudon, while also acting as a secondary check to other offensive Ground-types like Lucarionite Zygarde or Swords Dance Arceus-Ground. Because Buzzwole's ability to beat Eruption Primal Groudon is dependant on Heavy Rain being active, Buzzwole usually needs to be played conservatively to prevent Primal Groudon doubling into it and potentially netting a KO with Eruption. With Bulk Up and its solid attack stat, Buzzwole can do a fair bit of direct damage which can be crucial in matches against balance or other stall teams. Buzzwole is pretty expendable against teams lacking Primal Groudon though, so against such teams it can usually be sacked for chip damage or a free switch when needed.

:sm/toxapex:

Toxapex @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Poison Jab
- Toxic Spikes
- Recover
- Haze

Gyaradosite Toxapex is the most important Pokemon on the team in many matchups. Toxic Spikes are the team's main win condition and make up for the lack of direct damage output on the rest of the team. Putting offensive teams on a timer is especially important because it gives the opponent less room to maintain pressure through pivoting and double switching, in that matchup mega evolving Toxapex right away to ensure Toxic Spikes go up is usually ideal. Against balance Toxapex should remain in its non-mega form for most of the early and mid game in order to preserve Regenerator, and should only be mega evolved when Sablenite Pokemon have been poisoned by Poison Jab or are sufficiently worn down. Toxapex's dual defensive utility is also notable, pre-mega it can handle threats to Blissey such as Lucarionite Keldeo or Manaphy, post-mega it can check Nasty Plot Darkrai sets. Poison Jab is chosen over playback to break Darkrai's Substitutes if it carries the move and for the chance to poison Flying-type Defog users like Mandibuzz or Zapdos.

:sm/palossand:

Palossand @ Slowbronite
Ability: Water Compaction
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Iron Defense
- Shore Up
- Stealth Rock

The namesake of the team itself, Slowbronite Palossand is almost exclusively here to check Terrakion but serves as a decent blanket check to physical attackers as well. I've already explained what makes Palossand a better option than Hippowdon in my nom in the MnM resources thread so you can check that out here. As for what exactly Palossand can check besides Terrakion, any Pokemon using a +1 Attack setup move (Dragon Dance, Howl, Coil) can be switched into and walled if it does less than 50% unboosted, Swords Dance sweepers can be walled if they do less than 33% unboosted. There are exceptions like Taunt users and Pokemon with Z-moves, but those benchmarks are a good general rule of thumb. Palossand's HP needs to be managed carefully since it is fairly easy to chip with repeated unboosted attacks, especially against teams with multiple -ate users. Palossand's lower pre-mega bulk is also an important factor, against teams with Pinsirite Zeraora in particular it's best to have Palossand mega evolved as soon as possible. It's worth noting that Shadow Ball hits quite hard so getting Taunted isn't the end of the world for Palossand as it can often force offensive threats out.

:sm/mew:

Mew @ Aggronite
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
- Iron Head
- Will-O-Wisp
- Roost
- Defog

Aggronite Mew provides a valuable resistance to -ate attacks and checks threatening breakers like Metagrossite Kartana and Lucarionite Tapu Lele. Thanks to an awesome typing and Filter, Mew is usually a safe initial switchin to physical attackers that lack a supereffective STAB move, and it can usually threaten a Will-O-WIsp in return. Because it relies on post-mega typing to check its main targets (Kartana, Tapu Lele, Pinsirite Magearna), Mew is another Pokemon that is often a priority to mega evolve. Mew also serves as the teams Defog user, and thanks to its Stealth Rock resistance and immunity to Toxic Spikes it excels in the role even against bulkier teams. Because Mew's defensive utility is so broad, it's often prone to getting overwhelmed by the opposing team. In matchups where Mew needs to check multiple threats, prioritize what it comes in against based on what the remaining members are able to handle (e.g if the opponent has both Tapu Lele and Pinsirite Magearna then consider that Blissey and Toxapex can both handle Tapu Lele in a pinch).

:sm/ditto:

Ditto @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Imposter
Hidden Power: Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Transform

The sticky glue that holds this team together, Ditto is the reason why this team hardly as any matchups that truly amount to an autoloss. Ditto puts a ton of pressure on the opponent to not set up, which limits the options of setup sweepers like Xurkitree or Red Orb Mew that would otherwise be extremely threatening. Many MnM teams have little in the way of Imposter-proofing for their sweepers, so Ditto is frequently able to counter-sweep against opponents that get overzealous with boosting. Ditto is also essential against opposing stall, as infinite PP from Imposter means you can almost always force an endless battle or outright win. HP Fire is generally the most helpful typing for Ditto since it helps to chip down Manectite Magerna if Ditto Imposters it (which it often will to block Pain Split) but it HP Ground or HP Ice are probably fine as well. The happiness on Ditto is also important, I usually stick with maximum because Return is more common than Frustration but it's worth switching it up every so often so that people can't adapt their choices.



:excadrill::landorus:
Altarianite / Pinsirite Excadrill and Altarianite / Salamencite Landorus-I
Excadrill and Landorus are probably the hardest matchup for this team, both for similar reasons. Both of them threaten Mew with their secondary STAB moves, and both have enough raw power to break past Palossand. This is where Imposter is usually the saving grace, but if they are running Frustration then Imposter becomes fairly ineffective against both of them. Even if they are not running a set that's immune to Earthquake, it is still a less than ideal move to lock into and if the opponent has a Flying-type in the back they can force you to sack every time Excadrill or Landorus come in. The usual 3rd move carried by these threats also gives them a degree of imposter resistance: Excadrill's Rapid Spin is too weak to do anything and using Landorus's Explosion requires sacking Ditto. Beating these two often comes down to having the right happiness on Ditto, if not then sacking Mew to get off a Will-O-Wisp and then walling with Palossand is your best bet.

:xurkitree:
Manectite Xurkitree
This thing would outright 6-0 if not for Ditto, and it's not hard to see why. Xurkitree can outboost Blissey's Confide by a significant margin with Tail Glow and Toxapex doesn't have the bulk to take it on either. Generally against Xurkitree you should go to Blissey first and use Confide once, which forces them to Tail Glow again to actually break past Blissey. From there, you have to sack something to get Ditto in and hope the opponent doesn't have any answers to a countersweeping +5 Xurkitree. Getting Toxic Spikes against Xurkitree teams helps a ton because Blissey can actually stall it out if it's poisoned, but still a scary Pokemon to encounter.

:mew:
Red Orb Mew
Similar to Xurkitree but slightly different, Red Orb Mew is also able to boost past Confide Blissey. The main difference here is that Toxapex is somewhat able to handle Mew which generally makes it less directly threatening, but Red Orb Mew is also much easier for the opponent to Imposter-proof if they have a Blue Orb Pokemon on their team. As with Xurkitree, Toxic Spikes are super important and generally ensure that Mew will not be able to get past Toxapex, but against a well-structured team it can be quite a headache to face.

:ho-oh:
Choice Band Ho-Oh
While Palossand can switch into Choice Band Ho-Oh and not get 2hkod, Ho-Oh is still problematic due to Regenerator and the fact that the Choice Band set often carries Toxic. The most important thing in this matchup is managing Palossand's Shore Up PP and going to Mew whenever possible to waste Brave Birds. On paper getting up Stealth Rock would be helpful but that's generally very difficult to do against Ho-Oh teams. Another important thing to consider is that if Ho-Oh is low enough in HP Blissey or Buzzwole can be sacked to it to make it KO itself with recoil. Naturally wearing down Ho-Oh's teammates with Toxic Spikes to limit pivoting also helps a ton. Tough matchup but winnable with smart and careful plays.

:golisopod:
Blue Orb Golisopod
Blue Orb Golisopod is a tough matchup because it can carry Drill Run to threaten the team's usual Water-type resistance, pre-mega Toxapex. Mew and Buzzwole can both pivot into it, but defense drops always make things harder (especially if they occur on the switch). To make things worse Golisopod learns Pain Split so is capable of staying around for a while. If Mew manages to burn it Golisopod usually doesn't pose much of a threat, but it needs to be played around very carefully and never let into a position where it can fish for defense drops on either of the team's checks. Swords Dance sets are even more threatening but thankfully usually don't carry Pain Split, so Buzzwole is usually enough on its own (Lunge is a 3hko and Buzzwole usually wins the 1v1 if it gets a free switch). I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but again having Toxic Spikes up goes a long way in this matchup.





I think this team is pretty rad, sorry for inflicting it on the MnM playerbase. Stall is underrated and I think it has a lot of potential to shake up the balance-centric meta that will likely result if Shuckle gets banned. This team's performance on ladder is a testament to that (I faced a lot of cookie-cutter balance teams), and also to my patience for the overwhelming tedium that is finding games on high ladder MnM. Peace.

Blissey @ Sablenite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Seismic Toss
- Confide
- Soft-Boiled
- Heal Bell

Buzzwole @ Blue Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
- Lunge
- Earthquake
- Roost
- Bulk Up

Toxapex @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Poison Jab
- Toxic Spikes
- Recover
- Haze

Palossand @ Slowbronite
Ability: Water Compaction
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Iron Defense
- Shore Up
- Stealth Rock

Mew @ Aggronite
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
- Iron Head
- Will-O-Wisp
- Roost
- Defog

Ditto @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Imposter
Hidden Power: Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Transform
 
Last edited:
So you really gonna tag 84 people huh...
Anyways, really cool team, this stall has proved to be super potent over the past few months, but one thing I noticed right off the bat is your Blissey spread is actually sub-optimal. A spread of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD and a Calm nature actually lets Blissey handle special attackers better while giving it the exact same physical walling capabilities
Some calcs for example:
252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Origin Pulse vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Blissey: 192-226 (29.4 - 34.6%) -- 7.5% chance to 3HKO
252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Origin Pulse vs. 252 HP / 4+ SpD Blissey: 202-238 (28.2 - 33.3%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO
252 Atk Tough Claws Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 4 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 252-297 (38.6 - 45.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Tough Claws Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Blissey: 276-325 (38.6 - 45.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Anyways that’s all, congrats on the ladder record and please get a life you insane person
 

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