Tailwind HO team

Right, so I was holding off on posting this for awhile since I was unsure of it, but now that I've gotten above 1620 on Showdown and top cut a couple PCs with it I guess it must be decent. Like the title says, it's a Tailwind-based hyper offense team since apparently that's the only playstyle I'm good at.

Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z
Ability: Psychic Surge
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
- Psychic
- Psyshock
- Moonblast
- Protect

Tapu Lele forms part of the core that the team was originally built around. It's the standard offensive Z-Psychic set, with the main difference being that I'm running both Psychic and Psyshock. The reason for this is that Tapu Lele's Psychic is a very common benchmark to survive and a lot of things this year are trained to be Specially defensive anyway, so I wanted to be able to surprise its typical special walls by hitting their lower Physical defense. I still have Psychic, though, for things like Gigalith and Kartana, and for the stronger Shattered Psyche. I am still considering running Dazzling Gleam over Psyshock, though while playing the team the number of times I wished I had Gleam was roughly equal to the number of times I was glad I had Psyshock, so I'm unsure.

Metagross @ Choice Band
Ability: Clear Body
Adamant Nature
EVs: 220 HP / 36 Atk / 52 Def / 36 SDef / 164 Spe
- Meteor Mash
- Zen Headbutt
- Earthquake
- Bullet Punch

Choice Band Metagross. I will confess to stealing the Lele/Metagross duo from Aaron's Road to Ranked series, but it is just so good. Banded Metagross hits so hard even with the little Attack investment I'm running. It was probably my single biggest contributor at the Premier Challenges I used this team at because most of my opponents were ill-prepared for it, and it doesn't have very many true counters in the current meta. The EV spread lets it outspeed Scarf Lele in Tailwind and survive Flare Blitz from Adamant 252 Arcanine, a benchmark that was incredibly useful when one Flare Blitzed me at Oregon Regionals, and then got the burn. The SDef EVs are there to survive two Celesteela Flamethrowers (I think?).

Aerodactyl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Unnerve
Jolly Nature
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spe
- Tailwind
- Sky Drop
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Tailwind Setter #1, and I swear to God that Aerodactyl is so much fun to use. I probably lead it in 80% of my games and either Tailwind or Sky Drop on turn 1. Sky Drop is great for creating free turns since it protects Aerodactyl from danger and also shuts down an opponent for a turn, often resulting in free damage for Aero's partner. Rock Slide is Rock Slide, good for damage and evil 30% flinches. I feel like on this team in particular it's one of those moves where using it when you're already winning makes you win more, and using it when you're losing can potentially turn a match around. Unnerve is also awesome for countering all the Pinch berries running around in 2017. All in all, Aerodactyl is one of my two favourite Pokemon to use in VGC 2017, the other one being...

Porygon-Z @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Modest Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
- Tri Attack
- Hyper Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Protect

...Life Orb Porygon-Z. An unorthodox mon for sure, but it fits really well onto this team. I feel like most people just see Porygon-Z as a somewhat gimmicky win condition with Z-Conversion, but with 135 SAtk, Adaptability, a Life Orb, and Tailwind support, it's a great attacker on its own. I went with Adaptability instead of Download because most things are built to be Specially defensive and it's more reliable, especially since I'm going to be using Tri Attack and Hyper Beam most of the time anyway. Tri Attack chunks everything in the game while Hyper Beam is the button I press when I really need something to be dead. Thunderbolt is mainly there for Sloth Celesteela.

Mandibuzz @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Overcoat
Bold Nature
EVs: 244 HP / 140 Def / 4 SAtk / 108 SDef / 12 Spe
- Tailwind
- Roost
- Foul Play
- Snarl

Tailwind setter #2. This thing can be pure evil in the games I bring it. It never dies and can harass the opponent with Foul Play and Snarl. I took the EV Spread from Hayden McTavish (2013 Seniors World Champ) after he destroyed me and everyone else he played at a Midseason Showdown awhile back; according to him it's mostly just to hit an 11n number for Defense and outspeed Pheromosa in Tailwind.

Garchomp @ Soft Sand
Ability: Rough Skin
Adamant Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Dragon Claw
- Protect

Finally, I wanted a strong spread attacker, and since my three favourites (Mega Gardevoir, Chandelure, Excadrill) are banned, Garchomp is the next best thing. Nothing much to see here; just spams Earthquake and Rock Slide. It also gets good synergy with Aerodactyl and Mandibuzz since they're immune to Ground. If I were to change one thing I would replace Dragon Claw with Poison Jab to have an extra weapon against the Tapus, especially Tapu Bulu.

I'd love to hear people's feedback on it! Again it feels solid when I use it and there's no one member that stays on the bench for the majority of the time, so I feel comfortable with these six Pokemon. That said, I think it can be improved; I'm just not sure how.
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The only thing I would change is switching out Earthquake for Brick Break on Metagross, as that's very useful against Kartana, which is something I see you probably have at least a little trouble with. Otherwise, this is a pretty solid team and nothing much can be improved on, which is probably why it didn't have replies before!
The only thing I would change is switching out Earthquake for Brick Break on Metagross, as that's very useful against Kartana, which is something I see you probably have at least a little trouble with. Otherwise, this is a pretty solid team and nothing much can be improved on, which is probably why it didn't have replies before!
Thanks! Your suggestion for Brick Break on Metagross is a good one, since I do indeed have trouble with Kartana. I have made a few other adjustments to my team to deal with it and Trick Room, namely Substitute > Psyshock on Lele, Taunt > Roost on Mandibuzz, and Fire Fang > Dragon Claw on Garchomp. I'll definitely test Brick Break though - my only concern is that it might be a bit of a weak move to be locked into, so I'll also try Hammer Arm since it can also be good vs. Trick Room.

If only Metagross got Thunderpunch this year...
Do you ever miss Wide Guard (over Protect) on Aerodactyl? I could see it being useful protecting Metagross from Garchomp's Earthquake.
Protect is useful because often opponents double-target Aero to try to deny Tailwind, but I'll test Wide Guard over it. I'm also thinking of replacing Mandibuzz with Rain Dance Drifblim to improve my matchup vs. Kartana and Sun - anyone's thoughts?
This team definitely interests me (I might steal that Metagross spread for my own one) :P, but I do have a few queries about your team.

1. How is your trick room matchup? Your team doesn't seem to have a dedicated taunter, and whilst sky drop is a decent way of dealing with trick room for a turn, your team seems most extremely fast paced, which leaves you extremely vulnerable to TR without any long-term response to it.

2. Seems like you need more breathing room against weather teams - How does Gigalith sound? Not only being a viable weather setter to compete with other weather teams, it might improve your matchup to TR. (Although I don't know if you really struggle with it)

3. Is there a necessity for two tailwind setters? I guess aero serves as a faster, damage dealing option over Mandi's bulk and longevity, though I'd doubt you'd bring both of them to a single game. In that case, I'm wondering - would either of them be taking up a space for an extra attacking option or do you feel completely fine?

4. Kartana matchup: In my own CB Metagross, I run hammer arm mostly for kart, but it's helped me to chunk huge damage off on p2, lax, etc. I'd assume EQ is for arc/muk and such, but you have two answers for them on your team, aero and chomp, plus zen headbutt deals a good amount of damage in Psychic terrain to arc.

5. Psyshock on lele, dragon claw on chomp. I'd take Psyshock off for taunt/sub/coverage move since the only time I see this having any use is against Nihilego, who usually carry Sash anyways. As for dragon claw on chomp, it's not really a move I would recommend given a all the tapus and misty terrain running around, plus EQ should be your main stab. Swords dance or fire fang should either give you more firepower or coverage, as you wish.
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I like the Metagross set but here is what I am thinking; Bullet Punch needs to go
Lele is becoming more and more common in the meta, you are also running Lele yourself so it might be risky running a move that locks you in, is priority and therefore can be voided by Psychic Surge.
That aside, I am not seeing much of what Bullet Punch can OHKO that warrants running it:

  • 36+ Atk Choice Band Metagross Bullet Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Pheromosa: 105-124 (71.4 - 84.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 36+ Atk Choice Band Metagross Bullet Punch vs. 164 HP / 92 Def Tapu Lele: 114-134 (68.6 - 80.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 36+ Atk Choice Band Metagross Bullet Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 126-150 (86.8 - 103.4%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
As you can see even against basic Lele and praying to god Psychic Terrain isn't on the field at the time it cannot OHKO it, or Pheramosa which is very squishy.

So maybe drop Bullet Punch for either Hammer Arm or Brick Break.

Hammer Arm does render Tailwind support on Metagross redundant however it can OHKO Kartana which your Metagross would otherwise struggle against
  • 36+ Atk Choice Band Metagross Hammer Arm vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 132-156 (97.7 - 115.5%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
You might be able to work this as a counter to TR since lowering your speed means more priority you get in TR against things like Porgon2 which with Hammer Arm is a 2HKO

Brick Break has more accuracy and no speed drops but it fails to OHKO or sometimes even 2HKO things that Hammer Arm can

For Lele I'd drop Psyshock for something like Taunt or Thunderbolt, maybe also change Psychium Z to a Life Orb

Or give it a Scarf and make it fully offensive, also change Timid to Modest.

Give Groundium Z to Garchomp and change Dragon Claw to Poison Jab
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