Tournament OLT Discussion Thread

Infernal

Banned deucer.

Thread approved by bludz and celticpride

Introduction


Smogon's Official Ladder Tour (OLT) is currently underway, and many players are hitting the ladder for the chance to win their very own trophy (
). There are 7 ladder cycles total. During these cycles, there are a limited number of qualifying spots. Players sign up for any cycle they please and aim to ladder to as high of a ranking as possible to earn a qualifying position. Players who successfully earn one of the available qualifying spots will then have the chance to compete in the playoffs of OLT. For a more thorough explanation of how the individual cycles work, please refer to this and any future ones.

As for this thread, its purpose is to discuss the OLT ladder metagame, trends, player experiences, ladder advice, popular teams and why they are popular, and any other information players feel like discussing! I will be following OLT closely and updating this thread accordingly with any trends I notice, a list of individuals who qualified for each cycle, and so on. There will be plenty to discuss during the duration of OLT. I'd love for this thread to be fun and hope to see players share their thoughts and experiences during each cycle. After each cycle ends, I will be writing an overview for them each. These overviews will be archived and linked in the OP for easy access, along with any notable posts from individuals/OLT participants who take the time to share their thoughts.

Cycle Overviews Archive

Archive of Posts

 
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Infernal

Banned deucer.
Cycle 1 Qualifiers

Rank: #1 | ELO: 2088 | GXE: 86.9% | Record: 73-43 (62.93%)
Rank: #2 | ELO: 2074 | GXE: 88.3% | Record: 127-51 (71.3%)
Rank: #3 | ELO: 2072 | GXE: 92.3% | Record: 64-4 (94.12%)
Rank: #4 | ELO: 2064 | GXE: 90.1% | Record: 87-28 (75.65%)
Rank: #5 | ELO: 2061 | GXE: 88.4% | Record: 42-23 (64.62%)
Rank: #6 | ELO: 2059 | GXE: 90.3% | Record: 76-16 (82.61%)
Rank: #7 | ELO: 2058 | GXE: 91.2% | Record: 110-33 (76.92%)
Rank: #8 | ELO: 2057 | GXE: 89.5% | Record: 107-36 (74.83%)
Rank: #9 | ELO: 2053 | GXE: 86.9% | Record: 277-195 (58.69%)

  • - Bird Spam was definitely the most notable aspect of OLT Cycle 1. xtra$hine's team, which can be found here, was used by a very high number of players competing during this cycle. The team is very fast-paced, making for quick and easy games on something as time consuming as the ladder. Azelf kicks the team off, setting up SR and preventing others from doing the same. From there, the team aims to apply extreme amounts of pressure on the opposing team with the speed, power, and priority threats like Mega Pinsir and Talon bring to the table. This team alone undoubtedly shaped the entire cycle, leading players to counter its popularity through their team building.
  • - Zap was another notable trend during Cycle 1. With the popularity of the Bird Spam team discussed above though, it's easy to see why. Aside from being a pretty solid Pokemon in itself, Zap performed well versus the team and did a good job threatening its primary offensive core of Talon + Mega Pinsir. This bird was used on everything from stall to bulky offense, helping these teams versus Bird Spam and providing crucial hazard control with Defog. Some variants with Sub + Toxic were also used. All in all, Zap performed well during Cycle 1 and was called upon by players after Bird Spam grew more and more popular on the ladder.
  • - Stall was a very popular choice during Cycle 1. It's hard for many teams to break, and the playstyle can find itself winning easily versus a good amount of the builds used on the ladder. Mega Sab was normally a major player on these teams, helping with hazard control and countering breakers like Mega Cham. Dug's usage on stall and fatter builds alike was also major and demonstrated how powerful trapping really is on these teams to eliminate the likes of Heatran and company. Overall, this playstyle was a major force during Cycle 1, and this will likely continue to be the case in the future to come.
  • - SR Clefable was another popular choice among players during Cycle 1, and I do think its rise ties into how common stall was. Aside from doing good versus the majority of hazard removers, SR Clefable does a particularly good job keeping SR up versus Mega Sab. Given the popularity of stall during Cycle 1, Clefable's ability to do this became very attractive. So, SR Clefable quickly became a go-to choice on many teams to fulfill the role of a rocker. SR / Moonblast / Soft-Boiled were standards, with the final move ranging from options like Calm Mind, Knock Off, Thunder Wave, and Flamethrower. Calm Mind in particular seemed to be one of the more popular options on SR sets, allowing Clefable to function as a win condition when necessary.
  • - Choice Scarf Exca was another big trend from Cycle 1. Surprisingly, many teams were threatened by its presence once their Ground type immunity (Lando-T for many teams) was removed, weakened, or overwhelmed by other teammates. Other "ground immunities" used on teams, like Rotom-W and Latios, have no business taking a Mold Breaker EQ either. The ability to revenge kill, threaten so many teams, and check threats like Clefable all in one was notable overall. A few other builds took a more defensive route with their Exca's by going special defensive with SR and Leftovers. Mold Breaker is particularly nice on these sets because SR goes through Mega Sableye's Magic Bounce, preventing your attempts to lay down rocks from being blocked so easily.
Notable / Popular Cycle 1 Teams

Below are some popular teams used during Cycle 1. These show some of the trends discussed above and provide some insight into the type of builds people were using to compete with (mainly bulky offense and stall). Many of the teams here were used by more than one person, including several of the people who qualified for Cycle 1. I may have missed a few, so please feel free to mention any teams you feel were popular during the cycle and I will add them. Note, replays were a little tedious to find, so if there are better ones people have in mind, please let me know and I'll include them as well.
  • - Used by numerous players, mainly participants like xtra$hine and Empo. Other Cycle 1 qualifiers like PDC were also seen using the team, among others. Very offensive team centered around quickly laying down SR with Azelf and using members like Mega Pinsir, Talonflame, and Manaphy to heavily pressure the opposing team. Example replays: #1, #2, #3, #4.
  • - Used by participants like Tele, foxlord, and Cycle 1 qualifier Rodriblutar. A major example of the type of stall being used during the round, using Dugtrio to trap otherwise threatening Pokemon like Heatran and CB Tar. Also shows the use of Zapdos on stall during the cycle. The use of double Defog between Skarmory and Zapdos is also unique and goes a long way in controlling the hazard game, which is vital when using Focus Sash Dugtrio. Example replays: #1, #2, #3.
  • - PDC and ABR were some players seen using this team. Demonstrates Zapdos and SR Clefable being used on bulky offense for reasons discussed earlier. Example replays: #1, #2.
  • - Mainly used by Cycle 1 qualifier Lysergic, PDC, and other participants like Welli0u. Shows another example of SR Clefable being used on bulky offense during this cycle to reliably secure SR versus the majority of playstyles, particularly stall. Example replays: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.
  • - Another popular team during Cycle 1, seeing use by participants like Omfuga, Cased, ZoroDark, and several more. Like the team above, this one also uses Mega Lopunny, who remains a strong choice of mega in this metagame for its ability to threaten offense like no other and be all around threatening. Example replays: #1, #2, #3, #4.
  • - Used by players like ABR and Omfuga. This team is a nice example of how Scarf Exca was used on bulky offense during Cycle 1. It's benefiting from Mega Hera's ability to weaken Lando-T, and also helps the team by checking Latios and Fairy types. Example replays: #1, #2, #3.
  • - Another stall team which saw a good amount of use during Cycle 1. Shows us an example of Exca being used in a bulkier capacity as a SpD rocker. Players like Get this Money, MetalGro$$, and Cycle 1 qualifier Updated Kanto were all seen using the team. Read this post for a more in-depth description of the team. Example replays: #1, #2, #3, #4.
 
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Infernal

Banned deucer.
From here, feel free to go ahead and discuss whatever. As mentioned in the OP, discussion points include ladder trends, player experiences, popular teams, and so on, from any previous or ongoing cycles. Another interesting discussion would be to compare the cycles from this year's OLT to the ones held the prior year. The only thing I ask is for everyone to play nice when they contribute. Otherwise, have fun!
 
Some of these popular teams are seriously confusing. The team Omfuga/Cased spammed (Lop/Bandtar/Clef/Ferro/Mie/Lando) essentially auto-loses to a competently played Zard-Y since Lop is your only countermeasure. It's also gonna struggle a ton vs. Serp too since, again, Lop is your only countermeasure, which isn't even killing from full.

xtrashine's birdspam has a super questionable matchup vs. sand so I expect sand teams to become more prevalent as people catch onto the fact that that team's check is Manaphy (lol).

Mob Barley's LopGar team lacks a Keld S/I which irks me a ton but I'm not qualified so I guess I can't talk. If anyone knows the sets, lemme know cuz I'm curious and didn't pay a whole lot of attention to Mob when he was laddering.
 

Updated Kanto

Banned deucer.
I've been following people around and it seems like people's go to team is the birdspam xtra made and from personal experience I think its a good team to climb up fast, but I also noticed after a certain point it became a little less effective due to people preparing and sometimes making flat out counter teams, so I would certainly suggest using a well balanced team once you reach the top If you want to maintain consistency. Apart from the birdspam I also began to notice a numerous amount of mega lopunny teams to pressure offense backed up by breakers to beat fat / defensive backbones like clefable.
Some of these popular teams are seriously confusing. The team Omfuga/Cased spammed (Lop/Bandtar/Clef/Ferro/Mie/Lando) essentially auto-loses to a competently played Zard-Y since Lop is your only countermeasure. It's also gonna struggle a ton vs. Serp too since, again, Lop is your only countermeasure, which isn't even killing from full.

xtrashine's birdspam has a super questionable matchup vs. sand so I expect sand teams to become more prevalent as people catch onto the fact that that team's check is Manaphy (lol).

Mob Barley's LopGar team lacks a Keld S/I which irks me a ton but I'm not qualified so I guess I can't talk. If anyone knows the sets, lemme know cuz I'm curious and didn't pay a whole lot of attention to Mob when he was laddering.
Yea the teams have really noticeable weaknesses but I think most of the teams were made based on what people were using on the higher parts of ladder. When I was laddering I saw a lack of serps zard ys and I didn't really see a ton of keldeos now that I think about it.
 
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ABR you mind explaining rest heracross. Im of the opinion half your sets like the rumored hp fire rain dance manaphy are piles of dogshit everytime they are brought up but ive seen a couple of cool gems from you and wanted a brief run down before building with it. Any prference with evs to.
 

blunder

the bobby fischer of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributoris the Smogon Tour Season 25 Champion
we put rest on heracross bc nothing on the traditional weav stall can 3hko it barring cb weavile so u rest up and can wake up on stuff like amoongus chans quag while still retaining a decent amount of health, its the only stallbreaker unless u count specs latios i guess so it has to hav some way to not be worn down n die
 
I've never used rd hpfire. Anyways, this is the hera set:

Heracross-Mega @ Heracronite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 144 HP / 232 Atk / 32 Def / 100 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Pin Missile
- Rock Blast
- Rest

This is essentially a run of the mill heracross with basic 3atk coverage. However, instead of using sub or sd, I (also blunder) decided a full out sableye counter would be best. You pretty much play it as a normal hera except vs stall u can rest vs sableye because only unaware clef and cb weav 3hko you. The evs allow you to outspeed/creep most suicunes, and the bulk allows you to always avoid 3hko from sableye foul play. Rest w/o talk is generally really passive and I wouldn't use it in games vs balance or offense, but the passivity can be affordable vs stall.
 
ok first of all i want to apologize to you if i as an a-hole during the cycle, ladder brings out the worst in people and i'm no exception - i hope if i wronged any of you we can become friends someday

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, here are some teams I used to qualify.

- M-Lop Lure Offense: Got me to 2000's with something like a 38 win streak, probably went around 65-15 total before I started switching it up. This is my go-to if I don't have any info as for who is laddering, as it's a solid choice most of the time - beats most ladder squads except for tele's and Lysergic's. I'll probably RMT this one sometime this week - it works best with the surprise factor of the sets, as any normal team preview analysis leads people to make horribly incorrect conclusions about the sets which gives me a workable edge.

Here's one replay of just the set novelty throwing people off: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-413790472

- Triple Stallbreaker M-Lop BO: A spinoff version of the previous team, sacrificing offense match-up for basically a guaranteed win against most fat builds, albeit it's admittedly balls to the wall hax reliant. Honestly, Manaphy > Togekiss is a better team option in hindsight but oh well this is the version that I used. Works best against regen cores, so I used it against those liones-type builds.

Only could find one replay with the team: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-412589013 . This game fucking sucked for him admittedly (SORRY), but it tilted him out of the top 9 entirely so I suppose it making people irrationally angry by using teams such as this is a competitively viable strategy for OLT.

- FWG M-Scizor BO: I like this team a lot - definitely is the most solid of the three. Manaphy is still as broken as it was last year, and Scizor just breaks shit in half 70% of the time. Actually John was planning on using this vs. Zamrock in G1 of POT finals, I don't know why he didn't. mfw you use choice specs zapdos over this god squad, x.

(edit 8/15: just realized this had an absolutely horrible birdspam mathcup, so here are some changes i suggested to somebody who pm'd me about current edits - http://prntscr.com/c62t90 . also forgot to s/o fruitdealer because he made the sciz/man/latias core like 2 years ago).

Couldn't find any saved replays at all with this team during the cycle, so here's one I have of yesterday vs. ABR's team: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-414664211
 
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^ please dont do this.* With the exception of xtra who already put the import of his team in rmt, unless the actual builder wants to provide the sets like difficult did some people dont want to reveal sets and spreads for later use.

bludz edit: *Post the imports of popular teams in the OP
 
The best thing about Cycle 1 is that it finally showed people how good Zapdos is. Some say it's only because of the bird spam team but there's so many other teams that just don't have good ways of beating it. The Static set hard punishing Tornadus-Therian is nice, too.

I also noticed a surprisingly low number of Landorus-Therian at the top of the ladder. There's some in the popular teams section of the OP but for a Pokemon who is regularly #1 in stats it seemed quite uncommon. Is it because of the all the Sableye stall teams? Maybe it's the Zapdos.

I did see quite a few offensive SR Chompers, though. It's good to see it being used over the incredibly passive Tank Chomp set.

This is what I used to qualify (if anyone wants to lose to Bisharp and/or Manaphy):

- Pinsir Stall: I made it to use against hellpowna in round 1 of Tour playoffs but didn't get to use it until final against cosine. It didn't do so well there but I brought it (slightly edited) to ladder anyway. As luck would have it, it has a great matchup against the most popular team (bird spam), and has decent checks to all of the best/most common Megas (Scizor, Medicham, Lopunny, Diancie, Sableye). Manaphy is a bit too common but it's not Impossible to deal with. Bisharp kinda is though if they play decently.

EVs probably need updating (Zapdos was taken from PS Calc) although the Rotom speed is intentional so it can outrun Jolly BD Azu.
 

Posho

You're a fool to turn away.
is a Tiering Contributoris the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a Past Smogon Snake Draft Champion
As I already qualified I'm going to share with you the squads I utilized to qualify with, it has been a long way, I definitely enjoyed playing with many of you, even though I got salty some times xD sorry for that. I'm proud that I could mostly use my own stuff and didn't need bullshit at all (I used shedstall a few times but it sucked a lot X.)

<<< >>>
This was my go-to team, definitely one of my favourites to use, featuring the incredible Specs Kyurem which was used previously in the cycle 1. I thought the best way to ladder would be trying something that noone is preppared for: Ice types have always been good in the tier, Kyurem is such a strong mon due to its bulk, special attack and a decent speed tier which allows it to outspeed and threaten a lot of stuff, we've got as example the populars FatChomp (which doesn't outspeed kyurem), Landorus-T which is oftenly run as a defensive variant, Bulky water types like rotom-w or slowbro,etc.
The team is really simple: Scizor acts as my pivot and also as a late-game sweeper, its uturn helps me opening holes for kyurem to come in, Latios as my hazard removal as well as a water resist, it is important to keep the hazards away so kyurem can come in more freely, Scarf Lando which basically helps with speed control and also gives momentum, speedy tran for rocks: hazards help kyurem a lot and make it more threatening and for last we've got slowbro which is the fighting sponge and another water resist.
The team struggles against powerful rock types like tyranitar, it doesnt have a rock-resist so it's kind of difficult to deal with but it's possible to play around tho. Stall is another issue with this team, try to keep the rocks as long as possible and pressure your opponent with m sciz's uturn + kyurem and also be careful with bird spam, it may look like pinsir would 6-0 the team but as long as you don't let it set up is fine.

Replays: #1 #2 #3


<<< >>>

This one other of the teams I used a lot, there wasn't really a base core to build around, I started with sr clef which is so good now against stall, LO torna who hits everything so hard unless Zapdos, SD chomp as one of my wincons, with yache berry so thundurus isnt that troublesome, SD scizor as my pivot and my scarf exca switchin and my late game sweeper, rotom which is another good pivot, it helps a lot with moves like will-o to cripple threats like scizor and specs keld as my stallbreaker, focus blast hits really strong

Replays: #1 #2 #3

<<< >>>

A stall I used a few times and it kind of worked out. It had alomomola instead of gastrodon until I realized I needed responses for rock types and also electric immunity so volt switch doesn't become an annoying move. Sableye is my lead most of the time, it's a really incredible mon that prevents hazards and status on the team, chansey as my sr setter and cleric, tangrowth as my physical wall, it helps a lot not giving momentum to my opp with moves like u-turn thanks to it's rocky helmet, zapdos is my defoger and bird check, gastrodon my answer against rock types, with protect to avoid possibles 2ohko from ttar band crunch or terrakion cc band and clef my unaware mon with cm, acts as my wincon

Replays #1 #2 #3 (enjoy destruction LOL)
 

sorry to everyone I was being an asshole to except for stromzone and fox
s/o tele for building a stall team I could steal after mine stopped working

ok since the team has already been featured in this thread I might as well write up a little summary on the building process and the way its supposed to work.




So the idea behind the team was to build stall with tornadus, since torn checks a lot of mons, gives stall a decent revenge killer and allows it to maintain a bit of momentum with u-turn. Sableye is on the team to prevent hazards and allow torn to abuse regen to the fullest, slowbro is kind of a catch all check for physical attackers, bulky exca may be kind of an unusual choice but it worked well in this build since its a decent check to electrics, latis and has access to rapid spin and stealthrock. The last two mons i added were unaware clefable which is used as a check to setup mons, for wishpassing to exca and obv healbell which is kind of needed on a stall team. The last slot was kind of hard to pick but i decided to go with talonflame in the end since it gives me more security against fairies, another revengekiller and a good way to annoy balance since this team does not have spikes+pursuit or any other real way to combat balance at this point. I used hp ice as my 4th move on torn since being able to revenge kill ground types is really important to me, talonflame is acro so that it can check bisharp and weavile somewhat. When I used the team I realized that torn kinda functions as a punchingbag in most games, you just throw it into a mon that you dont wanna deal with with any other mon (for example if u face keld+mmeta you'd wanna switch torn into keld to avoid slowbro getting burned and possibly 2hkoed by metagross), and even thought tornadus and talonflame felt kind of redundant at first it works quite well since torn just takes a lot of pressure off the team by taking on those mons that are supposed to weaken your check to something else, as well building a nice wincon in combination with talonflame since those 2 together beat most if not all birdchecks down quite easily by burning them+knocking them off and making them switch in on uturns and rocks repeatedly. (oh and this was built for the hoopa-u suspect test initially)
 
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Infernal

Banned deucer.
Cycle 2 Qualifiers

Rank: #1 | ELO: 2086 | GXE: 88.6 | Record: 98-32 (75.38%)

Rank
: #2 | ELO: 2083 | GXE: 91.6 | Record: 76-13 (85.39%)
Rank: #3 | ELO: 2073 | GXE: 89.5 | Record: 87-23 (79.09%)
Rank
: #4 | ELO: 2066 | GXE: 91.4 | Record: 72-14 (84.70%)
Rank: #5 | ELO: 2054 | GXE: 87.3 | Record: 99-40 (71.22%)
Rank
: #6 | ELO: 2054 | GXE: 85.6 | Record: 40-19 (67.80%)
Rank: #7 | ELO: 2053 | GXE: 90.6 | Record: 66-8 (89.19%)

Cycle 2 seemed much more "tame" than Cycle 1 for the majority of its duration. For essentially the entire cycle, things appeared like reaching the upper 1900's would be enough for a #7 qualifying position. For example, on the morning (EST) of the deadline for Cycle 2, the #7 position was sitting around 1970 or so, whereas this number was already well into the 2000's during Cycle 1. This sounded too good to be true, and deadline day proved this. Countless players were making a last ditch run to qualify on deadline day, and a good chunk of the people around the 1900's managed to climb there way up to the 2000's. Fast forward to an hour before the deadline and the #7 position ended up reaching around 2040, with 2053 ELO ultimately being needed to qualify (the same as Cycle 1, funnily enough). In a matter of hours, a cycle a few people referred to as "dead" transformed into a very competitive one as things came down to the wire. Perhaps with the initial hype of Cycle 1 behind us, the rounds to come will appear less chaotic for a good portion of their duration. Deadline day, however, seems bound to be hectic as everyone guns for a last minute qualifying position before time runs up. The spots for #1 and #2 remain really competitive, requiring an ELO around the 2080's. Posho occupied #1 for a good while until Eternal Spirit and Get this Money climbed up and claimed the top spots towards the end.

As far as teams go, many of the same things from Cycle 1 were being used, with bulky offense and stall remaining the popular playstyles. People saw which teams were used successfully during Cycle 1 and gave them a go for Cycle 2 to hopefully mirror the success other players had. Teams like tele's (Zapdos, Suicune, Dugtrio, Skarmory, Mega Sableye, Clefable), for example, remained popular. SR Clefable remained as popular as ever, letting people use other sets on Ground types like Landorus-T and Garchomp. xtra$hine's "Bird Spam" team also saw a fair share of use. However, its effectiveness seems to have lowered significantly with the large popularity of Zapdos in the ladder metagame currently. Teams as a whole appear to be more prepared for the team after its Cycle 1 domination. Aside from known teams being used, there were definitely some new ones to pop up. Specs Kyurem made an impressive showing this Cycle, being used by players like Posho and High Impulse. Ice STAB is super threatening, and with Kyurem's good bulk and number of useful resistances, plenty of chances could be found to come in and fire a powerful blow. Mega wise, Mega Lopunny, Mega Heracross, and Mega Scizor were popular choices. Mega Lopunny in particular remains a solid way to pressure offensive backbones when paired alongside a breaker to cover more defensively oriented teams.

Main Teams used by the Top 7

Because many people were using or copying many of the same teams from Cycle 1, there aren't as many 'notable' teams to show. To give people an idea of the things being used during Cycle 2, I will instead be listing the main team(s) used by the top 7 for this round and briefly discuss how their builds demonstrate some continuing trends discussed before. Note, the teams shown here were chosen to the best of knowledge and the replays available from each player.
  • used by Hiye - There are some interesting things here. For example, Gliscor is using the unconventional Wing Attack as coverage alongside EQ. Aside from this, we can see some repeating trends with SR Clefable and Mega Lopunny being used on the team for reasons discussed before. I find the use of hazard stack on the team interesting because it's something I haven't seen much on the ladder with how common Mega Sableye and hazard removal have become (Defog Zapdos, Defog Skarmory, and so on). With Mega Lopunny, SR Clefable, and the Gliscor from before though, the team has ways to threaten the teams these removers are commonly used on. Search "LT2H hiye" here for replays.
  • used by Posho - As mentioned in the overview above, here is Specs Kyurem, who was used to impressive results during this cycle by Posho and others. It's the team's main form of offense and did an awesome job pressuring teams with between its brute strength and access to very powerful Ice + Dragon STABs. Solid bulky offensive team with a good mix of bulk and power overall. Read this post for a more in-depth description of the team. Search "LT2A Posho" here for replays.
  • used by Get this Money - Tele's stall team from Cycle 1 makes a reappearance, being used very solidly by GTM to earn a #2 ranking and a guaranteed position in the playoffs. The team seems to continue being a strong choice on the ladder and hard to break. Search "LT2 GG TM" here for replays.
  • used by Wally The Bully - Hyper offensive team with some interesting choice of sets to address some weaknesses. For example, Manaphy carries Wacan to lure in troublesome Electric types. Wally does a really good job playing the team from the matches I watched and knows how to maneuver around its weaknesses well. Search "LT2B Wally Bully" here for replays.
  • used by Choice Specs - Sources say Choice Specs used various teams. There are very little replays though, and this team appears on two of the four. Shows how some players are repeating successful teams from Cycle 1. Otherwise, there isn't much else to say here sadly. Search "LT2B CS" here for replays.
  • used by Eternal Spirit - The #1 ranking for this round goes to Eternal Spirit, and they were mainly seen using this team according to replays available. Mega Lopunny makes another appearance here and continues to be a popular mega so far, threatening offensive backbones like no other. The team has some unconventional choices in Tentacruel and non-mega Scizor too, with a Magnezone to trap the numerous Steel types roaming around. For more insight into the team, please read this post. Search "LT2X ETERNAL" here for replays.
  • used by Infernal - Description of the team can be found here. Search "LT2B Enferna ☆" or "LT1C Enferna" here for replays.
 
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Infernal

Banned deucer.
Teams I used for Cycle 2:


Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Thunder Punch
- Ice Punch
- Hammer Arm

Rotom-Wash @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Will-O-Wisp
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Pain Split

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Knock Off / Explosion

Amoonguss @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 168 Def / 92 SpD
Bold Nature
- Spore
- Clear Smog
- Giga Drain
- Foul Play

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Lava Plume
- Taunt
- Toxic / Will-O-Wisp

Crawdaunt @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Crabhammer
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet
This is the main team I made and used to qualify this round, also being my main during Cycle 1. Wanted to use Mega Gross and Craw because I find them both to be really good. Mega Gross is the Pokemon holding the team together and needs to be evolved during a match as soon as possible. This is because the team is rather slow otherwise and needs Mega Gross' speed when up versus scary threats like Manaphy, Kyu-B, and Char-Y especially. Craw is the other Pokemon this team was made around, giving me a weapon versus stall and being an all around powerhouse to threaten my enemy with. From there, the team relies on some defensive utility Pokemon to cover threats. Amoonguss is a really big help for the team, Sporing things when necessary and being my primary check to the likes of Keld, Loom, and Mega Lop. Foul Play is my preferred final move because Gar is a pain to deal with, although other move choices like Stun Spore and HP Fire work too. From there, Lando-T, Rotom-W, and Tran complete the team, providing everything from a revenge killer, bird check, SR setter, and Mega Sciz answer. As far as weaknesses go, Bisharp is enemy #1. This Pokemon has to be played around very cautiously, and I normally have to keep Tran really healthy for this purpose. Other Pokemon like Kyu-B, Char-Y, and Gar are also issues, requiring careful play and smart pivoting too. I usually try to play aggressively with Mega Gross via doubles when I face teams with these threats, pressuring them before they pressure me.


Landorus-Therian @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 8 Atk / 240 Def / 8 Spe
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off / Stone Edge

Latios @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock / Hidden Power Fire
- Surf
- Roost

Lopunny-Mega @ Lopunnite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- High Jump Kick
- Return
- Ice Punch
- Fake Out

Crawdaunt @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet
- Crabhammer

Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder Wave
- Soft-Boiled
- Calm Mind
- Moonblast

Jirachi @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Atk / 20 SpD / 216 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Iron Head
- Toxic
- Fire Punch
I used this team in a few games and is the main build I used under my ladder name 'Phase 1,' which some people know me as. It's my favorite team by far and has been fairly effective. Sub Toxic Jira is the star of the team and is something I find really underrated because of how easily it's able to wear and take things down between poison and flinches. It's also my main way of luring WoW Talon, who I am faster than and cripple with Toxic. Jira's ability to keep the team from kneeling over versus Fairy types is also super appreciated, along with having Fire Punch to nail Mega Scizor. Craw and Mega Lop give the team some methods versus stall and offense respectively, and make up the team's main offensive core. They work really well in tandem with Jira because they can both pressure or weaken Ground types, Tran, etc. The rest of the team is basic otherwise, using Lando-T and Clefable for SR and check to much of the tier. One thing worth mentioning is how Lando-T helps this team loads with pressuring Clefable and Mega Sciz, which is why I run SD. It's usually my initial switch in to Clefable because Jira can't risk being paralyzed. Latios checks the usual Keld and others, also using Surf to help lure in and weaken Tran for Jira. Main weaknesses to the team are Mega Gross, Breloom, and Talon. Other things like Specs Zone, Bisharp, and Keldeo + trapper can be annoying too. Azumarill is annoying on paper, however it's normally overwhelmed or weakened fairly easily in practice. While I often interchange, I prefer Psyshock on Latios over HP Fire for this reason and to apply more pressure on things like Clefable on the switch in.
 
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Infernal

Banned deucer.
Cycle 3 Qualifiers
Rank: #1 | ELO: 2069 | GXE: 88.8 | Record: 80-29 (73.39%)
Rank: #2 | ELO: 2050 | GXE: 90.1 | Record: 111-37 (75%)
Rank: #3 | ELO: 2046 | GXE: 88.6 | Record: 73-14 (83.9%)
Rank: #4 | ELO: 2045 | GXE: 89.6 | Record: 92-17 (84.40%)
Rank: #5 | ELO: 2043 | GXE: 87.2 | Record: Unavailable Record
Rank: #6 | ELO: 2042 | GXE: 86.9 | Record: 161-63 (71.88%)
Rank: #7 | ELO: 2039 | GXE: 87.9 | Record: 145-65 (69.05%)

Like the previous cycle, people continued to use known teams from other people who already qualified, hoping to find similar success. Compared to the other cycles, this one ended up requiring a lower ELO to qualify. For example, in Cycle 1 and 2, the #1 ranking ended with 2088 ELO and 2086 ELO respectively, while #7 ended with 2053 in both. For cycle 3, however, #1 and #7 ended with 2069 and 2039 respectively. While the difference between those rankings may seem small at a glance, it's quite the opposite on something like ladder were all your points matter and one game can send you tilting back down to the 1900's. The decrease in ELO required to qualify makes you wonder whether this will continue in future cycles, especially with summer nearing an end and people heading back to school. If this is the case, will we see some people who already qualified take advantage and go for a higher ranking to avoid having to go through the preliminary round of playoffs? I guess time will tell.

Some other notable things happened this cycle. There was controversy over whether Confide would be the #7 qualifier. This is because Confide failed to sign up in the thread before starting their ladder run, which breaks a rule. Because of this, a decision (link) was made to give Liones (who was behind Confide in ranking) the #7 position instead. However, this decision was then modified. Liones ended up having the same ELO as Gotham Paladin as this image shows, only being separated by GXE. As such, these two players will have to do a tiebreaker (link) to determine who will receive rank #7 and a chance to battle in the playoffs.


Cycle 3 Qualifying Teams

Posted by Posho HERE.

OLT Metagame Musings


There didn't seem to be many notable teams this cycle, especially with many builds from other cycles seeing repeated use. I didn't want to be repetitive, so I decided to skip the section this time and do a mini metagame overview with some things I've noticed during OLT so far. Players are obviously welcome to share any teams or thoughts they have after playing or qualifying in OLT.
  • - I was given the idea to discuss how trapping has evolved on stall since the previous OLT and did some digging and asking around regarding the topic. "Gothitelle stall" seemed to be something every player hated. Between Shadow Tag, Choice Scarf, and Trick, Goth was able to trap and severely cripple many threats to stall. For example, Pokemon like Clefable and Manaphy could be trapped and have their items swapped for Choice Scarf, removing their ability to threaten stall in any capacity. Players appeared to have gone as far as using Shed Shell on stall breakers like Togekiss to avoid Goth's wrath. Thunder Wave was another popular move on Goth, providing an option to cripple other threats to stall like Mega Gardevoir. Because Goth also ran Rest, PP stalling Pokemon like Chansey over the course of many dreadful turns was also a possibility after Tricking over the Scarf. Some replays from last year's OLT to demonstrate Goth in action for people who may have not been around back then:
  • Replay 1 - Goth Tricks a Suicune on turn 10 and proceeds to PP stall. Goth then goes on to kill a Nidoking and weakened Latios, followed by a Talon after Tricking a Scarf. In one game, Goth removed 4/6 Pokemon.
  • Replay 2 - Gothitelle Tricks a Scarf onto a Kyurem-B, allowing a 21% Chansey to come in and heal up on a locked Ice Beam. From there, the stall team has little standing in its way.
Since then, Shadow Tag has been banned. This didn't stop stall from adapting its method of trapping though. Take 'ABR stall' for example, which uses CB Weavile's speed and trapping capabilities to keep Pokemon like Torn-T in check. Then we have Dugtrio, who has been seeing use in this OLT as a way for stall oriented teams to remove threats like CB Tar. While it's certainly no Goth, Dugtrio is more than capable of picking off threats when needed between Sash and its good speed. Some players have even been experimenting with options like Screech to make trapping Pokemon like Chansey an easier process. Overall, it's been cool to see how stall teams have evolved their trapping methods over time to keep certain threats from running through them.​
  • - With stall being a popular playstyle in the OLT, many players have been using Manaphy to give these teams a run for their money. Manaphy has been a popular choice so far on the ladder, and its ability to threaten stall and defensive builds in general is valuable in such a setting. Variants with Rain Dance and a coverage move like Psychic perform their job well, although sets with the traditional Tail Glow and 3 attacks are equally as threatening. One interesting thing to note with Manaphy is its overall usage in WCoP, which can be viewed here. While Manaphy's win percentage is impressive (63.16%), it's only rank #33 and sitting around 5.9% usage. While there are various factors to consider when looking through stats for certain tournaments, stall as a whole seems to be less common in settings like WCoP. Could this be a big reason for Manaphy's decreased usage in WCoP, or are there other factors at play here? Any other stall breakers people are finding effective on the ladder?
  • - Fighting types remain one of the main ways for teams to incorporate some offensive presence onto their teams. Mega Lop remains super popular, providing invaluable speed and tool versus offensive builds. Mega Hera has also seen nice usage, threatening stall and defensive builds well in general. Terrak, however, is something I have noticed has fallen off. This is interesting because there was a period where Terrak was hyped because of how many teams were said to lack reliable rock resists. Since then, Terrak's hype appears to have faded for the time being. With Choice Lando-T becoming more and more common over defensive variants, this may seem a tad strange seeing how it's more easily broken by CB Stone Edge. Is Terrak simply a less effective choice than Fighting types like Mega Lop and Mega Hera on the ladder, both of which provide near unrivaled tools versus offense and stall respectively while being less reliant on prediction? What other factors are contributing to its low usage so far?
  • - These Pokemon are everywhere and the utility they provide for teams is unmatched. They glue together teams really well and are consistently in the top 10 of usage stats, whether in SPL, World Cup, or Antar's usage updates. We all know the things these Pokemon are capable of individually, so instead let's examine some of the influence they have. Tran's crazy popularity, for example, has influenced the coverage moves certain Pokemon use. Examples include Surf Latios, HP Ground Volcarona, and EQ Char-X. Giving Tran free turns to do its thing is something players like to avoid, so running these coverage moves on said Pokemon usually has good payoff. In regards to Latios, coverage moves have become a common way to threaten switch ins like Tar, Ferro, and the previously mentioned Tran. Specs Latios is another thing I have seen people experimenting with, possessing much more immediate wall breaking power to muscle through checks like Clefable. Rotom-W remains its usual self, although strategies based around "overwhelming" it have been seen through the popularity of "Bird Spam."
  • - These two Ground types are also everywhere. The main difference to note with them is how they are starting to be used in a more offensive capacity. For example, Lando-T has been using Choice Scarf very often in the OLT ladder metagame and makes for a really nice revenge killer. Chomp with SD + LO and 3 attacks has also been receiving some attention and is really threatening offensively. Is there a reason these two Ground types are being used more offensively though? Maybe. One of the main reasons people incorporate Ground-types on their team is for SR. While Lando-T and Chomp are certainly good SR users and are still used for the role, options like Tran, Jirachi, and Clefable can also be used for the job. These Pokemon are all very flexible and easy to include on various teams. By assigning them the role of SR setter, Lando-T and Chomp now have more freedom to use the sets mentioned earlier. It's fun to think whether the increasing popularity of Choice Lando-T over defensive variants can give certain Pokemon the chance to shine more in this metagame. Char-X could be one such example, are there any others?
 
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xray

how you doin'?
is a Tiering Contributor
thanks a lot here to infernal for summing up olt for people who did not really follow everything like me. great work!
i find the team choices till now pretty interesting but not really surprising. Gonna write more here for the case i get more time/motivation and make play offs!!
 

Posho

You're a fool to turn away.
is a Tiering Contributoris the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a Past Smogon Snake Draft Champion
I've been following the ones who qualified and I kind of know what teams they did use:

  • Empo:
: Basically it's the same Bird Spam team that has kept spammed since cycle 1, you lead with Azelf turn 1, set up your rocks and then try to overwhelm your opponent with those 5 powerful mons. A really good and reccomended team for quick laddering.
Search: lt3f empo here

  • Sabella:
: Some sort of bulky-offensive team, with some suprising sets, for example we've got Toxic Scarf Keldeo so he's able to cripple some common threats such as mea latias, shedinja, rotom and slowbro, Excadrill is bulky but really fast, this has helped him in various situations and Clefable is either encore or stored power so he's able to deal with tele's stall. The rest of the team is standard, Lopunny is adamant so he's able to hit hard bulky and offensive teams, rotom is defensive standard and torna av.
Search: LT3SS SAB here

  • Poek:
: This is the classic electric spam made by obii that has been spammed by RedemptionMC who edited it and Poek in this cycle. Poek used the obii version so he'd be able to take some people by suprise, for expample: Thundurus is running a mixed set with knock off, iron tail, thunderbolt and grass knot to handle stalls, Breloom lacks spore and instead it's running superpower, swords dance, bullet seed and mach punch so he's able to deal a lot of damage against a lot of teams and manaphy's running a bulky calm mind set. The rest of the team isn't changed, Jirachi is specially defensive with SR, Garchomp is scarf and Manectric is running its standard moveset.
There are no replays, sadly but I'm sure some of you have seen him using it

  • ZoroDark:
: As well as the bird spam team, this team has kept very successful throughout the tournament, ZoroDark used this team in his way to the top, there aren't really major changes, he just used shed shell instead of leftovers on skarmory so he's able to deal with magnezone teams easier.
Search: LT3A ZoroDark here

  • Blackoblivion:
: Another team that has been very succesful during the tournament, it's been using by various players including me due to its really good matchup against common teams such as the Bird Spam team. There aren't really major suprises on the team but the fact that Blackoblivion used toxic + sr on clefable so he'd be able to deal with Zapdos which is an annoyance for the team in general
Search: LT3S Oblivion here

  • Zamrock:
: This team made by GTM was used by Zamrock to succesfully qualify, it's a really solid team that is able to give you solid matchups against some bulky teams that lack some strong hitter since they're not able to break through this team. The issue is that it's given some problems with Manaphy, specially the rain dance set which is able to beat clefable if it gets burned, you've got to play really carefully if you see one of those!
Search: LT3Z Zamrockin here

By the way, it'd be nice if you guys post when Gotham Paladin and Liones are playing, I'm really impatient to see that match since they've proven to be really strong battlers :)

Edit: they play today at 10 pm gmt +1 (5pm est)
 
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Sabella

Heating Up
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past WCoP Champion
I've been following the ones who qualified and I kind of know what teams they did use:

  • Empo:
: Basically it's the same Bird Spam team that has kept spammed since cycle 1, you lead with Azelf turn 1, set up your rocks and then try to overwhelm your opponent with those 5 powerful mons. A really good and reccomended team for quick laddering.
Search: lt3f empo here

  • Sabella:
: Some sort of bulky-offensive team, with some suprising sets, for example we've got Toxic Scarf Keldeo so he's able to cripple some common threats such as mea latias, shedinja, rotom and slowbro, Excadrill is bulky but really fast, this has helped him in various situations and Clefable is either encore or stored power so he's able to deal with tele's stall. The rest of the team is standard, Lopunny is adamant so he's able to hit hard bulky and offensive teams, rotom is defensive standard and torna av.
Search: LT3SS SAB here

  • Poek:
: This is the classic electric spam made by obii that has been spammed by RedemptionMC who edited it and Poek in this cycle. Poek used the obii version so he'd be able to take some people by suprise, for expample: Thundurus is running a mixed set with knock off, iron tail, thunderbolt and grass knot to handle stalls, Breloom lacks spore and instead it's running superpower, swords dance, bullet seed and mach punch so he's able to deal a lot of damage against a lot of teams and manaphy's running a bulky calm mind set. The rest of the team isn't changed, Jirachi is specially defensive with SR, Garchomp is scarf and Manectric is running its standard moveset.
There are no replays, sadly but I'm sure some of you have seen him using it

  • ZoroDark:
: As well as the bird spam team, this team has kept very successful throughout the tournament, ZoroDark used this team in his way to the top, there aren't really major changes, he just used shed shell instead of leftovers on skarmory so he's able to deal with magnezone teams easier.
Search: LT3A ZoroDark here

  • Blackoblivion:
: Another team that has been very succesful during the tournament, it's been using by various players including me due to its really good matchup against common teams such as the Bird Spam team. There aren't really major suprises on the team but the fact that Blackoblivion used toxic + sr on clefable so he'd be able to deal with Zapdos which is an annoyance for the team in general
Search: LT3S Oblivion here

  • Zamrock:
: This team made by GTM was used by Zamrock to succesfully qualify, it's a really solid team that is able to give you solid matchups against some bulky teams that lack some strong hitter since they're not able to break through this team. The issue is that it's given some problems with Manaphy, specially the rain dance set which is able to beat clefable if it gets burned, you've got to play really carefully if you see one of those!
Search: LT3Z Zamrockinm here

By the way, it'd be nice if you guys post when Gotham Paladin and Liones are playing, I'm really impatient to see that match since they've proven to be really strong battlers :)

Edit: they play today at 10 pm gmt +1 (5pm est)
Posho summed up the team pretty well exca is jolly max speed to out speed ada and modest base 100s and outspped timid heatran while have signicficant bulky to check clef long term. Originally this team has medicham over lopunny so clef was stored power but once i switched to ada lopunny i changed clef to encore to give stall a very hard time and to help vs things like slowbro and reuniclus
 
I feel like you kinda discredited my team, rd mana really isnt that big of an issue since you can stall out rainturns and just healbell if you get burned, you can stall out scalds or raindances if your opponent doesnt get a burn with every scald.
"It's a really solid team that is able to give you solid matchups against some bulky teams that lack some strong hitter since they're not able to break through this team."
Like every other stall team you can beat teams with heavy hitters if you play well by limiting their switchins and setting up everything so talon or torn can clean
edit: yeah lum bish can be annoying since it forces u to sac talon in order to get the burn off but it shouldnt sweep you unless you miss (and even if that happens you can wisp with sab afterwards and take it on with clef)
 
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Sabella

Heating Up
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past WCoP Champion
I feel like you kinda discredited my team, rd mana really isnt that big of an issue since you can stall out rainturns and just healbell if you get burned, you can stall out scalds or raindances if your opponent doesnt get a burn with every scald.
"It's a really solid team that is able to give you solid matchups against some bulky teams that lack some strong hitter since they're not able to break through this team."
Like every other stall team you can beat team with heavy hitters if you play well by limiting their switchins and setting up everything so talon or torn can clean
One threat i did notice was lum berry bisharp to not to common but a bit troublesome it feels
 

Ragnarock

Banned deucer.
The team is not weak to Manaphy that much, unless it lucks unaware clefable badly with scald burns or ice beam freezes. Rd sets are theoretically stalled out altho very annoying to try avoiding burns. How I deal with it is with the combination of clef AND mega sableye. Sounds odd but hear me out. Mega sableye lures in Manaphy quite well, mainly the rd sets for obvious reasons, but once this happens, I knock off turn 1 vs it ALWAYS on a tail glow or whatever (i don't care if it scalds me cuz I'm going to clef next turn anyway to try and heal it) to get rid of its leftovers recovery so that afterwards I can pivot INTO my healthy unaware clef and not waste more wish/protect/hb PPs. This takes pressure off of clef so much that if you get into the "time to waste PP" game with scald burns and the like, your chances of beating Manaphy is much higher than trying to beat it while it still has auto-recovery when you're trying to not die wasting wishes and shit if that makes sense.

SR clefable is also very very common now on the ladder because of some shit saying that "SR clef always gets free rocks vs sableye." I think that is what requires you to play this team a bit more aggressively than you should, even though it's a stall team. After you get your mega from sableye vs a clef, pay attention to the team structure of your opponents team. If it looks to be SR clef, stay in and knock off. You will throw away a lot of momentum from your opponents side, remove the auto-recovery off of an S ranked mon, and u get free rocks of your own with just 1 aggressive move with your mega sableye. That way next turn you can go to your fat excadrill on the moonblast or spin away the SR if they happen to click that again or get a free toxic off on a fat ground switch-in.

Shoutout to GTM for letting me borrow this team, it's pretty solid and I ow you one. Yeah, lum bisharp can go fuck itself but what can you do, try to not miss your 2nd will-o-wisp. Gl to the other players trying to qualify.
 
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I didnt see this before, nice thread.

ill post the teams that i used to climb our glorious ladder on cycle 2:


#1


A very unconventional team in dedicated primarily to combine Mega Loppy + Toxic Spikes + Volturn. Some peculiarities make this team very fun to use as CB regular Scizor, Adamant Quick Attack Lopunny and Scarf Latios. The main reason I used that so much in the ladder is the fact it deal with xtra offense while all kinds of stall that were being used (tele's stall, shedstall, abr stall etc).

GISELLE (Lopunny-Mega) @ Lopunnite
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 28 HP / 252 Atk / 228 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Return
- Quick Attack
- High Jump Kick

TOXICALLY (Tentacruel) @ Black Sludge
Ability: Liquid Ooze
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 32 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Toxic Spikes
- Rapid Spin
- Haze

ARKANES (Landorus-Therian) @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 16 SpD / 16 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- U-turn

STARK (Magnezone) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Thunderbolt
- Flash Cannon
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Fire]

SPARTACUS (Scizor) @ Choice Band
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- U-turn
- Pursuit
- Superpower

STARLITBRIGHT (Latios) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Trick
- Roost


#2

This is a second team that i used after get ~1950 to get matchup against the most common teams among the most ranked players (slowbro balance cores, stall again, sands bulky offense, etc) and at the same time dont lose matchup against offensive teams (w/ weavile and landot), and it worked. Fight spam combined with volturn is very strong and the use of cm subs keldeo + pursuit support showed a lot of efficiency at this stage of the ladder. Somewhat weak to fairies but totally manageable.

LORD RUSSEL (Heracross-Mega) @ Heracronite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 248 HP / 76 Atk / 84 Def / 100 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Pin Missile
- Rock Blast
- Close Combat
- Substitute

THE LAST CHANCE (Keldeo-Resolute) @ Leftovers
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Secret Sword
- Substitute
- Calm Mind

SETH (Weavile) @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Ice Shard
- Icicle Crash
- Knock Off
- Pursuit

ARKANES (Landorus-Therian) @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 16 SpD / 16 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Toxic

STARK (Magnezone) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Volt Switch
- Flash Cannon

RADIANTBRIGHT (Latias) @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 72 HP / 184 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Healing Wish
- Roost
- Defog


Im happy to get the first place and will try my best in the playoffs. Have fun with the teams, hope u guys have enjoyed!
 

Infernal

Banned deucer.
Cycle 4 Qualifiers
Rank
: #1 | ELO: 2054 | GXE: 87.8 | Record: 88-21 (80.7%)
Rank: #2 | ELO: 2048 | GXE: 89.9 | Record: Unavailable Record
Rank: #3 | ELO: 2046 | GXE: 86.9 | Record: Unavailable Record
Rank: #4 | ELO: 2042 | GXE: 89.7 | Record: 77-16 (82.8%)
Rank: #5 | ELO: 2038 | GXE: 90.6 | Record: Unavailable Record
Rank: #6 | ELO: 2032 | GXE: 86.4 | Record: 301-193 (60.9%)
Rank: #7 | ELO: 2032 | GXE: 88.6 | Record: Unavailable Record​

The cycle of unavailable records~ The ladder appeared to be 'bugged' for a good portion of the round and didn't seem to be distributing points correctly regardless of how many games a person played. For example, this image shows someone with a 94-10 record and a mere 1728 ELO. Anyone familiar with the ladder knows this doesn't add up, and this was unfortunately something various players had to deal with for some time. Regardless, this didn't stop people from grinding to the top, and the rankings needed to qualify for this cycle still ended up being decently high. They were, however, noticeably lower than previous cycles, with #1 during this round (2054 ELO) barely being enough to qualify for #7 during Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 (2053 ELO needed during both). Well known players like Leftiez and ABR ended up qualifying, with the latter possibly looking for redemption after coming so close to winning the trophy in last year's OLT finals. Speaking of redemption, Confide grabbed the #1 ranking this time around after being denied #7 in Cycle 3 due to failing to sign up in the thread before starting to ladder as discussed here.

In regards to team choices, something worth mentioning during this cycle was the use of Baton Pass. 3 or so players who qualified during this round were seen using BP to top the ladder, along with several other people. Some call the strategy cheap, some say using BP is simply doing what's needed to grab some easy points. Regardless of where you stand, BP definitely has a bad reputation in general and still manages to be relatively annoying to face even though it's been the recipient of several nerfs. Let's see whether or not BP continues to see use in the remaining cycles.

Qualifying Teams
  • used by Leftiez - Our #2 qualifier for this cycle was mainly seen using this bulky offensive team consisting of solid and standard choices like Clefable, Mega Scizor, and Keldeo. The team is relatively straightforward overall and can be seen in action by searching for 'LT4B Leftiez' here.
  • used by ABR - Zapdos and Dugtrio have been popular choices during this OLT, and this is another team where they make an appearance. The team appears to be centered around using Dugtrio to trap and remove Pokemon like Heatran and other threats to stall, giving the remainder of the team an easier time doing its thing. One interesting thing with this team is how it's using double Defog between Zapdos and Skarmory. This helps the team deal with the hazard game more comfortably and is useful to have alongside Pokemon like Dugtrio and Mega Altaria, who both dislike SR and Spikes. Read this post for a more in-depth description of the team by its creator. Replays can be found by searching 'LT4A ABR' here.
  • used by Confide, Googly, and Floppy - Although they were also seen using a few other squads, these three qualifiers were some of the main players to use BP during the cycle. This team appears to be the main BP squad running around and is centered around using Scolipede to pass as many boosts as possible to the appropriate member. Like this replay shows, some variants are even purposefully using Female on Scolipede with Attract to potentially immobilize foes and gain free turns. The receivers are all scary after being passed 1. speed boosts, and 2. a higher chance to score critical hits assuming Scolipede has activated its Leppa Berry. Espeon is the staple, abusing boosts with Stored Power and possessing Magic Bounce to stop any status or phazing attempts in their tracks. Mega Hera and Manaphy are two of the most potent offensive threats in the tier, mainly held back by their speed. Being passed speed boosts by Scolipede fixes this to an extent and makes them all the more dangerous. Replays can be found by searching 'LT4Q Floppy' and 'LT4P Googly' here.
  • used by WECAMEASROMANS - WCAR was seen using various teams during this cycle, and this is one of them. The team is offensive in nature and has choices like WCAR's trusty Kyurem-B and Azu to punch holes in the enemy team. Like with many other builds, SR Clefable and Scarf Lando-T are used on this team as well and continue to be staples. CB Terrak also makes an appearance after receiving low usage this OLT season. Read this post for a more in-depth description of the team by its creator. Replays of the team can also be found by searching for 'LT4X WCAR' here.
  • used by Ox The Fox - Used a variety of teams during their run, with this one popping up quite a few times in the replays available. Ox appears to have used several variations of this team for some games, with Pokemon like Mega Latias and Gastrodon being used over certain slots. Search 'LT4O Fox' here for replays.
Extra Cycle 3 Tiebreak Coverage - Landorus-T was used on 6/6 teams!

Synopsis: Gotham's team appears to revolve around laying down Spikes with Klefki and abusing these entry hazards with offensive threats like Keldeo, Mega Scizor, and Kyurem-B. On the other hand, Liones is sporting a more balanced build with a good mix of offensive and defensive presence between Pokemon like Keldeo, Heatran, and Clefable. Seeing as there is no other possible choice, Tar also seems to be the mega on Liones' team. Because Liones' squad lacks hazard removal, Gotham's use of Spikes ended up proving rather useful during the match to punish switches and gradually wear things down. Although placed under a noticeable disadvantage by entry hazards, Liones was able to turn the tables with the aid of Clefable and Thunder Wave paralysis (particularly versus Mega Scizor, who otherwise threatened to win the match in the end). While this nearly won the game for Liones, Gotham Paladin's own streak of paralysis luck ended up biting back versus a low health Clefable and sealing the deal as Starmie cleaned up late game. Something equally as influential during this match was Liones' use of Mega Tar over its regular form. Because Mega Tar is normally used as a DD sweeper unlike its regular form, Gotham Paladin's Starmie was able to stick around to endlessly spin away Heatran's rocks and perform other functions with no fear of being trapped. This was ultimately key because Starmie ended up winning the match for Gotham Paladin, although aided by some lucky instances of paralysis.

Synopsis: Liones is sporting a bulky offensive team featuring powerhouses like Mega Metagross and Kyurem-B. They are backed up by a solid defensive core in Tangrowth, Heatran, and a Starmie this time around to spin away those dreadful hazards from game 1. Gotham's team appears more passive in nature. Terrak is the team's main way of applying immediate offensive pressure, while the remainder of the team consists of various bulky Pokemon capable of functioning as a win condition or defensive glue. The lack of a Water-type is also worth noting given how often Pokemon like Rotom-W, Keldeo, and so on, are used on teams nowadays. Advantage wise, Liones' team arguably had the edge during this match. Liones' defensive core could handle nearly everything on Gotham's team, and this advantage was only increased by Mega Metagross and Heatran to apply their respective pressure on the opposing team. Turn 7 was a notable turn. Here, Terrak decides to suicide itself by using CC to weaken a very threatening Mega Metagross. With Terrak dead however, Liones' Heatran became all the more troublesome for Gotham. As the game progressed, this was made clear as Gotham struggled to kill Heatran, who ultimately ended up closing the match. All in all, this match was relatively straightforward compared to game 1 and much smoother of a sail for Liones.

Synopsis: Liones goes for hazard stacking balance this time around, while Gotham decides to run a team used by Get this Money in this World Cup match. Gotham leads off with Lando-T, setting up rocks versus Ferro, who grabs a layer of Spikes in the meantime. From there, Lando-T uses Swords Dance followed by Stone Edge on a predicted switch to Latias, scoring a KO. In the following turns, Keldeo comes in and forces a switch to Amoonguss, who is burned by the incoming Scald. Keldeo decides to stay in and Scald again and is then snoozed by Amoonguss' Spore. From there, both player send in their Lando-T and weaken each other, with Liones' therian ultimately dying. Liones then sends in Heatran to revenge kill, giving Gotham's Manaphy a free invitation to come in. A Tail Glow goes up and Manaphy is revealed to be HP Fire, sending Liones' Ferro into another dimension. With all of Liones' faster Pokemon (Mega Latias, Keldeo, and Choice Scarf Lando-T) either dead or crippled, little stood in Manaphy's way of cleanly sweeping afterwards. With this win, Gotham receives the #7 ranking for Cycle 3 and a chance to battle in the playoffs.
 
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Infernal my record is indeed available (http://www.smogon.com/forums/thread...ent-iii-cycle-5-signups.3581240/#post-6973116). That aside, thank you for making/updating this thread and I will now explain my team choices for this cycle.

I primarily used the aforementioned team (Skarm Clef Zap Dug Alt Tran) in my time laddering, and there was a streak of like 10-15 games where I used the classic Weavile stall with Brave Bird Skarm and sometimes itemless Amoong to better deal with Heracross and Crawdaunt respectively. I won't really get into the Weavile team because you all know it but I had some unique set choices on the Alt team so I'll explain that.

The desire to use Altaria came from the fact that Crawdaunt generally totally messes up stall teams and it also walls Keldeo without being weak to Pursuit. Additionally, I noticed cotton guard Alt could potentially beat lots of lando keld rachi offenses and the like while also appreciating that Dugtrio could trap Heatran (Dug does way more than just trap Heatran for stall but yea this was important). In my mind, every stall needs one of knock Sableye or Dugtrio (if not both), otherwise Heatran WILL keep rocks up. Once I knew I wanted to use Altaria, and thus Dugtrio, Zapdos similarly was a forced slot. If you don't have Sableye or heat wave Zapdos then Ferro WILL keep hazards up. Notice the theme here: I wanted a team that could 100% prevent hazards at all costs which is entirely essential with sash Dugtrio (the only set that comes in and beats TTar and really the only good set anyways). My Dugtrio is pretty standard with eq, reversal, and sucker, but the last slot is pursuit/screech. Pursuit is so you aren't 6-0d by Gengar and screech helps kill Chansey and some other things. Now, there's also rockers like Lando-t and toxic Garchomp that could bother Zapdos, so I opted to use the double defog core featured on Tele's Stall (I used toxic Skarm too as it is the only reliable way of beating sr grounds). Another benefit of running double defog is that you can pp stall rockers like Clefable or even the combination of sr + spikes due to Zapdos' pressure. Another one of my beliefs/feelings about the metagame is that every stall team needs one of unaware Clefable, Chansey + Weavile, or Shedinja (still loses to hpfire/sball) to be prepared for Manaphy. Clefable, unlike the other countermeasures mentioned, does way more than beat Manaphy for my team. It deals with Heracross (Alt has to be spdef for Keld/Zard-Y), Zen-less Medi (most sets lack zen but Dugtrio can revenge if necessary), and boosters such as SD Grounds after I toxic them for example. Additionally, Clefable provides crucial cleric support for the rest of the team, and this will become even more evident as I explain the Heatran set. After I had these 5 pokemon, the "musts" in my mind for an Altaria stall, I noticed I was very weak to knock Sableye, Talonflame, and will-o-wisp as a whole. An idea that I've wanted to utilize recently is rest Heatran due to its eternal longevity and ability to 100% annoy other non-dug stall forever (weavstall) except for Chansey which Dugtrio either kills or gets to 5%. The set I use is max spdef with sr, plume, toxic, rest. It can do unique things like avoid fat starmie 3hko, not mind Sableye knock, and really just never die vs slower teams. This longevity is really compounded with wish + heal bell support from Clefable and rest really showed its worth in many of my games. One of the main issues people bring up about Heatran is that its totally reliant on leftovers to last, but this remedies that issue.

As far as threats go, a well played Rotom can be very annoying if it predicts correctly and maintains pressure on my Clef/Alt/Tran (Tran and Skarm can both toxic it while Heatran also avoids the 2hko from pump). Vs boltbeam Metagross I might need to sack something first and then bring Dugtrio in, and the same can be said for zen Medicham. That being said, there really is not much that outright wins vs this team and it ended up being extremely consistent for me. The amount of turn 1 autowin matchups I got were ridiculous (this is true for many Dugtrio stalls) and this is definitely shown in the following replays.

My only 2 replays with this team are:
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-429463319
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-429763714

This ended up being super long but I enjoy sharing my teambuilding process and I hope those of you who read this do as well.
 
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