Gen 5 Thank You, Mr. Tokyo

Tokyo Tom

Somewhere between psychotic and iconic
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

A joint RMT by Tokyo Tom and Pearl
Edited by P Squared


Hi, my name's Tokyo Tom. You may know me as Smogon's Best Set Poster of 2015™, or one of the more vocal members of the forum's African community. I am a big advocate of BW2 OU and have spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the ins and outs of the metagame. As a staunch believer that BW2 OU is not as stale or boring as many would think, I enjoy deviating from the norm and trying out different combinations of Pokemon.

Since I mess around with "innovation" most of the time in an attempt to disguise my lack of skill, it's taken me a while to define my preferred style of play. Even after three years, I'm still not entirely comfortable with my ability to play optimally in pressure situations. Thus, I lean towards defensively oriented teams, which rarely force me into such situations and allow me to control the pace of the game. I also focus on putting myself in the best possible position to win before the game starts through scouting and team selection, and while the old-school mentality views this as a cheap trick with all the replays flying around, I believe it's just as significant to success as what happens in-game. In addition to scouting, it becomes important to recognize general metagame trends and what people like to use.

Sun had always been a very anti-meta play style and thus always saw some use, even though building with sun limited the teambuilder to very strict conventions (Ninetales / Venusaur / Dugtrio / spinner / strong Fire / filler). Dugtrio eased matchup against the dominant Tyranitar builds, Venusaur could bust through popular weatherless teams, and Drought severely hampered many of rain's Drizzle-reliant Pokemon. Its matchup advantage against the aforementioned archetypes was so great that Chlorophyll was eventually banned in 2015. Watching Conflict use sun post-Chlorophyll ban led me to begin brainstorming with Ninetales again, but I didn't have anything concrete to work with until Pearl brought me his sun idea during last year's OUPL. What resulted was a team that had a comfortable amount of defensive presence to maneuver with, and at the same time could pose all sorts of matchup issues for the most popular builds in the tier.

Which leads me to this RMT. I've decided to "retire" this team for now, given my recent inactivity in playing the game. I also feel that this team highlights Cresselia's (significant) role in BW2 OU's post-Chlorophyll metagame, and demonstrates the tier's room for versatility.

Teambuilding Process by Pearl

The original plan was to create a viable sun team for the Excadrill metagame that would catch people off-guard during Smogon Tour season 20. Obviously, this whole team archetype becomes a lot harder to pull off with the Drought + Chlorophyll ban in effect, but a lot of people seem to forget that Chlorophyll sweepers (mostly Venusaur), while metagame defining, weren't the only Pokemon that benefited from this weather condition, with Fire-types like Volcarona, Chandelure, Victini and Darmanitan becoming virtually impossible to switch into when paired with Ninetales and Dugtrio support. The original draft of this team was, due to lack of better word, wild, featuring a funky Trick Room Chandelure set whose main purpose was to clean up against balance and bulky offensive teams after threats like Tyranitar were eliminated from the match. However, while incredibly fun, it just wasn't as consistent as I'd like it to be, so I eventually made the decision to focus on more viable alternatives and ended up choosing Volcarona as the squad's centerpiece. Even though Volcarona is dangerous under pretty much every weather (even rain!), it particularly shines (this pun might or might not be intended) on sun teams, as the weather allows it to set up on many weaker Water-types without needing to run Passho Berry. As most of you should know, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to build a BW sun team, considering just how restricting the framework can be, so my apologies if this turns out to be boring. With that said, pairing Volcarona with Ninetales and Dugtrio was the logical choice here, and there's not really much to explain: Ninetales gets the weather up and Dugtrio allows it to win as many weather wars as possible, while Volcarona benefits from the support, tearing through the opposition with its boosted Fire-type moves.

There were two possible routes to choose from here: the first one was to pair Ninetales, Dugtrio and Volcarona with more offensive threats, creating a type of team that focuses solely on overloading the opponent's defensive backbone. The other alternative, and the one I chose in the end, was to build a team with good defensive presence of its own. In order to pull this off properly, a (relatively) durable Rapid Spin user was a must. After considering all of the available options (even Starmie!), I felt like Forretress was the superior choice, due to its ability to tank many of the tier's strongest Pokemon, such as Latios, Garchomp and Landorus-T, in a pinch and also because of its access to many cool supportive options, mainly Volt Switch and Toxic Spikes, which aren't really pivotal to the team's success (in fact, Tokyo Tom doesn't even use Toxic Spikes Forretress on one of this team's versions) but are still pretty nice to have around some matchups, specifically against bulkier teams.

On the other hand, Cresselia's addition to the team was a no-brainer to me, considering that it provides the squad with many valuable traits that no other Pokemon is really able to give. Basically, it can use all of the weather support provided by Ninetales and Dugtrio very well, thanks to its colossal bulk and access to Moonlight, which allows it to check a big number of threats, such as Garchomp, Landorus-T, Keldeo (under the sun), Alakazam and Dragonite. On top of that, it also works as a secondary win condition after every Pokemon that can actually do damage to it has either been trapped by Dugtrio or weakened by the rest of the team.

The last slot of this team is easily the most replaceable one. Don't get me wrong though, it's not that Dragonite is a liability, but it's just that there are many Pokemon that would also fit pretty well in here, such as Xatu (in fact, FLCL once told me that he has this very same team somewhere in his teambuilder with Xatu as the last Pokemon) and other offensive Dragon-type Pokemon, with Hydreigon and Kyurem-B being the most interesting ones and probably the best choices overall. With all of this in mind, I still decided to stick with Dragonite due to its ability to sweep past opposing teams with its Substitute + Dragon Dance set, as it directly benefits from the team's supportive tools a whole lot: Rapid Spin is self-explanatory, Toxic Spikes allows it to stall out some Pokemon it wouldn't usually be able to kill right away, Dugtrio removes some of the most dangerous Pokemon to it (mostly Steel-types) and the weather lets it make good use of Leftovers recovery, which means that Dragonite isn't forced to Roost as often as it needs to when Tyranitar's Sand Stream is constantly chipping away at it.

As far as the initial teambuilding process goes, this should cover it all. After this, I eventually showed it to Tokyo Tom and he started making many changes and small edits of his own to the team, and even started using it in many of his tournament games, winning both the Tournament of Second Chances II and the (un)Official BW Ladder Tournament (he obviously didn't use this team every single time, but I'd like to think that it contributed positively to those runs). I'd like to thank him for all of the effort he put into improving this squad and for even going through the effort of showcasing it.

A Closer Look

Ninetales @
| Drought
EVs: 248 HP / 96 SpD / 164 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flamethrower
- Sunny Day
- Protect
- Will-O-Wisp

Against weatherless teams, Ninetales is often expected in the lead slot, so I often use that information to counter-lead my opponent and gain an early advantage. Ninetales should be preserved against opposing weather teams, but can be played quite recklessly once Sun is up, providing an opportunity for high-risk, high-reward moves, or for one of my sweepers to set up after a Ninetales sack. Although Ninetales is often expendable once the sun goes up, it does serve additional purposes, such as providing a switch-in to weak Scalds and bulky Water-types, checking threats such as SD Scizor, and spreading burns. Since this is a bulkier team, I find the longevity provided by Leftovers and Protect more useful than the trapping potential of Eject Button and other utility moves such as Roar or HP Fighting. I played around with Disable for a while, but the team became too weak to offensive variants of Politoed so Sunny Day was put back on. I use more speed on this Ninetales to get the jump on the rare Adamant BandChomp and Jolly Excadrill if need be, and also to burn Toxicroak, which can be quite a pain if played well.

Cresselia @
| Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Toxic
- Moonlight

In the post-Chlorophyll meta, Cresselia now commands a mandatory slot on competitive sun builds (unless you are Conflict). Leveraging its massive bulk and a ⅔ recovery move in Moonlight, its ability to handle weatherless teams and DragMag is invaluable. Dragonite, Garchomp, Terrakion, Excadrill, Latios, Keldeo, and Landorus-T are just some of the Pokemon that Cresselia can wall. As a testament to its bulk, even CB Scizor's U-turn fails to outdamage Moonlight in the sun. Ice Beam and HP Fire provide the best overall coverage; the latter is selected over Psyshock because of the frailty of this build's Fire-types requiring additional coverage on Steel-types (one of the biggest downsides to a Heatran-less sun team).

Dugtrio @
| Arena Trap
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 21 HP
- Earthquake
- Reversal
- Toxic / Rock Tomb
- Substitute / Stealth Rock

Dugtrio's role hasn't changed since BW's inception. Its ability to remove Tyranitar and Heatran is invaluable for sun teams, and it can also use its sash to RK weakened threats such as Politoed and Volcarona. I've used two different variants of Dugtrio on this team. Toxic + Substitute helps Dugtrio remove Chansey (allowing me to dismantle Rain Stall) and put a timer on CM Latias and Hippowdon. On the other hand, Rock Tomb + Stealth Rock are more conventional options that allow Dugtrio to deter setup, reliably KO Volcarona, and free up Forretress to run Spikes. Preserving Dugtrio for Rock Tomb's speed drop also helps as an emergency out in certain situations, such as getting Dragonite a Substitute or allowing Dragonite to RK stuff like CM Latias.

Forretress @
| Sturdy
EVs: 248 HP / 16 Def / 244 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 3 Atk / 30 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice] / Toxic Spikes
- Rapid Spin
- Stealth Rock / Toxic Spikes

Forretress is a very awkward Pokemon in the sense that it hates switching in on many of the hazard setters in the tier, and often doesn't have the bulk to properly abuse its own hazard-setting ability. Regardless, since Forretress (tentatively) consolidates both roles into a single slot, it's used here. Once hazards are gone, Forretress is used almost exclusively to sacrifice itself for momentum via Volt Switch. Although the team lacks a prototypical heavy hitter, Volt Switch is still very useful for getting safe switches into Cresselia (here's an example), or allowing Dugtrio to trap weakened stuff. HP Ice is used over Gyro Ball to get extra damage on Landorus-T for Dragonite and burn Yaches for Cresselia. Toxic Spikes was used on the original version of the team for its synergy with SubDD Dragonite. It helps in specific scenarios by putting a timer on Pokemon such as Jellicent and Hippowdon on stall, while also easing Cresselia's job by limiting hyper offensive teams. Despite this, Toxic Spikes are usually an afterthought in the team's overall strategy. Instead, Stealth Rock can be used to free up Dugtrio's moveset to trap Chansey more effectively, a Pokemon who can 6-0 this team otherwise. If you still value TSpikes, they can be used over HP Ice as well. The current EV spread is nothing special, but does prevent the 2HKO from Specs Latios's Draco Meteor after SR damage and Leftovers.

Volcarona @
| Flame Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 SpD
- Flamethrower
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Bug Buzz
- Quiver Dance

Volcarona is a pretty self-explanatory Pokemon. The primary difference on this set is HP Ground; it relieves a ton of pressure from Dugtrio and allows Volcarona to blaze past Tentacruel, which can be quite annoying to the team in certain situations. Pearl's original version had Fiery Dance, which I still roll with quite a bit for its snowball effect, but Flamethrower is the more consistent sweeping option as it reaches a handful of KO benchmarks under the sun such as Kyurem-B and 248/0 Landorus-T (especially since Forretress is god awful at setting up hazards; it'll usually have one free turn, and be forced to use it to spin). Drought lessens the need for Passho and Dugtrio lessens the need for Bug Gem, so Lum is used here to provide the best setup opportunity.

Dragonite @
| Multiscale
EVs: 248 HP / 84 Def / 176 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Substitute
- Roost
- Dragon Dance

A set I personally had wanted to use more often, SubDD Dragonite is the perfect "glue-guy" for the team—in this case, a bulky yet low-maintenance setup sweeper that covers the team's flaws. It is the only Water resist (lol) and the only Fire resist that can do any consequential damage back to opposing Fire-types (again, a necessity caused by the lack of Heatran). Additionally, it checks specific threats to my team such as Gyarados, Alakazam, and Volcarona. Dragonite finds opportunities to set up in any weather, especially against bulky builds, and is very difficult to stop once it gets going—anything that usually RKs it is handled by Cresselia. While it may have less breathing room against hyper offensive teams, Cress tends to eat those alive regardless. The spread used here has been tweaked a bit from the standard Smogon spread. 176 Spe allows Dragonite to get the jump on Breloom, outspeed Scarf Politoed at +1, and outspeed every relevant scarfer at +2. The Smogon spread hits specific bulk benchmarks to handle SpDef Jirachi, but I decided that the insurance against revenge kills was more important, especially since Dragonite uses the speed to abuse Roost and Multiscale. The 84 Def EVs still allow Dragonite's Substitutes to survive Iron Heads from SpDef Jirachi. Thank you to Sergi for pointing these things out.


Due to pretty much every game I play getting marred by luck, this section is a little barren. Regardless, I hope these games can give a little insight into the matchup advantages this team has and how this team can be played in different situations.
[BW Ladder Tournament vs. Zf]
I get lucky here, but this replay still showcases the immediate matchup advantage vs. weatherless builds and aggressive use of Ninetales to gain an early lead.

[BW Ladder Tournament vs. Ciele]
Not the most entertaining game, but here's the Sun matchup and me playing around two problem Pokemon in Volcarona and Balloon Heatran.

[Second Chances Tournament vs. Mael]
Toxic Spikes variant of the team wearing down Jellicent on "standard" sand balance. Aggressive play to prevent too many opportunities for my opponent to set Stealth Rocks.

[SPL Week 7 vs. Ciele]
This is a rare matchup vs. dual weather (including Specs Politoed, which I consider to be one of the toughest Pokemon for this team to face). The game was marred by a Dragon Claw crit on his Keldeo. If he was using the standard Scarf set with HP Ice, it wouldn't have changed much, which is another reason why the speed EVs on Dragonite are so important. However, I assume that he was using Icy Wind here, so while the crit wasn't game-sealing, it definitely skewed things in my favour. Despite some messy play, this game shows how Ninetales can be a win condition, and Cresselia's tanking ability which allowed it to eventually win the game despite being trapped by Tyranitar's Pursuit.

Of course like any other RMT I feel the need to jerk a bunch of people off with shoutouts. I will try to keep it short:
Thank you to Sugarhigh, Henry, TDK, 49, and Osgoode "Crayon Pop", you guys are my best friends on-site.

Pearl is the one who built the team, so I'm probably not giving him enough credit - big thanks to him for this. Also, thanks to Finch for the last minute testing games, and generally being a close friend.

Finally, thanks to Jirachee, McMeghan, and Ciele, the three players I look up to the most on Smogon. I was fortunate to interact with the former two this year through team tournaments; watching you guys play and seeing the creativity you bring to BW2 OU inspires me (and a lot of people on this site, I'm sure) to constantly strive for greater heights.

Finally, if you are still reading, I hope you have a nice day :)​

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