SS OU (PEAKED 1928 #33) New DLC setup spam

Hi! So this team isn't doing anything particularly revolutionary but I wanted to share it because I think it's super fun, I feel like it's reflective of current hyper offense teams in this very early meta, and I have played every single one of my ladder games with it since the DLC came out.

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The starting point for this team was Alliance J Tots' famous XY team of 6 setup sweepers. I wasn't finding the pre-DLC gen 8 OU meta very fun, so I went back to gen 6 and played around with that team for a while and thought that play style was incredibly fun to use. Here's an importable of that team:
Dragonite @ Lum Berry
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Outrage
- Extreme Speed
- Earthquake

Gyarados @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 88 HP / 220 Atk / 4 Def / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Bounce
- Waterfall
- Substitute

Landorus-Therian @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Rock Polish
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge

Charizard-Mega-X @ Charizardite X
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Flare Blitz
- Dragon Claw
- Roost

Thundurus-Therian @ Leftovers
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
- Nasty Plot
- Agility
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Scizor @ Life Orb
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Superpower

I decided to build a new team with the exact same concept: every mon has a setup move, no mons have VoltTurn. There were no pokemon held over from this team into the SS team I'm posting today, but there were some ideas from his team that turned into concepts for this team. Basically the point of this team (and the way I felt playing the Alliance J Tots team) is to constantly be applying so much offensive pressure that the first mistake the opponent makes can end the game for them. The way to win with this team is to commit harder than my opponent when it’s wise to (hence no VoltTurn) while also being careful with my win conditions.

Early on, I'm looking for 1-for-1 and 2-for-1 trades and for obvious double switches into Pokemon that the opponent has a hard time defending against. In most of my games with this team, I ended up feeling like there were one or two mons that easily beat 4 or 5 of the opponent's Pokemon, and then the rest of the game was about waiting for the right moment to use those mons while whittling their checks. It also helps that all these Pokemon have few counters after a turns of setup.

The Team:
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Dragapult @ Leftovers
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Substitute
- Phantom Force
- Dragon Darts

Dragapult was the first member of the team. It's the analog to Sub DD Gyarados from the gen 6 team I mentioned earlier. I had no idea if this thing would be good and I'd still say that it's the member of the team I'm most likely to replace in the future, but it's one of the least common Dragapult sets out there and as such is usually able to get up a surprise Substitute. Phantom Force is also satisfyingly similar to Bounce in the sub DD Gyara set--it gives you 2 turns of leftovers recovery and as a bonus it can't be wish-protected on by Clef. Generally, if Dragapult doesn't 6-0, its best use is as a sack to weaken Clefable/Magearna. +1 Phantom Force does good damage to both and Clef can't come away from an interaction with Dragapult with more than 50% HP unless it's Bold Unaware.

Where Dragapult really shines is against Aurora Veil teams, where infiltrator can stop a Volcarona sweep, and against Volcarona in general. If I get stuck with Magearna out in front of a Volcarona, Dragapult lives any +1 hit and does enough with Dragon Darts to where Grassy Glide or Aqua Jet can revenge kill. Dragapult also gets free setup on Cinderace a lot of the time because of Sucker Punch and it can win mindgame-y interactions with Urshifu (Substitute removes the element of prediction in both of these cases). It's an answer to the increasingly rare Rotom-H as well. Also, lots of players seem to want to status Dragapult, so getting a free DD on the switch followed by a free sub the next turn creates incredible value. Mandibuzz and Tangrowth are direct counters to this guy.

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Volcarona @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Psychic
- Fire Blast

So I've never directly lost a game because my Volcarona was Modest, but Timid is definitely an option worth considering. For one thing, everyone's Excadrill and Urshifu is terrified of the idea of you being Timid, so they stay away. Modest is just great because I find that on the higher ladder, the most common thing I'm doing with Volcarona is switching it in on something that I force out and clicking an attack instead of trying to Quiver Dance. Fire Blast is the strongest unboosted attack on the team, so a good number of opposing balance teams have nothing to take two of them and I'm likely to whittle or kill a mon that opens it up for another pokemon on my team to sweep. PhysDef Toxapex can't take two Psychics and pex rarely switches in on Volcarona because it's so easy for pex to misplay and lose or be forced out after taking a +1 Psychic. Volcarona is also the most immediate answer to Magearna in the game right now and is this team's main saving grace against the ridiculously fat Tangrowth. It's also important to note this guy's good synergy with Rillaboom, as the two of them together are the main thing providing an answer to Tangrowth.

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Rillaboom @ Grassy Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Acrobatics
- Grassy Glide
- Swords Dance
- Superpower

So the defense buff from Grassy Seed is really nice while it lasts and Acrobatics is a coverage move that Rillaboom can't afford to pass up, as it breaks some of Rillaboom's most common checks (especially Tangrowth and Mandibuzz, who I keep mentioning, as well as Amoonguss). That's the reason why Grassy Seed is preferred to Life Orb. Also, Rillaboom is a common target for setup with Hawlucha, but Acrobatics makes it fatal for Hawlucha to Swords Dance and Hawlucha can't ohko with Acrobatics if Rillaboom has a defense boost.

Originally I used Life Orb with Knock Off over Acro but this slow Knock Off (269 speed with Adamant Rillaboom) proves not to be very valuable, as it can't even OHKO Alolan Marowak and most other would-be targets are faster than you and capable of abusing Rillaboom's poor SpDef (i.e. Dragapult) or get hit harder by Grassy Glide (i.e. Slowbro/Starmie). The only target you really lose out on is Aegislash, but by nature of the team you never have to deal with a boosted Aegislash, so it's easily handled by Azumarill or Zeraora or sometimes Dragapult and it still doesn't appreciate boosted Grassy Glides.

This above all the other mons on the team is the one that likes to switch in and set up multiple times per game, since its priority-providing Grassy Terrain runs out after 5 turns. It also is the effective Ground immunity on the team since Grassy Terrain makes Earthquake so weak, and it's a decent switch-in to Excadrill, which is a really scary mon for the team. This thing loves predicting switches into Tangrowth and Mandibuzz as well. Corviknight walls Rillaboom if it's at full health, but the team answers back with Zeraora or Volcarona depending on the set.

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(If you google Zeraora there's like 20 different poses so that's weird)
Zeraora @ Leftovers/Life Orb
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up/Taunt
- Close Combat
- Plasma Fists
- Knock Off

This team has no scarfer because all the mons are setup mons, so it was important to use the fastest relevant pokemon in the metagame. Zeraora is a great check to rain teams, Magnezone, and Dragapult, and Magic Guard Clef has a hard time against it 1v1. The main problem with Zeraora is that the threats I keep mentioning that wall significant parts of the team also wall Zeraora, particularly Tangrowth, Hippowdon, and Amoonguss. But because of its speed tier, Zeraora’s purpose is less to break balance and more to break offense. It prevents setup from Hawlucha, Volcarona, Excadrill, Gengar, and Alakazam, among others. The Electric immunity is really nice for predicting Volt Switches as well, as this can create a semi-free turn of setup against AV Magearna and forces Magnezone to Flash Cannon.

My worry about this set is that it actually can become setup fodder, unlike the rest of the team (besides Magearna), and one of the biggest advantages of this type of team is the fact that it’s so difficult to set up on. Zeraora doesn’t quite fit this pattern--Mew and Necrozma can live a +1 Knock Off and specially-based Necrozma can ohko back while Mew can stall it out with Roosts. It also loses badly to Iron Defense Body Press Magearna. For these reasons, I’ve changed Bulk Up to Taunt and Leftovers to Life Orb in some iterations of the team. The drop in power and bulk is noticeable, and it goes against the team’s “brainless setup mons” philosophy, but it gives Zeraora a great matchup versus stall and still prevents setup from all the mons I listed above. The downside is that the Life Orb-Taunt set will never sweep and is walled even harder by Tangrowth/Hippo/Seismitoad/Amoonguss, although it does have a better matchup against Unaware Clef/Quag and helps the team deal with Toxapex, so I’d say it’s a personal choice and which version is better depends on the game. Another thing to note is that the Life Orb-Taunt set helps break Trick Room, which is super scary with Alolan Marowak.

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Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Belly Drum
- Play Rough

Lots of teams are still being swept outright by BD Azumarill, especially once their Tangrowth or Rillaboom is gone and their fast Aqua Jet resist (e.g. Hydreigon/Dragapult) has a little prior damage. Azumarill is super useful as a win condition. When it’s clear that Azumarill can beat the opposing team, it ends up being pretty easy to play around until I can reach a position where it wins since it usually requires so little prior damage to do so, and since the opponent’s main Azu checks will also have to answer some other pokemon on the team as well, they get weakened fast.

Azumarill is also great to have around even when it can’t win, since it forces out so many Pokemon and gets so many easy Knock Offs to provide chip damage for whatever member ends up being the best-suited to sweep. Its priority is also crucial late-game, so in a lot of cases it makes sense to keep it around until the end.

Among things that are not answers to Azumarill: +6 Knock Off ohkoes even the bulkiest Amoonguss and has a chance to ohko full PhysDef Toxapex, which are two of its most common switch-ins outside of Rillaboom and Tangrowth. Azumarill is also the team’s only prayer of switching into Alolan Marowak (except it still dies to Poltergeist so that’s cool).

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Magearna @ Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shift Gear
- Calm Mind
- Draining Kiss
- Stored Power

I think Magearna is probably the best mon in the game right now, since it has so much diversity in its sets and they’re all so good. This set was originally Shift Gear-Electro Ball-Fleur-Flash, and while I do like the Electro Ball tech, it’s only good for beating Toxapex and Slowbro which this team does well anyway. Plus, there are a lot of Pokemon it’s never worth using Electro Ball on, particularly Volcarona, and that set made me a little too eager to stay in against Volc sometimes. The bottom line is that Magearna is always going to be setup fodder for Volcarona, so why not embrace that?

This set is a result of my embracing that. I thought losing the Steel coverage would hurt but as it turns out this set 1v1s Clefable anyway (even though Thunder Wave is annoying). The set also 1v1s Chansey from full health and creates a stalemate with Toxapex despite it having Haze. These things are all pretty insanely broken to be able to do with one mon, and this is generally one of the best ways the team has to beat stall. Volcarona, Excadrill, and Marowak completely abuse this set, as Stored Power can’t ohko Exca for the first 3 turns of setup or Volcarona/Marowak for the first 2 and all three deal a ton of damage back.

However, Magearna is a great check to a slew of other common offensive mons, like Dragapult, Urshifu, and Scarf/Non-Flamethrower Togekiss, even though its main purpose is to break balance and stall. Magearna is also a good way to break through Tangrowth assuming it can’t use/doesn’t have Sleep Powder, and it isn’t particularly scared of Hippowdon switching in since +2 Draining Kiss recovers almost all the damage from Earthquake.

Marowak-Alola: Must be played around. You can never leave in a Pokemon that you need if it doesn’t threaten Marowak because Poltergeist ohkoes the entire team (except item-less Rillaboom of course, but that doesn’t make Rillaboom a reliable switchin). Sometimes can spell an autoloss under Trick Room.

Tangrowth: Walls the entire team before setup except Volcarona, so luring it with Rillaboom should be my top priority.

Excadrill: Beats most of the team under sand; fortunately preserving Azu and Rillaboom well can handle this guy but the main problem with that is that sand teams have a lot of other threats that also need to be checked by Azu and Rillaboom.

Talonflame: I usually need to predict this switching into Volcarona to break its Gale Wings. Once Gale Wings is gone, it isn’t a huge threat since it won’t stay in versus Dragapult/Azu and loses to Zeraora, especially after a sack. Talonflame is pretty problematic by nature though since it’s a Will-O-Wisp user that also kills both of my special attackers.

Hippowdon: Walls Dragapult and Zeraora, Azu can’t set up on it, and Earthquake destroys Volc/Magearna. Basically I need to take chip damage on this where I can get it and preserve Rillaboom’s health.

Mew: The extreme unpredictability of this mon makes it a threat. Dragon Dance, Nasty Plot, Imprison-Transform are all life-threatening for this team. Volcarona beats the standard Taunt-Willo set but standard is becoming decreasingly standard. I try to knock it off as soon as possible and revenge it with Rillaboom.

Volcarona @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Psychic
- Fire Blast

Magearna @ Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shift Gear
- Calm Mind
- Draining Kiss
- Stored Power

Zeraora @ Leftovers
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Close Combat
- Plasma Fists
- Knock Off

Rillaboom @ Grassy Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Acrobatics
- Grassy Glide
- Swords Dance
- Superpower

Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Belly Drum
- Play Rough

Dragapult @ Leftovers
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Substitute
- Phantom Force
- Dragon Darts

I’m really open to suggestions on improving this team. Again, the main reasons I wanted to share it are that it’s fun and it was a good way for me to learn this little baby meta (and also relearn some of the old meta that I haven’t been a part of for a while).

Finally, shoutouts to all the nice people I met on the ladder this past week. I’m really happy with the new additions to the game and it seems like much of the rest of the community is too.
 
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Nice looking team, got a few suggestions that might help you deal with some of the threats you mentioned:

I know you mentioned that your team is hyper offensive, but there are one of two components of any good HO team that your team would benefit from: hazards or screens. Now the way your team make up is it looks like it would greatly benefit from screens, and as such mons like klefki, alolan ninetales, and grimmsnarl. Grimmsnarl is nice because it has access to taunt, however klefki can also spread status and has access to spikes, while ninetales has the best support move in the game in aurora veil. Out of all your mons, I would probably think about replacing Zeraora, as with the addition of mons like amoongus and tangrowth it’s not quite as good as it used to be.
 
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Ok, so I have a couple of suggestions to make:

Firstly, I would like to suggest you change Dragapult to LO with Steel Wing, Fire Blast or possibly both. You mention you like Substitute, so that could possibly replace one of them. Below are some notable benchmarks these moves hit:
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Steel Wing vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 270-320 (68.5 - 81.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Steel Wing vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Clefable: 398-471 (101 - 119.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Magearna: 185-218 (61.4 - 72.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Corviknight: 234-278 (58.5 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 364-432 (103.4 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
So the issue with Phantom Force in comparison to the Bounce Gyarados you were talking about, is both of Dragapult's STABs have immunities. Against Gyarados, even if you switched in a Flying resist you would still take damage, possibly be paralysed, and be staring down a Waterfall next turn. Against Dragapult, you can simply pivot between a Fairy and a Normal forever until it runs out of PP with little risk, especially since you have no hazards. Phantom Force ignoring Protect is increasingly less relevant due to Urshifu and its Unseen Fist discouraging the use of said move. Instead, Steel Wing punishes any Fairies foolish enough to try and switch in on you, while Fire Blast roasts Steels that otherwise chew up Dragon Darts all day. I can understand Sub to deal with Bisharp and Cinderace, so the main issue is having to choose between these two moves. Life Orb is also a welcome power boost to Dragapult's somewhat lacking offenses by comparison with many sweepers. For instance:
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Marowak-Alola: 306-362 (94.7 - 112%) -- approx. 75% chance to OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Marowak-Alola: 236-278 (73 - 86%) -- approx. 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 426-504 (120.3 - 142.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 328-388 (92.6 - 109.6%) -- approx. 50% chance to OHKO
It also means Dragapult can pick up more KOs unboosted:
252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Zeraora: 312-370 (98.4 - 116.7%) -- approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Zeraora: 240-284 (75.7 - 89.5%) -- approx. 2HKO
(note I am not picking these Pokemon out of practical reference to your team, I am mostly just using them as examples of the power increase)

Secondly, I would probably agree that you would be better off replacing Zeraora. It's not as good in the current metagame as it would like to be. The below Mew set helps you by getting up hazards so KOs come easier:
Mew @ Red Card
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Spikes
- Taunt
- Explosion
I understand this is somewhat of a deviation from the core concept, but being able to get hazards up in the early game can rack up crucial extra chip that makes KOs come easier:
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 244-288 (80.2 - 94.7%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Kommo-o: 318-376 (89.8 - 106.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after 1 layer of Spikes
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Bug Buzz vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad: 313-370 (75.6 - 89.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes
+2 252+ SpA Volcarona Fire Blast vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey: 258-304 (36.6 - 43.2%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes
+6 252+ Atk Huge Power Azumarill Aqua Jet vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Urshifu: 316-373 (92.6 - 109.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+6 252+ Atk Huge Power Azumarill Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corviknight: 357-421 (89.2 - 105.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
And so on. Hope this is helpful!
 
Ok, so I have a couple of suggestions to make:

Firstly, I would like to suggest you change Dragapult to LO with Steel Wing, Fire Blast or possibly both. You mention you like Substitute, so that could possibly replace one of them. Below are some notable benchmarks these moves hit:
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Steel Wing vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 270-320 (68.5 - 81.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Steel Wing vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Clefable: 398-471 (101 - 119.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Magearna: 185-218 (61.4 - 72.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Corviknight: 234-278 (58.5 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Life Orb Dragapult Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 364-432 (103.4 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
So the issue with Phantom Force in comparison to the Bounce Gyarados you were talking about, is both of Dragapult's STABs have immunities. Against Gyarados, even if you switched in a Flying resist you would still take damage, possibly be paralysed, and be staring down a Waterfall next turn. Against Dragapult, you can simply pivot between a Fairy and a Normal forever until it runs out of PP with little risk, especially since you have no hazards. Phantom Force ignoring Protect is increasingly less relevant due to Urshifu and its Unseen Fist discouraging the use of said move. Instead, Steel Wing punishes any Fairies foolish enough to try and switch in on you, while Fire Blast roasts Steels that otherwise chew up Dragon Darts all day. I can understand Sub to deal with Bisharp and Cinderace, so the main issue is having to choose between these two moves. Life Orb is also a welcome power boost to Dragapult's somewhat lacking offenses by comparison with many sweepers. For instance:
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Marowak-Alola: 306-362 (94.7 - 112%) -- approx. 75% chance to OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Marowak-Alola: 236-278 (73 - 86%) -- approx. 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 426-504 (120.3 - 142.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 328-388 (92.6 - 109.6%) -- approx. 50% chance to OHKO
It also means Dragapult can pick up more KOs unboosted:
252+ Atk Life Orb Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Zeraora: 312-370 (98.4 - 116.7%) -- approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Zeraora: 240-284 (75.7 - 89.5%) -- approx. 2HKO
(note I am not picking these Pokemon out of practical reference to your team, I am mostly just using them as examples of the power increase)

Secondly, I would probably agree that you would be better off replacing Zeraora. It's not as good in the current metagame as it would like to be. The below Mew set helps you by getting up hazards so KOs come easier:
Mew @ Red Card
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Spikes
- Taunt
- Explosion
I understand this is somewhat of a deviation from the core concept, but being able to get hazards up in the early game can rack up crucial extra chip that makes KOs come easier:
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 244-288 (80.2 - 94.7%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Kommo-o: 318-376 (89.8 - 106.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after 1 layer of Spikes
+1 252+ SpA Volcarona Bug Buzz vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad: 313-370 (75.6 - 89.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes
+2 252+ SpA Volcarona Fire Blast vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey: 258-304 (36.6 - 43.2%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes
+6 252+ Atk Huge Power Azumarill Aqua Jet vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Urshifu: 316-373 (92.6 - 109.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+6 252+ Atk Huge Power Azumarill Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corviknight: 357-421 (89.2 - 105.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
And so on. Hope this is helpful!
Thanks for this great rate! Thanks HyperFlux as well. I do appreciate that you guys understand it's a deviation from the core concept to suggest hazard setters or screen setters for the team. I personally have found that considering the goal of the team is to overwhelm the opponent with offensive pressure, the most important thing is having more offensive firepower than they do--it fits the best with the way I play, and it renders any preparation my opponent may have had for dealing with hazards useless. Also, with HDB running around, I feel like hazards are becoming less guaranteed to be useful--sometimes all they do is lure in my opponent's defogger, and who knows if that's the Pokemon I want to be putting pressure on right now? Basically, my philosophy is that the team should be built with the goal of invalidating as many of my opponent's mons as possible; Stealth Rock or Screen support alone rarely does this the way a strong offensive mon can.

However, I'm not averse to the idea of replacing Zeraora for something with more power. I'm working on some ideas related to that but my number one right now is some kind of Necrozma. Other options are Hawlucha, Lucario, Talonflame, and Mew. The main thing I'm looking for in these mons is to be able to deal with Corviknight and add some coverage for threats like Hippo/Tangrowth/Alolan Marowak. I guess I could also use NP+Toxic rotom-H, or NP Hydreigon (and then replace Dragapult). I wish Starmie got a better setup move than just agility but alas. Let me know if there's anything you'd suggest in this slot.

Edit to this response: Something I forgot to mention is that Zeraora is really nice because it contributes to the cool structure of the team I mentioned in my OP, where at least one pokemon is immune to every major status condition. Thunder Wave Chansey dismantles this team without Zeraora. Alolan Marowak can provide role compression as both a Burn absorber and a T-Wave absorber, so that's something to consider.

As for Dragapult, I'm used to seeing this Normal/Fairy swapping pattern as a sure sign that Dragapult won't be doing much this game, which has usually felt fine to me. But thinking about it now, this is clearly a defeatist mindset that I'd like to get out of--I'm not exactly "invalidating Pokemon" when I just accept something like this. Although I think the only move I can replace is Phantom Force. Your rate does have me wondering if Life Orb might counterintuitively be a good idea (despite that it doesn't really synergize with Sub) in which case I'd say the best move to use instead is Fire Blast. If I continue to use Leftovers, I'm not sure whether Phantom Force or Steel Wing has more merit. But yeah, I would say that Sub is a pretty important part of the set. Anyways, I'll certainly test it out. The differences you point out between Dragapult and DD Gyara are definitely important and I wonder if I could find a better gen 8 analog to that set (or just start using DD gyara outright). One option is sub DD Necrozma but subbing with that pokemon sounds harder to pull off.
 
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