VGC Sandy VGC 2018 Team [RATE PLZ]

VGC 2018 Sand Team... kind of... sometimes.
Please read the descriptions.

Excadrill (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Rock Slide
- Protect
Excadrill is my main Pokemon who utilises the sand; Sand Rush. Life orb + 2 stab moves and a spread move gives me a lot of flexibility which it's sand partner (Tyranitar) lacks. (Was going to give it Groundium Z, but I've saved the Z-Crystal for someone else ;)). Excadrill is full out attack as Sand Rush will give it all the speed it needs.

Tyranitar (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sand Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Assurance
- Rock Slide
- Ice Punch
- Superpower
The sand setter. essential to make Excadrill work. Tyranitar is scarfed to allow it 1) to work independently from Excadrill, 2) to move before Excadrill in the event he needs to Earthquake 3) Outpace rain team sweepers.

Ice Punch for coverage. Superpower to eliminate/threaten big threats like Mega-Kangaskhan and Heatran etc.

Assurance is my contingency against Trick Room, specifically; Cresselia. Even with Crunch against a Trick Room Cresselia (Or any Cresselia with similar stats). It's a 3-Hit-KO; but with Assurance and the fact Tyranitar is scarfed will make Tyranitar move last (Most likely) and hopefully allow it to retaliate after an attack with a double-powered Assurance (120). *This is assuming it survives, but I usually combat CHALK and/or Cresselia teams with leads that don't involve Tyranitar. Thoughts on this move choice?

Salamence (M) @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 60 Atk / 196 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Double-Edge
- Hyper Voice
- Draco Meteor
- Protect
Intimidate: YES. Mega Salamence stats: YES. Aerilate: YES. I chose a mixed attacker to give me flexibility, catch opponents off guard, give me the ability to ignore intimidates, and allow me to freely switch in and out without losing stat increases (Dragon Dance).

Tapu Koko @ Tapunium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Nature's Madness
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect
Its Fast, Its Tapu, Its Tapu Kokooooo. As the fastest of the Tapus, it's the most useful to my team. All moves are pretty self explanitory BUT, with my 2 slot move option I'm contemplating having Volt Switch over Dazzling Gleam to give me more switch potential to maximise Sand Stream. Thoughts??

For my last slot, I chose Nature's Madness. It is SO helpful to cut down bulky wall Pokemon or otherwise. AND, with the Z-Crystal, it takes out 75% of the opponents HP. Guaranteeing pretty much any attack from my other Pokemon, especially useful in conjunction with spread moves (Hyper Voice, Rock Slide etc.) Thoughts on this??

Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 236 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 228 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Leech Seed
- Substitute
- Protect
With this team so hyper offensive, a wall was needed. Celesteela is the most versatile option I could think of. Got any other suggestions for better performance and/or synergy with this team?

Also, Celesteela works in Sand Stream and out in the event that bringing my "Sand Duo" is not the best option. Celesteela works well on its own and with my other Pokemon.

Substitute is debatable in my opinion, it has come in handy when opponents focus my sweeper threats and it also helps in 3v1/2v1 clutches. The only other option I see viable for this set/team is Wide Guard. Thoughts??

Azumarill (F) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Play Rough
- Waterfall
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
This was my filler option. Azumarill is a power house, covers a good deal of types and packs a punch. Assault vest allows it to survive switch ins or the consequence of being slow (being hit first). Any other Pokemon I could use to cover other types my team lacks to cover and/or is weak to?

Pokemon Showdown Replays (All victories - should I include defeats?)
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-678393420
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-678394395
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-678767314
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-678777737
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-680025939
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-680093165
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7vgc2018-680131364

[EDIT]
Here are some substitution sets for the Pokemon in this team. Thoughts on replacing some Pokemon with these sets? Or not?

Tapu Koko @ Tapunium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Nature's Madness
- Volt Switch
- Protect
[Change] = Volt Switch over Dazzling Gleam.

Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 236 HP / 28 Atk / 12 Def / 228 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Leech Seed
- Wide Guard
- Protect
[Change] = Wide Guard over Substitute.

Azumarill (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough
- Protect
[Change] = Belly Drum set. Play Rough over Knock Off.

Azumarill (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 244 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Protect
[Change] = Belly Drum set. Knock Off over Play Rough.
 
Last edited:
No, do not include defeats. This is to show how the team shines.

The only thing I see wrong with this team is Azumarill. AVest seems to be weird, but I suppose if it works, keep it.

You could run ZBellyDrum, Belly Drum, or Choice Band sets. With Zelly Drum, replace Waterfall of Belly Drum and give it a Z Crystal. Run 252Atk and Spe, and 4SpDef. For Belly Drum, give it a sitrus berry and 252 Atk and Spe. Give it 4Hp, so after drumming you have 76% HP. For CB, keep that set, replace AVest with Choice Band, and run the same EVs. (Normally it would be different, but this is VGC, so whatever)
 

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Hey there, Dunkanat0r! I think the team is pretty good already, but there's a few slight changes I'd like to recommend:

Salamence: Draco Meteor -> Tailwind / Fire Blast. One of the most common ways to beat a Sand team is for the opponent to set up a Tailwind so they can outrun your Excadrill. This takes a lot of offensive pressure off their team since they can now outrun and threaten the relatively frail Excadrill before it can attack. Therefore, I'd suggest changing Draco Meteor on Salamence to Tailwind. You don't lose out on much since Draco Meteor hits very few targets that Hyper Voice doesn't, and in this way you gain a form of speed control which would give you another way to beat, for example, Rain teams. Alternatively, Fire Blast is another option to give your team a way to actually deal significant damage to Ferrothorn (which it can't really hit otherwise).

Excadrill: Add bulk. Another way to help Excadrill stick around is simply to add bulk to it. Excadrill is so fast in Sand anyways that you really don't need to go all-out with Speed investment. For example, just 76 Speed EVs is sufficient to outspeed everything up to Jolly Choice Scarf Landorus-T under Sand. A spread like EVs: 20 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Def / 68 SpD / 76 Spe would help your Excadrill stick around longer by increasing its general bulk, while it doesn't lose out on outspeeding many notable threats (feel free to run 84 Spe to speed creep opposing Excadrill, of course).

Tapu Koko: Tapunium Z -> Electrium Z. This is one of the changes I'm more uncertain about; I like the idea of Tapunium Z to break down very bulky Pokemon (especially Ferrothorn, which your team has trouble touching). The trouble is I think Tapunium Z probably gave you this mindset in teambuilding "bulky threats aren't an issue since I can just break them with the Z-move". Unfortunately, this has manifested itself in a lack of ways to deal heavy damage to Ferrothorn and Cresselia on your other Pokemon. However, since Tapu Koko is so frail, I don't think Tapunium Z is very good on it, since it's very easy to lose Tapu Koko to a poor prediction and to lose out on this big source of damage. I'd go for an Electrium Z instead to more reliably get more damage on threats such as Kangaskhan, Tapu Fini, and Rotom-W, which can give your team a lot of trouble. Gigavolt Havoc also does about the same amount of damage as Guardian of Alola on most Pokemon anyway, with the notable exceptions of Landorus-T (which your team has many ways to deal with anyway), Ferrothorn, and specially bulky Cresselia.

Celesteela: Substitute -> Flamethrower. As I just mentioned, your team has no ways to beat Ferrothorn. Celesteela doesn't really need Substitute to beat the Pokemon which it usually beats, while Flamethrower gives your team a very much needed way to beat Ferrothorn. It also helps in the Celesteela mirror more than Substitute does, imo.

Azumarill -> Rotom-W. I very much like the idea of AV Azumarill as a Rain check, but unfortunately I think it just doesn't really do enough to merit its spot on the team. Not only does Rotom-W provide your team with a secondary Rain check, especially to Mega Swampert (imo the most threatening Rain sweeper to your team), it can also provide speed control with Electroweb or just use Thunderbolt to help break down bulky Water-types, while also using Will-o-Wisp to keep Ferrothorn's HP recovery in check. Here's a set that six-time Worlds qualifier Cybertron used on his Youtube channel:

Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 108 SpA / 92 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Will-O-Wisp
- Thunderbolt
- Protect

(The entire team can be found here, for the sake of context.)

Anyway, good luck with your team! Feel free to get back to me if you have any questions about my suggestions!
 
Hey there, Dunkanat0r! I think the team is pretty good already, but there's a few slight changes I'd like to recommend:

Salamence: Draco Meteor -> Tailwind / Fire Blast. One of the most common ways to beat a Sand team is for the opponent to set up a Tailwind so they can outrun your Excadrill. This takes a lot of offensive pressure off their team since they can now outrun and threaten the relatively frail Excadrill before it can attack. Therefore, I'd suggest changing Draco Meteor on Salamence to Tailwind. You don't lose out on much since Draco Meteor hits very few targets that Hyper Voice doesn't, and in this way you gain a form of speed control which would give you another way to beat, for example, Rain teams. Alternatively, Fire Blast is another option to give your team a way to actually deal significant damage to Ferrothorn (which it can't really hit otherwise).

Excadrill: Add bulk. Another way to help Excadrill stick around is simply to add bulk to it. Excadrill is so fast in Sand anyways that you really don't need to go all-out with Speed investment. For example, just 76 Speed EVs is sufficient to outspeed everything up to Jolly Choice Scarf Landorus-T under Sand. A spread like EVs: 20 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Def / 68 SpD / 76 Spe would help your Excadrill stick around longer by increasing its general bulk, while it doesn't lose out on outspeeding many notable threats (feel free to run 84 Spe to speed creep opposing Excadrill, of course).

Tapu Koko: Tapunium Z -> Electrium Z. This is one of the changes I'm more uncertain about; I like the idea of Tapunium Z to break down very bulky Pokemon (especially Ferrothorn, which your team has trouble touching). The trouble is I think Tapunium Z probably gave you this mindset in teambuilding "bulky threats aren't an issue since I can just break them with the Z-move". Unfortunately, this has manifested itself in a lack of ways to deal heavy damage to Ferrothorn and Cresselia on your other Pokemon. However, since Tapu Koko is so frail, I don't think Tapunium Z is very good on it, since it's very easy to lose Tapu Koko to a poor prediction and to lose out on this big source of damage. I'd go for an Electrium Z instead to more reliably get more damage on threats such as Kangaskhan, Tapu Fini, and Rotom-W, which can give your team a lot of trouble. Gigavolt Havoc also does about the same amount of damage as Guardian of Alola on most Pokemon anyway, with the notable exceptions of Landorus-T (which your team has many ways to deal with anyway), Ferrothorn, and specially bulky Cresselia.

Celesteela: Substitute -> Flamethrower. As I just mentioned, your team has no ways to beat Ferrothorn. Celesteela doesn't really need Substitute to beat the Pokemon which it usually beats, while Flamethrower gives your team a very much needed way to beat Ferrothorn. It also helps in the Celesteela mirror more than Substitute does, imo.

Azumarill -> Rotom-W. I very much like the idea of AV Azumarill as a Rain check, but unfortunately I think it just doesn't really do enough to merit its spot on the team. Not only does Rotom-W provide your team with a secondary Rain check, especially to Mega Swampert (imo the most threatening Rain sweeper to your team), it can also provide speed control with Electroweb or just use Thunderbolt to help break down bulky Water-types, while also using Will-o-Wisp to keep Ferrothorn's HP recovery in check. Here's a set that six-time Worlds qualifier Cybertron used on his Youtube channel:

Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 108 SpA / 92 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Will-O-Wisp
- Thunderbolt
- Protect

(The entire team can be found here, for the sake of context.)

Anyway, good luck with your team! Feel free to get back to me if you have any questions about my suggestions!
Thank you so much for your feedback! I like the Celesteela and Excadrill changes you suggested very much. In the case of Tapu Koko, I think I'd prefer the Tapuium Z over Electrium Z as a combo with hyper voice can take out ferrothorn, also stuff like cresselia, lando-t. Also, natures madness has great uses afterwards. One natures madness and a knock off from Azumarill can knock out Cresselia most of the time.

This brings me to how to beat Cresselia now that Azumarill is gone? What do you think?

I'll test out tailwind on Salamence, the draco meteor is for heavy single target special damage and to combat Naganadel.

I like that Rotom Set alot! just the knock off/Cresselia coverage is what I'm concerned about.
 
Hey there, Dunkanat0r! I think the team is pretty good already, but there's a few slight changes I'd like to recommend:

Salamence: Draco Meteor -> Tailwind / Fire Blast. One of the most common ways to beat a Sand team is for the opponent to set up a Tailwind so they can outrun your Excadrill. This takes a lot of offensive pressure off their team since they can now outrun and threaten the relatively frail Excadrill before it can attack. Therefore, I'd suggest changing Draco Meteor on Salamence to Tailwind. You don't lose out on much since Draco Meteor hits very few targets that Hyper Voice doesn't, and in this way you gain a form of speed control which would give you another way to beat, for example, Rain teams. Alternatively, Fire Blast is another option to give your team a way to actually deal significant damage to Ferrothorn (which it can't really hit otherwise).

Excadrill: Add bulk. Another way to help Excadrill stick around is simply to add bulk to it. Excadrill is so fast in Sand anyways that you really don't need to go all-out with Speed investment. For example, just 76 Speed EVs is sufficient to outspeed everything up to Jolly Choice Scarf Landorus-T under Sand. A spread like EVs: 20 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Def / 68 SpD / 76 Spe would help your Excadrill stick around longer by increasing its general bulk, while it doesn't lose out on outspeeding many notable threats (feel free to run 84 Spe to speed creep opposing Excadrill, of course).

Tapu Koko: Tapunium Z -> Electrium Z. This is one of the changes I'm more uncertain about; I like the idea of Tapunium Z to break down very bulky Pokemon (especially Ferrothorn, which your team has trouble touching). The trouble is I think Tapunium Z probably gave you this mindset in teambuilding "bulky threats aren't an issue since I can just break them with the Z-move". Unfortunately, this has manifested itself in a lack of ways to deal heavy damage to Ferrothorn and Cresselia on your other Pokemon. However, since Tapu Koko is so frail, I don't think Tapunium Z is very good on it, since it's very easy to lose Tapu Koko to a poor prediction and to lose out on this big source of damage. I'd go for an Electrium Z instead to more reliably get more damage on threats such as Kangaskhan, Tapu Fini, and Rotom-W, which can give your team a lot of trouble. Gigavolt Havoc also does about the same amount of damage as Guardian of Alola on most Pokemon anyway, with the notable exceptions of Landorus-T (which your team has many ways to deal with anyway), Ferrothorn, and specially bulky Cresselia.

Celesteela: Substitute -> Flamethrower. As I just mentioned, your team has no ways to beat Ferrothorn. Celesteela doesn't really need Substitute to beat the Pokemon which it usually beats, while Flamethrower gives your team a very much needed way to beat Ferrothorn. It also helps in the Celesteela mirror more than Substitute does, imo.

Azumarill -> Rotom-W. I very much like the idea of AV Azumarill as a Rain check, but unfortunately I think it just doesn't really do enough to merit its spot on the team. Not only does Rotom-W provide your team with a secondary Rain check, especially to Mega Swampert (imo the most threatening Rain sweeper to your team), it can also provide speed control with Electroweb or just use Thunderbolt to help break down bulky Water-types, while also using Will-o-Wisp to keep Ferrothorn's HP recovery in check. Here's a set that six-time Worlds qualifier Cybertron used on his Youtube channel:

Rotom-Wash @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Def / 108 SpA / 92 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Will-O-Wisp
- Thunderbolt
- Protect

(The entire team can be found here, for the sake of context.)

Anyway, good luck with your team! Feel free to get back to me if you have any questions about my suggestions!
This is the revised version of the team [V2] http://pokepast.es/311f8763ddc461b2
I'd also like to hear your answer to Cresselia in this team.
 

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I'll test out tailwind on Salamence, the draco meteor is for heavy single target special damage and to combat Naganadel.
I think most of the time you want to switch out of Naganadel, since they're often faster than your Salamence, and in the case where you do stay in I'm quite sure Double-Edge probably OHKOs them anyway :P

As for Cresselia, I admittedly kind of forgot about it when I was making the changes. I think, though, that generally having a couple of Pokemon which don't take much damage from Cresselia is sufficient for dealing with most non-CM versions: in your case, you have Tyranitar to hit it with boosted Assurance next to Tapu Koko / Salamence, Tapu Koko with Guardian of Alola to chunk it, and also Celesteela to wall it. CM variants play quite slowly, so your team is probably able to outdamage it, especially since Moonlight's healing is nerfed by Sand. Overall, I think Cresselia itself is definitely far less threatening than the support that Cresselia provides. I'd be more worried about what's next to Cresselia on the field.
 

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