SwSh Battle Facilities Discussion & Records

If I'm being honest, I've been feeling pretty burnt out on RS lately even with my usual break inbetween types. I hate to feel like I'm bailing when we're so close to gettting 100 in each type, but this was never just a "me" goal, was it? With that in mind, I'd like to share some theorymon of the 2 remaining types, since it's no coincidence what remains. This post will be about Normal.



Sadly, no Normal-type has Throh's immaculate dodging technique. Mienshao is a huge, huge problem for any prospective Normal lead, and one that I think largely invalidates the would-be frontrunners, Diggersby and Porygon-Z. Both take enormous damage from Mienshao, even turning into likely/guaranteed KOs if it rolls Reckless. Combined with very limited or no way to boost their speed, it's hard for me to see either of these on the path to 100, though certainly not impossible with good Mienshao luck. So, how to deal with it?

Option 1: Be Faster

Speed doesn't tend to be the name of the game in RS, but let's see what we've got.

:lopunny:
lolpunny

:tauros:
Tauros has a wonky Max Knuckle from Reversal (24 PP/100 BP, but largely useless out of dmax) and is very weak, netting relatively few unboosted KOs despite having okay type coverage. I can't see this working.

:cinccino:
Cinccino initially sounded better than Tauros due to its gimmick giving it a lot of nifty coverage options (mainly the wonderful Bullet Seed). But since its only Knuckle option is from Focus Blast it gains no momentum, which combined with its poor bulk and strength makes it even worse than Tauros, probably.

:heliolisk:
The strongest, both in terms of the actual offensive stat and having the lovely Rising Voltage for a drawback-free 140 BP Max Move. Having another STAB is also amazing, since Normal sucks, frankly. Speed drop is the absolute least useful max move effect, and hitting nothing super-effective is awful. It tends to go without saying, but any other type at least mostly nullifies some group of Pokemon by just destroying them with super-effective STAB.

This is much more encouraging right off the bat, at least. Even so, Heliolisk still isn't that strong, and its horrendous physical bulk puts it at risk at being outright OHKOd in a number of situations, nevermind the usual wear and tear. It also gains little momentum, only gaining Electric Terrain and rain, so every problem is usually going to remain one. It seems hard for this to stay afloat just on Shell Bell.

...buuut, one of Heliolisk's most interesting qualities is that it doesn't need to. Heliolisk is one of two Pokemon that learns Parabolic Charge, a weird doubles focused healing move that's usually just a worse Giga Drain in singles. But it has 32 PP, giving it a significant niche in RS. Heliolisk can ideally get OHKOs with it on certain Pokemon, but failing that it can get health from harmless Pokemon. And how serendipitous- it hits Waters super-effective, the same type that will often be obliviously running into Heliolisk's other healing niche, Dry Skin! In fact, with good switching a number of Waters can just be an outright full heal for Heliolisk. But the healing doesn't stop there! Dry Skin also offers passive healing in the rain, which can be summoned by Surf>Max Geyser, which is like a supercharged Grassy Terrain. And for that matter, it even gets Grass Knot for the original version.

With such a plethora of healing options, one has to even consider the forbidden RS item: Life Orb. This makes Heliolisk very strong (also note that it increases the amount of mons you get a free Parabolic Charge refill on), and reduces the amount of hits it needs to take, especially versus some shitty things to switch in on like Golurk. doctordoak original used this combo on a backline Heliolisk for an Electric team, and CuneH8sVappy proposed it in this very context recently. While they didn't find it that useful, I've been trying it a bit and been very impressed with the results, getting up to a 41 battle leg with it. Personally, I ran Rising Voltage/Hyper Beam/Surf/Parabolic Charge. I think the 2 Electric moves are mandatory, but the other 2 have some leeway. Surf largely hits the same targets as Grass Knot and has a more potent healing effect, and also doesn't overwrite Electric Terrain. One of the 2 is definitely needed for Grounds, and that's my preference. The PP is a bit lower, but I don't think it's a big deal for a coverage move on something that gains little momentum. Hyper Beam is... questionable, but let me explain. The remainder of the set obviously has problems with Dragon and Grass types, and Normal STAB is the best way to deal with both. However, Hyper Voice critically misses an OHKO on Kommo-o, who is terrible to switch in on. So since it's not a huge PP loss from Hyper Voice, I decided to try Hyper Beam. It nets some other KOs too, but Kommo-o is the big one. The 8PP is pretty bad though, so I'm not entirely convinced by it.

Anyways, for my money, Heliolisk is the way to go for a Normal lead, but there's another viable path.

Option 2: Tank HJK

This isn't really possible if you're weak to it, but if you're neutral...

:braviary:
Used as a lead twice now, Braviary has a lead friendly stat spread and a STAB Airstream, and doesn't really care about Mienshao. My original Normal team's Braviary is probably too PP deficient to make it to 100, but Braviary definitely has options on that front. I forgoed a 4th move in favor of Bulk Up, but (and don't laugh) Rock Smash is a viable replacement that adds 24 PP and an often better way to get attack. The 70 BP is shitty, but unSTAB Knuckle is usually just for the attack boost+chip anyways. For STAB, Wing Attack is great with 60 BP and 56 PP. My personal proposal would be Wing Attack/Thrash/Iron Head/Rock Smash, but there's a lot of the permutations for the STABs.

I will say though, I had a number of consistency issues getting my original Braviary team to 75, so I'm not quite sure if it's the ticket to 100. But it's definitely viable.

Okay! So that's normal's (not great) lead situation. Thankfully things improve a bit from there.

Our Lord and Savior, Blissey

:blissey:
Oh my god Blissey owns. Just...invalidating so many Pokemon is so potent. I had some PP issues when I ran it originally, but guess what: it learns Recycle. Recycle+Healing is 2 slots, so for the remaining slots:
-Toxic+Teleport: I got this from AlphaClement, basically you Toxic, dick around, then Teleport back to the lead on the turn Toxic will finish the opponent. This has a shitty legality issue though, Teleport+Recycle means the Chansey has to come from Gen1VC (Let's Go can't transfer to Gen 7), which forces Healer instead of Natural Cure. And since it will invariably get statused, this forces Rest over Soft-Boiled which also has some annoying interactions with Electric Terrain. That being said, this still works very well and it's what I tried. But it would be really nice if Blissey could sweep, since Recycle sweeps are free.
-Defense Curl+Echoed Voice: lol. Blissey is mostly set on special attackers, obviously, and Defense Curl lets it muscle through the remaining physical attackers, ideally. Echoed Voice is the only option besides Stored Power that can OHKO Sirfetch'd (iirc some investment is required), and being walled by Ghosts is better than Darks, I'd say. I didn't try this but I think it has potential. Echoed Voice resetting is annoying when you need to heal though, and even 200 BP Echoed Voice can be disappointing.
-Calm Mind+Hyper Voice: This doesn't have to do anything wonky for Sirfetch'd, but I think it's very vulnerable to physical attackers, especially Mienshao.
-Defense Curl+Double Team/Substitute: please no (even ignoring how much this would suck to run, it's very vulnerable to item removal, and I'm not sure how feasible it is to switch in on all of those)

Blissey is almost required for the optimal Normal team, it just hard walls so much for free. The only reason it's "almost" instead of "certainly":

:snorlax:
This also gets Recycle! Its special bulk is still incredibly good, and Curse+Body Slam sweeps easily. Sirfetch'd is a big problem, but honestly...for a 100 streak, not running into a particular threat on a backline sweep that still needs to win the crit coinflip is feasible, even if obviously not ideal. I don't think this is better than Blissey, but it's worth considering.

The Non-Blissey Part

Physical+special wall is a common backline build, and given how silly good Normal's dedicated special walls are it's a hard paradigm to ignore. So for that:

:braviary:
This also has the bulk to work in the backline! 100/75 with Bulk Up and Roost is pretty solid when combined with a Fighting neutrality (and Ground immunity for Heliolisk), and Airstream to go for sweeps. Defiant is also a really fun ability, especially on a switch in where you can go directly to a move that triggers it.

:bewear:
I used a fast sweeper on my original Normal team, and it's good. Mine didn't have Leftovers (Big Root lol), but with Leppa Berry on the other backline it should be a little less reliant on Drain Punch which should make its PP less concerning for a 100 streak. I think Braviary is a bit better for a Heliolisk lead, but obviously you can't use Braviary with a Braviary lead, so this could be optimal for that.

:dubwool:
Fast Cotton Guard, Fluffy, and Body Press make for a great physical wall. However, I think the PP on this is a bit concerning. Any Body Press sweeper is a bit reliant on Body Press, but Dubwool is particularly so. First, your other move can't be STAB if you don't want to be walled by Ghosts. Unlike Recyclers, Dubwool can't afford to PP stall Ghosts, and while it's pretty reasonable to switch into Ghosts on a Normal team, Golurk, Trevenant, and Drifblim suck (assuming Blissey/Snorlax as the other part of the backline). Heliolisk can switch in on Drifblim and Braviary on Trevenant, but Golurk is super bad. But if you do want Dubwool to deal with Ghosts, the best options are fast Payback, Grassy Glide, or Growl/Baton Pass. The damaging options reduce the reliance on Body Press a little, whereas the other 2 let other mons deal with Ghosts better but make it super reliant on Body Press.

The Forbidden Knowledge That RS Players DON'T Want You To Know!

It's always just been kind of an unspoken rule that Normal simply cannot switch in on Mienshao, but is that true? Well, Braviary is workable if you have dmax to buffer the second hit, but this doesnt really save Diggersby/Porygon-Z since that often won't be the case. But... there exists a way to switch in on Mienshao, dmax or not.

...

:unfezant:
With maxed physical bulk, Unfezant takes around half from HJK. But it's slower, right? Not quite. With Rocky Helmet and a Protect to cause recoil on the second HJK, Unfezant can then snipe Mienshao with Quick Attack. Now, Unfezant isn't good, and this is not the start of a good set. I mean, Protect can at least combo with Wish, and Quick Attack has a nice 48 PP, but you're not going to end up with a good set out of this. But, I think this might be the best way to make a Diggersby/PZ lead work. Though it's so stupid I can't honestly claim it's better than just hoping for good Mienshao luck .__.

So, those are my Normal ideas. Hopefully they're of use to any prospective Normal players. As you can see, I have a pretty decent idea of what I think a 100 Normal team will look like, but obviously my word is not final and maybe there's something I'm not considering. Good luck everyone!
 
What would the drawback of leading Ditto be? Infinite PP in this mode seems hard to turn down, and I’d assume most Imposter-proof sets are more defensive and walled by Blissey. It would probably make running a full stall (like Sub/Minimize) Blissey easier since you’d have opportunities to switch Ditto out turn 1 and back in against a Struggling lead to set up a faster sweep than stalling the whole team with Blissey.
 
What would the drawback of leading Ditto be? Infinite PP in this mode seems hard to turn down, and I’d assume most Imposter-proof sets are more defensive and walled by Blissey. It would probably make running a full stall (like Sub/Minimize) Blissey easier since you’d have opportunities to switch Ditto out turn 1 and back in against a Struggling lead to set up a faster sweep than stalling the whole team with Blissey.
I'd think the problem is that with only 5 PPs per move, and lot of AI sets carrying status / utility stuff and not being able to ...actually kill themselves, you'd actually just end up doing nothing or having to swap most of the time, and even when you arent you're just taking damage for basically free since sets that can "1hko themselves" even including Dynamax are quite rare.

And Normal doesn't really have a Regen core to fall back to if you want to switch in/out multiple times either.
 
There are a couple unheralded benefits of Ditto in this context:
  • By going to the status screen, you can read off what your (and hence their) ability is, as if you had a Trace lead. Frisk to disambiguate between multiple sets by their item is not necessary in RS, but having a flawless ability scout can give you key information in advance about countermeasures that will or won't work.
  • If Ditto fails to transform at all, there can be only one verdict: you have a crystal-clear signal coming through that Zoroark has been identified before you even had to pick a move on turn 1. Regardless of what it looks like, you then know that it pretty much can't touch Blissey, and can stall it out waiting for the inevitable U-turn. Now wasn't that easy?
However, there's also a big drawback to Ditto in the lead. If you happen to transform into Magnet Pull Magneton (or to a lesser extent Magnezone), you'll be able to read off the ability, sure, but you also won't be able to do a whole lot about it. Being in that situation pretty much requires you to use up Dynamax for the battle just to 3HKO the mirror with Max Lightning and avoid getting your HP completely trashed by whittling away with chip damage.
 

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This is an awkward set, but there actually exists a pure Normal-type that can, amazingly, beat Sirfetch'd:

:ss/type_null:
Type: Null @ Eviolite
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Defense
- Crush Claw
- Rest

I mentioned Type: Null before, but forgot it has the best ability a Normal-type backup could want: Battle Armor. This means it can ignore the critical hit rate of Sirfetch'd entirely, so you can switch in and it does this:

252+ Atk Sirfetch'd Meteor Assault vs 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Type: Null: 68.3 - 83.1% - guaranteed 2HKO

Then on the recharge turn, you use Iron Defense. Mercifully, Type: Null is faster than Sirfetch'd uninvested, so Resting on the next turn is safe as the damage is reduced to this:

252+ Atk Sirfetch'd Meteor Assault vs +2 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Type: Null: 33.6 - 41.5% - guaranteed 3HKO

This means you can tank two Meteor Assaults while asleep, then you wake up on the recharge turn of the second one and use Iron Defense once more, Rest and can set up Swords Dance safely after waking up then:

252+ Atk Sirfetch'd Meteor Assault vs +4 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Type: Null: 23.7 - 27.7% - 68.7% chance to 4HKO
252+ Atk Sirfetch'd Meteor Assault vs +6 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Type: Null: 17.8 - 21.7% - possible 5HKO

A bit shaky, and the set may simply be too awkward to use to succeed in other matchups, but the possibility is there, and we have had Coalossal be the Water-type check in Rock, Magnezone that can't touch Ghost-types in Electric, and Life Orb Virizion in Fighting, so it doesn't seem the most Farfetch'd idea in the world.
 
I'd think the problem is that with only 5 PPs per move, and lot of AI sets carrying status / utility stuff and not being able to ...actually kill themselves, you'd actually just end up doing nothing or having to swap most of the time, and even when you arent you're just taking damage for basically free since sets that can "1hko themselves" even including Dynamax are quite rare.

And Normal doesn't really have a Regen core to fall back to if you want to switch in/out multiple times either.
As I said, "having to swap most of the time" is not really a problem when you're switching to Blissey and setting up for free. It's a drawback in that the battles would take longer than just using some random hard hitter, but that's almost always the tradeoff for winning more. Shell Bell seems to be the most-used item in this format, and there would be plenty of opportunities for Ditto to heal up by coming in on Struggle and KOing stuff.

There are a couple unheralded benefits of Ditto in this context:
  • By going to the status screen, you can read off what your (and hence their) ability is, as if you had a Trace lead. Frisk to disambiguate between multiple sets by their item is not necessary in RS, but having a flawless ability scout can give you key information in advance about countermeasures that will or won't work.
  • If Ditto fails to transform at all, there can be only one verdict: you have a crystal-clear signal coming through that Zoroark has been identified before you even had to pick a move on turn 1. Regardless of what it looks like, you then know that it pretty much can't touch Blissey, and can stall it out waiting for the inevitable U-turn. Now wasn't that easy?
However, there's also a big drawback to Ditto in the lead. If you happen to transform into Magnet Pull Magneton (or to a lesser extent Magnezone), you'll be able to read off the ability, sure, but you also won't be able to do a whole lot about it. Being in that situation pretty much requires you to use up Dynamax for the battle just to 3HKO the mirror with Max Lightning and avoid getting your HP completely trashed by whittling away with chip damage.
That's a drawback? You'd have a Ditto, Blissey, and Dubwool or some other physically defensive Pokemon that would rarely be Dynamaxing. Ditto's entire purpose would be to have infinite PP and use Dynamax to brute force through whatever the other two couldn't wall. Transforming into something that's less likely to draw a Fighting move in some matchups is a nice side benefit for switching in the defensive backups. It doesn't seem like the other options are that great either.

I haven't played this mode but have enough experience with Chansey/Blissey to know that a normal type being walled by ghosts is a negligible concern as far as winning rather than quickly completing battles goes; actually it might even be a net benefit where you already have more PP than them and a higher porportion of yours are buffing your stats/increasing your survivability rather than being completely useless. I'd suspect the same would apply to the other backup. I don't know every set, but Golurk came up a couple times as particularly bad but would be easily stalled out of DynamicPunch with a Ditto lead, and from there your team defeats it with no fewer HP/PP than they had before the encounter.
 
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What would the drawback of leading Ditto be? Infinite PP in this mode seems hard to turn down, and I’d assume most Imposter-proof sets are more defensive and walled by Blissey. It would probably make running a full stall (like Sub/Minimize) Blissey easier since you’d have opportunities to switch Ditto out turn 1 and back in against a Struggling lead to set up a faster sweep than stalling the whole team with Blissey.
I don't understand your last sentence. Are you implying Ditto can utilize a Struggling lead to sweep?
As I said, "having to swap most of the time" is not really a problem when you're switching to Blissey and setting up for free. It's a drawback in that the battles would take longer than just using some random hard hitter, but that's almost always the tradeoff for winning more. Shell Bell seems to be the most-used item in this format, and there would be plenty of opportunities for Ditto to heal up by coming in on Struggle and KOing stuff.
You're not going to net health from Struggling mons since Struggle deals damage. That being said, there are a number of mons fullstall Blissey can stall out of attacking moves and leave with nondamaging moves to be used as health pinatas. Leftovers is much better than Shell Bell in that context, so for some I've indicated that there's not enough turns to get a full heal necessarily.
butterfree
vileplume
golduck
alakazam
magneton
lanturn*
mantine*
porygon2
miltank
pelipper*
gardevoir (only 5 psychic terrain)
torkoal
lunatone*
milotic*
magnezone? (not sure if this will suicide steel beam or not)
mamoswine
porygonz? (not sure if ditto copies the conversion making it ghost)
rotom (last mon due to volt switch)
musharna? (this uses its moves pretty evenly, but mushitto takes pretty little damage from its sole attacking move so repeated raw switching might net health anyways)
swoobat (last mon due to uturn)
seismitoad*
lilligant*
vanilluxe
emolga (last mon due to baton pass)
amoonguss
jellicent (9 subs)
beheeyem
golurk (5 dpunch)
meowstic*
aromatisse
dedenne*
klefki? (not sure if this will suicide steel beam)
gourgeist
toxapex
oranguru (10 psych up)
palossand (10 shore up)*
pyukumuku
corviknight
orbeetle? (this can only hit blissey with psychic, but it has shadow ball and calm mind, and i'm not sure if it will have a definite preference for one or the other once it runs out of psychic [after +6 is when this is a concern obv])
dubwool
appletun (10 recycle)
cramorant*
cursola
mr. rime

Some question marks, but a fairly high amount regardless. Asterisks have some sort of healing move Ditto can utilize, mainly notable if you want to not use Leftovers. While Leftovers is unfortunate to take from the physical wall, I think it would be highly beneficial for Ditto's survivability in the end. Shell Bell only really works for dominating Pokemon, which is not Ditto by design. Speaking of, it's really hard for Ditto to sweep. If Imposter reset every time it might be feasible to only lose a moderate amount of health since you inherently have an advantage with dmax and Leftovers/Shell Bell, but since you stay as the same mon you're fairly likely to run into a bad matchup. If said matchup is Blissey-stalled then whatever, but by my count "only" a little less than half the roster is vulnerable to this, which means it's fairly likely that you'll need to go to your finite physical wall. Running Growl Dubwool is possibly ideal for this kind of strategy, since it's a very high PP option that can increase the amount of mons Blissey can set up on (kinda hard to determine what's an acceptable set up risk, so I'll just estimate around ~15 more viable set up opportunities). Regardless though, I think Ditto is going to force a lot more situations where the physical wall is needed than a more offensive lead, whether it be from bad transformation matchups or not getting a Blisseystall refill in time, and finite walls already have the most PP issues of the team.

Another issue that comes to mind are moves that switch out. These can be troublesome for any team, but I think Ditto exacerbates the risk a lot, since you really can't preemptively deal with any of them; most of them are pretty useless transformations. They're at least used kind of erratically, but it's pretty unlikely to get any good set up before they're used. Any of those into anything that becomes a critical threat when sent out on an unprepared team... RIP. The problems would be:

Wailord, Vespiquen, Lopunny, Rotom, Swoobat, Scolipede, Zoroark, Emolga, Talonflame, Slurpuff, Malamar, Thievul, Eldegoss, Obstagoon, Alcremie

into any of

Pikachu, Conkeldurr, Crustle, Mienshao, Braviary, Passimian, Kommo-o, Grapploct, Sirfetch'd, Falinks

It doesn't seem unlikely for this to happen, unfortunately. Zoroark is kind of funny to me since ostensibly a nice perk of Ditto is that you know the Zoroarks, but it's actually a pretty big issue still since it beats the physical walls and Blissey's lopsided defenses means you can see U-turn. I know versus my Calm max defense/special defense Blissey it straight up preferred it, but with no special defense Night Daze does a bit more, but not enough to negate using it, I think. At least U-turn/Parting Shot can miss into Minimize, but the others can't miss (or the problem isn't them hitting).

While I'm never going to outright say "no" to infinite PP, I'm having a hard time seeing Ditto work out as a lead.
 
Yes, Ditto is free to run Leftovers too if you have something like Eviolite Type:null. Yes, if you used Dubwool Thunder Wave on the current #1 team seems like a suboptimal moveslot both for accuracy and because paralyzing something is counterproductive to PP wasting (Growl or even Defense Curl to save Cotton Guard PP for when you really need +3 at once would probably be better). If you were to run Sub/Minimize/Recycle/Softboiled Blissey with some speed creep I'm sure you'd find even more healing opportunities or just stall out more teams; there's probably room to run P-Z or Braviary or whatever hard-hitting lead with the improved backups too. Another option could be "RNGing" a streak where you have an Obstagoon with Shell Bell or whatever and reset until you get poisoned/burned early on.

For Ditto though, I doubt that list of 45 is exhaustive (Wishiwashi, Runerigus, Centiskorch, and Pincurchin are others I found in a brief scan), and then there's stuff with 4 attacking moves whose Struggle barely outdamages Leftovers and will net Ditto HP if it stays in for a few more turns (e.g. KO a struggling Swift Swim Kingdra with Max Geyser and sweep) plus all the times you can bring it in on Volt Absorb/Water Absorb type stuff. At a certain point that's a pretty good frequency of opponents that give you the chance to finish the battle with a net gain of HP/PP.

I'd also add that Baton Passing isn't a big deal in terms of trying to get 100 in a row since boosting speed or defenses isn't really going to affect Blissey's ability to stall something out and the only thing that can boost an attacking stat is Contrary Malamar (which as a lead you'd probably just overwhelm with Max Darkness). For U-Turn/Volt Switch/Parting Shot, those are palatable enough where you've got a very good chance of getting at least a Sub up with Blissey and they'd need to be carrying an additional threat and actually switch to it (which is easier said than done for the AI, which at least in the generations I've played would sooner switch something with non-STAB Focus Blast than a strong physical attacker in on Blissey) for it to be a problem.
 
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The worst types for Recycle either have no usable users or might as well have none.

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!)
I thought I’d be able to get 5 easily and maybe even 10 wins. I figured Gallade would be able to tank everything with Calm Mind and Will-O-Wisp and that Mienshao and Mienfoo wouldn’t matter much. Hahaha, no. I was way too used to my Pokemon not dying to anything... Needless to say, things went badly. Even after improving the team, I could only get streaks of 4 and I got 4 a lot. (but never exactly 3 for some reason...) I thought getting a streak of 5 was almost miraculous when it finally happened and it looked like I had a chance of getting 6.

In the Status Moves Only Thread I was talked into not worrying about Taunt Whirlpool Gyarados. :Gyarados: Guess what I ran into before getting a winning streak of more than 2. Turns out, Gyrados only uses Whirlpool when it's out of Scald PP and Scald always runs out of PP before Taunt. Also, guess what the first trainer after that loss had! That wasn’t the even the first bad omen. The first omen was my first try being ended at a streak of 1 by a lead Ribombee :Ribombee: OHKOing everyone. I’m glad my delusions of grandeur were crushed that quickly.


The Team

:Gallade: :Leppa Berry:
Gallade @ Leppa Berry
Steadfast
Bold 252 HP/ 252 Def/4 SpD
- Calm Mind
- Bulk Up
- Rest
- Recycle

How to use: Set up. Don't die.

As I mentioned before, I used Will-O-Wisp over Bulk Up at first because it does something to opponents and I figured I wouldn’t need to raise my Defense if I can lower their Attack. I gave up on Will-O-Wisp after just a few tries when Braviary :Braviary: outspead and OHKOed everyone. If I had boosted Defense I could have endured. (or so I thought. Braviary also knows Bulk Up so I was dead either way.) Doing something failed, so my new Plan A was the "All case emergency Plan B," nothing. The only problem (other than time and sanity, which I don't value enough) is that Critical Hits will happen when you're stalling to Struggle against everyone so I pay attention to what moved deal and worry about x6 damage (x1.5 of the Crit and ignoring the x4 from +6 Def) for when to use Rest. I start to worry when Gallade's HP is lower than 140/175 and below 120 feels dangerous.

One thing to note is I didn't use any PP Ups on Calm Mind and liked keeping it at 1 PP so he could eat the Leppa Berry on command and keep it safe from item removal like Corrosive Gas and stop Poltergeist from working. You never know when that will come up, so I use it ASAP and I can usually use Calm Mind 10 more times to get it back down to 1 PP. The last Pokemon lets you know when its safe to use Recycle. If it can remove items, you can spam Recycle to waste time. If not, wait until Struggle. If I lose the berry, I use a heal. Gallade without the berry is almost as bad as it looks.

The EVs are to balance his 68/65/115 Defenses and make sure he can actually take Physical Hits. Both Abilities don’t do much, but the choice matters a little because the alternative is worse than useless. Justified can make confusion and Foul Play stronger. I didn’t think or care about that much, but it’s just a funny minor thing.

:Mienfoo: :Eviolite:
Mienfoo @ Eviolite
Regenerator
Bold 252 HP/152 Def/100 SpD
- Toxic
- Confide
- Taunt
- Rest

Mienshao is held back by my refusal to attack ever again and sucking defensively, but Mienfoo can use Eviolite! That said she's held back by the same stuff that holds Mienshao back and not being allowed to evolve. I was torn between Regenerator being good enough to justify her and thinking Cobalion :Cobalion: would be better if I took the time to catch and transfer a 0 Atk IV one, but that would be annoying and the final run convinced me Regenerator makes up for sucking defensively. She takes about 1/3 HP from a lot of attacks and weakening those attacks let her heal more than she takes. Even if she takes a Crit, who cares? Switch to heal. It’s so sweet to heal by switching between her and my last Pokemon.

Toxic and Confide are the moves that matter. Toxic for obvious reasons and Confide for Special Attackers. It's not like any other move would've been useful... Well, maybe Protect over Taunt because Taunt was almost useless. It was a nice move for when I had to waste PP, but other than that, it didn't do much. Rest wasn't used much, but it's a healing move. Why would I not have a healing move?

I have no idea what I’m doing with EVs. I focused on Def because of Confide and slapped 100 in SpD for the sake of not ignoring it. It works, but I wonder what a better EV spread would be like. Probably something about the same but with a Calm Nature. I'm going to need to ask for help for EV spreads for other types.

:Bewear: :Leftovers:
Bewear @ Leftovers
Fluffy
Calm 252 HP/4 Def/252 SpD
- Toxic
- Confide
- Charm
- Rest

Sorry I couldn’t get the Regen duo on the leader board, but I hope Mienfoo sticks out enough to make people ask WTF. I tried Bewear to deal with stat boosters because of Roar and I had him transferred when I was transferring a bunch of stuff. I started with Roar instead of Charm because its a transfer only move and removes stat changes, but the problem is it doesn’t work on the last Pokemon, so it’s more like putting off the problem for later. Charm and Confide let Bewear be like a Gallade that can beat Pokemon that set up. Toxic is because it's Toxic, but it's also needed to beat set up Pokemon without wasting all of Charm's or Confide's PP. (Except against Scizor. :Scizor: You still have to use Charm 23 times. That made me heal for PP for the first, and so far only, time.) In case it wasn’t obvious with Gallade, this team’s strategy is affect the stats that let you not die and don’t die.

The EVs are Specially focused because Fluffy makes it so Bewear practically has 202 Def with 4 EVs. (I know Fluffy is only for contact moves, but that's most physical moves and I didn't have any trouble with non contact attacks other than Kommo-o's :Kommo-o: Scale Shot. How is that so strong at -6 Atk?) Call it a hunch, but I thought that was good enough. Besides, he really needed the EVs for his Base 60 SpD.


Problems with "Battle" 5

(Saying "Battle" without quotation marks feels wrong when not attacking.)

Sometimes I was just screwed. I either had to heal after 2 "Battles," heal again after the next one, and then be beaten down enough after 4 to not be able to win 5 or I have to face something I can't beat. I healed after 2 and 4 so this time wasn't hopeless. I just had to hope for Pokemon I can win against.

I thought I was going to win this one and it's too good not to share, except for the ending. If this post doesn't show why the N in my name stands for Noob, then the way I lose will. I put it in a hide box to make this wall of text smaller.
The Pokemon in the round looked just strong enough to worry about but just weak enough that I could win.

Mantine :Mantine: is a beatable lead, but terrible. I'm able to use Calm Mind enough to make Hurricane a 4HKO before being forced to spam Rest, but Mantine knows Rain Dance. Hurricane will hit and its 30% chance with 10 PP will confuse Gallade. Thankfully, confusion was nerfed in Gen 7 because of the infamous SwagPlay combo, but Gallade still hit himself in confusion on the last turn of a 4 turn confusion. Yep, 4 wins again because of BS luck. -_- Can I at least lose because of something that's my fault or at least something that I'd instantly lose against like Braviary?

Hurricane hit because of Rain and... 1 HP. 0_o

This is why I breed for 31/0/31/XX/31/31 instead of 5 31s or just going with 31s in the stats I'd use! I didn't expect to come up much (Foul Play proved me wrong pretty quickly. :P) and I didn't expect it to save me. I just did it for fun (and it was already worth it because of that,) but it was worth it!

Pincurchin :Pincurchin: doesn't look that threatening at first, but I use Rest against everything and Hex can KO with a Crit while Gallade is sleeping. Anything that can OHKO with a Crit is something to be afraid of because Crits are a 1/24 chance and I take way more than 24 hits per “battle.” You’d think I’d be good after Hex’s 10 PP, but Rising Voltage deals 25 Damage to +6 Gallade, which means it’s close enough to a KO that Pinchurin will be able to KO him before he wakes up. I wasted Dynamax against Pincurchin in case of a Hex Crit. I even knew it a waste and I still Dynamaxed. Then I accidentally used Calm Mind when it was at 1 PP after Pincurchin started using Struggle so I had to use Recycle instead of Rest first because Rest was also at 1 PP.

I used Rest against Lilligant :Lilligant: because it was now or never, and stayed in long enough to wake up, which let her use two Quiver Dances. A Crit would KO and enough boosts would let her OHKO Bewear and Mienfoo with Giga Drain. I switched to Bewear for Confide, but he took a Giga Drain on the switch. it dealt 120 damage and he had 121 HP after Leftovers. I prayed it wasn't a range and got KOed. It was a range. I sent in Mienfoo to spam Confide and, fortunately, Lilligant spammed Quiver Dance and Charm. I thought it was safe to switch to Gallade to try for Recycle in case "Battle" 6 is winnable bust she used Giga Drain and it's a 2HKO. I’m not getting 6, but I've still won 5. I've wo- uh, oh. Giga Drain heals... To be fair, I don't think I've seen draining moves heal in Restricted Sparing before. They always run out of PP before losing any HP. Another Giga Drain nearly KOed Mienfoo and I couldn’t do anything about the final blow.

I was pissed off that I choked, but I can't be that mad after the next streak. In fact, I'm kind of glad because I don't think that one could have lasted as much as my record did. Then again, I didn't think my record could last as long as it did either...


The Winning Streak

I didn't bother trying to remember much about what came up in the first 4 "Battles" because I figured I'd get a streak of 4 and lose again. The biggest problems of the first 3 were Eldegoss :Eldegoss: because of Worry Seed stopping Rest, a Talonflame :Talonflame: that made me realize I hadn't set up Bulk Ups because Fly was dealing over half, (That was the only time I'd forgotten, but Talonflame’s Fly was weak enough to let me set up) and Skuntank's :Skuntank: Corrosive Gas. The last one is easy because it likes to use Corrosive Gas first then Memento so I can switch to Bewear and laugh or tank some Burning Jealousies and laugh after Rest. I was surprised I made it to the fourth without healing. I can't lose at 3 for some reason so there was hope for 5.

The fourth "Battle" had a soul crushing moment. Gallade was able to beat the first Pokemon two easily, but the third was Gyrados. I have no idea how it decides to use Taunt or Scald, but it always runs out of Scald first. I lost to the first Gyrados because I panicked and hoped it'd run out of Taunts instead of using Toxic, but I've lost to another Gyrados because it kept Taunting whenever I'd try Toxic. I'd thought I was finally going to get a streak of exactly 3 for the first time, but I got really lucky with Bewear being able to use Toxic without being Taunted then Rest to cure his burn. Using Rest was nice, but it ended up not mattering because I used my first heal to wake up Bewear. That was the most excited I felt in this run. After that, it was awe at what finally happened then confusion. I still don't know what happened...

It felt overly cautious, but I wasn't taking risks for "Battle" 5. It payed off though. I may have lost if I hadn't healed.

"Battle" 5’s started with Clawitzer. :Clawitzer: Gallade was able to use one Calm Mind before being forced to Rest, but Water Pulse is just short of a 3HKO and it causes confusion. I had to switch to Mienfoo and sacrifice her to bring in Bewear for Confide. Getting Clawitzer to -6 took a really long time because of fear of Crits letting me only use Confide once before Rest if I used even it. You might think Toxic would've been better, and maybe it would've been, but I wanted to set up Gallade to +6/+6/+6/+6 in case of anything really scary. Side note, it's weird to see Clawitzer outspeed your team.

Pinchurin :Pincurchin: was second again and I thought it was going to Crit me. (Hex and Rising Voltage Crits either KO or come close enough.) I wanted it to Crit me just to stop false hope before it could begin, but it never Crit. Still, 2 down means nothing if I can’t beat the last Pokemon. I thought it had to be one I’d hate. I was right.... for the wrong reason. I can’t lose against Miltank :Miltank: unless I try, but its jiggling makes me wonder how Pokemon isn’t rated E10+. I probably should’ve switched to Bewear for Toxic to save a ton of time and I was sure he could do it, but I wasn’t about to risk a small chance of losing when I finally had 5. I stalled to Struggle again. I knew Gallade could use Calm Mind again easily if he needed too and that I was going to heal to revive Mienfoo and I still stalled to Struggle. Old habits die hard I guess?

The first leg somehow lasted for 4 "battles" but the second leg only lasted 1. I’d say, “That wasn’t my first leg of 1 and it won’t be the last.” but it’s the last because I’m done with this team after finally getting a 5 after so many 4s!


"Battle" 6 started with Amoonguss. :Amoonguss: Annoying because of Clear Smog, but Confide makes it a joke and Gallade is able to set up after PP runs out and it has to spam Ingrain. Exeggutor :Exeggutor: would’ve been scarier if I cared about a streak longer than 5 because Crtis would probably KO, but it didn’t Crit. Octillery :Octillery: made me panic. I switched to Mienfoo for Toxic, but it turns out this Octillery didn’t have Moody. Still, it hits hard enough that it was better to commit to Toxic than try to have Gallade set up again. Gunk Shot forced Mienfoo to use Rest then switch to Bewear and Dynamax for Max Guard.


Things started going badly again in "Battle" 7. The lead was sweet though. Seismitoad :Seismitoad: is not only weak, but it knowing Venom Drench let me heal Bewear’s 49 damage with Leftovers, wake up Mienfoo, and set up Gallade again.

I’ve faced Kommo-o :Kommo-o: before, I know I can beat it, and I have no idea what to do against it. Draco Meteor and Close Combat have low PP so I risked having Gallade take those, even after after Clangorous Soul, but I couldn't remember the last move. It can't be that bad if I can't remember, right? Wrong. How does Scale Shot deal so much with each hit?! It's Power 25! It even hurt Bewear a lot after using Charm until Kommo-o was at -6. I should have used Toxic while it set up... I remembered doing that before, but no, I just had to stick with Gallade...

The last Pokemon looked easy. Dusknoir :Dusknoir: probably knows Poltergeist, I need to heal, and Rest is at 1 PP. It’s perfect. Huh, it knows Shadow Punch instead? That's interesting and oh crap my HP bar is draining fast why did it have to Crit? Gallade endured at 17 HP. If Dusknoir has a move that does nothing, he could recover from this. Turns out, Dusknoir knows Shadow Punch and the Elemental Punches. RIP Gallade. You had an awesome run. You’re technically not dead and I’ll do my best to keep you alive, but odds are you’re screwed... I’m glad you slept through that speech... Using Charm 3 times and switching between Bewear and Mienfoo let them recover to full HP and stay there. Mienfoo needed Rest to heal a burn from Fire Punch though. Bewear wouldn't have been able to fully heal if Dusknoir didn't keep trying Shadow Punch whenever I was switching to him. Good old stupid AI... :) I could have used Toxic, but I get too caught up in plans to think of better ideas.

With Gallade down, my strategy changed from doing nothing back to doing something. Funny how I gave up on doing stuff but I'm forced to do stuff anyway.
"Battle" 8 was against the do nothing Vespiquen, :Vespiquen: weakening itself with Draco Meteor Kingdra, :Kingdra: and Electrify spamming Boltund. :Boltund: I’d jokingly thought I’d get 8 wins because each record was double the last one. 1, 2, 4, and now I’ve made it to 8. Winning one without Gallade was lucky, so I think that’s it.


Skarmory :Skarmory: looked like a pretty bad sign for the next "battle." It could KO Gallade, who I still wanted to keep alive even though he was as good as dead, and it would use Spikes so I wouldn't get a chance to "revive" him against something with useless moves. Charm made Dual Wingbeat do nothing and Bewear could tank Body Press, but Spikes made me waste a lot of PP instead of switching. I think Charm's PP are less valuable than Confide because it takes more Confides to get to -6 and they have the same PP. Either way, they both have more than enough PP unless I run into another Scizor.

I didn't see how Azumarill :Azumarill: could be threatening unless it knew Belly Drum. I used Toxic and, yep, it used Belly Drum. That's what the Dynamax button is for. Two Max Guards and a turn of double HP. Easy. If I had Full HP Gallade out and still had the Leppa Berry, I might have lost because of trying to stall out PP and getting Crited instead of using Toxic. Then again, Body Slam didn't even bring Dynamaxed Mienfoo into Yellow Health.

Obstagoon :Obstagoon: looked like a perfect last Pokemon because I didn’t think it could KO Gallade before he’d wake up. Forgetting about Spikes and KOing Gallade by switching is the kind of thing I’d do, but I remembered Spikes for once.


I hadn't seen Mandibuzz :Mandibuzz: before and I still had a few minutes until my show comes on, so I checked her moveset. Pathetic power, but Knock Off can suck. I wasn't sure if I was misremembering if Skuntank using Corrosive Gas was this run or if I got Leftovers back without healing, but wither way think Bewear's item is less valuable than Mienfoo's so I sent him in. Turns out, he got his Leftovers back.

Malamar :Malamar: is either a massive threat or no threat. I used Toxic and waited to see if Superpower would raise or lower their Attack. They used Batton Pass turn one. When it came back, Superpower lowered their Attack and I somehow won again. What is happening? How am I winning?

So many people complain about Magneton :Magneton: being a curse for steeling their runs, but it was a blessing for me. It has to be stalled until Struggle and it knows two status moves. When the attacks ran out of PP, I switched to Gallade to let him wake up, Rest, and wake up again. Instead of waiting until the status moves ran out of PP, I had Mienfoo use Taunt. The idea of needing to save PP hadn't hit me yet and I didn't want be be hit by Thunder Wave.

Greedent :Greedent: didn't do much that couldn't be healed by Regenerator, but Drampa's :Drampa: blows needed to be softened. I switched to Gallade for Calm Mind against Dragon Pulse then Bulk Up when it switched to Fly because Bewear's PP was starting to run low. I couldn't remember why, but I had a feeling that Barraskewda :Barraskewda: was a bigger threat than I thought and used Bulk Up instead of Rest. Bad idea when you're at 57 HP and it turned out to be a waste of boosts because I switched to Mienfoo as soon as Barraskewda used Acupressure. I went with Toxic first and using it instead of Taunt payed off because the first three Acupressures had all raised Special Attack. It raised Evasion next, which was okay because they were already Poisoned but annoying because it made Taunt miss, then Evasion again and Taunt landed. That was impressively ineffective.
How did I keep winning? Did something click or did I underestimate Bewear a ton or something?


Final Round Fight!

A lead Porygon-Z :Porygon-Z: made me sure I’d already finally lost. Bewear was down to 3 PP in Toxic and Rest and I've been insanely lucky. This looks like a good Pokemon to lose against. Someone was getting KOed and Gallade doing bad, so... Sorry, Gallade. RIP for real. You’re not that good without a Leppa Berry but with it you were able to beat so much. Shadow Ball obviously KOed and I switched to Mienfoo because she had more PP in every move and used Toxic and Confide. It used Conversion to turn into a Ghost type and Shadow Ball. Weird moveset, but that's a free switch to Bewear. Normal Gem Tri Attack was less threatening after Conversion and even less effective when they used Recycle to get back the Gem instead of attacking again. The AI really likes using Status Moves it doesn't understand...

Pinsir :Pinsir: is usually a threat because of Bug Bite, but this time Close Combat was the killer move. Bewear took less than half, but Pinsir's Eject Pack activated and made it switch to a surprisingly hard hitting Golduck. :Golduck: I wasn't able to use Confide and Rest, but that wasn't going to matter much with Pinsir. Even if Bewear could endure though the rest of the Close Combats, Seismic Toss and running out of PP in Rest would have finished him. Mienfoo stood no chance and the run finally ended.

Even with Gallade at full HP and a Leppa Berry, that opponent would've hurt. I'm pretty happy about that being my loss.



I was right about getting over 10... Sweet, but how? After so many runs or 4, how did I get a leg of 6? How'd I win 4 without the Leppa Berry? I feel like I should do another run ot two just to remind me this team sucks too much to get past 5. I'd be a lot more proud of this if I wasn't in disbielifing shock.

I've been wanting to nickname my team and they deserve names after this. Ram's Wool comes to mind for Bewear even though it feels like I'm trying too hard to be edgy. Then again, I like how it sounds and is there any other tough sounding fabric/stuffing names? I think I'll name Mienfoo after the highest ranking and youngest kid from the karate class I took, Asher. (I'm naming a girl after a boy, but I ignore gender for names all the time and last names are gender netural.) For Gallade, is there a word or term for shiething your sword or keeping your sword shiethed? For some reason I think there's a Japanese word. That would be perfect for a Pokemon with elbow blades that never attacks! If not, there's always the king of doing absolutely nothing, Luigi.


I'm going to keep going with Status Moves Only for at least 5 in every type. I will dominate the bottom of the Leader Board! I should try a good looking type next, but I want to try Rock so I can use my Shiny Lunatone for Cosmic Power/Recycle. It has to be way better with an open moveslot for Toxic! The other Pokemon I'm considering are Corsola for Regenerator, Cradily for Storm Drain, Coalossal because I actually think his typing is good, and Charm/Confide Carbink or Tyrunt/Tyantrum. Probably Tyantum for his typing and Leftovers. I know Tyranitar has Lugia like bulk with Sand Stream, but I think there's too many shared weaknesses with Lunatone to consider him. I think I'll try Tyantum and Corsola if no one talks me into anything else. I have no idea what I'm doing with EVs, so I'm going to beg for help. *ahem* I don't want to lose more than I have to because of having no idea what I'm doing! Please help.


Edit: Typos and I somehow forgot to talk about Porygon-Z after it KOed Gallade.
 

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Sword Battle Tower, round 3. Because why the heck not.

Shortly after I made my previous post here back in December, I took a break from Sword (and Pokémon on the whole), starting in early January. I had planned to be on a break from the series for at least four months, but that didn’t happen. I unexpectedly got back into the games and started playing again in early March, starting on a brand-new project which I have named “In Wonder”. I am still working on it, but it has nothing to do with Battle Facilities so I won’t post about it here (and probably not anywhere else on the forums either, there’s no good place to post about it). As time went on, I continued with this project alongside playing other Switch games instead of Sword. I occasionally thought about going back to Sword and continue on my streaks at the Tower here. And after thinking about whether it was worth it or not as well as changing my mind about whether I should do it or not several times, I finally decided to just do it. The new rules for this thread meant that I had to update my streaks within 6 months or they would be marked as complete, so I decided to do it while I still could. I knew that if I didn’t do it before six months had passed since my last post, I would regret it afterwards. So here we are. It also seems like this thread has become inactive lately, nobody has posted anything in over a month, which is sad to see.

This will mostly be a short update… or that was my original intention, but it got a bit longer than I had first expected. Sorry about that. As usual, I have a lot that I want to say, and it is hard for me to keep things short. Though I think the battle logs are the things that take up the most space this time around.

Just like during my previous rounds at the Tower, I did not look up opposing Pokémon sets or do any damage calculations when playing. However, I did look up certain sets afterwards, I also did some calculations afterwards in a few cases.

There’s no need to say anything more as an intro, let’s just get right down to it. Here's how things went this time:
Same team and format as last time. Here’s a quick recap.

Format: Dynamax

Team:


Cinderace-Gmax (M) @ Life Orb ** Kick-Ash
Ability: Libero
EVs: 6 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spd
IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
Nature: Jolly
- Flare Blitz
- Low Kick
- Bounce
- U-Turn


Ferrothorn (M) @ Leftovers ** Wizardspike
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Def / 150 Sp.def
IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/0
Nature: Sassy
- Seed Bomb
- Gyro Ball
- Leech Seed
- Protect


Gyarados (M) @ Lum Berry ** Ophion
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 14 HP / 252 Att / 4 Def / 4 Sp.def / 236 Spd
IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
Nature: Adamant
- Waterfall
- Bounce
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

Streak: 263

Picture “proof”:

I had won 70 battles with the rental team I used in the past, the rest of the battles were with this team. 333-70=263.

I don’t have anything more to say about the team and how it works, I went over everything in my previous post. It works just as it should. There are some changes that could be done, but I think I mentioned all of them in my previous post.

I started battling with the team again on May 13th, the same day I went back to Sword after not having played it at all since January 2nd. I then ended up losing this streak on May 13th as well.

My plan for Dynamax Single was to continue going with the team until I got to at least 400 wins in a row, then quit. Since I had yet to lose with this team, and most of my victories had been easy, I thought that the team was more or less unbeatable and that it was not possible for me to lose with it. But I was wrong. I managed to win 19 more battles after continuing with the team, then I ended up losing against Leon. Here’s how it went:

VS.

Leon starts with Haxorus, which should be easy to beat. I Gmax, followed by a Max Airstream, Haxorus survives thanks to having a Sash, it uses Dragon Dance. I use Max Knuckle next turn, Haxorus goes down. I now have Cinder at +1 Att/Spd, but with only one Gmax turn left. Still, there’s no way I can lose with this. Or so I thought. Leon sends out Charizard. It Gmaxes, I take it down with a +1 Max Airstream, gaining another Speed boost. My Gmax ends. Leon’s final Pokémon is Cinderace. I feel safe about my victory here, so I go for a Low Kick even if it probably won’t kill. It doesn’t, the opposing Cinderace lives and uses Pyro Ball, my Cinderace faints. The opposing Cinderace takes Life Orb recoil afterwards, but it still has a fair bit of HP left (it was in Blaze range). Doesn’t really matter since I have Gyarados left, so I’ll still win.

Out with Gyara to land the finishing blow. I can’t DMax, so I Waterfall directly. But the opposing Cinderace is faster and uses Pyro Ball. It gets the most well-timed Crit I have ever experienced, and Gyara faints. My chances of victory went from near-guaranteed to non-existent in just one turn. The rabbit takes more LO recoil, but it still doesn’t faint from it. I only have Ferro left now, and there’s no way I can win this battle unless a miracle happens. I start with Protect to stall PP for Pyro Ball, but I know that I’m just prolonging the inevitable. I can’t risk a second Protect and even if that somehow should succeed, it should still have 1 more PP left for Pyro Ball afterwards. Maybe I should have done that anyway, but I am not one to gamble too much. So I use Seed Bomb. The Cinderace is obviously faster and kills Ferro with another Pyro Ball, then it finally faints because of LO recoil. But since Ferro fainted first, I lose.

While the main reason I lost was because of the Crit, I still think I could have played a bit differently here. I could have let my Cinderace use Bounce instead of Low Kick, that would have been a clear KO as long as it had hit. Or I could have U-Turned out to Gyara or Ferro, and then gone back to Cinder afterwards for a clean KO. A +1 U-Turn followed by a neutral Low Kick combined with the opposing rabbit taking LO damage should have been enough for a win. Other than that, I’m not sure what else I could have done. I got really unlucky here, I have seen the phrase “Crit Happens” before, and now I really know how it feels. I am also pretty sure the opposing Cinderace had Blaze as there is no way it would have KO’d with Libero. I checked this afterwards using the damage calculator. If it had had Libero, it would have made more sense for it to use Double-Edge instead since that would have had a chance to KO Gyara even without a Crit, which Pyro Ball wouldn’t even with a Crit. Here are some damage calcs, first with Blaze:

252+ Atk Life Orb Blaze Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados on a critical hit: 182-214 (105.8 - 124.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252+ Atk Life Orb Cinderace Double-Edge vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados: 109-129 (63.3 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


Then with Libero:

252+ Atk Life Orb Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados on a critical hit: 121-144 (70.3 - 83.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Life Orb Libero Cinderace Double-Edge vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados: 164-192 (95.3 - 111.6%) -- 75% chance to OHKO


In the end, I never thought I would lose this streak. I was shocked, surprised and disappointed when it happened. And I never thought I would lose against the very Pokémon that carried me all the way here. But such is life, I suppose. In addition to that, I was not expecting to lose pretty much immediately after continuing on the streak. Losing against Leon was also a surprise, but I guess he can have that win since I had won against him every previous time I had faced him in battle – both during my in-game battles against him and in all previous battles at the Tower.


Sorry to be a disappointment to you, mate.


It’s okay, I have lost many times in the battle facilities in previous generations, so I know how it feels.

This was also my first loss at the Sword Tower. But will it be my last one as well? Time will tell…

With this loss, I consider myself done with Dynamax Single, I have no intention of making another try. I was already number #1 on the leaderboards for Dynamax Single here in this thread, and since it seems like nobody else is playing this format (at least not at the moment), I decided to just end it here. I will not try Dynamax Single again in the future, so if anyone wants to take the number #1 spot on the leaderboards from me, you are free to go ahead and do so.

That’s the end of my journey with Dynamax Single. But even if I had lost here, I still had my Double streak left, so I was not quite done with the Tower yet.
Same team and format as last time, just like for Single. Another quick recap:

Format: Dynamax

Team:


Whimsicott (F) @ Focus Sash ** Bittersweet
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Def / 252 Sp.att / 4 Sp.def / 6 Spd
IVs: 31/x/31/31/31/31
Nature: Modest
- Energy Ball
- Moonblast
- Tailwind
- Protect


Chandelure (F) @ Life Orb ** Light Me Up
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 20 HP / 4 Def / 252 Sp.att / 4 Sp.def / 230 Spd
IVs: 31/x/31/31/31/31
Nature: Modest
- Flamethrower
- Shadow Ball
- Energy Ball
- Protect


Gyarados (M) @ Lum Berry ** Ophion
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 14 HP / 252 Att / 4 Def / 4 Sp.def / 236 Spd
IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
Nature: Adamant
- Waterfall
- Bounce
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance


Bisharp (M) @ Expert Belt ** Paladin
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 38 HP / 252 Att / 4 Def / 4 Sp.def / 212 Spd
IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
Nature: Adamant
- Throat Chop
- Iron Head
- Low Kick
- Protect

Streak: 514

Another picture for “proof”:

I had won 90 battles with the rental teams I used in the past, everything else has been with this team. 604-90=514.

I continued with this streak on May 14th and reached my goal on June 5th.

While this streak is technically still ongoing, I have decided to cancel it. I have reached number #1 on the leaderboards for Dynamax Double, and I have no intention of going any further. Like with Dynamax Single, it seems like nobody else is playing Dynamax Double at the moment, so I have no reason to leave this streak ongoing. Cancelling my streak also means that I have no reason to go back to it in the future, which I in all honestly don’t want to have. Like for Dynamax Single, if anyone wants to take the #1 spot from me, you are very welcome to go ahead and do so.

The team is unchanged, but while playing with it, I thought about making some changes to it. The most notable is that I considered changing Gyarados’ Dragon Dance to either Power Whip or Protect. I don’t think I ever used DD in Double, and I did not use Max Guard a single time either, at least not this time around. Power Whip could on the other hand be great as it would give Gyara a better move against opposing Water-types. While I already have Energy Ball on Whimsi and Chande, a third Grass-move could never hurt. It could also set up Grassy Terrain through Max Overgrowth, healing my team at the end of every turn (except for Gyara itself, ironically) and boost the power of Whimsi’s and Chande’s Energy Ball. As for Protect, it is for the usual reasons as it is just a generally good move in Double. But as said, I never really needed Max Guard, so I’m not sure if Protect would have been all that necessary either.

I also thought about changing Gyara’s EV spread to make it more suitable for Double, though I’m not sure if it matters. It could possibly go with a little less Speed and slightly higher HP. But again, I don’t really know if it makes a difference, and I did like how it had a unique speed tier compared to the rest of the team, always being faster than Chande and Bisharp but slower than Whimsi.

Another idea I had was to change Chandelure to Blacephalon, which has higher Sp.att and Speed as well as Beast Boost, which is a great Ability. However, it has lower HP/Defenses and it doesn’t learn Energy Ball, so I’m not sure if it would be better in the end.

Ultimately, I ended up not doing any changes to the team and they won’t happen now either since I am done with both the team and Dynamax Double on the whole.

My goal with the team this time was to win at least 503 battles in a row to get the number #1 spot on the leaderboards for Dynamax Double. I ended up going a little further than that, because getting to 514 wins meant I would get to over 600 battles in total and get one more Starf Berry, so that’s what I did.

Like last time, I have written logs for the most notable battles during the streak. But just like last time, they are not always super detailed. And this time, the battle numbers are for the streak itself, not for the total number of battles I have won in Double.
One on the 220s where I met a Coalossal (set 1), which I kept missing against because of Bright Powder. It also used Mud-Slap to lower my accuracy even further, but I finally managed to hit it with Gyara's Waterfall which was enough to defeat it.

Four battles in the 250-270s:
In the first one, I faced a lead Oranguru and Clefable. I thought that the monkey would use TR to turn my Speed investment against me, so I did not set Tailwind. Instead, double-targeted the monkey to get rid of it… but it didn’t work since the Clef used Follow Me, taking the spotlight and even surviving both of my attacks, the monkey then set TR as expected. I still won without issues afterwards because none of the members of that team were particularly powerful (one of the backups was a Sylveon, can’t remember the second one). I successfully used Protect to minimize the damage to my team and to stall the TR turns.

The second one was against some Ice-types. Lead Glaceon and Weavile, I mispredicted and lost Whimsicott without setting Tailwind, then got into some more trouble afterwards, but I still won in the end.

In the third of these battles, I got to face a Vaporeon and a Cinderace which Dynamaxed. This battle annoyed me as my opponent did many good moves, including a well-timed Max Guard which stalled me for a bit. I still won though. Here’s a picture from that battle:


The fourth one involved some Steel-types. Lead Aegislash and Klinklang. The Aegi was surprisingly bulky in Blade Forme. It survived Gyara’s EQ, which I had not expected at all. The Klinklang fainted though. Not sure what else happened in that battle, but I think it went reasonably well apart from that.

After those four, the next one was in the 280s, against a lead Shedinja and Snorlax. The Shedinja had a Focus Sash, which has got to be one of the eviler sets I have seen in the Tower. I thought I could OHKO it easily, but no. The Snorlax was a Liechi set with Body Slam. These two managed to beat Whimsi and Chande, forcing me to sweep with Gyara and Bisharp in order to win.

Then there were two battles in the early 300s:
The first one was against a lead Drampa. It is an annoying opponent since I can’t hit it with any of Chande’s moves, and Whimsi can’t OHKO it with Moonblast. In this battle, I also had to set up Tailwind first, allowing the Dramps to live longer than I wanted it to. In addition to that, it used Icy Wind to lower my Speed, which was annoying. I eventually managed to beat it and the rest of that team. I ended up focusing on the others before the Drampa, one of them was a Greedent IIRC.

The second was against an opposing Whimsicott. It also had Prankster and Tailwind, which it successfully set up, stealing the speed advantage I usually have. It was a bit tough afterwards since the rest of that team featured some strong and fast attackers, like Dragapult and Cinderace. Those are usually not any problems to beat, but now that I was lacking the Speed advantage, they gave me more trouble than I asked for. I won thanks to Dmaxing Gyara and switching out Chande for Bisharp.

Next, one battle in the 310s. Lead Cramorant + Mandibuzz. These birds can be pretty fast, so I set Tailwind and Shadow Ball Cramo, which survives. They go for Hurricane on Whimsi + Heat Wave, Whimsi faints. Out with Gyara. Dmax, Max Airstream on Mandi, survives, Shadow Ball on Cramo, faints. Mandi uses Snarl. Gyara doesn’t care about getting its Sp.att lowered, but Chande doesn’t like it at all. But I can use this to my advantage. Whiscash comes out to replace Cramo. Next turn, I switch Chande for Bisharp, Gyara uses Max Geyser on the fish, which survives. Mandi Snarls again, Bisharp’s Defiant activates. Whiscash uses Blizzard, doing next to nothing in terms of damage, it does fortunately not get any freezes either. Next turn, I use Max Geyser on Whiscash, Iron Head Mandi, both faint. Dynamax ends. The last opposing Pokémon is a Seismitoad. It can have either Water Absorb or Swift Swim, which isn’t all too great since rain is up and Gyara’s best move against it is Waterfall. I use Bounce with Gyara and Throat Chop with Bisharp, the Toad survives Bisharp’s TC and OHKOs with Drain Punch, regaining a lot of HP. I bring out Chande again. Next, it is time for Gyara to Bounce, but it misses! Chande is faster though and KOs the Toad with Energy Ball.

Then there were four more notable battles in the 330-340s:
The first one was against a Drapion with Confuse Ray and a Weezing-G with a Quick Claw. They caused a bit more chaos than initially anticipated, but were ultimately taken care of without too many issues.

The second was against a team with multiple Fighting-types. Lead Hitmonlee and Scrafty, they defeated Whimsi with Fake Out + Poison Jab before I could set Tailwind. Lee also survived a Flamethrower from Chande, its Salac Berry Activated. Out with Gyara. Dmax, Lee is faster and deals massive damage to Chande with a Throat Chop. Scrafty uses Protect, allowing it to survive Gyara’s Max Airstream. Lee faints from Chande’s attack. The last two opponents were Excadrill and Hawlucha, both were dealt with along with the Scrafty. Chande somehow survived all the way to the end here despite taking very heavy damage early on, I had not expected that to happen.

As for the third one… I think it involved a Ninjask and Shedinja to start with, then Whimsi fainted and I had Bisharp + Chande out against a Centiskorch and Clefable. I intended to take out the Centi first with FT + TC… but it has Flash Fire, so it survives. I really need to learn the Abilities of the new Pokémon, now I had to do so the hard way once more. Though I should really know about this one since I used a Centiskorch with Flash Fire on my Armor Team! Either way, it nuked Bisharp with a boosted Flare Blitz, and Chande took a lot of damage as well, but I could Dmax Gyara afterwards and sweep.

The fourth was notable because it ended in an unexpected way. The last two opponents were Frosmoth and Coalossal, I still had Whimsi and Chande out. Whimsi is at 1 HP, Chande at more. I intend to FT Moth and EB Coal (it was already damaged thanks to a previous EB). Instead, Coal gets a QC activation and uses Explosion, doing nothing to Chande but defeating both Moth and Whimsi. It also fainted from the Explosion, ending the battle. I had not expected the battle to end that way, so I was surprised when it happened.

Next, one in the 360s. It involved another Drampa, which is a pain as said before. The Dramps was leading along with an Indeedee with Psychic Terrain which surprised me since it was faster than Chandelure. I had expected it to be slower, so I did not set Tailwind. Don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I defeated the Indeedee and a third Pokémon, Whimsi also got confused by Dramps Hurricane. I gambled a little but managed to successfully set up Tailwind despite the confusion. In the end, I only had Gyara and Bisharp left against the Dramps and a Morpeko, which was the last opposing Pokémon. It is an Electric-type, Gyara doesn’t like those. But since I had Tailwind, I was faster than both of them. I Dmaxed Gyara and OHKO’d Peko with Max Quake, then I KO’d the Dramps with Bisharp’s Low Kick.

One in the 380s. This one is very notable because it ended up becoming the the second closest battle during the entire streak (the very closest one is further down). I really wish I could remember all the details here (or even better, that I had been able to save the battle as a battle video like in previous generations). Thankfully, I can remember most of it at least. Lead Centiskorch and some Poké I can’t remember, I defeated the other Poké while Centi lived. I set Tailwind early on, but Whimsi fainted. Next up was a Grapploct. It defeated Chande with Sucker Punch while Gyara DMaxed and attempted to Max Airstream the Centi to death, but it survived thanks to using Protect. Out with Bisharp.

Gyara has the advantage here but Bisharp is weak to both opponents, which is not good. I Protect with Bisharp while Gyara defeats the Grapploct with a Max Airstream. The last opposing Pokémon is a Torkoal which unfortunately has Drought. I decide to set up rain with Max Geyser to boost future Waterfalls and take down Centi at the same time. I double target Centi with Throat Chop + Max Geyser, but it Protects once more, surviving a weak Max Geyser in the Sun. Torkoal then beats Bisharp with Body Press. Dynamax and Tailwind ends. For the first time when playing with this team, I only had one Pokémon left. Even worse, it is up against two opponents. Here’s a pic from that situation:

Fortunately, I am at +1 Att, +2 Speed, and have Rain, so it is reasonably safe. I go for a Waterfall to finally get rid of Centi while Torkoal uses Body Press again, dealing minimal damage to Gyara. Another Waterfall next turn, Torkoal goes down and I win.

Next, one battle in the 420s (I think, not sure). There was one notable thing that happened here; I met an Aromatisse with Ally Switch. It used said move twice in a row, which disrupted the flow of the battle and made it slightly closer than it should have been. I still won without major issues, though I only had 2 Pokémon left at the end.

Another one in the 450s. It was against Jolteon/Rotom/Heliolisk/Noivern. I set Tailwind and try to defeat the Rotom with Shadow Ball, but I miss twice in a row because of Bright Powder! The Jolteon sets Rain Dance and uses Weather Ball to defeated Chande. Since these two are Electric-types, I send out Bisharp instead of Gyara. It was feeling a bit risky here, so I decided to be better safe than sorry. TC on Rotom, it hits and the robot finally falls, while the Jolteon is 2HKO’d by Moonblast. The last two opponents were easy. The Heliolisk was hilarious as it decided to use Sunny Day despite having Dry Skin as its Ability! In the end, this battle wasn’t super close but it got very scary when I missed against the Rotom twice. Being up against multiple Electric-types was also scary, Gyara is generally my trump card for the team and it doesn’t like Electric-types at all, so it felt like I was going to lose for a while there.

One on the 460s. Not close, but funny. Lead Ludicolo + Cramorant. I set Tailwind and Shadow Ball Cramo, it survives with just a little HP left. It uses Surf, damages everyone else and catches a Pikachu in the process! The Ludicolo then uses Surf as well, damaging and defeating the Cramo, who fires its Gulp Missile at Ludi, paralyzing it! That was quite hilarious. Don’t remember what happened afterwards, but it was an easy victory from there.

Battle #484, vs Leon. Not difficult but quite unique and notable since this is one of the few battles I have had against Leon where he didn’t Gigantamax his Charizard. He leads with Haxorus and Inteleon. I set Tailwind with Whimsi and let Chande Energy Ball Inteleon, it survives thanks to having a Focus Sash and defeats Chande with Snipe Shot. Haxorus uses Dragon Dance. Out with Gyara. I feel that the best strategy here is to Moonblast Haxorus (I know from experience that it won’t survive a Moonblast without a Sash) as well as Dmax Gyara and use Max Geyser on Inteleon in order to get a Moxie Boost and set up Rain. But things don’t really go as planned. On the next turn, Leon switches out Inteleon for Charizard, trying to “predict” a second Energy Ball (even if Chande had fainted). I Dmax Gyara as planned, Whimsi Moonblasts Haxorus to death as planned, Gyara defeats Zard with Max Geyser, meaning it didn’t get to Gmax during this battle. Leon sends out Inteleon again and his last Pokémon is Mr. Rime. I Energy Ball Inteleon and Max Geyser Rime, both faint. Another easy victory against Leon, but the most notable battle I have had against him in a while.

Then there was a battle in the 490s. This was the closest battle during the whole streak. It featured several good moves and a little bit of hax from my opponent, as well as misplay and bad moves from my side.

VS.

Lead Barraskewda and Copperajah. I know that the fish is fast, so I set Tailwind. It is also a Water-type which is dangerous for Chande, so I decide to get rid of it first since it is frail. However, things don’t go as planned. The Barraskewda uses Protect, Whimsi sets Tailwind, Copperajah’s QC activates and it uses Heavy Slam on Whimsi, which lives thanks to the Sash. Chande uses EB on Barra, which obviously takes no damage thanks to Protect. In retrospect, I should have FTed the elephant here instead.

Next, I decide to let Whimsi EB Barraskewda and have Chande FT the Copperajah away. But the elephant’s QC activates again, another Heavy Slam and Whimsi is down. Chande uses FT on the elephant, it also goes down. Barra uses Poison Jab on Chande (it was probably meant for Whimsi) which causes minimal damage, it does thankfully not get Poisoned.

I send out Gyara, my opponent sends out Lanturn to replace Copperajah. An Electric-type, not good at all. I double target the Lanturn to get rid of it, so I Dmax Gyara and let it use Max Quake on the Lanturn while having Chande EB it at the same time… but the Lanturn uses Protect. It takes a bit of damage from Max Quake and nothing from EB, I gain a Sp.def boost though. The Barraskewda uses Dive. I am not sure if the Lanturn will faint from a Max Quake now, even if it has been damaged. I feel that I can’t take the risk, so I double target it again (in retrospect, this was a big mistake, I should have let Chande use Protect here instead). Max Quake, Lanturn goes down, another Sp.def boost for me and a Moxie boost for Gyara. Chande uses Energy Ball, which misses. Barra uses Dive on Chande, it falls despite being at +2 Sp.def (though it was not at full HP). My Tailwind ends, I have no Speed Boosts.

I send out Bisharp, my opponent’s final Pokémon is a Weavile. Not good. Here, I should have let Bisharp use Protect and target the Weavile with Gyara. But stupid as I am, I continue making mistakes. I let Gyara use Max Airstream on Barra and Bisharp target Weavile with Low Kick. As I should have expected, both opponents are faster than me. Barra uses Dive which causes Gyara’s move to miss, Weavile destroys Bisharp with Brick Break. Dynamax ends.

Gyara is at +1 Att, +2 SDef, and at full HP, but I still have no Speed boosts. Now, what shall I do? Dragon Dance? It doesn’t feel worth it. Protect? It doesn’t even know Protect! No, I need to defeat one of the opponents. I go for Waterfall on Weavile. It is faster than me and uses Throat Chop which leaves Gyara with 60-70-ish HP left. Barra hits me with Dive, Gyara is now at 51 HP. Waterfall, Weavile falls, another Moxie boost. 1 vs 1. Image from that situation below:

How should I continue from here? The Fish is faster than me and I don’t have Protect, but since it seems to focus on 2-turn moves, maybe I can use this to my advantage since I have Bounce? So that’s what I do. I select Bounce, and to my big delight, the Barra also uses Bounce! On the next turn, it is faster and misses, but I am slower and I hit, so it finally goes down. Why didn’t it go for Poison Jab though? Because it would apparently not have been enough for a KO. I did some damage calculations afterwards just to check:

0 Atk Barraskewda Poison Jab vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados: 41-49 (23.8 - 28.4%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

0 Atk Barraskewda Bounce vs. 14 HP / 4 Def Gyarados: 44-52 (25.5 - 30.2%) -- 3.1% chance to 3HKO (12.5% chance to KO Gyarados with 51 HP left)

+2 252+ Atk Gyarados Bounce vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Barraskewda: 255-300 (159.3 - 187.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252+ Atk Gyarados Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Barraskewda: 199-235 (124.3 - 146.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO


Interestingly, Gyara would have survived a Poison Jab apart from a Crit, and getting Poisoned wouldn’t have mattered since it still had the Lum Berry. A Bounce from the Barra would have had a very small chance to KO me though, 12.5% chance if it had hit me. Meanwhile, I would not have OHKO’d with Bounce without at least one Attack boost. Earthquake would also have been a guaranteed KO at +2, but not at +1 or 0. So that’s interesting.

That was the closest battle I had with the team during the entire streak. I really thought I was going to lose towards the end, but I managed to pull through. And I’m very happy about that, it would have been very sour to lose here since I was so close to my goal!

Next, battle #505. Here, I met a Crustle with a QC that activated three times in a row! Otherwise an easy battle.

Lastly, there’s battle #514 against Leon, my last battle against him with this team. Once more, he did not get to Gmax his Charizard. He leads with Rhyperior and Mr. Rime. I set Tailwind and EB Rhy, but Rime uses FO, Whimsi flinches. Rhy survives my EB thanks to having a Rindo, it defeats Chande with High Horsepower. Out with Gyara. Next up, Leon switches Rhy for Zard to “predict” another EB (despite Chande having fainted, just like in the previous battle where this happened). I let Whimsi set Tailwind, Gyara Dmaxes and uses Max Geyser on Zard (it was meant to be on Rhy), so Zard faints. Rime uses Freeze-Dry on Gyara which does over half, it would have fainted if not for Dmax. Leon sends out Rhyperior again. Next turn, EB Rhy and Max Geyser Rime, both faint. The last opposing Pokémon is Inteleon, it goes down to an EB + Max Airstream.
With that, my journey with Dynamax Double is over. I consider myself done with it as I have no plans to return to this format again in the future.
And so, I consider myself done with the Battle Tower in Sword… for the third time. If I ever return to the Tower again, I will not try Dynamax anymore as I consider myself done with that format. Instead, I might try Classic. It is the only format which I have yet to try, it also feels like the hardest format, so it might give me a good challenge. Or I might try Unranked again with random and/or overpowered teams, just for fun. But there are no guarantees that either of that is going to happen.

However, before taking another break from Sword, I decided to try Restricted Sparring a little as well. I wanted to give it a somewhat more serious try in order to see how it actually is. I decided to include my results from it here as well, find them below.
In the past, I had only tried Restricted Sparring once, which was back when the Isle of Armor was first released. Then, I tried with the Fairy-type, using various members of my in-game teams. I lost in the first battle against a team of Steelix/Rotom/Gourgeist. Yet it somehow still got recorded by the game, I didn’t expect that to happen since I didn’t win a single battle. Take a look. Now, I decided to try again, but with some other types.

I didn’t have three properly trained Pokémon (that can be used in Restricted Sparring) for any of the 18 types, and I didn’t feel like breeding/training any more at the moment. But I did have at least 2 properly trained Pokémon for several types, and I could use various Pokémon from my in-game teams as complements. So that’s what I did. Regarding the types, I decided to try the three starter types in order. Below are my results:





I don’t want these three streaks added to the leaderboards. I’m not posting the full details for my teams either, but I can do that if anyone wants to see them. Just keep in mind that some of them are pretty bad when it comes to semi-competitive standards, none of them are optimized for Restricted Sparring either.

Below are some short summaries about how it went for the three types.

Grass: I could have gone with Whimsicott and Ferrothorn here, but I decided not to. While their defensive synergy is decent, their Speed synergy is awful as Whimsicott relies on being fast while Ferrothorn relies on being slow. I decided to just go with one of them, which became Ferrothorn since it felt like the safer option. Along with it, I went with the Rillaboom I used on my Tundra team because it felt like a good member and others in this thread had used Rillaboom to great success in Grass. Then I added the Flapple from my Reserve team so that I would hopefully not auto-lose to Fire-types. I changed the items for Rillaboom and Flapple, then I was ready to start.

I had to make 2 tries here. My first attempt ended with only one victory. I lost in the second battle which is embarrassing as always, don’t remember exactly how it happened. On my second attempt, things went better. Even if I had to use both of my heals before battle #5, I still won a few more battles afterwards. I got extremely close to losing in battle #10 where I got to face a Talonflame and a Porygon2. I managed to defeat them, but it came at the cost of losing both Ferrothorn and Flapple. After that battle, I only had Rillaboom left with 7 HP. I needed a really good matchup in order to continue. In the next battle, my opponent started with a Quagsire which I beat, but the next opposing Pokémon was a Garbodor which I had no chance of winning against. Still, I got 10 wins, which I’m very satisfied with considering how bad my team was.

Fire: I didn’t have a lot of Pokémon to choose from here. Cinderace and Chandelure from my Battle Tower teams were obvious choices, and the last one became the Centiskorch from my Armor team. Those were the only trained Fire-types I had apart from my starter Cinderace, which I didn’t go with since the Cinderace from my Battle Tower team felt like it would be much better. I felt like I could count on Cinderace and Chandelure here, while Centiskorch at least was neutral to Ground-types, which could potentially be great. I changed their held items (using a Life Orb and bad movesets in Restricted Sparring felt like a very bad idea), then I was ready to start.

Like on Grass, I made 2 tries. But unlike on Grass, I didn’t really have to make two tries since I beat 5 wins on my first attempt. I just felt like trying once more since I was pretty sure that I could make it much further than on my first try, where I ended up losing in battle #12. It was against a Barraskewda and Starmie. I had been close to losing against a Barraskewda in a previous battle, and now I got to experience a loss involving it as well. Because of that, I decided to change Chandelure’s Expert Belt to a Choice Scarf so that I would be able to hopefully use it as a revenge killer against faster Water-types. Another reason I made a second try was because I had only used one of my heals during my first try, and I wanted to see how far I could make it if I used both of my heals.

So I made a second try, and managed to make it quite a bit further. Like on my first try, I could win at least 10 battles before using my first heal. Then I used my second heal quite quickly afterwards since I misplayed a bit and lost Centiskorch. After that, I made it all the way to 32 victories. I was very close at losing in battle #32. At the start of that battle, I only had Cinderace and Chandelure left, both were at low HP and Poisoned. Cinderace was also almost out of PP for all of its moves. But I got an extremely lucky matchup in that battle. First out was an Obstagoon, followed by some Pokémon I can’t remember, and the last one was an Escavalier which defeated Cinderace before getting FTed to death by Chandelure. I won, but I only had Chandelure left at 3 HP and Poisoned after the battle, the only way to go any further would be with a miracle. Which of course didn’t happen. Still, I am very satisfied with this streak. Cinderace was great just like in the Battle Tower. I think it can go much further with an optimized moveset, but I have no intention of making another try at the moment.

Water: Gyarados was an obvious choice here. Then I also had my Urshifu (Rapid-Strike style) which had first been a member of my Armor team, then shifted to my mid-game team where it also got properly trained. As for a third member, I really wanted something that was immune to Electric so opposing Electric-types wouldn’t walk all over me. Sadly, I had no such Pokémon on Sword which was properly or even unproperly trained. Instead, I had to pick another one. I had some other Water-types from my in-game teams (as well as the Keldeo from my mid-game team, which I sadly couldn’t pick) to choose from. I ended up going with Inteleon. It felt like it could work as a relatively fast and strong revenge killer, and if I used it, it meant that I would have used the three Galar Starters for the three starter types! So I went with it. I changed the hold items for the team members, then I was ready to begin.

Unlike for the other types, I only made one try here. I expected to get further than I got on Grass, but not as far as I got on Fire. And that turned out to be correct. I had to use my first heal before 10 wins, then I almost lost in Battle #16 against a duo of Rotom and Luxray. Two Electric-types, not fun at all. I managed to win that battle with only Gyara left standing, I had to use my second heal afterwards. Continued from there, and in battle #22, I met a trio of Swoobat/Lopunny/Wishiwashi which I lost both Inteleon and Gyara against, having only Urshifu left. It was damaged and it did not have much PP left, especially not for its good moves. I expected to lose pretty much immediately afterwards, but I got into some really good matchups and managed to win three more battles before finally falling in Battle #26. I beat the first opposing Pokémon in that battle, then I lost against an Alcremie of all things. It tanked a Max Lightning in Electric Terrain (I had a 37.5% chance to OHKO, checked this afterwards with the damage calculator) and KO’d back with Misty Explosion. If Urshifu had been at full HP, it would have survived. But now it didn’t. Still, it doesn’t matter, I’m satisfied with my result here as well. Like Cinderace for Fire, I found Urshifu to be very solid for Water. It is probably even better with an optimized moveset.

And that’s my experience with Restricted Sparring so far.

In the end, Restricted Sparring was really fun even if I didn’t use teams that were properly optimized for the format. Now that I have tried it myself, I can definitely understand why it is so popular compared to the Battle Tower. Restricted Sparring is a semi-competitive challenge which is quite different compared to anything else we have seen in any previous generation, and that’s really cool! I might give it another try in the future. Maybe I’ll try to beat all types with more serious teams, including new teams for the three types I have beaten. I have to admit that I felt a little interested in doing it now, but in the end, I decided not to do it because I couldn’t bring myself to it. Forcing myself to play Pokémon when I am burnt out on the series is not always a good idea.
That’s all I have for the moment. There’s a chance I might return to the Tower again in the future, as well as Restricted Sparring. I might also give Endless Dynamax Adventures a try. As for what will happen next, I have some plans. First of all, regarding the upcoming games, I’m currently not sure if I will get either of them. But if I do, and if they have any Battle Facilities (pretty sure BD/SP will have something at least, unsure about L:A though), I might give those a try. But that’s for the future. Right now, I am going to finish everything I have left regarding In Wonder. Once that is done, I am planning to take another break from Pokémon. And after that, I have been thinking about starting on something I have mentioned in the past. I have several unfinished streaks in the Battle Facilities in previous generations. My Sword Tower streaks are complete, but I have 22 ongoing streaks left to complete in the older generations. I have planned to go back and complete most of them at some point in the future. Probably not all of them as there are a few that doesn’t feel worth it. But most of them at least. I can’t say when that will happen, but I will post here on the forums whenever something happens regarding it. See you again another time!
 
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Eisenherz

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It's been a while! I took some long breaks from RS, but I was still playing on and off for the last several months. Since my Normal record was my very first streak, from before any sort of meta had been established, it was obvious to me I should revisit that type. But Normal is way trickier than it appears; sb made a large post about it, so I'm not going to get into it too in depth, but suffice it to say that while the type has a pretty large selection of very good Pokémon, the RS enemy pool is not kind to them, in particular Mienshao, Kommo-o and Sirfetch'd, which are an absolute nightmare to plan around. I really wanted triple digits, but for now, this will do.

Pokémon Sword-Shield Screen Shot 2021-07-17, 8.22 PM.png


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S E T S
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Timid | Dry Skin
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 12 HP / 252 SpA / 244 Spe
Rising Voltage / Parabolic Charge / Surf / Dragon Pulse


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Calm | Tinted Lens
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 4 SpA / 28 SpD / 212 Spe
Air Slash / Calm Mind / Roost / Recycle


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Adamant | Fluffy
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 12 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 164 SpD / 132 Spe
Bulk Up / Drain Punch / Aerial Ace / Rest


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T E A M B U I L D I N G
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I went through many, many teams before settling on this one. P-Z, Blissey, Snorlax, Braviary... I gave them all a shot, but my first promising run was with Diggersby / Noctowl / Dubwool, where I got to 59 with practically no 3rd leg. However, after giving that team many more attempts, it seemed like I had lucked out on the 59 run, and getting 3 good legs was nearly impossible thanks to Mienshao, Kommo-o, and... Rotom.

Everything changed when sb mentioned his newest discovery on Discord: Life Orb Heliolisk. Diggersby was a really good lead in most instances, but it lost to Mienshao, and I was very sick of losing to Mienshao. I had looked into Heliolisk previously, but the calcs were laughably bad, and I swiftly dismissed it. But with the LO boosting max moves? Now we're talking!
sb explains above why Life Orb works on Heliolisk, which is kinda of a crazy thing in RS, and I will say managing Heliolisk's HP was a consistent source of stress; it gets low very quickly, and finding occasions to heal does rely on luck, but it works out most of the time (I had maybe 2 runs end because I couldn't find healing when I really needed it).

Shortly after my first Heliolisk attempts, I decided to ditch Dubwool; while an excellent physical wall and status absorber, it ran out of PP super quickly (it was bad to the point where I was running Leppa Berry Dubwool - yes, without Recycle!), and while I was running Baton Pass to allow others to take the Def boosts and achieve sweeps, this was making me way too vulnerable to crits, which was the main source of runs ending. After doing some calcs, I settled on 2 other options as physical switch-ins: Type:Null and Bewear. I tested both, and while both actually performed well, Bewear felt more consistent, partly because it was able to afford Leftovers and benefitted from Drain Punch greatly.

:heliolisk: As previously mentioned, credit for this Heliolisk idea & set go fully to sb879. Life Orb recoil can be mitigated 3 ways: Parabolic Charge, Dry Skin after setting rain with Max Geyser, and switching in Heliolisk on water moves to activate Dry Skin. The 1st is by far the most common and helpful, but requires the right targets to show up at the right time (mostly as leads; for the 3rd Pokémon, not many things allow you to switch out and then safely back into Heliolisk if Dmax is still there, and the moveset has no option to Max Guard).
  1. The most common sources of HP for Heliolisk were: :cramorant: :kingler: :gyarados: :drednaw: :starmie: :crawdaunt: (very funny to me that Kingler gets OHKOd through Wacan Berry by a base 65 move, and Crawdaunt gets OHKOd through Assault Vest)
  2. Max Geyser + Dry Skin was not as great as I had first anticipated; occasions to Max Geyser are not particularly common, since you need it to be an OHKO (if you ever have to tank a hit in the process, taking the hit + LO hurts way more than anything Dry Skin will afterward recover), and it needs to be done on turn 1 to benefit from 2 turns of recovery, since it won't activate after the last KO, much like Leftovers. Which, in an ideal world, ends up being 3 LO ticks in the battle and 2 Dry Skin recovery turns, which makes you end at a number of HP barely above what you started. But with how quickly LO eats HP, every single source of recovery is crucial, so we take those.
  3. This one is trickier and sometimes you have to get a bit dangerous with it. The best example is :seismitoad: Seismitoad, which pretty reliably goes for Surf into Bewear. But how reliably? There's still a small chance a Poison Jab could come out, but if Heliolisk is super low, you need to take those gambles. And this can also create difficult situations for Bewear, which has to tank hits, possibly get poisoned in the process, and then sweep the battle. Another example, :seaking: Seaking, which usually Drill Runs (I never dared risking Lightning Rod). That's a pretty free switch to Noctowl, or if you want to play it safe (which I usually did) directly to Bewear. But then you have to stall out Drill Runs, because it does go for random Drill Runs into Bewear sometimes, even before being out of Bounce. So this means a bunch of Bulk Ups, a couple Rests, etc. (precious PP). It's much easier to just go for a Bewear sweep at that point, but if Heliolisk is super low, you need to grab that one occasion to heal, because once Drill Run and Bounce are gone, it's a free buffet for Heliolisk. Politoed and Milotic can also be farmed for Dry Skin, though these are usually not too risky.

In short, managing Heliolisk's HP is a constant struggle that will keep you on the edge of your seat from battle #3 to the very end of the run, but it makes the team Mienshao-proof (as well as many other Mono Normal threats) and for that alone, it's totally worth.

I picked Dragon Pulse over Hyper Beam because I just wanted to test it, and it worked great, so I kept it. It OHKOs the Dragons (except Goodra, but that's setup fodder for Noctowl) which is great, and I also used it as a throwaway PP bank for when any move KOd, as well as lowering the attack to tank a necessary hit better. The latter doesn't come into play often at all, I remember doing it once on a Tangrowth, knowing Grassy Terrain was coming, and that made sure Noctowl had a better time coming in after. It does make Exploud lead scarier, because I'm relying on a 75% Max Lightning roll while Max Strike would be guaranteed.

:noctowl: I first tested Noctowl simply because I really like it, and was like "imagine Noctowl putting in work in Mono Normal!". But when I realized its special bulk actually allowed it to setup on quite a large number of RS Pokémon, and that thanks to Tinted Lens and the boosts from Airstream, it swept extremely reliably once setup, I started to take it seriously. At this point, I think Noctowl might legit be a better option than Blissey, which's issues are highlighted by sb (ie. severe 4MSS).

My first Noctowl runs were with a more offensive one, with Nasty Plot and double STAB (I started with Swift, but realizing Mono Normal never got far enough for its higher PP to matter, I switched to Hyper Voice to more success). It worked great, but then I saw it learned Recycle thanks to Gen 7 tutors. That was a game changer, because if I could unlock unlimited Roosts thanks to Recycle + Leppa, then Calm Mind would allow for way more reliable setups + sweeps, and then investing in offense becomes totally unnecessary, which means more bulk, and even more reliability.

This allowed Noctowl to become the pillar of the team; because of its unlimited PP, every occasion I can find to set it up is golden, and how many of these I get often ends up determining how long a leg lasts.
It gets to setup reliably on a pretty large number of RS Pokémon: :alakazam: :palossand: :appletun: :cursola: :lunatone: :meowstic: :dedenne: :gourgeist: :comfey: :goodra: :gardevoir: :beheeyem: etc.
As tempting as it is sometimes to just rush the setup, it's important to be mindful of crits at all times, because they'll happen, so staying out of range as much as possible is really important.

I spent a long time creating the EV spread, but it was months ago, and I forgot most of what it was for at this point, I just remember being really happy with the balance I had found. The speed is at least in part to outspeed Starmie after an Airstream, while the bulk, I think, was to set up on Ribombee (Moonblast into crit Moonblast doesn't KO).

:bewear: I didn't expect Bewear to be as good as it ended up being. A status absorber was a must for the team, so I was pretty much forced to go for Bulk Up + Rest, which isn't a bad thing since it's really good at it, but leaves the downside of only 2 attacking moves, which means not a lot of PP to work with, and thus limited use.

Most heals were actually due to Bewear running out of PP, so by the end I learned to use it very sparingly. Even Bulk Up runs out quickly, and some encounters are likely to use up a bunch of them (Crustle especially). Thankfully, this is partly mitigated by Aerial Ace's high PP, while Max Airstream is what allows Bewear to sweep very reliably after a few Bulk Ups (I usually aimed for 3, but sometimes settled for 2 if it was running low).

The need to be economical with PP usage is one of the main reasons I ended up going with very offensive investment. In addition to being a jump point, 196+ Atk allows it to OHKO Escavalier after only 3 Bulk Ups (and OHKOing Escavalier is very important because of Metal Burst), and it only needs 2 to OHKO Seismitoad. Most of these calcs weren't made with Dmax in mind, since Bewear is often switched in after Heliolisk has Dmaxed but was forced to switch out. However, Scizor and Conkeldurr can both be OHKOd with +2 Knuckle and Airstream respectively. The speed is to outspeed Volcarona after an Airstream, for reasons that should be obvious. The SpD is mostly a dump because calcs indicated that Bewear's had enough physical bulk to handle all physical threats I wanted it to already, and its high HP also makes SpD investment really efficient, so it doesn't get 2HKOd by stuff like P2 Psychic, Clawitzer Water Pulse, Vileplume Moonblast, etc.

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T H R E A T S
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There are a bunch of threats to this team... most of them are due to Heliolisk being a bit of a shaky lead sweeper; many Pokémon force it to switch out, and then the other 2 have to carry the weight with no Dmax available. But I'll start with the threats that cost me this streak:

:steelix: :crustle: :skarmory: SO MANY STURDY, AND THEY ALL HAVE BODY PRESS, WHY???
And they'll go for it. They will happily sit there and spam Body Press. Bewear can handle them, but it uses both precious PP and sometimes it gets shaky if the AI gets crits. Bewear lives 2 Body Presses from any of these, but it can't always come in at 100% HP through a leg, and a single crit can ruin everything. Crustle is the worst, because the 8-turn Sandstorm nullifies Leftovers, and after an Iron Defense it already takes no damage from Bewear. Sometimes it's better to just cross your fingers and Max Geyser hoping they're not Sturdy. During the 3rd leg, I had Bewear at half HP when these started to show up. I miraculously managed to still 1v1 a Crustle, which was confirmed Sturdy, and then Skarmory shows up as last Pokémon the next battle. My best play was to hope for no Sturdy, but it was, and Body Press brought Heliolisk to the red. Next battle, Crustle is the lead, and again, I'm forced to hope for no Sturdy (on the upside, Heliolisk gets to heal a bit if I get a Geyser KO turn 1). Surely they can't have that 33% Sturdy 3 times in a row? Of course, it did. Preserving Bewear and Noctowl turned out to be a good move, though, as they went on to win 13 more battles with Heliolisk gone. Anyway, Sturdy + Body Press is a stupid combo for Mono Normal.

:centiskorch: Horrible to face, unless rain is already up when it comes out. Regular Max Geyser doesn't KO, and Lunge does way too much to Heliolisk. The best course of action is using Noctowl until it decides to Burn Up, and then use Bewear. But it mostly spams a mix of Lunge and Skitter Smack, which, because of Roost, actually does a lot of damage to Noctowl and leaves Air Slash doing no damage. Lunge spam also prevents Bewear from setting up, burning through its PP. All in all very frustrating to face.

:quagsire: Yawn and Unaware make it super scary. Because EQ is a non-contact move, it can actually damage Bewear quite a lot, especially if it starts PuPing, and Bewear can't just reliably set up for a big OHKO, which means a waste of PP.

:oranguru: :aromatisse: Noctowl cannot setup on these, because Oranguru paralyzes it with Thunder, and Aromatisse sets up alongside and crits Moonblast for an OHKO at one point or another. Result: Heliolisk needs to 2HKO, and tank a hit in the process (from Oranguru anyway; thankfully, Aromatisse often Wishes or CMs at first). Heliolisk tanking a hit, even if it does only something like 30%, is quite tragic because of how quickly LO recoil is already racking up.

:pincurchin: Another case of Heliolisk being forced to tank a hit, unless rain is up. Rising Voltage hurts about as much as Oranguru Psychic. Maybe if Heliolisk is under half HP it would Brine instead, which would be nice? I haven't been in that situation before.

:musharna: Noctowl can setup on it, but Yawn makes it shaky. Sometimes, it can come down to sleep rolls. It's important to go Noctowl immediately to take advantage of the free turns Musharna is giving us by setting up all of TR, Terrain and the Yawn. After a couple CMs, Noctowl is fine.

:malamar: :sandaconda: The devs had the decency to remove Bright Powder and Focus Sash from this mode, probably aware of how horrible they'd be for this type of challenge. Why did they leave in Quick Claw????????????? Malamar ended many runs, and there's absolutely nothing I could do about it.

A few others are very annoying depending of the situations... :porygon2: :torkoal: :golisopod: :luxray: :boltund: :magnezone: :emolga: :accelgor:

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I hope I'll have the patience to give this team more attempts and finally get Normal to 100 wins, we're so close to having it for every type! Other than that... I'm not sure what's next for me for RS, I don't think I'll go through every type again as I originally thought. I have a few ideas, so we'll see what motivates me next time!
 
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Timid | Dry Skin
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 12 HP / 252 SpA / 244 Spe
Rising Voltage / Parabolic Charge / Surf / Dragon Pulse


<snip/>

In short, managing Heliolisk's HP is a constant struggle that will keep you on the edge of your seat from battle #3 to the very end of the run, but it makes the team Mienshao-proof (as well as many other Mono Normal threats) and for that alone, it's totally worth.

I picked Dragon Pulse over Hyper Beam because I just wanted to test it, and it worked great, so I kept it. It OHKOs the Dragons (except Goodra, but that's setup fodder for Noctowl) which is great, and I also used it as a throwaway PP bank for when any move KOd, as well as lowering the attack to tank a necessary hit better. The latter doesn't come into play often at all, I remember doing it once on a Tangrowth, knowing Grassy Terrain was coming, and that made sure Noctowl had a better time coming in after. It does make Exploud lead scarier, because I'm relying on a 75% Max Lightning roll while Max Strike would be guaranteed.
Awesome team! I used Heliolisk in the back of my (very short) normal run while trying to get some BP and thought this guy could be pretty good for normal, though I sure didn't try Life Orb.

I happened to have Grass Knot on mine, which made it so I could every once in a while set up Grassy Terrain AND rain. How well do you think that could work for long streaks over Dragon Pulse? Sounds like killing dragons was very useful, and I would guess there won't be many chances to use Max Overgrowth, but curious to hear your thoughts (or attempts)!
 

Eisenherz

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Awesome team! I used Heliolisk in the back of my (very short) normal run while trying to get some BP and thought this guy could be pretty good for normal, though I sure didn't try Life Orb.

I happened to have Grass Knot on mine, which made it so I could every once in a while set up Grassy Terrain AND rain. How well do you think that could work for long streaks over Dragon Pulse? Sounds like killing dragons was very useful, and I would guess there won't be many chances to use Max Overgrowth, but curious to hear your thoughts (or attempts)!
Grass Knot was also my first idea for the last slot, but I figured removing the electric terrain would often be a bad thing, since it guarantees some OHKOs Heliolisk wouldn't otherwise get. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad in that regard though, probably worth a test.

The kicker for my team was the things that I wouldn't get to hit with Electric/Water/Grass, since Grass covers a lot of redundant things from the other 2, and then I would've ended up not being able to handle Kommo-o, and Drampa/Druddigon become super dangerous as well. That alone meant I needed either Dragon Pulse or Hyper Beam
 
I don't usually bother hiding the various sections, but I have a lot to say about Ice RS apparently, so let's not stretch out the page too much.
Ice sucks.

Every weakness has something awful to deal with:
-Fire: (Drought) Torkoal, Volcarona, Boltund (Strong Jaw Fire Fang, often boosted from Electrify+Cell Battery)
-Rock: Rhyperior, Gigalith
-Fighting: Mienshao!!, Sirfetch'd, Poliwrath, Steelix (Body Press)
-Steel: Magnezone!!!!!!!!!!, Magneton, Scizor

These are all mons that can routinely destroy your lead, even from full health. Obviously, you have a backline, but note how strong everything up there is. Drought Torkoal and Boltund are probably the weakest things there, and that's saying something. A lot of these are iffy to switch in on even with specialized counters, and some really just aren't happening, notably the Rock threats. To make matters worse, Ice only gets one resistance, which means its switch-ins are almost entirely reliant on pure stats to wall things.

So what does Ice get in return?

A freeze immunity.

That's it, really. I won't embellish and say Ice is full of shitmons, since it's not, but there really isn't much that stands out. Even other bad types like Rock and Normal have awesome toys like Nihilego and Blissey, or Psychic's torrent of legendaries. Essentially, Ice is a type that has to deal with some of the toughest threats with the worst resources.

Yet, the release of the Crown Tundra provided a glimmer of hope, that Ice might get something genuinely great. Two horses were leaked, and all we knew were their types and abilities. But, the horses were very likely legendaries and all the high stats that go with that status, and one was Ice with a Moxie clone for an abiliy. How could that possibly go wrong?

October 22nd. "Glastrier" is born. Datamines are performed, revealing its stats:

hp.png

Nice.

atk.png

oh baby

def.png

am I dreaming

satk.png

off stat, whatever

sdef.png

I'm calling it: Ice is SAVED

That's all the stats right?

...right?

speed.png

Oh

Brought back down to earth, it was clear that the ice horse was not going to be the savior I had hoped. That speed was too damning; an obvious Trick Room mon in a format that doesn't support it. Ice Shard might salvage it, I thought, but no such luck.

So back to the drawing board. The lead is the usual place to start, but what? Darmanitan and Lapras had been the previous "standouts" (relatively), but both seemed very iffy when aiming for 100 instead of the 50s. Zen Mode Darmanitan had been run as a full-on glass cannon as I personally did, or with a Shell Bell to weave in and out of Zen Mode as the current recordholder Dialganet2 did. The glass cannon mode seemed obviously bad for a run of double the length; there was no way a half health fragile mon could last that long. But weaving in and out of Zen Mode with Shell Bell also didn't seem great. Being in the normal form more often exposes its faults; namely its merely good speed and terrible defenses. Mienshao is the biggest threat, absolutely destroying it, OHKOing 50% of the time even without Reckless. But even neutral hits like Starmie and Ribombee still do a lot. And it's not like Zen Mode is a win button either, really - a number of Water types and every Sturdy user prove very problematic at the lowered HP.

Lapras, then? Honestly, I didn't give this a ton of thought. But at least on paper, Lapras isn't that strong to start (though I will say it's stronger than you might expect from its base 85 special attack), and has only minor ways to improve. Combined with its unimpressive PP, this seemed hard to get to 100 wins, even if we assume its consistency is fine (which I don't think is actually a given).

So I looked for other options. One stood out - Beartic. It has a meaty 130 attack, almost on par with Darmanitan's, but much beefier 95/80/80 bulk. The 50 speed is obviously problematic, but Beartic's ace in the hole is Slush Rush. This can be easily triggered in dynamax from its 48 PP Hailstorm (Icicle Spear), at which point Beartic is much more fearsome. It also gets Low Kick for the optimal Knuckle, a Ground move for the great coverage from Max Quake (...Dig), and a Fairy move in Play Rough, which is great for Fighting types, and a good anti-Magneton option by breaking the Sturdy and blocking Thunder Wave. The initial speed is bad, but the idea was the improved bulk and frequent boosted speed would smooth it over.

It...kinda worked? I tried a lot of stuff in the backline. I won't go into complete detail on the various failed ideas, but the #1 threat to Beartic is Scizor, which it virtually never OHKOs and can potentially defeat Beartic from full if it rolls Technician. This is considerably limiting given how few things deal with this well due to Swords Dance. At first I tried Life Orb Arctovish, which OHKOs with Fishious Rend. It could set up on some things with Iron Defense, but it proved to be inflexible for dealing with post dmax situations. Stockpile Walrein was another Scizor counter, which also doubled as a Fire counter. It didn't really deal with Scizor that well, to be honest, but the role compression was nice and got me to try some other nice PP efficient things like Recycle Mr. Rime and Frosmoth that don't necessarily deal with major threats that well, but could efficiently sweep. Honestly, with how little a Resting Mr. Rime can safely set up on, its theoretical PP advantage over Frosmoth never amounted to anything. But then again, Frosmoth also didn't work that well. Putting so much of the onus on Walrein to deal with offensive threats ended up being draining on its PP, plus it was an iffy answer for a lot of things already.

The most encouraging Scizor counter was Alolan Sandslash, whose additional X-Scissor resistance, 120 defense, and Iron Defense let it deal with Scizor pretty consistently. It also swept nicely with a combination of Swords Dance and Slush Rush, using its immunity-free 48 PP STAB Icicle Spear to power through everything. Obviously it can't deal with Fire or Fighting moves, so a counter for at least part of those was necessary. Fighting just doesn't have good counters in Ice though. Froslass is tempting, but what does it really do? It lacks pivot options, setup moves, and bulk. And for Fighting neutralities, well, nothing but Articuno is really physically bulky enough to consider. And Articuno is just...okay. Good bulk, but it has to slowly muscle through things with its STABs and/or Toxic. An option to be sure, but it seemed better to focus on beating Fire types.

I tried Rock Polish+Calm Mind Aurorus (Snow Warning+Slush Rush is not as cool as it sounds) and Walrein again (but not as physically focused), but Leftovers and Item Clause proved to be a major problem. These Pokemon barely worked even with Leftovers, and without it? Forget it. This was part of the appeal of the wackier ideas like Life Orb Arctovish, but wackiness is often bad in the end, sadly. I had a good idea, though - Piloswine. No, not Mamoswine. Piloswine has very similar bulk and can use Eviolite with Thick Fat to reduce Fire damage to avoid using Leftovers. The setup options are a bit subpar though. Fire threats are overwhelmingly special so Amnesia seemed like a natural fit, but the best complement was Curse with poor PP and a speed drop. Still, it seemed to be the best way to run it, again powered by the wonderful mono attack, Icicle Spear.

It...kinda worked? It beat a good number of threats without hogging Leftovers, but Curse had to be rationed carefully, and in tandem with its nonexistent speed this made sweeps kind of unreliable. It was only able to get 2 Curse per sweep attempt if it wanted any longevity, and having "only" doubled attack and defense made a lot of matchups bad when it has to take every hit. Even so, this trio of Beartic/Sandslash/Piloswine was the most success I had.

And by that, I mean I could usually make it to 15-25 battles before getting owned, i.e. not even close to 100 potential. My intricately planned team couldn't even really do better than just going on a yolo rampage with Zen Mode Darmanitan. It was pretty discouraging... But so much could go wrong. Rhyperior and Magnezone frequently ended runs by themselves, Zoroark could troll badly, Beartic's low initial speed made it vulnerable to getting worn down, Beartic's poor post dmax options produced a lot of bad situations, Piloswine's sweeps could go horribly wrong... My ice runs felt like they were going nowhere. A change in lead seemed to be in order. While I wasn't unwilling to try the older two, I'd already largely talked myself out of using them, and I didn't really think I was wrong about them. So like...what the fuck could I run

I've talked a lot about teambuilding so far. That's typical for write-ups like this, but generally there is some sort of flow to the process, an evolution as you see the finished team blossom. I apologize, but this is not that. Every word I have written so far is basically meaningless for my finished RS Ice team; it was a failed experiment that took typical ideas like "countering" "threats" absolutely nowhere. Ice simply has to deal with too much.

Let's talk about Glastrier instead.

Speed isn't that important in RS. The middling speed of many top leads proves this. Beartic being even remotely viable at all further proves the idea: 50 base speed, come on.

Okay but there's a big difference between 80 and 30 base speed

It has 100/130/110 defenses and "Moxie"

But it has 30 base speed

Its PP is immense, it can rival Rillaboom's with a reasonable moveset

It's the same speed as Snorlax you fucking idiot

Sorry can't hear you over the sound of



GIDDYUP

Okay, so 30 base speed is in fact bad. Glastrier will get worn down. But it is also undeniably a juggernaut. It can muscle through so, so much, whether from the attack boosts it trivially accumulates or its incredible bulk. So, much less so than any other Ice lead, Glastrier does not flat out lose to much of anything. If you can just get around getting worn down, Glastrier's other numerous perks can shine. And this is where my old favorite move, Wish, slots in perfectly.

There are two options. First is Glaceon, who I just couldn't see being good enough. The defenses are workable, but with virtually no resistances? Nah. The other option is Jynx, who has a peculiar but effective skillset. While its defense is awful and its special durability unimpressive, Dry Skin in tandem with a fast Encore gives a lot of opportunity for Jynx to use Wish and pass it to Glastrier with Teleport. I gave it Icy Wind for damage and speed control, and slapped on Sandslash as the last mon since I had liked it previously. On my very first try, I got a 33 first leg. The run ended up dying at 59, but even that was a 26 battle leg. It had simply smashed all my previous runs.

Like a fool, I could not believe what was in front of my eyes and assumed Glastrier getting this far must have been a fluke. It must have been Wish, instead, so I went back to Beartic who also had trouble getting worn down. But Beartic is not quite the juggernaut Glastrier is. Big threats were still incredibly damaging to it, and it had far less means to overpower them or tank the hits like Glastrier. Wish may have stopped it from getting worn down by noobs like Gallade, but genuinely threatening mons prompted a virtually immediate need for Wish if not outright death.

So I focused on Glastrier again. Two things were clear from the initial run: one, status from the many faster Pokemon was an inevitable problem, and two, muscling past Magnezone was simply not feasible. A crit Steel Beam was actually what ended Glastrier on the test run, but even without a crit an Analytic Steel Beam could do up to 100% in dmax. And between Sturdy and +1 Knuckle not even OHKOing guaranteed regardless, there was far less mitigation here than, say, Rhyperior, who was only a problem as a lead that rolled Solid Rock - an "acceptable" risk. I initially tried to see if my third could switch in a lot of the status threats. Simply put, no. The other idea then was Heal Bell. Ice actually has a surprising number of viable Heal Bellers - in fact, Jynx itself is among them, but I didn't think it was worth losing Icy Wind. Lapras and Articuno were both top contenders, but Lapras won out due to the aforementioned Magnezone problem. Steel Beam is an ungodly stupid move to switch into when your type is weak to it, but it does have the notable downside of halving the user's HP, leaving it open to being sniped. Unfortunately, Lapras needs a lot of investment to even do half to Magnezone with Surf, but I had a different idea: Brine. Steel Beam rounds the user's HP down, so Brine's effect becomes active and is then strong enough to finish off Magnezone with no investment. And it's still an okay Water move for normal use. While this, Heal Bell, and Rest doesn't leave much room for setup, Lapras has an amazing Gigantamax that lets it tank through many things even if it's not doing that much damage itself. It needs an ice move for that, but Freeze-Dry is a great move anyways to round out the set.

I tried this team out around 6 times, and it was clear my first run was not a fluke. I believe 4 of these runs had a first leg in the 30s, but none could progress further than dying in that second leg. Things were getting a little discouraging again, but I clearly was on to something here. Thinking about how to improve it, I actually considered replacing Lapras with Glaceon, hoping that the extra Wish opportunities on passive physical Pokemon would balance out the Magnezone issue (Glaceon also learns Heal Bell, so that's not being lost). But before fleshing that out, I thought: what if Glastrier could heal itself? I had tried various 4th moves after Icicle Spear/Double Kick/Bulldoze, namely Crunch, Heavy Slam, and Thrash. But once you start considering unSTAB Normal moves, it's clear you can afford a moveslot. The only healing move it learns is Rest though, and Glastrier barely even nets health from most things doing that. But then I thought about Recycle. Recycle Pokemon can stall out the attacking PP of various Pokemon, at which point they're sitting ducks with Light Screen, Amnesia, you name it. Jumpman has abused this extensively with Leftovers and Grassy Terrain, but the same concept can let the lead Rest freely, though that doesn't have the perk of being free. Still, 16 full restores should be ample for a 100 streak. Essentially, this makes a Recycle mon function as a Wisher, one with far more flexibility than Jynx ideally. Jynx itself actually learns Recycle, and so does Delibird (!), but obviously the bulkiest option is Mr. Rime.

Rest also heals status, so initially I thought I could ditch Heal Bell. However, I quickly realized that it had even better synergy than before. Glastrier can sometimes get off a slower Rest on something Mr. Rime can't stall out that Lapras is better matched against, and Heal Bell instantly wakes Glastrier up with max health. But far more importantly than that is that it removes the need for Mr. Rime to run Rest to heal status, and instead use Slack Off. I briefly groused earlier that Mr. Rime can't set up on much safely, but with Slack Off that number significantly increases. And so, Glastrier can get far more heals. My first run with this team? 95. And it was at 83 after the second heal. I could tell - I finally had the right team. By my third run:


It's finally over.


Glastrier @ Shell Bell
Adamant/Chilling Neigh
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Icicle Spear/Double Kick/Bulldoze/Rest

Despite only having 3 attacking moves, this set has 128 PP, easily hanging with the greats. In practice, Double Kick is hard to fully deplete, and something I haven't mentioned about Rest is that a move needs to be used on wake-up, usually Double Kick. So it's a bit lower than it seems, but still plenty. Glastrier is a bit strange in that while attack boosts from Knuckle are appreciated, the special defense boost from Quake is often more helpful since it's so slow. There's many situations where Knuckle can 2HKO a bulkier threat, but I much prefer Knuckle+Quake even if it's not as PP efficient long-term. Adamant is used over Jolly since most of the Pokemon Jolly is for are minor threats. Magneton and Solrock are exceptions, but Jolly only ties both, so they don't make a strong argument for it. The speed drop from Bulldoze can be occasionally helpful. One of the stupider examples is lead Intimidate Krookodile, which can survive Hailstorm if it uses Bulk Up, trigger its Weakness Policy, and then do nearly 70% with Power Trip. Bulldoze makes it slower and chips though, and makes Hailstorm a favorable range in this niche scenario. Plus, it might not realize that Power Trip is ideal since the WP hasn't been activated at move selection with this strategy, though I never missed the range.


Mr. Rime @ Leppa Berry
Bold/Tangled Feet
252 HP/140 Def/116 Spe
Freeze-Dry/Calm Mind/Recycle/Slack Off

The star of the team. It does so much to keep the team healthy by enabling Glastrier's Rest and free Leftovers for Lapras. And it can then get a free sweep most of the time at +6/+6. The speed is for a number of important threats, namely Drifblim, Lycanroc-M, Klinklang, and Krookodile, with the rest in physical defense as is typical for a Calm Mind user. The combination of base speed and physical defense on Mr. Rime is a bit subpar to be a truly ideal CM sweeper, but getting to +6 and dynamax smooth over most edges. Tangled Feet is a bit of a weird ability over the generally more applicable Ice Body, but temporary healing is of marginal use to something that can heal infinitely anyways. Tangled Feet is specifically for Poliwrath. Glastrier will rarely be in a position to OHKO it, and so a Dynamic Punch will be thrown out. If it misses, cool, but if it hits Glastrier really does not want to stay in and deal with confusion. Switching to Rime requires it to hit again, and even if it does, Tangled Feet gives it another coinflip to get through. None of this is really good, but improving the odds is the best I can do against it.

Lapras (Gmax) @ Leftovers
Calm/Shell Armor
252 HP/124 Def/132 SpD
Freeze-Dry/Brine/Heal Bell/Rest

Lapras has largely been explained previously. I will emphasize that Rime giving it so many opportunities to Leftovers up on attackless Pokemon greatly reduces the amount of Rests it uses, letting them to be used for more frivolous purposes like stalling out moves dangerous to Rime, primarily Poltergeist. Shell Armor is great for consistency in general, in particular versus Scope Lens Kingdra which is trivialized by Lapras. The EV spread doesn't really do anything in particular, it's just somewhat balanced defenses with a slight emphasis in special defense due to what it needs to deal with. Every time I thought of some damage range I wanted to ensure I reached, it either required way too much investment, or none at all.

:magnezone:
Yes I have Brine specifically for this. Yes it still sucks. Even in the "ideal" scenario, Lapras is still taking 60% on the switch. But get this: sometimes it doesn't Steel Beam! Glastrier can be in straight-up death range, but nope, Reflect instead. At this point Magnezone hasn't taken any damage, and it will prefer its STAB Thunderbolt. If it's a lead Magnezone, Lapras can Gmax its way through, but otherwise something's probably going to faint. If Glastrier's at +2 atk/+1 special defense (a common occurence on 2HKOd leads, from Chilling Neigh+Knuckle+Quake), I usually just keep it in to avoid the risk of a screen when Lapras won't have the fallback of Gmax. Magnezone will need Sturdy to survive, at which point its non-Analytic Steel Beam is further dampened by the special defense boost.

:poliwrath:
Often misses, but sucks really hard when it doesn't and it's a roulette I almost always have to play.

:mienshao::kommo-o:
These still do a lot even to Glastrier's massive defense, around half on average. They can use Fake Out or Clangorous Soul, respectively, but usually a lot of damage is taken.

:zoroark:
Dumbass pokemon as always. Random Flamethrower burns can be disastrous, and Foul Play can also be horrendous, even fatal, if a lot of attack boosts have been accumulated. On the bright side, when I need to switch to Rime I can usually go to Lapras first to scout.

:volcarona:
Does a lot of damage, and very likely to be devastating if it procs a burn. While it's not even OHKOd as a lead, having Gmax available lets Lapras switch in and KO with Resonance into Geyser, greatly mitigating damage.

:magneton:
Rarely goes for Thunder Wave since it's faster, but still does a ton with Flash Cannon, and can always survive due to Sturdy. Quake at least mitigates the damage of the second Flash Cannon if so, but it's still terrible. You might be wondering about t1 Magnet Rise. Truthfully, in the 7 or 8 of these I fought in my Glastrier adventures it never happened. Knuckle 2HKO gets around that, but it's really bad with how much damage is taken from 2 unmitigated Flash Cannons, and regardless if it has Sturdy or not. My motto was not to worry about it until I saw it actually happen.

:rhyperior::sirfetch
Can randomly end runs as leads, but only there. Rhyperior needs Solid Rock to survive, and Sirfetch'd usually survives (11/16) but needs a crit to OHKO, otherwise "only" doing around 70%.

:klinklang:
A bad lead that's usually not OHKOd, and outspeeds and does around 40% with Gear Grind. A pivot to Lapras and back can inflict some Wild Charge recoil, but it's still not a guaranteed OHKO with Quake.

:wailord:
Never threatening by itself, but can make many other things disastrous with its combination of Bulldoze, Tickle, and randomly Self-Destructing. Not KOd until +2, but at least if I'm at +1 the worst case of Bulldoze into Tickle will still let me 2HKO.

:centiskorch:
Not too bad outside of the lead - Quake 2HKOs even with Lunge, going into the last mon post dmax +1 attack/+2 special defense at least. Not great, but okay. As a lead though, it wastes the entire dmax leaving at -1 attack, which is truly awful. This at least means Lapras will have Gmax available, but it seems to always use Burn Up t2, preventing Geyser from 2HKOing, and thus using the entire Gmax on the lead, though at least Aurora Veil can be set up as late as possible for 4 turns of halved damage to the party. But if I don't Gmax, Lapras makes basically no headway after Burn Up, due to Centiskorch's Leftovers and needing to use Rest to heal.

:scizor:
Usually not OHKOd, and SD into Bullet Punch (or just two BP) does a lot of damage.

I got off to a kind of stupid start versus a Starmie lead. I went for Quake first to reduce the damage of the second Surf. Truthfully this is probably suboptimal; it deals enough damage to have Starmie KO itself after the second turn of LO recoil with higher rolls, depriving Glastrier of the Knuckle and Neigh boost. I think it's better to take more damage and Knuckle first. That being said I got the ironically better lower roll so I could actually knock out the Starmie. Skarmory comes in and is a simple OHKO at +2 (some funkiness with Sturdy and speed tie, but not a big deal), except I misclick Knuckle and trigger Weak Armor. Thankfully it uses Spikes, but next turn I'm out of dmax and take a Steel Wing, which combined with Starmie's attacks brings me to a third with no dmax and a mystery mon in the back. It ends up being another Mr. Rime though, which lets my own set up a heal for my team and fix my mistake.

Later on, Glastrier was low on health and had to switch out of the mighty Drednaw. Lapras deals with it easy enough, but Blissey came in, which is a 15HKO. Glastrier was too low to switch back though, so I had to take a risk with Rime. Metronome can theoretically get even an OHKO move (Sheer Cold won't work though, Ice ftw), though more commonly the risk to Leppa Berry pokemon is getting one of the many moves that destroys items. Fortunately, I was close to consuming my Leppa Berry, so I avoided using Recycle as much as possible to lower this particular risk, and nothing came of it. I did unsurprisingly end up taking a burn from Flamethrower, but Rime was still able to stall down Blissey to Safeguard and let the team heal up. That was the last notable part of the first leg, where Glastrier ran out of Icicle Spear after battle 39 and I took the heal.

The next leg got off to a worrying start, Glastrier got to the last Pokemon post-dmax with +3 attack/+1 special defense, full health - pretty safe. But it's Intimidate Scrafty, which makes me +2, and Double Kick only a 75% range. And Life Orb Low Kick is a rare move that can OHKO (normal) Glastrier from full health. Thankfully I got the range, but it was still terrifying. Glastrier got worn down later as it inevitably does, and I didn't want to lose precious health versus a Seaking lead (it's not OHKOd), so I had Lapras deal with it. But Lopunny came out, whose Cosmic Power and Baton Pass is a problem for the passive Lapras. So I went to Mr. Rime and raced Calm Mind with it, getting to +3 before it BPd +2 defenses to...Sharpedo. While Rime could survive a Crunch and OHKO with Freeze-Dry (but not Hailstorm), it would leave Rime with too little health to survive Play Rough from Lopunny and heal up the team. So my setting up proved to be pointless as I went back to Lapras anyways. Defense drops would be terrible if they happened immediately, but I had no real choice here. Freeze-Dry would 2HKO, or I could Freeze-Dry then double Resonance for damage reduction if I didn't get any Protects and a defense drop came in. Thankfully no early defense drops happened, so I had enough health to go for the Freeze-Dry 2HKO. At that point, Rime stalled out Lopunny and everything was good again.

Soon after, I ran into Drifblim, an awkward mon to deal with. I have to go to Lapras to take the Tricked Flame Orb, but doubled Hex is too strong for Lapras to deal with. I can go back to Glastrier and not take too much from Hex, though. I decide not to dmax, since Drifblim isn't that strong and Icicle Spear is likely to KO it anyways and get tons of health from Shell Bell. Unfortunately Drifblim reveals its other problematic move, Tailwind. On the one hand, Glastrier is more used to things outspeeding it, but on the other hand virtually everything will outspeed it. Like...Crustle. There's a lot that can go wrong here, but since I'm close to full I risk a Body Press and stay out of dmax (it only does half if it happens) and Bulldoze. Glastrier will outspeed at -1 plus TW. It has Weak Armor so the speed part is irrelevant, but the defense drop is nice. It uses Sandstorm instead of Iron Defense or Body Press, which is very nice. I finally dmax and just take -1 Body Press for little damage and KO with Hailstorm. The last is Grapploct, which is another stupidly slow thing that outspeeds in TW. But since I have 2 turns of dmax left, I Max Guard the last turn of TW away then OHKO it.

I've skipped over the intricacies of letting Rime enable party healing since there's usually not a lot to it, there just may be a constraint on how many turns Lapras can get Leftovers. But some things are tricky, like Vespiquen. Toxic Spikes means Rime can't come back in to finish it off, but Pressure and Red Card can make attacking it with anything else terrible. So ideally, you want Lapras to Heal Bell the turn right before it will knock itself out with Struggle. And in this case Lapras was only at half or so and needed to time Rest in as well, culminating in a plan where Lapras would use Rest at a point where it would wake up and use Heal Bell (for the sleeping Glastrier) at the right time as mentioned before. Except, I miscounted the Toxic Spikes PP by 1, and forgot that hail damage had ticked at first, meaning it would faint in 4 instead of 5 Struggles. So I had to change the plan and not use Rest since I wouldn't have time, and just used Heal Belled then Freeze-Dry (no Red Card since it KOd). This immediately had a shitty consequence where I ran into a Froslass lead. Normally Lapras stalls out the Poltergeist PP without issue. And here it really shouldn't have been an issue either, since I had enough health to survive a burn into Poltergeist, and Froslass virtually always starts with Will-o-wisp. But not now, of course, and so Lapras took a Poltergeist on the switch and couldn't take another. It quickly became clear that Glastrier was going to have to stall out the remaining Poltergeists. It took the second one on the switch, but they're likely to 3HKO. So if I Rested immediately, I could potentially have the 3 Poltergeists KO me in my sleep. Instead, I bet on it using Will-o-wisp and wasted a turn with Double Kick. If it did Poltergeist I would risk a 3HKO, but if it burned me here, it would use the third Poltergeist right before I used Rest next turn, leaving it only 2 to hit me in my sleep. And Will-o-wisp really should be the more common play, and this time it did. One of the last 2 Poltergeists did crit me, so it was very fortunate I didn't bank on surviving 3 in a row in my sleep. Without Poltergeist, Rime was once again able to bring the party up. There were some minor scares after that in this leg (like a Pikachu getting a Volt Tackle paralysis and an FP, but Miltank came out immediately after), but nothing too bad. After battle 83 the party was fairly beat up with minimal PP on Glastrier and iffy health, so I just took the heal for a second leg of 44 battles.

The final leg immediately got off to a worrying start with Magneton going for the rare Thunder Wave and immediately getting an FP. Thankfully, it wasn't Sturdy, but paralysis needs to be healed ASAP. Palossand was an awkward but feasible opportunity to do so. I pivot between Lapras and Rime twice, depleting 3 Poltergeists. Rime takes 2 Energy Balls and is at around half health, and since there's only 2 Poltergeists left I Slack Off twice since it only does a little more than half. At that point Rime could stall it out and let everyone heal. No real time to rest, though, as an even more worrying event happened soon after! I forgot the start, but an iffy one-two combo used up Glastrier's dmax and left it with a typical +3 attack/+1 special defense, but a less typical half health. And Flapple was happy to potentially ruin my day. If it had Hustle, it could just KO Glastrier. But what could I switch in? It's faster than everything. I thought it through and hedged my bets: if it's Hustle, then going to Rime is the best play (Flapple actually has a Yache Berry, but even my uninvested Rime could OHKO it guaranteed with Freeze-Dry), since it needs to connect 2 Dragon Rushes instead of 1. And it was indeed Hustle... thankfully, 1 of its 60% Dragon Rushes missed. Admittedly it was the first one so Glastrier would've been fine too, but this was still the right call.

In the 90s, a Golisopod crit Rime with Close Combat, leaving it with 40%. This proved to be annoying versus an Amoonguss lead, since this put Rime in an unsafe position due to Spore. I realized I could prevent Spore on the switch by using Rest on Glastrier first, but even then, my health was low enough that using Slack Off would still leave me screwed to a 3 turn Spore. But I realized something else. Lapras could actually survive 3 Giga Drains consistently due to Shell Armor and Leftovers, and due to Rest it could ignore the Spore randomness. It'd be forced to Rest every turn, but Giga Drain only has 10 PP, so it only took a few Rests to stall out. And without that, Rime could switch in safely as long as I assured no Spore on the switch (it still had Clear Smog). And so Rime and the party healed up yet again. The remaining journey to the coveted 100 was pretty smooth from there, honestly. But as you can imagine from my streak number, disaster soon struck. Glastrier was at around 70%, and there was Mienshao. It doesn't actually KO from here, and it didn't even get Reckless so I was still in yellow health. But then... Beartic. Out for revenge from having tossed it aside, the Mienshao it had defected to weakened Glastrier enough to go down to Superpower. And really... I couldn't do anything at this point. Rime isn't weak to Superpower, but accomplishes basically nothing. I had some cockamie plan to stall out Superpower, but it didn't work and Beartic devoured the entire team. A true modern day tragedy.

So that's Ice. A very difficult type to figure out, and easily the worst one for my money. While it's a little disappointing the last leg went the way it did, it's not really surprising to me that at least one leg was a disaster with how much trouble a slow lead invites. Ah well, it still crossed the finish line. And so, one type remains in the race...
 
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A crit Steel Beam was actually what ended Glastrier on the test run, but even without a crit an Analytic Steel Beam could do up to 100% in dmax.
...would analytic actualyl do anything here? Is the Sparring Magnezone somehow slower than Glastrier???


I have really enjoyed just about every write up you've done about Sparring, by the way. It's such an interesting mode that I absolutely do not have the patience for so it's really cool to see the strategies that go into place.
 
...would analytic actualyl do anything here? Is the Sparring Magnezone somehow slower than Glastrier???


I have really enjoyed just about every write up you've done about Sparring, by the way. It's such an interesting mode that I absolutely do not have the patience for so it's really cool to see the strategies that go into place.
Yes. Max speed Adamant Glastrier ties with uninvested base 70 speed mons, and Magnezone is only 60 (and Quiet for that matter - they really want that Analytic to go off). Lowered IVs and lack of speed investment goes a long way to making Glastrier work!

And ty :)
 
I remember Darmanitan teams being impressive. How much of an improvement is this? *checks the records* Wow... There was a time where 50 was impressive for this thread and now every type has over 100... (except Normal, but 98 is close enough) 0_o Congrats on getting the 100 in Ice!



As I said earlier on the page, I'm going for at least 5 wins in every type with Status Moves only. Fighting sucked. I tried Electric next because I didn't need to transfer the entire team from Gen 7 (I don't have Pokebank, Home, or Switch Online subscriptions...) and it's way better! It's amazing how much better a team with actual team building put into it is than a team that's just slapping 3 Fighting types together and hope you don't get swept by Birds and Fairies. (To be fair, Fighting is getting swept by Birds and Fairies either way.) I would've settled for the first streak of at least 5 in Fighting, but I got 8 Wins with Electric and know this team can do better. It feels like it'd be a dishonor to this team to not try to beat the 11 Fighting got that I'm still confused about. I've even gotten a Leg of 6! Then Krookodile crushed my soul... ;_;


:Raichu-Alola: :Leppa Berry:
Alolan Raichu @ Leppa Berry
Surge Surfer
Bold 252 HP/252 Def/4 SpD
- Defense Curl
- Charge
- Rest
- Recycle

This lead raises two major question, why and how. Magnezone is probably a better Recycle user. It's much bulkier, has a way better typing, and has Iron Defense to boost Def faster than Defense Curl, but it doesn't have any moves that can boost SpD. Confide would probably be good enough though. I was hoping I'd have to "settle" for Magnezone because I couldn't play Emerald after giving my sister her DS lite back and I thought no one would help me get this Raichu while I was begging for help transferring Pokemon. Turns out, someone wanted to get one (and clone it to keep as a curiosity) before anyone offered to help transfer Pokemon from Gen 7 to 8... (I think that says a lot about how much trading on Home sucks...) Thanks a ton to WMAR for this Raichu! As for how this moveset is possible, Defense Curl is an Emerald Move Tutor move for 16 BP and Alolan Evolution and Recycle are Gen 7 only.

Minor side note that makes this Raichu even more interesting: This Raichu is in a Safari Ball and Pokemon from Eggs were in Normal Pokeballs instead of inheriting their Parent's before Gen 6. That means it was caught in the Safari Zone, which makes having the Egg Move Charge look illegal, but Pokemon of the same species can share Egg Moves with each other in Gen 8.

Alolan Raichu's 60/50/85 bulk is even worse than Gallade's, but it's not frail enough to be that disappointing. She has moves that boost both Defenses and Rest to never die, and Recycle with a Leppa Berry to never run out of PP. You don't need to do anything because you can wait for your opponents to KO themselves for you with Struggle. The only flaws are the many Pokemon that can 3HKO before Raichu can set up, Moves like Sword Dance and Calm Mind making doing nothing backfire very badly, item removal if you can't eat the berry before it's removed, and the 1 in 24 chance of Critical Hits that can and will happen when taking way over 24 attacks. That's a lot of pretty major flaws, so it's a good thing that the rest of the team doesn't suck. Raichu might be better as the second Pokemon so the opponent can have their stats lowered first...

I think the rest of the team does the whole not dying thing better and does almost the same thing by lowering their stats instead of rising mine and can do it without using much PP, so I don't think I need to use a heal immediately if Raichu goes down but the other two are fine. Still, Raichu having infinite PP helps with saving the rest of the team's PP.

:Toxtricity-Low Key: :Black Sludge:
Toxtricity @ Black Sludge
Bold 252 HP/168 Def/88 SpD
- Toxic
- Noble Roar
- Rest
- Eerie Impulse

(I fed Vitamins until Defenses were kind of balanced. I didn't realize I could get another stat point in Def or Def with EVs that had actual thought put into them until I checked the EVs. I'll fix that tomarow.)

I want to say this is another weird looking choice, but you probably guessed why I'm using him from the item. Any Poison type is worth looking at because Black Sludge is like a loophole around the item clause that lets you have a second Leftovers. That alone makes Toxtricity much better than almost anyone, if not everyone else. 75/70/70 bulk is actually kind of good against Restricted Sparring's 15 IV Pokemeon and it gets just the right moves. Toxic in case an emergency quick (lol) KO is needed, Noble Roar to lower Atk and SpA, and Rest. Everything gets Rest but everything needs Rest. He doesn't need Rest that much though. Switching between him and my last Pokemon lets them both recover passively without using PP after enough Noble Roars. Toxic is needed against Pokemon that can boost their Atk and/or SpA or are already devastatingly strong, but it's not needed against most Pokemon. Sometimes I don't even inflict status conditions because opponents that can do next to nothing, or literally nothing if they're down to moves like Amnesia, can be used as free Black Sludge/Leftovers healing from switching or let Raichu come back to set up.

Being able to lower both Attacks with one move frees up a moveslot to use for anything else, but he doesn't get anything else... Tearful Look was tempting because it's another Noble Roar but with less PP but I tried Eerie Impulse because it has the same PP and giving -2 sounded like it'd make up for only affecting one stat. -2 also means is needs less PP for -6 than Noble Roar if it even needs to go that far.

The form choice mattered a little. I like the Amped Form more than Low Key but I went with Low Key in case I wanted to try Venom Drench. I'm pretty sure I won't try it, but at least I have the form that can learn more defensive moves. What matters even less is it's a G-Max Toxtricity because it looks awesome. I like the little touches that add even more style.

:Rotom-Wash: :Leftovers:
Rotom-W @ Leftovers
Bold 252 HP/100 Def/156 SpD
- Will-O-Wisp
- Eerie Impulse
- Rest
- Reflect

(Again, I fed Vitamins until Defenses were kind of balanced.)

I needed a Ground immunity. 'nuf said.

Unlike everything else on my team, Rotom is known for being bulky. Will-O-Wisp is slow but it can affect most stuff Toxic can't and lowering Atk with a burn can be more important than the speed of poison when it comes down to survival. It also partly makes up for Rotom having no Atk lowering moves. Eerie Impulse is for SpA and Rest is Rest. The last moveslot seemed like filler at first. I would've used Toxic if I didn't need to beg for months to help transfer Pokemon and the only other move that did anything to the opponent was Confuse Ray... In theory, it does something. In practice, it's Splash with less PP. Not even worth trying. I went with Reflect in case Will-O-Wisp didn't make Physical attacks weak enough, and I'm so glad I did. I didn't like the idea of a buff/nerf that wears off after a few turns, but it was a life saver,

Honestly, I mostly chose Rotom because I could get a good moveset without transferring. If it weren't for Eerie Impulse I'd be transferring just for Confide. I'd probably still use Rotom either way because of Will-O-Wisp.

The form was basically a choice of weaknesses and Toxtricity happens to resist Water's weaknesses. Also, the washing machine gave me a really good nickname idea. I named it after a company that had a kind of bad year when their clothes dryers and, more infamously, phones had the slight problem of spontaneous combustion. Samsung.

Like with Fighting, the first try felt like an omen. For fighting, it was that it was going to suck. For Electric, I thought, "Raichu's letting me down less than I thought" then Froslass's Triple Axle landed a Crit. I hoped that Raichu would endure the third hit, but 4 HP wasn't enough. A Win streak of 2 sucks, but it felt like a good omen if I got it so quickly. In hindsight, it was also an omen for my streak of 8.

Gyrados knows Taunt and Whirlpool, but I was able to use it to Rest because its Special Attack sucks and it doesn't use Whirlpool until it runs out of Scalds and the team outspeeds Gyrados so they can do something before Taunt.


My Streak of 8 started with a leg of 3 where not much happened, but the second leg was 1 because I messed up a lot.

I messed up on "Battle" 4. It started with with Perrserker, who knows Screech, but I figured I could use Will-O-Wisp and Nobel Roar then set up with Charge in case the next Pokemon would be a Special Attacker. I used Defense Curl some, so Raichu was only at -1 Def when Perrserker fainted. The next Pokemon was Wailord and I didn't know its moveset. I figured it couldn't know anything that bad, but I used Rest and Bulldoze dealt 100 Damage! Needless to say, I switched to Rotom and used Will-O-Wisp. Wailord wasn't able do do much more, even with Self Destruct, but that hurt.

The last Pokemon was Pinchurin. Raising Voltage is disturbingly strong for a resisted move and it also knows Hex, which sucks a ton if you use Rest for healing. I had to use 3 Eerie Impulses then Raichu could come back in and Dynamax to tank 2 hits while asleep, Max Guard, then Rest. I switched to Raichu on the one turn Pinchurin used Hex instead of Charge... -_- About 30 Damage and Raichu has 23 HP left. She's dead, but there's still a tiny bit of hope. Later when it was using Brine, I hoped it'd use Charge when I switched, but it used Brine. Raichu's dead, but I still have to try Dynamaxing. Pinchurin used Hex. It had Hex PP left?! Sigh...


I healed because Raichu was down and I wasn't going to risk losing 5.

"Battle" 5 had so much crazy stuff, both good and bad, both pointless and crippling.

The lead Mamoswine was pretty funny because of switching between Toxicitry and Rotom until it ran out of Earth Powers and not doing much more than Leftovers/Black Sludge could heal. When I switched to Raichu to set up she was Frozen by Ice Beam. I thought it'd be a funny way to lose, but I got a little nervous when it started looking like I could lose to a Freeze. Fortunately, she thawed out she was down to a 2HKO and used Rest and stalled to Struggle.

The second Pokemon was Oranguru. Does it know Shadow Ball or something? "The opposing Oranguru used Night Daze!" Kind of. I don't want anyone tanking that and Raichu isn't 3HKOed at +6, so I'm going to hope it doesn't Crit me. It didn't and eventually it U-Turned to the real Oranguru. All its attacks were either resisted or Terrain Pulse, so easy win, right? Things still somehow went wrong. It hit two Critical Hit Thunders in a row on Raichu so I needed to use Rest. I didn't notice that until after I used Charge because of mashing A, but what are the odds of 3 Crits in a row? 1 in 13824. And it happened. Wait, I just remembered Thunder's Accuracy... That brings it upto... ~1 in 40,303! That's even less likely than getting a 31/0/31/0/31/31 Ditto from a Max Raid! I'm so breeding for a Shiny Wooloo because I deserve it after those BS odds!

After Oranguru went down, Rotom got burned by Zoroark's Flamthrower. I took a pic of "Samsung was hurt by its burn!" Best. Nickname. Ever.


Wishcash looked like game over because it had Dragon Dance, but Will-O-Wisp made even +6 Attacks easy to endure. Zen Headbutt only did 50 Damage to Rotom with a burn and 25 when Reflect was up!

At the end of "Battle" 7 Rotom got KOed by a Crit on the last turn... SON OF A-


Bad news: I messed up at the end of 8 so Toxtricity was asleep at the end.
Good News: It didn't matter. 9 started with Starmie. My plan was Gigantamax to tank a hit, hopefully wake up for Max Guard, then get KOed the turn after when Max Guard fails. Sleep lasted more than one turn, so my plan where I lost went even worse than planed.


In the streak I got a Leg of 6, "Battle" 5 started with Mandibuzz, so I switched to Rotom and they used Knock Off. Ouch. So glad Leftovers gets returned after the "battle" even if you don't use a heal. I used Will-O-Wisp because even though Mandibuzz's Stick Barb (lol) is enough, Will-O-Wisp had way more than enough PP so I could use it to save the PP of other moves by speeding things up. I also used Eerie Impulse because of Snarl and didn't switch because I didn't want to rick losing the Black Sludge too. Rotom needed healing and when there were 3 turns left I could've used Rest and wake up right in time for the net Pokemon, but what if it's something Rotom couldn't stay in on? I used Reflect then Rest even though it meant there'd be a turn of sleep after Mandibuzz faints.

Marowak swept me twice before, so seeing it again when Rotom still had a turn of sleep left made me think I'd lose. Reflect let it endure Outrage and burn with Will-O-Wisp, use Reflect again, then Rest. The only way things could've been better is if Mandibuzz hadn't Knocked Off Leftovers. The last Pokemon was Pinchurin... I could use Toxic, but Rotom's Asleep and Raichu could use more HP. I'd probably need to use one of my 2 Heals afterward. Raichu ended up with about the same amount of HP because I didn't realize Pinchurin was low on PP until it was too late to use Rest and wake up before Struggle KOed Pinchurin.


"Battle" 6 started with Butterfree... I knew its moveset but not what to do against it. I tried setting up with Charge while it set up with Quiver Dance and used Sleep Powder and hoped I'd be able to use Rest before Hurricane KOed. Raichu got 2HKOed by two +2 Hurricanes... I sent out Toxicitry for Toxic and... Oh, right. Subsitute. Uh... Noble Roar is a sound based move, and those get through Subsitute! All right, how many PP does Quiver Dance have? *checks* 20... I'm using my first heal after this. I'm pretty sure Butterfree has Tented Lens instead of Compound Eyes because Hurricane and Sleep Powder are missing. When they're out of Quiver Dances and Huricanes I know Sleep Powder is keeping someone asleep. I also, know 3 Turns is the most sleep can last, so I have Toxicitry try to do something for 3 turns and it's still asleep. That means he will wake up next time he tries to do something but is technically still asleep. I would've done the same thing with Rotom, but Butterfree used Substitute when it saw Toxicitry, so it'd use that when I send out Rotom. It would then use Sleep Powder when it saw Rotom so it would get wasted when I sent out Toxicitry. Needless to say, this also fully healed the duo.

When Buterfree finally went down, I had an oh crap moment. Octillery. I switched to Toxicitry for Toxic and... No Moody. Good. I still used Toxic anyway. The last Pokemon, Crawdaunt, dealt enough damage to Toxicitry to make not healing stupidly risky.


A First Leg of 6 is unbelievable! This is the run!

Spoiler: This was not the run...


"Battle" 7 started with another oh crap moment, Chinino. Raichu would die if she tried setting up and Bullet Seed would destroy Rotom. Toxicitry was the only choice and even he's only able to use one Noble Roar before Rest! This is what the Dynamax Button is for. Double bulk for the 2 Turns of sleep and Max Guard. He got off another Noble Roar but it lead to being able to use more than one between Rests. After -6 (I realized I'd probably done enough when I double checked at -5, but screw that! That thing's terrifying!) I switched to Raichu. Due to only useing multihit moves, Chinino can't KO you with Crits. That was scary, but Toxicitry is still at high health and Raichu has +6.

Enter Krookodile. Bulk Up and Power Trip means a sweep if I don't switch. I switch to Rotom while it uses Bulk Up and burn with Will-O-Wisp. It hurts a ton with Power Trip and I switch to Toxicitry while it uses Bulk Up again. I go for Noble Roar, get outspeed, and get KOed by Sand Tomb.

I know this sound stupid because it's a x4 weakness, but I couldn't believe it. He's able to take ~40 Damage from Bouffalant's Earthquake after Will-O-Wisp and Reflect. Even without those, how can Sand Tomb KO?! Sand. Tomb.

Rotom uses Reflect and Rest, is able to Rest after waking up again, but constant Power Trips can't be healed when Reflect ends. Dynamax could've saved Rotom if I hadn't needed it against Chinino... Now, Raichu is screwed. I use Defense Curl and ALMOST get OHKOed. I use Rest and they use Thief. Then they use Thief again. Power Trip's out of PP? I thought it had more than 10. Doesn't matter. Thief is going to KO before Raichu wakes-

Opposing Krookodile used Snad Tomb!

But it missed.

wat

And the health is low enough that the burn will finish him off if he misses another Sand Tomb. I'm dead but the game is giving me hope? Why? I can't win, can I? Thief, low Green Health. Thief, 9HP Left. And... Thief, KO.

I'm proud of what I've done with this team so far, but I'm not posting a pic of proof until I get a streak this team is worthy of.


I should have asked this before so I'd know where to ask for help, but what's the best thread or Discord chanel for asking for help with Defensive EVs for my Restricted Sparring Teams? Should I even bother with anything more than balancing the Defence stats or are there some touch ups I should do? If there's nothing about this team (other than moving 4 of Toxicitry's EVs) What about my next team? The next I'll be using a Rock team of Cosmic Power/Recycle Lunatone, Tickle/Confide/Leech Seed Storm Drain Cradily, and Regenerator Corsola.
 

a loser

I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
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I got back into RS recently after not having played SwSh since Christmas when I got BOTW. So I have some older streaks to share, Electric and Poison, and some newer ones from the past few weeks, Flying and Fighting. I really only documented the run for Fighting because it was the most eventful and the other runs were several months ago and even the screenshots I took couldn't refresh my memory of what went down.
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:poke-ball:Dracozolt @ :Shell-Bell:
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 23 SpA
- Bolt Beak
- Dragon Claw
- Low Kick
- Aerial Ace

After looking at other Electric streaks, Dracozolt seemed like the perfect lead with Hustle. This was a lot of fun to use and I managed to land a few clutch Bolt Beaks to keep me going too.

:dusk-ball:Zapdos @ :Leftovers:
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 200 Def / 52 SpA
Relaxed Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Hurricane
- Roost

This mon is really nice to provide a much needed Ground immunity. I need to give it a better nature but haven't bothered with it yet. Perhaps a more offensive spread would be useful too.

:cherish-ball:Thundurus-Therian @ :Assault-Vest:
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 30 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Sludge Wave
- Grass Knot
- Discharge

This mon is just kinda sitting here as I didn't have a lot of Electric-types I was itching to use. I only used this when I absolutely needed to.
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:master-ball:Zapdos-Galar @ :Shell-Bell:
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Thunderous Kick
- Drill Peck
- Low Kick
- U-turn

This mon is incredible. I used a Master Ball on it cause I got impatient when throwing Poke Balls and I had some extra Master Balls so why not?

:poke-ball:Corviknight @ :Leftovers:
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Atk / 100 SpD / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Drill Peck
- Bulk Up
- Roost
- Iron Head

This mon was very useful for stalling out annoying guys like Toxapex when needed. The nature and spread are a bit random and not specific for anything other than thinking a little here and there might be helpful.

:poke-ball:Landorus-Therian @ :Bright-Powder:
Ability: Intimidate
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fly
- Rock Tomb
- Brick Break
- Earthquake

Thank you Wonder Trade for passing this my way. I never played Gen 5 so I've never caught one of my own. Bright Powder was a filler item but it got two misses on this run, so it was definitely worth it.
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:poke-ball:Naganadel @ :Shell-Bell:
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Sludge Wave
- Flamethrower
- Air Slash
- Dragon Pulse

Naganadel is a great lead here and did 90% of the work on this run. I only wish it had like 5 more PP in its STAB moves cause they run out quickly. I went with Air Slash for the Speed boost over Thunderbolt and honestly it was nice to conserve some Poison PP and finish off some Grass-types.

:poke-ball:Amoonguss @ :Black-Sludge:
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 30 Def / 12 Spe
- Clear Smog
- Foul Play
- Giga Drain
- Spore

After trying out Nidoking here and not liking it at all, I decided I needed a special wall that could come in and buy me some time and went with Amoonguss. Foul Play could probably be swapped for something more useful but I didn't want to auto-lose to physical mons.

:quick-ball:Slowbro-Galar @ :Quick-Claw:
Ability: Quick Draw
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Grass Knot
- Psychic
- Shell Side Arm
- Slack Off

Quick Draw with Quick Claw in a Quick Ball. Need I say more? I guess I'll shout this out for handling Toxapex easily and coming in clutch a few times with the cheap tricks.
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:master-ball:Zapdos-Galar @ :Shell-Bell:
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Thunderous Kick
- Drill Peck
- Low Kick
- U-turn

Same guy from the Flying run. This mon was an amazing lead and did a huge amount of the work load even through paralysis and a freeze. I only wish at times that I had double Flying STAB as well, but U-turn is pretty handy for momentum at times and also taking down the big Psychic-types like Solrock quickly.


:poke-ball:Urshifu @ :Assault-Vest:
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Crunch
- Drain Punch
- Focus Punch
- Aerial Ace

Useful Dark typing to sponge Psychic-type moves in a pinch, that is if Zapdos-G didn't already KO them with Max Flutterby. When Zapdos-G went down mid-run, Urshifu actually made a pretty nice lead but I was incredibly nervous each time I chose to continue fighting and not heal. My anxiety finally gave in and I healed up but I was pretty lucky not to run into a boatload of Fairy-types in this stretch.

:level-ball:Bewear @ :Roseli-Berry:
Ability: Fluffy
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Adamant Nature
IVs: 0 SpA
- Drain Punch
- Facade
- Darkest Lariat
- Bulk Up

I got a decent streak using Lucario here but I really wasn't impressed with it so I tried out the bear. It didn't do much during this streak but did save me when I absolutely needed it to. I tossed on a Roseli Berry just so I wouldn't immediately die to Fairy-type moves.
Fighting Run
First big action came in game nine when a Kingdra lead froze me with Blizzard and I tanked two more hits in Dynamax before thawing out and KOing it when my health got red. Don't remember the next two mons but they got OHKO'd so I healed up with Zapdos a bit to make up for the frozen turns. I caught a Static paralysis from Emolga with Zapdos and played five more battles until Zapdos finally ate it. I thought about healing here, but wanted to see how Urshifu did in the lead and played several more battles and ended up healing after battle 25. Assault Vest on Urshifu helped me tank a Dazzling Gleam from Ribombee so that was clutch. On battle 43, I forgot that Urshifu had fainted earlier and Zapdos got low and ended up fainting too. Luckily the team was mostly setup bait for Bewear so I was able to push through and use my second team heal. On battle 53, my team was in shambles and faced a pretty tough slate of Solrock, Comfey, and Crustle. I got past Solrock using Max Flutterby so I didn't have boosts against Comfey and Zapdos was at fairly low health but Comfey didn't click a Fairy-type attack. I'm honestly not sure what it used cause I was making coffee and thought, oh well 52 games is solid, and looked away for a bit only to see I was still alive. On battle 58, last mon Magneton lived with Sturdy and paralyzed me, which led to a lead Toxapex in the next battle breaking past Zapdos with Surf after three full paras.

I feel pretty confident that I could squeeze out a few more wins with each of these teams, especially with a bit of optimization and perhaps some better third team members. I see a lot of Body Press / Setup / Rest type things on here in the uber streaks but I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to dive that deep.

Right now I'm trying out Fairy with the mons shown below and it is going well so far. I had a streak end at 17 due to extremely poor piloting involving misclicks and extra Swords Dances but I think I could get 30 or 40 with this if I stay focused. Azumarill used to be one of my favorite mons and I didn't see any representation of it in RS so we'll see how it goes.
 
I don't have my Rock team on Gen 8 yet, but I have an Electric streak I'm glad to get on the leaderboard now. Before talking about the streak and updates about the team, I'd like to give a few some shout outs.

Thanks to sb879 for pointing out the link to the Battle Facility Discord near the top of the first post. (Not thinking to look there makes me feel stupid, but feeling stupid is nothing new. :P) and for some basic advice on EVs. They recommended using enough Spe EVs to outrun notable threats that can be outspeed without using too many EVs. That makes sense because raising defense or lowering offense before taking a hit can make the difference between panicking at a possible KO and being safe enough to set up. That lead to moving 40 of Raichu's EVs to speed for Porygon-Z, Pikachu, and Thievul. It turned out not to work for this team, but I will keep the Spe EV advice in mind in the future. As for the defenses, it's 252 HP (duh) and either the rest in one Defense or an arbitrary mix of both Defenses. For Pokemon that can boost both Defenses they said, "idk... lol" I have no idea how to do the advance EV spreads made to counter specific Pokemon, so it was nice to hear it's hard to justify specialized EVs for specific threats when there's so many threats. My EVs being an arbitrary mix of defenses, some of the mixes ending up being all in one in stat, and "idk... lol" is what I was already doing. I was somehow already doing it kind of right!

Thanks to everyone that made the tools on the first post. The damage calculator is useful for figuring out the most balanced EV spread because it updates when I adjust the EVs and checking what I can outspeed with a few Spe EVs is really easy with the moveset spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is also like a cheat sheet for Pokemon I haven't faced or don't remember if I'm playing with my laptop.

He was joking, but I'm still thinking SadisticMystic for the idea of waiting for Unrestricted Sparring and using a Triple Regen team of Ho-oh/Toxapex/Tangrowth. That's a good looking team, but even if I wouldn't use Cosmic Power/Recycle Arceus, I think Eviolite Tangela might be better than Tangrowth. Regenerator would be more than enough healing to stop Tangela from dying and I think Eviolite would prevent more damage than Leftovers would heal. It also lets the Leftovers be held by Ho-Oh instead. Then again, Unrestricted might mean multiple Leftovers too. Now I kind of want Unrestricted Sparring. It would still be hilarious to use those four on a team against friends, but fortunately for other people, I don't have Nintendo Online... or any friends...

And a joking thanks to a loser for letting me say, "a loser does better than me." I love how pathetic that sounds without context. I don't think it's saying much though when the guy with the username "a loser" has some nice streaks.


I got 13 Wins in Electric and I still feel like I could do better! My goal was 12 wins to beat my Fighting team but now I feel like 15 is possible. Someone with more knowledge and skill might even be able to get 20! Then again, I haven't gotten many runs because of how long they take and averaging 5 per leg sounds tough. 13 might've been good luck. I know I had a lot of crazy luck in this run. It was mostly bad luck, but it was still crazy luck. I'll gladly keep using this team until I can get help transferring Pokemon from Gen 7 to Gen 8. I won't post updates until I'm ready to share the next team though. Three posts one team would feel excessive.

I made minor adjustments to the team's EVs. Toxicitry and Rotom's are just balanced as much as possible while still keeping SpD higher than Def because of Porygon's Download. Riachu got the same treatment, but as I said earlier, there's also 40 Spe. Only 36 is needed but it's easier with vitamins and the last 4 EVs wouldn't do anything in any stat, not even Atk or SpA because the IVs are 22 and 0. I considered putting them in SpA to highlight how much I want Atk to suck, but that would mean putting EVs into an Attack Stat. Also, I'd forgotten to feed Toxicitry Max Soup. Now he can Gigantamax to look awesome.

:Raichu-Alola: :Leppa Berry:
Alolan Raichu @ Leppa Berry
Surge Surfer
Bold 252 HP/204 Def/12 SpD/40 Spe
- Defense Curl
- Charge
- Rest
- Recycle

:Toxtricity-Low Key: :Black Sludge:
Toxtricity @ Black Sludge
Bold 252 HP/168 Def/88 SpD
- Toxic
- Noble Roar
- Rest
- Eerie Impulse

:Rotom-Wash: :Leftovers:
Rotom-W @ Leftovers
Bold 252 HP/68 Def/188 SpD
- Will-O-Wisp
- Eerie Impulse
- Rest
- Reflect
The first leg didn't have many threatening Pokemon. Jellicent would've been worrying if Noble Roar didn't ignore Substitute and it didn't use all its Poltergeist PP before I sent Raichu back in. Vileplume was fun because Corrosive Gas does nothing if Raichu doesn't use Recycle until the Leppa Berry would be used again. Its Moonblast and Strength Sap also got Raichu to -6/+6/-6/+6/+0 stats. Perfection.

Leg one ended at "Battle" 3 because Rotom got Crited by Galvantula twice in a row while asleep from Rest. -_- I think I would've healed afterward just for Rotom even if Sharpedo didn't almost destroy me.

I made a stupid mistake in "Battle" 6. I kept Raichu in against Sirfetch'd because I'd beat it before with lucky timing with the Crits. I really should've switched to Toxictry first... Drednaw after that was annoying because of Dragon Tail. The last Pokemon being Bisharp was perfect. It loves using Torment and Sucker Punch. Easy Leftovers/Black Slude healing from safe switching every turn.

I knew "Battle" 7 would end with Toxictry and Rotom at full health when I saw the lead, Lopunny. I don't know why Baton Pass has 40 PP, but I'm not complaining. Milotic knowing Rest meant I had to stall to Struggle, but it was weak. Pikachu was the most annoying Pokemon. Toxicitry resists everything and can use Noble Roar, but what really annoyed me was its size. How is it bigger than my haunted washing machine?! I may need to start a support group for Pokemon that are unfarly shrunk, like Wailord.

With 18 Noble Roar PP left I'd have to heal after the next one.

One "Battle" against Vespiquen, Wishiwashi, and Escavalier later: How'd I use only 3 Noble Roar PP? Okay. Guess I can not heal.

Lead Goodra and Wailord weren't threatening, but the last Pokemon was Cinccino, a Pokemon that's usually interesting. Crazy power thanks to two of their three Abilities but unable to get surprise KOs with Crits because all their moves are Multi-hit. In this case, it just means the leg is over. Even with lowered Atk and a burn, Rotom won't get a full heal against anything with Bullet Seed. I can't complain about a leg of 6, especially after three wins after Raichu's KO.

Leg 3 started wonderfuly. Politoed KOed itself with Perish Song and Golduck is weak enough to set up on. Nothing could possible go wrong! When it's out of Surfs ist starts using its even weaker Non-STAB Ice Beam. Hahaha! Oh. It froze Raichu. I Dynamaxed in case it'd take a while to unthaw. I didn't count how many turns it was, but it had to have been around 7 or 8 turns and I had to switch out because Raichu was down to 29 HP. When it was down to Amnesia that gave about 13 more turns and I knew how it'd go after a few turns. Golduck used Struggle before Raichu thawed! I kept Raichu in because screw it. Even if Raichu can't wake up, a sleeping Raichu is better than frozen red health. 4 Struggles KOed Golduck and took Raichu down to 3 HP. Raichu was still frozen and almost dead! WTF!? I wasn't worried though. She still has the Leppa Berry! The last Pokemon was Rotom. Only worth mentioning because I mentioned everything else.

"Battle" 10's opponent lead with a massive threat, Heracross. If this Heracross is like the last one I faced it won't have Guts, not that it mattered when Volcarona destroyed me afterward. This could suck a lot, even without Guts. (or Volcarona) I switched from Raichu to Toxicitry and Heracross used Throat Chop. That sucks... It knows Bulk Up and Throat Chop won't let me use... Wait, Toxicitry can still use Noble Roar? Okay, I'm not complaining. I use it then Toxic. If it can KO, I'm dead. The move it used was.. Bulk Up?! Holly... I think I win. If they keep boosting, Noble Roar will counter it and make them want to set up more. If they don't, they want be able to attack enough to KO before fainting to Toxic. I switched to Rotom after a few turns because Toxicitry was just above half health. Stone Edge deals 1/3 and Megahorn missed.

The last Pokemon of "Battle" 10 was perfect, Purrserker. I thought something with nothing status move like Amnesia would save this, but this works too. I won't be able to tell if they're out of attacking PP unless I counted (I would lose count.) so I can't risk trying to thaw out against Screech, but Purrserker also knows Fake Out. I'm counting the PP just in case. (I lost count pretty quickly...) The impossible happened. Raichu thawed out, used Rest, and was able to wake up before Struggle! That's why I wasn't worried. As long as someone isn't KOed, they can recover through Leftovers or Rest.

"Battle" 12 was easy even though Lurantis's Night Slash was annoying, but I messed up in "Battle" 13. Golisopod is terrifying. I switched to Toxicity for Noble Roar then switched between Rotom for Reflect and Toxicitry to heal a little taking resisted attacks. It really liked Razor Shell though. After enough switches I think I can set up, but the turn I switch to Raichu just happens to be the one they start using Skitter Smack. That wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't a Critical OHKO. -_- I even had a thought in the back of my mind about waiting for First Impression... To add insult to injury, I used Will-O-Wisp when it was down to just First Impression's PP and found out Golisopod had Leftovers. Would've been nice to know that sooner... Fortunately, the other two Pokemon were Politoad and Bisharp. lol

"Battle" 14 started with Marowak. Yikes. I switched to Rotom to avoid Bonemerang and used Will-O-Wisp. Good News: Rotom outsepped Marowak. Bad news: Will-O-Wisp missed. (I knew I should've used Reflect...) More Good News: Outrage deal a little less than 2/3 damage so I could use Will-O-Wisp again. After that, Rest and Reflect.

Beartic is powerful and knows Sword Dance, but it doesn't have STAB and both of my Pokemon resist one of its moves. To make it even better, Superpower lowers their Atk for me. The second Pokemon wasn't bad and it was the better of the two non lead Pokemon. Nobel Roar has enough PP to get to 15 wins. I just need to Toxic Stall one more Pokemon before-

Butterfree. Substitute and Quiver Dance. I don't have enough PP for 15.

I spammed Noble Roar. They used Sleep Powder less that usual and they usually don't use Quiver Dance that much. Spamming Quiver Dance made me think it ran out of Hurricanes, which was a good thing Nobel Roar didn't have enough PP to keep lowering their SpA.

Critical Hit!

Two things. One, OMG! Toxicitry survived! Two, was that the last Hurricane or am I screwed? I switched to Rotom to take another possible hit and they used Hurricane. I Dynamax to endure more but it's not enough. I pray that was the last Hurricane, but Toxicitry went down too.

IMG_1949.JPG


I think I understand how Fighting was able to do so good now. I focused only on Gallade's health, but Gallade sucks on its own. The back up was kind of good and could beat things Gallade couldn't but they were limited by their PP. Their vulnerability to massive threats still makes me confused about getting past 10 though. This team is similar but better. I thought Gallade was good because it could tank stuff, but Raichu made me realize that, no. Gallade and Raichu aren't very good tanks. What makes them good is saving everyone else's PP. Then again, I don't think Gallade was very good at that either. If I managed to get 5 wins without a Leppa Berry, there's a chance I could do better without him. (Before you ask, no. I'm not trying again. You can't talk me into trying Fighting again. Besides, I still have 16 types left.)

This team makes me want to raise my goal from 5 wins in every type to 10 wins, but Fire alone make me say no to that. Stockpile/Recycle Heatmor looks terrible and like a waste of an Ability Patch and none of the secondary typings of other Pokemon look good. They all only have one "resistance" to Water, Rock, or Ground. Dark looks like it would suck less and it doesn't even have any Recycle or Regen Pokemon! (It would look pretty sweet if they added Alolan Muk to SwSh after BDSP came out though.)

Lessons learned: Raichu is both the star of the team and its weakest link so it needs help a lot. This is good enough that I should to conserve PP instead of going for -6 Stats and trying to heal with Leftovers as every time. Don't risk with Crits that can KO Raichu after the first few "battles." It's better to use the rest of the team's PP than risk Raichu. No matter how much you think you know the AI, you don't know the AI. This isn't from the 13 run, but I should have lower standards for the first "battle" than Raichu solo or reset.


After this run I changed Raichu's EVs to 252 HP/228 Def/28 SpD because the Pikachu can deals too much damage to let Raichu set up, Porygon-Z can KO (or come close enough) with a Critical Shadow Ball, and Thievul's Knock Off is only a threat as a lead because Raichu can "protect" the berry by not using Recycle until it would be eaten immediately. I also replaced Toxicitry's Eerie Impulse with Tearful Look because I ran low on Noble Roar PP twice in the 13 streak, and would've run out against Butterfree and I wasn't using Eerie Impulse that much. Also, it's kind of funny to run two of what's pretty much the same move.


EDIT: I still haven't learned not to go for a Raichu Solo in "Battle" 1 but I just had the best "Battle" 2 ever. Gyrados, Druddigon, and Corviknight. The 3 lesser evils of the 5 Taunt users. Taunt is usually annoying but I was paying enough attention to always switch when needed and it was pretty hilarious. Corviknight also let me heal from Gyrados's Scald Burns and Raichu's tiny amount of damage.
 
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I'll kick myself if I could for not considering Glastrier enough. Congrats and massive props.

Still, I have a couple of updates to give, two brief ones and another accomplishment I've been working on for longer.

First, two not record-breaking but still noteworthy streaks for Ice and Dark:
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I honestly think this team can get to 70ish, but given sb879 unbelievable streak, I'll probably drop Ice for good. >100 is not something you can beat that easily

1634936839645.png

And this was done in 2 legs. I will be the first to reckon that this team cannot push any further than 100ish, while the currently record-holding team can probably reach 140ish wins in a good run.

Still, what started as a joke (I wanted to try Bisharp for my own amusement since I love it) turned out as a pretty serious team. Should I give it a more serious try in the future, I'll make a fully-fledged, detailed report as usual.

Now, to the meat of the post: my own Fighting streak (117).

Here is my own disclaimer at the beginning of it:
I agree with sb879's opinion that Zapdos, in a vacuum, is better as a lead that Blaziken, but here is where our disagreements start. I think that Blaziken into Zapdos is significantly better than the opposite, since as a switch in Zapdos offers a Ground immunity while Blaziken offers only a Fairy neutrality (not as useful given Blaziken's bulk) and dealing with Froslass.

I simply could not allow a mon who has insane STABS, can set its own weather, overpowered moves, coverage for Water types, immediate power, a built in Airstream every turn via Speed Boost to go to waste. I would actually argue that on a Mon that can make decent use of Knuckle as Blaziken, Speed Boost is more broken than Moxie, as it does not require a knockout to work.
Well, scrap that completely.

When I used Zapdos in my Flying streak, I realized how broken it actually is. I implemented Peck (56PPs) and it actually got even better.
The rest of the set was a given: Low Kick is not negotiable, Brave Bird takes care of some troublesome mons (like Kingdra, Golduck, Milotic, Seismitoad...) and has insane power with or without Dynamax. Stomping Tantrum has low PPs (16) but amazing utility against some stupid mons (see: Garbodor, Pinchurchin) and provides much needed coverage. The insane STAB combination got me thinking, though. Is there a way to save PPs or have a larger reserve?
I started by replacing Brave Bird with Drill Peck for 8 Extra PPs. The power drop came back to haunt me a couple times, but while testing was actually much more manageable than I thought.

That got me to a Drill Peck (32PPs)/Low Kick (32PPs)/Peck (56PPs)/Stomping Tantrum (16PPs) set that had insane consistency and durability with a whooping total of 136 PPs, which is beaten only by the leads of the most insane streaks and realistically made me aim for 130, which would be insane for such a synergy deficient type.

I then looked at the team: Scrafty is a given, as the only Fighting option that can deal with status consistently. In my old streak, Scrafty had two problems: 116 EVs dropped into speed due to the extremely aggressive nature of the team, that could rarely pivot around with multiple switches, and no Leftovers due to the item being reserved for the at the time secondary sweeper (Zapdos). I decided to make a bold move: move Leftovers to Scrafty, maximise its bulk, and look for a glue moon that could actually work. After all, Drain Punch as recovery is a viable option for a variety of Fighting mons.

The problem is finding the right balance between Typing, Moveset, and team synergy. I had two options: insanely bulky mons who could come useful in a pinch (AV Conkeldurr, Rest Cobalion), or try to be smart but aggressive with immunities. Shortly thereafter, I ditched option one: Cobalion is good but, without Drain Punch, has to rely on Rest, which is terrible. Conkeldurr works in theory, can be statused and has priority, but it is too goddamn slow and offers little synergy to be of actual use.

That left me with two options: Lucario and, amazingly and unexpectedly, another favorite of mine started climbing rankings: Toxicroak.
I'll just say that Expert Belt Lucario can work. It has decent power, coverage, can afford to run double Fighting Stab (Low Kick when Dynamax is available, Drain Punch outside of it and for recovery) and Adamant Bullet Punch OHKOs Ribombee, which is the top threat. In my mind, full Poison immunity was at the time better than status immunity. Lucario worked decently, but ultimately provided to be a little bit inconsistent with its power and had little opportunities to set up outside of Dynamax.

Enter Toxicroak, who is slower and frailer. However, it is in my opinion way cooler (why does it matter though? Well...Good question!) but has noticeably two other perks: Black Sludge and one of the most insane abilities for a glue mon: Dry Skin. With Dry Skin, Toxicroak can come in on Water Pokemon for free, set up sometimes multiple bulk ups, and then sweep while recovering thanks to both Black Sludge and Drain Punch. Its team synergy was also insane: on a variety of mons (see: Milotic, Golduck, Toxapex), it afforded a pivot to Scrafty for little to-no damage, then switch for free on the consequent Water move, and go to town, saving further Zapdos PPs. Its neutrality to Fairy also means that it can come in on the weak but annoying Dedenne and get rid of it. Together with its Fighting resist, being neutral to Fairy also helps saving Scrafty's Dragon Dance PPs: now Scrafty could actually only boost to +3 on basically anything and not worry about being blue-balled while trying to sweep. Another example of this is Slurpuff which is extremely bulky even for Zapdos and is a dead end for Scrafty. Every other fighting mon, bar Cobalion, would not be able to deal with Slurpuff consistently, but the frog just does.

Its frailty is also insane, but for a dedicated switch in that can come in in controlled environments, Toxicroak had insane power and set up opportunities. It also made PP stalling Pyukumuku effortless without worrying about Shed Skin ruining you, and can provide a leeway against the PP waster, Pressure-armed Corviknight: provided Toxicroak is at least at 60%, you can switch endlessly between it and Scrafty, wait for Steel Beam, make the entire backline recover via switch stalling, and then switch stall with Zapdos until Metal Sound procs Defiant.

Using the Skin Brothers (Dry Skin + Shed Skin? Hehe (...)) was indeed the best choice, and it got me to beat the old record:

1634939207051.png

However, I started noticing how Zapdos had one crippling problem: Stomping Tantrum and its stupid 16 PPs.
Toxicroak, as a variety of Fighting mons, can learn Earthquake. Was it possible to remove Tantrum's stupid PPs, have Toxicroak worry about what Tantrum dealt with, and use Double-Double STAB Zapdos?

Can Toxicroak deal with Drapion? Check.
Can Toxicroak deal with Garbodor? Check. (more on this one later)
Can Toxicroak do something with the PP waster Toxapex? Check.

@Shell Bell
Defiant
Adamant/ 50 HP, 252 attack, 4 special defense, 204 speed
Low Kick (32PP) / Peck (56PP) / Low Sweep (32PP) / Drill Peck (32PP).


Relieved of Stomping Tantrum, Zapdos reaches 152 PPs, giving me a realistic shot at 50ish legs.

Double Double STAB is out of this world, providing absurd momentum and multiple boosts per battle. If Zapdos has a favorable matchup turn 1, the battle is basically over. After a single Knuckle boost, +1 Max Airstream from Peck is roughlt as strong as +0 Max Airstream from Brave Bird. Max Airstream from Drill Peck still OHKOes a lot of targets at neutral, and Max Knuckle from Low Sweep provides the lowest Metal Burst output against Excavalier. It also doubles as a utility move against last mon Skarmory with no Dynamax by doing more damage than Low Kick and provide some sort of speed control if it rolls Weak Armor and you have at least one speed boost under your belt.
EV to outspeed up to Volcarona and even bulky enough to have a chance to survive Ribombee's Moonblast if at full. The caveat worth mentioning is: Ribombee sweeps me if Zapdos is under 50%, so this team is safe only if Zapdos is alive.

TL;DR: the best for this type lead by far. F*ck my Blaziken defense.

1634940246864.png
Black Sludge
Dry Skin
Adamant, 252 Attack/4 SpD/252 Speed
Drain Punch (16 PPs) / Bounce (8PPs) / Earthquake (16 PPs) /Bulk Up (32 PPs)

The first of the Skin Brothers is the cooler, but less durable, one.
It PP reserve may seem low but it is more than enough to deal with what it needs to deal with.
Bounce provides Airstream access (after which it outspeeds the field even with Adamant).
I mentioned earlier how it stops some troublesome mons and provides much needed synergy. What I did not mention is that it can also come in on a variety of mons for little cost (see: Politoed) and provide PP saving utility.
The dreadful Starmie is also at my mercy: it goes for Psychic against both Toxicroak and Zapdos, but Surf on Scrafty. Toxicroak allows for Switch stalling Psychic PPs and 10-12 Surf PPs, at which point Scrafty only needs to rest twice until Starmie has only BoltBeam coverage, and DD safely multiple times.
Thanks for also being the sacrificial lamb when needed. Ah, and outspeed Braviary and Pikachu. What a utility for a mon that actively saw 15% of the playing time, maybe.

@Leftovers
Shed Skin
Careful, 252 HP / 252special defense /4 Attack
Drain Punch (16PP) / Knock Off (32 PP) / Dragon Dance (32 PP) / Rest (16PP)

The added bulk and Leftovers provides Scrafty with insane durability, the capability of dealing with Magneton and Froslass easily and ease the matchup against Starmie and Marowak. Due to Toxicroak's presence, it doubles as a utility pivot in some cases while often softening some perdicaments thanks to Knock Off (see: Milotic, Quagsire).
It can:
a) come in on any Psychic for free, usually get to +3, and sweep;
b) deal with all status dealers and secondary status threats (Miltank, Dusknoir);
c) soften Kingdra and Milotic;
d) deal with Marowak with Knock Off+Rest while it continues using Outrage, and then sweep;
e) show the middle finger to Rotom.
All in one spot. 'Nuff said.

1634939482852.png

Of which I remember only the highlights, of course.

Legs: 50, 44, 57.
First Leg was relatively uneventful, but Zapdos run out of everything but 10 Pecks at battle 47 so I had to heal shortly thereafter, since Scrafty was also running extremely low on Knock Off (the only reliable way to deal with Rotom).
Second Leg almost spell disaster when an untimely Scizor and Garbodor in consecutive battles needed Toxicroak sacrificed. Fortunately, it had seen uncharacteristically high usage and Zapdos had a lot of extra PPs, so it went on a solo rampage to avenge Tox. After battle 94, however, the strain of not having Toxicroak caught up with my PPs, and I had to heal.
Third leg was probably my best RS playing yet. My choices were consistent, my switches timely, and I got to use PPs evenly to the point that Zapdos exhausted Peck PPs first. At 148. Shortly thereafter, Scrafty met its end, and a lone Toxicroak won 151 while remaining with 2 Bounces, 5 Drain Punch and something like 7 EQs. Battle 152 saw lead Musharna. Laughable with Scrafty, terrible without it.

PP situation when Zapdos went finally down:
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just stupid. High Poison chance. When it misses, Speed gets doubled as well as Tantrum's power. Plus, it can always roll Weak Armor which is even more annoying since Max Quake from +0 Toxicroak is a roll. The best if Zapdos has not used Knuckle is to go to Toxicroak, eat a Sludge Bomb, and go to +1 at which point its far more likely to survive Tantrum. If it misses on the switch, it gets worse. Blunder Policy procs, Tantrum's doubles in power, at which point I could only go back to Zapdos and pray it doesn't poison. if it is the lead, however, it is far more manageable. Toxicroak can Dynamax and either Quake (Tantrum is a 3HKO while Quake can OHKO but I need to watch out for Weak Armor) or Max Guard if it missed to lower Tantrum's power. If that's the case, however, Dynamax is gone for +2 SpD Toxicroak. Not ideal.

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Double Wingbeat can utterly destroy me. Still, +1 Low Kick OHKOes, and Zapdos's bulk lures more Sword Dances than I anticipated.
1634942218632.png
More of a PP waster than anything, it can serve unwarranted damage around l if comes out on Scrafty.
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The mere reason you should always, always set up to +3 speed with Scrafty or have an Airstream boost if Toxicroak is out. Zapdos brute forces through it provided it is in the green, though.
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Usual bastard.
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Scrafty at full can deal with it provided Outrage does not crit on the switch. Otherwise Zapdos has to eat one for the team.
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Just an asshole. 2 Knuckles are enough but without Attack boosts can be extremely painful.

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Gale Wings Fly...Scrafty is however only 3HKOed outside of crits and can Rest+DD timely while it flies, Roost and damage itself.
1634942578760.png
Annoying, but if it leads can be dealt with reasonably by switching to Scrafty, maybe lose Leftovers for the battle, and go back to Zapdos. At this point it will have accrued 2 Stick Barbs damage ticks, will accrue a third if not KOed, and can unintentionally proc Defiant. It is guaranteed to set up Tailwing though, and going forward with no item is not fun.

Really, really satisfied. I am pondering if I can improve any streak significantly with a similar approach, but BDSP is looming upon us and I don't know if I have the energy: I still have Dragon Quest XI to finish and a couple of games to try.
 
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Hello everyone. Today I learned about the existence of Restricted Sparring, and it looks to be a really fun challenge! I came up with a team that I would like to try and use for Psychic type, and I am looking for some advice and feedback.

Exeggutor @ Leppa Berry
Ability: Harvest
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Skill Swap
- Leech Seed
- Protect
- Sleep Powder

Gardevoir @ Leppa Berry
Ability: Trace
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Calm Mind
- Moonblast

Swoobat @ Leppa Berry
Ability: Simple
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Charm
- Calm Mind
- Baton Pass
- Roost

The idea is that I'd be able to theoretically go on forever here, so long as I don't get super unlucky and lose to Crits. Battles would be slow, but I understand that PP is the main issue in extremely long runs which is why I opted to make it so this team can replenish its own PP indefinitely (with the exception of Swoobat).

The gameplan is to lead with Swoobat, using either Charm or Calm Mind + BP to ensure that whatever the opponent is using won't be able to kill Exeggutor. I then bring in the palm tree and swap Harvest onto the enemy, maybe put them to sleep or drop seeds if needed. Then I bring in Gardevoir who can set up to full +6 SpA/SpD and then sweep. I can also use Wish as a way to restore any chip damage that the other team members took.

So, that's my first shot at a team; what do you experts have to say about it? Surely there are some places I can improve, or maybe there's a glaring issue I need to fix for it to work at all. Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!
 
The idea is that I'd be able to theoretically go on forever here, so long as I don't get super unlucky and lose to Crits. Battles would be slow, but I understand that PP is the main issue in extremely long runs which is why I opted to make it so this team can replenish its own PP indefinitely (with the exception of Swoobat).
...

So, that's my first shot at a team; what do you experts have to say about it? Surely there are some places I can improve, or maybe there's a glaring issue I need to fix for it to work at all. Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!
I'm going to unfortunately have to shoot down your hopes and dreams: the mode uses the same ruleset as other facilities, notably Item Clause is in effect.
You won't be able to use 3 leppa berries.
 
I'm going to unfortunately have to shoot down your hopes and dreams: the mode uses the same ruleset as other facilities, notably Item Clause is in effect.
You won't be able to use 3 leppa berries.
Hahahahaha, yes, this does serve a bit of a problem. However, I think it would still work decently well with only one Leppa berry? Swoobat doesn't need it at all, and maybe Exeggutor can manage without one also, although this would then restrict me to only having a certain number of Skill Swaps. Might have to rethink.
 
Does anyone else feel really bad for Leon after grinding in the BAttle Tower? I've done quite a bit of grinding there for nature mints. But you gotta beat him about 5 times to get enough BP for a mint and a cap. Not only does that get dull. But its sad seeing this guy exude positivity when you just know you've crushed his confidence.
Would it really have killed Game Freak to give some other characters a Battle Tower rematch? I feel like I'm Leon's abusive husband or something.
 
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Hello all! After what I would consider a fortunate run, I have a Normal Restrictive Sparring streak of 106 . The squad was Heliolisk/Braviary/Chansey.

IMG_0528.jpg




Heliolisk @ Life Orb

Level: 50

Ability: Dry Skin

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 Def/ 252 Spe

Timid Nature

- Rising Voltage

- Parabolic Charge

- Hyper Beam

- Grass Knot

This thing’s speed and Life Orb-granted power are great. sb879 mentions :heliolisk: in this post, and Eisenherz used to great effect in this streak. Speed ties Salazzle; not a risk I’ll take with it in the lead, but it makes it less of a nuisance if it come out in the back. Both sb879 and Eisenherz do a thorough job of talking about this mon in their posts, so I’ll just explain Hyper Beam and Grass Knot.

Hyper Beam

I’ve run both Hyper Voice and Dragon Pulse here, but the drawbacks of both have come back to haunt me in prior attempts. Among other things, :luxray: (in E. Terrain) and :kommo-o: suck hard for the backline; :dedenne: and its Super Fang aren’t fun, either. Hyper Beam is only way to guarantee a OHKO on all of these Pokemon. This is probably already documented elsewhere, but the AI seems to prioritize either super effective moves or the hardest possible hits when choosing its second mon, making :kommo-o: especially bad. I’ve had it use Clangorous Soul instead of Close Combat against a Dynamaxed :heliolisk:, which is no bueno. The 75% KO chance against :abomasnow: with Hyper Beam is also clutch, if a bit risky. Finally, it doesn’t change in power post-Dynamax, which has come into play against :luxray: in previous attempts. The 8 PP is fine if you only use Hyper Beam/Max Strike as a last-ditch effort. I almost never us it on a last mon Grass type, for example.

Grass Knot

I started with Grass Knot, ran Surf for a while, then swapped back after a… fair number of battles. Surf makes passive sustain easier than Grass Knot; you only lose 2 net HP per battle if you get Rain up turn one and win in three turns, assuming you don’t take hits and don’t have the weather changed or nullified. However, Grass Knot has a few juicy targets. Here’s a rundown of the differences; "HB" means also taken out by Hyper Beam, "ET RV" means also taken out by Rising Voltage if Electric Terrain is up. I’m not including anything taken out by an unboosted Max Lightning.

Max Overgrowth deals with :seaking:, :lanturn:, :palossand:, :seismitoad:, :quagsire:, :whiscash: (HB)

Max Geyser has :coalossal: (ET RV):, :volcarona: (HB/ET RV), :galvantula: (HB/ET RV), and :steelix: (but only if non-Sturdy; not an advisable gamble)

:quagsire: is rough to manage with the backline; Yawn + Power-Up Punch + Unaware is not a good time. It’s also a common second Pokemon due to Earthquake hitting :heliolisk: hard. It’s possible to OHKO :quagsire: outside Dynamax with Grass Knot, but that never came into play. :seismitoad: is kind of clutch because you can force a Surf with the backline, heal :heliolisk:, then KO outside Dynamax. Not triggering Swift Swim on :kingdra: and :beartic: is also nice; I’ve had both of them end streaks while running Surf.

Coalossal is the only iffy one lost, but not unmanageable by the backline. No matter what you run, Endure is still a pain. :magneton: and :magnezone: are also hit harder by Surf/Geyser, but :chansey: does fine against them.



Braviary @ Leftovers

Level: 50

Ability: Defiant

EVs: 252 HP / 4 Att / 132 Def/ 4 SpD / 116 Spe

Jolly Nature

- Fly

- Shadow Claw

- Bulk Up

- Rest

sb879 mentions the potential of :braviary: as backline mon, and I enjoyed using it quite a bit. Without support, it can set up on stuff :heliolisk: doesn’t like (or things that would waste Hyper Beam PP), such as Grass types (except :abomasnow:), :centiskorch:, :goodra:, Quick Claw :sandaconda:, and bulky Normals like :kangaskhan: and :bouffalant:. With Confide support from :chansey:, it can set up on some bulky Faires and Psychics too, if it can avoid crits. In most cases, it handles Body Press users and :scrafty: OK.

I don’t remember if the 4 EVs Attack do anything, or if it was a holdover from when I was running more Special Defense. Otherwise, I used the EVs to hit 126 speed (outspeeds Flapple, Mr. Rime, and Butterfree), maximize HP, and add physical bulk. Fly has good power and PP (24) without causing recoil. Fly also has the fringe benefit of netting a turn of Leftovers recovery if used outside Dynamax. Shadow Claw (24 PP) hits all of Flying’s resists (Rock, Steel, and Electric) neutrally; I believe Bisharp and Morpeko are the only RS resists between these two moves, and the latter is OHKOed by +3 Max Airstream. Defense drops from Phantasm are great, both to soften Pokemon for 2HKOs and to reduce Body Press damage. Rest is the healing move for when Leftovers aren’t keeping up. The way I play :braviary:, it gets statused a lot, so Roost wasn’t going to work in this case. :braviary: also needs to maintain its Body Press neutrality, and it really likes having Bug and Grass resists. Plus, being able to go from 20 HP to full is clutch.

The typical :braviary: strategy is to get to +3 Attack and make sure you use at least one Airstream on the Pokemon you set up on. If those boosts come from Defiant boosts so you’re not using Bulk Up PP, even better. Once you get to that stage, you OHKO 87% of the RS roster in Dynamax, and you outspeed everything except for :barraskewda: and :accelgor:. Because :braviary: has to tank a fair number of physical attacks and the occasional crit, the extra speed to outpace :barraskewda: is not worth the drop in bulk. Bulk Up PP and Fly PP are both precious; if you can kill (or even two-shot) a second or third mon with Max Phantasm or Shadow Claw, generally do it. Rest is usually my burner PP if I need a Max Guard or if I’m at full and don’t want to use attacking PP on a wake-up turn; Leftovers do a pretty good job of maintaining health.



Chansey @ Eviolite

Level: 50

Ability: Natural Cure

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

IVs: 0 Att, 20 Spe

Impish Nature

- Seismic Toss

- Confide

- Charm

- Rest

Let just say it took me… a while… to land on :chansey: for this slot. I’ll just do a brief-ish synopsis of the predecessors I tried for more than one run

:audino: @ Lum Berry/Rocky Helmet; Flamethrower/Wish/Protect/Toxic OR Light Screen

I thought I needed wish support for a Life Orb user. It ended up eating a lot of status, hence the Lum Berry at one point. Regenerator + Rocky Helmet slaps. Flamethrower was for :weavile: and :ribombee:. Light Screen made me realize that supporting :braviary: with Special Attack drops was a pretty good strategy. .

:porygon2: @ Eviolite; Shadow Ball OR Toxic/Conversion/Eerie Impulse/Recover

A bit of a gimmick, but it was quite good at not dying to Body Press and :scrafty: if it survived the initial hit! Trace was also clutch; it allows me to scout things like :skarmory: and nab a heal with :heliolisk:. Toxic couldn’t directly handle :steelix:, but with Conversion it could proc a Dig and allow :braviary: to come in. In the end, its downfalls were not enough PP, susceptibility to Crits + status, and no way to lower the impact of physical moves beyond changing type. .

:type null: @ Eviolite; Iron Defense/Confide/Rest/Flame Charge OR Swift

Crit immunity from Battle Armor combined with Eviolite-bolstered bulk is a hell of a drug cocktail. With enough initial health, Iron Defense virtually neutralizes Body Press. Both Flame Charge and Swift have 32 PP, which is pretty good. The former has a handy speed boost effect and hits :weavile:/:magneton:/:magnezone:/:ribombee: harder, while the latter does better against :crustle: and :steelix:, among other things. The problem? Rest and no Leftovers combined with low damage output. Rest requires the use of one PP to wake up, and especially against Body Press users :type null: just has sit there and take hits while chipping away at the opponent. That being said, I did hit mid-80s with a Flame Charge build alongside a Surf + Dragon Pulse :heliolisk:; might have hit 100 that time had I not let :heliolisk: drop to a Grass Glide off :tangrowth: that I though was going to be a Grassy Terrain.

:audino: @ Rocky Helmet; Knock Off/Confide/Baby-doll Eyes/Rest

Oh hey it’s :audino: again! I was getting sick of :type null: burning through all of its PP just trying to stay alive and do damage, so back to Regenerator! This iteration never did as well as my :type null: streak but I tried anyway. :audino:’s base stats are just kind of trash; NFE Pokemon like :piloswine: and :doublade: have better BSTs. Base 103 HP/86 Def/86 SpD bulk is only a touch better than :braviary:. Even with max SpDef investment stuff like crit :beheeyem: Psychics and :vanilluxe: Ice Beams were ending streaks. Fun fact; :audino: does not learn Charm. Which, fair; it’s not cute.

Tldr; I needed something that could keep up PP-wise, not die to crit special attacks, handle status, and heal to full without burning through a ton of Rest (or other recovery) PP. Enter :chansey:.

The special wall to :braviary:’s physical tank. Seismic Toss is pretty great; it’s a 3 to 5HKO on almost all the non-Ghost types, and its damage output can’t be reduced by dumb stuff like Moonblast or Charm. Eviolite :chansey:’s ability to take special hits is still stellar even with only HP investment; it takes 24% max from a crit :ribombee: Moonblast. Confide allows :chansey: to take special hits even better, and can provide :braviary: with new, though sometimes risky, setup opportunities against certain Pokemon. Light Screen has more PP, but it’s temporary and can only hit the equivalent of -2 SpA. Even though :chansey:’s goal is primarily to be a special wall, I have max physical bulk + Charm to make stuff like :lickilicky: and :dusknoir: much more manageable. Yes, a Bold naturue would be marginally better for the lower Attack stat, but I got Impish when breeding didn’t feel like burning the Mint. Rest is good for full heals and staying in even if you get Poisioned or Burned. Natural Cure also means you can swap out after Rest. This synergy preserves PP by avoiding wakeup turns, conserves your replenished HP by not taking hits, and it can let :heliolisk: eat a water move or :braviary: deal with a debuffed opponent. The 20 Speed IV lets it underspeed :exeggutor: and :porygon2: (allowing for stalling while they flip flop Trick Room) while still getting the jump on :magnezone: outside Trick Room.

Eisenherz already went through some of the funny anti-threats to a :heliolisk:-led team, so I’ll just do threats for my team.

:barraskewda:
Crit Drill Run comes close to OHKOing Dynamaxed :heliolisk: from full. If :heliolisk: is already Dynamaxed, you can hope it chooses Acupressure (it sometimes does if you have enough health) or swap to :braviary:, use a Bulk Up, and Fly. Freezes, flinches, crits, misses, and Acupressure boosts are all concerning. If it’s a lead, :braviary: is the safest option.

:weavile:
This thing is awful. Best strategy is usually to hope :braviary: is boosted, or hope it Taunts :heliolisk:. :weavile: is faster than :heliolisk:, and Night Slash does up to 58% to Dynamaxed :heliolisk:. I’ve never done :chansey: vs :weavile:, but :chansey: takes up to 35% on a crit, and 3HKOs, leaving it at low health and likely stuck with Taunt. :braviary: can’t OHKO with Fly and it can’t boost because of Taunt. Pressure makes everything worse, especially in the back line where Fly PP are precious, or you're burning through 6 Seismic Toss PP.

:boltund:
Not a bad lead (:chansey: deals), but stress-inducing in the back if :heliolisk: is out. Faster than :heliolisk:, and Strong Jaw Fire Fang or Crunch hurts :heliolisk: a lot. If it didn’t use Electrify most of the time it would be truly terrifying. Having Electric Terrain up against this thing is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Electrify becomes useless for :boltund:, because Rising Voltage/Max Lightning off anything but Parabolic Charge is a OHKO on :boltund:. However, if :heliolisk: is low on health and needs to swap out, it gives :boltund: extra juice to hit :chansey: with, and Rest is disabled until the terrain is gone.

:skarmory:
Honestly not too bad as far as Sturdy Body Pressers go, but it deserves a mention. It’ll often go for Spikes if :heliolisk: is close to full and Dynamaxed. Otherwise, if :braviary: is in decent shape, it sets up pretty handily on :skarmory:, especially if Dynamax is available.

:malamar:
Quick Claw Superpower + possible Contrary. Kind of BS.

:abomasnow:
Hits everything hard, can chip my mons with Hail, and it has Ice Shard pick off a weakened :braviary: or :heliolisk:. At one point, I had :braviary: EVed to have a ratio of Attack to Defense that let it always OHKO with Fly after Wood Hammer recoil. Nowadays, I usually take the 75% OHKO chance with Max Strike.

:scrafty:
If Electric Terrain is up, Rising Voltage KOs. If not, :braviary: needs to switch in and get to +1 and hit with Fly. Swagger can complicate the whole :braviary: thing. I never do more than one Bulk Up against this thing because of Swagger.

:crustle:
Max Lightning will OHKO if it’s not Sturdy; if :heliolisk: is at or near full, or already Maxed, I tend to go for it and hope for the best. Otherwise, :braviary: has to get lucky with Iron Defenses while contending with Sandstorm nullifying its Leftovers.

:steelix:
Not sure if this or :gigalith: is worse, probably :steelix:? :heliolisk: cannot stay in. :braviary: can set up if it’s near full health and can avoid crits before it has boosted; a single crit is OK between Rests if you’re around +3 Def. If there are still Dynamax turns and :braviary: hasn’t set up, in an ideal world :braviary: should boos to+4 then do Max Phantasm into Max Airstream. However, crits are scary, so earlier Dynamaxing is sometimes required. If there's no Dynamax, use Bulk Up, chip with Shadow Claw, and Rest as needed.

:gigalith:
Not only is it a member of Sturdy Body Press gang, :gigalith: sucks extra hard because it also gets Sand Stream to boost its special defense and whittle down the back line. Meteor Beam annihilates :braviary:. I usually just tank the Body Press if :heliolisk: has enough health; it has the weakest Body Press of any of the Sturdy Body Press Gang. Otherwise you have to burn Fly PP dodging Meteor Beam, or Seismic Toss with :chansey: while taking quite a bit of damage. Even if :braviary: is set up, it has to burn a turn of Dynamax with Max Guard to avoid the Power Herb Meteor Beam.

Before I start out, I just want to say I got lucky in terms of my encounters with the Sturdy Body Press Gang :steelix: :gigalith: :crustle: :skarmory:. I only remember encountering 6 during the whole run, and two confirmed didn’t have Sturdy.

Leg 1: 38 battles.

Pretty clean and efficient leg. At the end of Battle 38, the only PP :heliolisk: had were 8 Grass Knot PP. :braviary: had 1-2 battles left. :heliolisk: took out a Sand Force :gigalith: and a non-Sturdy :skarmory: without taking a Body Press.

Leg 2: 67 cumulative; 29 battles

Things were a bit hairier here. I leaned hard on :chansey: and it got down to 2 Rest PP by the mid 50s. :heliolisk: took out 3 :weavile: :weavile: :weavile:, each of which used Taunt. After hitting a :dusknoir: with two Charms from :chansey:, I swapped in :braviary: to set up but got frozen after one or two Bulk Up boosts. It worked out (thawed with no crits!) but still scary. Somewhere in the 60s I passed up a second mon :cramorant: for healing on :heliolisk: (:braviary: must have been at full). I actually had to end the leg because :heliolisk: was almost dead. :chansey: was around half and only had one Rest PP. Good thing the first leg went so well! My encounters with the Sturdy Body Press Gang again included :skarmory: and :gigalith:. :skarmory: was a lead, and I set up on it with :braviary:. It wasn’t Weak Armor, so I might have saved :heliolisk:. A Gigalith came out on turn 2 of a :braviary: Dynamax, but Guard + Phantasm + Shadow Claw dealt with it (:braviary: was at +3 Att).

Leg 3: 106 cumulative; 39 battles.

How I survived this leg is anyone’s guess; I should have had my mons taken out or heavily dented so many times. The worst battle was 87, the only :steelix: I saw and it was a lead. :braviary: was at 2/3 HP. I swapped in the :braviary: and went straight for the Dynamax, debuffing the heck out of that thing’s defense and preventing Heavy Slams; three Phantasms and a Shadow Claw did it, but I was at about ¼ health at the end. Rested against the incoming :kangaskhan:, took 1/3 health in damage, swapped to :chansey:, debuffed with Charm (no crits!) and got :braviary: awake, healed up, and set up, again avoiding crits.

Other notable experiences: Finally had a :crustle: this leg. It came out after I’d Parabolic Charged a :mantine:, and then :braviary: dealt with it after setting up a bit (Dynamax was available). On a different battle, had a :rhyperior: go for a Breaking Swipe into a pretty healthy +3 Att/ +1 Def Dynamaxed :braviary: (though I guess Rock Wrecker would have only done 58% tops without a crit). Had a couple scary :boltund: experiences where they could have hit me hard instead of using Electrify. In one, :boltund: used Electrify again a not-too-healthy Dynamaxed :heliolisk: after Terrain was already up; Max Lightning KOed. In another I had to switch out :heliolisk: in Electric Terrain due to a second mon Blissey. I should have used :chansey: as an intermediate to stall terrain but went straight to :braviary: for a Fly. After the Fly :boltund: comes out and uses Electrify as I switch to :chansey:. Apparently even in terrain, Wild Charge only tops out at 91% against unboosted :braviary:. Battle 97 I had a :scrafty: target a Dynamaxed :heliolisk: with Swagger; very odd. I swapped in :braviary: and luckily the Swagger missed. I got a Bulk Up + Fly off and things were great.

Last battle was just a crash and burn due to lack of PP. Burned my last Seismic Toss, Bulk Up and Fly PP on a :porygon2:, in came a ghost-immue :lopunny:. I was Dynamaxed with :braviary:, so I Hyper Beamed with :heliolisk: (last PP; only had one electric PP in Parabolic Charge), got wrecked by :beheyeem:. :braviary: only got a few Shadow Claws off before going down, and like heck if :chansey:’s Struggles would have taken it out. Might have been able to get the win if I’d let :chansey: go down before attacking with :braviary:, but I didn’t.

And now that’s all the types over 100 before the DP remakes! sb879, your Ice run was wild; I really enjoyed your writeup!
 

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