Teambuilding Exercise - Plug the Gaps


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Teambuilding in VGC can be very different from teambuilding in Singles, as there are many more interactions between teammates that need to be accounted for. It's not uncommon to wind up at a core of four Pokemon that you'll use in most games. You can then try to cover that core's weaknesses with the fifth and sixth Pokemon, who can either be interchangeable with specific members of the core in a given scenario, or who can be half of an alternate core. Generally, the last Pokemon on a team are the hardest ones to nail down. In this exercise we have a pretty standard core that works well together and is made up of good, efficient Pokemon. What two teammates would you add to this core to complete the team, and what changes to the existing Pokemon would you make to synergize with those Pokemon better? What weaknesses do you think need to be addressed in particular?

Garchomp @ Life Orb
Rough Skin
Jolly 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Rotom-W @ Sitrus Berry
Modest 252 HP / 116 SpA / 140 SpD
- Thunderbolt
- Hydro Pump
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect

Talonflame @ Charti Berry
Gale Wings
Adamant 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- Protect
- Quick Guard

Amoonguss @ Black Sludge
Calm 204 HP / 124 Def / 188 SpD
- Giga Drain
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect


P(n) = 1 - (1 - P(1))^n
In situations like this you have to consider what opposing Pokemon counter your given ones, and consider counter-counters.

Kangaskhan + Meowstic would be a powerful opposing combination that can give this team fits. Kangaskhan and Meowstic can both know Fake Out, which would force Talonflame to use Quick Guard to prevent Fake Out from being used at all, or to block Meowstic from using offensive Prankster moves and block Kangaskhan Sucker Punch. This gives Meowstic an opportunity to use Safeguard (to completely stop a Will-O-Wisp or Spore from your end), or one of its dual screens, while Kangaskhan can attack with a non-priority move.

One of the main ways to check Kangaskhan is an Intimidate user such as Gyarados, Salamence, or Mawile. Gyarados brings with it a crippling 4x weakness to Electricity if non-Mega, but it can also use non-priority Taunt to cripple Meowstic, forcing a switch or forcing it to attack (and Garchomp can help cover Electric weaknesses); Mega Gyarados also has Mold Breaker which can bypass abilities like Aroma Veil and Oblivious. Salamence brings a 4x weakness to Ice that it shares with Garchomp, but it is a hard hitter on the special side, and can use Tailwind to boost speed. Mawile can Intimidate before mega evolution, and after mega evolution hits like a truck, but it won't synergize very well with Garchomp as a partner, and its slow speed can be a liability. Out of these three, Gyarados would probably be the best fit, either holding a Wacan berry or its mega stone.

Lastly, this team could benefit from a Fake Out user of its own. Mega Kangaskhan is certainly one of the most popular, but it isn't the only one. Scrafty, Meowstic, Mienshao, and Liepard are all Fake Out users that bring their own strengths and weaknesses. Scrafty has almost as much bulk as Mega Kangaskhan, but a useful resistance to dark, psychic, and rock attacks, but a crippling 4x weakness to Fairy and low speed. It can also use Quick Guard, which allows Talonflame to run Tailwind instead of it wishes. Meowstic is physically frail but has an incredibly large support movepool that can take advantage of Prankster, and access to Prankster Quick Guard. Mienshao is a very fast Fake Out user with access to Wide Guard, which is useful for blocking opposing Rock Slides, Earthquakes, and Heat Waves. Finally there is Weavile, the fastest Fake Out user in the metagame, which also has access to a very strong STAB Ice Punch and the ability Pickpocket.

If it were me I would consider these two additions:

Gyarados @ Wacan Berry/Gyaradosite
Adamant 252 HP / 52 Atk / 140 Def / 20 SpD / 44 Spe (copied from the VGC2012 set)
-Thunder Wave

Weavile @ Focus Sash
Jolly 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
-Fake Out
-Ice Punch / Ice Shard
-Night Slash
-Protect / Brick Break
I would change Amoongus to Sassy with a 0 speed IV to handle trick room better, and add in a Kangaskhan. Kangaskhan is easily one of the best doubles pokemon in the game and it pairs up quite well with amoongus. Rage powder protects kangaskhan from powerful fighting type attacks and its tough to otherwise dent kangaskhan without repeated hits or super effective ones. Amoongus can definitely cushion some hits for kanga, while kanga does the same to the opposing team. Additionally kanga helps amoongus get spores off by using fake out and since amoongus is so slow, that pokemon will be asleep guaranteed for the next turn.

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Jolly 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
-Fake Out
-Sucker Punch

Grass types are quite annoying to a team like this considering the only good answer on this team is Talonflame. Adding a blaziken not only handles those grass types but gives you an edge over pokemon like kanga. A blaziken just helps you take on a variety of pokemon and has great synergy with your current pokemon.

Blaziken @ Coba Berry
Speed Boost
Adamant 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
-Flare Blitz
-Brick Beak
-Rock Slide
I'm tending to agree with Sprocket on the Intimidate front. I always like to have one because of the overwhelming presence of physical attackers in VGC. While my first instinct is to go with Scrafty (as the intimidate and the access to Quick Guard and Fake Out help in many fronts) I can also see Mega-Mawile and Gyarados working really well.

But I think the best option for one of them is Mega-Manectric

Manectric @ Manectrite
Ability: Lightningrod -> Intimidate
Evs: 252 speed / 252 Satk / 4 hp
Nature: Timid
- Volt Switch
- Hidden power [Ice]
- Overheat
- Protect

I think Mega-tric really cripples offensive threats, and the threesome of ability types stacked with its great Special Attack and excellent speed for pivoting is like giving a defense boost to whatever Pokemon wants to switch in. Especially since it tempts the Earthquakes out of opposing teammembers such as Garchomp, switching to Rotom-W or Talonflame is easy and free, and plays its part well. It even has fire, and resists grass to touch on what chimpact was mentioning about a grass weakness.

The other one took me longer to think of. I was tempted to go with Banded Scizor, or with Guts Conkeldurr, and I think depending on the player, that works really well, and the raw power of each may work well. But I realized the reason I wanted them is because of priority. I wanted something other than Gale Wings to be able to make that last push. Banded Scizor and Guts Conk work well for that, but not any better nor worse than Talonflame. Instead I decided on a totally different front

Klefki @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
Bold Nature
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Thunder Wave/Swagger
- Dazzling Gleam

Klefki brings back the annoyance of Thundrus T-wave spamming. And while it may counteract Amoongus' Spore action, it could be used instead, or just allow Amoongus to sponge hits with Rage Powder. The dual screen action is a wonderful boost, and Kleki has a slew of resistances. Swagger or Foul Play can be used instead of Dazzling, but I prefer the move because it hits both opponents, can't be taunted, and doesn't counteract Intimidate. This little bugger is annoying as hell if you're unprepared, and isn't affected by the ever-common sand. It's also a lot more versatile, and can be set in different ways to your preference: light clay isn't the only option.
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