Gen 3 Starmie Balance + Hariyama

Hello all.
I recently broke 1600 and hit the top of the ADV ladder, and wanted an excuse to brag about that, so here's an RMT of a team that I used along the way.
This team is inspired by Linear's new team dump, where he says Starmie Balance is his new favorite teamstyle. I set out to make my own take on it.

:rs/Starmie: :rs/Metagross:

This is the starting point for teams of this type. Defensive Starmie and Metagross, together, cover just about every physical attacker in the tier, aside from Heracross. This type of team, which aims to have a lot of staying power, almost mandates Blissey. Celebi can work, but in that case Starmie might be overloaded against opposing physical attackers+a fire type. In order to patch up the Heracross weakness, apply offensive pressure, and complete BKC's favorite defensive synergy, choice banded Salamence is added here as well.

:rs/Starmie: :rs/Metagross: :rs/Blissey: :rs/Salamence:

At this point, the team is already very solid defensively, but could potentially be weak to DD Tyranitar if it gets set up. To get rid of this weakness, I opted for a fighting type. My first thought was Breloom, who can sleep something and mach punch to revenge a set-up Ttar, but I decided that Hariyama, between knock off and its greatly increased bulk, would be a better fit for the slow pace of this team. At this time, I had no way of cleaning up weakened teams, and also no sand to take advantage of Hariyama's knock off. However, Starmie, Salamence, Blissey, and sometimes even Hariyama himself dislike sand. I decided, against my normal teambuilding sense, to add a Dragon Dance Tyranitar as the last pokemon.

:rs/Starmie: :rs/Metagross: :rs/Blissey: :rs/Salamence: :rs/Hariyama: :rs/Tyranitar:

So, that's the set of six mons. I'll go over their individual sets now:

:rs/Salamence: @ Choice Band
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Brick Break

Salamence is the lead of choice for this team. Immediately threatening to opposing Tyranitar, lead Mence is very good at baiting in opposing Skarmory early. Knowing that my opponent will be setting spikes allows me to play my Starmie more intelligently, as with sand up it is very important not to let too many spikes get set up. CB Mence, with its intimidate and flying typing, is also an excellent switchin to the fighting types in the tier, which are very scary to bulky teams like these. It's also really, really hard to consistently switch in to without a Skarmory, and Skarm will very frequently be knocked off by Hariyama, neutering its longevity.

:rs/Starmie: @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 248 HP / 172 Def / 40 SpA / 32 SpD / 16 Spe
Bold Nature
- Surf
- Rapid Spin
- Recover
- Thunder Wave

The star of the show, pun intended. I had never used Boldmie before this point, seeing it as a complete waste of its insane speed stat, but the stuff that this thing needs to take hits from are either slower than this anyway (Metagross, Tyranitar) or faster than fast Starmie (Aerodactyl). Salamence is scared out by the prospect of Ice Beam, but even if it stays in it gets ruined by Twave. Starmie is practically unkillable for a lot of teams, similar to Milotic, except it can also remove spikes. Unfortunately, Toxic Skarmory can generally get at least one spike up on Starmie, but one layer is usually manageable. This EV spread is Linear's, and if he didn't make it then I don't know who did, but I sure didn't. I don't know what the Spatk EV's are for but it seems to work so far.

:rs/Metagross: @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 40 Atk / 216 Def
Impish Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
- Protect
- Explosion

Impish Metagross is nuts. This spread survives two CB Aerodactyl Earthquakes from full, with a protect in the middle, and can still dish out some pretty heavy damage with Meteor Mash, even with such a small amount of attack investment (and with a higher attack stat than Jolly Flygon has, even without investing at all). Earthquake is here to damage opposing Metagross and other steel resists, Protect massively extends this thing's longevity, and explosion is invaluable as you can force another KO out of a weakened Metagross, or deny setup from an opposing sweeper, or any number of utilities.

:rs/Blissey: (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 Def / 252 SpA / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
- Soft-Boiled
- Ice Beam
- Seismic Toss
- Wish

Completely indomitable against special attackers, Blissey is all the insurance needed against opposing Zapdos, Starmie, Moltres, and more. Starmie can help out against opposing fire types as well, and helps keep away the spikes that are one of the few ways special attackers can force damage onto Blissey. Wish is massive at keeping Salamence, Metagross, and Hariyama's health up, especially because I am running an offensive Hariyama rather than a bulky one with rest. Modest nature could be better than bold in this case, however, most Dugtrio are either invested enough in Spdef to tank a modest Ice Beam or don't attempt to trap Blissey anyway.

:rs/Hariyama: @ Leftovers
Ability: Guts
EVs: 224 Atk / 252 Def / 32 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Focus Punch / Whirlwind
- Brick Break
- Rock Slide / Whirlwind

Offensive Yama is a recent innovation of somebody else's that I have been very happy to pick up on. I know that Vapicuno likes HP Bug over Knock Off on here, but over the course of a long game Knock provides a very large amount of utility that I would be unhappy to lose out on. Knocking off certain threats, especially Skarmory and Suicune, is massive for this team. Removing opposing Salamence's choice band means Starmie can switch in on it easily, and taking Mixmence's leftovers away means it will eventually be worn down over the course of the game. This is another of Linear's EV spreads which I do not understand the reasoning behind, aside from that the speed is for 0- Swampert. This is also the only phazer on the team, and on ladder I swap Rock Slide for Whirlwind, just to deal with stupid Ninjask stuff, but that's not necessary in tournament.

:rs/Tyranitar: @ Lum Berry
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Bug]

I don't like DD Tyranitar at all. However, it seems to fit on this team quite well. I normally don't bring it out at all until it's ready to sweep, unless I need sand and my opponent has not provided it. An example would be against a resting Suicune, which I also attempt to knock off, which is one of the few ways that this team can get past rest Suicune sets. However, in many matchups, I'd rather sand not be there if possible (not enough to run weather reset, of course), so Tyranitar stays in the back. Jolly nature because the speed is far more valuable than the extra power, I don't need to break things with this, it's meant to clean weakened teams.

Offensive cune is not hard to deal with it, as Blissey can generally eat it up quickly. Until I know what set it is, though, it can be very tough. Non-Ice Beam sets generally get busted down by Salamence, and non-Sleep Talk sets can be crippled by sand and Knock Off without being given a chance to attack a vulnerable target

Baton Pass
It's possible to play around Baton Pass without Whirlwind on Yama, but it is pretty tough. It is hard to give up an attack on Yama though, so maybe DD Roar Ttar or CB Roar Mence is in order.

EDIT: forgot the import here y'all go

This is not the team I used to break 1600, but I did get to around 1560 with it before losing to Baton Pass shenanigans and raging. I unfortunately did not save those replays. However, I do have a few replays with it, as I used it one week for a team tour in Mushi Musha's discord server. <-- vs mixed offense, a fairly good matchup <-- very interesting game vs Forretress balance, shows how Hariyama can put in work limiting spikers. I lose this one, but it's my fault rather than the team's <-- cool game against a wacky offense that shows how Blissey helps play cleric for the team

Screenshot (82).png
And also a fun meme for anyone who made it this far through my mediocre writing:
Screenshot (81).png
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i just like how you roasted that guy, quick question. how would/how does this team function in pokemon colosseums battle modes Mt. battle and stadium mode?

also id give one of your pokemon Psych up to at least try to counter baton pass teams sents you would copy what stat boost they get.
I have no clue how this would function in pokemon Colosseum. Probably not very well, as to my knowledge colosseum is a doubles-based game, and this is a singles team. Psych up metagross is an interesting idea against baton pass, and I think it could work quite well actually, but I don't know if it goes through substitute. Also, all of metagross's moves on this team are indispensible, and generally blowing up on the baton pass recipient is a fine way of taking care of it most of the time.

The other two possible psych up users, blissey and starmie, would not be able to do anything with the stats they receive, as baton pass chains generally pass attack and speed.


is a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris the Smogon Tour Season 16 Championis the Smogon Tour Season 22 Championis a Past WCoP Champion
this is a great team! I just have a few suggestions.

I would consider switching over to mixmence. the team will really appreciate its ability to instantly threaten and dent a ton of defensive cores - it's especially nasty when picking on teams crippled by yama's knock off, and if you brick break a bliss on the switch and force softboiled you get a free yama switch - which will make it easier to clean up with ttar late game. the increased survivability/defensive utility of leftovers will also be valuable. cbmence is nice, but it makes you far more vulnerable to skarm for very little reward. cb is better against crocune/UD cune, but I think mixed will be better overall. now, you could go with dd to retain lefties while handling those suicune sets and giving yourself another endgame sweeper, but just like with cb, I think that will make you too vulnerable to a well-played/supported skarmory.

now, there's no denying that those two suicunes are really dangerous. you're going to really want whirlwind on hariyama and a good chunk of special defense (I don't have an exact number, but hit the calc and find what you'd be comfortable with - you can afford to lose some attack/defense, and I also don't think the 32 speed evs are needed at all). this isn't a perfect solution, but in conjunction with knock off, sand, your other pokemon hitting it and blissey wishpassing to yama, if you play well it will get the job done and means you don't have to change your other pokemon/sets, especially because if you whirlwind a sleep talking cune then it won't be able to wake up as easily when it comes back in thanks to the mechanics, and sub rd cune of course cannot heal. having whirlwind on yama is also obviously massively helpful against rest cunes without sleep talk, and it will make playing against sd pass cele a lot easier. I'm sure you'll enjoy not losing to ninjask nonsense too of course.

since you are absolutely loaded on checks to physical attackers - the metamence combo alongside wishbliss is already sturdy, but then you also have wish-supported yama for ttar and even bold starmie to boot - you could consider more attack investment with an adamant nature on metagross to make it more of a threat while not giving up much defensive utility. the main tangible benefit of this is being able to break suicune's subs with earthquake, meaning that it cannot set up on meta safely for fear of explosion. it takes 128 attack evs to guarantee the sub is broken, but if that's too taking too much out of defense for you, you can go down to 96 or 56.

re the starmie spread: 40 spatk guarantees a 2hko on 252/0 ttar through lefties, and 32 spdef always lives ttar's crunch + sand. I don't think you need to go that high with defense evs and you can get some better use out of some others, so: I would recommend going up to 32 speed evs so you don't get outsped by offensive claydol. I'd also do 44 spatk, which also lets you guarantee the 2hko on 252/4 and 248/8 ttar. finally, this would leave you with 152 defense evs, but I calced against some common physical attacks mie might have to take (0 and 28 attack pert eq, dug eq, +1 ttar hp bug, cbmeta mash) and 148 defense takes those attacks just as well as 152, so you can add 4 to hp. so, the final spread is 252 hp, 148 defense, 44 spatk, 32 spdef, 32 speed.

blissey should probably be modest, as most dug are bulkless. it'll also leave you with better odds against sdef ddmence.

finally, I would consider lefties on ttar. this team has a great defensive backbone and does not operate at a breakneck pace, so the status removal is not so critical, while lefties goes a long way in helping you play around annoying celebi/jirachi sets and makes ttar more of a team player. you might even be able to catch someone by surprise since every ddtar is lum now.

hope this helped! you've got something really nice here. all the best, congrats on the ladder success :toast:
Thanks a lot for the input. I've made a seperate team in my builder with most of the changes you've suggested, and I'll have to try it out another time and see what I think. I decided to leave the Hariyama spread as-is, because having some extra insurance against physical tyranitar is always nice.
When building this, I was in the mindset of mixmence w/o spikes is bad, and I still do think so, although knock off + sand can kind of be a surrogate for that. The better hit on Skarmory is certainly something very good for this team, though. I put this set into my builder:

Salamence @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 112 SpA / 144 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 30 SpA / 30 SpD / 30 Spe
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Fire Blast
- Brick Break
- Rock Slide

As salamence is obviously my best and pretty much only answer to fighters, you're certainly right that leftovers is a good thing. I wanted to keep HP Flying on there for the same reason, and I like having the physical attack and attacks to be able to heavily damage certain things, specifically aero and moltres on the switch. HP grass will probably be missed, but Starmie can sit on pretty much any Swampert for eternity (bar curse + rest, I guess, or monopert, but double natural cure won't have trouble with that) and spin and chip it down with surf. This mence should also beat UDcune, but not crocune.
Suicune would still be a huge problem, so as much as it pains me to say, I think whirlwind > focus punch on Yama would probably be a good thing for this team. Knocking it off can sometimes not be enough to wear it down.

EDIT: oh also as I'm sure you noticed this is the team I submitted to your #pokemon tour. If I get around to testing before that starts I'll update the paste that's in that thread
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