VGC Sand > Rain

What is your favorite weather?

  • Sand

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Sun

    Votes: 6 37.5%
  • Rain

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Hail

    Votes: 2 12.5%

  • Total voters
    16
Hello, seedy government agencies trying to gain a closer understanding of my plans for world domination via Pokémon and/or anyone else I guess. This will be my first RMT of USUM. You might not know me as that guy who used Mega-Aerodactyl like it wasn't a wasted Mega slot, but I'm back at it again. Now with twice the rock slides.

Art by DA user Immer
Teambuilding Process

I started off this season of vgc making 4 teams to (hopefully) get a better understanding of how to beat certain archetypes; good stuffs, rain, sun, and Japan sand. I quickly fell in love with sand and it's not just because I'm a weeb these two were the reason. Everything else on this team was meant to support these two best buds. Notable weaknesses you'll see are fighting, ground, fire, water, and steel.

Volcarona added redirection to the team, which either scarf Ttar or Excadrill can take advantage of and sorta patches up a few of those weaknesses Ttar and Excadrill have. Ttar benefits from the redirection as it is my setter and Excadrill is the team's resident glass cannon.

Zapdos is meant to deal with bulky waters the team would otherwise struggle with as well as Lando-T and Mence. Zapdos and Volc also have TW, so, that can come in handy.

Mega-Salamence was added as another Mon nigh impervious to ground attacks which can intimidate on a free switch and annihilate Amoongus. Mence also appreciates redirection to set up a Dragon Dance as Volc resists any pesky ice beams aimed his way.

I don't make teams without bulky waters. Tapu fini does a few things for this team that nothing else can do, having two grounded physical mons that appreciate not getting burned. Care to guess what else they might appreciate? How about a +2?


Set Details

Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sand Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Ice Punch
- Low Kick
Tyranitar's job is summarized concisely with the facts that it has a powerful and quick Rock Slide and it sets up sand. Low kick over Superpower is mainly for any opposing Tyranitar. This is pretty much the only difference I can see from your normal, run of the mill scarf Ttar. Crunch hits hard enough and I didn't fully invest my Salamence in speed, so I didn't bother going for Assurance. Ice Punch over Ice beam because I'd just prefer max speed max attack. Being jolly misses out on some much needed damage, but when it can, I will usually just go for flinches and I need to outspeed as much as possible, even if that means I outspeed any scarf Politoed running around.

Excadrill @ Groundium Z
Ability: Sand Rush
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Protect
- Rock Slide
Excadrill and scarf Ttar are sadly my only potential answer to Trick Room. Rock Slide and either Iron Head or another Rock Slide to hopefully flich the setter. It is not always a good matchup, but flinches and hopefully some skill can turn bad matchups into better and better matchups. Steel/Ground is a nice offensive as well as defensive typing. A shame then that my fairy resist is so frail that it can only take advantage of it's offensive coverage. The combination of Rock/Dark and Steel/Ground hit things hard and don't exactly have many easy switch-ins in tandem.

Volcarona @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Flame Body
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 12 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rage Powder
- Bug Buzz
- Fiery Dance
- Tailwind
A variation of this Volcarona set was used by Bennett Piercy in his 1st Place US Seniors Nationals team and is a pretty reliable means of taking out Celesteela with Fiery Dance giving me a chance to set up with each attack. Because of this and the fact that it can redirect Heavy Slam or Flamethrowers away from it's allies, even Special Defense boosting Celesteela aren't safe. Bug buzz is able to 2HKO some Cresselia with this investment and tailwind gives it a supportive use other than Flame Body and/or redirection. Flame body in particular doesn't jive well with Fini anyway, you dig?

-Survives max attack Jolly Mega Kangaskhan's Double Edge.
-Most Aerilate Hyper Voice from Mega Salamence is a 2HKO.
-Takes a Rock Slide from Adamant max attack Landorus-T and Garchomp (non-boosted)


Zapdos @ Misty Seed
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 44 Def / 52 SpA / 148 SpD / 20 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Tailwind
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Roost
How Japanese sand teams used to work, as I understand them, was that they would have a positive matchup against the more popular sun or rain team comps. The combination of Zapdos and Fini accomplishes this quite well together although trick room is still an issue on semiroom sun teams. With Misty Seed activated and all the investment I put into special defense, I don't have to worry about many weather dependent sweepers, i.e. Ludicolo, Kingdra, Thundurus-I, etc.
With the combination of tailwind and roost, I'm able to wear at any Lando-T and most bulky water types. I forget most of what this spread accomplishes but a few quick calcs reveal that max attack Lando-T Rock Slide is a 3HKO and Mega Kang's Double-Edge is a 2hko.

252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 244 HP / 44+ Def Zapdos: 164-195 (83.6 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 244 HP / 44+ Def Zapdos: 76-90 (38.7 - 45.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252+ SpA Ludicolo Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. +1 244 HP / 148 SpD Zapdos in Rain: 127-150 (64.7 - 76.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
Ability: Aerilate
Level: 50
EVs: 100 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Return
- Roost
- Dragon Dance
- Protect
The power of this set is contrary to how you might use any other dragon besides WP Dragonite (and don't get me started on why I think that particular set sucks). See, Salamence has a ton of useful resistances such as fighting, fire, water, and grass but I don't use it as a switch into any of these attacks unless they are relatively weak so that when I have hopefully eliminated any counters to Mence, I can come in, Dragon Dance, and clean up the rest of my opponent's team.


Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 4 SpA / 76 SpD / 28 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Scald
- Swagger
- Protect
This Fini is just bulky enough for my liking. I get a lot of utility alone in the terrain war with Misty Seed on Zapdos and potentially using swagger on any of my physical attackers assuming I can Roost with Mence. I went with Leftovers because I'd prefer the means to continually recover over time than hope I procc a pinch berry. I probably could test that, though, as it can definitely be useful to, say, just live Jolly Max Attack Kartana Leaf Blade or Max Special Life Orb Sludge Bomb and KO either by doubling into it.

252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 148+ Def Tapu Fini: 140-168 (79 - 94.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 76 SpD Tapu Fini: 151-179 (85.3 - 101.1%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Threats

This team, a lot like the Death Star, has only one real weakness (as far as I can tell). It's just a glaring one in Trick Room. Fake Out users or opposing users of redirection will more than likely be able to help set up Trick Room. From there it can be difficult to stall out the turns. Stakataka coming in for free before Trick Room expires can be a real nightmare to face.

Conclusion
I guess this is it. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Though it's still a few months away, I think with a few tweaks I may just be able to use this team in an upcoming event. This is one of my more rushed teams to rate, but I already see definite potential with this team.
 
So I made a few changes to the team. Namely switching Ttar's scarf for a Life Orb. Protect is just so good on a weather setter. I lose out on gaining valuable information, such as Intimidate activating from a Lando-T before sand is activated, but having a Mega-Salamence can also let me know whether Lando is scarfed.

Tyranitar@ Life Orb
EVs: 52 HP/ 204 Atk/ 4 Def/ 4 SpD/ 244 Spe Adamant Nature
Rock Slide
Low Kick
Assurance
Protect

I lose Ice Punch on this set, but I feel confident enough without it. I have seen a ton of Lando-T carrying Superpower, and Ice Punch isn't an Ohko if I'm intimidated while ice beam takes considerably more investment to Ohko and even then Vests are still really popular.

Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
252 HP/ 148 Def/ 4 SpA/ 76 SpD/ 28 Spe Bold Nature
Moonblast
Scald
Calm Mind
Protect

Though I was originally pretty chuffed about Swagger Tapu Fini, optimally it would need to go before an attack and the only situations where that would happen would be swaggering on a switch or under Trick Room. If I was under Trick Room, I was in trouble. Switching just isn't always an option. It didn't see enough use so I begrudgingly just changed it to Calm Mind so I could be cool like everyone else.

Volcarona @ Aguav Berry
252 HP/ 236 Def/ 12 SpA/ 4 SpD/ 4 Spe Modest Nature
Rage Powder
Fiery Dance
Bug Buzz
Protect

I changed my Salamence too. It is an offensive Tailwind setter. It just made a lot more sense than on Volc and this was another move that hardly got used.

Salamence @ Salamencite
52 HP/ 4 Atk/ 164 SpA/ 84 SpD/ 204 Spe Hasty Nature
Hyper Voice
Double Edge
Tailwind
Protect

Mixed Mence. It can do considerable chip damage and doesn't always have the easiest switch ins with Hyper Voice and doesn't have to worry about Intimidate.
 

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