Playing with Sand (Peaked #8 on Pokemon Showdown)

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Playing with Sand



Weather. It's such a dominant force in the OU metagame. You're going to run into it in some form, whether it be Rain, Sun, Sand, or even Hail. Often times, teams without weather struggle to succeed, which is shown by the fact that 71% of teams with a rating of 1337 or higher have a Pokemon with an instant weather ability on their team.

This is my shot at joining in on the weather bandwagon. I wanted to go with a sand team, as I felt it'd be easier to make a more balanced team out of it. Tyranitar is still the best non-Uber Pokemon with a permanent weather ability in my opinion, boasting massive Special bulk in a sandstorm, and having a STAB move that hits like a truck even with no investment. I've also found that it's easier to check other weathers due to not being forced out of using certain type attacks, like how rain teams can't reliably use Fire attacks and how Sun teams can't reliably use Water attacks.

So, let's play with some sand, shall we?



@

Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 64 SAtk / 192 SDef
Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd)
- Stealth Rock
- Crunch
- Fire Blast
- Ice Beam

You just can't do sand without Tyranitar. Tyranitar is truly an incredible utility Pokemon; Special wall? Check. Stealth Rocks? Check. Mixed attacker? Check.

Anyway, Tyranitar gives my team the one thing that helps it out in the first place: Sand! Also, specially defensive Tyranitar is truly a beast; from my experience, most non-STAB Focus Blasts fail to OHKO Tyranitar in a sandstorm. This allows me to easily come in and get up the sandstorm and set up Stealth Rocks as many times as I need to until their weather starter is dead. Crunch lets me hit like a truck against just about anything that doesn't resist it, and is the main draw to why I chose to run a sand team - Specially defensive Tyranitar just hits so much harder than defensive Politoed and pretty much any Ninetales, and has enough special bulk to even rival Blissey. Fire Blast allows me to do a huge chunk to Skarmory and Ice Beam helps out against Gliscor.



@
Trait: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SAtk
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Scald
- Psychic
- Flamethrower
- Slack Off


Slowbro is the best physical wall I have ever used, even better than Skarmory simply due to walling more important stuff. Of biggest importance: Terrakion. I decided I needed to use one to effectively wall Terrakion, and I do not regret it. Regenerator lets me bring it in so many times, and recover if I need to.

Scald was a pretty obvious choice here, with its 30% chance to burn, which helps a lot if I get it on that Terrakion. Psychic was originally Ice Beam, but since I had most dragons pretty well covered already, I needed a move that would help out against Conkeldurr, who was giving me some problems. I need Flamethrower for coverage against Ferrothorn and Scizor, and Slack Off lets me recover some health after forcing something out.



@

Trait: Poison Heal

EVs: 236 HP / 212 SDef / 60 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Seed Bomb
- Spore


I was suggested to use a Breloom. Initially I was skeptical of Breloom, as all of my previous attempts to use it failed miserably. However, I tried out Bulk Up Breloom and it is truly incredible. I honestly didn't think this set would work, but it does. Having a Grass-type attacker helps out tremendously when it comes to beating rain. Most people expect the standard SubPuncher and think their Starmie can KO it with Ice Beam, but they just end up dying to a Seed Bomb. Most physical attackers can barely even touch Breloom after a Bulk Up and Breloom and Breloom kills Quagsire easily thanks to having a Grass-type attack.


Bulk Up lets Breloom boost its Attack and its Defense so it can take hits and deal some serious damage in return. Drain Punch is the primary STAB move of choice for more reliable recovery, Seed Bomb lets me hit bulky waters (esp. Quagsire) and Spore lets me put things like Skarmory to sleep so Breloom can actually set up.





@
Trait: Sand Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Substitute


With Excadrill gone, Landorus is arguably the best sand sweeper in the metagame right now. With its Sand Force ability, it doesn't even need to use Swords Dance to hit hard thanks to having a ridiculously powerful Earthquake and Stone Edge.

Anyway, I chose Swords Dance Landorus due to it being a terrifying sweeper in general, as Swords Dance makes its already ridiculously powerful Earthquake even more powerful, and especially since a +2 Stone Edge in the sand OHKOs a full health Dragonite, and even OHKOs standard Breloom with a +2 Earthquake, despite Breloom resisting the attack and even outright resisting the EdgeQuake combo. Substitute is almost filler, but I chose it to help with luring and killing Mamoswine, and also blocking Breloom's Spore.



@
Trait: Sand Rush
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Return
- Crunch
- Fire Fang
- Ice Fang


Now I was in dire need of a revenge killer. Simple solution: CB Stoutland! Sand Rush makes it really fast!

Initially, I was a bit skeptical about using Stoutland, but I've found after some testing that it's surprisingly good. It's bulky enough to live a +2 ExtremeSpeed from Lucario and kill it with Fire Fang.

Anyway, Return is the STAB move of choice here, due to having more consistent damage than Retaliate. Crunch allows Stoutland to more easily revenge kill Ghost- and Psychic-types. Fire Fang gives me an easier time killing off Lucario, and Ice Fang lets me kill dragons like Dragonite and Salamence.



@

Trait: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- U-turn
- Pursuit

Scizor was the member I was the most unsure about adding, since I already had Slowbro to wall Terrakion and I already had Stoutland as a Choice Bander. However, its main purpose is to Pursuit-trap Latios and Latias before Latios starts spamming Specs Draco Meteors and before Latias racks up too many Calm Minds. It also serves as a back-up check to Terrakion in case Slowbro goes down. It does get trapped by Magnezone and Heatran does quad-resist Bullet Punch, but that's what Superpower's for. I also found that I'd have quite a few issues against a +1 Outrage from Haxorus, so I use Scizor to take these hits and fire off Bullet Punches at Haxorus. To finish the set off, I have U-turn to scout switches and get into the appropriate counter.

Hope you enjoyed this team! Rate, hate, whatever floats your boat!

Importable:
Tyranitar (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 64 SAtk / 192 SDef
Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd)
- Stealth Rock
- Crunch
- Fire Blast
- Ice Beam
Slowbro (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SAtk
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Scald
- Psychic
- Flamethrower
- Slack Off
Breloom (M) @ Toxic Orb
Trait: Poison Heal
EVs: 236 HP / 212 SDef / 60 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Seed Bomb
- Spore
Landorus (M) @ Life Orb
Trait: Sand Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Substitute
Stoutland (F) @ Choice Band
Trait: Sand Rush
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Return
- Crunch
- Fire Fang
- Ice Fang
Scizor (F) @ Choice Band
Trait: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- U-turn
- Pursuit

(EDIT 12/20/11 4:45 PM) New peak:

 
Hey LucaroarkZ!

I'm liking the look of your Sand team so far, but there is a glaring weakness that I cannot help but address. It may not look like it, but you have a huge weakness to the ever common "Volt-Turn" combination of Scizor and Rotom-W. Tyranitar and Landorus will not be sufficient in holding off Rotom-W as they will be afraid of switching in to a possible Hydro Pump. Speaking of those two, Scizor will also be a problem, a CB Bullet Punch will easily cripple any of your sweepers. Slowbro will be hesitant of switching in because of the possible U-turn. Hitmontop will not enjoy taking repetitive beatings from the switching-duo either.

With all of that said, I would like to propose a simple solution that I believe will greatly increase the effectiveness of your team.

Breloom (M) @ Toxic Orb
Trait: Poison Heal
EVs: 236 HP / 216 SDef / 56 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Seed Bomb
- Spore

Bulk Up Breloom can come in on basically any Rotom-W (Barring I guess HP Fire) and take the Volt Switch with ease. If they decide to stay in you can set-up a Bulk Up and precede to deal some great damage. The best part is Scizor cannot beat this Breloom at +1 as most Scizor on run 8 speed EVs or are slow and SpD bulky. With that said, you can Spore the Scizor and continue setting up Bulk Ups if you wish.

Remember this set takes a while to get used to, I know from experience. Do not let it turn you off if your first game does not go amazing, this set deserves better. :]

As for who you would switch, honestly, I would say Stoutland. You say he is your Revenge Killer? You wanna you a very common revenger? Scarf Terrakion. Stoutland reaches a speed total of 518 after Sand Rush boost, Scarf Terrakion reaches 519.


I will let that set in for a bit as you think about my suggestion.
___
Solid team. ;]
 

dcae

plaza athénée
is a Past SCL Champion
I also use a sand team using Stoutland that works very effectively, but it has a different moveset:

Stoutland (Life Orb)
4 HP 252 Atk 252 Spe Adamant nature
Return
Fire Fang
Ice Fang
Wild Charge


The incredible coverage granted by the above set allows one to revenge kill almost all the metagame. Its Return deals devastating damage to all Pokes not resisting it or being incredibly bulky. This also prevents having 2 Choice Banders on the same team. However, it dies to Mach Punch, which is easily walled by switching in Hitmontop. I would advise having a defensive Steel type as to wall Banded Haxorus or other powerful dragons. Otherwise, this looks like a good team. Hope this helped :D.
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Bulk Up Breloom seems like something interesting to try out, but I'm not completely sure. Then again, I'm always skeptical of Breloom since I haven't been able to use it very well at all. If I were to use it though, I think replacing Hitmontop would be a better choice.

A change on Stoutland's item might work out, but so far having two Choice Banders hasn't been much of a problem, and I haven't found the need to switch moves on Stoutland.
 
Hi LucoroarkZ, your team is pretty weak if you lose your weather inducer. That's why you should consider to play Tyranitar with the Shed Shell. And why not trying this spread on Tyranitar : 208 HP / 76 Atk / 108 SAtk / 116 SDef.

Nice team anyway.
 
2 glaring weaknesses:
1. cb scizor will rip this team apart. you have 4 members weak to u-turn and this makes predictions for you a lot harder.
2. the team has really bad synergy. so many weaknesses to multiple pokemon such as bug, fighting, grass, fire etc.

the team needs to change at least a pokemon. i'm looking at slowbro. you can replace him with jellicent or rotom-w.

if you don't want rotom-w for scrotom, you can try the sd set for scizor. +2 bp is meaner...
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Hi LucoroarkZ, your team is pretty weak if you lose your weather inducer. That's why you should consider to play Tyranitar with the Shed Shell. And why not trying this spread on Tyranitar : 208 HP / 76 Atk / 108 SAtk / 116 SDef.

Nice team anyway.
Thanks! Shed Shell might work out to switch out of Dugtrio, but I still haven't found Dugtrio to be that common. Also, does that EV spread accomplish anything specific?

2 glaring weaknesses:
1. cb scizor will rip this team apart. you have 4 members weak to u-turn and this makes predictions for you a lot harder.
2. the team has really bad synergy. so many weaknesses to multiple pokemon such as bug, fighting, grass, fire etc.

the team needs to change at least a pokemon. i'm looking at slowbro. you can replace him with jellicent or rotom-w.

if you don't want rotom-w for scrotom, you can try the sd set for scizor. +2 bp is meaner...
I have two members weak to Bug, not four. I also have two members that resist bug, and I have two members that resist Steel.

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/dude333222/badsynergymyass.png

I'm still not seeing this "bad synergy".
 

Snorlaxe

2 kawaii 4 u
is a Top Contributor Alumnus
really excellent team you have here. it effectively checks all the metagame's major threats while also having great synergy. since the team is already really great, im just going to suggest a few small things to possibly make it work a bit better.

you might wanna try out a chople berry on ttar instead of lefties. since ttar is such a crucial member of your squad, it would be a shame to lose him to something like a surprise superpower or focus blast. though lefties' recovery is nice, i feel that the ability to survive something that would have otherwise koed your team's key player is more important.

i have just a quick tweak on your breloom. move 4 evs from special defense into speed (giving you a spread of 236 HP / 212 SpD / 60 Spe). this will allow breloom to outpace minimum speed heatran and nail it with drain punch before it can hurt you with super effective fire blast.

i think that your landorus could definitely benefit from a different set. as it stands, your team looks like it could have a really tough time taking down skarmory and bronzong, two mons who can stop swords dance landorus in its tracks. the easiest way to remedy this is to make landorus into a smack down variant. while it sounds gimmicky, it is extremely effective, as it makes it so that pokes like bronzong and skarmory are no longer immune to earthquake, and therefore unable to wall landorus. go for a set of smack down / earthquake / hidden power ice / substitute, an ev spread of 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe, and a naive nature and a life orb. if you find that landorus is dying too quickly, you can always use leftovers instead.

anyway, great team man, and good luck!
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Chople Berry on Tyranitar sounds like it would work out pretty well. I'll also add those Speed EVs onto Breloom, since losing 1 Special Defense to outspeed min-speed Heatran can't hurt too much.

Smack Down Landorus sounds like it would help a lot, I'll try it out. Thanks!
 
I would suggest Ice Beam over Scald on Slowbro, it might not be STAB but if you don`t have it, Dragonite will set up all over your face, Ice Beam can give him a run for it's money.
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
I would suggest Ice Beam over Scald on Slowbro, it might not be STAB but if you don`t have it, Dragonite will set up all over your face, Ice Beam can give him a run for it's money.
I need Scald for Terrakion. I have Stoutland to revenge kill Nite anyway.
 
A weather team I like! What are the odds?

It's a minor change, but since you have Stoutland and now (maybe) Landorus with ice moves, Ice Beam isn't really neccesary on T-Tar. I'd replace it with Rock Slide or Stone Edge for Volcarona, Cloyster, fire types like Ninetales and it lets you hit Dragonite as well.
Great team, dude.
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
IIRC Cloyster gets hit harder by Fire Blast, but SE could work for Volcarona and still hitting Dragonite. I haven't been able to do much testing on Landorus though, at the moment Smack Down is glitched on Pokemon Showdown. Thanks for the rate!
 
I really recommend you put Retaliate over Return because that extra 38 Bp is alot and sense he is meant to be a revenge killer and is already choiced it will help. Also you should try Hidden Power Ice over Substitute on Landorus it lets you easily take down Gliscor and why stop Spore from Breloom when you could down right kill it.
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
I really recommend you put Retaliate over Return because that extra 38 Bp is alot and sense he is meant to be a revenge killer and is already choiced it will help. Also you should try Hidden Power Ice over Substitute on Landorus it lets you easily take down Gliscor and why stop Spore from Breloom when you could down right kill it.
Retaliate is too dependent on something being killed; That's why I use Return.
 

truedrew

Banned deucer.
hey there this a nice team but i seem to see that you have a bulk up conkelldur. it can set up on somethings in your team and use fighting+dark to take down most of youre team. to fix this i suggest running 29evs on you're slowbro so that you're always slower than those pesky brave+0spd conkelldur unless they hold an iron ball or something like that. Also if you're using sub SD landorous try smack down over stone edge as it allows u to handle skarmory and gliscor better. Other wise i think this team has a lot of potential
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
hey there this a nice team but i seem to see that you have a bulk up conkelldur. it can set up on somethings in your team and use fighting+dark to take down most of youre team. to fix this i suggest running 29evs on you're slowbro so that you're always slower than those pesky brave+0spd conkelldur unless they hold an iron ball or something like that. Also if you're using sub SD landorous try smack down over stone edge as it allows u to handle skarmory and gliscor better. Other wise i think this team has a lot of potential
No offense but this rate is really hard to read and understand.

29evs what?
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Yes but he is a Revenge Killer which means he will always come in after somethings dead and that 38 extra BP could mean the game.
I switch Stoutland into Gyarados as I predict a Dragon Dance. I don't have a reliable powerful attack to hit it with. What do I do?

Return is on the set on site instead of Retaliate for a reason.
 
I switch Stoutland into Gyarados as I predict a Dragon Dance. I don't have a reliable powerful attack to hit it with. What do I do?

Return is on the set on site instead of Retaliate for a reason.
You need to lighten up a bit. The "no offense", and "for a reason" soundbites will discourage genuine well meaning towards your admittedly fantastic team.After all, theyre just trying to help.

Moving forward, its a well balanced team, and props to you for getting so high on the ladder, although i guess if less skilled players like me tried it out, we definetly wouldst get as high. Things like lack of a spinner, a real status absorber, etc..
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
Update:

Got some actual testing of Smack Down, and it actually doesn't work. It is too gimmicky to work; people will just switch in another Ground resist/immunity.

Also, anyone know of a good stop to Swords Dance Terrakion? Scizor isn't enough, I just fell 3 ladder spots because the only battler I've been getting is using a Swords Dance Terrakion.
 

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