The Accidental Adventures of a Monkey on Fire (First OU balanced team)

Hey everyone. I've been playing UU for a month or two now, and I finally decided to try OU to see what it's all about. This is my first team, and I've been playing with it for the past two days and I'd like some opinions on it. I've won most of the games I've played so far, but I still see a few weaknesses in my strategy that I don't know how to fix.

Team Building Process
I started by looking at Pokemon I liked that complemented each other nicely. I noticed that together, Flygon and Magnezone resisted nearly every type in the game (I read that Salamence and Magnezone actually resist all 17 types, but I chose Flygon over Salamence because 1. unpaired, Flygon has better typing 2. I don't want to give myself too many Stealth Rock weaknesses if I can avoid it 3. I love Flygon's revenge killing abilities 4. personal preference)

I'm missing a fighting and water resist. Vaporeon fits onto this team nicely, helping me take out Gyarados and providing Wish support.

Vaporeon is an excellent tank, but it's highly vulnerable to poison. I chose Roserade to use for this job. It also serves as a lead and a status absorber, and it lures in Steel types, which is perfect since I have Magnezone.

At this point, I had a team with excellent defensive synergy, but I wasn't really sure what it accomplished. I realized I needed a sweeper. I chose Gengar looks like an awesome special sweeper and benefits greatly from Magnezone's ability to remove Steel types. It also gives me a ghost type to block Rapid Spin so I can keep Roserade's Toxic Spikes in.

I thought I needed another defensive Pokemon and a phazer, so I put Swampert in the 6th slot. I wasn't happy with it at all, so I switched it for MixApe, who has worked wonderfully. My team has a lot of special attackers, so it is necessary to use Infernape to take out a lot of what would otherwise wall my team.

The Team

Roserade @ Focus Sash
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
~ Sleep Powder
~ Toxic Spikes
~ Leaf Storm
~ Hidden Power Ground

I just copied the standard lead set straight off the analysis. I'm using HP Ground instead of HP Fire because I feel like Ground has better coverage (especially against fire-types that try to switch in) and I already have enough Fire attacks on my team.

Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Jolly Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
~ Earthquake
~ Outrage
~ U-turn
~ Stone Edge

Flygon is a great revenge killer and operates very nicely alongside Magnezone and Vaporeon. I can't count the number of Thunderbolts and Thunder Waves aimed at Vaporeon and Earthquakes and Flamethrowers aimed at Magnezone that I've been able to switch Flygon in on. Flygon threatens out many Pokemon with Earthquake and Outrage. Flygon is my main answer to DDmence. Stone Edge is used over a Fire attack for the same reason I don't use a Fire attack on Roserade.

Magnezone @ Leftovers
Naive Nature
EVs: 40 Atk / 252 SpA / 216 Spe
~ Substitute
~ Thunderbolt
~ Hidden Power Fire
~ Explosion

I completely fell in love with Magnezone's synergy with Flygon and Vaporeon when I found out about it. Magnezone resists every type that Flygon and Vaporeon don't except Fighting. Magnezone laughs in the face of any Scizor that doesn't have Superpower or hastily locked themselves into a Bullet Punch and kills them with a HP Fire. Magnezone usually takes out a Scizor or a Jirachi for me, and explodes on something else. It can also take an incoming Dragon attack like a champ, but it has issues against Latias. In that scenario I usually just end up exploding and sending in Flygon to clean up.

Vaporeon @ Leftovers
Bold Nature
EVs: 188 HP / 252 Def / 68 Spe
~ Wish
~ Protect
~ Surf
~ Hidden Power Electric

The third member of my Flygon-Magnezone-Vaporeon triangle. Vaporeon offers much needed Wish support to my team that is otherwise devoid of recovery moves, and hard counters Gyarados. Vaporeon also helps scout for attacks with Protect, and stalls out Pokemon that get poisoned by Toxic Spikes. Vaporeon is the most valuable defensive member of this team; if it dies the rest of my defenses fall pretty quickly.

Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
~ Substitute
~ Shadow Ball
~ Focus Blast
~ Hidden Power Ice

Gengar is my special sweeper and spin blocker. It is a nightmare for most teams to deal with in the late game, once Magnezone, Flygon, and Infernape have removed problem Pokemon like Scizor and Blissey. I gave Gengar Hidden Power Ice as a backup for dealing with Dragons. Gengar is also sometimes useful for switching into Grass Pokemon.

Naive Nature
EVs: 252 Atk / 64 SpA / 192 Spe
~ Close Combat
~ Mach Punch
~ U-turn
~ Overheat

Even though Infernape was initially added to my team as an afterthought, it has quickly proved itself to be the star member of my team. I love how quickly people switch into Infernape as I use Overheat, believing it to be setup fodder, only to take a STAB max attack Close Combat to the face. Infernape is pretty unpredictable, and this has allowed me to sweep quite a few teams. It pairs well with Gengar, making short work of Blissey, Lucario, Tyranitar, and Scizor.

Known Problems
- With Swampert removed from the team, I don't have any phazing ability. Well made Baton Pass teams have me at their mercy if I don't predict right. Pokemon who rely on a Substitute-based strategy also give me serious issues.
- Infernape would benefit from Stealth Rock, but I don't have any obvious way to add that on my team other than to put it on Infernape itself.
- The defensive triangle on my team is based mostly on typing and high base stats. Flygon and Magnezone have no EVs invested in defensive ability at all, and Magnezone has a SpD-reducing nature. This means I have to rely on prediction to prevent my Pokemon from getting hit by a surprise super-effective attack. This will probably be less of a problem as I get better at the game.
- So far, Machamp, Rotom, Shaymin, and Latias have been the most difficult Pokemon for my team to deal with. DDMence was a problem until I switched Flygon to Jolly.
I see that dealing with Dragon-types will be a bit of a problem for you, in particular Mixed Salamence, as it can do some heavy damage to your team, and you'll have to resort to revenge killing it. Draco Meteor can easily smash through the majority of your somewhat frail team, with your only Dragon-resist being Magnezone, who doesn't really stand much of a chance against Salamence, as Magnezone is easily brushed aside by Earthquake. To make matters worse, Salamence resists all the attacks on Roserade and Infernape, and takes jack from Vaporeon's HP Electric, so it gets plenty of oppurtunities to switch in and cause havoc. I have some suggestions to help against Salamence though.

Having Stealth Rock would help you immensely, since it shaves off a quarter of Salamence's health every time. It also is a great help to your sweepers, turning 3HKOs into 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKO. I suggest you ditch Roserade for a Metagross.

Metagross @ Lum Berry | Adamant
252 HP / 220 Atk / 36 Spe
Stealth Rock / Meteor Mash / Earthquake / Bullet Punch

Metagross is one of the most consistant Stealth Rock leads in OU, almost always getting Stealth Rock up or getting an advantage over the opposing lead. Since you picked Roserade for the sake of stopping Toxic Spikes from damaging Vaporeon, I can safely say Metagross can stop Toxic Spikes as well, but in a different way. The most common Toxic Spiking lead, Roserade, falls to this Metagross. Metagross can easily shrug off a Sleep Powder thanks to Lum Berry, use Meteor Mash to bring Roserade to 1 HP due to Roserade usually carrying Focus Sash, then finish it off with Bullet Punch. Metagross is also a great Dragon-type switch-in, with its 80 / 130 / 90 defenses letting it come in on Draco Meteors and Outrages with ease.

Another change I'd like to recommend is Stone Edge on your Infernape over Mach Punch. Mach Punch is generally used on Infernape to deal with Swords Dance Lucario, SubPetaya Empoleon and Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Gengar deals with Lucario and Flygon can easily take out Empoleon and Tyranitar. Stone Edge allows Infernape to hurt Gyarados and Salamence who would otherwise easily switch into Infernape and do whatever they please.

With Roserade gone, you're going to have a difficult time dealing with Swampert, as it can wall a good portion of your team. I recommend running HP Grass on Magnezone over HP Fire. If Scizor gets locked into Bullet Punch, it won't be beating Magnezone anytime soon so you can easily take down Scizor with Thunderbolt. The only real case I can see where HP Fire would be useful is if Scizor is a Swords Dancer, and even then it will generally outspeed Magnezone.

The last change I'll suggest is using Dragon Claw over Stone Edge on Flygon. Stone Edge's primary use is hitting Gyarados and Salamence without having to use Outrage. Since Gyarados is walled by Vaporeon, Dragon Claw can hurt Salamence much more badly than Stone Edge. Dragon Claw also does more damage to Gengar, who can otherwise be annoying.

Good luck with your team.
Thanks a lot for the advice!

I was pretty intent on getting a poison type to deal with Toxic Spikes and didn't think of using Metagross. I will most likely be making that change.

What else is HP Grass used for on Magnezone? Just Swampert? I can't think of anything else that it that is particularly effective against. I have run into quite a few swords dancing Scizors, and Magnezone has usually been great at shutting them down. I think it's important that Magnezone be able to 1hko Scizor so I can deal with the ones that aren't Choiced. What about using Grass Knot instead of U-turn on Infernape?

I like the idea of using Dragon Claw over Stone Edge on Flygon, but I think I'll stick to Mach Punch on Infernape. Mach Punch is much more reliable and has been pretty good at getting rid of weakened Pokemon. With the lead change to Metagross I don't think I really need the added check to Salamence. I still have Flygon for revenge killing and Gengar has HP Ice.

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