Gen 3 RMT: Balanced Sand Team

So yeah, this is my first ADV team in a tier I'm looking to pick up, chose the theme cause sand is my favorite weather. The goal is to wear down the opponent with Sand+Spikes, remove key threats, and then clean-up with my lead (yes I mean that, no I'm not crazy). Well, here goes (no imgs sry):

Ability: Sand Stream
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Dragon Dance, Rock Slide, Earthquake, HP Bug
EVs: 16 HP, 120 Def, 200 Atk, 172 Spd, Adamant Nature.

Standard Dragon Dance Tyranitar, I made it lead because a key thing for this team is having sand up, I switch turn 1. Brick Break over HP Bug cause I put HP Bug on Flygon, and it helps me beat last Pokemon Snorlax.

Ability: Torrent
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Ice Beam, Earthquake, Toxic, Roar
EVs; 252 HP, 196 Def, 60 SpA, Relaxed

Again standard Swampert, spams Toxic, beats dragons and stops CB Metagross. No more info needed.

Ability: Immunity
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Body Slam, Fire Blast, Shadow Ball, Selfdestruct
EVs: 124 HP, 68 Atk, 124 Def, 36 SpA, 156 SpD, Brave

Originally a Magneton in this slot, till I realised there are other ways to beat Skarm and Forry. Standard Body Slam and Selfdestruct, Fire Blast, as with Flygon wrecks steels, Shadow Ball beats out Gengar. EV spread suggested in the thread below, gives me solid SpD to beat bulky waters (many of whom die to Self-Destruct, or are crippled and finished off by Flygon and Gengar.

Ability: Levitate
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Earthquake, Rock Slide, HP Bug, Fire Blast
EVs; 252 Atk, 4 SpA, 252 Spe, Naive

So yeah, this is a Pokemon I added when I realised I struggled to counter stuff like Celebi and Swampert, so I tailored Flygon to do that: Hammer those two with 4x moves and win. Otherwise it serves as a solid counter to DD T-Tar and a lot of other stuff like Dugtrio. Edit: I changed the EV spread, sacrificing bulk for the ability to outspeed Timid Celebi. Now it's the team's Revenge Killer

Ability: Sturdy
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Spikes, Whirlwind, Toxic, HP Flying
EVs: 252 HP, 4 Def, 252 SpD, Careful

Spikes setter, Phazer and Taunter, Skarmory performs a lot of support duty. Standard EV spread, with Standard Moveset for its job. Originally toyed with Forretress for spinning but decided on Skarm because half of my team are immune to Spikes.

Ability: Levitate
Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Taunt, Ice Punch, Will-o-wisp, Giga Drain
EVs: 172 HP, 148 SpA, 188 Spe, Timid

Gengar helps to clean up the team with BoltBeam combo, cripple Physical Attackers with Will-o-wisp, and can go out with a bang with Explosion. Pretty standard set, (All my EV spreads are off Smogon Articles btw). Edit: I made Gengar my Swampert counter as Giga Drain does a lot less from Flygon, plus it keeps Gengar going in Sandstorm, Giga Drain and Ice Punch have roughly the same coverage as I can Wisp Metagross and Taunt Skarm (Steel's the only type I don't hit neutral on)

So yeah this is my first ADV team, been thinking about using stuff like CB Metagross and Jirachi, please reply as to whether it sounds good as well as general comments and stuff. I like the idea of wearing down the opponent before switching gears fun, so that's why I like this team. Thanks for reading.
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Offensive Celebi destroys you. Flygon is neither strong nor fast enough to check it (also switching in Flygon on Swapert = risky) and the same goes for Skarm. Your only way to handle it is through booming your Gar on it and that still requires chip damage from earlier (also sending in Gengar on a Psychic = gg). Patch that.
Giga drain on flygon is not super useful. It does about 50% to pert with your evs, and that's the only poke it will do anything to. Just use toxic instead, along with spikes and those STAB eqs, it wears pert down quick, and has other uses as well, such as against other water types. If you do opt to use toxic i suggest running sub along side it, eases prediction a lot, and flygon can easily recover off the damage from subs. Put that over hp bug, and give hp bug to ttar, brick break isn't going to be doing much more to lax than rock slide, and it lacks the flinch chance, and restricts coverage. HP bug hits claydol and celebi really hard. Alternatively, you could make flygon a choice band variant with eq, rock slide, hp bug and either toxic or fire blast. I would still keep hp bug on ttar though. I think you should use a bulkier gar, your team doesn't need explosion gar really, it's not like you need to lure and kill bliss that badly. Also without duggy, explosion gar is pretty bad. I would replace it with giga drain, and ev it to survive +1 mence hp fly. you can do this a number of ways, but if you want it to survive in sand, you need max hp, and 88 defense. This also helps generally in spin blocking. You could also try a dugtrio over flygon to help remedy your weakness to cm offense, i would still keep giga drain on gar though. Hope this helps :)

Edit: Looking over it again, it seems as if your team has issues with a number of special attackers, not just the calm minders. Mainly gengar. I would suggest putting calm mind blissey over magneton. keeping this in mind, I think you should put hydro pump on pert, over toxic, and fire blast on flygon over hp bug (with toxic in the last slot). You could even consider putting taunt over hp bug on ttar. This will prevent skarm from doing anything noteworthy against your team, while simultaneously patching up your weaknesses on the special side. With these changes added, i would still keep the gar set as i suggested earlier.

Here is kind of what im thinking:
Tyranitar (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 184 HP / 144 Atk / 180 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Dragon Dance
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Taunt

Skarmory (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Keen Eye
EVs: 252 HP / 152 SDef / 104 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Taunt
- Spikes
- Whirlwind
- Toxic

Blissey (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 248 SAtk / 4 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Calm Mind
- Soft-Boiled

Flygon (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 188 HP / 180 Atk / 140 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Fire Blast
- Toxic

Swampert (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Def / 56 SAtk / 4 Spd
Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd)
- Earthquake
- Ice Beam
- Hydro Pump
- Protect

Gengar (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 208 HP / 112 Def / 188 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Punch
- Giga Drain
- Will-O-Wisp
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Sadly, I can't cut HP Bug on both T-Tar and Flygon, as this leaves me with no real way to deal with Swords Dance Celebi (Rare but still dangerous), and I can't cut Magneton because I need to remove Skarmory for Tyranitar to sweep, (and no Blissey means I'm weak to CM Celebi as well). So yeah, Flygon can revenge Special Attackers, no matter how many CMs they got off, while Swampert and Skarm can wall most CBers well enough (the handful that can beat both, I can slap a Toxic on and they fall to Toxic+Sand damage without me taking too many losses, or Flygon revenge-kills them). The other suggestions though, patching up holes to Celebi etc., I've taken account of, thanks guys.
Skarmory isn't exactly a great ddtar answer, and it's actually set up bait for tar if you run taunt. Your own skarmory can deal with swords pass celebi. bringing an hp bug user doesn't help much against swords pass celebi because he's just going to baton pass out and most of the recipients aren't going to care about hp bug. phazing them out with skarm does a much better job. You can still use hp bug on ttar over taunt and skarmory still isn't a huge deal. rock slide does quite a bit to skarm, and with the flinch chance you will beat it eventually as long as you watch out for toxic. Flygon can do big damage to offensive cm pokes, and outspeed most, but it doesn't have the power to kill them, unless you opt for choice band, meaning it will usually get blasted through by most cm offense teams, they tend to run more than one cm user. Blissey is a much safer bet. I also think you should use some of the ev spreads i've provided, the smogon ones are not really optimal.
While your team's lineup has good potential, you don't take into account the typing synergy of your team and as a consequence you are missing out on EV spreads better spent elsewhere that would greatly aid your team's survivability.

For example: With Swampert, Flygon and Skarmory in the same team you don't necessarily need a 252 HP/252 Def Skarmory. +1 boosted Rock type moves will be shrugged off by your ground types, whereas choice banded Normal type moves can be minimized by buffering the damage taken using your Gengar, provided you can predict half decently. Furthermore, while you use Toxic on several mons (presumably to weaken walls for a DDTar sweep), you fail to capitalize on it.

I don't see Magneton as an absolute necessity on your team either as a +1 boosted Tyranitar 2HKOes a non-Imprish Skarmory which can at best phaze it. With Magneton your general aim is to capitalize on the removal of Steel types as much as possible to make up for the slot lost in adding a rather subpar pokemon. (Gyarados/DDmence/Tauros/Heracross are all great Magneton pairs, Tyranitar not necessarily as that makes you too Dugtrio weak)

Some posters above mentioned Blissey as a good candidate for Magneton's place, however with the Swampert/Flygon combination you are relatively safe against electric types. Nonetheless your team can be easily dismantled even from non-STAB special attacks (from say bulky waters). As a consequence some modifications will be suggested to remedy for this while also minimizing the alterations on the team's style, that being a balanced offensive team.

For your particular case, i'd suggest you run a special defense oriented Skarmory. This will provide you with a solid counter to CM Celebi (0 Sdef Skarmory can't switch in to +1 Psychic more than two times) while also allowing you to wall most bulky waters which your team doesn't seem to have an answer for. The new moveset should look something like this:

Skarmory (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Keen Eye
EVs: 252 HP / 240 SDef / 16 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
- Toxic
- Hidden Power [Flying] / Taunt / Rest
- Spikes
- Whirlwind

Brief explanation on choice of optional moves:
-Toxic allows Skarmory to not only wall Swampert/Milotic but also punish them hard, allowing your Tyranitar to have a much easier time against them. Unlike Flygon for instance, Skarmory will not flee on the next turn after using Toxic on a bulky water, allowing you to capitalize more on it.

As for the second moveslot it all depends on the subsequent changes you make on the team. For instance, if you decide to go for Rest (which works wonders for Sdef Skarmory) then your team becomes Heracross weak. This would then be remedied by having for example Explosion on Gengar. The choice is yours, personally i can see all three alternatives working out with the appropriate changes. Hidden Power Flying allows you to make the least amount of alterations (no need for extra Gyara/Hera counters) so the rest of this rate will be done with HP Flying Skarmory in mind.

As a final remark, this set is only 2HKOed from even Modest 252 SAtk Magneton, and hence you will always get a minimun of two layers of Spikes per game, greatly benefiting both your DD Ttar and Flygon.

Since the intent is to remove Magneton, and with another Toxic bearer now in place, your Flygon can now run Fire Blast > Toxic.
That way your team doesn't become any less Skarmory weak and you also gain a late game cleaner in the form of Flygon that can strike at both ends of the spectrum and also benefits greatly from the extra layers of spikes that Skarmory can set up.

For your Tyranitar, i don't see any reason why you run Brick Break over Hidden Power Bug/Taunt. You already handle opposing Tyranitars with Swampert/Flygon/Skarmory quite nicely. My personal choice would be Hidden Power Bug in order to pull through those pesky Claydols in the late game, however if removing Magneton has made you Skarmory-paranoid you can also run Taunt. A last alternative would be Double-Edge as it gives you a good move that can destroy Flygon after a +1 boost and also hit Swampert for ~45% which could be crucial in the late game.

For your Gengar, while i maintain in keeping Giga Drain, i could also see you going for a Spikes abuse set with Taunt and Will-o-Wisp (plus two attacks) or with an Explosion set. Explosion generally allows you to abuse Tyranitar much more conveniently due to an ADV mechanic that halts the turn the moment a Pokemon has fainted (thereby not allowing for instance a Pokemon to setup on the turn you are exploding). If you are to use Explosion reduce your Gengar's speed to 301 and run around 180-200 Attack to ensure your Explosion packs a punch.

For Swampert, Roar > Toxic in my opinion to capitalize on your Skarmory/Gengar Spikes combination. Scouting and weakening teams via spikes is your main objective in a DDtar team. Helps greatly against mind games with CM Suicune and Curse Snorlax.

Now, we have to consider the moveslot Magneton is freeing. At the moment your team looks like Tyranitar/Swampert/Flygon/Gengar/Skarmory, none of which can take attacks from the likes of Suicune/Gengar/Starmie/Regice with ease. Furthermore, you have no real answer to sleep, so Hypnosis/Spore users could prove tricky for you.

Personally, after giving it some thought, an offensive Snorlax seems to be the best fit for your team, much more than Blissey would be as you won't sacrifice as much control of the battle for using a too defensive Pokemon. The snorlax set would look like:

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Immunity
EVs: 124 HP / 68 Atk / 124 Def / 36 SAtk / 156 SDef
Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd)
- Body Slam / Brick Break
- Shadow Ball
- Selfdestruct
- Fire Blast

With Fire Blast, Skarmory can no longer setup on any of your Pokemon (bar Swampert) with ease (provided that you opt for Taunt on Skarmory). Selfdestruct can open holes for Tyranitar/Flygon later on. Your team might suffer from Will-o-Wisp Gengar in the long run and you might end up resorting in your own Gengar to take the first burn rather than openly switching your 100% HP snorlax to a Will-o-Wisp.

Alternatively a Restalk Regice can also work in this slot. Give it approximately 270 Satk (to minimize the number of turns Tyranitar/Metagross can switch in) and 148 Spd (to outspeed Swampert/Bliss). Unlike bliss it won't hamper your offensive capabilities as much and does not suffer from status inducers as much as the above Snorlax set does. I'd say test both and opt for the one you prefer most.

As a final remark, if you feel strongly about keeping Magneton, then i'd suggest you use a Curse Snorlax moveset over Swampert.

Hope you find the above recommendations useful.
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Yeah, I also kinda used Magneton cause it's a sand team you know, and I kept it cause a) I hate Blissey cause it really doesn't do much offensively and is complete Taunt Bait, and b) it loses Leftovers recovery in Sand. I ran Brick Break to beat last Pokemon Snorlax (came up against it while I was using a borrowed team, I went from 4-1 to 0-1). And I didn't feel like I needed a Special Wall cause I thought Flygon+Gengar can Revenge Kill any boosted sweeper, no matter how many CMs (Flygon has Speed and STAB EQ, Gengar has Explosion). But yeah, now I know about SubDos, which I realised could wreck me, I decided, yeah, I could use some of the changes, especially the Snorlax ahead of Magneton, since I realised Taunt or a surprise move from Gengar can beat Skarm just as well. (Actually, my own Skarm had 252 SpD before changes, just for the record: Skarm's EVs: 252 HP, 4 Def, 252 SpD, Impish). I also will probably run HP Bug on T-Tar, as I'm now just going to try and lure Skarm with Gengar or something. Explosion Gengar is not really necessary though as I'm not Heracross weak and Swampert with Roar can phaze out boosting T-Tar, Swampert has the Def investment to take an HP Bug. Ice Punch finishes the Gengar set. Also Flygon will probably double as a late-game cleaner along with revenge killer (the original job to kill CMers), with Fire Blast to kill Skarm and Forretress (Forry is an alternative threat to T-Tar, as it commonly carries EQ, so with proper investment I'm dead). But Flygon and Gengar do a fair enough Job of cleaning late game as well, so yeah I can do that to a weakened team. Yeah, that was a lot of rambling and thoughts, but I now have ideas for a solid team, thanks to Cowboy Dan and Astamatitos for all of the suggestions, I will take them into account, and probably make this team a lot better.
Okay, looks like the team has gotten way better. 14 games, 1 loss total (To the guy who's No.7 on the ladder, in a haxy game featuring me missing 3 WoWs in a row from Gengar). If anyone has comments, pls post, otherwise I will declare the RMT closed. Thanks.

Edit: It's now jumped to 25 wins, 7 losses, 2 DCs, just recording it cause I have engineering camp and won't be laddering as much now.
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80 HP 76 Defense on Tyranitar always survives Jolly Dugtrio :toast:
Thanks.....Cowboy Dan gave me the EVs for T-Tar and its faced down Duggy before, but this way gives me an extra 8 EVs for speed or Attack (not sure which yet)

Edit: Actually I did damage calcs and I realised that 16 HP, 120 Def T-Tar also survives, saving me another 20 EVs, while I only need 172 Spd EVs on T-Tar to outrun neutral base 100s after a DD, so I'm changing up the EVs again (now 200 Atk EVs cause a fair bit of the time I find T-Tar a little offensively lacking (once after 2 DDs it missed the KO on a 55% Skarm and got phazed out...))
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The reason i like to put those evs in hp is it improves the overall bulk, as opposed to just physical, but that's just me. Those smogon evs allow you to get another 50 extra evs to put in attack or something, but it's not like those evs are being pulled out of thin air, it's taking 168 evs out of your bulk on the special side. It comes down to personal preference whether you want the extra attacking power, or the ability to take a few extra hits on the special side, it helps with checking zapdos, taking a few attacks from gengar in a pinch, and even gives you a decent shot at surviving torrent boosted hydro pumps from pert.
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Tyranitar DD set, pert standard with roar, snorlax utility, basic flygon, Skarmory and standard gengar.

So your team is weak to CM Spam. What is the role of snorlax on your team? You can exchange for a celebi with the set: Psychic, Hp grass, perish song and recover. Perish Song has little PP, So this ends up being an alternative against CM Spam Teams. HP Grass 'protects' celebi against dugtrio, and it is a very useful move in starting.

Change your swampert EVs, he don't need spatk EVs, its major function is to deal with Rock Spam (physical tyranitar, aerodactyl), physical salamence and metagross, so your investment in HP and def are important.

With Tyranitar, Swampert, Flygon, Gengar, Skarmory and Celebi, you have a team based on using spikes and block spin, with a weak control of Spikes. But, your team does very well against offensive teams that do not make use of spikes.

You can exchange hp flying for Protect or Rest in your Skarmory.

You do not need to rush to induce sandstorm in the first round. If your Tyranitar was Choice Band, this would a good option. You can use skarmory as lead.

Even with the changes, his team still has common weaknesses, as a CM Suicune. Celebi can not handle it due to pressure, what you can do is put Destiny Bond on your Gengar.

I think the team is good enough for those who want to learn the metagame. Ah, don't mind my English haha
Hello, not sure how much my opinion would be taken into account, but I really think putting a cm bliss over lax would solve all of those problems. It fares quite well against many offensive cm pokes, and also threatens skarm. It also is less worn down by spikes due to softboiled. Also it should not be underestimated offensively. It has great coverage, and can afford max spa investment. Once physically offensive threats are burned by your gar, many teams will have issues facing it.


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Celebi is not a good deterrent to cm spam. Blissey is better although I don't like cm on it because then roar cune takes you to the cleaners so a more defensive set is probably better. Destiny bond gar is a good idea. Taunt over hp flying on skarm with some speed will help against other spikers, if those don't concern you then run protect.
Celebi is not a good deterrent to cm spam. Blissey is better although I don't like cm on it because then roar cune takes you to the cleaners so a more defensive set is probably better. Destiny bond gar is a good idea. Taunt over hp flying on skarm with some speed will help against other spikers, if those don't concern you then run protect.
Taunt would really be the best option on this team

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