looks like Don_Trabuco69 is our winner for the week, great work! Onto round 8!
Week 8 - Magearna!
One of the most versatile Pokemon that the SMOU metagame has to offer, Magearna has numerous assets that make it stand out. A brilliant defensive typing, great bulk and power and access to set up moves like Calm Mind and Shift Gear make it a terrifying sweeper paired with Soul Heart. Additionally, Magearna has access to Volt Switch, which allows it to act as a defensive pivot and gain momentum, being a Bulky Offense staple. There's no doubt this mechanical marvel is magnificent, but how do you plan to show off its mastery on a team? 5 days to submit!
The team is built around the star of the week,, which is running a CM+PainSplit set with which is capable of destroying fat builds. Aside from providing U-turn support & speed control for the team, helps demolish most of's checks: its ability to melt Steel- types, cripple walls with Trick, and specifically luring in and removing Taunt& Hazewith Final Gambit allowsto setup & sweep easier. alleviates's supporting task by being a better switch-in and pressures the aforementioned&as well. Sincestruggles against bulkier builds, it appreciates's ability to demolish them, while also providing Spikes support to overwhelm their shared checks & a secondary speed control (in casehas to Final Gambit early). Both & also offensively checks (potentially defensively as well for the former) other Fire- and Ground- types like ,,,, non-Dragon move ,, &that would otherwise threaten the previous 2 teammates. +forms the defensive backbone for the team, providing hazard control (Defog & Stealth Rock respectively) and overall utility.
Bulky Offense Alakazam-Mega Knock Off + Magearna Shift Gear
The idea behind this team is fairly simple: Alakazam-Mega will bait and wear down a lot of steel + Chansey with Knock Off (removing importants items like Leftovers/Assault Vest or Eviolite in the case of Chansey), opening the way for Magearna. We will explain more in details each sets.
Alakazam-Mega: This is your usual 3 Attacks + Recover Alakazam-Mega (instead of Knock Off instead of Shadow Ball). Alakazam-Mega is a really frightening pokemon in the tier. Not only he hits really hard and got the best speed tier in the metagame, what is truly amazing with this pokemon is how he got such an insane staying power, even though his "poor" bulk. The combinaison of Recover + Trace (copy some key abilities like Regenerator, Poison Heal or Natural Cure) explains where he got that staying power. So, indeed, Alakazam-Mega would be a great feature mainly against Offense/Bulky Offense. For the spread, we put enough speed to outspeed Lopunny-Mega and the rest was put in Def to increase his bulk (which is really nice for endgame).
Garchomp: Always reliable, Garchomp is one of the best rocker in the tier. The combination of a really decent bulk, a terryfing offensive pressure (because of Swords Dance + Good Offensive Stats + Z-Rock/Earthquake) and an excellent double-type (giving use the mandatory electric-immunity and also a nice fire-resist) is the reason of why Garchomp is such a prominent pokemon in the tier. Here, on this team, Garchomp provide a better tool to pressure Steel-Type (especially Heatran) and, in general, a better way to break more fattish team (Balance/Semi-Stall).
Magearna: The star of this week. His set is pretty straightforward: Magearna will try to set-up with Shift Gear and sweep the opponent's team (especially when Magearna can snowball with his ability once he got a single kill). In order to achieve this sweep, we needs to wear down some key pokemons: Steel-Type and huge spedef walls like Chansey. Once we reach all these conditions, we will be able to win with Magearna. For the set, this is the usual combination of Fleur Cannon + Bolt-Beam coverage. For the item, Shuca Berry will give Magearna a nice opening to set-up himself on Ground-Type (Garchomp, Landorus-Therian, Gliscor, ...).
Heatran: Heatran is really important on this team. With Alakazam-Mega + Garchomp + Magearna, we notice that we don't really pressure well pokemon such as Ferrothorn or Scizor-Mega. In that case, Heatran is able to abuse and stop any progress from them. Because this is SM OU, Heatran will be our usual bulky steel in order to have something that can switch-in a bit on Tapu Lele (and even less on Alakazam-Mega unfortunately). For the spread, this is the common set of SpeDef Heatran (but with 84 on speed to outspeed other SpeDef Heatran). Also, the moves are fairly logical: Earth Power to hits other Heatran, Lava Plume for his main stab (and allows to punish physical attacker such as Garchomp), Toxic punish pokemons like Latias-Mega (especially if Calm Mind variant) and, for the last move, Protect is a great feature to give Heatran more recovery (and, therefore, check better Tapu Lele/Alakazam-Mega).
Tornadus-Therian: Because any decent team need a ground-immunity, Tornadus-Therian provide a lot for our team. Not only he gives a lot of essential tools in the form of Defog and U-turn for momentum, Tornadus-Therian is also very nice for speed control. Because this is a fly-type, Tornadus-Therian will be our dedicate answer to offensive fight-type (Medicham-Mega/Lopunny-Mega) and offensive grass-type (Tapu Bulu, Kartana and Serperior). For the spread, we got enough speed to outspeed at least Serperior. For the rest, this exact investement allows Tornadus-Therian to take two Leaf Blade from Kartana Choice Band, one Ice Punch from Medicham-Mega and one Stone Edge from Landorus-Therian. Finally, Hidden Power Ice is a good coverage that help use against Swords Dance Gliscor and Garchomp.
Tapu Fini: The final piece of the team. Tapu Fini is our main answer for Heatran and Greninja Choice Specs. Nothing too fancy on what Tapu Fini is suppose to achieve: check things, wear down with Nature's Madness pokemons such as Ferrothorn, prevent recovery with Taunt (and also Hazards from Ferrothorn and Toxapex). For the spread, we reach the usual 223 on speed, the rest is invested on HP and Spedef to check better Heatran and Greninja Choice Specs (and other offensive water-type like Manaphy).
This BO team utilizes the core of Final Gambit Victini + Z-Freeze Shock Kyurem to poke holes though the opposing team (like nuking Heatran with Victini or Ferrothorn with Kyurem) and clean with BoltBeam Magearna. At first glance Mixed Garchomp looks like it might not be the best idea with Fini's misty terrain, but they actually work together phenomenally, because the only targets Chomp would rather Draco than EQ are flying (Lando, Gliscor) or levitating (Mega-Latis, Rotom), while having Fire Blast for grasses/bug-types. Additionally, Garchomp benefits greatly from freely switching into Toxapex and setting up rocks or starting to blast. Celesteela rounds out the team as the actual defensive steel & as the flying immunity.
While I was watching some SPL replays, I found one replay really interesting. Welliou came out with a surprising set of , that I haven't seen a lot recently !
With Specs, is able to bruteforce a lot of steels or its common checks that would try to wall it, opening so a path for . It can also destroy a mon that would try to setup on him, by taking avantage of Fleur Cannon's drop. Here is some calcs to understand my point :
252+ SpA Choice Specs Magearna Volt Switch vs. 248 HP / 232+ SpD Celesteela: 182-216 (45.8 - 54.4%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (you can easily weaken it for )
252+ SpA Choice Specs Magearna Fleur Cannon vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Scizor-Mega: 139-164 (40.5 - 47.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (at full it only forces a roost, but isn't able to absorb 2 Fleur Cannon around 70% : 252+ SpA Choice Specs Magearna Fleur Cannon over 2 turns vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Scizor-Mega: 208-246 (60.6 - 71.7%) -- guaranteed KO in 2 turns after Stealth Rock )
252+ SpA Choice Specs Magearna Fleur Cannon over 2 turns vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Gastrodon: 430-506 (101.1 - 119%) -- guaranteed KO in 2 turns after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery ( is always a pain for Volt Turn offenses, and this set is just able to destroy it)
252+ SpA Choice Specs Magearna Fleur Cannon vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Reuniclus: 400-472 (94.3 - 111.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
So I began to build around +. They forme a great core, one always breaking its checks and creating a path for the other. Then I added , providing speed control and ground/electric immunities. Punishment seems mandatory in this build, otherwise and would straight up win after getting rid of .
Then I added to make a Volt Turn core with and giving opportunities for to break properly. came naturally as my defensive steel, and coupled with , they form a great stack hazards core to cheap defensive cores for and . I really love Protean especially the Z fight variants. It gives a reliable move to annihilate (which is a real pain for teams relying on ) and also helps to get rid of , a mon that will make this team struggles otherwise.
Thank you Welli0u for coming up with this set ! It's a real pleasure to build and play around !
Wow! A clear win for Charmflash for the week, great work! Onto a much more interesting week! (Apologies for the poop formatting I am once again on my phone)
Week 9 - Kartana!
Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the USUM Metagame due to it having insanely high Attack and superb Speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. With a wide range of sets it can run, it is able to change up what it can do to fit on a multitude of teams and even bypass its would be counters thanks to Z-Normalium. You’ve got 5 days to make a team featuring Kartana, good luck!
lele yard is a rlly cool offensive core, i added in band vile to remove opposing mlatis and other bothersome stuff, knocking pex also makes yard much more threatening, defog kart is a rlly great fogger that beats basically all the rockers so it pairs extremely well with yard, and lando mag is ur standard offensive core.
explanation: this team is built with high offensive pressure by adrenaline orb kartana, nasty plot hoopa-u, and choice scarf keldeo. mega garchomp is the offensive stealth rocker and the electric immune, whereas tornadus-t is the defogger and ground immune. tornadus-t is also the check to tapu bulu and opposing kartana. kartana holds the adrenaline orb so it can gain a speed boost from landorus-ts intimidate, as landorus-t is the most common pokemon in SM OU, so it can take advantage of this. hoopa-u is the special breaker with nasty plot and fightinium z. hoopa-u and magearna are also great checks to dangerous pokemon such as ash greninja, and magearna can also check tapu koko, tapu lele, and tapu fini, as well as tornadus-t. keldeo is the speed control with stone edge in its arsenal, so +1 volcarona (which this team is pretty weak to) can get bypassed reliably. 4 Atk Keldeo Stone Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Volcarona: 316-372 (101.6 - 119.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Kartana has some moves up its folds. Z-tailwind is...surprising and is in adequation with kartana's movepool. After firing the Z, not only its speed is doubled but its critical hit rate is increased by 2 stages too. With leaf blade having a high critical hit ratio and beast boost, Kartana can act as a late-game cleaner. Sacred sword enables it to pass through steel types while knock-off gives us a chance against flying types (184 evs in speed and a jolly nature to be just faster than Pokemon with base 100 speed). Diancie and Lele are here to erode the opposition: Diancie can get rid of annoying flying mons, and with lele at its sides, steel types will not last long. Then the classic lando, magearna and rotom core because we need something that has proven to be effective at checking a large sample of mons. Landorus has the aguav berry and hidden power fire to help against adversary kartana. As you may think, the hardest part is to actually activate the Z-Tailwind. You can try to use tailwind without the Z if given the occasion, leaving you with specs lele at +2 in speed .
just saw kartana had the normalzium instead of flyinium-it's fixed