Other Metagames Moonlit Malevolence

Moonlit Malevolence

Intro
Hello and welcome to my second RMT! This team has had a lot of success on ladder, peaking #1 with an ELO of 2120 on the anything goes ladder. This team is a really solid balance, that proves to be really fun and easy to use for anyone. I was going to make this post as my 100th post special, but wanted to get a name changer quickly so decided to delay this RMT. Hopefully you'll all like this team as much as I do, let's get right into it:

Team building process


Lunala was something I really wanted to build around, in particular the choice specs set, for its amazing wall breaking capabilities, with really very few safe switch ins. Lunala also has reasonable bulk, allowing it to switch in easily to threats due to its shadow shield in particular, if all the other team members are pressured. This Pokemon pressures Dusk mane especially, as Lunala outspeeds and can easily OHKO offensive sets whilst still doing huge amounts to even Specially defensive sets. Overall a fantastic Pokemon with a decent speed tier and boasts huge special attack combined with choice specs, it is a real force to be reckoned with.

The next editions I wanted to add was both Yveltal and Xerneas. Defog support would be reasonably important for this team, as it means Lunala can keep its shadow shield intact. Defog Yveltal is a reasonably solid defogger, being able to Toxic and pressure Primal Groudon as well as Dusk Mane with Foul Play. It also solidified the core of being able to handle the new forms of Dusk Mane and Ultra Necrozma, as defensive Yveltal is a reasonably safe switch in. However, a weakened Lunala and Stone Edge Ultra Necrozma still proved to be a big issue, so I decided to add Choice Scarfed Xerneas. This easily revenges Ultra Necrozma and proved as a very competent late game sweeper. This core also generally deals with Psychic spam and general Physic users very well, as only the rare options of Shadow Ball on MMY can hit Lunala, and Choice Scarfed Xerneas is able to outspeed and revenge the potential Dark Pulse Deoxys-A which could knock out Lunala. Yveltal is also course also immune to Physical which is handy, but can drop to coverage moves such as Ice Beam.

Arceus-Poison proves pivotal to this team. It enables the team to be able to deal with Geomancy Xerneas and Marshadow, which are really important threats to cover. It also meant it could cushion the Yveltal switch in, as Xerneas and Yveltal does not switch in too well to Yveltal, while Arceus with increased Spdef can switch in reasonably well. Overall a key Pokemon that glues the team together.

Of course, a major addition to this team, Mega Rayquaza. This is Anything Goes, and I well wanted to include the Pokemon that created the tier into my team. Mega Rayquaza acts as the main physical presence in the team, with really no switch ins at all. In limbo with Choice Specs Lunala, defensive teams find it very difficult to handle both of these incredibly hard hitting Pokemon. An incredible stall breaker, it allows the team to be able to apply physical pressure to the opposing team.

Last but certainly not least, Primal Groudon adds the finishing touch the team. Acting as an Arceus-Steel and Primal Kyogre switch in as well as being able to absorb burns due to its fire typing, it makes Primal Groudon an essential additon to the team. A Ground STAB move in precipice blades was also nice for the team, as there are no other ground moves in the team, which could really hold the team back as Ground is a very important offensive typing. For this team in particular allows the team to hit Arceus-Rock, which surprisingly the team has no resists for and Calm Mind Arceus-Rock could potentially be more of a threat without Primal Groudon.​

The Team




Lunala @ Choice Specs
Ability: Shadow Shield
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moongeist Beam
- Ice Beam
- Focus Blast
- Psyshock​


After the introduction of Marshadow, Lunala usage dropped off a ton in both ubers and anything goes, however I believe this Pokemon still has it and I was very surprised how little people actually prepared for this Pokemon, with really very weak switch ins. Ghost typing is absolutely fantastic right now in USM, being able to hit a large portion of the meta for neutral damage to inflict heavy damage. Shadow shield is an absolutely fantastic ability, allowing it to come in on almost anything and immediately be able to respond. This Pokemon with shadow shield still intact can really put a halt to any sweeps that could potentially take place, such as from Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza or Swords Dance Groundceus for example. There's no one real way to use this Pokemon for this team, it is able to clean late game with its Shadow Shield or put holes in the opposition early game to help out its teammates, it simply depends on the opposition and how easy it is to bring it in.

Max Speed and Special Attack is used to maximize the damage and speed of this Pokemon, being able to outspeed threats such as non max speed Primals, Dusk Mane and Defensive Arceus Formes with little Speed investment. This set is a standard smogon set for Choice Specs, which I agree with as it simply provides the most coverage against all the Pokemon in the tier. However, alternate sets can be used if you simply do not trust Focus Blast to hit, which is perfectly understandable, as a Focus Miss can really cost you the game. An alternate set could consist of Moonblast and Trick over Focus Blast and Ice Beam, as Moonblast is able to hit all Dark types such as Yveltal, Tyranitar and Arceus-Dark, while Trick can really hamper defensive Pokemon, such as Chansey, Ferrothorn or Ho-Oh.


Yveltal @ Leftovers
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 Spe
Impish Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Foul Play
- Toxic
- Roost
- Defog​

Defensive Yveltal is one of my favourite sets for balance builds, with this team being no exception. It allows the team to be able to check threats such as Ekiller and other Swords Dance Arceus formes, such as Arceus-Ground. It also allows for any switch into support Arceus Ground, being able to threaten it with Toxic or use it as a defogging opportunity if Stealth Rock is up. Defensive Yveltal is also a suitable switch in to Marshadow if Stealth Rock is off the field and Arceus-Poison has been worn down, making it a valuable team member given how common Marshadow is. Overall, Yveltal is just a fantastic physical blanket, being able to take hits and switch into Physical threats with Stealth Rock such as Primal Groudon and Dusk Mane to be able to Defog, which is extremely important. However, defensive Yveltal can easily be worn down through Toxic and Stealth Rock, so one must be wary when to bring this Pokemon in to try and keep it healthy.

This EV spread has become standard since the arrival of Dusk Mane, with 80 Speed EVs being crucial to be able to outspeed Adamant Dusk Mane. The rest of the EVs are invested into HP and Defense to improve the Physical bulk of this Pokemon. This defensive Yveltal set has also become increasingly popular, with Defog becoming an increasingly popular option as it is able to fill the role reasonably well. Roost allows for reliable recovery, Toxic to be able to pressure passive switch ins and Foul Play to stop physical set up sweepers.



Xerneas @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Aromatherapy
- Thunder Wave
- Defog​

Choice Scarfed Xerneas. In my opinion this is the best Xerneas set available, in particular due to being able to now outspeed and revenge Ultra Necrozma, which can prove critical. This team is reasonably slow, and as such Xerneas gives the team the speed it needed and acts as the main revenge killer of the team. It's Fairy typing is extremely important, meaning it is able to pressure and take out threats such as Dragon Dance Zygarde, offensive Yveltal, Mega Rayquaza and Marshadow, all common threats in the anything goes metagame. Xerneas also plays a pivotal role of stopping Arceus-Dark from setting up, as it could consequently set up on Lunala and Yveltal relatively easily. Definitely my favourite member of the team alongside of course Lunala.

Speed and Special attack again are invested to allow Xerneas to outspeed the fast threats it needs to and hit as hard as possible. I chose Modest nature for this team as I believe the extra power is especially worth it, with the ability to 2HKO Arceus Formes, which can prove important. Moonblast of course is its signature move, being able to deal heavy damage due to it being a STAB move as well as combined with Fairy Aura. Aromatherapy and Defog are excellent utility moves that certainly can remove pressure at crucial moments. I do not believe Choice Scarfed Xerneas needs any coverage at all, with Moonblast going to be its favourite attack to click, with other moves simply being too weak. Thunder Wave is used to help the Arceus-Steel match up considerably, as paralysing Arceus-Steel allows threats such as Mega Rayquaza, Primal Groudon and Lunala to outspeed and deal heavy damage.



Arceus-Poison @ Poisonium Z
Ability: Multitype
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Atk / 4 Def / 136 SpD / 96 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Perish Song
- Poison Jab
- Recover
- Will-O-Wisp

Arceus-Poison is a very unique Pokemon in the fact that is able to check both Marshadow and Geomancy Xerneas at the same time, which simply no other Pokemon can do nowhere near as effectively. Luckily for this team, this was exactly what was needed and Arceus-Poison really pulls its weight. Arceus-Poison with Perish Song also can prove as a rather efficient Baton Pass check, particularly due to Poison Jab being supereffective and dealing heavy damage to Mr.Mime. It is not a guaranteed victory, but it certainly helps. It is also pressures general Smeargle spam and Eeveepass, which sometimes does not carry Mr.Mime. Generally Arceus-Poison is very important due to the fact that is the only Pokemon with a Toxic immunity on the team, and personally I think almost every good team needs a Toxic immunity. It can also act as a soft check to Calm Mind Arceus formes, due to being able to use Perish Song to force it out.

This EV spread allows Arceus-Poison to outspeed Timid Yveltal as well as Adamant Mega Rayquaza; both very important, as outspeeding Yveltal avoids being harassed as much by taunt and outspeeding Adamant Mega Rayquaza means Arceus-Poison can get the Will-O-Wisp off before Mega Rayquaza attacks. 136 EVs in Spdef allows Arceus-Poison to take a Psychic at +2 Spa from Geomancy Xerneas after Stealth Rock damage. 4 Defence EVs and 252 HP EVs ensures that Life Orb Marshadow cannot 2HKO Arceus-Poison after Stealth Rock Damage. Lastly, 20 Attack Evs increase Arceus-Poison's attack so that the roll to OHKO Xerneas with Acid Downpour is increased or is a guarenteed OHKO, depending on Xerneas's EV spread. As already mentioned, Perish Song is a very critical move for this team to become more consistent. Poison Jab is generally an excellent move on Arceus-Poison due to a 30% Poison chance, as well as being Physical, allowing it to hit Xerneas hard even after a Geomancy boost. Recover is generally mandatory on Arceus-Poison as reliable recovery is critical for this Pokemon to function. Will-O-Wisp stops Physical set up sweepers from using Arceus-Poison as set up bait. These could include Dusk Mane, Mega Rayquaza and potentially Ekiller. Burning Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza is very important in particular as once it sets up and Lunala does not have its Shadow Shield in tact, as it can potentially sweep, but luckily every Pokemon generally does not allow Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza to set up.​



Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band
Ability: Delta Stream
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Outrage
- V-create
- Extreme Speed

Choice Banded Mega Rayquaza is one of the most hard hitting physical threats in the tier, as such making a perfect fit for the team. Checks such as Lugia get taken aback by the power of the set, being effectively 2HKO'd as it cannot roost off the damage from Dragon Ascent. However, Mega Rayquaza must be wary of Ice Beam from Lugia which can deal serious damage after several SpD drops from Dragon Ascent. The rest of the meta is simply 2HKO'd; there's really not much else to say. It's stellar dual Flying/Dragon typing makes it one of the most dangerous Pokemon in the tier offensively and allows it to switch into some Pokemon due to having multiple resists and a Ground immunity. Aggressive plays with Mega Rayquaza are certainly rewarding simply due to the fact there is no real safe switch ins; bringing this Pokemon in as many times as possible will certainly give you the upper hand. Mega Rayquaza also has some decent defensive stats in 105/100/100, showing it is no glass cannon and can easily switch into passive Pokemon. Choice Band is also nice in the effect that it has no damage recoil that Life Orb would normally have, meaning it improves the longevity of this Pokemon allowing it to cause more damage in the long run.


Dragon Ascent is obviously mandatory on Mega Rayquaza, but that by no means puts it at a disadvantage whatsoever, due to the fact it is an amazingly powerful flying STAB move, one of the best offensive types in the game. I chose to use Outrage on Mega Rayquaza due to the fact that is able to hit Zygarde and Giratina, which I think can be reasonably important as they are both incredibly annoying Pokemon to deal with. Outrage also allows Mega Rayquaza to deal decent damage to Arceus-Rock, however it would do less than Earthquake which is another decent coverage option on Choice Banded Mega Rayquaza. However, I felt Outrage was still the superior move due to being locked into Earthquake could be far more costly than being locked in to the other moves. V-Create obviously adds coverage to be able to hit Steel types across the board, such as Dusk Mane, Celesteela, Arceus-Steel and Skarmory. Finally, Extreme Speed can be clutch priority to be able to outspeed and revenge Pokemon such as offensive Arceus Formes, Xerneas and Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza.



Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Precipice Blades
- Dragon Tail
- Toxic

Primal Groudon can play multiple crucial roles in a team that it is hard to make a team without it. This Pokemon has the second largest usage rate on ladder and in OMPL, showing how much of a powerhouse it is and how easy it is to slap this Pokemon on to any type of team, ranging from stall to hyper offense. It's Ground/Fire typing is incredibly useful, particularly paired with Desolate Land which of course means it is immune to Water moves. This therefore allows Primal Groudon to check a plethora of Pokemon, with many of these being threats to this team. These include Primal Kyogre, Arceus-Steel and Mega Gengar. Mega Gengar surprisingly has little switch ins for this team except Primal Groudon, which can subsequently lay rocks or try to hit Mega Gengar with Precipice Blades. This extra chip from Stealth Rock can hopefully mean late game Xerneas will be able to outspeed and knock out Mega Gengar once it has been chipped thoroughly. Even though this team theoretically looks a little weak to Mega Gengar, I have found no difficulty in acquiring wins against such teams, my main win being against DSMP. Primal Groudon and Mega Rayquaza form a very strong core that inevitably shuts down Primal Kyogre on the whole, with Primal Groudon being the main switch in, and Mega Rayquaza being able to easily revenge kill offensive sets if Primal Groudon drops.

This is generally my favourite Primal Groudon set on most of my balance teams just due to how useful it is and much coverage it has. Stealth Rock is generally mandatory on any team due to how important it is, being able to chip any Pokemon on its entry into the battlefield. Precipice Blades is an incredibly important Ground STAB, enabling it to hit Arceus-Poison, Arceus-Rock, Primal Kyogre, Arceus-Steel, Dusk Mane and opposing Primal Groudon all for super effective damage. Dragon Tail is absolutely crucial in phasing out Mega Rayquaza, particularly stopping it from setting up its Dragon Dance. It can also prove annoying generally, particularly if Stealth Rocks are up as it can continually phase and chip their team. Toxic is also very nice and incredibly important on Primal Groudon. It allows Primal Groudon to Toxic potential switch ins or Defoggers such as Arceus-Water, Arceus-Ground and Ho-Oh which is absolutely crucial. This is because it allows Lunala to 2HKO Ho-Oh after Toxic chip and chipping Support Arceus Formes with Toxic can wear them down considerably.


Threat List:
Arceus-Steel - This Pokemon generally is a real pain for this team. I have tried to relieve the stressful match up against Arceus-Steel by giving Xerneas Thunder Wave and Primal Groudon more Specially defensive bulk which I had not given it initially, however the team can still struggle against this Pokemon. By no means does this mean the team flat out loses to this Pokemon, but you'll most likely be in for a rough game and will need to make good plays. The main issue is that it is able to set up on so many Pokemon, these including Lunala, Xerneas, Yveltal and Mega Rayquaza locked into Dragon Ascent, which means it will be able to come in and threaten the team frequently which causes issues.

Arceus-Rock - Surprisingly Calm Mind Arceus-Rock is a really big issue, particularly the Refresh set and if the player uses it well. There are no Rock resists in the team, and the main way to deal with this Pokemon is Primal Groudon and using Perish Song Arceus-Poison to phase it out, but still proves a tough match up.

Mega Rayquaza - Generally this Pokemon isn't too difficult to deal with as every Pokemon pressures it on the team, however Choice Scarfed Rayquaza in particular can be almost impossible to deal with late game if rocks are up. When Stealth Rock is on the field and the team has been worn down sufficiently, there's simply no way to stop it. Another issue is generally being haxed against Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza, if Arceus-Poison misses Will-O-Wisp or Primal Groudon misses Dragon Tail, and Stealth Rock is up breaking Lunala's Shadow Shield, the game is almost effectively over.

No one uses Heatran in AG and I've never played Heatran with this team before but let's be honest looking at the team legit nothing touching air balloon tran lol.

Importable
https://pokepast.es/a6e486448ec90b00

2F08AC7E-D093-422F-A9EF-E68B22F0D230.png

Replays
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7anythinggoes-791466772 vs Lance
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7anythinggoes-791005189 vs Fluffie
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7anythinggoes-791998402 vs Jaytin
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7anythinggoes-798921080 vs Edgar
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7anythinggoes-798631705 vs Bolting Inferno (vs Steelceus)

Honestly I don't have that many good AG replays unfortunately, these were just a few I picked out when I was searching from some ladder games that I had been playing recently. Besides, if you have a team that beats fluffie's most of the time then you're set for ladder pretty much.

Conclusion

I would thoroughly recommend trying this team out at least a few times, it genuinely feels nice to use and can be devastating in the right hands. I'm up for suggestions of how this team could be improved, any recommendation is appreciated. Stayed up til 3AM writing all this out not sure why, but I hope you enjoyed reading this RMT, I think I did a much better job with this RMT then the last one, and I hope you have the same successes with this team that I have done.












 
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brooooooooo u totally won in that 1st replay >,< when u were switching poisonceus/yve and they were switching msab/ho oh u could have just jabbed msab until it got poisoned and either forced it to die to poison or make bliss have to bell and take a ton from jab, understandable if u didnt wanna get sacred fire burnt tho L but nice rmt :] very powerful team i'd def recommend using
 
Yo, I’m a bad AG player, ignore my advice probably and I know this is like a month old but whatever.

My advice:

Replace Poisonceus with Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. They do basically the same job in checking xern, but Necrozma does it better, and with full SpD, normally beats Steelceus (maybe run something to actually hurt it though / twave over toxic). The marsh MU is perfectly fine when u replace it, between Xerneas and Yveltal and Pdon. This is just my advice though (also checks cm rockceus). Why didn’t you originally put it?
 
Yo, I’m a bad AG player, ignore my advice probably and I know this is like a month old but whatever.

My advice:

Replace Poisonceus with Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. They do basically the same job in checking xern, but Necrozma does it better, and with full SpD, normally beats Steelceus (maybe run something to actually hurt it though / twave over toxic). The marsh MU is perfectly fine when u replace it, between Xerneas and Yveltal and Pdon. This is just my advice though (also checks cm rockceus). Why didn’t you originally put it?
Solgaleo, normally, might be more efficient with an assault vest as it has much more health and a tiny bit less spd.
 
Solgaleo, normally, might be more efficient with an assault vest as it has much more health and a tiny bit less spd.
First of all, no. Solgaleo has been unviable in the metagame for a very long time now, and Dusk Mane thoroughly outclasses it. Why would you run AV when now you lose access to recovery? Dusk Mane also has much more options it can run, like sd in the sr spot to break stall. The reason why Mane is used as a xern COUNTER is because access to prism armor and fantastic bulk make it a much better option. This is a highly uninformed post, please actually acquaint yourself with the meta before posting about it.

Yo, I’m a bad AG player, ignore my advice probably and I know this is like a month old but whatever.

My advice:

Replace Poisonceus with Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. They do basically the same job in checking xern, but Necrozma does it better, and with full SpD, normally beats Steelceus (maybe run something to actually hurt it though / twave over toxic). The marsh MU is perfectly fine when u replace it, between Xerneas and Yveltal and Pdon. This is just my advice though (also checks cm rockceus). Why didn’t you originally put it?
I disagree with this. Poisonceus is still an extremely reliable xern check, and replacing it with Mane hurts the MU vs bp and Physical attackers that may trouble yveltal, such as mray and others. This change doesn't improve enough upon the original, and losing a soft check to mray for set up fodder would not be good for a team lacking revenge killers to plus 1 ray.
 

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