SM OU Strength in Honor (featuring Mega Heracross)

It's been a long time since I did one of these. At least a formal post; I've asked for my teams to be rated before on the server. Going forward, I feel I should post teams that have rather... controversial sets. Don't worry, I'm not completely crazy. But if I'm running something that's not the norm, I want to explain why. And I think the best place to start is with my OU team. As the title suggests, I based this one around Mega Heracross. Not much else to say, so let's get right into it.

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Hanzo (Heracross-Mega) (M) @ Heracronite
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Rock Blast
- Pin Missile
- Swords Dance

The beetle warrior of legend arms himself with his trusty bow as the main crux of the team. Once he sets up a Swords Dance, all slower foes will be blasted away. Close Combat is essential for consistent STAB and for the occasional pre-Mega Moxie boost if applicable. Rock Blast snipes down Flying types, particularly bulky Zapdos spreads which don't run enough Speed to outpace Hanzo. Pin Missile is primarily for Tangrowth, who would otherwise be troublesome for the rest of the team.

I mentioned that Hanzo takes out slower foes easily. This is because Mega Heracross's speed isn't great. He needs some fast partners to take out the faster competition. Which brings us to our next mon. Everyone give it up for America's favorite Frenchman:

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Lafayette (Greninja-Ash) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Battle Bond
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Dark Pulse
- Water Shuriken
- Spikes

Ash-Greninja makes for a solid partner for Mega Hera, as he can hit the physical tanks Mega Hera has trouble punching through. With Speed that's hard to beat and handy priority with Water Shuriken, Lafayette bedazzles his opponents before vanishing in a flash. And if the opponent decides to switch in something that can tank his STABs, he can easily lay out a layer of Spikes to punish them for switching.

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Cheelai (Garchomp) (F) @ Rockium Z
Ability: Rough Skin
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge

Cheelai fills in the void the Zygarde left when it was banished to Ubers as an Ice/Fairy lure. Let's face it: there's no getting around the fact that you can't build a Mega Hera team without weakness stacking. So while the opponent switches into their Clefable, Lele, or Kyurem Black, Cheelai can set up and smack them with a +2 Continental Crush. EQ gives it great EdgeQuake coverage, and Stealth Rock is pretty much mandatory on every team.

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Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 240 Def / 20 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Discharge
- Roost
- Heat Wave
- Defog

This is where the more controversial sets I mentioned earlier come into play. This Zapdos runs defensive moves with an offensive EV spread. At Max Speed Timid, it can outpace Stealth Rock setters like Excadrill and Landorus Therian (while also scouting for the latter's Scarf) and fish for the burn with Heat Wave. And remember when I said earlier that Mega Hera can take down bulky Zapdos who don't run enough Speed? Well, this one does, and it can punish opposing Mega Hera with Discharge or Heat Wave. While this set advocates Pressure over Static, I honestly find them both useful. Pressure can decrease PP in moves like Stone Edge and Magma Storm, while Static punishes fast physical attackers like Kartana and Hawlucha. I've been alternating between the two, but I wouldn't mind some additional advice.

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Tapu Bulu @ Leftovers
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Swords Dance
- Horn Leech
- Superpower
- Synthesis

With most the team dedicated to speed (including the controversial Zapdos set), there have to be some tanks that can withstand hits. Bulu is one such tank. Its Grassy Surge serves as a counterpoint to its fellow Guardians, who may try to set up their own terrains. If the opponent switches out, it sets up a Swords Dance or patches itself up with Synthesis. Horn Leech gives Bulu consistent recovery and is a great STAB attack. And if Steel types like Heatran or Ferrothorn come in, it can simply devastate them with a +2 Superpower.

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Obsidian (Heatran) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 128 SpD / 128 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Toxic
- Taunt

Another somewhat-controversial set, Obsidian is the more defensive check to the aforementioned Ice and Fairy types that otherwise devastate the team. She also serves as a trapper for troublesome bulky foes like Chansey and Toxapex. A combination of Magma Storm, Toxic, and Taunt can easily take them out of the picture and give the team one less thing to worry about. Earth Power especially comes in handy against Pex and opposing Heatran switching in trying to ruin Obsidian's day. I understand that usually this spread runs Lava Plume over Magma Storm, but the ability to trap bulky foes was too good to pass up.

And that concludes my first RMT thread in a long while. I do have issues with the weakness stacking (but I think it's unavoidable when you're building around Mega Heracross), but this team has had its share of victories. Speed control is a bit of an issue, so any advice on that would be much appreciated. And of course, I'm always willing to accept all other advice and pointers.

Importable version of the team
 
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To help with speed control you could switch out Zapdos for a Choice Scarf Lando set. Intimidate from Lando seems like a more reliable form of weakening physical threats than fishing for Heat Wave burns. Lando can also act as a better pivot to help the team gain more synergy thanks to U-Turn.

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 240 HP / 72 Def / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge / Explosion
- Defog

This set is just a bulkier version of the standard Choice Scarf set that allows you to accomplish the same things you mentioned with Zapdos, such as defeating Excadrill and outpacing other non-scarfed Landos.
The downside to this set is that it is not as durable as a Leftovers Roost Zapdos so there is definitely a trade-off. I would say that if you prefer to play more balanced and slower pace games then the Zapdos is good, but if speed control really is a huge problem with the team or you want to make it a little more offensive and fast-paced then Landorus is the way to go.

I hope this helped and good luck with the team!
 
To help with speed control you could switch out Zapdos for a Choice Scarf Lando set. Intimidate from Lando seems like a more reliable form of weakening physical threats than fishing for Heat Wave burns. Lando can also act as a better pivot to help the team gain more synergy thanks to U-Turn.

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 240 HP / 72 Def / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge / Explosion
- Defog

This set is just a bulkier version of the standard Choice Scarf set that allows you to accomplish the same things you mentioned with Zapdos, such as defeating Excadrill and outpacing other non-scarfed Landos.
The downside to this set is that it is not as durable as a Leftovers Roost Zapdos so there is definitely a trade-off. I would say that if you prefer to play more balanced and slower pace games then the Zapdos is good, but if speed control really is a huge problem with the team or you want to make it a little more offensive and fast-paced then Landorus is the way to go.

I hope this helped and good luck with the team!
I see the appeal of Scarfed Landorus, and I think that would be a good fit for the team. However, Zapdos serves as a Flying resist to support Mega Hera, and I would essentially have two Ground types that have similar weaknesses and have similar coverage.

I heard in the chat that I shouldn't be as concerned with weakness stacking (which is why I have Continental Crush Chomp as a lure), so perhaps I can swap Garchomp out for Choiced Landorus and make Heatran an Inferno Overdrive set. Would that work?

Edit: Actually scratch the Firinium Z idea. I need Heatran to be bulky.
 
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I see the appeal of Scarfed Landorus, and I think that would be a good fit for the team. However, Zapdos serves as a Flying resist to support Mega Hera, and I would essentially have two Ground types that have similar weaknesses and have similar coverage.

I heard in the chat that I shouldn't be as concerned with weakness stacking (which is why I have Continental Crush Chomp as a lure), so perhaps I can swap Garchomp out for Choiced Landorus and make Heatran an Inferno Overdrive set. Would that work?

Edit: Actually scratch the Firinium Z idea. I need Heatran to be bulky.
That is definitely an option. If you do I think it would be a good idea to add Stealth Rocks to Heatran over toxic.
 
That is definitely an option. If you do I think it would be a good idea to add Stealth Rocks to Heatran over toxic.
Well, of course.

That does leave me with one last question. Both Landorus and Zapdos are now on Defog duty with this setup. I suppose there are worst things, but do you think now that Landorus is doing the Defogging I can have Zapdos switch to a more offensive Roost + 3 Attacks set? Or is it safer to have at least one Defogger who's not locked into it with a Choice item?
 
Well, of course.

That does leave me with one last question. Both Landorus and Zapdos are now on Defog duty with this setup. I suppose there are worst things, but do you think now that Landorus is doing the Defogging I can have Zapdos switch to a more offensive Roost + 3 Attacks set? Or is it safer to have at least one Defogger who's not locked into it with a Choice item?
I do not think it is necessary to have two defoggers because your team is not really that weak to rocks. You could go for a more offensive Zapdos and make the Landorus the defogger or you could make the Lando more offensive and stick with a defensive Zapdos set. I think both could work well.
 
Really nice, but I see some flaws in the team. if you see, your team is too ice weak
kyu-b 6-0s the team. aside from garchomp there is nothing which can deal with kyurem-b or ice types in general.
your heatran is not offensive so it can deal with kyurem.

another pokemon which 6-0s your team is mega zam with rocks up.

I would suggest you to change your heatran to offensive steel z w/ rocks and add av mag over garchomp
and for deffoger change zapdos with scarf lando w/ defog as you said you dont need a dedicted deffoger and lando gives you indimidated support too, also av mag and u-turn lando give you voltrun core which is really good for mon like mega hera and specs gren.
sorry about the formatting writing on phone so.

new team would look like.

 
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Really nice, but I see some flaws in the team. if you see, your team is too ice weak
kyu-b 6-0s the team. aside from garchomp there is nothing which can deal with kyurem-b or ice types in general.
your heatran is not offensive so it can deal with kyurem.

another pokemon which 6-0s your team is mega zam with rocks up.

I would suggest you to change your heatran to offensive steel z w/ rocks and add av mag over garchomp
and for deffoger change zapdos with scarf lando w/ defog as you said you dont need a dedicted deffoger and lando gives you indimidated support too, also av mag and u-turn lando give you voltrun core which is really good for mon like mega hera and specs gren.
sorry about the formatting writing on phone so.

new team would look like.

I suppose with Magearna talking on the bulky check duties for Heatran, Heatran can be run more offensively. It'll give my team a Fire weakness, but I feel between Landorus, Ash-Gren, and Heatran, I'm more prepared for that. I'll give it a shot.
 
Your team looks pretty solid. One suggestion I have is to replace Bullet Seed > Pin Missile on Heracross. You said that Pin Missile is primarily for Tangrowth, however, a +2 CC will OHKO Assault Vest variants anyway and it can't do anything back unless it's HP Fire. (Physdef variants can be easily overwhelmed by your special attackers.) Bullet Seed is a good option because its power receives a boost from Bulu's terrain, allowing it to 2HKO Clef and defensive Landorus on the switch.

Regarding Zapdos' ability, I would say that Static is definitely the better option: paralyzing stuff makes them more vulnerable to your wallbreakers, so it synergizes particularly well with Heracross because he doesn't have the best speed tier.
 
Regarding Zapdos' ability, I would say that Static is definitely the better option: paralyzing stuff makes them more vulnerable to your wallbreakers, so it synergizes particularly well with Heracross because he doesn't have the best speed tier.
That much is true, and it's part of the reason I picked Zapdos in the first place. However, the previous poster Not Miyan suggested Magearna over Zap to have a better matchup against Kyurem Black. Though to be honest, I haven't been completely satisfied with Magearna's performance thus far. It just can't tank the stuff Zapdos used to be able to tank. I'll probably switch back to making Zapdos my Defogger and have a more offensive Scarf Landorus set. I might keep the Corkscrew Crash Heatran to deal with the aforementioned Kyurem Black, though.
 
Though to be honest, I haven't been completely satisfied with Magearna's performance thus far. It just can't tank the stuff Zapdos used to be able to tank.
I concur with this. Removing Zapdos means you do not have a ground immunity or Defogger on your team, leaving you very vulnerable to spikestack, scarfed Earthquake if Bulu is dead/weakened, etc. Zapdos is also important as a flying resist that can take on Pinsir, Hawlucha, and Z-Fly Lando for Heracross.

I would not say your team is overly weak to Kyurem-Black. Yes, it gets supereffective coverage on nearly every team member, but Heracross can take any hit aside from the Z-move, Greninja can pick it off if weakened, and Garchomp outspeeds and OHKOs it with Continental Crush. Since your Heatran is spdef it can tank a hit and get a Toxic off.

I'll probably switch back to making Zapdos my Defogger and have a more offensive Scarf Landorus set. I might keep the Corkscrew Crash Heatran to deal with the aforementioned Kyurem Black, though.
Steelium Z is a bit of an outdated set imo, now that Zygarde is gone its main use is as a Tyranitar lure. Considering you have Heracross/Garchomp/Bulu on your team I don't think Tyranitar is an issue for you. If you really want to go Z on Heatran just use Firium Z, it OHKOs Kyurem from full and doesn't force you to sacrifice a moveslot. Keep in mind however making your Heatran offensive means you will have a much harder time switching into Lele, Charizard Y (OHKOs non-spdef tran with Focus Blast), etc. And in the stall matchup you will get worn down much more easily by Chansey since you are not getting passive recovery.

Adding some speed control in the form of scarf Landorus can definitely help this team out, as it is rather slow. You will have to be wary of Bulu's terrain weakening your own EQ, though.
 

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