Gen 5 Preview Analysis: A Guide to Starting the Game Right

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(BW OU) Preview Analysis: A Guide to Starting the Game Right
Huge thanks to Finchinator and Shoka for providing the analyses in this thread.
Also huge thanks to xJoelituh, Ununhexium, and Meridian for helping compile the example previews.
Support for this thread came from the Finchinator Foundation, and viewers like you, thank you!

Upon the arrival of Black and White, some major changes to how the game was going to be played on Smogon was almost a guarantee. With the new meta delivered, a prompt change to how each battle is started followed. Previous generations featured a lead. The first Pokemon in the team would always start the game while the rest were hidden away in their Poké Balls to be revealed as the game progressed. But with the Pokédex size maxed at 649 Pokemon after the release of Black and White, the wide variety of options created matchup problems for teams. Thus a major change to how the game began was made: the team preview. As many know well, from Generation 5 and on players are permitted to see the opponents team in the preview and choose their lead. Previous generations designated "leads" were key to starting the game right, but with the ability to view your opponents 6 Pokemon of choice and choose which member of your team is going face off in the beginning creates a very different situation to how the game is started from previous generations. This screen creates a situation where players can analyze their opponent and devise an initial course of action. This guide serves to teach new BW players how to utilize the team preview to your fullest advantage and start the game off right.

Starting With Your Best Foot Forward

When the match begins, it's wise to utilize your time developing your initial strategy. Right from the start you want to analyze the synergy of your opponent's team and look for gaps your team would be capable of exploiting. What do you see as the best starting strategy? What does your opponent have that poses a major threat? This guide will break down what to look for later on. There are a few things a player should accomplish during the preview screen: Assess the overall strength the team and guesstimate the items opponents team (who has the scarf? etc); identify your initial game strategy ex. he has two physical walls so the initial to chip away at his Ferrothorn and Landorus-Therian so my scarf Garchomp can sweep; Identify threats his team has so you know what members of his team you will need to conserve; and lastly select your lead. Your lead should be flexible, generally players will lead with a Stealth Rock setter or a Pivot allowing them to adapt on the fly to their opponents initial strategy. Always be flexible in your assessment, don't fully commit to an opponents Pokemon being a certain set based on your deduction alone.

Terminology Explanations:

Momentum: This refers to who is dictating the pace and plays of the game. A player has momentum when he is the one making plays and his opponent is reacting. You have momentum when your moves are evoking a reactionary response. You don't have momentum when you're constantly forced to respond to your opponent's moves.

NOTE: For this thread I attempted to link the Smogon analysis of the Pokemon sets being talked about in case a reader is unfamiliar with what set is being mentioned. A good exercise for newer players is too examine the team we give you; then examine the screenshot, and try to formulate your own plan and strategy and analyze the opponents team. After that, read the analysis's provided to see what they did differently.



TEAM I

:magnezone::latios::tyranitar::scizor::celebi::Landorus-Therian:

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Atk / 188 SpD
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Pursuit
- Crunch

Magnezone @ Leftovers
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 76 HP / 252 SpA / 180 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Substitute
- Thunderbolt
- Flash Cannon
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Latios (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Trick
- Surf
- Recover

Scizor @ Leftovers
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 244 SpD
Careful Nature
- U-turn
- Bullet Punch
- Swords Dance
- Roost

Celebi @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 236 SpD / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Giga Drain
- Recover
- Baton Pass
- Psychic

Landorus-Therian (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 72 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 180 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Rock Polish
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Team 1: Example Analysis I
1590379646594.png

Team Assessment:

Shoka:
I think that it's important be quite flexible in terms of team reading. Rain teams in general don't afford the creativity that say a sand would in choice of viable Pokemon with out a sacrifice to the team's integrity and/or capability. When analyzing a rain team, it's the sets that are primarily responsible for the variation that differentiates one rain build from another. This testifies to the importance of set scouting in the early game. I need to look for what Pokemon have passive Leftovers recovery, Life Orb recoil, or who is hitting extremely hard, indicating a Choice item. His attack had recoil, so he is has the Life Orb. With that said, a brief glance of the preview, and already two major threats stand out: Garchomp and Tornadus. Analyzing the former; it is very likely that Garchomp is a Sword Dance set with either the Yache berry or Lum berry; he could be utilized as the Stealth Rock setter, but that is dependent on Ferrothorn's four moves. While it is possible that he has the Choice Scarf, it is not probable. It doesn't make a lot of sense that for him to have the Scarf in that speed tier, as his Tentacruel already checks Volcarona. Regardless, I will have to approach him with caution and not assume his item, unless empirical evidences proves him to not be scarf. As for the next major threat, Tornadus, it seems most likely that he is Choice Specs but again, it wouldn't be surprising for Tornadus to be a mixed attacker variant with Superpower which would prove troublesome. I need to be wary when set scouting him that I am not tricked by the Sharp Beak, which could feint being Choice Specs (neither item has recoil/draw backs; after one hit I should be able to tell what item he has based off power alone. If not, look for the usage of two different moves used in the same period ie: Tornadus comes in, uses Hurricane, no Leftovers recovery or Life Orb recoil, Tornadus next turn uses U-turn, therefore he is Sharp Beak). As for the rest of the team, I can also speculate on Latios's and Politoed's sets, but there is no advantage to speculation. I will react and counter in the same manner regardless of the set.

Initial Strategy:

Shoka:
Landorus-Therian is our win-con. His presence is huge. If I can trap his Ferrothorn and Latios then I have opened up the game for Landorus-Therian to clean. Throughout the game I can utilize Scizor's U-turn and Celebi's Baton Pass to build momentum, forcing my opponent to play reactively, while potentially bringing in, at the very least, his Ferrothorn to be trapped (hopefully his Ferrothorn isn't the Worry Seed variant, that would be an unpleasant surprise). Analyzing my opponent's lead possibilities, it is clear he is limited in his choices of leads. He can't start with four members of the team (Ferrothorn, Tentacruel, Latios or Politoed) due to the answers I have for them. If he did lead with any of these four he would sacrifice early game momentum, which, given his team, is essential. This leads us to believe he only has two good choices to lead with: Garchomp or Tornadus. Having deduced this a simple choice for my lead is simple: Scarf Latios. I stand with nothing to lose from leading with Latios, as he out-speeds our opponents team (bar the opposing Latios possesses a Choice Scarf as well), and sets him on the back-foot instantly. From there, I will look to apply pressure, and dictate the tempo of the game with my pivots, preventing our opponent to get a foothold in the game.


Team 1: Example Analysis II

1590379707913.png

Team Assessment:

Shoka:
This team looks very unsurprising as in there are probably few tricks up its sleeve. Unsurprising ins't bad, standard is standard due to consistency it grants. For four of his team members: Breloom, Politoed, Excadrill and Latios, I don't need to be concerned with what sets they have; I have the appropriate checks and counters for them. Deducing their sets is not going to yield us an advantage or change my strategy either. I have safe checks to these four Pokemon. With that said, there is a 21' long, 520 pound threat here: Gyarados. His presence is going to require our full attention. To compound our worries, he is most likely a bulky Substitute Dragon Dance set. Given this likely hood, he can easily break our team apart here if I am not careful. There are, though, other options for the set, such as the Choice Scarf set that looks to snowball through opposing teams with Moxie boosts. This is a mundane option and if it just so happens to be Choice Scarf, then problem can be easily mitigated. Regardless, for the other team member's sets I have clear and safe options for each one, bar Gyarados.

Initial Strategy:

Shoka:
I can't stress enough the threat Gyarados poses if he can get to +1 behind a Substitute. If I can win the weather war, then I can passively break down Gyarados due to his lack of recovery. My own Scizor poses problems since Gyarados will look to set up on him, so I will need to keep U-Turning to prevent the opportunity for Gyarados to come in on Scizor in a 1v1 and set up. Our Celebi is huge here, due to his ability to wall most of the opposing team. The biggest threat to Celebi, though, is entry hazards wearing him down. It's imperative I minimize the number Ferrothorn's turns. Each turn Ferrothorn will get is an extra layer of spikes that I can't clear and have to deal with through out the game. Say our opponent is allowed to set hazards, he could then break down Celebi by forcing him in and double switching into Gyarados. As for how our opponent will lead, I can expect Ferrothorn, Excadrill, or Politoed. None would leave him at a true disadvantage, though I would rule Ferrothorn out as an unlikely lead due to the threat of our Magnezone. As for how I will start the game, I could lead Magnezone. Nothing stands to be lost and can actually gain a huge advantage on the off chance Ferrothorn is lead. This game his Excadrill can put huge amount of pressure on me, preventing Stealth Rock from going up and dishing out huge hits with Iron Head. Therefore this game needs to be played slowly: first take down Ferrothorn with Magnezone and trap Latios with Tyranitar. After that Celebi will pretty much take down the rest of the team excluding Gyarados. Gyarados will require some pivoting and double switches to mitigate his lurking presence. Bringing our own Latios post Ferrothorn trap, will help put immense pressure on our opponent as well, since his main Draco Meteor tank out of the picture.


Team 1: Example Analysis III

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Team Assessment:

Shoka:
At a first glance, I notice my opponent is very Volcarona weak. While I don't have a Volcarona with me (how unfortunate), this information is still beneficial, as it indicates that his Garchomp likely has a Choice Scarf (which is a solid Volcarona counter). From there I can deduce that Jirachi is the Stealth Rock lead set (because only him and Garchomp learn the move. If Garchomp is scarf then Jirachi will be Stealth Rock), Latios has Choice Specs (teams like this, look to pack as much power as possible, so Latios likely has Choice Specs), Magnezone is Sunny Day + Hidden Power Fire, Kyurem-Black is Choice Band (for the same reason as Latios), and Reuniclus is most likely the Trick Room set with the Life Orb (Trick room lets him turn his sluggish speed into an advantage and clean late game). Now while these are all sensible choices for the sets, I can't play the game with these sets guaranteed. There could always be a variation; players are always trying to find new sets and tricks to break existing formulas. This game though, given the team I am facing, will have some crucial early turns that can decide the match, therefore my strategy is more important than knowing the sets.

Initial Strategy:

Shoka:
Just looking at the opposing team it's very clear that it's designed to punish any mistakes I make. It's imperative that from turn one I not let him dictate how this game will be played. Our Scizor is looking to have an important part granted I am able to remove his Magezone and Jirachi. Same the same can be said with our Latios, who outspeeds his entire team bar his Latios has an unlikely Choice Scarf. His Jirachi is the go to Draco Meteor tank and it's very likely he doesn't have a form of recovery be it Leftovers or Wish. This would let me apply immense pressure on his Steel types with out fear of being trapped, gradually breaking them down. Choosing my lead to this game is tricky; one mistake could easily put me at an insurmountable deficit. Our opponent will most likely start with Jirachi, Garchomp, or Magnezone. Knowing that, the best lead would be our own Magnezone, Latios, or Landorus-Therain. Personally, I would go with my gut and say Jirachi has Stealth Rocks, so I will lead with my Magnezone. I have chosen my lead, now depending on his choice of lead, there are some scenarios that I should expect and play out. If he does lead Jirachi, he will get Stealth Rocks up, but I have his primary Draco Meteor tank removed, altogether, an acceptable trade. If you end up with Magnezone vs Magnezone, it's an acceptable trade, as it removes one of his Steels ceding space for Latios and breathing room for Scizor to operate. If my opponent leads with Garchomp, then I will have some bold decisions to make. A risky swap to our Latios should be considered as he will most likely lay Stealth Rocks or Swords Dance, maybe even go for the Earthquake on our own Magnezone. The likely hood he will Outrage on turn one is a minimal. Regardless, it is imperative to understand the outcome of this game hinges on how the early turns are played.


Team 1: Example Analysis IV

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Team Assessment:

Shoka: Our opponent has a great match up here. At first glance, I do have some solid answers to what he brought, but his Heatran and Mew certainly pose a grave threat. My team only has two swaps that can take a Lava plume or Fire blast: Latios and Tyranitar, and he has hard answers to both with his Breloom and Tyranitar. My Tyranitar does have Earthquake but should his Heatran burn or toxic our Tyranitar, he can proceed to stall Tyranitar out with little trouble. This is further compounded by the high burn rate on Lava Plume (which Heatran most likely has). His Landorus is likely Choice Scarf. This would make sense, as it increases the speed capabilities of his otherwise slow team. His Heatran likely the substitute protect variant. Who has Stealth Rocks is a hard guess as well, given that four of his team members can lay rocks. The most probable are his own Tyranitar and Heatran. Mew would be a poor Stealth Rock choice (to be effective, Mew needs Taunt, Will o Wisp, Roost, and Ice Beam. With out any one of those four, he becomes very easy to deal with), and Landous-Therian is likely scarfed. I would guess it is Tyranitar. His Mew is very threatening. No let me rephrase here, his Mew is kryptonite to my team. Generally there is only one set Mew runs: Stallbreaker Mew. Just with this one set, he effectively beats most of our team in a one on one through Will o Wisp burns, then stalling with Roost. Our most potent hits he can easily Roost off the damage and stall us out. The only way I can take him is if he tanks a hit on the swap, or is tricked the Choice Scarf from Latios. Both Breloom and Starmie are of little concern, since Celebi can hard wall them.

Initial Strategy:

Shoka:
Since I can guess with high certainty Mew's set, early in this game, my goal is to figure out the Heatran set; is he scarf? Is he balloon? Is he a substitute protect?. The first two can be broken down through Stealth Rock alone, due to no recovery (granted he doesn't spin). The last set can be dealt with by getting him in a one on one with either Landorus-Therian or Tyranitar later in the game. My Landorus-Therian is threatening, but he has some good answers to it. Mew will take less than 45% on from an Earthquake on Landorus, and can outspeed and burn our Scizor, then proceed to stall him out. How will he lead? Well either Mew or Heatran are the best bet. Mew can be used to prevent Stealth Rocks being put on the field and Will o Wisp us. Heatran could also lead, but unlike Heatran, by leading Mew, he has nothing to lose. I can't beat Mew in a 1v1. With Mew most likely being his lead, I am not left with many good options for leading this game. I can't lead Latios, due to his Tyranitar. Scizor would be a bad option as well, considering he would likely lead Mew. If I lead Magnezone, it won't accomplish much, and I just end up with a Taunt + Burn on Magnezone. Leading my own Tyranitar would be a gamble that I won't entertain (the gamble is he misses the Wisp or for some reason leads Heatran). Celebi is our best bet, he can buy time vs that Mew. One thing to be careful of is a taunt then switch to Tyranitar (no Baton Pass allows us to get Pursuit trapped). Losing Celebi early would be unfortunate, but it would give more freedom for Latios to spam Draco Meteors (While Tyranitar can easily 1v1 our Celebi, it comes at a cost). A huge factor to this game will be Stealth Rocks. If I can get them up, I can wear down mew through offensive pressure. Stealth Rock will also allow us to 2HKO his Mew. This game will be very momentum heavy, I will need to always put pressure on his team so Mew can't come in freely. It will require a lot of doubles, and abusing U-turn and Baton Pass to stay in the lead. Truth be told, this is very hard match up, and in the end all I can do is give it my best.
 
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FNH

Ut ameris, amabilis esto
is a Community Contributor
TEAM II

:tyranitar::Terrakion::Amoonguss::Rotom-Wash::Excadrill::Landorus-Therian:

Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 248 HP / 16 Def / 236 SpD / 8 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Crunch
- Earthquake
- Pursuit

Terrakion @ Rock Gem
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Substitute

Excadrill @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 252 Atk / 40 Def / 4 SpD / 212 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rapid Spin
- Iron Head
- Protect

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 72 HP / 140 Atk / 60 Def / 236 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 30 Spe
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Knock Off
- U-turn

Amoonguss @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 224 Def / 24 SpA / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
- Stun Spore
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Giga Drain

Rotom-Wash @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 20 Def / 240 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 14 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split

Team 2: Example Analysis I

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Opponent's Team Assessment:

Finchinator:
Right off the bat, it looks like the opponent is making use of an older team archetype that focuses on Celebi passing boosts to threats. It is integrating some newer ideas such as Keldeo on Sand and Excadrill as an anti-Spikes measure and secondary Reuniclus check, but overall the concept remains identical to the historic variants: pass Nasty Plots to strong special attackers (Keldeo and Latios here) in order to get KO's or sweeps.

As for the sets, they lack a conventionally acceptable Choice Scarf user, so we have to work a bit backwards in order to try to develop a proper hypothesis on the overall outlook of the team. In the modern metagame, Choice Scarf Keldeo is seen as a poor option on Sand teams due to taking constant Sand chip and lacking the same power that it has with Rain. With Nasty Plot Celebi, it also tends to be Leftovers or Expert Belt with 4 attacks. Choice Scarf Latios is an ok option, but running it without another Pokemon to outrun or check Terrakion is problematic as you are one Pursuit (keep in mind Scarf Latios cannot muscle past Tyranitar with any 2 hits, even if SR is set) away from losing the game on the spot unless Keldeo wins a tie. Choice Scarf Tyranitar would make little sense here as you need Chople Berry to reliably check Alakazam and Reuniclus and you have SpDef Celebi + a Protect Steel type for Latios, making even a more offensively geared Chople Berry set sufficient. Finally, Rotom-Wash is seen as a poor Choice Scarf user on Sand teams for similar reasons to Keldeo, but also it is very important defensively on this build as well.

Because of this uncertainty, let's focus on other things that are definite: the Rotom-Wash is almost definitely a standard defensive pivot variant as the team is very vulnerable to Landorus-Therian, Excadrill, Tornadus, and Gyarados. Celebi has to be Nasty Plot + Baton Pass because it would make little sense to use on this configuration otherwise. Excadrill is very likely a standard offensive Sand Force Rapid Spin variant (Earthquake + Iron Head + Rapid Spin + Protect) because it is not needed on the defensive end with these partners, but it is very much needed to remove Spikes and muscle past Reuniclus and balance cores. Tyranitar has to be the Stealth Rock setter given the above sets being in place, meaning that it is likely Chople Berry with Stealth Rock and three attacks. Given that only Keldeo and Latios are left, we can just be sure that one of the two is Choice Scarf and the other is more geared towards breaking (4 attacks Keldeo or Choice Specs Latios).

Initial Strategy and Lead:

Finchinator:
Rotom-Wash strikes me as the most obvious lead. It is able to avoid an OHKO from the entire opposing team, generate surefire momentum, and potentially even trade burns with the opposing Rotom-Wash, which is of vital importance in this match-up as they will normally be going Celebi against you anyway whereas their Rotom-Wash is important for both Ground types. Rotom-Wash tends to be the go-to lead whenever you do not face Breloom or a Choice Banded Dragon which can OHKO it, too. However, an alternative lead would be Choice Scarf Landorus-Therian, which is arguably the most important team member in this game as it has no long term counters on the opponent's team and is able to get in repeatedly with smart pivoting and momentum.

Terrakion looks great here, nabbing a KO every time it comes in safely with minimal chip in all likelihood. The ability to generate momentum with Landorus-Therian opens up that and allows for Landorus-Therian to make great progress, too. Defensively, you also want to use Landorus-Therian to suffocate Celebi before it can pass a Nasty Plot. In addition, keeping Amoonguss healthy to check Keldeo and Tyranitar healthy to check Latios can go a long way, especially once you determine which one is the breaker. The biggest thing here is to simply not let-up momentum and maximize the amount of progress you get out of Landorus-Therian, which should open up the game quickly for you.

Team 2: Example Analysis II

1590380254760.png

Opponent's Team Assessment:

Finchinator:
This appears to be a more modern variant of zf Moltres Rain Stall. These types of teams can be annoying to face as they encourage more drawn out games, but they are also a bit match-up reliant. Moltres will surely be a Substitute + Roost + Hurricane + Will-O-Wisp variant as this is the entire focus of the team. Chansey and Ferrothorn form a strong defensive core and are also there to set-up hazards. Gliscor can function as a win condition with Swords Dance, but honestly Taunt is a valid option as well depending on the other sets and spreads on the team. Rounding things out you have Tentacruel as a Rain abusing spinner and Politoed as another defensive presence or revenge killer with Choice Scarf, which is generally seen as poor but far more passable as an emergency button on stall teams.

This team is super straightforward as stall is a very limited archetype in BW, so there will be far more emphasis on your team and your outs against it as opposed to analysis of their sets and possibilities. Using stalls puts the onus of outplaying on the opposing team and their tools to make progress typically in BW.

Initial Strategy and Lead:

Finchinator:
This is pretty straightforward: lead with Rotom-Wash and get it in religiously when you are able to avoid taking excessive damage/status. It is able to Volt Switch freely, forcing in Chansey. This sequence is going to let Terrakion and Tyranitar make progress. The former is able to kill the entire team at +2, with +2 Stone Edge with Rock Gem taking out Gliscor. Timing this is pretty crucial, but you can potentially get up a Substitute on a Protect or a switch out, letting you straight sweep through regardless. Tyranitar can set-up Stealth Rock, which will lead to the opposing defensive core crumbling once pressure is applied on Tentacruel with Sand, Rotom-Wash, and the Ground types. Finally, with Excadrill being there in the back, you can manage opposing hazards and also destroy the defensive core in Sand once Gliscor takes a boosted Terrakion hit, likely dying.

This is pretty clear-cut as the team has sufficient breaking power and momentum generation to out-maneuver stall. Stall teams in BW tend to be lackluster and very inconsistent due to the nature of the tier being very unkind to them. This is a prime example of a standard build just overwhelming it.

Team 2: Example Analysis III

1590380296097.png

Opponent's Team Assessment:

Finchinator: Well, this is dumb. This isn't even remotely proper or optimal DragMag. It's just 5 Dragons with a Magnezone thrown in. There are a lot of holes here to exploit, but also there's very little analysis to do as they can be any combination of speed control and breaking sets. Garchomp is presumably a Stealth Rock lead. Latios and Salamence are possible Choice Scarf users. Magnezone is likely going to be Balloon + Magnet Rise with Sunny Day, which is the standard set. Haxorus and Kyurem-Black likely are more direct breakers, with the former possibly doing so with Dragon Dance and the latter definitely being Choice Band. Dragonite is the most versatile option here, but I think it is most likely to be another win condition with Dragon Dance and playing around that requires the most support and forethought, so we're going to assume the worst case and simply keep that in mind when playing against this team. It is hard to write much else as this is a very simple and sloppy team, making use of a raw and underdeveloped take on the concept of DragMag.

Initial Strategy and Lead:

Finchinator:
This is a major pain to play against because the opponent did not consider any teambuilding conventions that leave him very vulnerable to a number of offensive things like Rain cores and Mamoswine, but the trade-off is insane breaking power against balance teams, which this borders on. Fortunately, Scarf Landorus-Therian makes for a great lead thanks to Intimidate and U-turn. Unfortunately, we only have one Steel type and it is not particularly durable, so we're going to have to be careful. Odds are that we are going to claim a kill each time Terrakion is in once we take care of the likely Lead Sash Garchomp, so leading with Landorus-Therian to take care of it is a must, in my opinion.

From there, we need to figure out his Choice Scarf user. If it is Latios, then a simple trap with Tyranitar will suffice as then Terrakion wins the game on the spot with Stealth Rock and Sand. If it is Salamence, then trapping the Latios helps, but you probably need to preserve Physically Defensive HP Ice Amoonguss and Steel type Excadrill in order to not get counter-swept by a mid-late game Moxie Salamence. If you can play around this with these two and Intimidate Salamence, then you are likely going to win the game with Terrakion picking off kills after U-turn/Volt Switch nevertheless, making this a manageable match-up. This will require pro-active play and a bit of foresight, but it is very winnable.


Team 2: Example Analysis IV

1590380336349.png

Opponent's Team Assessment:

Finchinator:
Seeing Jellicent without Spikes and with another Water type is pretty out-of-the-ordinary, so there is definitely a lot of uncertainty going through my mind when I see this team preview. Could it be some more offensive oriented Rotom-Wash to take advantage of the defensive presence of Jellicent? In addition, there are two complimentary Steel types, so this looks like a prime opportunity for Choice Scarf Tyranitar as there is no other obvious Choice Scarf user, Stealth Rock can be spread elsewhere, and you are generally ok against Psychic types between Taunt Jellicent, Rapid Spin for Spikes, two Steel types, Trick Latios, and Fast Crunch from a potential Choice Scarf Tar. It is probably Stealth Rock on Heatran and a more offensive Rapid Spin Excadrill because of this, too.

Initial Strategy and Lead:

Finchinator:
Terrakion should be able to take advantage of Heatran and a Crunch or Pursuit locked Tyranitar nicely, Landorus-T looks like it can get in repeatedly and at least force chip -- if not kills once Stealth Rock is set, and Rotom-Wash is able to cripple the entirety of the opponent's team if it can remain healthy. Leading Rotom-Wash makes the most sense as it can force damage or status onto everything without being OHKO'd, letting it even Pain Split on Jellicent or Heatran later on. From there, simply pivoting into Terrakion whenever safe and using Landorus-T to generate chip earlier on is vital. If Rotom-Wash is indeed offensive or you can trade status with it, Excadrill is going to do amazingly in the later game and Landorus-T should be able to clean once Terrakion takes out some Pokemon in the mid-game. This match-up is straight forward, but maintaining momentum and avoiding passive sequences is a must.
 
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