Battle Spot The Blaziken Relay

Jhon

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is a Tiering Contributor
Introduction

With BSPL and the most recent BSSC tour, which I managed to win, now over I’d like to share a team I’ve been working on for months. I actually started playing around with the initial idea just before SM was officially released, working with data mined from the leaks. The team was, however, promptly put aside upon finding out Mega Blaziken was not yet available. Upon its re-release I resumed building and testing immediately. Through the many versions of this team I've used a myriad of pokemon; this RMT will be focused on the team as it currently stands rather than an in-depth history of it's long-winded construction.

Team Building Process

Starting with a slight adaptation of a favourite core of mine from ORAS. Back then it was M-Blaziken, Hydreigon and Cresselia. It uses Hydreigon and Cresselia's typing to make for comfortable Baton Pass receivers. Both are happy to come in on Ground and Psychic attacks aimed at Blaziken. With the advent of SM, I decided to use Celesteela in place of Cresselia.


Next, two further pokemon which can make use of speed passing. Thundurus-T can happily come in on Flying and Ground attacks aimed at Blaziken, allowing it to act as a check to the terrifying M-Salamence. Tapu Fini's fantastic Water/Fairy typing and brilliant natural bulk lets it switch in on a great many things. Most notably though it can help with opposing Blaziken and Charizard-X.
Zapdos and Primarina are two pokemon that have sat in these slots frequently. I ultimately chose Thundurus-T due to the Electric immunity and Nasty Plot. Deciding between Primarina and Fini is a bit harder. Primarina has some useful options in Aqua Jet and Perish Song but does fall short on speed and overall bulk. Fini is able to fit into the speed passing nature of the team due to naturally higher speed, as well as a boosting option in Calm Mind.


Last is Tapu Bulu. Quite simply I was worried about Breloom. Without a Spore immunity a Focus Sash Breloom could start to give me some trouble. Happily though Bulu also gives me another option to use against bulky waters, such as Suicune and Gyarados.

In-Depth


Blaziken @ Blazikenite | Blaze
Adamant | 252 HP / 20 Atk / 92 Def / 4 SpD / 140 Spe
Flare Blitz | High Jump Kick | Baton Pass | Protect


The centrepiece of the team.
The choice of moves is quite basic. Flare Blitz is the strongest Fire-STAB and HJK is used over the more accurate Superpower as passing stat drops isn't ideal. On that note, most of the teams receivers are special attackers, unaffected by passing Intimidate or King's Shield Attack drops. No need to worry much about throwing a Flare Blitz straight into Aegi if you can just BP out to Hydrei and be unfazed.
For most of this team's life it has been a simple Blaziken with max attack and speed. Recently I began to consider the merits of a bulkier spread. With this HP and Def investment M-Blaziken can survive a Charizard-X Outrage, a Mimikyu z-Shadow Claw + Sneak and even a Choice Band Azumarill Aqua Jet after SR. This can let Blaziken trade more effectively and BP in crucial situations it otherwise couldn't.
Blaziken has 138 speed, which at +1 is faster than positive 135s (M-Manectric and M-Lopunny).


Hydreigon @ Choice Specs | Levitate
Modest | 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Dark Pulse | Draco Meteor | Flamethrower | U-turn


There are few things more satisfying than tearing through your opponent's team with a speed boosted Choice Specs Hydreigon.
When not on the receiving end of a speed pass Specs Hydreigon does what it does in most formats, throws out powerful Dracos and Dark Pulses which are often a nightmare to switch in on.
I consider Flamethrower here to be interchangeable with Earth Power. Both deal with Mawile. Earth Power has slight advantages in that it can still function in rain and OHKO Heatran. Flamethrower edges it out, in my opinion, by simply having fewer immunities. A Mawile switching out to an AV Landorus-T would still net me some damage and progress towards a KO. Flamethrower being able to hit SpDef Celesteela pretty hard is bonus.
U-turn is my preference in the 4th slot. Other than the usual pivoting, I like that it breaks Mimikyu's disguise, and Focus Sash/Sturdy, while getting Hydreigon out. However Jolly Mimikyu is about, though uncommon, so that's not done with absolute safety.


Celesteela @ Leftovers | Beast Boost
Impish | 252 HP / 4 Atk / 60 Def / 12 SpD / 180 Spe
Heavy Slam | Leech Seed | Substitute | Protect


Your basic Sub-Seed Celesteela. Max HP provides 51HP subs (the lv50 equivalent of 101-subs). The bulk is PhysDef leaning to better take on Mamoswine primarily, Dragon Dance Gyarados and Salamence are also factors in that decision however.
Currently this is at just 104 speed, which isn't particularly fast. It needs +2 speed to be faster than the unboosted meta but at +1 it still has a functional speed tier, sitting at 156 which is just 2 points ahead of Jolly Excadrill and faster than neutral natured 100s.


Thundurus-T @ Sitrus Berry | Volt Absorb
Modest | 252 HP / 148 SpA / 108 Spe
Thunderbolt | Hidden Power Ice | Focus Blast | Nasty Plot


Thanks to the Sitrus Berry and HP investment it can survive two 252+ Double-Edges from M-Salamence. The SpA gives HP Ice a 15/16 chance at OHKOing a 4/4 M-Salamence.
Focus Blast as the third attack was chosen to handle Ferrothorn. This is because Ferrothorn + M-Salamence is a popular duo, and being able to handle both in one slot is particularly valuable. This team is fairly bulky all around, but that doesn't mean it can just switch about freely. Having the checks for these common mons compressed into a single slot is beneficial, especially in 3v3. Not having to waste the investment put into getting speed or SpA boosts is nice. If Ferro-Mence wasn't as popular I would likely use Psychic instead to improve the M-Venusaur matchup.
This Thundurus-T has a speed stat of 135, just ahead of positive 70s and at +1 it's 2 point ahead of positive 130s.


Tapu Fini @ Waterium Z | Misty Surge
Modest | 236 HP / 4 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Surf | Moonblast | Hidden Power Fire | Calm Mind


Fini stands as the primary Fire check. Which is why it's using Waterium and not Fairium (which would be helpful against Gyarados and Salamence). z-Surf will KO a +1 4/4 Volcarona, no CM needed. The bulk lets it take a +2 z-Flare Blitz from Blaziken, 15/16s of the time.
For similar reasons to Focus Blast being used on Thundurus-T, HP Fire is used here to reduce the instances where switching is needed. Against Ferrothorn again in particular.
Fini has 114 speed, this outspeeds Nihilego (positive 103) at +1 and Pheromosa (positive 151) at +2.


Tapu Bulu @ Iapapa Berry | Grassy Surge
Adamant | 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 108 SpD / 148 Spe
Horn Leech | Superpower | Rock Tomb | Bulk Up


Usually these berries have a slight consistency issue with needing to be at 1/4 or below. Bulk Up and Horn Leech can help manipulate the damage you receive and how much HP you have alleviating this.
Rock Tomb is my preference over Rock Slide or Stone Edge here as it allows Bulu to take on Mimikyu. Using Tomb to break the disguise and slow it down. With much of the team's speed stats geared towards receiving speed boosts, they can also work with the speed drops Tomb provided.
The SpDef investment lets it more comfortably take hits from Thundurus, Primarina and Lele.
I’ve previously used AV, CB and SD. All of which I think are great in their own way and worth playing around with if you want to explore this team.
Bulu also has 114 speed like Fini.
Team Preview Selection Process:
Generally you should play it how you feel is best, this isn’t strict.

+ 2
The Default: Lead with Blaziken and choose whichever two matchup well with the opponent's team. Used when they have no strong anti-Blaziken lead, particularly those which can setup.

(or
) +
+ 1
Salamence: Leading Blaziken into Salamence could be quite painful. Possibly giving them a free Sub or DD. As Thundurus can take any attack from Salamence and threaten back with HP Ice it is the preferred lead. Celesteela can pressure basic DD Salamence too, but doesn’t do as well against Mixed or Special variants.
In a more general sense, if they have a very strong anti-Blaziken option to lead with (which can take strong advantage from a switch) then choose a lead that deals with that.

(or
) +
+ 1
Trick Room: Using Celesteela you can waste their TR turns with Sub and Protect while wearing them down with Leech Seed. If the TR setter is Chandelure, then Hydreigon is the go to answer.

/
/
/

Stall: Some combination of Hydreigon, Thundurus, Blaziken and Celesteela should do the trick.
Against the more standard Chansey/Skarmory/Toxapex style stall, Nasty Plot with Thundurus is probably the main goal. +2 Focus Blast will usually 2HKO Chansey, should they connect, and of course +6 will likely OHKO.


Breloom: It’s your best bet to bring Bulu. It doesn’t have to lead, since it switches in on Breloom quite happily.

Threatlist:

Fini, Bulu and Thundurus all struggle with Venusaur. Hydreigon is the best option on the team to deal with Venu, Specs Draco or Dark Pulses aren't snacks for the beast. Celesteela is a little faster than 4 speed Venusaur, allowing it to possibly Sub and avoid Leech Seed or Sleep Powder. After which Celesteela can throw out Heavy Slams to wear it down and drain it of Synthesis PP. This is, however, dependant on it not having HP Fire.


Opposing Blaziken can be a little annoying. Heavily relying on Tapu Fini to handle it can open issues with the rare z-Thunder Punch and z-Solar Beam variants. Even in the cases where Fini is caught by surprise by one of those, the game is not lost. Without a boosting item Blaziken is unable to OHKO Thundurus or this team's Blaziken. Just have to avoid HJKing into a protect.
There are a few obvious ways to better the Blaziken matchup, such as using Latios instead of Hydreigon or swapping Celesteela for Cresselia. This would open up the team to issues with the Mimikyu, Aegislash and M-Gengar in particular. I feel that the stronger matchup with these ghosts is more valuable than covering for the uncommon variations of Blaziken.


Not actually too threatening, outside of Guillotine always being terrifying. Just a pain when it’s given a free sub as it could be faster than all of the unboosted team. Not handing over free subs is a start, but sometimes you might have too. It can enter a stalemate with Celest where they sub in front of each other and mutually deplete PP. Thankfully it doesn’t enjoy switching in on much of what this team can throw at it.
This is something the Primarina version didn’t have to worry about, as Sparkling Aria happily bypasses the sub.


Without SR on the team, or any strong multi-hits, Focus Sash on the right mon could put you in a tough place. I think the team is bulky enough to trade well regardless, in most cases. It’s just something to keep an eye out for.


QR code
Damage Calcs - Google Doc
Replays - Currently down, will edit some in if/when they come back.
Blaziken-Mega @ Blazikenite
Ability: Blaze
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 20 Atk / 92 Def / 4 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- High Jump Kick
- Baton Pass
- Protect

Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Draco Meteor
- Flamethrower
- U-turn

Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 60 Def / 12 SpD / 180 Spe
Impish Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Substitute
- Leech Seed
- Protect

Thundurus-Therian @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Volt Absorb
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 148 SpA / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Focus Blast
- Nasty Plot

Tapu Fini @ Waterium Z
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 4 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Moonblast
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Calm Mind

Tapu Bulu @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Grassy Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 108 SpD / 148 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Horn Leech
- Superpower
- Rock Tomb
- Bulk Up
 
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Great rmt. The team is solid and i like the tailored spreads a lot. Glad you decided to share it in a rmt :]

By seeing the threat list i'm thining that maybe Air Slash on Steela over Heavy Slam might actually help with the Mega Venu match up a little, switching its nature from Impish to Bold. It would even improve your Blaziken match up, hitting it on the switch in or if you manage to pass enough speed to Celesteela.

Outside of this, i really won't touch anything. Again well done dude
 

Jhon

Show me something eternal
is a Tiering Contributor
Great rmt. The team is solid and i like the tailored spreads a lot. Glad you decided to share it in a rmt :]
By seeing the threat list i'm thining that maybe Air Slash on Steela over Heavy Slam might actually help with the Mega Venu match up a little, switching its nature from Impish to Bold. It would even improve your Blaziken match up, hitting it on the switch in or if you manage to pass enough speed to Celesteela.
Outside of this, i really won't touch anything. Again well done dude
I have considered it in the past, but was worried about how it would affect the Tapu Lele and Mimikyu matchup. I think changes I've made since then may have alleviated that concern, so I'll definitely revisit Air Slash.
 

cant say

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Have you tried Z move Hydra? It's a cool baton pass recipient as-is but Z move (or even Life Orb) allows it to stay in when something that resists Dark/Dragon comes in.
 

Jhon

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is a Tiering Contributor
I tried z-move very early on, mostly z-draco. It's disappointing. Hydreigon really needs the damage increase on both of its stabs to function well, where one excels with a z-move the other falls short.
Life Orb, I also used for a short while, but I genuinely found the recoil to be significant. I also considered that there are very few switch ins to a Specs Draco or Dark Pulse. If we look at a very common resist, Koko:
252+ SpA Choice Specs Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 69-81 (47.2 - 55.4%) -- 77% chance to 2HKO (+crit chances and perhaps a flinch).
If Hydrei has speed that's no switch in. Obviously the other common resist; Fini, Prima and Azu; can take it more comfortably, but with that lot beating Blaziken as well I'm less likely to bring both anyway, and LO's flexability doesn't help as much against them either.
 

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