Resource OU Lessons (lesson 1 on synergy & lesson 2 on hazards) | project closed until su/mo

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hosted by starry blanket & Infernal | banner by starry blanket | approved by bludz

Welcome to the OU Lessons thread! In this thread, Infernal and I will provide in-depth lessons on a variety of topics pertaining to the OU tier. These lessons will cover a variety of topics, ranging from trappers in the meta to analyzing a team at team preview (note: these are subject to change!). Infernal and I will work collaboratively on these, and sometimes we might even have a guest host o.O. The lessons will be posted every couple of weeks or so; we aren't doing this based on a schedule because we don't want to rush these posts. We hope to provide high quality, informative posts, and a schedule would be in opposition to that.

I want to give credit where credit is due by saying that this thread has taken a bit of inspiration from Subject 18's old Battling Tip of the Day thread, and doughboy's old "doughboy teaches teambuilding" threads found here and here. Our thread will have noticeable differences from these (it isn't a copy of them), but it serves a similar purpose as these did. Also, we may even go over similar topics :o.


While this thread is not a discussion thread, it will be unlocked to allow people to ask questions and / or provide additional information. The only real rule here is to NOT start discussions here! We don't care if you wanna argue with a user because they think Specs Magnemite is the best trapper in the tier & you're more of a defensive Dugtiro person.

In regards to general courtesies, please don't rush us; as mentioned above, these posts aren't on a schedule. If you feel that the project is going unreasonably slow, please PM either Infernal or I personally n_n. If you have any criticisms about a lesson when it's posted, please go about handling those in a polite way. We're human, so odds are we'll make a couple mistakes; regardless, we welcome criticisms, fixes, and additional information :D.

Table of Contents:

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to start the thread off, we want you guys to vote on what the first lesson will be!

to provide a brief explanation of these 3 choices:
  • synergy in building is really just about identifying qualities in pokemon (plural) that make them work well together like typing, weaknesses + covering / taking advantage of that weakness, etc..
  • trapping would mainly focus on the importance of pursuit & other forms of trapping and the pressure they can apply.
  • hazards would be all about the importance of hazards, when to utilize spikes / tspikes, when hazard removal is necessary, different forms of hazard prevention outside of defog / rapid spin, and pokemon that can easily abuse hazards.
edit: voting will close TONIGHT (EST).
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written by Infernal & starry blanket | banner by starry blanket
"QC" by bludz, WECAMEASROMANS, Rampecker, & p2

synergy is how pokemon on the same team (usually within a core of 2 or 3 pokemon) work together to benefit one another. from handling threats to taking advantage of weaknesses to gain momentum, synergy in pokemon has a lot of different forms. for the purpose of this lesson, we'll be breaking this up into 2 major sections with examples of offensive synergy and defensive synergy.

Offensive Synergy (by Infernal)

With offensive synergy, we'll be focusing on how Pokemon work together to overwhelm your opponent. The 3 topics we'll be going over here are Synergy Through Checks & Counters, Bulky Pivots & Breakers, and Supporting an Offensive Win Condition. To start, we'll be diving into Synergy Through Checks & Counters!

Synergy Through Checks & Counters

Every Pokemon, no matter how big or small, has a check or counter. When constructing a team whose goal is to pave the way for a particular Pokemon to sweep, building your team in such a way as to eliminate or sufficiently weaken said Pokemon's checks and counters is important. Although there are various ways to do this, a particularly effective method is by pairing two Pokemon who share specific checks and counters and can weaken or remove them for one another via offensive pressure. Often, many teams rely only on 1 member to handle a specific Pokemon. Exploiting this by overwhelming said member with two Pokemon who share similar checks and counters can greatly help something achieve a certain goal during a match. To make this concept more clear, two examples are discussed beneath:

(type / offense spam): Here we have a classic and well-known offensive core starring LO Bisharp and Offensive Mega Scizor. To illustrate how an offensive core can work together to overwhelm their shared checks and counters, let's consider one of the main obstacles to each Pokemon in this core: Keldeo. Although Keldeo is undoubtedly problematic for Bisharp and Mega Scizor, the beauty behind the core lies in their ability to draw in and weaken Keldeo for one another. To make this clearer, consider Keldeo directly switching into a Knock Off from Bisharp and then eating a Sucker Punch afterwards. Although Keldeo may have killed Bisharp in the process, 61.5% - 73% of its health was removed in doing so. Because of this, Keldeo will no longer be able to reliably handle Mega Scizor later on, as a +2 Bullet Punch will end its life. Although Keldeo is only one of several threats to take into consideration when using this core, the scenario outlined demonstrates how two Pokemon can tag team up and work towards a sweep by eliminating or weakening shared checks and counters.​

(similar checks but different offenses) Mega Medicham and Keldeo is another example of two Pokemon capable of drawing in and breaking down their shared similar checks and counters to make life easier for one another. To better understand how Mega Medicham and Keldeo work together, consider some common Pokemon both are checked by. Slowbro and Starmie are two such examples. Mega Medicham can break them both down with Thunder Punch and clear the way for Keldeo to more easily apply offensive pressure on the opposing team. Similarly, Keldeo can pressure Slowbro via possible Scald burns. With SR up, this turns Slowbro into a less reliable switch into High Jump Kick from Mega Medicham. Other shared checks these two can help break down directly for one another include Azumarill and Clefable, and this all illustrates how two Pokemon who share similar answers can help one another.​

It's worth noting that cores like these can be handled by cores that oppose them (basically cores from the opposite end of the spectrum). For example, using Ice Punch Mega Lopunny + Talonflame to overwhelm Landorus-T would be stumped if your opponent has a core of Rotom-W + Landorus-T. If this is the case, they could use Rotom-W as their designated Talonflame check, taking some pressure off of their Landorus-T. starry blanket will touch upon this more when she discusses Clefable + Mew.
Bulky Pivots & Breakers

Bulky pivots are a major part of ORAS OU, with the popularity of Pokemon like Rotom-W and Landorus-T being a testament to this. Although these Pokemon possess a large number of attractive qualities desired by many team builders, their ability to bring in a teammate for free via Volt Switch and U-turn, respectively, is particularly notable. Because a large number of offensive Pokemon have a hard time coming into play due to reasons such as frailty, multiple weaknesses by virtue of typing, and fear of status conditions, being able to bring them in for free becomes invaluable. Once a breaker is in safely, momentum is on your side and the opportunity to apply offensive pressure on the opposing team arises. This can turn the tide of the match in your favor, and various examples of combinations using bulky pivots with breakers to produce these results exist. Two examples are discussed below to expand on this topic:

(speedier pivot + breaker): Here we have Jirachi and Hydreigon, a classic combo making good use of U-turn to bring in a powerful breaker. These two Pokemon work in several ways. For example, Jirachi tends to draw in a large number of Pokemon threatened heavily by Hydreigon, such as Rotom-W, Slowbro, Ferrothorn, and Landorus-T. This demonstrates how Jirachi can provide Hydreigon with chances to freely come in to apply offensive pressure on many of its usual switch ins, all while avoiding the risk of annoying conditions like burns from Will-O-Wisp and Scald. This all aside, the typing synergy between Jirachi and Hydreigon is also notable, with the former handling Pokemon like Mega Diancie and Mega Gardevoir for the latter. From this brief discussion, you can see it's helpful to 1. consider the Pokemon your user of U-turn or Volt Switch draws in before selecting a teammate capable of exploiting this well, and 2. how they cover weaknesses for one another as well.​

(slower pivot + breaker): Nidoking and Rotom-W is a prime example of a core utilizing a bulky pivot to bring in a strong breaker. Think about the Pokemon Rotom-W tends to draw in: Clefable, Grass-types like Ferrothorn, and other Pokemon like Mega Altaria. All of the mentioned Pokemon share one thing in common: they are heavily threatened by Nidoking. This is where considering the Pokemon your user of Volt Switch or U-turn draws in comes to play when deciding on offensive partners you'd like to use alongside pivots like Rotom-W. Choosing a Pokemon capable of exploiting your pivots' common switch-ins helps immensely when it comes to applying offensive pressure on the other team and keeping momentum on your side. Of course, considering the weaknesses your choice of pivot covers for its potential partner(s) is also important to consider, with Rotom-W's ability to cover threats like Excadrill for Nidoking being a notable example here.​

Supporting an Offensive Win Condition

There are many ways to support a win condition, and this section will primarily focus on a mix between creating set up opportunities for a Pokemon and punishing your opponent for doing a particular action. To do this, we will go through a few examples:

(exploiting your own weakness): This core is a great example to focus on for the purposes of this section. Trappers like Tyranitar often come in and try to eliminate Latios from a match. Although your Latios may end up trapped by a Tyranitar, during a match, the decision your opponent made to lock themselves into Pursuit could mean something very beneficial for you: bringing in Lucario to set up a SD and potentially sweep their team. This is where the idea behind 'creating set up opportunities' and 'punishing your opponent for doing a particular action' cross roads, because by setting up your Lucario you are directly punishing someone for trapping your Latios. Considering the threats a certain Pokemon can take advantage of to set up thanks to their partner drawing them in is the general idea here, and looking at synergy through such a lens is useful when teambuilding.​

(trapping): Trapping is a really powerful tool and common way of supporting an offensive win condition. In the case of Magnezone + Mega Pinsir, consider the latter's largest obstacle: Skarmory. Magnezone does a great job trapping Skarmory, and once it's eliminated, Mega Pinsir's ability to sweep increases dramatically. Many other example cores featuring trapping to support a win condition exist, such as Tyranitar + Keldeo and Dugtrio + Volcarona. Regardless of the core, they all share one thing in common: they consider what's necessary to eliminate before a win condition can sweep properly and punish your opponent for 1. carrying a specific Pokemon, and 2. bringing in a specific Pokemon to deal with your win condition. The mere presence of trappers can make a person hesitant to make certain moves, and this is something you as a player can take advantage of.​

The above only scratches the surface of supporting an offensive condition, and various other examples can fall under the umbrella of this section. For example, passive damage through the form of Spikes and Rocky Helmet can support certain win conditions in several ways. Take the core of Bisharp + Klefki for instance. Spikes help to wear down grounded Bisharp checks like Keldeo, and any Defog attempts can potentially be punished by Defiant. Likewise, thanks to recoil damage, Pokemon like Tank Garchomp can indirectly punish and wear down threats like Landorus-T for using U-turn, and partners like SD Talonflame can ultimately benefit from this.​

Defensive Synergy (by starry blanket)

while offensive synergy is about things like overwhelming your opponent and exploiting situations to threaten them, defensive synergy focuses more on pokemon helping others in instances such as countering offensive threats to one another and eliminating annoyances. the 3 types of defensive synergy we'll focus on here are: type synergy, hazard control, and supporting a defensive wincon; however, these aren't the only types of defensive synergy. other examples of defensive synergy include the usefulness of a cleric on more defensively-oriented teams, and dual regenerator cores. clerics can ensure defensive pokemon don't get whittled down by toxic and burns among other things, and a regenerator pokemon can switch into threats of its regenerator partner, healing itself in the process. with that out of the way, let's dive into type synergy!

Type Synergy:

type synergy is one of the most basic forums of synergy. type synergy is essentially a core of pokemon where each pokemon resists the type another is weak to. type synergy isn't something definite: not all fire / water / grass types will work in a f/w/g core, but generally speaking, it can be nice to look out for types that work nicely together in checking each other's general weaknesses. here are some examples:

(fire / water / grass): one of the most simple types of type synergy. in short: the fire type checks the grass types the water type doesn't like, the water type checks the fire types the grass type doesn't like, and the grass type checks the water types the fire type doesn't like. to be more specific with this example, heatran is capable of checking offensive fire types that tangrowth doesn't like such as talonflame and zard-x and grasses & speedy electrics slowking doesn't like such as serperior and mega manectric. slowking checks specially offensive waters that (physically defensive) tangrowth has trouble with keldeo, and it checks offensive fire types like opposing heatran. finally, tangrowth checks the physically offensive water types heatran doesn't like such as azumarill, and it checks offensive grounds that heatran doesn't like such as landorus-t and garchomp. it's also worth noting that slowking and tangrowth form a nice defensive regenerator core as explained briefly above.

(dragon / steel / ground): a bit less self explanatory than f/w/g. with this one, i wanted to showcase how these principles don't only apply to bulkier teams but to more offensive teams as well. these pokemon can serve as a strong backbone for offensive builds in handling some common annoyances that bug both one another and teams in general. latios can provide the team with somewhat of an electric check and a keldeo check, helping both mega scizor and landorus-t. mega scizor can check fairies and dark types that annoy latios such as clefable, mega diancie, bisharp, and weavile, and it can also help the team as a whole with general threats like offensive psychics. landorus-t is capable of checking fire types that hurt mega scizor like mega charizard x and talonflame, and it can help against general annoyances to offensive builds like sand and offensive fighting types.
Hazard Control:

on bulkier builds, hazard control can ensure you don't get withered down by your opponent's hazard stacking. without hazard control, your chubbier pokemon might fall into KO range of things they're supposed to check. sometimes, hazard control can be used to support an entire bulky build as explained above, but in other times, hazard control can be a bit more straightforward, mainly being there to support a specific pokemon that has glaring weaknesses to hazards. here are some examples:

(supporting a whole team): i'm not going to get into an explanation of this team because it was only chosen since it's a fat team with mega sab lol. anyways, here we see how some form of hazard control can benefit a whole team. this fat build where checking the things you want to check requires that your pokemon are healthy; otherwise, you put yourself in danger of getting easily swept once worn down by hazards, and / or not being able to actually check stuff. thanks to magic bounce, mega sableye can scare off hazard setters, keeping your fat pokemon safe. additionally, this team showcases how hazard removal (zapdos) / control (mega sableye) can be used to support a pokemon that is undoubtedly weak to hazards (volcarona).

(supporting a pokemon seriously weak to hazards): this is pretty self explanatory, but the main reason it's being used is to show the contrast between how hazard removers can support a team. with the build above, we see mega sableye (and defog zapdos) ensuring that bulky pokemon don't get whittled down by hazards. with this simple core, we have talonflame and latios; talon absolutely needs hazard removal support to function due to its 4x weakness to stealth rock... latios provides that defog support. unlike magic bounce with mega sableye, defog is a more definite form of hazard removal / prevention, showing how necessary true hazard removal is with a pokemon so weak to them; mega sableye wouldn't be sufficient enough as an answer to hazards for talonflame because it can't actually remove the hazards.

these descriptions are pretty basic because we plan to do a lesson on hazards and everything that comes along with them (including hazard control!!!) in the future.
Supporting a Defensive Win Condition:

just like with supporting an offensive win condition, there are many ways to support a defensive win condition. however, it isn't entirely the same with defensive as with offensive; here we will mainly focus on more passive means of support with these examples:

(hazards + general support): CM suicune is capable of really putting a dent into teams while still being really bulky. while cune shines in bulk, it falls flat in offenses compared to more offensive set-up sweepers. this is expected of a defensive win condition, but it's still a concern that needs to be addressed. skarmory can help whittle down checks to cune with spikes and the ability to phaze with whirlwind. this helps to make up for cune's not-so-high offenses & general lack of coverage (only scald). when you combine the spikes support & phazing with cune's own ability to phaze and its ability to potentially burn (with scald), you can see that this core is very capable of whittling down checks in order to ensure a cune sweep. additionally, skarmory and cune synergize well together in general, handling a few of each other's weaknesses rather well (skarm handles mega gardevoir & cune handles talon, for example).

(weakening similar checks): mew can relieve pressure that bulky pokemon like heatran, skarmory, amoonguss, and slowking exert on clefable by hitting them with knock off and / or using will-o-wisp to wear them down (wisp can also be used on some of the offensive threats that these two share). in return, clef can handle some of the more annoying offensive threats (like the ones mentioned above) with thunder wave, thus relieving pressure they'd cause on it and mew. mew and clefable both handle similar things like mega medicham, mega lopunny, speedy electrics, and kyurem-b, but with only one of them as your check to these things, you can be worn down very easily. having both mew and clefable to check these threats and more gives a more efficient means of checking them, relieving pressure from yourself. additionally, mew and clef are both checked by similar things such as SpD talonflame, mega scizor, and jirachi. both can gimp these threats for one another (clef with thunder wave, mew with wisp / knock), but it's pretty unlikely that your opponent would mega scizor into mew, for example, because wisp is rather predictable.

just like with supporting offensive win conditions, there is much more to supporting a defensive win condition than what was discussed here. utilizing a cleric can help to prevent your defensive wincon from getting whittled down. a good example of this is using heal bell celebi to ensure CM mega slowbro can with offensive synergy, you can utilize forms of more passive damage besides hazards and phazing to weaken stuff for your wincon. things like toxic, rough skin / iron barbs damage, rocky helmet damage, and more can help soften stuff a bit.

one large thing not mentioned in any of these explanations is utilizing a couple of these types of synergy in one build. for example, with lucario + latios, you can also have a charizard-x to break down some of lucario's checks earlier in the match (like mega scizor, for example), ensuring a late-game sweep. also, zard-x can hurt some of the checks it and lucario share like landorus-t (if lucario lacks ice punch). on the defensive end of the spectrum, you can add a bulky grass type like tangrowth, amoonguss, or mega venusaur to the core of suicune + skarmory to handle offensive electrics that threaten both skarm and cune. this shows how type synergy can work nicely with supporting an offensive win condition.

it's also worth noting that there are more examples for these concepts than what we listed. we won't go into those because that'd take forever, but to give one: with lucario + latios, you could also use belly drum azumarill + latios to the same effect.

hopefully you learned enough about different forms of both defensive and offensive synergy here! if you have any questions, feel free to ask them here in this thread n_n.
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Banned deucer.
Hey everyone, we hope you liked and found the Synergy lesson helpful! Here are the two topics to vote on for lesson #2. These are the leftover topics from the first voting round and we'd like to cover at least one of them before putting forth more options. We also eluded to some of the topics below in lesson #1, so we think it'd be nice to expand on them more before moving on:
  • Trappers - This will mainly focus on the major influence Pursuit and other forms of trapping have in ORAS OU. The trappers of OU and their common targets, the pressure that trapping can apply on teams, how trapping can be used on various team archetypes to accomplish certain things, and the numerous Pokemon that benefit from being paired with trappers are all possible topics here.
  • Hazards - This will discuss various aspects of hazards and can include anything from 1. its setters, 2. the way hazards influence the metagame and usage of certain Pokemon, 3. how to keep hazards up/ways of counteracting measures of hazard removal like Defog and Rapid Spin, 4. how common hazard setters match up vs. common removers, and so on.
Because starry is on vacation until June 25th, voting will go on until then. Once voting closes and the topic is decided, we'll start working on the lesson!
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Banned deucer.

June 25th is here and the results are in, with hazards being our winner for lesson #2. Like last time, starry and I will work on the lesson and deliver the content in as timely of a fashion as possible. Thanks to everyone who voted and stay tuned!


Banned deucer.

written by Infernal | banner by starry blanket
"QC" by ABR, Nedor, and paper dreams

Utilizing Your Hazards

This entire section will cover three topics: hazard setters, keeping your hazards up, and taking advantage of your hazards. 'Hazard setters' will focus on describing some notable examples of Pokemon who excel at laying down Stealth Rock and Spikes, and the reasons they perform their job so well. 'Keeping your hazards up' will discuss several ways of maintaining your hazards on the field and preventing them from being removed too easily by users of Defog and Rapid Spin. Lastly, 'taking advantage of your hazards' will touch upon a few examples of core combination capable of benefiting greatly from the presence of hazards. In addition, a run down on the practicality of fitting hazards onto your team will be provided. Without further ado, let's kick things off with a discussion on some of OU's best hazard setters:

Hazard Setters

The introduction of hazards in competitive Pokemon dates back to GSC, where Spikes setters like Cloyster were frequently seen on teams. With the creation of more generations, further hazards in the form of Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes were created and distributed to various Pokemon. In general, the introduction of hazards has influenced competitive Pokemon in countless ways and have become integral aspects of the game we play today. There are various Pokemon capable of laying down entry hazards in OU. This section will focus on covering the notable ones and the characteristics responsible for making them such good candidates for the role of entry hazard setter in OU.

General Stealth Rock Setters

Lando-T is arguably the reigning champ of OU when it comes to setting down SR. It's a really common Pokemon for the role and is seen on many teams (particularly bulky offense) as the SR setter of choice. The ability to cover so many dangerous threats while simultaneously functioning as a hazard setter is something several teams value highly. Lando-T does exactly this, laying down SR and covering notable threats like Exca, Char-X, and Terrak all in one go. In addition, Lando-T is very flexible with its move and item choices. For example, U-turn is a common choice on SR sets to generate momentum and bring in an offensive partner like Keldeo to pressure switch-ins like Skarm. SD is another common choice on SR sets. This lets Lando-T deal with threats like Mega Sciz and Clefable better, all while increasing its match-up versus other hazard setters like Hippo, Ferro, and opposing Lando-T. Item wise, Lando-T can run Rocky Helm to punish various physical attackers for using a move like U-turn. Yache is another item SR Lando-T can use to help your team more versus offensive Electric-types. The sheer flexibility and utility Lando-T brings to the table is nearly unmatched and makes the therian a popular pick for the role of SR setter overall.​

Chomp is another good Pokemon to use for the role of SR setter. Although it's often compared to Lando-T, there are some key differences between them. In exchange for performing worse versus threats like Char-X and Exca, Chomp can cover Pokemon like Bisharp and Mega Sciz more reliably for your team when running Tank variants. Coupled with Rocky Helm and Rough Skin recoil to punish physical attackers, Chomp certainly becomes an attractive SR setter on some builds. Another notable difference is Chomp's much higher speed. When running offensive SR sets, this gives Chomp a speed advantage over some Pokemon capable of doing big damage to Lando-T before it's able to lay down SR, namely base 100s like Mega Cham and company. Like Lando-T, Chomp is also rather flexible in some areas, especially with its item choices. For example, Lum can be used alongside SD to pressure SR blockers like Mega Sab more. Focus Sash can surprise Pokemon like Latios and help Chomp gain a kill or ensure rocks are down before it's killed in one blow.​

If there's a Pokemon capable of giving Lando-T a run for its money for the title of best SR setter in OU, it's this guy. Tran finds a place on a few playstyles, ranging from balance to bulky offense. It's also blessed with a number of characteristics every SR setter would love to have. For starters, Tran's typing means it's able to cover large amounts of notable threats in OU, such as Clefable, Mega Sciz, Latios, and Serp. Another big reason Tran excels as an SR setter is because it's able to threaten the majority of hazard setters in the tier and keeps SR up versus them. For example, standard Defog Latios is helpless and unable to stop Tran from laying down SR. Other users of Defog, like Skarm, Zapdos, and Mandibuzz, all have trouble preventing Tran from doing its job thanks to a combination of Lava Plume, Taunt, and Toxic. Heatran can also pressure Magic Bouncers like Mega Sab well, adding to its overall prowess as a rocker.​

Other Stealth Rock Setters

Although it has fallen in favor of other bulky Ground-type SR setters like Lando-T, Hippo still remains a solid choice for balanced teams. It's a very durable Pokemon with some notable advantages over its competitors. Access to reliable recovery in Slack Off is one, allowing Hippo to stick around for a while to function as an SR setter and answer to threats like like Mega Lop, Bisharp, and Mega Metagross. Another advantage is handling offensive Electric-types like Mega Manec more reliably than the other Ground-types discussed above. Unfortunately, Hippo comes with a large flaw: passiveness. Apart from Exca, Hippo is unable to pressure hazard removers as efficiently as the SR setters discussed earlier can. This means Hippo has a harder time keeping rocks up versus Pokemon like Defog Latios, Defog Skarm, Mega Sab, and so on. This can leave you with a serious disadvantage in games where keeping SR up is necessary to keep certain threats like Talon from having too much free reign. Nonetheless, Hippo definitely has its uses and can make for a fine SR setter on some teams.​

SpD Jirachi is a staple SR setter on bulky offense for its ability to fulfill several crucial roles. This includes being a catch all check to Fairy- and Dragon-types like Mega Diancie, Mega Gardevoir, and Latios. Jirachi is often seen keeping bulky offensive teams from folding versus these threats, all while providing SR. There's some other helpful utility Jirachi, such as U-turn. The former is really nice because as an SR setter, Jirachi has a really tough time versus opposing hazard users like Tran, Skarm, Lando-T, and so on. Being able to U-turn in an offensive partner like Keldeo or Hydreigon versus these threats prevents Jirachi from losing you too much momentum. Add Healing Wish to the mix to give a teammate another chance to do their thing and it's easy to see why Jirachi is a fine SR setter to use for your teams.

Although known for its prowess as a Calm Minder, Clefable makes for a really good SR setter too. This is because of how consistently Clefable can keep hazards up during a match due to its usual good qualities and good match up versus the majority of hazard removers. For example, between the threat of moves like Moonblast and Thunder Wave, Latios and Starmie are unable to reliably stop Clefable from laying down SR. Thanks to its Fairy-typing, other hazard blockers like Mega Sableye also fall to Clefable. This is a very huge point in Clefable's favor as a rocker, mainly because many of OU's setters struggle to stop Mega Sableye from preventing their hazards. With access to moves like Knock Off and Flamethrower, it's also able to threaten the likes of Exca, who otherwise threatens Clefable heavily. Further, Clefable can even keep SR up versus Defog Skarm, who is often found on stall with a physically defensive spread and lack of Iron Head. This is very notable because other SR setters like Hippo, Jirachi, and Lando-T struggle to keep SR up versus Skarm, especially when it's paired with Mega Sableye (who Clefable beats). All in all, Clefable has many things going for itself as a rocker, and its ability to consistently keep SR up is hard to rival.​


Ferro is one of OU's best Spiker for several reasons. To begin, it's blessed with a unique Grass / Steel-typing. This brings valuable resistances to types like Water and Dragon, as well as a neutrality to the ever so common Ice and Ground attacks floating around OU. As such, Ferro can find the chance to lay down hazards on various threats, examples being Manaphy, Slowbro, Mega Latias, Kyu-B, and more. Aside from this, it's able to restore its own health and annoy teams relatively well with Leech Seed. In relation to Spikes, Leech is notable because it's a move known to often cause switches. As such, it's able to rack up residual damage rather quickly alongside Ferro's entry hazards. Another cool thing with Ferro is its ability to bother hazard removers like Starmie, Defog Latios, and Exca. Ferro can trouble them all with its access to moves like Leech Seed, Power Whip, and Thunder Wave, all of which can help keep hazards in play. In terms of issues as a Spiker, Ferro hates burns and can be a liability in matches where Mega Sab is on the enemy team. All in all though, it's a great Spiker and does its job well.​

Similarly to Ferro, Skarm is also blessed with a good typing between Steel and Flying, which brings nice resistances to common types like Dragon, Fairy, and Ground. This allows Skarm to hazard up on various threats in OU, such as Lando-T, Clefable, and Chomp. Compared to Ferro though, Skarm does possess a few key differences as a Spiker. The main one is access to reliably recovery in Roost, allowing Skarm to keep itself healthy during a match. A second is the ability to use Whirlwind, which works well in conjunction with Spikes to spread residual damage against the opposing team. Another small perk is how Skarm can afford to run Shed Shell more often than Ferro can to avoid being trapped so easily by Magnezone. Unfortunately, Skarm is relatively passive compared to Ferro and doesn't have as many tools in its arsenal to annoy its common switch ins. Hazard removers like Starmie spin freely versus Skarm, while other Pokemon like Mega Sab have no trouble stopping the steel bird from doing its job.​

Compared to Ferro and Skarm, Klefki is normally seen as a Spiker on more offensively inclined teams. On these builds, it's able to provide quick Spikes to help an offensive teammate like Bisharp weaken grounded checks like Keldeo via residual damage. Further, the role compression Klefki provides for offensive teams looking for Spikes is very valuable. It's able to paralyze numerous threats and setup sweepers in a pinch with Prankster Thunder Wave, all while helping these teams deal with threats like Mega Diancie and Weavile thanks to its awesome Steel / Fairy typing. Magnet Rise is another unique trait possessed by Klefki as a Spiker, allowing the little guy to lay down hazards versus otherwise problematic Pokemon like Lando-T, Chomp, and Hippo.​

There's also Pokemon like Dragalge (
), who can provide Toxic Spikes. Compared to other hazards though, TS has a much less impressive distribution of viable setters. In terms of problems, TS also has more between 1. being easier to remove via absorbers like Amoonguss, and 2. targeting less Pokemon in OU due to how commonly teams are seen packing Steel-types, Flying-types, and Pokemon with Levitate. To conclude, it's necessary to acknowledge how there are many more hazard options than the ones discussed above. Pokemon like Azelf, Chansey, Clefable, and Scolipede can all be used to fulfill the role of an SR or Spikes setter on some teams. Covering them all would be excessive, however, which is why these sections focus on discussing the most notable Pokemon for their respective roles.

Keeping Hazards Up

Having your hazards removed as easily as you laid them down is no fun. As such, having certain methods of keeping your hazards in play is recommended when using Pokemon like Skarm and company on your team. This section will discuss some of the ways you can help keep your hazards in play. When you think of Rapid Spin blockers, Ghost-types usually come to mind immediately due to their immunity to the move. In terms of effectiveness as a Rapid Spin blocker, Mega Sab reigns supreme. Because of its good bulk and reliable recovery, it's able to block Rapid Spin attempts from Pokemon like Starmie and Excadrill decently well. However, this isn't to say Mega Sab doesn't come across any problems as a Rapid Spin Blocker. For example, Starmie and Excadrill can both 2HKO Mega Sab with an Analytic LO Hydro and LO EQ, respectively.

Blocking / Discouraging Hazard Removal

When you think of Rapid Spin blockers, Ghost-types usually come to mind immediately due to their immunity to the move. In terms of effectiveness as a Rapid Spin blocker, Mega Sab takes the cake. Because of its good bulk and reliable recovery, it's able to block Rapid Spin attempts from Pokemon like Starmie and Exca decently well. However, this isn't to say Mega Sab doesn't come across any problems as a Rapid Spin Blocker. For example, Starmie and Exca can both 2HKO Mega Sab with an Analytic LO Hydro and LO EQ, respectively. Defensive Starmie, however, has a hard time breaking through Mega Sab even though Scald burns are a hindrance. Although Mega Sab may end up taking a large blow from these Pokemon in any case, its ability to stop them from spinning for a few turns can help you maintain your hazards in the long run. For example, Mega Sab can trade itself versus an offensive Starmie to allow a teammate like Tar to then come in and keep your hazards safe. Should Mega Sab successfully come in on a predicted Rapid Spin versus these Pokemon, though, it's able to annoy them well between moves like Will-O-Wisp and Knock Off. Other Ghost-types like Jelli, Gar, and Cofagrigus can also block Rapid Spin and have their own unique characteristics for the job (Water-type immunity for Jelli is useful versus Starmie, as an example). Generally though, these options are less viable in OU and come with an undesirable weakness to Pursuit.​

Just like the presence of a Ghost-type can discourage people from clicking Rapid Spin, seeing a Defiant user like Bisharp on the opposing team can achieve something similar by making Pokemon like Latios think twice before using Defog. Should a Bisharp come in on a Defog attempt, it'll gain a +2 increase in attack thanks to its ability. From there, it's able to threaten to sweep a team clean. Bisharp is a ridiculously threatening Pokemon offensively, and the mere idea of giving the big guy an opportunity to cleave through your team can discourage hazard removal attempts with Defog. Bisharp is a mainstay on hazard stacking offense for this reason, contributing heavily to the pressure these teams aim to apply through the combination of Spikes and offensive threats.​

Trapping Hazard Removers

Trappers like Tar and Weavile are very good Pokemon to use on several types of hazard stacking teams, whether it's balance in the case of Tar or HO in the case of Weavile. They both do a very nice job helping their respective playstyle keep hazards in play in the long run, mainly because of how well they pressure the common hazard removers Pokemon like Skarm and friends tend to invite in. Once a Defog Latios or Rapid Spin Starmie is removed from the match by a Tar or Weavile, they will no longer be around to blow away the hazards your Ferro or Skarm worked hard to lay down. This allows you to pressure the enemy team with hazards much more effectively. Although caution has to always be exercised before making the decision, Tar and Weavile can either be switched in directly or via a double switch to pressure said hazard removers. For example, assume your Skarm is on the field and you anticipate your enemy switching in a LO Starmie to pressure your hazard setter. Instead of using Spikes as Starmie switches in and threatens to blow something back with an Analytic boosted Hydro, you can possibly double switch to Tar as this happens and proceed to grab a kill. Overall, Tar and Weavile are prime examples of how trapping moves can be used to help keep hazards active, even being able to pressure rarer removers like Zapdos and Mandibuzz.​

Taking Advantage of Hazards

There are a high number of Pokemon who love being supported by hazards. The presence of solely SR or a few layers of Spikes can go a long way in helping to wear down certain Pokemon and ensuring some kills. This section will focus on describing some small examples of Pokemon capable of benefiting from hazards, offensively and defensively. Afterwards, a brief discussion will be held regarding the practicality of fitting certain hazards on your builds.

Offensively taking advantage of hazards

As discussed earlier, Bisharp is a prime example of how to take advantage of your hazards because of it's ability to grab an attack increase after switching in on an attempted Defog from Pokemon like Latios. From there, Bisharp can proceed to do heavy damage and apply continued pressure. Bisharp aside, there are various other ways to make use of your hazard to help a Pokemon offensively. For the sake of an example, consider Mega Lop. There are a variety of things Mega Lop can be checked by, including Amoonguss, Mega Venu, and Mega Sciz. However, once you add hazards like SR and Spikes to the picture, these Pokemon can no longer switch into Mega Lop as reliably. For example, Amoonguss would normally be able to avoid a 2HKO from Mega Lop. After SR and 1 layer of Spikes though, it's 2HKOed by Return. This examples demonstrates how hazards can help offensive threats break through their own checks and make certain Pokemon more pressured when switching in.​

Defensively taking advantage of hazards

Just like there are many offensive Pokemon who appreciate being supported by hazards, there are also various defensive ones who enjoy the same help. Clefable is a standard example, appreciating Spikes to wear down grounded checks like Jirachi and Tran. It's a natural partner for many hazard setters too, adding to how well Clefable takes advantage of the assistance Pokemon like Skarm and Ferro can provide. Other defensive win conditions like Suicune also love having Spikes. This is because, like Clefable, Cune is checked by various Pokemon weak to hazards: Serp, Mega Manec, and so on. Having entry hazards to wear them down thus becomes really useful, especially with Cune's ability to viably use Roar on CM sets to spread hazard damage on its own.​

Practicality of hazards

It isn't always practical to fit hazards on your team. However, there is one hazard that's mandatory on any team, and that's Stealth Rock. There are various reasons this is so. For starters, unlike other hazards like Spikes, SR deals consistent damage to everything (including Pokemon with Levitate) apart from 'mons with Magic Guard. This consistent damage helps various Pokemon secure KO's more comfortably. SR also helps keep numerous offensive threats from being too threatening. This includes extremely threatening Pokemon like Char-X, Torn-T, Thund-I, and so forth. Having SR is vital to keep these threats in check and to decrease the opportunities they have to apply offensive pressure on your team. Another reason passing up on SR is foolish is because of how effective its setters are. Pokemon like Lando-T, Tran, and so on, are ridiculously good Pokemon capable of fulfilling so many roles for a team. As such, you can sap SR onto them all while benefiting from all the other utility they provide.

Unlike SR, other hazards like Spikes aren't always necessary or practical. Spikes setters aren't always as easy to incorporate on teams compared to SR users like Lando-T and Tran, who provide a level of utility unmatched by the majority of Pokemon in OU. For example, offensive teams don't necessarily need Spikes to function well and aren't always to find slots for the appropriate setters. Although Spikes setters like Scolipede and Klefki can be used on offensive teams, they aren't mandatory and can come with the sacrifice of giving up either defensive utility, offensive presence, or momentum. Compared to offense, fitting Spikes on balanced builds is much easier. Pokemon like Ferro and Skarm are natural additions to balanced builds and provide large amounts of utility for these teams. Because of this, they are easier to include. Regardless, balanced teams don't require Spikes to perform well and can function just fine without the presence of these Pokemon. It's also worth mentioning that, unlike SR, Spikes are often built around. To make this clearer, consider the cores of Skarm + Mega Lop or Ferro + Cune. These cores are based around using Spikes to support a win condition or offensive threat, and demonstrate what's meant by Spikes being an entry hazard people often decide to focus their team around.

Other hazards like Toxic Spikes are generally less effective for three main reasons: 1. lack of good setters, 2. ease by which they are removed, and 3. a fewer number of Pokemon are affected by TS overall. TS setters like Dragalge and Tentacruel aren't the most viable or effective Pokemon in OU, so giving them a place on your team isn't usually too tempting. To add, TS is removed more easily than other hazards because of how popular Pokemon like Amoonguss can absorb them upon entry. The pressure TS applies isn't as immediate as Spikes and SR either, as the damage from poison takes a while to truly add up. Couple this with how many Steel-types, Flying-types, and Pokemon with Levitate there are in OU and you have a hazard players don't desire too often.​
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written by starry blanket | banner by starry blanket
"QC" by paper dreams, ABR, and Nedor

Dealing With Opposing Hazards

as discussed above, hazards are a huge part of the metagame, and they can really pressure a lot of builds. thankfully, there are multiple means of dealing with opposing hazards, and you can decide which one(s) are appropriate for your team based on how much hazards pressure you. the three main things that'll be discussed here are hazard removal, hazard prevention, and pressuring hazard setters. hazard removal boils down to defog and rapid spin, hazard prevention is about abilities and moves that can stop your opponent's hazards before they set them, and pressuring opposing setters doesn't only pertain removal & prevention, but it is also largely focused on your matchup against common setters. with all that in mind, let's dive into our first section: hazard removal!

Hazard Removal

the main way to deal with opposing hazards is by utilizing hazard removal. rapid spin and defog users are capable of taking the hazards off the field directly, making them much easier options for dealing with hazards than the other points that will be discussed in this section. however, defoggers and spinners aren't too abundant, making them difficult to fit on some teams. with these points in mind, let's go into some examples of spinners and defoggers:

: the lati twins are the two best defoggers in the tier; both are super splashable on offensive, bulky offensive, and balanced (usually latios not latias on balance) builds, and both are capable of providing teams with solid checks to common threats like speedy electrics, keldeo, breloom, etc.. latios is the more offensive of the two, capable of running a variety of moves next to its STABS & defog such as roost for more longevity, hidden power fire to hit mega scizor and ferrothorn, thunderbolt to hit skarmory and offensive water types (like manaphy), or surf / earthquake to hit heatran. it's worth noting that pressuring ferrothorn, skarmory, or heatran with a coverage move makes latios even more valuable against hazards because this can (potentially) eliminate a hazard setter if you catch your opponent off guard! compared to latios, latias provides a bit more bulk at the cost of weaker special attack, but it can provide quick cleric support for hyper offensive builds with healing wish next to its STABS & defog.

while the lati twins are really splashable, solid defoggers, they struggle with pursuit trappers due to their typing. considering how common trappers like tyranitar and weavile are, this can put you into really risky territory if you're pairing a lati with a pokemon that absolutely needs hazard removal support like talonflame or charizard.

: while skarmory tends to prefer the ability to hazard stack with spikes over defog, you can definitely run defog skarmory if necessary. skarmory is a much more defensive defogger than the lati twins, and it can pressure some common rockers into switching out thanks to type advantage. for example, landorus-t, garchomp, and hippowdon are all rockers that skarmory can handle, making it easy to switch into them and then defog while they switch out. it's worth noting that you need to be careful around garchomp in case your opponent is running fire blast.

sadly, skarmory isn't super splashable given how passive it is, and as previously mentioned, being able to spike stack is usually more valuable than the ability to defog unless hazard removal is absolutely necessary. please keep in mind that with skarmory (and defoggers in general), it's almost always counter-productive to be running both spikes and defog; defog removes the hazards you've set in addition to your opponents, so spending time (and typically losing momentum) to set 2 or 3 layers of spikes and then removing them puts you at a disadvantage.

: even without rapid spin, excadrill is a very capable pokemon; it tends to shine on sand teams, but it can also run sets like scarf and bulky utility. when you add the utility of rapid spin to these things, excadrill becomes much easier to throw on a variety of teams. offensive variants of excadrill (sand rush in particular) can easily plow through certain defensive and offensive pokemon, including hazard setters such as klefki and heatran.

while being able to have a very capable offensive spinner is nice, it comes with a price. excadrill is walled by quite a few hazard setters such as hippowdon, skarmory, and landorus-t, meaning your opponent will just pressure you out and get hazards back up. also, if you're running life orb, excadrill is taking a bit of recoil to remove hazards for its teammates.

: like excadrill, starmie can be very capable offensively, and like the lati twins, starmie can provide a great amount of defensive utility to teams... which one it does a better job at depends on the set you go with. starmie's offensive set lacks the ability to switch into threats like keldeo, but with nice speed, good coverage, and the ability to spin, it can work well on hazard weak hyper offensive builds. both variants of starmie are capable of pressuring out quite a few hazard setters like heatran and the many rockers weak to water: lando-t, hippowdon, tyranitar, etc.. defensive starmie is capable of providing a more solid check to keldeo and other threats than offensive starmie, and it provides more utility with moves like thunder wave and / or reflect type.

like life orb variants of excadrill, life orb recoil really hurts starmie when spinning. defensive starmie being so passive means it's worn out easily by a lot of the things that switch into it such as latios and rotom-w, and ferrothorn is capable of switching in & getting hazards up. it's also worth mentioning that both starmie and excadrill struggle with spin blockers like mega sableye and jellicent due to the nature of rapid spin (normal type move vs. ghost type).
Less Viable Hazard Removers

in addition to the defoggers and spinners mentioned above, there are some other, less-viable hazard removers. zapdos can help with birds and certain steels defensively while providing hazard removal support, and tentacruel can check clefable while carrying toxic spikes and spin. mega scizor and togekiss can run defog, but they have other things they should be doing. in a similar vein, mew and mandibuzz can run defog, but they tend to prefer other utility moves unless defog is absolutely needed.
Hazard Prevention

defog and rapid spin are the only ways to actually remove hazards once they've been placed, but there aren't too many defoggers and spinners, sadly. also, a lot of teams don't necessarily need a form of hazard removal, but they'd still appreciate some form of counterplay against hazards. this counterplay can be found in a few different things: magic bounce, taunt, magic coat, and even utilizing pokemon that are immune to hazards. the two of these that stand out as clear, viable forms of hazard prevention that we will be discussing in this article are taunt and magic bounce. here are a few examples of that:

Magic Bouncers

: with magic bounce, very solid defensive typing, great defensive stats, and a solid utility movepool, mega sableye is capable of checking nearly every hazard setter in the tier with the main exceptions being heatran and klefki carrying fairy coverage. mega sab's defensive capability + recover allow it to repeatedly switch into popular setters like (defensive) landorus-t, ferrothorn, skarmory, hippowdon, etc.. will-o-wisp allows mega sableye to either burn or scare out more offensive hazard setters like non-lum garchomp & landorus-t, and it can help with whittling down bulkier hazard setters. knock off can further help with wearing down defensive hazard setters by removing leftovers, and most sableye switch-ins won't appreciate getting knock off'd. magic bounce does more for sableye than bounce hazards; it prevents hazard setters (and other mons) from using moves that'd otherwise hurt sableye like toxic and taunt. as Infernal covered above, mega sableye's ghost typing and bulk make it a really solid spin blocker. the combination of bouncing opposing hazards & then blocking your opponent from removing them (with spin) is extremely threatening and useful, and it goes to show how threatening mega sableye is to typical hazard stacking builds in general.

with all that in mind, good hazard-focused builds will have strong counterplay to mega sableye. pokemon like clefable, mega diancie, bulky talonflame, and more are all capable of threatening sableye enough to force it out, allowing them to wear down your checks to these pokemon.

: unlike mega sableye, mega diancie doesn't really have a solid matchup against many hazard setters. it can't switch into setters like landorus-t, garchomp, hippowdon, skarmory, ferrothorn and more due to the supereffective coverage moves they run, so unless you're willing to make a huge risk with a prediction, you're better off not switching into one of these directly with mega diancie. defensive setters like skarmory and hippowdon also do a solid job of flat out countering diancie.

you might be asking yourself, "what makes mega diancie a decent means of hazard prevention if it doesn't have a great matchup against a lot of common setters?". well... just the presence of magic bounce is enough to help in hazard prevention. mega diancie is a super powerful, threatening pokemon that fits on a lot of offensive builds, whereas mega sableye is passive & fat; on offensive builds that don't really need defog / rapid spin, having mega diancie to simply pressure hazard setters is really nice. even with pokemon that do require hazard removal like volcarona and talonflame, diancie is a solid partner due to the pressure it puts on non flash cannon variants of heatran by both offensively checking it (with earth power) and preventing hazards. in those semi-rare vacuum situations where it's diancie vs. hazard setter, people are gonna think twice about setting hazards on your (pretty likely) switch.

: heatran both checks a lot of hazard setters and is checked by a lot of hazard setters. it does a solid job of switching into setters like ferrothorn, jirachi, skarmory, and klefki, but ground type setters like landorus-t, garchomp, and hippowdon all do a solid job checking it (although they hate burns from plume). against the pokemon it checks, heatran can easily pressure them out (or just flat out taunt them if they decide to stay in fsr lol), so you can predict accordingly and fire off a lava plume, go for a toxic, set up your own rocks, click taunt etc.. as previously stated, the common ground type setters all fear burns, but if your opponent does try to bring hippowdon in on your heatran, for example, you can predict and click taunt, effectively preventing it from getting stealth rock or recovering.

: gliscor effectively checks the common steel and ground type hazard setters thanks to really nice defensive typing, really nice recovery in toxic orb + roost, and bulk. gliscor is able to easily taunt or force common hazard setters out, making it very annoying to deal with. a lot of more passive teams carry both rocks and spikes nowadays; not only does gliscor have a solid matchup against a lot of setters in general, but it's also a huge pain for fatter builds. thanks to taunt, toxic, and/or knock off, gliscor can help with easily whittling down fatter pokemon while helping to prevent the hazards more passive builds typically need to win.

: you've probably noticed skarmory has been mentioned a lot here ;p. skarm sorta offers the best of heatran and gliscor: it checks a lot of common setters (garchomp, landorus-t, etc.) and a mostly neutral matchup against the rest (ferrothorn, spdef jirachi, etc.), it can scare a setter that might want to switch into it like heatran with taunt, and it can set up hazards of its own. access to taunt makes skarmory's matchup against a lot of other defensive setters much easier because it takes away their ability to reliably recover, putting a lot of pressure on your opponent to switch out.

one major thing to take away from taunters as a means of hazard prevention is that a lot of the time, your opponent won't stay in on a taunt. sorta like with magic bounce on diancie (not REALLY but just to give you an idea), the pressure it puts on your opponent is key here: you either taunt them & prevent hazards, you gain momentum by doing something else based on the switch in, or (the negative thing) they have a clear check to whatever you're gonna do like mega sableye vs. skarmory. i mentioned quite a few examples with the 3 pokemon above, so i don't want to describe every type of scenario here.
Pressuring Setters

the third "tier" of dealing with your opponent's hazards is simply pressuring the hazard setters without using your means of hazard removal or hazard prevention. in the last paragraph of the "taunters" section i touched on this a bit; pressuring setters without the stuff we listed above usually comes down to doing something to force your opponent's hazard setter out before they set up. the two new things that'll be discussed here both have to do with matchup: the first is simply having a matchup that's in your favor (positive matchup) and the second is fixing a matchup that isn't in your setter's favor (negative matchup).

Positive Matchup

in a positive matchup, you simply have a pokemon that checks the opposing setter and a means of bringing them in before your opponent can set their hazards. as previously covered, there are many setters and many pokemon that just plain beat these setters, so instead of going over simple examples that mostly only work in a vacuum, here are some scenarios where you can take advantage of a positive matchup against a setter properly:

(volt-turner + pokemon that beats a setter vs. setter): say your opponent switches their ferrothorn into your rotom-w since ferro's their rotom switch-in. by predicting this and going for volt switch, you can bring in talonflame. talon then forces their ferrothorn out, stopping it from setting up spikes / stealth rock. from there, talon can fire off an attack or a status move like taunt / wisp / sd / w.e based on whatever the situation is.

(pressuring through a double switch): say you have your excadrill out, but you see that your opponent has a pretty healthy landorus-t in the back. by taking a bit of a risk and predicting their landorus-t to come in, you can switch into your keldeo to force the landorus-t out. because of this, your opponent didn't get to set their rocks, and you gained a bit of momentum.

with these examples, please keep in mind that there are other pokemon that'd work in situations like these. also, i tried to make these seem as plausible as possible, so even though these situations aren't particularly rare, they aren't a super definite thing.
"Negative" Matchup

in quite a few situations, certain setters are clear checks to certain removers. however, by running certain coverage moves, you can easily turn these matchups from negative ones into ways of surprising and eliminating your opponent's hazard setter while not losing momentum with your remover. here are some examples:

/ others: thanks to strong special attack, latios is capable of effectively running coverage moves that take out hazard setters that like to switch into it. against ferrothorn, latios can run hidden power fire, making your opponent think twice about switching it into lati. against skarmory, latios can run thunderbolt. against heatran, latios can use surf or earthquake; both of these moves can also hit tyranitar for good damage, and EQ also hits klefki switching in. thanks to these coverage moves, latios can turn its bad matchup against various hazard setters into a positive one.

: just like with latios, offensive variants of starmie can run hidden power fire to hit ferrothorn switch-ins. unlike latios, starmie already has a really solid offensive matchup against most setters, so with hidden power fire, it becomes even deadlier.

: this example is much more situational than the above two examples, but i wanted to highlight the defensive aspect of things here. anyways, if your skarmory is running whirlwind, you can phaze out your opponent's potential heatran switch-in, blocking it from potentially setting up rocks. the issue with this is that the pokemon that comes out in heatran's place is chosen at random, so you might just get unlucky and see a different check to your skarmory being brought out.
Previously Mentioned Means of Pressure

as mentioned in the introduction to this, some of the previously discussed stuff definitely has a focus on applying pressure to beat a hazard setter thanks to a move / ability. actually using the ability (magic bounce) / move (taunt) is still hazard prevention, but in a lot of scenarios, you won't simply be outright utilizing one of these things due to your opponent predicting this and / or switching out. as mentioned in the taunters section, there'll be situations where your opponent won't stay in on the taunt because they'll expect it, or your taunter flat out beats their setter. to give a brief example:

: just looking at these two, it's pretty clear skarmory and ferrothorn aren't doing much to each other offensively due to their bulk and typings. however, if your opponent knows / predicts that you have taunt skarmory, it probably isn't in their best interest to stay in because it just means you gain momentum next turn if you taunt their ferro.

other examples include things already discussed in-depth above like the presence of a magic bounce pokemon, having a taunter that outright beats a hazard setter, etc.. i really want to stress how mega sableye is capable of not only preventing hazards with magic bounce, but pressuring most setters due to having such strong bulk and defensive typing.​
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excuse the double post incoming.

sorry these two lessons took such a long time; the delay was 100% my fault and due to a variety of irl obligations. anyways, with this lesson, we really wanted to focus on the more "in-depth" topics rather than a whole lesson of "this is a hazard setter this is what it does" "this is a defogger this is what it does" because those things are covered loosely in the analyses, and it should be common sense. we still gave explanations of key hazard setters and removers for beginner level players, but we mainly focused on their traits as a hazard setter / remover / preventer / w.e. also, we split this one up into 2 parts because when we didn't split it up, the lesson was wayyy too long to the point where it seemed scary to read D:. in all seriousness, this makes it much easier for people to read over one part and then read over the next some other time ^_^.

on another note, we're probably gonna be changing the "time-frame" for this to about a month because they're take forever to write T_T.
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well... things sorta got pushed back due to how i started school like 2 weeks after the last post, and then i wanted to wait a bit to see how trapping (basically dugtrio) lasted in OLT before we worked on a lesson on that. however, now that infernal is gone, it's just illogical to continue this project for the remainder of the generation. even when the work was divided in half between 2 people, these took forever to work on and whatnot. currently there's nobody else i'm close enough with that's either free enough and/or qualified enough to work on these with consistently, and i simply cannot do these all by myself sadly.

the last lesson until su/mo would've been the one on trapping, so i suggest you just read through the many posts in infernal/bloo's OLT thread on that since they'd probably share a lot of info on the topic of dugtrio's prominence. i'm probably gonna try to bring this project back a few months into su/mo (once things settle down a bit but still early on) so new players have lessons to read early on. if i do that, odds are the cohost would be a rotating slot of a few people that i think are qualified enough.

mods can lock this when they see. rip ;~;
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