SwSh Battle Facilities Discussion & Records

The RIT Pokemon Club has another record! We had someone disconnect right at the start of the 11th round which made going against Tapu Lele harder. Our path was Entei, Solgaleo, Mesprit, Thundurus, Articuno, Nihilego, Cresselia, Raikou, Dialga, Suicune and Tapu Lele. We actually ran a Head Smash Relicanth paired with Screech on a Grovyle and later on as seen in our screenshot we were using Anger Point Tauros + Frost Breath Froslass. We were able to time our rounds and gauge our HP so that we could effectively use this combination along with Dynamax. We also had our disconnected player, ATcheron, end up having NFEs at all time with Eviolite.

Our team (please name the leaderboard entry RIT Pokémon Club) was:

AWood (Postal Dude)
ATcheron (Kelli)
Banded Bonks (Bran Flakes)
Pseudophysics (Hans)

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But wait... don't update the leaderboard quite yet because THERE'S MORE!

When our solo player forked off it turns out that they could get even farther than us due to some incredible luck with RNG and the AI rentals. A Hitmonchan which is what was our first battle after Suicune actually FROZE Tapu Lele with Ice Punch. Our current absolute record is the following when this is taken into account:

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ATcheron went against Landorus and Aurorus was able to Body Slam it into paralyze hax for the win.
 
Battle Tower Classic Singles streak: 142

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Pheromosa @ Focus Sash
Adamant Nature
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spe
- Close Combat
- Lunge
- Poison Jab
- Throat Chop
1611080665406.png
Decidueye ♂ @ Leftovers
Impish Nature
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Def
- Leaf Blade
- Phantom Force
- Substitute
- Shadow Sneak
1611080695155.png
Gyarados ♂ @ Expert Belt
Adamant Nature
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 208 HP / 252 Att / 48 Spe
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance

Pheromosa
I started with a mixed Pheromosa with Close Combat, Ice Beam, Bug Buzz, and Quiver Dance, but I decided that Close Combat is so powerful that it's just not worth Quiver Dancing when it's so easy to OHKO with a fully powered Close Combat. Lunge is a solid STAB move for those that resist Close Combat, Poison Jab is for fairies that resist the above 2 moves, and Throat Chop is for ghosts that resist all of the above. Pheromosa is a VERY powerful non-setup sweeper, and adamant nature with full EVs lets its Beast Boost increase Attack instead of Speed, and it's still faster than Jolly Weavile and the rest of the 125 base speed crew. Most of the time, Pheromosa OHKOs or THKOs everyone save a few including notably Leon's Charizard. I generally sacrifice Pheromosa whenever Leon sends his Charizard out.

Decidueye
I've been going back and forth with the second Pokemon on this team trying Raikou, Arcanine, Entei, and finally landing on Decidueye. Largely defensive, and I'm so glad I put Impish and max Defense EVs on him because he had to take a lot of physical hits throughout the streak. Phantom Force alone gives nearly perfect type coverage, but the most useful move is STAB Shadow Sneak as he's generally Pheromosa's revenge killer. He's also super nice to have against the pesky water/ground types, especially because most of them have a chance of being immune to Gyarados' Waterfall too.

Gyarados
Gyarados is basically the only one that can beat Leon's Gigantamax Charizard, but only without taking a hit first. He's slower than Charizard, and he can only take one Max Airstream, so use Waterfall on Charizard before Dragon Dancing. (Remember Max Airstream increases Charizard's speed). Outside of battling Leon, usually I'll go to Gyarados if the opponent which killed Pheromosa has full HP still. Then a single Dragon Dance is usually good enough to sweep.

Team tactics
With exceptions, have Pheromosa OHKO or THKO everyone that it can, which is most Pokemon. Else, against someone like Weezing, switch to someone else, probably Gyarados. Other than that, it's pretty straightforward. Once Decidueye comes into play, Substitute if possible. Once Gyarados comes into play, Dragon Dance if possible.

How I lost:
Vs Leon: Rhyperior, Charizard, Haxorus
Turn 1: Pheromosa OHKOs Rhyperior with a Close Combat. Leon sends out Charizard.
Turn 2: Close Combat to sacrifice Pheromosa because Max Airstream kills it. Send out Gyarados.
Turn 3: Max Airstream to damage Gyarados per usual then Waterfall KOs Charizard. Leon sends out Haxorus.
Turn 4: Haxorus Outrages right away and kills Gyarados, not what I was expecting. I thought he would Dragon Dance first, so now I'm nervous.
Turn 5: Outrage deals damage to Decidueye. Lum Berry cures Haxorus' confusion. Use Phantom Force.
Turn 6: Outrage misses. Phantom Force hits with a little more than 50% of Haxorus' HP.
Turn 7: Shadow Sneak is all I've got left because the next Outrage will kill Decidueye. Shadow Sneak doesn't KO Haxorus. Haxorus uses Outrage. Game over.

What I Could've Done Differently to Win
I think what I really should do is sacrifice Decidueye once Leon’s Charizard comes out instead of Pheromosa (if Pheromosa has full HP still).
One thing that might concern me is if Leon sends out Choice Scarf Cinderace who would KO Gyarados after Charizard is done, and would outspeed Pheromosa, so it would have to OHKO Cinderace with a Close Combat, which should work.
Then the other thing that might be problematic is if Leon sends out Aegislash last and it uses Shadow Sneak to kill Gyarados (I think only if Gyarados takes a critical hit from Charizard) before hitting it with an Earthquake, and I don’t think that Pheromosa can OHKO Aegislash with a singular throat chop, especially if King’s shield lowers Pheromosa’s attack.
 
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Rock-types: awesome, impenetrable behemoths whose rock-hard bodies deflect all manners of attack.

That is the fiction the game tries to sell you, anyways. In reality, Rock is one of the absolute worst defensive types, with little useful resistances but plentiful bad weaknesses. While Rock is pretty good offensively, physical Rock moves have mediocre PP, with even low-power alternatives capping out at 24. Though pre-Tundra the second point may be made redundant by the first; no offense to Eisenherz but when your lead needs to be propped up by Lunatone and Corsola to cover all its weaknesses, PP is probably the least of your issues. Fittingly, Rock had the worst record of any type.

Enter Nihilego.

With excellent offense, Beast Boost, and high PP moves, Nihilego seems to be a dream come true for Rock. Most battles are easily soloed by it, and it greatly reduces the stress on the backline, basically removing the need to switch in on Water, Grass, and Fighting moves. No Pokemon is flawless though, and Nihilego's poor performance versus Steel-types is a huge problem. Many are bad to deal with, but nothing is worse than Perrserker. Its Iron Head is very likely to OHKO Nihilego even in dmax, since it can get either Tough Claws or Steely Spirit. Even using neutral moves, Nihilego needs to be at +1 to OHKO it, +2 without them. Still, plenty of Rock-types have high defense, and with a Steel neutrality this shouldn't be too hard to deal with. But...Perrserker also has Close Combat, another move super-effective on Rock. This gives it such incredible power versus Rock-types that Iron Defense is really the only way to deal with it, which is of course fraught with crit peril versus something so strong. I started with Coalossal, who has great bulk and Body Press. The latter is sadly not ubiquitous among Rock-types; Shell Armor Omastar would have been a nice option otherwise.

Initially, I pegged Psychic as the greatest threat to Nihilego after Steel. This might seem strange given that Ground is a 4x weakness, but Nihilego OHKOs just about every Ground-type with Overgrowth even unboosted. Of course, not all Ground moves come from Ground-types, and basically any that get through are a problem with how low Nihilego's defense is. All that came to mind at first was Trevenant, but what could really be done about that? It also had Horn Leech to deal with, another move super-effective on Rock. So I focused on Psychic, where Alakazam and Musharna were problematic. I slapped on a Dragon Dance Tyranitar, who also made an okay answer to Trevenant in a pinch, only taking around 60% from Earthquake and OHKOing with Crunch. Feeling confident in Nihilego's immense strength, I went to playtest.

Oh no.

I didn't even realize this had Drill Run. It does upwards of 96% to Nihilego in dmax. The first time I saw it I was at full and just tanked it, the second time I was also at full but got crit. Unlucky, but Nihilego can never outspeed this, and Drill Run is a high crit move. And it's still horrendous in normal situations, so clearly something had to change. But it's hard to wall this since it also has STAB Waterfall, another move super-effective on Rock. I'd also noticed that Goodra was a major problem, needing +2 to be OHKOd even with Starfall. Bulldoze is easy enough to switch into, but it also had Focus Blast, another move super-effective on Rock. Steelix also proved to be a problem, needing +1 to OHKO and of course always being able to have Sturdy. It also had Heavy Slam, another move super-effective on Rock. There were also potential annoyances of Seaking, Garbodor, and Golurk with Drill Run, Stomping Tantrum, and Dig, respectively, who were all unfavorable ranges to OHKO unboosted. And of course, they all had another move super-effective on Rock. One thing had become crystal clear: Ground moves were a problem.

This immediately made the backline much rougher. I reconsidered Coalossal for Steel-types, and thought up a most stupid idea: Stakataka. It's Steel-type gave it a way to beat Psychics, letting the last slot only deal with Ground. But how could it deal with Perrserker's Close Combat? Simple - it didn't. With 236 speed EVs, Stakataka can outspeed Perrserker, and then KO it with Body Press using either a Rocky Helmet or a Black Belt. Beast Boost would even give it some momentum. This freed up the last slot a bit, but of course that wouldn't make it simple. I needed a Ground counter for a broad range of threats. Cradily seemed ideal, neutralizing much of the additional coverage these Pokemon had. Some still seemed iffy, like Barraskewda's Ice Fang, Trevenant's Skitter Smack, and Goodra's Focus Blast, but it seemed to be the best option. Steelix was a major problem for it, but since Dig is a 2 turn move Stakataka could set up on it, crits permitting. That just left the moveset. Cradily could run several different flavors of a stally set, but I didn't want to make it too passive since any Fighting type coming out versus it was a huge problem. So I opted to run Cradily as offensive as it could reasonably get: Meteor Beam with Stockpile. This let it boost every relevant stat minus speed in only 2 moves while also providing attack PP. Honestly, I was pretty smitten with the idea.

Testing went better this time, but still not great. Barraskewda's Ice Fang and Acupressure were a frustrating roulette for Cradily to play, and Trevenant left it with negative special attack (but not as much as you might think: Trevenant uses up Poltergeist before using Skitter Smack). Goodra's Sap Sipper was also bad, because it meant Cradily could only hit Goodra with Meteor Beam, leaving it no way to avoid triggering the Lansat Berry which would pierce Cradily's Stockpile. On Stakataka's end, while it did its job, I really hated not having Leftovers. Combined with its speed, I found it difficult to end fights above 50-60%. It also burned through Rest much faster than Coalossal. While my first and only run with this team outright died at a satisfying 39 battles (no heals), I wasn't sure it was the way forward.

And then, I recalled some sage advice I'd heard before:

"just dont get hit bro"

It was so obvious. Why didn't I think of that? All these threats having inevitable super-effective damage didn't matter if I didn't get hit! With that in mind, I reconsidered Cradily. There are a number of Rock-types immune to Ground, but the only two with the offense to not get hit are Archeops and Aerodactyl. Archeops is notably stronger, but Aerodactyl doesn't have a dumbass ability and also naturally outspeeds Barraskewda, forgoing the need for a Choice Scarf. This in turn lets it use Roost, which Archeops can't practically use. Still, I didn't really think Aerodactyl would be able to heal on much, so Archeops' raw strength seemed more appealing, especially since it could break every RS rule in the book and use Head Smash for a vicious 150 BP Rockfall. Also of note was that Adamant Archeops could OHKO Goodra with an Airstream, which Aerodactyl would be clunkier versus. The hope, of course, was that Archeops wouldn't get hit and just full sweep each time it was needed. I also replaced Stakataka with Coalossal again, which for reasons that will be explained later sweeps smoother, and keeps up health better with Leftovers, now unclaimed. This left me with no Psychic resist for Alakazam and Musharna, but thinking about it more Alakazam overwhelmingly prefers to start with Light Screen which lets Archeops come in for free, and Musharna is surprisingly feasible for Nihilego to break through due to its immense special defense and Starfall blocking Yawn plus overwriting Psychic Terrain.

I had an extremely encouraging initial run with this version, getting up to 84 wins. I had some relatively early failures after that, not all directly Archeops' fault, but nonetheless enough to get me to reconsider Aerodactyl.



After a few attempts with it, I got this! I guess healing is good in RS? weird


Nihilego @ Shell Bell
Timid/Beast Boost
4 Def/252 SpA/252 Spe
Power Gem/Acid/Grass Knot/Dazzling Gleam

A beautiful thing, shame about the rest of the team. Physical Rock moves may have bad PP, but Power Gem's 32 PP with good BP is much appreciated. Acid is a surprisingly small downgrade from Sludge Wave as a max move; it has 70 BP as opposed to 90. And the PP upgrade is immense, going from 16 to 48. Ooze is very nice, being able to inflict damage and get boosts is amazing as virtually any physical attacker can attest. Between its very high PP and low BP, it can be sometimes difficult to deplete its PP evenly with the other moves, so I use it as much as possible, though this isn't a huge ask given how useful the extra boosts are. And naturally, they feed into each other, so sometimes battles can be cleared using nothing but Ooze (aptly named, "oozecruises"). Grass Knot is wonderful as always, and Dazzling Gleam's PP is also unfortunate as always. Nihilego has better PP options, but the Fighting coverage is mandatory with this team, as is the status protection from Starfall. Nihilego can beat Milotic, Amoonguss, Musharna, and even Magneton using it. Magneton leaves Nihilego with its dmax gone and only a boost from Beast Boost, but the others can let it amass Ooze boosts addition to that.

While I've mentioned a lot how good Nihilego's offense is, it cannot be overstated how good its special bulk is. 109/131 is absurd even uninvested, and Nihilego can press it even further with sand. It takes like a quarter from Starmie in sand+dmax. It takes Analytic Magnezone Steel Beams to the face (much preferred over Light Screen, in fact). Almost all of the status threats I mentioned before hit it super-effectively, and it takes multiple hits from many of them! The physical defense may be unfortunate, but damn if the trade-off doesn't have perks.

Aerodactyl @ Sharp Beak
Jolly/Pressure
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Fly/Earthquake/Dragon Dance/Roost

Aerodactyl can deal with every problematic Ground user, or at least in conjunction with Coalossal. The Sharp Beak is needed to OHKO Barraskewda if dmax isn't available. The accuracy is incredibly anxiety-inducing since it's a sweep if it misses, but that's how it is. In fact, if I'm not close to a heal I tend to go for Fly even if I do have dmax, just because clean unboosted Aerodactyl sweeps are uncommon and I feel like it's more risky if I deny Aerodactyl more dmax turns, or if I need it on one of my other team members, and then run into more mundane problems. Then I'm more likely to lose a team member even if I'm less likely to get outright swept. This is certainly one scenario where I prefer Archeops over it, but being able to boost and heal is invaluable otherwise. Dragon Dance is arguably worse than Hone Claws here (lol), but its speed boost does prove handy versus Tentacruel, who cannot KO Aerodactyl with Icy Wind+Waterfall, so it goes for a second Icy Wind after Aerodactyl switches in since it's still slower. DD negates that second speed drop, and Aerodactyl can then completely restore its speed with Airstream to finish. Roost is healing of course, letting Aerodactyl set up on the likes of Dunsparce and Bouffalant, the former being a PP drain and the latter a big threat for Nihilego. Giga Impact is the strongest option from Bouffalant, so set-up is amusingly simple there. There's also random mons like Dubwool, Greedent, and Skuntank that Aerodactyl can heal up on at the end of a fight, which is useful for when it has amassed damage from its perilous unboosted sweeps. It's also what lets Aerodactyl help with Goodra; it simply Roosts until Goodra uses Draco Meteor so Coalossal can then set up on the neutered Focus Blast. Sadly Breaking Swipe prevents Aerodactyl's own sweep.

Pressure only has one real purpose, and that's to help with Garbodor. Gunk Shot is the strongest move versus Aerodactyl which is a status risk, but due to Pressure, it and Coalossal can switch for a few turns to stall out Stomping Tantrum at which point Coalossal sets up. Coalossal can't switch on Gunk Shot forever (in fact, it needs to Rest if the first Gunk Shot poisons - thankfully it can take a Stomping Tantrum with a good amount of leeway), so Pressure is necessary for that. For another niche interaction, it's also worth noting that Dig being a 2 turn move is very abusable, since this team doesn't deal with Golurk or Steelix well otherwise. For Golurk, Aerodactyl can set up DD while it's underground then OHKO, but Steelix is too bulky for that to work. But it's underground, so how to chip at its health? ...Earthquake hits underground mons! Don't forget about random things like that :) After being chipped down, a pivot off of Coalossal (who takes very little from Heavy Slam) lets it set up DD while Steelix is underground, then finish it off.


Coalossal (Gmax) @ Leftovers
Impish/Steam Engine
252 HP/36 Def/120 SpD/100 Spe
Iron Defense/Body Press/Rock Slide/Rest

I had a shiny Gmax from dynamax adventures, so why not? It looks alright. Anyways, this is a fairly standard Body Press set. While Flamethrower is a generally better STAB option than Rock Slide, and Flame Body is a generally better ability than Steam Engine, the two in conjunction let it beat Water-types, which are problematic and numerous. Coalossal can 2HKO any non-Ground one with Volcalith plus its residual damage, potentially with Max Guard to stall for more of that. And with Steam Engine making it faster on the second turn, it only needs to take one hit, which it always can in dmax. This also leaves Coalossal in a much better position for whatever's last, either helping it heal up or to just OHKO the last mon without taking further damage if that's not an option. For the grounds, Whiscash is physical and can be Body Pressed, Seismitoad can be dealt with by Nihilego, and Quagsire can also be Body Pressed...unless it's Unaware. Then it's not pretty, but it's a risk that has to be taken. But overall, Coalossal can deal with Waters pretty well. Ironically, it's probably Coalossal's biggest perk over Stakataka, who despite not being 4x weak to Water ends up worse off, especially versus Gyarados and Milotic and their burn risks.

For the EVs, 100 speed lets it outspeed Perrserker, crucial for obvious reasons. A little more would let it outspeed Magnezone, a niche situation (maybe less so if Body Press KOd after Steel Beam, but it doesn't), which is probably worth it. It is important not to outspeed Exeggutor though, Nihilego is reliant on it resetting Trick Room as Coalossal weakens it (in very Nihilego fashion, it only takes around half from Solar Beam on its return despite being out of dmax). After that things are a little arbitrary. Originally I thought it needed 36 attack to deal with Milotic, but then I realized Volcalith deals 1/6, not 1/8. So originally I had that, and the rest in special defense with an Impish nature to "balance" out my defenses. I kinda wanted more physical defense though, so when I realized my Volcalith mistake I just put that into defense instead.

Threats

:magnezone:
Needs +3 to be OHKOd, can survive anyways with Sturdy, and while Steel Beam is tankable it's still a lot of damage and can deprive Nihilego of a Beast Boost. And this isn't even getting to the possibility of Light Screen (seems rarer than usual in my experience at least), in which case it's very likely to KO itself with Steel Beam, leaving Nihilego in a bad position versus a lot of things. Also shits on Aerodactyl even when it's set up.

:barraskewda::trevenant:
Aerodactyl dispatches of these smoothly the vast majority of the time, but unboosted Aerodactyl can find itself in all sorts of trouble afterwards, especially when dmax is used up. Barraskewda is particularly frustrating since there's no time when it's not an issue, Trevenant's risk can at least be reduced by Grassy Terrain being up beforehand or by being at +2.

:perrserker::scizor::goodra:
Threats that often force Nihilego out to Coalossal (or after baiting Draco Meteor with Aerodactyl, in Goodra's case). But all are very bad with crits, especially Perrserker. Scizor quickly becomes a crit threat with SD, though. Nihilego KOs it at +1, so if it's at full health and boosted I'd honestly rather risk taking a bunch from BP.

:escavalier::wishiwashi-school:
Nihilego has to tank these as leads (Coalossal would deal with Escavalier, but it has Razor Shell, another move super-effective on Rock), and in neither case can it get an Ooze boost. Escavalier's damage is particularly bad; thankfully Wishiwashi's Earthquake can be mitigated by Grassy Terrain, though this triggers the Figy Berry which is what prevents an Ooze KO.

:klefki::magneton:
These aren't that threatening by themselves, but can waste a lot of dmax turns while preventing Ooze. Klefki can even deprive Nihilego of a Beast Boost with Steel Beam.

:sandaconda:
This isn't really a huge deal, but its QC Sand Tomb does half of Nihilego's health and I find that funny.

The Run

The first leg went smoothly for the most part. A Barraskewda lead at battle 20 or so prompted a switch to Aerodactyl, who used Fly, not Airstream, to conserve dmax turns. Good thing, too, since Azumarill came out and burned 2 of those turns. It used (and failed) Belly Drum on the first turn, and then thankfully didn't go for Aqua Jet on the second. It must've been using Body Slam, which is dumb but at the same time I know I had some run in the past get screwed by a nonsensical Body Slam use that paralyzed, so it's just karma. Anyways, it was crucial that I had that last turn of dmax since the last mon was Kingler, who took most of Aerodactyl's health with Crabhammer. Thankfully I was able to heal on a Dubwool at some point. Nihilego was able to deplete most of its PP (iirc Ooze was a little high at 10 or so though), though a battle without Power Gem proved scary versus Cramorant. I used my last Starfall to negate Gulp Missile paralysis, and Oozed my way through. I forgot what else there was but I don't think the lack of Power Gem/Dazzling Gleam mattered at that point. I took the heal immediately after, leaving my first leg at 38 battles.

The second leg had a bit of a scare with a last mon Magneton and post-dmax Nihilego, leaving it no way to block Thunder Wave. Thankfully, Coalossal can work in a pinch, though I avoid it for a reason normally. Between the Thunder Wave turn and Magnet Rise, Coalossal has time to KO before Resting, at which point Flash Cannon does too much for that to be really worth it. The obvious issue is full paralysis, which thankfully didn't happen in the 3 turns Coalossal was out (Iron Defense, Body Press, Body Press), "only" leaving it at half or so paralyzed. Fortunately it found a Boltund to heal on later. This was only the first act in the Magnet Brothers Tragedy though, as a Magnezone lead at battle 61 set up Light Screen before KOing itself next turn with Steel Beam. And in comes Sirfetch'd. This forced a sacrifice, and I chose Coalossal. Aerodactyl set up DD on the Meteor Assault recharge turn and KOd it on the next turn, but took a heavy hit from something after that, barely surviving the battle. I was very disappointed with this leg and wanted it to last longer, so I attempted to truck along with Nihilego and Aerodactyl. The very next battle had a Milotic lead though, and while Nihilego got through it with many boosts and swept, it took off enough health that continuing at this point was just suicidal. So I took the heal after 62 for a poor middle leg of 24 wins.

Still, the last leg didn't need to be crazy to reach 100, even a repeat of the first would be sufficient. And for the most part, I got a nice smooth leg to end the run (with a weridly high amount of Bouffalant). The final stretch wasn't without its scares, though. At 96, Nihilego's thunder after an easy lead victory was stopped cold by a Barraskewda, which was a very nerve-wracking Fly to hit that close to 100. Definitely a time I would go for the Airstream if it was an option, the increased risk of losing a mon would be worth it to negate the risk of all-out loss at that point. But oh well. The situation only got more never-wracking as the last mon was Lilligant, another mon that could outright sweep if I missed. Thankfully, I didn't miss it either. Battle 100 was also not quite the victory lap I'd hoped for. A Boltund lead forced Nihilego out to Coalossal, who easily set up. In came Crawdaunt, which Coalossal survives at +6, so I didn't dmax to just KO it with Body Press. It OHKOd with a crit (which would happen even if I did dmax). But at least Nihilego was easily able to KO it and the following Drapion. The next few battles were the team's death throes as Nihilego's PP dwindled to nothing. A Pyukumuku at that point almost felt like a waste of time to stall out, but hey, gotta squeeze out every last battle. By 106, Nihilego completely ran out of PP and another Crawdaunt ended the run - how fitting. So the final leg ended up being 43 battles.

So that's Rock. I was definitely a bit starstruck by Nihilego. It is indeed amazing, but it doesn't fix Rock's underlying issues which definitely prevented this team from really going far. While the poor middle leg might indicate this team could do a bit better, in practice I don't know if that's true. While I think Aerodactyl is the best solution to Rock's problems, there's still a lot of uncertainty with its unboosted ventures that I was fortunate to never have gone too wrong, and I'm not sure how feasible that is to maintain over a long run in tandem with the many other risks. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with this run.
 
Similar team to Eisenherz , except of course Blacephalon which has the same type as Chandelure but a better speed, SpA and beast boost ability.

1611769012600.png

Jolly Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Play Rough 16 PP
Shadow Claw 24 PP
Wood Hammer 24 PP
Swords Dance 32 PP

1611769120175.png

Brave Nature
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
Hone Claws 24 PP
Agility 48 PP
Baton Pass 64 PP
False Swipe 64 PP
1611769251253.png

Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
Flamethrower 24 PP
Shadow Ball 24 PP
Ember 40 PP
Solar Beam 16 PP

1611770336565.png


About the team: When you see
1611781300807.png
, it seems a great sweeper for ghost team: good Spe, excellent SpA, beast boost and max Flare setup the sun. It seems good in lead, but in practise it is weak to faster sweeper like
1611780392660.png
or
1611780906750.png
.The team's goal is to use
1611781309504.png
as much as possible,
1611781347973.png
helps to safely switch and baton pass a +2 speed, so it's important to have minimum speed. If I can't go to
1611781356114.png
, 1611781606500.png can easily setup a Sword Dances (except against few Pokemon). If I have not dynamax when th 2nd Pokemon comes, I go to
1611781356114.png
if possible. Also I can often save 1611781606500.png PP if
1611781356114.png
can switch into the last Pokemon. That's the general way how to use the team.

Let's talk about the teambulding: nothing to add about 1611781606500.png .
There is more to say about
1611781356114.png
. Agility and Baton Pass are obvious choices. I finally decided to use False Swipe. There are not a lot situation I really need Shadow Sneak. False Swipe can't KO Pokemon with crit, can touch normal type but most important is I can try trigger Static
1611782649047.png
(I think it has 2/3 chance to have Static, and in this case with 10 False Swipe, you have 97% chance to trigger it once). Beeing paralysed on
1611781356114.png
is great, you can baton pass +2 speed on more Pokemon, PP stall annoying
1611783000159.png
. Hone claws is mostly useful in critical situation when 1611781606500.png has lost a lot HP. Baton Pass Atk and Spe is best way to heal 1611781606500.png (because you can avoid dynamax and get more HP from
1611783199446.png
). About the item, sb879 mentions me
1611783613419.png
is safer than
1611783665688.png
, because annoying
1611783727805.png
in lead. In this case you have to go on 1611781606500.png .
1611783665688.png
allows to go on
1611781356114.png
against Snow Warning user and
1611783924850.png
. I began this attempt before thinking about
1611783613419.png
, it can be used only once per heal.

About
1611781300807.png
, Flamethrower and Shadow Ball have decent PP and good power. Solar Beam is SE againt water. You don't really need much coverage, so I added Ember which has 40 PP.
1611784063054.png
is great on it, there are many sitation you can restore HP just by switching with Shedinja, sometimes with Baton Pass.

There is a lot to say about how to deal with lead, I won't say everything:
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always consider it can have a SpD or Speed boost the turn you Baton Pass.
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can suck. If it electrify 1st turn, setup a 2nd Sword Dances and now every Max moves can OHKO. If not you should dynamax on 2nd turn.
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You need to dynamax 1611781606500.png 1st turn without Sword Dance.
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1611785395517.png
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(not Mold Breaker)
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1611785412681.png
1611785417993.png
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You can PP stall Taunt, Endure, gastro acid by switching.
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It will always Trick Room against
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. Baton Pass on a turn it don't Futur Sight.
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1611785751018.png
1611785756764.png
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go on
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1st turn.
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If Sword Dances 1st turn, I stay with 1611781606500.png . Else I go on
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2nd turn.

About the run: 1st leg was good with 49 wins. 2nd leg I did a stupid mistak against
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(I forgot to remove grassy terrain on SD calculator), which ends the 2nd leg at 32. The 3rd I had
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at 109. It can be improve to 140~150. Fun fact: I got paralysed on
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2nd leg on 3rd False Swipe.
 
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Back again to report that Galarian LuchaLele has now hit 1000 wins in a row! Woo!! One minor change before we start, Dracovish's EVs were changed around a little to no longer speed-tie with Excadrill-4 and Togekiss-2. This, of course, isn't a huge issue since Tailwind allows me to out-speed these two but Excadrill-4 also knows Sandstorm. If Sand goes up, and Excadrill has Sand Rush, it still speed-ties with Dracovish. So, I decided to take the extra 8 HP EVs that Dracovish had and moved them to Speed to bump its Speed up to 139.

Now that we have that out of the way, here's a quick recap of the whole team:

Hawlucha @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Adamant Nature
- Low Kick
- Acrobatics
- Tailwind
- Protect


Tapu Lele @ Life Orb
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 220 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/HT/31/HT
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Shadow Ball
- Protect


Dracovish @ Protective Pads
Ability: Strong Jaw
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: HT/HT/HT/31/31/31
Bashful Nature (minted to Jolly)
- Fishious Rend
- Psychic Fangs
- Crunch
- Protect


Xurkitree @ Expert Belt
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 4 Def / 212 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/HT/31/31/31
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect
And now for some videos...
As always, here's a link to the full playlist of each round this team has done as well as another playlist with every individual battle I have highlighted. I'm going to post some of the more fun ones here.

This one was a little annoying. I stupidly let Hawlucha die to a Max Airstream from Vespiquen and as a result, Ribombee got very dangerous fast. Got a very lucky crit on it though so we ended up pulling a victory.

Things get a little scary as Umbreon gets off a couple of Confuse Rays. We manage to not hit ourselves and also Dracovish avoids getting burned by a Scald from Vaporeon!

Ditto Imposter-Transforms into Tapu Lele and all of a sudden I'm facing off against myself! Nothing too exciting in this one, just thought it was funny to face off against another shiny Tapu Lele.

This one's a pretty.... Wilde battle! Okay, sorry for about that one. Anyway, potential Trick Room from Jellicent and potential Dragon Dance from Gyarados can actually be pretty scary! Especially with that Jellicent not being the Trick Room set you doubled up on!

Every time I see a Kingler... it's always the Scarf set. Lele gets OHKO'd early on in this battle to a Crabhammer but that doesn't mean we're out yet!

Greedent got too many crits in this battle and put me into an eventual 1v1 position vs it. Body Slam is so annoying.

Selmer is back again with the problematic leads! Dracozolt spares me though. Phew.

And there we have it! Not many other updates to add here. Although, I do have to say that speed tiers updating mid-turn is absolutely nuts for fast Tailwind. Anyway, that's all for now. Until next time, see ya.
 
I'm going to take a break from Battle Tower Classic Singles for a while because I'm pretty satisfied with this streak of 566.

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Pheromosa @ Focus Sash
Adamant Nature
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spe
- Close Combat
- Lunge
- Poison Jab
- Throat Chop
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Nihilego @ Power Herb
Timid Nature
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 184 HP / 72 SpA / 252 Spe
- Sludge Wave
- Meteor Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Grass Knot
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Urshifu ♂ @ Assault Vest
Jolly Nature
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spe
- Wicked Blow
- Close Combat
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch

Pheromosa
This is the same Pheromosa I had in my previous streak, and I really like it, so I basically built this team around it. Close Combat is the default move. Lunge, if Close Combat is ineffective. Poison Jab for fairies, and Throat Chop for Ghosts. A 1/2 effective Close Combat is still slightly more powerful than a normally effective Poison Jab or Throat Chop.

Nihilego
I wanted a Pokemon that I could switch to whenever Leon brought out his Charizard as I know Gmax Charizard is one of the few Pokemon that Pheromosa can't beat, even after a beast boost. So I wanted a Pokemon that can be a special wall, can OHKO Gmax Charizard, and isn't weak to any of Leon's Charizard's moves (fire, normal, grass, flying). As it turns out, since Nihilego is still pretty fast, it can serve as a good revenge killer for Pheromosa, and it's nice to have beast boost on top of that. Gave it just enough special attack EVs so that Beast boost still increases SpA instead of Speed. I had originally put the extra EVs into increasing SpD, but that turned out to be quite unnecessary, so HP instead served well. Meteor Beam is for Leon's Charizard (and most things that are OHKOable exclusively with it), Grass Knot is for Ground types, and Thunderbolt is the only offense Nihilego has against steel types, so had to put it on.

Urshifu
I needed someone that can beat Leon's Aegislash every time because that's another one of Pheromosa's vulnerabilities (because of shadow sneak). I also wanted someone with a speed priority move so I don't get swept by Cloyster again. Wicked Blow and Close Combat are good powerful STAB moves. Iron Head is for fairies, but he rarely goes up against them because Nihilego can beat them easily. Chose Iron Head instead of Poison Jab because I'd take flinch over poison.

Team tactics
With exceptions, have Pheromosa OHKO or THKO everyone that it can, which is most Pokemon. Else, I basically follow these rules against an opponent's lead Pokemon (so without the chance to beast boost). If against Araquanid, Golisopod, Leon's Aegislash, or Toxapex, then switch to Urshifu. If against Gyarados (with intimidate), Mimikyu, Rotom (fan), Toxtricity (blue), Vespiquen, or Weezing, then switch to Nihilego. Everyone else is either not much of a threat anyway or can be OHKO'd or THKO'd by Pheromosa with its most effective move.

How I lost:
Vs: Mantine, Pelipper, Gastrodon
Turn 1: Pheromosa Close Combat on Mantine, getting ready for a THKO, takes away more than half of Mantine's HP. Mantine uses Tailwind.
Turn 2: Mantine hits Pheromosa who is saved by focus sash. Close Combat KOs Mantine. Sends out Pelipper. Pelipper drizzles. (not good, tailwind+rain)
Turn 3: Pelipper with tailwind is faster than Pheromosa and KOs before Pheromosa has a chance. Send out Nihilego who could OHKO with a thunderbolt.
Turn 4: Or would be able to had it been able to get one off. Pelipper uses Hydro Pump and OHKOs Nihilego, which was a little surprising but not that much. I thought special wall would be able to take a hit, but the rain was the death. Now I'm nervous, but fortunately at least, tailwind peers out. Send out Urshifu.
Turn 5: I really hope I can OHKO with a Wicked Blow. Soooo close! Pelipper had like 10 HP left. Pelipper uses Hurricane, nearly OHKOs Urshifu.
Turn 6: Urshifu uses Wicked Blow and finishes off Pelipper. Sends out Gastrodon. Crap, not an OHKOable.
Turn 7: Wicked Blow doesn't OHKO Gastrodon. Gastrodon hits Urshifu to the death. Game over.

What I Could've Done Differently to Win
I should have sent out Urshifu, recognizing that Pelipper, after tailwind and drizzle, could OHKO Nihilego. Urshifu would've been sacrificed but tailwind could've gone away that turn. Nihilego would thunderbolt Pelipper, and KO Gastrodon with Grass Knot. Tailwind isn't that common, so I didn't have a whole lot of data to practice this scenario. I'll be better prepared next time!
 
Something I'm realizing didn't get posted here: the RS guide I wrote has some changes and is now onsite!
RS on Smogon dot com
Anyways, back to what I came here to write about...
=======================================

Poison is a type that's always been known to have immense potential; Regenerator is an insane ability and being able to switch between two users of it yields limitless stalling versus anything remotely passive, and Poison has many of its best users. Many will remember Eisenherz's infamous foray into this; fewer will remember Photon's still impressive foray a mere few days into RS. Both of these runs were very impressive for their time... sort of. Eisenherz's run got up to battle 47 without healing, and Photon's up to 27. Yet, both runs crumbled soon after, and the awfulness of using these teams presumably deterred more attempts. So despite demonstrating such potential, these runs ended up being as middling as their contemporaries that used more typical teams, where Poison finds no particular niche. Poison ended up in the low tiers alongside the likes of Rock and Ice. A seemingly absurd situation given Poison's hype, but understandable in the end given how tedous Regenerator stalling is.

The Crown Tundra was very kind to Poison, though. It added yet another excellent Regenerator user in Galarian Slowking, and potent offensive options in Nihilego and Naganadel. While I had absolutely no interest in trying Poison before, the new offensive options would hopefully make it less monotonous. Though the keyword there is less; there's simply no arguing against a Regenerator core. Even ignoring how good the concept is, the Regenerator options for Poison are top-tier. So the question then became, "how tedious am I willing to play?" That's a deeeeep rabbit hole. I settled on only PP stalling Pokemon it was extremely beneficial for (as opposed to merely optimal), and stalling passive last Pokemon with Rocky Helmet when able. Which Regenerators to use was dependent on my lead, and Nihilego seemed clearly better than Naganadel due to PP. While Nihilego can deal with most Psychics just fine, Alakazam and Musharna are still pretty bad, especially if I wanted to avoid Dazzling Gleam (and Starfall by extension) and its low PP. So this made Slowking a natural choice. Amoonguss may seem like the obvious complement after that due to Nihilego's 4x Ground weakness, but in truth its Steel weakness is about as damning, which Toxapex resists. It seemed easier to get Toxapex to deal with Ground threats than it was to have Amoonguss deal with Steel threats, so I went with Toxapex. I used a set of Scald/Toxic/Iron Defense/Recover, with Scald and Rocky Helmet to deal with Steels (sometimes Iron Defense), and Toxic and Iron Defense to deal with Grounds.

My first run was going fine, but ended due to human error when I forgot Trick or Treat made Slowking 4x weak to Weavile's Night Slash. But along the way I ran into Nihilego's arch-nemesis, Barraskewda. Toxapex precariously dealt with it, but it made me have serious doubts about the team's integrity. Basically, Toxapex Toxics it ASAP, then circles the drain with Slowking as Regenerator barely keeps them alive. But because this is so close, crits aren't really tolerable, and Drill Run is a high crit move that's being used several times. And Barraskewda has to be dealt with this way whenever it's seen. It seemed really bad, and got me to reconsider Naganadel.

Unlike Nihilego, Naganadel doesn't have trouble with Steels due to Flamethrower, so Toxapex loses its main niche and Amoonguss can be used for better Ground coverage. Barraskewda also reverts back to its usual merely annoying self. On the flipside, Naganadel is much worse at dealing with Psychics and Ground types, since even if it's not 4x weak to Ground it has no way to hit them super-effectively. But since it can afford to run Amoonguss and Slowking was run regardless, it seemed worth a test.



A pretty successful test, at that!


Naganadel @ Shell Bell
Modest/Beast Boost
252 SpA/4 SpD/252 Spe
Acid/Dragon Pulse/Flamethrower/Thunderbolt

Like Nihilego, Acid is a much preferred option over Sludge Bomb for its immense PP. The other STAB is unfortunate, though. Naganadel has access to no higher PP options than Dragon Pulse, which only has 16. I considered ditching Dragon STAB entirely, but from calcs it greatly exacerbated its bad matchups versus Ground and Psychic types. On the bright side, Flare and Lightning setting field conditions that boost their power for future uses does help conserve Wyrmwind's PP, as does stacking Ooze boosts. While definitely still an issue, it wasn't as much of one as I expected. Flamethrower is invaluable as coverage for Steels, which are a problem otherwise. Thunderbolt is more expendable, but Flying and especially Water are great to hit super-effectively. Dark Pulse and Air Cutter are also viable options though, the former for hitting Psychics and the latter for PP and the speed boost. Speaking of speed, this is a rare sighting of an offense-boosting nature for a lead. Because of how Beast Boost works out with Naganadel's stats, going Timid only lets it get 3 points over Modest (if you want a special attack boost, anyways). Admittedly, those 3 points house some disastrous mons in Starmie and Cinccino so I'm not 100% sure it's worth it. But it's a much smaller pool of Pokemon than most speed boosting natures let one outspeed, and that 10% power boost is very nice. This is especially the case with Dragon Pulse PP being so precious; even if it can score a KO it's much preferred to do it with another option if possible.


Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Bold/Regenerator
252 HP/252 Def/4 SpD
Giga Drain/Spore/Poison Powder/Rest

Regen 1. The Rocky Helmet gets some free KOs with Regenerator, though honestly its ability to "quickly" (relative term) dispose of some big threats is its real utility, mainly Cinccino. I thought Giga Drain's PP might be problematic compared to Grass Knot's, but honestly it always lasted just long enough for this run. Spore wasn't a move Eisenherz found very useful, but the paradigm changes entirely with an actual offensive Pokemon on the team. A slower Spore gives Naganadel a free out back into the battle it's otherwise unlikely to get, since sleep will last at least one turn. Since Spore's PP is very unlikely to run out, I also use it versus some things like Palossand where extra sleep turns past the minimum are much appreciated but not required. Also, it prevents Gigalith from attacking with Meteor Beam after the Power Herb (Sand Stream Weather Ball is probably a possibility, but I think it's rare since Meteor Beam still has more BP).

I alluded previously that Rocky Helmet being able to get free KOs isn't really that valuable, and that's because versus most things passive enough to get chipped down by it and nothing else, you could just Struggle them down. While I think Rocky Helmet has enough utility versus some otherwise problematic threats to justify its presence even on an optimal team, Poison Powder... not so much. Don't get me wrong, for the level of stall I'm willing to play at, it's invaluable, letting me stall out noncontact attackers at a rate that's only tedious as opposed to agonizing. But about the only things I can recall it truly helps versus are Porygon2 and Musharna, where it saves Slowking several PP. And I'm not sure that's actually worth a moveslot. But idk what an optimal team would run in its stead. Continuing on the theme of not knowing what to run, it's Rest! Status isn't really a death sentence for Amoonguss, but why have it stick when I don't need it to? That's basically what Rest is for, I don't really use it for health. The only other use is stalling when Amoonguss has to be out, but even this is of limited utility since Amoonguss has plenty of PP to waste.


Slowking-G @ Black Sludge
Calm/Regenerator
252 HP/4 Def/252 SpD
Psyshock/Flamethrower/Calm Mind/Rest

Regen 2. Calm Mind with special defense investment instead of physical feels really dumb, but Slowking needs to be as prepared as possible for Psychics. I also really dislike running Rest instead of Slack Off since it makes those matchups much worse, but I really wanted to be able to deal with Magneton, and Milotic's burns to a lesser extent. It might be possible to work something out with Amoonguss, though. Anyways, Psyshock and Flamethrower aren't a very PP efficient duo, but Calm Mind tended to run out first anyways. They're picked mainly for their ability to deal with Blissey and Magneton, respectively.

Threats

:starmie:
A casualty of running Modest on Naganadel, and it's a really bad one! It does up to 80% in dmax, but even that can be preferable to the alternative, which is Slowking. It only does up to 32% which might seem okay with Calm Mind and Black Sludge, but factoring in the risks of crits, special defense drops, and using Rest to heal, it doesn't take a lot of bad luck to go horribly wrong. And since this is a speed threat, it always has to be dealt with.

:cinccino:
The other Modest casualty. Technician Triple Axel is really bad for Naganadel, and it complicates the backrow on two fronts. One, Triple Axels meant for Nagandel/Amoonguss can do over half of Slowking's health, outside of safe Regenerator stall range. Second, it means the number of Tail Slap hits Amoonguss takes (aimed at Slowking) can be low, which doesn't really help Amoonguss but slows the rate at which Rocky Helmet KOs it, meaning Slowking's suffering is prolonged. Also, sometimes I saw it use Tail Slap on Amoonguss anyways, which means Slowking would end up taking those. Thankfully, between ability randomness and Triple Axel accuracy the odds skew back in my favor a good bit. But this definitely has the potential to ruin a run at any time, and lower health on my backline is likely disastrous.

:trevenant:
Naganadel deals with this much better than Nihilego, but it still survives Flare unboosted and does half with EQ. But it's really ranked up here in conjunction with how bad it is to see with my backline. If Amoonguss is out... I'm kinda fucked? lol. My set is helpless versus Grass types, which usually is fine since they're harmless. But not Trevenant! I can't even do enough with Giga Drain before Amoonguss faints to ensure Nadanadel's Flare KOs. Definitely a decent argument in favor of like, Foul Play or something. For Slowking, Poltergeist does up to 70% even in dmax, and +2 Flare is a range (something to fix if this team is picked up again, I think).

:oranguru:
Naganadel needs to be at +2 to KO this, and it does just over half with Psychic. Slowking can set up on it, but Psych Up is really bad. Though I think it only uses it once? So it's probably ideal to only use 1 CM until it's seen.

:orbeetle:
A 6/16 range with unboosted Flare, annoyingly. Since that only happens when Naganadel is a lead and Orbeetle appears to have a guaranteed Psychic KO, I think this means it will opt for that over Trick Room, but truthfully I OHKOd it both times I saw it as a lead so I can't say for sure! Trick Room would be awful though; CM+Shadow Ball is not really something my backline can deal with.

:gardevoir::gallade:
Both of these are obnoxious leads that force a lot of damage on Naganadel (especially Gardevoir). Gardevoir is pretty bad to see as Amoonguss too; that's a Spore pivot that requires max HP (and it's still a 1/16 range, though that's an easy EV fix).

The Run

As mentioned earlier, this was a test run that just, uh, kept going. A pretty obvious indicator of this was me poisoning Blissey with Amoonguss, which worked out but is obviously inconsistent due to the faster Safeguard. And poison stalling is slow, which presents an issue with Blissey:
Never forget: you live because Blissey wills it. Thank you, Blissey.

After that, things progressed fairly smoothly until battle 42, where Slowking ran out of attacking PP midsweep, which proved incredibly dangerous as Gardevoir came in. Slowking fell, and then I went to Naganadel, who left Gardevoir in the red but went down to Psychic since it was only at 60% or so. I timed the order of Naganadel and Amoonguss so the terrain went away as Amooonguss came in, letting it survive Psychic. But even then I had to get an extra turn with Spore since Giga Drain didn't finish off +1 Gardevoir. Needless to say, I immediately took the heal afterwards.

In the second leg, I ran into a Starmie at full health, so rather than defer to Slowking I let Naganadel tank it. And boy... it took over 10 battles to get my health back. Though, this certainly did demonstrate the backline's effectiveness. One particularly annoying battle had a Galvantula lead, which would've sniped me with Sucker Punch, preventing me staying in and sweeping. Even as I gained a little more health, a similar situation happened with the usually irrelevant Lycanroc, whose Accelerock could again snipe me. And perhaps most embarassing of all these low health situations was versus Salazzle with its infamously puzzling set. But I was only at 60%, and really didn't want to risk taking a big hit from a favorable Scale Shot (incredibly, a 5 hit still wouldn't KO, but it would still be unwelcome damage). But little did I know I had fallen into Salazzle's trap: it's the ultimate timewaster! 40 Corrosive Gas, 20 Scale Shot, 20 Disable, 15 Acrobatics, 95 PP total. And it's immune to poison and corrodes the Rocky Helmet, so no quick way out. This took like 30 minutes to stall out... and the next fight I ran into Alakazam, who needs to be PP stalled out of its 80 PP since it's extremely advantageous to do so. To clarify, it has Shadow Ball to hit Slowking which makes CM ridiculously unreliable. But it also makes stalling feasible, since Amoonguss won't take much from the Shadow Ball aimed at Slowking, and Slowking outpaces Psychic damage a bit from Black Sludge and Regenerator.

After that anxious stretch of battles, Naganadel was able to get its health back up, and things progressed fairly smoothly until around battle 80, where a Mr. Rime lead ruined my day. Naganadel can't stay in, but unlike a lot of Psychics Mr. Rime isn't dangerous enough to be a huge risk to Slowking... unless it gets a crit and 2 special defense drops in the first few turns. I was able to salvage Slowking by sacrificing Amoonguss to both remove the drops and get Regen health, but obviously that sucked. I still pressed on, but after battle 85 Naganadel only had 5 total PP and half its health, so it didn't seem worth the risk at all and I took the heal for a 43 battle second leg.

The final leg revealed Crawdaunt as a big problem for Slowking, since it walled my set. Amoonguss was a bit weakened too, but was able to survive the switch in and following hit by dmaxing, KOing with Overgrowth. Unfortunately, whatever the last mon was forced Amoonguss to stay in and not Regen health, making it leave the battle with 34 HP. This is a pretty perilous position to be in, since there's not a lot Amoonguss can come in on at that health. I found a shaky opportunity versus last mon Mienshao, where I was pretty certain it would Fake Out Naganadel, a move Amoonguss could survive, and it did just that. But then it would just use Blaze Kick, so no more regen after that. Slowking would lose around half its health from the 2 it would take, except one crit, leaving it only a third instead. This left my team very susceptible to anything problematic, which made for a terrifying few battles that Naganadel thankfully plowed through. I finally found salvation in a Vespiquen, where I even had the freedom to Spore it with Amoonguss, preventing Slowking from going down to a crit.

Another issue with this leg was Dragon Pulse PP. I don't remember everything that needed it of course, but the best example of how the game absolutely didn't want me to keep them was that I somehow ran into 3 Kingdra leads in this leg. I ran out by battle 120 or so, and first felt it the very same battle, being unable to OHKO Gallade at +1, so I had to take a hefty Psycho Cut. A bit later I had a run in against a Whiscash lead, which I had to switch out to Amoonguss for, as Naganadel was now walled. And in came Kommo-o. I should add that Slowking was only at half health for some reason, so my usual safe switch wouldn't work. My only real option was Spore, which could be negated by Overcoat, but it was a risk I would have to take. It didn't have it, but I couldn't even go to Naganadel since I was out of Dragon Pulse. So I had to go to Slowking and 2HKO with Psyshock, where I got an extra sleep turn, though since it didn't use Clangorous Soul on Amoonguss, Slowking would've survived regardless. Nonetheless, a harrowing experience. Despite these various problems stemming from no Dragon move, Naganadel managed to almost deplete its entire PP stock by battle 130, having only a Flamethrower remaining. It felt like clockwork when I ran into an Abomasnow, but I forgot it had Ice Shard and got sniped. Oops. Slowking picked up the slack, though. The Regen pair had a pretty decent amount of PP left and could've gone for a while with good match-ups, but an Orbeetle lead left Slowking with +5 special attack/+1 special defense due to Shadow Ball special defense drops, and this imbalance proved fatal when Oranguru came out and used Psych Up, finishing off my team. The final leg lasted 47 battles, for an entire run of 132.

So there's Poison, finally with a streak that at least approximates its potential. Honestly, I don't think it could really reach 200 even if optimized, and given what an ungodly process that would be, that's really the only thing that could possibly justify it, personally. I didn't have a team as infuriatingly slow as Eisenherz's, but even this proved to be too tedious for me to want to explore more. But for anyone else that's curious, some potential improvements not mentioned previously. First, I do think Nihilego is probably better in the end. It has more PP, and while the Barraskewda matchup sucks ass, I can't say the Starmie matchup is a lot better for Naganadel, and it's littered with other problematic Psychic matchups. The lack of a pivot move on Toxapex is unfortunate, but hopefully it's workable. It might be worth noting that Slowking gets Yawn, too. Secondly, using Leftovers on the lead. This is worse than Shell Bell usually, but a regen core presents a huge opportunity for Leftovers. Since PP stalling usually depletes the attacking moves first, this lets your lead get full heals versus PP stalled opponents, something that could quite possibly make Leftovers superior. For those masochistic enough to beat this run, that's where I'd start!

In lighter news, this is now the 15th type to surpass 100, leaving only Water, Normal, and Ice. Water has the potential and then some, but Normal isn't very good, and 100 Ice is the RS equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. So close, yet so far...
 
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First off, I really enjoyed sb879 ’s guide to RS; that guide and the writeups of the other streaks here inspired me to give Restricted Sparring a go. I managed to get Water to over one hundred wins with a streak of 104.

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Urshifu-Rapid-Strike @ Shell Bell

Level: 50

Ability: Unseen Fist

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD/ 252 Spe

Jolly Adamant Nature (edited; erroneously marked as Jolly on first post; thanks TailGlowVM !)

- Low Kick

- Aerial Ace

- Waterfall

- U-Turn

I tried non-Bounce Moxie Gyarados, Speed Boost Sharpedo (lol), and Gmax-Inteleon (double lol) in the lead slot, but none of them worked very well for me. Gyarados lacked initial power before Moxie boosts due to having to run Jolly, it had terrible options for Airstream in terms of PP (Bounce) or power (Hurricane), and its Max Knuckle option was restricted to Rock Smash (I tried and it was pretty bad). Both Sharpedo and Inteleon needed to run power boosting items (Black Glasses and Wise Glasses, respectively) to snag crucial OHKOs, meaning they could not heal within battle. Urshifu-R, on the other hand, performs nicely in terms of power and initial speed despite not having an auto-buffing ability, and it has enough bulk (especially on the physical side) to swap into the occasional attack to relieve the backline. With an Adamant nature and max attack/max speed EVs, it hits 200 attack and 149 speed (compared to 177 attack and 146 speed on Jolly Gyarados). This high attack stat scores nice +0 Attack KOs with non-STAB Max Moves on Trevenant (Airstream), Mr. Rime, (Flutterby), and Beheeyem (Flutterby), among other things.

As for moves, Low Kick is an A+ level RS move in term of power and PP and is almost a must on RS physical attacking leads that learn it. A 100 BP STAB Max Knuckle off a 200 attack stat OHKOs a lot of stuff even unboosted, including Cloyster 94% of the time, non-Sturdy Gigalith, and most normal types not named Greedent, Miltank, or Dubwool. Aerial Ace provided Airstream, knocking out most Grass types even without an attack boost and giving me the jump on faster threats (especially Ribombee, Starmie, and Alakazam) if I could use it before they got in. Almost every battle that I used Urshifu in I tried to use Airstream as early as possible; Knuckle + Airstream into lead Pokemon I couldn’t OHKO was a very common move; even if I could KO something I would sometimes lead with Airstream just for the boost. Aside from the weak Aqua Jet, Waterfall has the most PP of any physical water move Urshifu has, and the flinch chance is nice if you’re feeling lucky. Most Ground types get OHKOed by Geyser, along with neutral targets like Braviary, Rotom, and non-Intimidate Luxray, and it can set weather with Geyser (no Gmax here!). "Only" 24 PP is a little disappointing but livable; it tended to be the move that ran the lowest if I wasn’t careful. There are a few options available for the last slot, but U-Turn provided the best coverage and PP for me. Unboosted Max Flutterby takes out four unique Pokemon that Geyser and Airstream do not: Malamar, Mr. Rime, Beheeyem, and Exeggutor, the last two of which threaten the whole team. The Starmie OHKO (even outside Dynamax!) is also great if I have a speed boost, and the special attack drop is nice against stuff like Clawitzer. U-Turn also alleviated some PP pressure from both Low Kick and Aerial Ace, and it had the niche use of getting a bit of chip on stuff like Musharna and Orbeetle; I was never starved for U-Turn PP. All told, this moveset ends up with 120 PP.

Aside from the lack of auto-boosting ability (Unseen Fist is almost useless), Urshifu suffers a bit when Dmax runs out from a weak flying move and susceptibility to contact abilities like Flame Body, Static, and Poison Point. It’s really tempting to finish that Volcarona or Coalossol after Dynamax, but the Flame Body risk is killer. From glancing at Urshifu’s movepool, I believe it learns zero 100% accurate non-contact physical moves, so the contact issue really can’t be helped. Rock moves are your only option, but their mediocre PP and dubious additional coverage don’t seem worth it to me.



Lanturn @ Leftovers

Ability: Volt Absorb

EVs: 252 HP / 172 SpD / 84 Spe

Calm Nature

- Soak

- Toxic

- Rising Voltage

- Rest

Volt Absorb Lanturn is incredible on a team with two electric weaknesses; passive healing opportunities are plentiful. I only used Rest about 4 times on my third leg but stayed or near full health almost the entire time thanks to Volt Absorb and Leftovers. Lanturn also takes weaker special water moves like a champ, and the flying resistance really helps against Mantine and Pelipper. The speed EVs hit a stat of 98. I wanted to outpace Dragalge (96), but another 8 EVs got me the jump on Kommo-o, Golduck, and Cramorant (97). Other notable things Lanturn outspeeds are Gyarados, Milotic, Drifblim, Kingler, and Gardevoir. This Pokemon is my primary answer to bulky special attackers that Urshifu cannot defeat. Along with Toxapex’s help, it can also allow the team to beat physical Electric types like Boltund and Intimidate Luxray. Lanturn’s physical bulk when uninvested is not very good, so it is best to avoid physical hits if possible. Even though it lacks Recover, I think Lanturn can outperform a traditional “mudboi” like Gastrodon or Quagsire on Water because of the increased speed, resistances to Ice and Flying, additional special bulk, Volt Absorb, and electric coverage.

Now the elephant in the room: SOAK! Bear with me… Soak is a bit of a meme, but aside from the obvious shenanigans of poisoning Toxapex and Magneton and raining Max Lightning fury upon former Grass types, Soak robs Pokemon of their STAB. Halving the power of Adaptability Dragalge’s Draco Meteor is incredible. It also helps Lanturn deal with specially based Psychic types (a problem for the rest of the team), and it can tame specially based Ground and Grass types in a pinch; I have used it to prevent death at the hands of Lilligant (thank goodness the AI is dumb and loves Quiver Dance!) and Pallosand. Soak also makes for a good “wake up” move for Rest so you’re not burning PP on Toxic or Rising Voltage. Toxic does Toxic stuff, but with the added support of Soak it manages to deal with otherwise-annoying Pokemon like Escavalier, magnet duo, Amoonguss, and Toxapex. Rising Voltage has good PP, and it packs a reasonable punch under Dmax/terrain, even without special attack investment. Using Soak + Max Lightning is fun, but dangerous, as Rising Voltage PP can disappear quickly, since it's the only attacking move. Having to run Rest is sometimes seen as a bad thing, but Lanturn bodies enough stuff that it can usually Rest safely, and the ability to absorb status is great with a lead that is susceptible to every conceivable status condition. I only had the Rest + Electric Terrain conundrum come up once; usually, if Lanturn maxes, it usually does not have time to Rest after. All-in-all, a very fun Pokemon to use, even if it's not the most PP efficient option.



Toxapex @ Black Sludge

Level: 50

Ability: Regenerator

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def

Bold Nature

- Scald

- Recover

- Baneful Bunker

- Toxic

This is the same set from doctordoak ’s water run, except I forgot to put the extra 4 EVs somewhere after trying a speedier version. Baneful Bunker is specifically useful against Luxray, Boltund, and Steelix on this team comp. It forms a very solid core with Lanturn, and it can even tank multiple Earthquakes from Trevenant and Quagsire if needed due to its great bulk (assuming it hasn’t been Yawned by the latter). I shied away from Pex for a while due to the shared Psychic weakness with Urshifu and shared ground weakness with Lanturn, but the poison immunity, Regenerator, fairy resist, ability to run Black Sludge, and titanic physical bulk all made Pex worth it. The limited PP is unfortunate but manageable for legs under 40.

Threats

:aromatisse:

Pex handles it, but at the cost of PP. Scalds don’t even tickle it. You can try to swap a bit with Lanturn to preserve PP, especially if you can predict the Wishes. Boosted Moonblasts aren’t fun.

:musharna:

Urshifu needs a boost to KO in Dmax; neither it nor Pex like this thing. Lanturn Soaking then maxing is the best option I have found, as it loves to waste turns resetting terrain if you keep disrupting it, and you can block Yawn.

:amoonguss:

It almost always Ingrains turn 1 against Urshifu; Knuckle into Airstream gets it. If you don’t want to risk it, PP stalling with the back line works pretty well, especially after a Soak.

:cursola:

Urshifu cannot KO unboosted. Lanturn’s Soak robs it of STAB, then it can be poisoned, but not without the risk of Spite whittling Toxic PP. Switching between Lanturn and Pex is imperative once this gets poisoned.

:beheeyem:

Fine if Urshifu is in and can max or has boosts post-Dmax, gnarlier on the backline. Maxing Lanturn is it next best option. If Lanturn isn’t in good health and/or lacks Dmax you’re SOL.

:quagsire:

Yawn + bulk means you can’t max. Low Kick into U-Turn gets some damage and Pex can finish with Toxic, but it doesn’t like STAB Earthquake.

:tangrowth:

If Urshifu is doing well on health, I like to just Knuckle into Airstream on this and tank the Grassy Glide. Otherwise, you’re burning Pex’s PP because you have to stay in.

:marowak:

If Urshifu is in, Waterfall unboosted is a OHKO. If it is not, say goodbye to at least half of your back line. Luckily this never showed up in my backline.

:azumarill:

This thing often uses Body Slam over Belly Drum (but can do either), risking paralysis. Switching into (healthy) Lanturn and maxing is the probably the safest play, but Knuckle into Airstream works if you’re willing to risk paralysis. I’ve done both, and the only time I switched in Lanturn was the only time it used Belly Drum over Body Slam.

:vileplume:

If Urshifu is maxed, not a problem. In the back line, you need to get a Soak on it.

:exeggutor:

Fine against Urshifu, less fine in back line. Pex has to take the Power Herb Solar Beam, then get a Soak in on a charge turn after tanking a Psychic while swapping between Lanturn and Pex. Had to do that only once, lucklily.

:porygon2:

Lanturn does pretty well, but still annoying, especially if it gets a Download boost off Urshifu

:scizor:

This thing sucks a lot and is almost hopeless if you’re out of Dynamax. It ended at least two runs for me. The usual Knuckle into Airstream from Urshifu does it if you have Dynamax, but Dual Wingbeat stings if it decided not to use Swords Dance (AI is inconsistent here regardless of Urshifu’s remaining HP). If you’re out of Dynamax you’re a bit screwed; Pex can’t do much to it other than watch Swords Dances get set up, and Lanturn takes heavy damage from even unboosted X-Scissor AFTER a Soak, all the while failing to OHKO with Rising Voltage post-Soak. Dmax Lanturn can 2HKO even without Soak.

:exploud:

Pretty much GG if Urshifu isn’t out or Lanturn doesn’t have Dmax. Boomburst hurts a lot.

:garbodor:

Combo of bulk, big damage and good Poisoning damage make this unpleasant for Urshifu; Weak Armor and Blunder Policy don’t help. Maxing Toxapex became my go-to if this was a lead, and thankfully that’s all I ever saw it as, except maybe once when I had both Rain and +1 Attack on Urshifu post-Dmax.

:orbeetle:

Gross; Max Flutterby isn’t a guaranteed OHKO without a boost. U-Turn helps weaken it then Lanturn does OK, but Calm Mind and Trick Room are both bad.

:milotic:

At +1, Urshifu can KO this thing 75% of the time with Knuckle or Low Kick. Otherwise, it can’t stay in due to Scald burns. In the back line, this thing really likes wasting PP with Rest. With Leftovers, Rising Voltage is 7 or 8 hit KO. Usually whittling it down to just above half with Toxic on it then a couple Rising Voltages works, but it sometimes Rests before hitting half health if it’s poisoned. Maxing Lanturn could help, but I believe most of the times I faced this were after Urshifu had used Dmax without getting a Knuckle boost.

:dragalge:

Gnarly, especially as a lead. I got lucky with Draco Meteor misses twice while switching in Lanturn. Soak Toxic with some Pex switching is good here once it gets up two layers of Toxic Spikes.

:toxicroak:

Dry Skin can make this thing immune to most of this team’s shenanigans. Airstream OHKOs if Urshifu has Dmax, but even Lanturn doesn’t like Nasty Plot boosted attacks.

:kingdra:

Urshifu needs to be at +1 Attack to KO; Scope Lens + Sniper Draco Meteor is scary, but Soak helps.

:drapion:

Faster than Urshifu. Poison Fang sucks due to the poision chance, and it likes to use it. Urshifu needs +1 speed and a +1 attack (or rain) to OHKO with Geyser without risking poisioning. I generally swap in Pex and max it if I see this as a lead, but SpDef boosts from Acupressure are brutal.

:dedenne:

The combo of speed, Charm, Super Fang, and two SE moves on Urshifu is unpleasant. I stupidly stayed in on one once with Urshifu and got Charmed. I didn't face many this run, which is good.

:swoobat:

Future Sight and high speed means Urshifu can’t stay in without a prior Airstream boost; Pex manages Future Sight OK but doesn’t appreciate it, so trying to keep Lanturn in is ideal. Light Screen and Skill Swap make this a pain as well. It could easily end a run with the right teammates.

:starmie:

Lanturn does OK, but those Psychics sting before a Soak. Urshifu at +1 speed deals with this even with unboosted plain U-Turn, which is one reason to get an Airstream boost if possible

:alakazam:

Another reason to get an Airstream boost with Urshifu. Sort of a compromise between Swoobat and Starmie, with Safeguard to boot. Like most special attackers, Lanturn does pretty well, especially with Soak. Trying to stall out Light Screen is best, but timing is tricky.

:ribombee:

Yet another case for Airstream boosts! Failing that, Pex to Lanturn is a good pivot, then Soak reduces its power. Moonblast Special Attack drops aren’t great, though.

More notes on the run and team

I tried to put some specifics of battles in the earlier sections, but I don’t have detailed notes. First leg was 34 battles, second was 33; I think one heal came down to Waterfall PP on Urshifu and the other general PP on Toxapex. I know Lanturn got saved from near death by Volt Absorb healing at least once, and I had to use Regenerator to claw Toxapex back from the brink at least once as well. Pex got burned toward the end of leg 2 but Black Sludge negated that issue for the most part. I think I ran into at least three Beheeyems after switching Urshifu out of the lead, but luckily I had Dynamax on Lanturn each time. The final battle involved a Perish Song Politoed against my Toxapex with one remaining Toxic PP. I was hoping it used Perish Song earlier than it did to end the run with a bit of flair, but Toed died of Toxic poisoning too early. Oh well; it least it was an extra win.

I think a few battles over 100 is where this team maxes out due to the limited PP on both the lead and back end; Water could theoretically use Recycleppa on Regenerator Slowbro/king (with Teleport with the release of Crown Tundra!), but their defensive typing and status vulnerability are horrid in RS, at least on paper and with some limited testing of a non-Recycleppa Slowbro set.

On to Normal?

I'm going to try it for a bit, despite it seeming terrible at first glance and after a few tests. The mix of Sirfetch'd's bulk, Mienshao's speed, and Steelix's combo of Sturdy + Ganlon Berry + Body Press make it a tough nut, especially with the removal of so many faster Normal/Flying types from SwSh.
 
Last edited:

TailGlowVM

Now 100% more demonic
is a Pre-Contributor
First off, I really enjoyed sb879 ’s guide to RS; that guide and the writeups of the other streaks here inspired me to give Restricted Sparring a go. I managed to get Water to over one hundred wins with a streak of 104.

View attachment 324397




Urshifu-Rapid-Strike @ Shell Bell

Level: 50

Ability: Unseen Fist

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD/ 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

- Low Kick

- Aerial Ace

- Waterfall

- U-Turn

I tried non-Bounce Moxie Gyarados, Speed Boost Sharpedo (lol), and Gmax-Inteleon (double lol) in the lead slot, but none of them worked very well for me. Gyarados lacked initial power before Moxie boosts due to having to run Jolly, it had terrible options for Airstream in terms of PP (Bounce) or power (Hurricane), and its Max Knuckle option was restricted to Rock Smash (I tried and it was pretty bad). Both Sharpedo and Inteleon needed to run power boosting items (Black Glasses and Wise Glasses, respectively) to snag crucial OHKOs, meaning they could not heal within battle. Urshifu-R, on the other hand, performs nicely in terms of power and initial speed despite not having an auto-buffing ability, and it has enough bulk (especially on the physical side) to swap into the occasional attack to relieve the backline. With an Adamant nature and max attack/max speed EVs, it hits 200 attack and 149 speed (compared to 177 attack and 146 speed on Jolly Gyarados). This high attack stat scores nice +0 Attack KOs with non-STAB Max Moves on Trevenant (Airstream), Mr. Rime, (Flutterby), and Beheeyem (Flutterby), among other things.

As for moves, Low Kick is an A+ level RS move in term of power and PP and is almost a must on RS physical attacking leads that learn it. A 100 BP STAB Max Knuckle off a 200 attack stat OHKOs a lot of stuff even unboosted, including Cloyster 94% of the time, non-Sturdy Gigalith, and most normal types not named Greedent, Miltank, or Dubwool. Aerial Ace provided Airstream, knocking out most Grass types even without an attack boost and giving me the jump on faster threats (especially Ribombee, Starmie, and Alakazam) if I could use it before they got in. Almost every battle that I used Urshifu in I tried to use Airstream as early as possible; Knuckle + Airstream into lead Pokemon I couldn’t OHKO was a very common move; even if I could KO something I would sometimes lead with Airstream just for the boost. Aside from the weak Aqua Jet, Waterfall has the most PP of any physical water move Urshifu has, and the flinch chance is nice if you’re feeling lucky. Most Ground types get OHKOed by Geyser, along with neutral targets like Braviary, Rotom, and non-Intimidate Luxray, and it can set weather with Geyser (no Gmax here!). "Only" 24 PP is a little disappointing but livable; it tended to be the move that ran the lowest if I wasn’t careful. There are a few options available for the last slot, but U-Turn provided the best coverage and PP for me. Unboosted Max Flutterby takes out four unique Pokemon that Geyser and Airstream do not: Malamar, Mr. Rime, Beheeyem, and Exeggutor, the last two of which threaten the whole team. The Starmie OHKO (even outside Dynamax!) is also great if I have a speed boost, and the special attack drop is nice against stuff like Clawitzer. U-Turn also alleviated some PP pressure from both Low Kick and Aerial Ace, and it had the niche use of getting a bit of chip on stuff like Musharna and Orbeetle; I was never starved for U-Turn PP. All told, this moveset ends up with 120 PP.

Aside from the lack of auto-boosting ability (Unseen Fist is almost useless), Urshifu suffers a bit when Dmax runs out from a weak flying move and susceptibility to contact abilities like Flame Body, Static, and Poison Point. It’s really tempting to finish that Volcarona or Coalossol after Dynamax, but the Flame Body risk is killer. From glancing at Urshifu’s movepool, I believe it learns zero 100% accurate non-contact physical moves, so the contact issue really can’t be helped. Rock moves are your only option, but their mediocre PP and dubious additional coverage don’t seem worth it to me.



Lanturn @ Leftovers

Ability: Volt Absorb

EVs: 252 HP / 172 SpD / 84 Spe

Calm Nature

- Soak

- Toxic

- Rising Voltage

- Rest

Volt Absorb Lanturn is incredible on a team with two electric weaknesses; passive healing opportunities are plentiful. I only used Rest about 4 times on my third leg but stayed or near full health almost the entire time thanks to Volt Absorb and Leftovers. Lanturn also takes weaker special water moves like a champ, and the flying resistance really helps against Mantine and Pelipper. The speed EVs hit a stat of 98. I wanted to outpace Dragalge (96), but another 8 EVs got me the jump on Kommo-o, Golduck, and Cramorant (97). Other notable things Lanturn outspeeds are Gyarados, Milotic, Drifblim, Kingler, and Gardevoir. This Pokemon is my primary answer to bulky special attackers that Urshifu cannot defeat. Along with Toxapex’s help, it can also allow the team to beat physical Electric types like Boltund and Intimidate Luxray. Lanturn’s physical bulk when uninvested is not very good, so it is best to avoid physical hits if possible. Even though it lacks Recover, I think Lanturn can outperform a traditional “mudboi” like Gastrodon or Quagsire on Water because of the increased speed, resistances to Ice and Flying, additional special bulk, Volt Absorb, and electric coverage.

Now the elephant in the room: SOAK! Bear with me… Soak is a bit of a meme, but aside from the obvious shenanigans of poisoning Toxapex and Magneton and raining Max Lightning fury upon former Grass types, Soak robs Pokemon of their STAB. Halving the power of Adaptability Dragalge’s Draco Meteor is incredible. It also helps Lanturn deal with specially based Psychic types (a problem for the rest of the team), and it can tame specially based Ground and Grass types in a pinch; I have used it to prevent death at the hands of Lilligant (thank goodness the AI is dumb and loves Quiver Dance!) and Pallosand. Soak also makes for a good “wake up” move for Rest so you’re not burning PP on Toxic or Rising Voltage. Toxic does Toxic stuff, but with the added support of Soak it manages to deal with otherwise-annoying Pokemon like Escavalier, magnet duo, Amoonguss, and Toxapex. Rising Voltage has good PP, and it packs a reasonable punch under Dmax/terrain, even without special attack investment. Using Soak + Max Lightning is fun, but dangerous, as Rising Voltage PP can disappear quickly, since it's the only attacking move. Having to run Rest is sometimes seen as a bad thing, but Lanturn bodies enough stuff that it can usually Rest safely, and the ability to absorb status is great with a lead that is susceptible to every conceivable status condition. I only had the Rest + Electric Terrain conundrum come up once; usually, if Lanturn maxes, it usually does not have time to Rest after. All-in-all, a very fun Pokemon to use, even if it's not the most PP efficient option.



Toxapex @ Black Sludge

Level: 50

Ability: Regenerator

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def

Bold Nature

- Scald

- Recover

- Baneful Bunker

- Toxic

This is the same set from doctordoak ’s water run, except I forgot to put the extra 4 EVs somewhere after trying a speedier version. Baneful Bunker is specifically useful against Luxray, Boltund, and Steelix on this team comp. It forms a very solid core with Lanturn, and it can even tank multiple Earthquakes from Trevenant and Quagsire if needed due to its great bulk (assuming it hasn’t been Yawned by the latter). I shied away from Pex for a while due to the shared Psychic weakness with Urshifu and shared ground weakness with Lanturn, but the poison immunity, Regenerator, fairy resist, ability to run Black Sludge, and titanic physical bulk all made Pex worth it. The limited PP is unfortunate but manageable for legs under 40.

Threats

:aromatisse:

Pex handles it, but at the cost of PP. Scalds don’t even tickle it. You can try to swap a bit with Lanturn to preserve PP, especially if you can predict the Wishes. Boosted Moonblasts aren’t fun.

:musharna:

Urshifu needs a boost to KO in Dmax; neither it nor Pex like this thing. Lanturn Soaking then maxing is the best option I have found, as it loves to waste turns resetting terrain if you keep disrupting it, and you can block Yawn.

:amoonguss:

It almost always Ingrains turn 1 against Urshifu; Knuckle into Airstream gets it. If you don’t want to risk it, PP stalling with the back line works pretty well, especially after a Soak.

:cursola:

Urshifu cannot KO unboosted. Lanturn’s Soak robs it of STAB, then it can be poisoned, but not without the risk of Spite whittling Toxic PP. Switching between Lanturn and Pex is imperative once this gets poisoned.

:beheeyem:

Fine if Urshifu is in and can max or has boosts post-Dmax, gnarlier on the backline. Maxing Lanturn is it next best option. If Lanturn isn’t in good health and/or lacks Dmax you’re SOL.

:quagsire:

Yawn + bulk means you can’t max. Low Kick into U-Turn gets some damage and Pex can finish with Toxic, but it doesn’t like STAB Earthquake.

:tangrowth:

If Urshifu is doing well on health, I like to just Knuckle into Airstream on this and tank the Grassy Glide. Otherwise, you’re burning Pex’s PP because you have to stay in.

:marowak:

If Urshifu is in, Waterfall unboosted is a OHKO. If it is not, say goodbye to at least half of your back line. Luckily this never showed up in my backline.

:azumarill:

This thing often uses Body Slam over Belly Drum (but can do either), risking paralysis. Switching into (healthy) Lanturn and maxing is the probably the safest play, but Knuckle into Airstream works if you’re willing to risk paralysis. I’ve done both, and the only time I switched in Lanturn was the only time it used Belly Drum over Body Slam.

:vileplume:

If Urshifu is maxed, not a problem. In the back line, you need to get a Soak on it.

:exeggutor:

Fine against Urshifu, less fine in back line. Pex has to take the Power Herb Solar Beam, then get a Soak in on a charge turn after tanking a Psychic while swapping between Lanturn and Pex. Had to do that only once, lucklily.

:porygon2:

Lanturn does pretty well, but still annoying, especially if it gets a Download boost off Urshifu

:scizor:

This thing sucks a lot and is almost hopeless if you’re out of Dynamax. It ended at least two runs for me. The usual Knuckle into Airstream from Urshifu does it if you have Dynamax, but Dual Wingbeat stings if it decided not to use Swords Dance (AI is inconsistent here regardless of Urshifu’s remaining HP). If you’re out of Dynamax you’re a bit screwed; Pex can’t do much to it other than watch Swords Dances get set up, and Lanturn takes heavy damage from even unboosted X-Scissor AFTER a Soak, all the while failing to OHKO with Rising Voltage post-Soak. Dmax Lanturn can 2HKO even without Soak.

:exploud:

Pretty much GG if Urshifu isn’t out or Lanturn doesn’t have Dmax. Boomburst hurts a lot.

:garbodor:

Combo of bulk, big damage and good Poisoning damage make this unpleasant for Urshifu; Weak Armor and Blunder Policy don’t help. Maxing Toxapex became my go-to if this was a lead, and thankfully that’s all I ever saw it as, except maybe once when I had both Rain and +1 Attack on Urshifu post-Dmax.

:orbeetle:

Gross; Max Flutterby isn’t a guaranteed OHKO without a boost. U-Turn helps weaken it then Lanturn does OK, but Calm Mind and Trick Room are both bad.

:milotic:

At +1, Urshifu can KO this thing 75% of the time with Knuckle or Low Kick. Otherwise, it can’t stay in due to Scald burns. In the back line, this thing really likes wasting PP with Rest. With Leftovers, Rising Voltage is 7 or 8 hit KO. Usually whittling it down to just above half with Toxic on it then a couple Rising Voltages works, but it sometimes Rests before hitting half health if it’s poisoned. Maxing Lanturn could help, but I believe most of the times I faced this were after Urshifu had used Dmax without getting a Knuckle boost.

:dragalge:

Gnarly, especially as a lead. I got lucky with Draco Meteor misses twice while switching in Lanturn. Soak Toxic with some Pex switching is good here once it gets up two layers of Toxic Spikes.

:toxicroak:

Dry Skin can make this thing immune to most of this team’s shenanigans. Airstream OHKOs if Urshifu has Dmax, but even Lanturn doesn’t like Nasty Plot boosted attacks.

:kingdra:

Urshifu needs to be at +1 Attack to KO; Scope Lens + Sniper Draco Meteor is scary, but Soak helps.

:drapion:

Faster than Urshifu. Poison Fang sucks due to the poision chance, and it likes to use it. Urshifu needs +1 speed and a +1 attack (or rain) to OHKO with Geyser without risking poisioning. I generally swap in Pex and max it if I see this as a lead, but SpDef boosts from Acupressure are brutal.

:dedenne:

The combo of speed, Charm, Super Fang, and two SE moves on Urshifu is unpleasant. I stupidly stayed in on one once with Urshifu and got Charmed. I didn't face many this run, which is good.

:swoobat:

Future Sight and high speed means Urshifu can’t stay in without a prior Airstream boost; Pex manages Future Sight OK but doesn’t appreciate it, so trying to keep Lanturn in is ideal. Light Screen and Skill Swap make this a pain as well. It could easily end a run with the right teammates.

:starmie:

Lanturn does OK, but those Psychics sting before a Soak. Urshifu at +1 speed deals with this even with unboosted plain U-Turn, which is one reason to get an Airstream boost if possible

:alakazam:

Another reason to get an Airstream boost with Urshifu. Sort of a compromise between Swoobat and Starmie, with Safeguard to boot. Like most special attackers, Lanturn does pretty well, especially with Soak. Trying to stall out Light Screen is best, but timing is tricky.

:ribombee:

Yet another case for Airstream boosts! Failing that, Pex to Lanturn is a good pivot, then Soak reduces its power. Moonblast Special Attack drops aren’t great, though.

More notes on the run and team

I tried to put some specifics of battles in the earlier sections, but I don’t have detailed notes. First leg was 34 battles, second was 33; I think one heal came down to Waterfall PP on Urshifu and the other general PP on Toxapex. I know Lanturn got saved from near death by Volt Absorb healing at least once, and I had to use Regenerator to claw Toxapex back from the brink at least once as well. Pex got burned toward the end of leg 2 but Black Sludge negated that issue for the most part. I think I ran into at least three Beheeyems after switching Urshifu out of the lead, but luckily I had Dynamax on Lanturn each time. The final battle involved a Perish Song Politoed against my Toxapex with one remaining Toxic PP. I was hoping it used Perish Song earlier than it did to end the run with a bit of flair, but Toed died of Toxic poisoning too early. Oh well; it least it was an extra win.

I think a few battles over 100 is where this team maxes out due to the limited PP on both the lead and back end; Water could theoretically use Recycleppa on Regenerator Slowbro/king (with Teleport with the release of Crown Tundra!), but their defensive typing and status vulnerability are horrid in RS, at least on paper and with some limited testing of a non-Recycleppa Slowbro set.

On to Normal?

I'm going to try it for a bit, despite it seeming terrible at first glance and after a few tests. The mix of Sirfetch'd's bulk, Mienshao's speed, and Steelix's combo of Sturdy + Ganlon Berry + Body Press make it a tough nut, especially with the removal of so many faster Normal/Flying types from SwSh.
I like this team and I'm pleased the Restricted Sparring Guide has been useful. However, is your Urshifu Adamant or Jolly? You say Jolly in the set but Adamant in the description.

EDIT: Thinking about the list of Normal types, there's got to be something hidden like Lanturn for Water and Aerodactyl for Rock. Maybe Regigigas has some defensive potential now it has Rest, and there's Snorlax with its massive special bulk and Curse + Recycle, Type: Null which has been used before, Greedent with surprisingly good physical bulk and Defense Curl + Body Press... even Noctowl could work as a special tank now it gets Calm Mind this generation! Only testing will tell what works...
 
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Just a quick lil update but Galarian LuchaLele has now hit 1500 wins in Battle Tower Doubles! Here's a quick recap of the team:

Hawlucha @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Adamant Nature
- Low Kick
- Acrobatics
- Tailwind
- Protect


Tapu Lele @ Life Orb
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 220 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/HT/31/HT
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Shadow Ball
- Protect


Dracovish @ Protective Pads
Ability: Strong Jaw
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: HT/HT/HT/31/31/31
Bashful Nature (minted to Jolly)
- Fishious Rend
- Psychic Fangs
- Crunch
- Protect


Xurkitree @ Expert Belt
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 4 Def / 212 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/HT/31/31/31
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect
And some more videos!
As always, here is a playlist that features full sets of Battle Tower runs and here is the playlist where these individual battles come from.
Lazlo brings out Big Boy Cinderace and friends to cause some trouble. Also, Ditto shenanigans.

Rillaboom has a Terrain war with Lele and some problems arise. Some very lucky Blizzard dodges here as well in what could have been a dangerous loss!

Togedemaru always causes problems for me and this battle is no exception.

Leon continues to be a problem. Double Fake Out lead+Grassy Surge.
And there we have it. Until next time, see ya.
 
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I like this team and I'm pleased the Restricted Sparring Guide has been useful. However, is your Urshifu Adamant or Jolly? You say Jolly in the set but Adamant in the description.

EDIT: Thinking about the list of Normal types, there's got to be something hidden like Lanturn for Water and Aerodactyl for Rock. Maybe Regigigas has some defensive potential now it has Rest, and there's Snorlax with its massive special bulk and Curse + Recycle, Type: Null which has been used before, Greedent with surprisingly good physical bulk and Defense Curl + Body Press... even Noctowl could work as a special tank now it gets Calm Mind this generation! Only testing will tell what works...
It should be Adamant; thanks for the catch, TailGlowVM ! I copied the set over from the analysis; I managed to change the moves and item but not the nature. Jolly would miss some KOs! Fixed in the post.

As for Normal, I've been (unsuccessfully) messing around with a Dry Skin Parabolic Charge Life Orb Heliolisk as a normal lead (can heal through Parabolic Charge/Rain/Grassy Terrain). Unfortunately, it gets forced out of the lead too often during Dynamax, and you're often Maxed when you'd like to use Parabolic Charge. On the bright side, it outspeeds and KOs both Mienshao and Sirfetch'd. I'd hoped a Bewear lead could be good with STAB Low Kick, good attack, and Aerial Ace, but even with Jolly max speed it gets outspeed by that Hurricance/Sleep Powder Butterfree. Regenerator Audino is something I've thought about for a backline; it can run a budget Toxapex set of Toxic/Wish/Protect/[attacking move] with the bonus of passing Wishes. Audino also gets Encore and Yawn for safer Wish passes if it really wants to lean into that role. Tauros has great speed for a lead but somewhat underwhelming power; Expert Belt helps (can OHKO Sirfetch'd with Mindstorm even with Jolly) but it's hard to prioritize which moves to pick. Noctowl and Type: Null have caught my eye as well, but I haven't done any testing with them.
 

Jumpman16

np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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zzz1.png


Here’s the situation: two-out Dragalge is out of Draco Meteors (and is at -6 SpA), and has just started to use Flip Turn (20 pp) on +6 Def Zone. Zapdos (Leftovers) is ~50% HP, and two layers of Toxic Spikes are up.

I want to be able to switch Zapdos in on usages of Toxic Spikes around eight times to get its HP back to 100%, and can accomplish this easily by using Recycle/Rest accordingly until Dragalge is out of Flip Turn.

While setting this up, after six Flip Turns (which I count aloud, backwards) I determine that it is indeed possible to refresh my Body Press PP. This is one of the more advanced considerations of using this particular Magnezone, which greatly prefers to start every battle with at least 6 Body Presses.

I can easily 2HKO Dragalge with +6 Body Press, but that would leave me at a dangerous 2 PP for the next battle. Dangerous because whatever poke I kill next with Body Press may require exactly two PP, which would use my Leppa Berry just as a threat like Volcarona or Marowak I can’t Recycle in front of comes out. Having to switch out and not being guaranteed to get a chance to Recycle on the last batter, this would cost me my berry for good, since consumable items are un-Recyclable if you don’t begin the battle with them.

But knowing I still have Dynamax available, I get a better idea:

0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 14-17 (10.6 - 12.8%)
+1 0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 22-26 (16.6 - 19.6%)
+2 0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 29-34 (21.9 - 25.7%)
0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge on a critical hit: 43-51 (32.5 - 38.6%)

So if I do not crit with any of my Max Knuckles on the 132HP Dragagle, I can use the four “BP” PP I need to to refresh my BP PP and, much more importantly, Recycle. 132-17-26-34-51 (max damage rolls) is greater than 0, and yes, that simple arithmetic was absolutely performed to ensure it.

Confident in my strategy, I Dynamax and use Max Knuckle thrice with no crits. I have one BP PP after I revert, and I know that BP can’t kill without a crit.


Except I forgot to switch out.

And it cost me my berry forever.

I forgot that switching out to Zapdos wasn’t *just* to restore its own HP via Leftovers. It was also to reset Zone’s Defense to +0 so I would never OHKO Dragalge with Body Press. This was my third leg, and I’d played well to get where I was at that point. The only remote consolation was that, at that point:

zzz2.png


zzz3.png


Realistically, I wasn’t going to get more than like 10 battles before having to tap out. Grass Knot PP is essentially required to kill things like Krookodile and Quagsire, and 13 total PP meant a good four wins, tops. Zapdos had even fewer attacking PP, and while I derive much benefit from passively stalling with Pressure and Leftovers, Zapdos would only be good for about three more wins.

Don’t get me wrong—I was mad as fuck at myself for this blunder. Playing without Leppa Berry the rest of the way changed how I would have to approach every single battle. It would be great if, for the rest of the way, I would only see pokes that Xurkitree or Zapdos HAD TO address. Stuff like leadoff Starmie (requires Xurk to stand its ground, take the hot ground ball of LO Surf/Psychic and retire the threat) or Gourgeist (requires Zapdos to switch in and Airstream for the OHKO) would make the lack of Leppa Berry moot.

But leads like Miltank and Dunsparce, pokes on which Zone routinely set ups (gets to +6 AND kills at high HP), would make me regret my brain fart immensely. Because every time Zone gets set up on a leadoff is a chance to have to expend no finite PP the entire battle, which is invaluable, as I mentioned in my prior post.

So now, the question became one of how to stretch this leg without using any PP I didn’t have to, attacking or not.

Here’s how it played out after I lost my Berry.



Zurk: 6 RV/1 TS/2 VS/4 GK
Zap: 4 RV/5 AC/6 LS/5 Rest
Zone: 10 ID/10 ID/7 Recycle/9 Rest



Battle 1 A.B. (After Berry):

Leadoff :Sandaconda:

Excellent to see. Requires Overgrowth

1-out :Dubwool:

This is totally fine as well. As a rule of thumb, I don’t want to switch out of Dynamax even if Zone can set up on the last mon. The risk of 2-out Kommo (which essentially requires a switch because a CH Close Combat can result in an actual loss) is too high when I can no longer Dynamax. So I don’t feel bad having to kill this with Xurk.

2-out :Kingdra:

Excellent. My team hates this if Xurk isn’t out (so, even if Zone had set up against 1-out Dubwool) because of the damage it does to make Zone’s job harder for the next battle.

Excellent first battle from a PP perspective.

Battle 2 A.B.

Leadoff :Gyarados:

Marvelous lead. I’m out of range of Zoroark so I can happily RV without dynamaxing.

1-out :Dunsparce:

Now this feels bad man. I would easily set up Zone on this and likely save two finite PP. In this position, I have to ID once then OHKO, and be grateful that this even kills. I Rest, ID once and BP once for the kill.

2-out :Comfey:

Kind of sucks but at least Xurk almost always OHKOs with TX (Dyna-RV), which I do after switching into the almost-guaranteed Grassy Terrain. (No Triage, boosted Giga Drain either.)

Overall, lost 1 finite PP I would otherwise have saved. Not awful that Zone only had to use three PP to kill something, and it needed to Rest anyway, though.

Battle 3 A.B.

Leadoff :Accelgor:

Blows. Zone LOVES leadoff Accelgor. “Luckily” I ohko Accelgor at +4 Defense so I don’t have to use three ID PP here.

1-out :Scrafty:

I OHKO at +4 with Body Press so I extremely gladly take this. Nothing changes.

2-out :Aromatisse:

The only semi bad thing about this is that I don’t 2HKO guaranteed with Body Press because I’m not at +6 (53% min). I 3HKO (because it doesn’t Wish first turn) without taking too much damage.

Most importantly…Xurkitree only OHKOs this at min +1, which implies three finite PP gone (imagine if I decided to OHKO leadoff Accelgor with it, then obv OHKO 1-out Scrafty).

And Zapdos hates this straight up. I’ve literally switched out of Dynamax on 2-out Aroma to conserve PP. I wasn’t gonna show the Zone calc but I sure as hell am now:

+4 0+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aromatisse: 79-94 (39.5 - 47%)

4 SpA Zapdos Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Aromatisse: 79-94 (39.5 - 47%)

Oh look it’s the literal same damage range. Except Zapdos hates every move Aromatisse uses (it won’t use Draining Kiss): Wish guarantees minimum 3HKO; CM guarantees minimum 3HKO; and Moonblast will drop SpA which is just as bad as CM. +4 Zone only hates first turn Wish, and +0 (just-switched) Zone actually loves that because I’m trying to get to +6 without it CMing.

The point is that I only lost one Body Press PP more than I would have, had I been able to ID three times. So this was an A- battle at worst.

Battle 4 A.B.

Leadoff :Gourgeist:

Excellent. Completely binary—I must switch to Zapdos and use Airstream for the OHKO. It actually used Phantom Force, which required a Max Guard, but that had nothing to do with my lack of berry, so whatever.

1-out :Abomasnow:

Excellent, OHKO with Airstream.

2-out :Dedenne:

Lame as fuck. Had to stall this out of Super Fang with Zone, which cost me 3–5 Rest PP, then 2HKO with +2 BP:

+2 0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dedenne: 84-99 (50.6 - 59.6%)

Importantly, I didn’t lose any finite PP I wouldn’t have otherwise, though, especially when remembering that switching Zapdos out of a 1-out poke after the required leadoff Dynamax to set up Zone is suicidal. All in all, not that bad a battle, especially since I had so many Rest PP. AND I didn’t have to fear Pickup Dedenne stealing my berry after I popped its Balloon and tried to Recycle, so yeah fuck off Dedenne. “who wants a berry anyway” #1.

Battle 5 A.B.

Leadoff :Klefki:

Great lead, to be honest. Even with my berry, Zone has a very tough time setting up on this because of Torment and Metal Sound. I’ve done it, but I end up with -6 SpD because it kills itself with Steel Beam after running out of everything else (Foul Play). So I gladly take the strikeout with Xurk.

1-out :Sharpedo:

Extremely good 1-out pokemon to see when I “have to” kill a lead with Xurk. Why?

252 SpA Xurkitree Max Lightning (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Sharpedo through Protect: 110-129 (80.2 - 94.1%)

I know I’m at +1 and Electric Terrain is up. I show this calc so you can understand the next statement: The only way to OHKO Sharpedo, guaranteed, is with Dynamaxed +1 Xurkitree. And what’s my current PP situation?

zzz4.png


I don’t want to use an Electric PP, for reasons that have nothing to do with my berry. And I’m at this PP situation for reasons that, for the most part, have nothing to do with my berry. I’d still want to use Max Overgrowth here even if I had 6 PP total (and not 4) for Elec moves at this point because of PP management.

So I make my decision:


And am extremely rewarded. Because of Protect, my actual position and move are perfect.

2-out :Corviknight:

Corviknight can’t Unnerve something that has no berry! That’s “who wants a berry anyway” #2. I switch around a ton till it kills itself with its second Steel Beam because what else am I gonna do? I don’t *have to* stall out Taunt then ID to kill it with BP even if I had my berry, so switching ad infinitum works for me here.

Battle 6 A.B.

Leadoff :Mamoswine:

Excellent. Again, we’re only looking at binary things here because of the loss of Leppa Berry, so having to use our penultimate GK PP is a non-factor.

1-out :Alcremie:

Even better. Alcremie sucks as a leadoff, and while I can OHKO it now at +1, I don’t really want to with only 5 PP left on Xurk. Most importantly because it’s a free “don’t waste PP” mon, especially with one out AND Dynamax intact. Misty Explosion is inevitable, and switching back and forth between Zapdos and Zone is extremely ideal even before accounting for ridding myself of SpD drops (Fake Tears) by default.

2-out :Luxray:

A bit lame, but not terrible.

zzz5.png


Since I have Dynamax intact, I can minimize the damage I take with Zone if I play smart. I decide to ID, then Rest, then Dynamax to take two hits while I’m big, Max Guarding with one of my six (useless [sadly]) Recycle PP, then reverting to kill with +2 Body Press, which I’m very likely to do after Luxray’s own Wild Charge recoil (I do 86-102%).

I do kill with BP and end the battle with 146 HP (+10) and 2/4/5/2 PP, having used exactly one of each. A very good battle overall.

Battle 7 A.B.

Leadoff :Mr. Rime:

Sigh. I usually stall this out with Zone because it can’t do anything, but in this case I really have to watch out for Copycatted Psychics. I have to deftly use Zapdos Light Screen and Zone Recycle to bait it into Copycatting any move that’s not Psychic. This costs Zapdos a few LS PP I wouldn’t have lost otherwise. Zapdos’ status after switching into Psychic:

zzz6.png


I wish I could show you the entire fight here. Everything is on the line here, since Rime has 30 Psychics in theory (20 Copycat PP) and Zone has only 2 Rest PP. I must use a PP with any of my pokes any time I want Rime to use anything other than Psychic, because that’s how I give Rime a chance to Copycat me. Otherwise it’s legit going to fire away with Psychic or Psycopycat, since it will never use its own Recycle or Mirror Coat until those are expended.

Here’s a snippet of this in action:


0 SpA Mr. Rime Psychic vs. 212 HP / 84 SpD Dynamax Zapdos on a critical hit: 76-91 (19.7 - 23.6%)

Notice I had 92 HP? Notice Light Screen was up? Notice the max damage a crit can do? Yeah.

Anyway, Zapdos used three Light Screens and one Rest. I ultimately positioned myself to switch Xurkitree in on Rime’s final Struggle, which was no small feat. I figured that even though I don’t want to have to use any Xurk PP and it is the least capable of restoring its HP, I wanted it in to face the next batter. Which was…

1-out :Quagsire:

…the literal best pokemon I could have thought of. This 101% requires Xurkitree since Quagsire could have Unaware to negate +6 Zone, and Zapdos doesn’t even 2HKO with Airstream and will likely get Yawned. So even with a set-up Zone with a Leppa Berry, I would have actually been in a worse spot given that I’d have to switch in Zapdos, then hopefully switch Xurk into a Waterfall or PuP.

2-out :Oranguru:

Wish I could have killed this with Zone to save a finite PP, but at least Xurk is at +1 and always kills…

+1 252 SpA Xurkitree Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Oranguru: 157-186 (100 - 118.4%)

…and barely, at that. Electric Terrain would never be up after killing Quag, and this is my strongest attack here. Can’t make this up. Excellent battle, only losing one finite attacking PP I didn’t have to.

Battle 8 A.B.

Leadoff :Orbeetle:

You know what leads my team hates? This is one of them. But not as much when its “all hands on deck” and I’ve gotta do what I gotta do to win.

This is pretty binary—there are few pokes Zone hates more even when fully set up. I’ve realized the best way to handle this is to Volt Switch to Zapdos so Airstream can OHKO after Trick Room (TX kills only 5% of the time). I take a Psychic (no SpD drop) and out comes…

1-out :Volcarona:

…one of the primary reasons for Zapdos’ existence. Even with TR up this is always completely binary, even in a world where somehow Zone is fully set up. I take a Heat Wave, no burn, and out comes…

2-out :Thievul:

…a blessing in disguise. Zapdos never OHKOs this even if I wanted to use finite PP. You know what probably does, though?

0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Thievul: 166-196 (98.2 - 115.9%)

And guess who’s finally faster thanks to TR being up, and will NOT have to risk its berry getting knocked off OHKOing this not-so-sly fox? That’s right.

This is a fake calc sadly, because after switching itemless Zone into a delicious Knock Off that did 9% (“who wants a berry anyway” #3), due to TR Thievul moved last and I didn’t get the Analytic boost the calc implies. I got Red Carded out to Xurk and had to switch Zapdos into Knock Off again to finish the fox off.

Overall, could not have asked for a better battle. Zone@Leppa hates all three of these pokemon, set up or not, and I actually got to save finite PP here because Zone would never have a chance to Body Press Thievul otherwise.

Battle 9 A.B.

Leadoff :Lunatone:

So this is a crappy lead because Zone sets up on it. I won’t be able to thanks to Cosmic Power and all the PP Lunatone has, so I basically have to kill it with Xurk. That’s not as bad as it seems, because:

zzz7.png


With only 2 PP left, Xurk was not going to sweep any more battles, through virtually no fault of its own or mine. Still, I felt a bit bad having to use half my remaining PP. Until…

1-out :Trevenant:

…this came out. Trevenant is easily a top-three worst pokemon to see for my team at any point. Forces out set-up Zone (great in this scenario where I’m assessing how useful set-up Zone would have been in practice), and forces my entire team to play around it if I don’t want to part with two turns of Dynamax, two Airstreams, and 40% of Zapdos' HP. But how was I going to actually beat it without Zapdos Dynamax available? Here’s peek into how:


“Who wants a berry anyway” #4. There’s almost nothing more satisfying than a strategic Struggle from a mon that could not more deserve a good rest, and then trolling Poltergeist with my blundered non-berry. I still had to stall Trevenant out (of Horn Leech and Skitter Smack) smartly, though, and was able to do so without using any attacking PP. Trevenant eventually struggled to death on +6 Zone and out came…

2-out :Lycanroc:

I had one PP each of Body Press, Iron Defense, and Recycle, and was very happy Lycanroc did not use Endure.

Somehow, I still hadn’t had a battle that cost me many finite PP at all, through 27 full pokemon. With Xurk finally down, the writing was on the wall, and the next battle with leadoff Pressure Vespiquen then Snow Warning Abomasnow proved to be “unwinnable.”

Requiem For A Leppa

I can gladly and safely say that, in practice, losing my berry did not cost me more than two battles, three tops. Set-up Zone in theory would have been forced out of 1-out pokes, and I had to lean on Xurk to address the Mamoswines and Gyarados that led off these battles.

This ended up being my longest leg of the session. My extremely grueling second leg was somehow only one win shorter than my first leg. So what was my first leg?


So yes, those nine battles at the end mattered quite a bit, but in the grand scheme of things, the hard part had already been done.

--

Screenshot 2021-03-27 220722.jpg



When I get to this part of my post, I always feel a bit remiss. “What about battles 1-273?” “How on earth did you win 94 battles in your first leg?”

My first leg was completely devoid of any Goodra, Trevenant, and Vileplume, the three biggest PP wastes I can face without question. My second leg had all of the above repeatedly (at least three of each), but I won 50 battles that leg before I used a single Rest PP with Zapdos.

I diligently kept Xurkitree’s HP high to guard against lead Zoroark and to buffer the lead Starmie and Ribombee I have to kill. I switchstalled often with Zap and Zone, restoring Zapdos’ HP without costing me PP, which is “probably” why I didn’t need to Rest for over 50 battles. And I took pretty much every opportunity I could to set up Zone safely, especially later in each leg, saving a finite PP here, and two there, etc.

I played…well. I’m not being glib. I just don’t know how to put this into words that you will understand.

So instead of glossing over my actual progress, I’ll put this into perspective.

--

Let’s do some more simple arithmetic.

Take something like Kartana, who has 120 pp on its ideal set and can snowball easily into actual OHKOs, especially with its amazing speed. Let’s say it can kill 90 pokemon it faces at any time—leadoff or two outs—with those 120 pp.

Let’s say Rillaboom, another grass type, could perform similarly, and covered Kartana’s weaknesses defensively (it doesn’t really). 90 pokemon killed per leg. Throw in some magical Flapple (grass type) that also has 120 attacking pp and the same 90-pokes-killed-per-leg potential.

Say you exercise perfect PP management and are able to expend each pokemon’s PP perfectly. That’s 90 kills per leg for each poke, which comes out to 90 wins per leg since there’s three pokes on both sides. 270 wins.

This would still fall short of the record.

--

Or let’s put it this way. 94 wins per leg in practice after my 94+93+95 showing. Mean, median, mode, whatever. Xurkitree has 144 attacking PP, right? Say that’s good for 125 kills when you account for foe Pressure, Zam/Swoobat/Rotom Light Screen, non-fatal Volt-Switches and the Endure/Sturdy pokes I have to face. Zapdos has 72 attacking PP but doesn’t OHKO nearly as much as Xurk does (only 4 SpA EVs). My Zapdos can only OHKO about a third of the pokes in the RS, and that’s assuming I want to Dynamax (I prob don’t). But let’s say that with its bulk and Pressure, it can kill or switchstall with Zone (not taking Leppa into account) 25 pokes per leg.

So 125+25=150 kills per leg for those two. That’s 50 wins (50x3=150). That leaves 44 wins for Zone by itself. 132 kills. One poke with one attacking move with an annoying immunity. More than Xurk in all its nukedom with all its PP.

Does this make it a little clearer how ridiculous Recycle must be?

--

Please do not misinterpret this. I am not boasting at all. I’m really, really not. Though what I’m about to say to support this can easily been interpreted as a humblebrag…I already had the record at 200, so who/what would I even be flexing on?

I’m making a larger point here: I legitimately don’t know why our more serious players haven’t given Recycle a serious look. No matter how I put this, it’s going to come off as holier-than-thou, elitist, etc. But I don’t think it’s that much more complicated than past generations' strategies like Glenscarfing (Trick scarfing). And even if it were, the payoffs are exponentially more rewarding, simply because streaks can no longer be exponential.

Yes, adept switching and utilizing some combination of abilities like Regenerator and Pressure plus items Rocky Helmet, Leftovers and Black Sludge (on a poison poke) can be called upon to get past “arithemetic.exe.” You can whittle away at the PP and HP of the RS roster, without costing you your own, forcing eventual Struggles while regaining your own net HP passively every time you switch.

The thing is…a good team, Recycle or no, has to utilize type synergy and switchstalling to stall things out to spare your PP or HP anyway. sb879 had to do this recently against Salazzle to conserve HP. EightVelociraptors used his Heatran and Corviknight tandem to great effect, even without Pressure.

I mean, seriously. Look at what I just did. How do you think I did it?

Truth be told, I just kept playing well, over and over and over. Recycling my efforts with Zone, pun extremely intended.

But I’m not being cute here. And when I say that I think of something like Indeedee, with its “nuke” Expanding Force in Psychic Terrain, and it literally makes me feel nauseous irl, I’m not memeing. You guys really need to try Recycle. I get how the RS locks you and your Switch into one single game mode, and how unfortunate that is. But for any enthusiasts, it's such a rewarding experience.

I'm confident that any type can be stretched well past 100 with even decent play with this Recycleppa strategy. The potential of Recycleppa, and how much better it is than any strategy or even made up superteams like that Kartana/Rillaboom-Gmax/Flapple thing I made up, is almost literally unbelievable.
 
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TailGlowVM

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In case it helps anyone wishing to get long streaks like Jumpman, I had a look at the list of Pokemon that learn Recycle and did some theorymon on possible ways to get better streaks, as these look like the most likely to be successful in my opinion (aside from Appletun and Magnezone which we have already proven). Unfortunately, the distribution isn't good, with some types having no Pokemon at all legal in RS, such as Bug, and others limited to one Pokemon, like Fire with Heatmor, and Poison with Garbodor. So unfortunately getting every type to the level Jumpman has is unlikely, though some probably have some potential:

:blissey: Blissey should theoretically be able to infinitely PP stall most special attackers in Restricted Sparring with a set of Seismic Toss / Soft-Boiled / Recycle / Toxic or Heal Bell.

:cresselia: Already proposed ages ago by sb879, but Cresselia is one of the most bulky Pokemon available to Restricted Sparring. If Psychic could find a way to deal with Dark-types reliably, you could use Calm Mind / Stored Power / Recycle / Rest. It wouldn't be complete deadweight unboosted, as Stored Power gives you 130BP Max Mindstorm.

:klefki: This might be more of a stretch than the others here due to its poor stats, but it has Calm Mind and pretty much the best defensive typing Fairy can ask for.

:slowbro: or :slowking: Both held back a bit by their typings, but they also get Regenerator, so might be the Pokemon that could theoretically last the longest. Sadly their Galarian counterparts do not (yet) get Recycle, so there's no double Regen + Leppa for Poison :(

:snorlax: It would probably work a lot like Blissey, but it exchanges reliable recovery for the ability to viably set up with Curse. It also gets Thick Fat, which gives Normal some defensive utility that other Pokemon of the type don't get.

If anyone knows how to hack the game to make it allow the mythicals into Restricted Sparring, I wonder how far you could get a team with Jirachi to work? Great bulk with a Steel-typing for stalling Pyukumuku, Recycle and Wish, and it has a Bug neutrality for Psychic.
 
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CTNC

Doesn't know how to attack
282... 0_o Dude... Wow. Just wow... This gives me hope for when I make my teams. Cosmic Power/Softboiled/Heal Bell/Recycle Unaware Clefable FTW! (Yes, I'm serious. No, I don't value my sanity.)


I've wondered about some Pokemon just because they know Recycle even though they're not the best just because of Recycle.

Bronzong:Bronzong: being neutral to Fighting and having Levitate sounds good for Steel and it has higher Special bulk than Magnazone. I can't see it not being usable when it can use the same moveset. I think it'd be good with a Kartana:Kartana: lead because, "Kartana. 'nuf said." and Heatran:Heatran: because of being a defensive Fire immunity. Basically, I'm saying to try stealing EightVelociraptors team and replace Corviknight with Bronzong.

Palossand:Palossand: has nice bulk, can boost either defense with Iron Defense or Amnesia, and Non-Rest recovery in Shore Up. It can't boost its attack stats and doesn't learn Body Press though. I'm guessing that's a deal breaker though.

Flying has Noctowl:Noctowl: and Drifblim. :Drifblim: I wonder how Strength Sap would work as recovery with Base 150 HP. It sounds bad, but it can also double as Growl and it isn't Rest. (Before anyone thinks Unburden would be good for Drifblim, it stops working when you regain an item.)


The worst types for Recycle either have no usable users or might as well have none.


Ice has some (possibly delusional) hope with Mr. Rime:Mr. Rime: (or Jynx.:Jynx:) If anyone makes Delibird:Delibird: work, I have no words. I'd be to stunned to say congrats.

Fire has Heatmor:Heatmor: and Blacephalon.:Blacephalon: Heatmor is "better" defensively, but not my much. Good luck trying to fine any chance for Recycle with either. Dexit cut Delphox,:Delphox: who'd be the best choice by far. (Shoutout to the last Fire type Recycle user, Simisear,:Simisear: for being cut and not being worth mentioning.)

Fighting only has Gallade.:Gallade: Between him and a double Regenerator core in Mienfoo:Mienfoo: and Mienshao:Mienshao:, it may be worth trying defensive Fighting just see how badly it fails. (If it can get to 5 Wins, I'm going to use it just for the 5 in every type reward!)


The only Dark Type Recycle user is Alolan Muk...:Muk-Alola: Stupid Dexit!
Bug looks slightly more likely. The only user has a realy good typing and isn't cut, but good luck smuggling in Genesect.:Genesect:
 
I’m making a larger point here: I legitimately don’t know why our more serious players haven’t given Recycle a serious look.
[ ... ]
The thing is…a good team, Recycle or no, has to utilize type synergy and switchstalling to stall things out to spare your PP or HP anyway. sb879 had to do this recently against Salazzle to conserve HP. EightVelociraptors used his Heatran and Corviknight tandem to great effect, even without Pressure.
<3

282, you are unreal Jump. Congrats! There's no universe where the current build of steel comes anywhere close (my best leg stitched across each part would've put it at 225). But I don't feel discouraged by this, if anything it's invigorating. I would like to crack 200 though, just to join the club.

So, about Bronzong. I was in the middle of Bronzong attempts a few months ago. So don't think it's gone ignored Jump. I really do want to give recycle some love. Although, I'll be honest: I wasn't getting consistent runs, which kinda burned me out. So I either need more reps (and need to get back into RS in general now that we're done settling into the house) or need to figure out if it's pilot error, or get Jump to recycle some of his knowledge on me. It certainly has not been as easy as slapping Bronzong over Corviknight and all my troubles went away. I wish it was as simple as that, lol. But maybe the brain break will have done me some good and it'll be better.

Like everything in RS, it takes time. And I ain't dead yet. I'm off to tell Kartana it has more worthless objects to cut.
 
View attachment 327015

Here’s the situation: two-out Dragalge is out of Draco Meteors (and is at -6 SpA), and has just started to use Flip Turn (20 pp) on +6 Def Zone. Zapdos (Leftovers) is ~50% HP, and two layers of Toxic Spikes are up.

I want to be able to switch Zapdos in on usages of Toxic Spikes around eight times to get its HP back to 100%, and can accomplish this easily by using Recycle/Rest accordingly until Dragalge is out of Flip Turn.

While setting this up, after six Flip Turns (which I count aloud, backwards) I determine that it is indeed possible to refresh my Body Press PP. This is one of the more advanced considerations of using this particular Magnezone, which greatly prefers to start every battle with at least 6 Body Presses.

I can easily 2HKO Dragalge with +6 Body Press, but that would leave me at a dangerous 2 PP for the next battle. Dangerous because whatever poke I kill next with Body Press may require exactly two PP, which would use my Leppa Berry just as a threat like Volcarona or Marowak I can’t Recycle in front of comes out. Having to switch out and not being guaranteed to get a chance to Recycle on the last batter, this would cost me my berry for good, since consumable items are un-Recyclable if you don’t begin the battle with them.

But knowing I still have Dynamax available, I get a better idea:

0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 14-17 (10.6 - 12.8%)
+1 0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 22-26 (16.6 - 19.6%)
+2 0- Atk Analytic Magnezone Max Knuckle (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 29-34 (21.9 - 25.7%)
0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragalge on a critical hit: 43-51 (32.5 - 38.6%)

So if I do not crit with any of my Max Knuckles on the 132HP Dragagle, I can use the four “BP” PP I need to to refresh my BP PP and, much more importantly, Recycle. 132-17-26-34-51 (max damage rolls) is greater than 0, and yes, that simple arithmetic was absolutely performed to ensure it.

Confident in my strategy, I Dynamax and use Max Knuckle thrice with no crits. I have one BP PP after I revert, and I know that BP can’t kill without a crit.


Except I forgot to switch out.

And it cost me my berry forever.

I forgot that switching out to Zapdos wasn’t *just* to restore its own HP via Leftovers. It was also to reset Zone’s Defense to +0 so I would never OHKO Dragalge with Body Press. This was my third leg, and I’d played well to get where I was at that point. The only remote consolation was that, at that point:

View attachment 327017

View attachment 327018

Realistically, I wasn’t going to get more than like 10 battles before having to tap out. Grass Knot PP is essentially required to kill things like Krookodile and Quagsire, and 13 total PP meant a good four wins, tops. Zapdos had even fewer attacking PP, and while I derive much benefit from passively stalling with Pressure and Leftovers, Zapdos would only be good for about three more wins.

Don’t get me wrong—I was mad as fuck at myself for this blunder. Playing without Leppa Berry the rest of the way changed how I would have to approach every single battle. It would be great if, for the rest of the way, I would only see pokes that Xurkitree or Zapdos HAD TO address. Stuff like leadoff Starmie (requires Xurk to stand its ground, take the hot ground ball of LO Surf/Psychic and retire the threat) or Gourgeist (requires Zapdos to switch in and Airstream for the OHKO) would make the lack of Leppa Berry moot.

But leads like Miltank and Dunsparce, pokes on which Zone routinely set ups (gets to +6 AND kills at high HP), would make me regret my brain fart immensely. Because every time Zone gets set up on a leadoff is a chance to have to expend no finite PP the entire battle, which is invaluable, as I mentioned in my prior post.

So now, the question became one of how to stretch this leg without using any PP I didn’t have to, attacking or not.

Here’s how it played out after I lost my Berry.



Zurk: 6 RV/1 TS/2 VS/4 GK
Zap: 4 RV/5 AC/6 LS/5 Rest
Zone: 10 ID/10 ID/7 Recycle/9 Rest



Battle 1 A.B. (After Berry):

Leadoff :Sandaconda:

Excellent to see. Requires Overgrowth

1-out :Dubwool:

This is totally fine as well. As a rule of thumb, I don’t want to switch out of Dynamax even if Zone can set up on the last mon. The risk of 2-out Kommo (which essentially requires a switch because a CH Close Combat can result in an actual loss) is too high when I can no longer Dynamax. So I don’t feel bad having to kill this with Xurk.

2-out :Kingdra:

Excellent. My team hates this if Xurk isn’t out (so, even if Zone had set up against 1-out Dubwool) because of the damage it does to make Zone’s job harder for the next battle.

Excellent first battle from a PP perspective.

Battle 2 A.B.

Leadoff :Gyarados:

Marvelous lead. I’m out of range of Zoroark so I can happily RV without dynamaxing.

1-out :Dunsparce:

Now this feels bad man. I would easily set up Zone on this and likely save two finite PP. In this position, I have to ID once then OHKO, and be grateful that this even kills. I Rest, ID once and BP once for the kill.

2-out :Comfey:

Kind of sucks but at least Xurk almost always OHKOs with TX (Dyna-RV), which I do after switching into the almost-guaranteed Grassy Terrain. (No Triage, boosted Giga Drain either.)

Overall, lost 1 finite PP I would otherwise have saved. Not awful that Zone only had to use three PP to kill something, and it needed to Rest anyway, though.

Battle 3 A.B.

Leadoff :Accelgor:

Blows. Zone LOVES leadoff Accelgor. “Luckily” I ohko Accelgor at +4 Defense so I don’t have to use three ID PP here.

1-out :Scrafty:

I OHKO at +4 with Body Press so I extremely gladly take this. Nothing changes.

2-out :Aromatisse:

The only semi bad thing about this is that I don’t 2HKO guaranteed with Body Press because I’m not at +6 (53% min). I 3HKO (because it doesn’t Wish first turn) without taking too much damage.

Most importantly…Xurkitree only OHKOs this at min +1, which implies three finite PP gone (imagine if I decided to OHKO leadoff Accelgor with it, then obv OHKO 1-out Scrafty).

And Zapdos hates this straight up. I’ve literally switched out of Dynamax on 2-out Aroma to conserve PP. I wasn’t gonna show the Zone calc but I sure as hell am now:

+4 0+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aromatisse: 79-94 (39.5 - 47%)

4 SpA Zapdos Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Aromatisse: 79-94 (39.5 - 47%)

Oh look it’s the literal same damage range. Except Zapdos hates every move Aromatisse uses (it won’t use Draining Kiss): Wish guarantees minimum 3HKO; CM guarantees minimum 3HKO; and Moonblast will drop SpA which is just as bad as CM. +4 Zone only hates first turn Wish, and +0 (just-switched) Zone actually loves that because I’m trying to get to +6 without it CMing.

The point is that I only lost one Body Press PP more than I would have, had I been able to ID three times. So this was an A- battle at worst.

Battle 4 A.B.

Leadoff :Gourgeist:

Excellent. Completely binary—I must switch to Zapdos and use Airstream for the OHKO. It actually used Phantom Force, which required a Max Guard, but that had nothing to do with my lack of berry, so whatever.

1-out :Abomasnow:

Excellent, OHKO with Airstream.

2-out :Dedenne:

Lame as fuck. Had to stall this out of Super Fang with Zone, which cost me 3–5 Rest PP, then 2HKO with +2 BP:

+2 0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dedenne: 84-99 (50.6 - 59.6%)

Importantly, I didn’t lose any finite PP I wouldn’t have otherwise, though, especially when remembering that switching Zapdos out of a 1-out poke after the required leadoff Dynamax to set up Zone is suicidal. All in all, not that bad a battle, especially since I had so many Rest PP. AND I didn’t have to fear Pickup Dedenne stealing my berry after I popped its Balloon and tried to Recycle, so yeah fuck off Dedenne. “who wants a berry anyway” #1.

Battle 5 A.B.

Leadoff :Klefki:

Great lead, to be honest. Even with my berry, Zone has a very tough time setting up on this because of Torment and Metal Sound. I’ve done it, but I end up with -6 SpD because it kills itself with Steel Beam after running out of everything else (Foul Play). So I gladly take the strikeout with Xurk.

1-out :Sharpedo:

Extremely good 1-out pokemon to see when I “have to” kill a lead with Xurk. Why?

252 SpA Xurkitree Max Lightning (90 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Sharpedo through Protect: 110-129 (80.2 - 94.1%)

I know I’m at +1 and Electric Terrain is up. I show this calc so you can understand the next statement: The only way to OHKO Sharpedo, guaranteed, is with Dynamaxed +1 Xurkitree. And what’s my current PP situation?

View attachment 327024

I don’t want to use an Electric PP, for reasons that have nothing to do with my berry. And I’m at this PP situation for reasons that, for the most part, have nothing to do with my berry. I’d still want to use Max Overgrowth here even if I had 6 PP total (and not 4) for Elec moves at this point because of PP management.

So I make my decision:


And am extremely rewarded. Because of Protect, my actual position and move are perfect.

2-out :Corviknight:

Corviknight can’t Unnerve something that has no berry! That’s “who wants a berry anyway” #2. I switch around a ton till it kills itself with its second Steel Beam because what else am I gonna do? I don’t *have to* stall out Taunt then ID to kill it with BP even if I had my berry, so switching ad infinitum works for me here.

Battle 6 A.B.

Leadoff :Mamoswine:

Excellent. Again, we’re only looking at binary things here because of the loss of Leppa Berry, so having to use our penultimate GK PP is a non-factor.

1-out :Alcremie:

Even better. Alcremie sucks as a leadoff, and while I can OHKO it now at +1, I don’t really want to with only 5 PP left on Xurk. Most importantly because it’s a free “don’t waste PP” mon, especially with one out AND Dynamax intact. Misty Explosion is inevitable, and switching back and forth between Zapdos and Zone is extremely ideal even before accounting for ridding myself of SpD drops (Fake Tears) by default.

2-out :Luxray:

A bit lame, but not terrible.

View attachment 327025

Since I have Dynamax intact, I can minimize the damage I take with Zone if I play smart. I decide to ID, then Rest, then Dynamax to take two hits while I’m big, Max Guarding with one of my six (useless [sadly]) Recycle PP, then reverting to kill with +2 Body Press, which I’m very likely to do after Luxray’s own Wild Charge recoil (I do 86-102%).

I do kill with BP and end the battle with 146 HP (+10) and 2/4/5/2 PP, having used exactly one of each. A very good battle overall.

Battle 7 A.B.

Leadoff :Mr. Rime:

Sigh. I usually stall this out with Zone because it can’t do anything, but in this case I really have to watch out for Copycatted Psychics. I have to deftly use Zapdos Light Screen and Zone Recycle to bait it into Copycatting any move that’s not Psychic. This costs Zapdos a few LS PP I wouldn’t have lost otherwise. Zapdos’ status after switching into Psychic:

View attachment 327026

I wish I could show you the entire fight here. Everything is on the line here, since Rime has 30 Psychics in theory (20 Copycat PP) and Zone has only 2 Rest PP. I must use a PP with any of my pokes any time I want Rime to use anything other than Psychic, because that’s how I give Rime a chance to Copycat me. Otherwise it’s legit going to fire away with Psychic or Psycopycat, since it will never use its own Recycle or Mirror Coat until those are expended.

Here’s a snippet of this in action:


0 SpA Mr. Rime Psychic vs. 212 HP / 84 SpD Dynamax Zapdos on a critical hit: 76-91 (19.7 - 23.6%)

Notice I had 92 HP? Notice Light Screen was up? Notice the max damage a crit can do? Yeah.

Anyway, Zapdos used three Light Screens and one Rest. I ultimately positioned myself to switch Xurkitree in on Rime’s final Struggle, which was no small feat. I figured that even though I don’t want to have to use any Xurk PP and it is the least capable of restoring its HP, I wanted it in to face the next batter. Which was…

1-out :Quagsire:

…the literal best pokemon I could have thought of. This 101% requires Xurkitree since Quagsire could have Unaware to negate +6 Zone, and Zapdos doesn’t even 2HKO with Airstream and will likely get Yawned. So even with a set-up Zone with a Leppa Berry, I would have actually been in a worse spot given that I’d have to switch in Zapdos, then hopefully switch Xurk into a Waterfall or PuP.

2-out :Oranguru:

Wish I could have killed this with Zone to save a finite PP, but at least Xurk is at +1 and always kills…

+1 252 SpA Xurkitree Max Lightning (140 BP) vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Oranguru: 157-186 (100 - 118.4%)

…and barely, at that. Electric Terrain would never be up after killing Quag, and this is my strongest attack here. Can’t make this up. Excellent battle, only losing one finite attacking PP I didn’t have to.

Battle 8 A.B.

Leadoff :Orbeetle:

You know what leads my team hates? This is one of them. But not as much when its “all hands on deck” and I’ve gotta do what I gotta do to win.

This is pretty binary—there are few pokes Zone hates more even when fully set up. I’ve realized the best way to handle this is to Volt Switch to Zapdos so Airstream can OHKO after Trick Room (TX kills only 5% of the time). I take a Psychic (no SpD drop) and out comes…

1-out :Volcarona:

…one of the primary reasons for Zapdos’ existence. Even with TR up this is always completely binary, even in a world where somehow Zone is fully set up. I take a Heat Wave, no burn, and out comes…

2-out :Thievul:

…a blessing in disguise. Zapdos never OHKOs this even if I wanted to use finite PP. You know what probably does, though?

0+ Def Analytic Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Thievul: 166-196 (98.2 - 115.9%)

And guess who’s finally faster thanks to TR being up, and will NOT have to risk its berry getting knocked off OHKOing this not-so-sly fox? That’s right.

This is a fake calc sadly, because after switching itemless Zone into a delicious Knock Off that did 9% (“who wants a berry anyway” #3), due to TR Thievul moved last and I didn’t get the Analytic boost the calc implies. I got Red Carded out to Xurk and had to switch Zapdos into Knock Off again to finish the fox off.

Overall, could not have asked for a better battle. Zone@Leppa hates all three of these pokemon, set up or not, and I actually got to save finite PP here because Zone would never have a chance to Body Press Thievul otherwise.

Battle 9 A.B.

Leadoff :Lunatone:

So this is a crappy lead because Zone sets up on it. I won’t be able to thanks to Cosmic Power and all the PP Lunatone has, so I basically have to kill it with Xurk. That’s not as bad as it seems, because:

View attachment 327027

With only 2 PP left, Xurk was not going to sweep any more battles, through virtually no fault of its own or mine. Still, I felt a bit bad having to use half my remaining PP. Until…

1-out :Trevenant:

…this came out. Trevenant is easily a top-three worst pokemon to see for my team at any point. Forces out set-up Zone (great in this scenario where I’m assessing how useful set-up Zone would have been in practice), and forces my entire team to play around it if I don’t want to part with two turns of Dynamax, two Airstreams, and 40% of Zapdos' HP. But how was I going to actually beat it without Zapdos Dynamax available? Here’s peek into how:


“Who wants a berry anyway” #4. There’s almost nothing more satisfying than a strategic Struggle from a mon that could not more deserve a good rest, and then trolling Poltergeist with my blundered non-berry. I still had to stall Trevenant out (of Horn Leech and Skitter Smack) smartly, though, and was able to do so without using any attacking PP. Trevenant eventually struggled to death on +6 Zone and out came…

2-out :Lycanroc:

I had one PP each of Body Press, Iron Defense, and Recycle, and was very happy Lycanroc did not use Endure.

Somehow, I still hadn’t had a battle that cost me many finite PP at all, through 27 full pokemon. With Xurk finally down, the writing was on the wall, and the next battle with leadoff Pressure Vespiquen then Snow Warning Abomasnow proved to be “unwinnable.”

Requiem For A Leppa

I can gladly and safely say that, in practice, losing my berry did not cost me more than two battles, three tops. Set-up Zone in theory would have been forced out of 1-out pokes, and I had to lean on Xurk to address the Mamoswines and Gyarados that led off these battles.

This ended up being my longest leg of the session. My extremely grueling second leg was somehow only one win shorter than my first leg. So what was my first leg?


So yes, those nine battles at the end mattered quite a bit, but in the grand scheme of things, the hard part had already been done.

--

View attachment 327034


When I get to this part of my post, I always feel a bit remiss. “What about battles 1-273?” “How on earth did you win 94 battles in your first leg?”

My first leg was completely devoid of any Goodra, Trevenant, and Vileplume, the three biggest PP wastes I can face without question. My second leg had all of the above repeatedly (at least three of each), but I won 50 battles that leg before I used a single Rest PP with Zapdos.

I diligently kept Xurkitree’s HP high to guard against lead Zoroark and to buffer the lead Starmie and Ribombee I have to kill. I switchstalled often with Zap and Zone, restoring Zapdos’ HP without costing me PP, which is “probably” why I didn’t need to Rest for over 50 battles. And I took pretty much every opportunity I could to set up Zone safely, especially later in each leg, saving a finite PP here, and two there, etc.

I played…well. I’m not being glib. I just don’t know how to put this into words that you will understand.

So instead of glossing over my actual progress, I’ll put this into perspective.

--

Let’s do some more simple arithmetic.

Take something like Kartana, who has 120 pp on its ideal set and can snowball easily into actual OHKOs, especially with its amazing speed. Let’s say it can kill 90 pokemon it faces at any time—leadoff or two outs—with those 120 pp.

Let’s say Rillaboom, another grass type, could perform similarly, and covered Kartana’s weaknesses defensively (it doesn’t really). 90 pokemon killed per leg. Throw in some magical Flapple (grass type) that also has 120 attacking pp and the same 90-pokes-killed-per-leg potential.

Say you exercise perfect PP management and are able to expend each pokemon’s PP perfectly. That’s 90 kills per leg for each poke, which comes out to 90 wins per leg since there’s three pokes on both sides. 270 wins.

This would still fall short of the record.

--

Or let’s put it this way. 94 wins per leg in practice after my 94+93+95 showing. Mean, median, mode, whatever. Xurkitree has 144 attacking PP, right? Say that’s good for 125 kills when you account for foe Pressure, Zam/Swoobat/Rotom Light Screen, non-fatal Volt-Switches and the Endure/Sturdy pokes I have to face. Zapdos has 72 attacking PP but doesn’t OHKO nearly as much as Xurk does (only 4 SpA EVs). My Zapdos can only OHKO about a third of the pokes in the RS, and that’s assuming I want to Dynamax (I prob don’t). But let’s say that with its bulk and Pressure, it can kill or switchstall with Zone (not taking Leppa into account) 25 pokes per leg.

So 125+25=150 kills per leg for those two. That’s 50 wins (50x3=150). That leaves 44 wins for Zone by itself. 132 kills. One poke with one attacking move with an annoying immunity. More than Xurk in all its nukedom with all its PP.

Does this make it a little clearer how ridiculous Recycle must be?

--

Please do not misinterpret this. I am not boasting at all. I’m really, really not. Though what I’m about to say to support this can easily been interpreted as a humblebrag…I already had the record at 200, so who/what would I even be flexing on?

I’m making a larger point here: I legitimately don’t know why our more serious players haven’t given Recycle a serious look. No matter how I put this, it’s going to come off as holier-than-thou, elitist, etc. But I don’t think it’s that much more complicated than past generations' strategies like Glenscarfing (Trick scarfing). And even if it were, the payoffs are exponentially more rewarding, simply because streaks can no longer be exponential.

Yes, adept switching and utilizing some combination of abilities like Regenerator and Pressure plus items Rocky Helmet, Leftovers and Black Sludge (on a poison poke) can be called upon to get past “arithemetic.exe.” You can whittle away at the PP and HP of the RS roster, without costing you your own, forcing eventual Struggles while regaining your own net HP passively every time you switch.

The thing is…a good team, Recycle or no, has to utilize type synergy and switchstalling to stall things out to spare your PP or HP anyway. sb879 had to do this recently against Salazzle to conserve HP. EightVelociraptors used his Heatran and Corviknight tandem to great effect, even without Pressure.

I mean, seriously. Look at what I just did. How do you think I did it?

Truth be told, I just kept playing well, over and over and over. Recycling my efforts with Zone, pun extremely intended.

But I’m not being cute here. And when I say that I think of something like Indeedee, with its “nuke” Expanding Force in Psychic Terrain, and it literally makes me feel nauseous irl, I’m not memeing. You guys really need to try Recycle. I get how the RS locks you and your Switch into one single game mode, and how unfortunate that is. But for any enthusiasts, it's such a rewarding experience.

I'm confident that any type can be stretched well past 100 with even decent play with this Recycleppa strategy. The potential of Recycleppa, and how much better it is than any strategy or even made up superteams like that Kartana/Rillaboom-Gmax/Flapple thing I made up, is almost literally unbelievable.
What the fuck did I just read!? This takes me back to previous gen leaderboards where the gap between first and second is ludicrous in scope. Tursk 6840 meet Jump 282.

Well played... We live in the same state so when the demonic overlord to whom you pledged your soul comes to collect, I’ll prolly hear the portal being ripped open, if not the howling.
 
I’m making a larger point here: I legitimately don’t know why our more serious players haven’t given Recycle a serious look.
I was seriously wondering that too, especially when you could probably 3-0 a lot of teams via Struggle with a Blissey with no attacking moves if you really wanted to. Good work!
 
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Jumpman16

np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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If anyone knows how to hack the game to make it allow the mythicals into Restricted Sparring, I wonder how far you could get a team with Jirachi to work? Great bulk with a Steel-typing for stalling Pyukumuku, Recycle and Wish, and it has a Bug neutrality for Psychic.
I've thought about stuff like this a lot actually, especially with Jirachi's movepool. Obviously Steel and especially Psychic (Weavile) are hard to cover via teammates, but a Calm Mind/Rest/Recycle set on Steel with Stored Power, Flash Cannon, Moonblast or Psyshock (fun Dynamax shenanigans hitting Def or SpD as you desire) can go far.

Genesect would steal the show though, with Leech Life/Shift Gear/Recycle/Rest though, especially by not having to invest in Speed or Attack stats (not that Zone does). STAB Leech Life healing HP would allow Genesect to not have to Rest as often, and outspeeding everything after Shift Gears is legit broken.

282... 0_o Dude... Wow. Just wow... This gives me hope for when I make my teams. Cosmic Power/Softboiled/Heal Bell/Recycle Unaware Clefable FTW! (Yes, I'm serious. No, I don't value my sanity.)


I've wondered about some Pokemon just because they know Recycle even though they're not the best just because of Recycle.

Bronzong:Bronzong: being neutral to Fighting and having Levitate sounds good for Steel and it has higher Special bulk than Magnazone. I can't see it not being usable when it can use the same moveset. I think it'd be good with a Kartana:Kartana: lead because, "Kartana. 'nuf said." and Heatran:Heatran: because of being a defensive Fire immunity. Basically, I'm saying to try stealing EightVelociraptors team and replace Corviknight with Bronzong.
Awesome, thanks! Sets like that Clefable one may look boring on paper but long streaks necessitate thinking like this more than one would think.

I've tried the exact Bronzong substitution you're talking about, and while I'm sure it can go far, it has some annoying drawbacks. EeveeTrainer, who had a front row seat to my 282 run, has noted that other steel types would suffer from threat of full paralysis. Zone's immunity to paralysis is an underrated benefit of using Zone as a Recycleppa poke, which is why I like Clefable so much in theory.
 
Take something like Kartana, who has 120 pp on its ideal set and can snowball easily into actual OHKOs, especially with its amazing speed. Let’s say it can kill 90 pokemon it faces at any time—leadoff or two outs—with those 120 pp.

Let’s say Rillaboom, another grass type, could perform similarly, and covered Kartana’s weaknesses defensively (it doesn’t really). 90 pokemon killed per leg. Throw in some magical Flapple (grass type) that also has 120 attacking pp and the same 90-pokes-killed-per-leg potential.

Say you exercise perfect PP management and are able to expend each pokemon’s PP perfectly. That’s 90 kills per leg for each poke, which comes out to 90 wins per leg since there’s three pokes on both sides. 270 wins. This would still fall short of the record.
You're right, Jump. A grass team of Kartana, Rillaboom, and Flapple couldn't make it all the way to 282.

But what if that's because the final member is the wrong apple? What if we took the best of myself (Kartana), and some of the best of you (Appletun), what could we accomplish...

gogeta.gif


You would go beyond, plus ultra, and achieve something truly remarkable (Yes I'm mixing shonens, sue me).

Now, back when I got the top spot, Jump let me enjoy it for a little bit. I thought, "Wow, what a pro's pro. Letting new members of the RS community actually enjoy the sunshine." The birds would chirp as I walked by. My friends were nice to me. It was like I woke up and wasn't groggy. sb noticed me. It was just so nice, and I thought the world of Jump's class for letting me experience that. Unfortunately, I'm not as classy and will have him chase for the throne once more.

Introducing the new grass record of 320
- - -
Kartana.png
Kartana, Kakarot @ Shell Bell
Jolly + Beast Boost
EVs: 12 HP | 252 Atk | 244 Spe
Razor Leaf (40 PP) | Knock Off (32 PP) | Aerial Ace (32 PP) | Sacred Sword (24 PP)

rillaboom-gmax.png
Rillaboom G-Max, Broly @ Leftovers
Adamant + Grassy Surge
EVs: 4 HP | 252 Atk | 252 Spe
Branch Poke (64 PP) | Bullet Seed (48 PP) | Razor Leaf (40 PP) | Grassy Glide (32 PP)

appletun.png
Appletun G-Max, Shenron @ Leppa Berry
Calm + Thick Fat
EVs: 252 HP | 252 SpDef | 4 Def
Apple Acid (16 PP) | Leech Seed (16 PP) | Recycle (16 PP) | Recover (16 PP)
- - -
The very first thing I did when I started up RS was that I had tried Kartana over Ferrothorn. It was messy to say the least. I tried plugging my play-style into Jump's team, much like how Goku and Vegeta weren't exactly a match made in Dragon Ball. But what if that's because the lead should be Kartana? Something so simple that makes a huge difference.

Kartana is simply remarkable. The debate is over: Kartana is the best. There. I said it. Tone will back me up on this (Tone, back me up on this). Furthermore, if you're using Kartana, you better get more than 90 KOs per leg. Otherwise, you're wasting it. That makes Raptors sad. On my best legs, I'll get 110+ KOs. It has 128 PP, I really do not like legs where it loses out on more than 15. Any usage mishaps that cost an extra power point here and there are balanced out by the fact that, in the long run, self-KOs and Memento users will balance out the pressure appearances or ranges.


Now, Rillaboom. In the lead slot, it needed a diverse movepool to counter a plethora of threats. But why if it's second? If we're going to even entertain the thought of 282+, and play by the rules of math, we need to go beyond rigid thinking and classic movesets. Take a look at Xurk, with three electric moves. Grass moves turning into 160 BP G-Max Drum Solo, boosted by STAB and Terrain, allow us the rare opportunity to have 184 PP of a 160 BP move. Just think about that: that's the overpowered nonsensical power creep we grew up dreaming about when link cables were around. Even with 2HKOs, we easily clear the 90-KO/LEG threshold Jump mentioned, by merely smashing opponents over and over like Kong. Sign me up. Plus, Grassy Surge and Leftovers allowed us to constantly regenerate the damage we take on the switch. Really, it's like the team heals itself over the run. With shell bell, leftovers, grassy terrain, and leech seed... it's not uncommon for us to considerably heal over the course of the leg. Not to mention a whopping 312 PP from two attackers at our disposal.

Appletun we all know and love as well. He throws up on stuff from the gastro-intestinal complications that come from being a pie. Plants seeds everywhere. Protecc's his leppa. You know this part. The darling of RS. I was going to preorder the
Appletun plush, but it was gone in less than a couple minutes. I'm willing to bet Jump will secretly have the plush in the background of his next screenshot of 320+. Mark my words.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
THE RUN

We got off to a remarkable start. After Jump posted his attempt, I quickly cancelled any thought of work from home. Kept twitch open to keep my work monitor from sleeping, and got to work on this run. I had to hit 200. Maybe more. Desperation breeds ingenuity and creativity. One thing I really appreciated about having such a high watermark as 282 is that we could beat Jump's grass record of 168 even while attempting to hit 282. Kind of like that cheesy phrase: if you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars... (while astronomically that's a horribly inaccurate phrase, but it's cute okay)

This team was a quick build since I had a lot of the pieces already around. The first leg got us to 120 before we needed to heal, and that's because I goofed and lost a Leppa carelessly. I'll never forgive myself. I can't tell you how badly I wanted to drop subtle little hints that Jump's record could be in jeopardy, like when he posts a 7 second clip of an insane leg, but I bit my tongue. I couldn't show my hand before the river. Plus, I'm not nearly as creative as Jump when it comes to his subtly and ability to leave little breadcrumbs for the lurkers on how well his teams are doing. To each their own.

We followed up the second leg expertly dodging Turtonator and Zoroark. They were tremendously rare, to our delight. Both tended to show up at the end of a Kartana sweep after some boosts. Sap Sippers were risky, but I had a lot of luck where Rillaboom would click to find out and thankfully that Azumarill was huge power instead of sap sipper. We got caught up in some moments when I wanted to conserve Kartana's PP and risk Rillaboom since it had more to spare. It's such an odd feeling the higher you go with attempts. Do I leave Kartana in and sweep (a time-saver, to be sure), or do I play it conservative and risk switching and other trials that may arise? One example was a Gardevoir that I easily could have taken down with Max Overgrow, but decided to play around it with Rillaboom and Appleton. We won, but was that dance worth it? I think about this a lot with attempts, and the balance of hyper aggressive and hyper conservative weighs on me. Early on in a run or leg, I am insanely risky. My logic being that if it fails and I lose the run early, I've saved myself a lot of time for the next attempt. So when things click early and my risks pay off, I tend to convert into this incredibly conservative play-caller. Like, I would run nothing but run plays if I had a 28-3 lead kind of conservative. I wouldn't dare risk a range on Kartana later in a leg, as another example.

Ultimately things started to fall apart as I went past 282. I started overthinking, started worrying about whether I should forfeit at 300 as a nice gesture as to give Jump a chance to catch me (he was being nice with 200, right?). Ultimately I wound up paralyzed on Rillaboom, and Appleton buckled under the weight of all the defensive pivoting on a hyper-aggressive team. Legs of 120, 111, and 89 really goes to show that anything is possible if you stay in school.


RIP.jpeg

How's that for arithmetic, Conkeldurr.

Proof

got him.jpeg


April Fools! I hope I at least got you for more than a couple minutes, Jump. Thought we'd have some fun to celebrate your 282. Way to go. Also, this is a really fun team tbh, had to stop at 20 to preserve the screenshot credibility, but man was it enjoyable lol.

Cheers to Jump, sb, Eisen, among others on the discord for contributing and keeping the spark here alive with RS. It's a really fun facility and it's been a pleasure getting to know you all in some fashion. If you're considering RS... Try recycle. Try Kartana. Have some fun, that's why we're here. Nothing is so serious that we forget the reason we play.

PS. Can we give Awood's squad a run for their money in Endless? I know it can be tough to get folks together but man we need some competition going.
 
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And it all comes crashing down... Galarian LuchaLele finally falls at 1535 in Battle Tower Doubles. Once again for a quick recap:

Hawlucha @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Adamant Nature
- Low Kick
- Acrobatics
- Tailwind
- Protect


Tapu Lele @ Life Orb
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 28 HP / 4 Def / 220 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/HT/31/HT
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Shadow Ball
- Protect


Dracovish @ Protective Pads
Ability: Strong Jaw
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: HT/HT/HT/31/31/31
Bashful Nature (minted to Jolly)
- Fishious Rend
- Psychic Fangs
- Crunch
- Protect


Xurkitree @ Expert Belt
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 4 Def / 212 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/HT/31/31/31
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Protect
And for the loss video (loss blurb in the video description):
Ultimately, poor play and also a little bit of not playing with this team for a couple of weeks. Oh well, it happens. Until next time, see ya.
 
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It’s not quite 282 (and had a third leg of 8) but it’s a start. Considering the recent posts following that immense record and mention of Bronzong as a possibly viable Recycle user for Steel, I thought I’d post this work in progress I’ve taken for a few runs in the past month or so. If only to highlight someone else out there who is giving the Leppa strat a go.

2021040302404900-B8FAEF4816CAC2B76D11869B05CA7601.jpg

2021040307284500-B8FAEF4816CAC2B76D11869B05CA7601.jpg


I started a steel run back when Crown Tundra came out, starting with Muscle Band Kartana, 4 attack Shell Bell Heatran and Celesteela with some variation of Leech Seed/Rest etc. Swapping to Ferrothorn and getting decent success, a few first legs in the 60’s, but with second legs cut short by Kartana’s nemesis, Magnet Pull Magneton. I was just eyeing up Corviknight as possibly better than Ferrothorn when EightVelociraptors posted the first of three increasingly outstanding steel runs with exactly that combo (and what looked like better item/moveset arrangements than I had). I shelved the team for a bit and after a bit of a break came back to it about a month ago, this time to try Shed Shell on Kartana to see if the power drop from Muscle Band or lack of Shell Bell healing were deal breakers. I was also dying to try out the Recycleppa strategy, originally going to just drop in Jumpman’s Magnezone and see what happened. That changed when looking at other Recycle users, with Bronzong’s already mentioned Fighting neutrality, and Levitate tying in with Heatran quite nicely.

The first run, as expected, was an absolute shambles as I got to grips with how to use Bronzong and how the whole setting-up/stalling/recycle strategy functioned. Then I came up against Seismitoad and set about Rest stalling its Surf PP. I had a minor panic attack when I realised this would cost like 6 Rest PP, such a massive step change from usual RS play was the lightbulb moment though – who cares?! As long as you manage your PP when it gets close to zero (easier said than done sometimes) and don’t lose your precious Leppa Berry, Bronzong’s PP doesn’t matter. Kind of priceless and worthless at the same time. I’d like to say it was plain sailing after this realisation, but the reality is obviously very different, as the relatively underwhelming number shows. Not everything is as simple as Seismitoad (fall asleep until Surf is gone then do whatever you want) but it’s starting to click more with every battle.

The Team

:ss/Kartana: @ :Shed Shell:
Jolly – Beast Boost
IVs 31/31/31/xx/31/31
EVs 4HP / 252Atk / 252Spe
Razor Leaf / Aerial Ace / Knock Off / Sacred Sword

:ss/Heatran: @ :Shell Bell:
Modest – Flash Fire
IVs 31/xx/31/31/31/31
EVs 20HP / 4Def / 252SpA / 4SpD / 228Spe
Flamethrower / Earth Power / Rest / Solar Beam

:ss/Bronzong: @ :Leppa Berry:
Calm – Levitate
IVs 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs 252HP / 4Def / 252SpD
Iron Defense / Body Press / Rest / Recycle

Fairly unimaginative Kartana and Heatran sets. Rest brought in over Flash Cannon, Shell Bell on Heatran is a hangover from giving Ferrothorn Leftovers and Kartana having Muscle Band. So Heatran got Shell Bell just because. He should have Leftovers to get some switch stall healing going, and having to heal with Rest can be annoying as you have to ‘waste’ a PP when you wake up. Yes, I know Kartana should get Shell Bell and it’s an entire item just for a 1 in 3 chance of an ability on a 1 in 150 Pokemon turning up, but it’s a concession for my own sanity as I’ve had first legs of 64, 65 and 69 halted in the 80’s and 90’s by bloody Magneton. The worst part is it’s still a pain in the arse, with not much wiggle room for a full paralysis, but at least it gives you a chance. I’ve also gotten quite used to playing Kartana with only Grassy Terrain recovery to work with and it’s not that bad.

Bronzong is obviously a rip off of Magnezone, but what other moveset is there? Toxic doesn’t really fit with the longer-game stalliness of Rest/Recycle, and the ‘what to do against Ghosts?’ problem is even less of an issue for Bronzong, whose Psychic typing means he doesn’t want to be anywhere near them. Although this naturally shunts them on to Heatran which isn’t always ideal, as Kartana is rarely able to hard switch back in to something. Paralysis can be an issue, but you rarely need to put yourself in a situation where you can’t afford a full paralysis or 2.

The Run

The first leg came to an end after 59 with Kartana drained of PP, largely due to not utilising Bronzong enough and still learning when and how to deal with certain things that doesn’t just involve Kartana KOing them.

The second ended prematurely at 109 thanks to Malamar. Kartana is just in range of Superpower but should be able to KO with 2 turns of Dynamax, as long as it didn’t go overboard with any Quick Claw/Superpower/Contrary shenanigans. Quick Claw activated…and it Baton Passed to something, I forget what, that resisted Overgrowth. I KO’d with second turn of Dynamax and hoped that Malamar would come back out while still Dynamaxed. It didn’t, so Kartana was exposed at +2, with Knock Off a 50-50 chance that failed while Superpower KO’d. Any number of misplays there, not least of all being so honed in on being able to KO Malamar with Kartana that I didn’t even attempt to bail out of Dynamax and set up Bronzong, due to worrying about Night Slash. Sure it’s a higher crit move but still not a KO from full. Bronzong’s HP would be in a shitty position but not irredeemable. And that’s only if it even gets a crit. Having said that, +6 Body Press is also only a 30% roll (no Analytic boosts for Bronzong!) Lessons learned, and on to the final leg.

Battle 117 – Kartana took a crit hit from something early on in the leg and was on the slow road to recovery, KO’d something in the lead with Overgrowth, Rhyperior second. I spent so long deciding whether to KO with Overgrowth and get a bit more healing or set up Bronzong and risk no Dynamax for whatever came out third that I did neither, accidentally clicked Knuckle (which doesn’t KO) and took Rock Wrecker (which apparently does KO thanks to Knuckle activating Weakness Policy, Kartana’s weakened state and another crit) and Kartana is out having used less than 10 of its 128 PP. ‘Whoops’ probably best sums that up. I did what I should have done all along and set up Bronzong to KO and called it a day there.

Like I said at the start, this is still definitely a work in progress. This was I think my 5th run with Bronzong, and the first 2 legs of 59 and 50 were still riddled with errors - wasted opportunities to stall something, Dynamaxing unnecessarily (and not coming out of Dynamax when I should) and burning the front two’s PP far too quickly. Most of it comes down to practice, and more importantly patience – switch stalling Corviknight out of its 70(!)PP of Metal Sound, Taunt and Spite so it kills itself with Steel Beam is mind numbing when the temptation of Flamethrower is right there. After all it’s just 1PP, what’s a single attack matter? Well it’s a single attack you aren’t getting back and don’t need to use. And once you get over that mental barrier and commit to the fact that this will take absolutely ages, but 15 minutes of boredom is just about worth 1 Flamethrower PP, you’re halfway there.

I’ve put Leftovers on Heatran now, but I’m sticking with Shed Shell on Kartana. Shell Bell is almost certainly better if you want the optimum long run, but I’m not sure my blood pressure would cope if I put in 2 great legs only for Magneton to rock up…and besides, posting a decent run without using the format’s best (or should that be second best now?) item would be pretty satisfying.

Heatran’s EVs could probably do with some work too. The Speed is needed as Butterfree’s a pain otherwise, but some of that SpA could probably be moved in to its defences. Just need to work out some benchmarks on what he needs to OHKO, or more usefully what he needs to switch in to that forces out a set up Bronzong (looking at you, Ghosts) and go from there.

Ultimately even with these changes I think Heatran may be the limiting factor in how far this team can go as it can get heavy usage depending on who the RNG throws at you. Its Flash Fire, especially coupled with Bronzong’s Levitate, is obviously fantastic. But its PP is terrible, even more so when you compare it to Zapdos and its 72PP pair of STAB attacks plus 48 Light Screens. Nothing worth using has more than 15 base PP (most have 10) other than Metal Sound, unless you go physical attack... Even the new Gen 8 Fire move is terrible when you compare it to what Zapdos got – double power in Electric Terrain and 32PP compared to Burning Jealousy – burn something in niche situations and 8PP? Gee thanks.

Having said that I’m still sure even my somewhat questionable guidance can get close to, if not past, 200 so I’m going to stick at it. I’m currently back up to 50 wins and Kartana still has 54/128PP left, with Heatran in slightly worse shape on 20/56. With a bit of luck and managing Heatran’s PP we could be on for an opening leg in the 70’s at least, which would be a great start on the road to 200.
 
It’s not quite 282 (and had a third leg of 8) but it’s a start. Considering the recent posts following that immense record and mention of Bronzong as a possibly viable Recycle user for Steel, I thought I’d post this work in progress I’ve taken for a few runs in the past month or so. If only to highlight someone else out there who is giving the Leppa strat a go.
Love to see this! My first record with steel was 117 too, so I'm a big fan. It's also nice to see someone talk about the trials of learning RecycleLeppa, as my first few attempts with Bronzong were a mess just learning how to protect the berry.

I completely agree on Heatran, by the way. It's fantastic, but sometimes it's used so heavily based on the rolls that if it's used up early the leg can be rough. I've even toyed with runs with both Lava Plume and Flamethrower to ease that burden, but giving Earth Power's coverage or Rest is tough. Also nice to see someone hate Magneton as much as I do, despite the probability. We could start a Magnet Pull support group.

Keep going, 75+ is certainly possible per leg; I'll look forward to seeing you continue.
 

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