Other OU Playstyle of the Week - Sand

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OU Playstyles
Shamelessly stolen OP from LilOuOn​

Welcome to the OU discussion of the different playstyles! The main purpose of this thread is to choose a playstyle every week (I'll choose it) and you, (yes, you), are going to be able to comment, give your opinion and suggest pokemons that should be considered when making a team around the style [posting teams is also allowed, just keep in mind that this is not the RMT forums, so if you want to post a team try to make it short and use sprites of pokes, explain how does the team work and post replays if possible]. Obviously, your comments must have connection with the chosen style, as well as solid arguments of why your comment(s) are valid. With this, newer players can decide what playstyle they like most and, of course, more experienced players can also expand their knowledge. Remember to be friendly with other people; if you disagree with someone's opinion don't slam with an aggressive response, just let everyone know what you think in a kind way. The links to discussions of each playstyle will be posted in the OP so everyone can read it at anytime!

Don't be afraid of posting! If you have a great offense, stall, etc team, just think about what to say and go for it! Don't forget that participating in this kind of threads gives you opportunity to earn that awesome Community Contributor badge! Be careful of what do you post! Quality posts will be rewarded, but mediocre comments will be deleted. Do your best and I hope that you like to contribute this thread!

Summary of the rules (Must read):
  • Make quality posts. No one-lined posts.
  • Your comments must be about the weekly playstyle chosen.
  • No gimmicks. If you decided to post a team (or pokemon) don't suggest using pursuit Tauros to trap Latias and Latios while there is an overall better option named Tyranitar or Bisharp.
  • Comment how the chosen style affects the current metagame and how it fairs in it.
  • Support your team's posts with replays if possible. Explanation of them are a must.
  • If you are comfortable, feel free to post one of your own teams and explain the process of making the team.
  • Having a wide point of view is needed. Don't post that stall sucks because you always lose to it.
  • Your new ideas must have strong arguments of why them should be considered.
  • This one is important: We don't want this to become a debate of: "this metagame is stale and has no diversity due to X Pokemon/Playstyle". I will delete and those posts. This thread is here to make a discussion about the different playstyles, not to discharge all your hate against weather. Please, incoherent posts will be deleted and possibly penalized, so think about what are you going to write.
  • For reference see the past OU Playstyles projects to guide you on what to discuss.
Past discussions:

Following the nerf to Sand and weather as a whole, Excadrill has been freed from Ubers and is back to being the powerhouse he was in BW1. Coupled with his old partner in crime, Tyranitar, both are now the new trendy core that now rivals DeoSharp for offensive teams. However, Sand isn't solely used for just offense, Balance and even Semi-stall are usable, though for Semi-Stall Hippo is the Sand Stream user of choice. Some discussion points: How does Sand fare in the current meta? How can you make a good Sand team without being really cookie cutter? Good Frameworks? Underrated Mons?
I have actually been thinking of building a sand team recently. For a hyper offensive team such as the ExcaTar core mentioned, some wallbreaking support is appreciated. While both can blast through a lot of stuff, they both have issues with physical walls, especially Skarmory. For this reason, Magnezone is a decent teammate, as it traps and easily kills Skarm. It can also run 164 Speed EVs to outrun Mandibuzz, another common physical wall, though it needs Specs or rocks to OHKO it (hell, even Volt Switch has a chance to OHKO with Specs). Of course, Mandi will probably switch if she sees Zone, but you can hit whatever comes it for decent damage. HP Fire is there for Ferrothorn; Flash Cannon is mainly filler, though it has its uses.

Magnezone @ Choice Specs
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 92 HP / 252 SAtk / 164 Spd
Modest Nature
-Hidden Power [Fire]
-Flash Cannon
-Volt Switch


@Choice Specs
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Sand is by far my favorite playstyle, and so many of my teams use SR Excadrill. I think the thing that sets it apart from Rain is that it's a more consistent playstyle and usually only one Pokemon needs sand up (Excadrill), whereas with rain I feel like you dedicate the entire team to using the weather. So if Ttar dies then it's not nearly as detrimental to the team as if Politoed does on a rain team. That could just be my inexperience with rain though.

Sand offense is a really good ladder style because it has a great matchup against most offense. It also usually packs other powerful physical attackers like Zard X or Mega Gyarados that can help facilitate an Excadrill sweep late-game. I usually like running things for stall though, because Excadrill simply can't beat it on it's own. Pokemon like Gothitelle and Magnezone definitely do wonders for sand offense, and make it relatively easy for Excadrill to eliminate it's counters.

In my experience, Azumarill is by far the biggest threat to Sand offense, since nothing it has can really "wall" it. It has to rely on checks like Latios Breloom and Thundurus to really stop it.
Pretty sure sand stall is basically dead, not saying sandstream hippo is bad, but the style as a whole is pretty good.

TTAR + Excadrill is definitley the name of the game. Usually their buddy talonflame comes for the ride.

Other notable Sandabusers: MegaGarchomp breaking all walls ever.
Sandforce Landorous destroying its sheer force checks. Or just running pursuit on ttar+sheerforce.
TTar can also be used to pursuit trap letting keldeo or MegaZardY have fun

If I recall right sand veil was unbanned so using it with garchomp and gliscor with brightpowder can be fun

Goth and Magnezone great for getting rid of pesky skarm.

Definitley important to have something to take water attacks.
A very underused pokemon on sand is Amoonguss.

The infamous core of Tyranitar, Landorus, and Keldeo appeared everywhere on sand teams and offered acceptable defensive synergy. However, now with Azumarill getting fairy typing, this is no longer the case. Azumarill is able to beat things like bisharp, tyranitar, hippowdon, keldeo, landorus, excadrill, and most things you find on sand.

While Mega Venusaur would be a great answer, unfortunately it hates sand. Amoonguss does its job just as well, and has the godly regenerator meaning it can switch in many many times, and doesn't care about sand.

Amoonguss offers the ability to check Azumarill, Keldeo, and Thundurus amoong (haha) many threats to sand.

Here's the set I use:

Amoonguss @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SDef
Calm Nature
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Spore
- Clear Smog / Sludge Bomb / Foul Play / Toxic

Giga drain is STAB + recovery, HP fire prevents Scizor and ferrothorn from setting up, two other pains for sand, Spore is self-explanatory and Clear smog is there to prevent setting up in general. Sludge bomb gives you more power, while foul play also deters set up in another way.

252+ Atk Choice Band Huge Power Azumarill Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 88 Def Amoonguss: 159-188 (36.8 - 43.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock, sandstorm damage, and Black Sludge recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Keldeo Icy Wind vs. 252 HP / 168+ SpD Amoonguss: 162-192 (37.5 - 44.4%) -- 3.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock, sandstorm damage, and Black Sludge recovery
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CB Stoutland is pretty good in sand too, gaining +10 Attack and Play Rough this gen. While he can't switch in whenever he wants and go to town anymore, he can be a good Sand Rusher that can switch in with his bulk and begin doing his business.

Sandslash is decent if you want a psuedo Double Dragon with Excadrill, but is worthless outside of sand and needs a boost to do real damage.
cutest picture ever (◕_◕✿)/10

Part of the allure of sand is just how flexible it is. Two fantastic Sand setters in Tyranitar and Hippowdon start the team off with a great core Pokemon that can do a ton of damage, and Excadrill can easily run over a weakened team late game. The best thing, though, has to be that so many Pokemon work well in sand. Offensive members love the chip damage, nullification of Leftovers, and breaking of Focus Sash. Defensive mons enjoy additional chip damage against offensive teams that are already on a timer.

Keldeo is one of my favorite mons on offensive sand teams. Specs Hydro Pumps really hit hard, which allows for Excadrill to come in and clean up later. Meanwhile, the sand hinders Venusaur's ability to heal itself, and Tyranitar's trapping abilities are awesome for crippling many of Keldeo's other checks / counters, like Latias and Chansey.

Speaking of Tyranitar, it's the main choice for offensive sand teams for a reason. TTar can provide a ton of support, whether it's Stealth Rock, Pursuit trapping, or luring in things likes Skarmory and Landorus-T to smash them with Fire Blast or Ice Beam. TTar just has way too much utility for an offensive team to do without. Mind you, it can't do all those things at once or it gets a bit overloaded, but proper teambuilding makes that a non-issue.


soul reaver
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Tbh i dont think sand can be categorized as a play style per say (contrary to bw, where it was useful to negate the opposing weather), when building you rather use ttar/hippo for their respective abilities. I think it's better to talk about those "tools" which form the general idea of sand separately.

First, we have Tyranitar, one of the most used mons across the generations due to its excellent stat spread (especially when coupled with ss buff) and its incredible versatility. While its double type gave it some annoying weaknesses, it still does have some perks defensively (against like flying types, psychic n such) and doesn't hinder that much its numerous qualities. It has been gifted with one of the most versatile movepool in the game offensively (fblast ibeam crunch spower pursuit..), and has some usable moves defensively (like sr twave etc).
When considering it when building, it can fill many roles. It can be a huge special tank thanks to its ability to wall/trap some huge special threats like the lati twins etc, a fearsome set up sweeper with its mega dd set, a very handy support with its choice scarf set etc.. More generally, it check a lot of threats like flying types (better with its scarf set), most special attackers and the list goes on, and it's more for those aspects (checks a lot of things, can fill many roles) that players consider it when building.

Speaking of weather inducers, let's talk about Hippowdon now. Introduced two gens later than ttar, it has never been as common as its cousin, but it is still great as a tank. Even tho it's not as versatile as Tyranitar, it's still useful at what it does, aka tanking both physical and special hits like a champ. Bulky ground moves have always been very useful defensively, and this one is no exception. It's very bulky on the physical side, allowing it to check many threats like chomper ttar etc (it can take +2 return from mpinsir and +2 knock off from sharp for instance), and its special bulk is not awful, with some investissement it can avoid the 2hko on aegislash sball for example. It has the right moves to function properly, like slack off which improve greatly its staying bulk, sr, whirlwind.. It still does pack some power due to its good attack, so it's not a sitting duck, even tho its coverage is limited against some walls (like skarm who cockblock it), some sweepers can take advantage of it too. It does have some annoying weaknesses, namely water ice and grass, which are common, especially the first two on offensive mons.

Another reason to use sand is to activate sand rush, commonly used by Excadrill in OU. I havnt tested the other sand rushers, so i'll only talk about the mole. While it loses coverage against the like of rotom-w n such, it gains a huge boost in speed (outspeeding p.much the entire metagame, even deo-s), making it an instant threat for offensive teams, coupled with his strong attack stat and its painful stab moves. It can be defined as a jack of all trades, allowing you to rk effectively many threats (flying types, thundurus, dd mons..), control hazards and clean at the same time. It is pretty reliant on weather, but it's still a v.useful mon.

Even if those aspects of sand are really useful, it's important to keep in mind the malus the sandstorm brings when induced. Even tho the -6% can be clutch to cripple opposing mons, it can go either way, especially if your strategy is hindered by it (random example, when you're counting on synthesis to heal your venusaur, or if you use recoil mons or smth). More importantly, as i said before, you must keep in mind that you have to use sand because of what ttar/hippo can bring to your team by themselves, rather than using sand to use sand.
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Excadrill being the best rapid-spinner in OU is very nice for sand-teams too. Since sand-offence generally does very well against HO (and especially those awful Deosharp teams), I feel, there's a lot more freedom to run rock-weak things like Talonflame than otherwise. The beautiful thing about a speed-boosted rapid-spinner is that, because you're out-sanic'ing everything, it's that much easier to assert offensive pressure of your own, giving more opportunities to remove hazards.

I've really taken the liking to the Excadrill+Latios hazard core (adapted from the Cores thread), which takes this one step further, and it works even better in the sand. Excadrill tears apart 2/3 of Deosharp by itself and probably another HO-sweeper too, while Latios can threaten Excadrill's checks (Breloom, Keldeo, some Landorus, and so on) and even lure Bisharp with HP Fighting and Azumarill with Thunderbolt. The Sand Rush boost means, the Defiant that usually does threaten it - Defiant Thundurus - can't, because it's outsped and KO'd with Rock Slide after Stealth Rock. Being able to reliably control hazards this way is especially useful, if you're running multiple rock-weak mons.

Excadrill (M) @ Life Orb / Air Balloon
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Rock Slide

Latios (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Thunderbolt / HP Fighting
- Defog
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The Tyranitar and Excadrill core isn't as good as it was in BW but it can be just as effective. And now that weather isn't permanent it has more flexibility. In BW weather was permanent so it was redundant to fill team slots with pokemon that didn't work well under whatever weather you chose. For instance, no one would have thought about placing focus sash Breloom on a sandstorm team because your weathers passive damage would break Brelooms sash and render it useless. But now that weather last at max 8 turns there leaves room for even more creativity.

Most things are the same though, sand is still used to stop other weathers and to give sand rush users a wonderful speed boost. You rarely see anyone trying to exploit the 50% special defense boost, the Sand Veil evasion boost, or Sand Forces ability to boost all rock, ground, and steel-type moves by 30%. Mostly because the Pokemon who are able to use these abilities have better or more useful abilities. For instance Landorus has Sheer Force which overshadows Sand Force, and Garchomp has Rough Skin and that overshadows Sand Veil. Although Rough Skin isn't much better, Sand Veil is to RNG reliant so most people avoid using it. All in all sandstorm is a great playstyle.

One pokemon to consider using under sandstorm is Clefable. It's a near perfect teammate to Tyranitar, it resist half of its weaknesses (bug, fighting, fairy), and it's not effected by the storms passive damage because of Magic Guard. It's also really bulky and capable of walling many Pokemon that threaten popular sandstorm cores.

Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
Bold Nature
- Calm Mind
- Flamethrower
- Moonblast
- Soft-Boiled
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I'd like to add one thing about SR Excadrill: Its blistering speed in Sand and its offensive presence are also greatly buffed by its ground typing, which allows it to dodge Thundurus' Prankster T-Wave which usually stops a lot of sweepers cold in their tracks. Many people rely pretty much solely on Thundurus as their panic button, so Drill can really screw them over.

One problem with the T-Tar/Drill core is that they share a lot of weaknesses, most notably Ground, Water and Fighting, all of which are VERY common offensive types. Other than Latios which has already been named, Gyarados also resists all of those types pre-mega and also gets Intimidate which is (almost) always useful, plus it allows for some mega-mindgames with T-Tar or other possible Megas on your team. Depending on what you're going for, Gyarados can also fill different roles, while the Waterfall/EQ/Ice Fang/DD set is probably the most common, the RestTalk set can also be very annoying to take down on more defensive teams.


Free Gliscor
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Gonna post the core that I posted on the good cores thread.

Everyone knows the TTar + SR Exca + Talonflame core, but heres a core Ive been using recently on a sand team to great success.

Hippowdon @ Smooth Rock
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 172 SDef
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock
- Slack Off
- Whirlwind

So this guy is the backbone of the core. He sets up sand and Stealth Rock, as well as wall a bunch of things, but most notably Aegislash and Zard X. The SpDef EVs guarantee the 3HKO from Aegi's Shadow Ball on the Crumbler, while Max HP and the rest in Def help him eat up physical blows. The moves are standard, with Whirlwind allowing me to phaze away set up sweepers. Smooth Rock is for sand. I chose him over TTar as he has more staying power with recovery and a better overall typing.

Excadrill @ Life Orb/Air Balloon
Ability: Sand Rush
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
IVs: 29 HP
- Earthquake
- Rapid Spin
- Rock Slide
- Iron Head

The sweeper of the core. With just an Adamant Nature, this guy outruns even Deo-S in Sand, which proves just how good Sand Rush is. This guy alone can sweep entire teams with just Steel/Rock/Ground coverage, so Rapid Spin is there to remove hazards. With a Life Orb, nothing but the best physical walls such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn can hope to stand in his way, while Air Balloon allows him to force things out like Garchomp and Lando-T, otherwise theyll be dealing only resisted blows and be taking two attacks thanks to Excas speed. The IVs hit a LO number.

Garchomp-Mega @ Garchompite
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 180 Spd / 252 SAtk / 76 Atk
Rash Nature
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Fire Blast
- Draco Meteor

When you have a sweeper, something has to remove those pesky walls. Mixed Megachomp does just that, literally 2HKOing the entire tier or better when the sand is up (Sand Damage is factored in). Skarmory or Ferrothorn in your way? Fire Blast. Hippo or Megasaur? Earthquake + Draco Meteor. Lando-T/Gyarados think they can Intimidate you? Draco Meteor says hi. Seriously, this guy is severely underrated as a wallbreaker because the lower base speed turns people off. The EVs may seem a bit weird, but they allow Chomp to outspeed positive base 80s and slower before mega evolving, such as DNite and Togekiss. Max SpAtk is needed to get those 2HKOs previously mentioned, while the rest go into attack. Earthquake and Draco Meteor are STABs, which is rounded out by Fire Blast. The last move goes to Stone Edge, as its boosted by Sand Force and hits the Birds for super effective damage. Once this guy is down, Excadrill can clean up almost anything else.

The biggest threat to this core is Mamoswine, and Ice Moves in General. Bulky waters can also give this core trouble as they can fish for burns with Scald while taking a couple of hits. Zard Y can give this team trouble as it removes sand, Outspeeds all three, and can dispatch of any of the three with a Coverage/STAB Move of choice (Solarbeam for Hippo, Fire Blast for Exca, and Dragon Pulse for Garchomp). Bird Spam is also a problem is sand isnt up, as Excadrill cant outspeed Pinsirs Earthquake or Talons Flare Blitz.

Recommended teammates: Things that can handle the aforementioned threats. Latios can take on Zard Y, and since Exca has Rapid Spin, can forego Defog for a coverage move or Roost. Thundurus/Rotom can help stop the Bird spam, with the latter also handling Mamoswine.
Oh sand, I've been waiting to comment on this playstyle for quite a while so here goes:
My team:
Hippowdon @ Smooth Rock
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Slack Off
- Whirlwind
- Stealth Rock

For me this was the obvious start. I prefer to have a weather setter that can take some hits and defensive Hippowdon shrugs off EVERY physical hit thrown at it. Whirlwind of course messes with anyone trying to set up on it and slack off makes up for no leftovers. Smooth rock because once excadrill starts a sweep I don't want it to be hindered by sand ending.

Gastrodon @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 SDef
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Earth Power
- Yawn
- Recover

Gastrodon was one I originally brought on as part of the dark horse project but now he's just too fun. He has the necessary special bulk to support the rest of the team as well as the ability to stop Rotom-W dead. Ice beam hits the Landorus-I and Thundurus that thinks it can power through it as well.

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
- Leech Seed
- Spikes
- Gyro Ball
- Knock Off

Having a steel type is never a bad thing, and Ferrothorn is ideal for wearing down the walls anything that the hard hitters can't break, speaking of...

Excadrill (M) @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide

Why choice band? Because break EVERYTHING. No LO recoil either. The main purpose of the team is to eliminate any Pokemon that resist any one of excadrill's attacks using M-pinsir and Latios, set up 8 turns of sand, and have excadrill clean house. Extremely effective once it gets going.

Pinsir @ Pinsirite
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Quick Attack
- Return
- Earthquake
- Close Combat

Eliminates the grass types that plague Excadrill. Hyper cutter to prevent intimidate drops. Also perfect for killing mach punch users that otherwise threaten excadrill.

Latios (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Fire]

General special attacking coverage. With most of the team using physical attacks, having a special attacker that hits hard helps clear out Skarmory, ferrothorn etc.

By far this is my favorite team and the one I've been most successful laddering with. Of course it has it's issues (no member resists ice) but it has great synergy so that those issues can be played around.
sirDizzyIII said:
Are m-garchomp/Landorus viable as breakers in the sand? Someone mentioned Stoutland, could you provide the set?
The standard set for Stoutland in OU in BW2 was this:

Stoutland @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Return
- Crunch
- Wild Charge
- Superpower

You could slash Crunch for Pursuit if you wanted a pursuit trapper that wasn't TTar or Bisharp. Admittedly, he was more popular last gen because there was no Excadrill or Landorus to keep with, and when sand is down he can be dead weight, but while you have sand he's a total monster. To answer your first question, both can hit like trucks, but sometimes M-Chomp's speed can be problamatic in a pretty bad speed. Landorus is nice because there's no reason you can't use the special set even on a sand team, so your opponent won't know whether he's physical or special until you make the first move.
I think offense as a whole has a great counter for most sand teams readily available in Keldeo. Able to KO both setters, destroy excadrill and rail both landorus forms, all the while outspeeding every single one of them, Keldeo becomes this devastating monster sand must tackle. As sans mentioned amoongus, I'll mention Slowbro... Though lesser seen on sand teams and OU in general, it is still a fantastically solid mon capable of applying real offensive pressure through his massive coverage.

Slowbro @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 SDef
Bold Nature
- Psychic
- Foul Play
- Ice Beam
- Scald

The set allows you to avoid a 3hko from Keldeo while in sand. CharizardX has to be adamant +3 to have a 12% chance to OHKO and non-bulk versions risk that same OHKO back (meaning Slowbro proves to be a fairly good check). What slowbro really does is allows you to had something on sand that absorbs water and fight attacks, similarly to Amoongus, but also allows you to absorb fire attacks aimed at Excadrill and have a full counter to talonflame. And with TTar/Exca, the elec and dark weakness is more than manageable, it becomes an excellent way to gain a free switch.

+3 252+ Atk Tough Claws Mega Charizard X Dragon Claw vs. 252 HP / 176+ Def Slowbro: 339-400 (86 - 101.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
+3 0- Atk Slowbro Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Charizard X: 260-306 (87.2 - 102.6%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Choice Specs Keldeo Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 80 SpD Assault Vest Slowbro: 97-115 (24.6 - 29.1%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after sandstorm damage
Swords Dance Landorus-I

Landorus (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Knock Off / U-turn
Swords Dance Landorus has been one of my favorite Landorus' to play for a while now! It's a very unexpected move on Landorus-I simply for the fact that it is considered outclassed by Landorus-T. While Landorus-T is a phenomenal user of the move as well, I've found Landorus to be the much better user for two reasons: 101 Speed and Sand Force. I'm sure many of you know this, but Landorus actually has a higher Attack stat than Special Attack stat (125 vs 115). You may think Sheer Force mitigates this, but Sand Force is actually much stronger (when used under Sand):
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 230-270 (67.4 - 79.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew in Sand: 269-317 (78.8 - 92.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
Just for a fun fact, Landorus at +2 with 0 Attack EVs and a Timid nature hits harder than Modest Specs Sheer Force Earth Power with Earthquake when under Sand! Earthquake is highly spammable and it is a great STAB move, with amped up power under the Sand. Knock Off is amazing for slaughtering Latios and Latias switch-ins, while also dealing with Chansey and crippling just a lot of Pokemon all around. Stone Edge is a great secondary move that is boosted by Sand Force as well, while forming the great EdgeQuake combo as well! Stone Edge hurts Talonflame switch ins as well, and by hurt, I mean absolutely destroys. U-turn is another viable option to keep up momentum and hit hard after a +2 and switch to an appropriate Pokemon, and while it may seem odd to remove the boosts, it can be very beneficial to escape a slower check / counter harder than usual while getting out as fast as you can. This Landorus set catches many people off guard and is an amazing surprise factor that has been working especially well for me lately!

Synergy with Tyranitar:
  • - Resists 4x
  • - Neutral
  • - Resists 2x
  • - Neutral
  • - Immune
  • - Neutral
  • - Weak 2x
in return,
  • - Neutral
  • - Weak 2x
As shown here, Landorus and Tyranitar get fairly good synergy! The real problem with this core is strong Water- and Fairy-types that oppose these Pokemon and both are weak to (not Landorus on Fairy-types, but it is still hit hard nonetheless). To patch up this problem, I'd suggest pairing them with SansNickel's Amoonguss set to patch up all these weaknesses, a Pokemon I'm going to test in a little while on my team!

Other Moveset Choices:
  • Last moveslot -----> Stealth Rock
Stealth Rock provides a lot of support and if you are really struggling to fit a user on, Landorus can use it to wear down switch ins and also use it as a last ditch move as it dies.
  • Last moveslot -----> Substitute
Substitute allows for an easier setup and shields it from burns, along with easing priority which it can somewhat struggle with, although it comes at the expense of being worn down awfully quick!
  • Last moveslot -----> Rock Polish
Rock Polish turns it into a dual booster capable of beating a ton of things, however this is better left off to Landorus-T thanks to its more impressive bulk and the fact that Rock Polish + Swords Dance wastes turns of precious sand.

Calculations Corner:
  • 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Deoxys-D in Sand: 177-211 (58.2 - 69.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Deoxys-D in Sand: 355-419 (116.7 - 137.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Unaware Clefable in Sand: 235-278 (59.6 - 70.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Leftovers recovery
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn in Sand: 320-376 (90.9 - 106.8%) -- 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Hippowdon in Sand: 344-407 (81.9 - 96.9%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +1 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Landorus-T in Sand: 207-244 (54.1 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mega Venusaur in Sand: 224-264 (61.5 - 72.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and sandstorm damage
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey in Sand: 474-559 (67.3 - 79.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and sandstorm damage
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mandibuzz in Sand: 499-588 (117.6 - 138.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Rotom-W in Sand: 246-290 (80.9 - 95.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 232+ Def Skarmory in Sand: 205-243 (61.3 - 72.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 184+ Def Gliscor in Sand: 231-273 (65.2 - 77.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Poison Heal
  • 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Unaware Quagsire in Sand: 216-255 (54.8 - 64.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Chesnaught in Sand: 168-199 (44.2 - 52.3%) -- 74.2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock, sandstorm damage, and Leftovers recovery
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 338-400 (76.1 - 90%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

Calcs are fairly meaningless to me really, as a lot of times it won't be just one versus one, the Sand won't always be up, Landorus won't always get to +2, etc... But, this shows the absolutely destructive force of +2 Landorus under Sand!

Swords Dance Landorus is an absolute beast under Sand, that can rip unprepared teams to shred! I'd highly recommend it for any team not looking to use Excadrill because of its stacked weaknesses with Tyranitar. Overall, Landorus is great and Swords Dance Landorus is just even greater!
Poor Mega Garchomp. On paper so much going for it, but the reality is that, unlike with rain, a proper sand core can't afford to be saturated with reliant abusers. Ground is not a reliable spamming type, and its a downright lousy type synergistically with Excadrill and TTar/Hippo. Garchomp, although sickeningly powerful and capable of doing great work against defensive teams if not played properly around, is the weakest link, becoming a limp version of its base form and a synergy drag should it opt not to MEvo against offense, and too reliant on sand maintenance to avoid being walled physically. A seemingly perfect wallbreaker by all metrics--power, great mixed coverage and ability, enough speed to thrash defensive cores--Mega Garchomp simply can't find a home for itself on a well-put together sand team. Superior wallbreakers include Keldeo, Calm Mind (which turns out to be much more terrific on weather teams IMO than weatherless HO) or Specs, who has sorely needed speed and complimentary coverage and typing, and Landorus-I, who while sharing some weaknesses dodges critical Earthquakes and Fighting moves and offers both Stealth Rock and consistent pressure from the special side with important Fighting/Psychic coverage or the ability to sweep with Sand Force + RP/SD, which Chomp wishes it could do. (Although not really a wallbreaker, don't underestimate either suicide Sand Force Rocks Landorus, who is super fun to use and, if a bit inconsistent, good at opening a couple holes before setting up rocks and Exploding to plug some unsuspecting tank and swinging momentum.)

I agree with user chive that Gyarados is awesome with sand, its normal form providing Intimidate support and the ability to dodge ground attacks aimed at Exca and TTar as well as providing a great potential win condition, since I feel SD Excadrill is less than optimal and all offensive teams benefit from carrying setup sweepers. Basically Gyarados is amazing on all archetypes right now I guess. Bulky Mega Tyranitar, should you be willing (and you should--I mean it's Mega fucking Tyranitar) to eschew Smooth Rock, also carries away games and often allows Excadrill just enough turns, I mean two or three is all you'll ever get or need at a time, to smack some things around in its wake.

Another underconsidered option is Defiant Thunderus-I. Tyranitar and Exca are both stopped cold by Skarmory and to an extent Mandibuzz and neither wants to deal with Keldeo either unless sand is up and it's already weakened. Thunderus is often better than Bisharp as a Defiant user (especially for sand cores, fuck Earthquake and Mach Punch) and even though it sure as hell doesn't like taking sand damage itself, the ability to switch in easily and potentially begin mowing things down right off the bat with Electric/Dark/Fighting/Ice coverage should Skarm or Mandi try to Defog is greatly appreciated. I always use LO and Thunderbolt over Wild Charge because Wild Charge is terrible despite the potential Defiant boost and Thunderbolt wastes the target Defoggers anyway.
Alright guys, we have kind of lost track of what we should and should not be doing. The purpose of this project / thread is to discuss the play style as a whole, noting some of it key strengths, things to be aware of and a brief summary of what pokemon are good. What we shouldn't be doing is saying "Hi my name is Nog and this is my Sand Rush Excadrill set. Here are some calcs. I really like SR Excadrill because it's incredibly fast, bye." We have analysis for Pokemon that people can look at if they want to learn about a pokemon. Halcyon and Cicada do a great job letting people know what's good about sand and some key things to remember as well as mentioning what pokemon are good without going on about an individual pokemon. Sorry if I bored you all but I wanted to say it so all the play styles in the future have better discussion than look what I use. If you don't know what to say, Subject 18 has questions at the end of his threads to generate discussion so answer those when stuck. Happy posting everyone.
Sand has a new found popularity these days, especially in the higher ranks of the OU Suspect ladder. Excadrill is still the same jerk he always was in BW1, even though Sand lasts 5 or less turns these days, especially late game. Not surprisingly, Gliscor was called back from the dead to do what he does best, wall that SOB. Trouble is as an offensive user I don't have a slot for Gargoyles with a single attack.

Fortunately smogonites have revived Breloom and that has been a strong answer ever since. Just bring him fresh against Excadrill and watch the opponent sweat, do I switch or do I go for the attack and predict the spore? It doesn't matter, you attack and he dies, or he attacks and you spore him and have the joy of Rock Tomb'n/Bullet Seeding whatever comes next depending on whose left. Luckily no one has ever thought of using a Mega Venu in a sand team and I hope it stays that way.

Packing multiple priorities is even better, with pokemon such as Bisharp and Azumarill faring great both against sand and other teams. A Skarmory would be a potential answer to all 3 of these pokemon, especially since with the lack of SR weak mons on most Sand teams you can just use an attacking move or Whirlwind in the slot of defog or let Exca handle the hazard removal department.

Sand teams can also take advantage of having double inducers and do exactly just that, have one of them carry a smooth rock and the other evolve, that would have the advantage of wearing down weather changing attempts and keep your abusers alive a bit longer.
Nobody has really gone over the counters to sand and how to deal with them in a pinpointed way so I will try to do so here. I think sand is an amazing play-style and the potential of Sand Rush Excadrill is simply astounding as with sand up it can simply rip apart teams. Also, when paired up with Tyranitar, a formidable physical attacking core is formed capable of either taking hits or outspeeding depending on what is required in the game.

I believe someone above pointed out the combined weaknesses these two mons have. Water, Fighting, and Ground are some of the most common attacking types in the metagame and unfortunately both Tyranitar and Excadrill share these weaknesses. Part of the problem with dealing with these types is the fact that Tyranitar and Excadrill both do not generally carry moves that hit any of these types super-effectively. Combined with the fact that priority moves such as Aqua Jet on Azumarill and Mach Punch on Breloom and Conk are prominent, Excadrill and Tyranitar are far from untouchable. This is why I think that Mandibuzz is, and has been proven to be, an invaluable asset to sand. Its massive defense allows it to deal with physical attackers while it is either neutral or immune to Excadrill and Tyranitar's common weaknesses. Overcoat gives it immunity to sand and immunity to Breloom's spore. Mandibuzz seems to have been forged for the sand playstyle. Pokemon such as Rotom-W and Celebi also work well since they can deal with the three types mentioned earlier and assist Tyranitar and Excadrill with special based attacks. Celebi is an underrated mon on sand offense in this meta simply because of certain threats like Talonflame. However, when paired up with Tyranitar Talonflame becomes less of an issue giving Celebi more of a chance to get rid of Water, Fighting, and Ground types and thereby clearing up space for Tyranitar and Excadrill. I would also like to make a quick mention to Gyarados which someone mentioned earlier as an excellent partner because of its offensive potential and its resistances and immunities to Water, Fighting, and Ground.

Another problem with common sand offense is the physical nature of it. Unless you are running Landorus, the most common attacks used by mons in sand will be Earthquake, Crunch (Tyranitar), Stone Edge/Rock Slide, Close Combat (Terrakion), U-turn (Scizor, Landorus-T), Iron Head (Excadrill), etc. This allows dedicated physical walls such as Skarmory, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Ferrothorn, and Mandibuzz to completely wall you. Earth Power really is the only effective special attacking sand move and the only OU mons that really get access to it are Landorus and Kyurem-B. Running either mons will help alleviate your problem but better players will know your sets and switch in the according checks or counters. While this is an effective strategy I would like to point out that the special attacking Tyranitar set is a superb surprise factor to a number of the physical mons mentioned. Fire Blast and Ice Beam are generally the only moves needed and getting a surprise KO on Skarm, Landorus-T, or Ferrothorn gives Excadrill the power to sweep or Amoonguss (SansNickel n_n) the ability to wall more effectively. Another notable mon that helps get rid of physical walls is Mega-Garchomp. With a significant boost in special attack Draco Meteor and Fire Blast are now possibilities and can net surprise kills to help free up future sweeps. Most people will expect standard Chomp with its far inferior Special Attack stat and so significant damage can be done before the opponent can properly react. Its speed drop is certainly an issue but with Sand Force Mega Garchomp wrecks shop with Earthquake and Stone Edge and as long as it has the proper support it can have an incredible impact on a game.

Lastly I would like to address the weaknesses of SandStall or Semi-Stall. The more common weather inducer in this case is Hippowdon so I will address it in my analysis. I suppose the biggest problem with SandStall is simply the fact that sand now only lasts for 8 turns at its maximum. BUT I still think SandStall can still be a viable option with excellent walls such as Gliscor, Aegislash, Gastrodon, Quagsire, Mandibuzz, etc. still in play as they possess immunities to sand + a number of other pros. However, one of the main issues here I think, as is an issue with all stall, is status damage. Except for Gliscor all of the mons above can get hit by Will-o-Wisp or Toxic and thereby get whittled down to death. An easy way to solve this problem would be to use Sylveon or Clefable as clerics. Their Fairy typing provides handy resistances to Fighting, Dark, and Bug types while also using their bulk to take attacks. Sylveon is especially reliable because of its ability to take special hits making it a good partner with Hippowdon. However, with everything said and done, SandStall has seen its era and is no longer a central part of the metagame.

All in all Sand Playstyle is incredibly important to the metagame. Tyranitar truly is the king of OU and wherever you see Tyranitar you will see sand. There are numerous ways you can run sand but the most important and centralizing is Sand Rush Excadrill. Whether you are utilizing it or trying to counter it always be aware of the power of sand and how badly it can pick apart teams and send them back to the drawing board.

I hope my analysis of sand's weaknesses and how to alleviate them was helpful. Thanks for reading! n_n
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Mega Garchomp is a brute force in sand. With 30% bonus to Earthquake and Stone Edge and already insanely powerful attack in 170, it can afford to run EVs in Special attack to turn Mega Chomp into one of the best mixed attackers in the game. The only downside is the drop in speed.

Draco Meteor, Fire Blast, Earthquake and Stone Edge gives it an almost perfect coverage. I need to experiment more with Mega Chomp.

Here is the Mega Chomp I used. Hippowdon for Sand and Klefki for screens. Behind screens, this Garchmop is very hard to take down and doesn't mind being hit first, and almost nothing can wall it.

(Garchomp) @ Garchompite
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 172 Atk / 96 SAtk / 240 HP
Brave Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Fire Blast

I wanna try to use a faster Mega Garchomp, but running Jolly or Timid is gonna weaken its ability to go mixed.
Seems like sand got more interesting this gen.

Tyranitar has proved that it is truly one of the kings of OU metagame by taking care of new threats such as Talonflame and Charizard X. (Excluding U-Turn and Brick Break, of course.) On sand teams Tyranitar with pursuit opens doors for Keldeo and Landorus, to extremely powerful threats that are capable of 2HKOing a majority of the meta game. Tyranitar himself can become a deadly dragon dance sweeper with godly defenses and titanic offenses. The reason I particularly became interested in Sand Offense myself was Excadrill. I didn't actually realize how dangerous of a threat Sand Rush Exca could be. (I think we can assume the most common Excadrill this gen is Mold Breaker.) However after a single SD not much is stopping the thing from single handily sweeping entire teams. It also makes a cool revenge killer. That being said, it's steel typing also really helps with fairies.

Sand is definitely the most common type of weather this generation and it truly is because Tyranitar is too good of a poke to pass up. Sand offense really is not dead as long as Pokemon as Mega Garchomp, Excadrill and Landorus exist. Mega Garchomp is an incredible wallbreaker with stats incredibly similar to Kyu-B. Garchomp is capable of taking defensive steels which is a main selling point it has over Kyurem-B. The problems these pokemon face can be eliminated by Tyranitar, Clefable or a well placed grass type such as Breloom or Celebi.

As many have mentioned before SandStall really is not as viable as it was last generation. It seems like some of the scariest Defensive juggernauts (Such as Skarmory and ESPECIALLY Gliscor and Hippowdon) just don't stall like they used to. I do want to note that Calm Mind Clefable makes a pretty cool asset to a more bulky sand team, and can act as a status absorber and late game sweeper. Clefable really takes care of pokes such as Conkeldurr and Keldeo, two pokes that really bother the hell out of Tyranitar and Excadrill. In turn Excadrill takes the poison and steel types that plague Clefable.

In conclusion, Sand Offense is has a lot going for it this generation. Tyranitar is important as ever and Excadrill can rip through teams in seconds. It is definitely not dead and it really does have a lot of interesting defensive and offensive capabilities!
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